Trade Show Series (cont.) Guest - Marsha Hedrick

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Forgive me. I already missed a deadline. I'm trying not to create a snowball effect - missing deadlines with blog excuses here, just real life.

Another guest - Marsha Hedrick was gracious enough to answer our questions and after reading you'll know - Marsha is a woman who loves her job. It's obvious when you look at her work - if she didn't love her job - you might think (might know?) she would have to be crazy? nuts? off kilter? Marsha paints tiny porcelain objects to such a degree of perfection that they look exactly like their larger counterparts! Amazing Porcelain? Outstanding? Unbelievable? Incredible - Astounding - any other adjectives wouldn't do her work justice. . . 
So, how does this wonderful artist prepare for her shows? 

1. What brand do you fall under (if any): Independent Jewelry Artist, Business Owner; Artisan and/or other:
I am a porcelain artist, and miniature artisan. I belong to the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA) and am an IGMA Fellow. I also belong to the Self Representing Artist Jewelry Designers online SRAJD. I am also a Native American (Oklahoma Choctaw) and I do Native American type art as well.

2. What type of Trade Shows do you attend as a vendor (not buyer) and how many shows do you attend:
Lately I do mostly Native American Shows and Bead shows. I used to do lots of miniature shows but haven't done any of them in a few years. Right Now I do about 4-5 shows a year

3. How far in advance do you plan for each show (i.e. inventory, advertising, hotels):
This depends on the show. I try to have a place to stay lined up so I don't have to pay for the high cost of hotels. This doesn't always work out though as I don't know people everywhere. If you are doing a big show it is a good idea to have your lodging be it hotel or friend lined up as soon as you find out you are doing the show. Usually you can book a hotel and don't have to pay until you arrive.

4. What type of advertising do you use, if any
I have done advertising in magazines, and show programs. These are both pretty expensive but the show program seems to be the cheaper of the two. I'm not sure if they result in much additional sales or not. I personally haven't seen much to indicate that they do. I always try to mail out information to my mailing list about upcoming shows as these are people that have shown an interest in my work in the past. Keeping the mailing list updated is the most economical of all advertising and it tends to be the most effective as well.
5. Do you have any tips to prevent loss/theft at shows:
Preventing theft is an ongoing task. You have to be aware of what is going on at your booth. Don't get too caught up in talking to one customer or friend that you don't watch and pay attention to other people in the booth. Not only are you asking for trouble from thieves you may miss an opportunity for a sale. Set up your booth so you can scan it quickly and see if something is missing. Try to keep up with your stock levels so you don't have a lot of empty holes. Spread things out or put out more things. It is easier to see a hole that way. Being proactive and talking to customers helps too. People are less likely to stick something in their pocket if you are talking to them.

Shows the scale of her work
6. Do you have a timeline for when and how to apply for tax permits or certifications for other states? And a good way to keep up with multiple permits and tax payment deadlines:
I try to apply for the permits as soon as I have the information to do so. Otherwise I tend to forget to do it. As for filing I try to file the tax return as soon as possible after the show as well, again so I don't forget it.

7. What suggestions do you have for display ideas that meet both convention center guidelines and fire marshall specifications:
I have special pieces that fit into the back of the jewelry trays that hold them at an angle. These pieces all attach together so it makes a very stable display that is easy to set up and break down and for travel they are flat and lightweight. They will even fit in the pocket in the front of my tray case. I like them because they put the trays at an angle so they are easier for people to see the contents and the trays can be set up at home so the set up at the show takes less time.

Find Marsha and her work at Amazing Porcelain Creations

Like Marsha's answers to our questions - tune in Friday July 29th for the remainder of her answers and Tuesday August 2nd for Nikia Angel of Buy the Kit

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