It has been a little over two years since we first opened the doors of ILYM Reclamation Design, and there has definitely been a learning curve. For me, that curve has included learning about different woods, finishes, adhesives–the list could go on and on. As Randy has often said, I am the dreamer. I can see a project in my mind and then it is up to Randy to make it happen. Over time, I have learned the processes that Randy has to go through (sometimes suffer through) to make my dream a reality. Randy, fortunately, has had a leg up on me. Wood has been his passion for a lifetime, but the one thing that we have both struggled with is the business side, specifically, how to get our products out into the big wide world. Randy has always wanted to do arts and craft shows, markets, and such. I, however, haven’t always been sold on the idea.
Our first event, as pictured, was tiny. It was held almost a year ago in the parking lot of a cute farmers market. We sold a few things and had many people take our cards–and it made me realize that Randy was right. We needed to go to these types of events because social media really wasn’t working for us the way we needed it to. As a result, when holiday season was upon us last year, we signed up for several different markets and shows.
As you can see, we have worked on our displays–and continue to do so constantly. We make notes (actual and mental) of what works and what doesn’t. We have noticed that certain products almost always sells, while other products are more of a draw that result in lots of questions and our card being taken for possible custom work. We have come to realize that our entrance/booth fee is more than just a pay to play fee. It is an advertising fee. Therefore, so far this year, we have participated in three markets and shows. We have at least 6 more coming up in the near months. Our scheduled events can be found on our Facebook page.
The most important lesson that I have learned, however, is that these events are so much fun. Although I am completely out of my comfort zone, I truly enjoy meeting the other vendors and the customers. While Randy can and always has been able to talk to and connect with almost anyone, I am learning to share our passion with people.