Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What do you put in your Essentials Bin?

When you are packing up for a craft show...what do you put in your Essentials Bin?

Of course you know that you will pack your goods (in my case finished pottery and woven items) your display furniture (for me it's folding tables, folding shelves, folding chairs, wooden boxes, a dressmaker dummy, ikea "valet" rack and cloths to cover the tables.) signage and a cooler of water and  snacks.  Because I never have time to grab lunch and find snacking through the day keeps the headache away.  Keeping yourself hydrated is important!  Even when the weather is cool water is important.

Oh. And of course you don't want to forget bags and wrapping for purchases.  I have been lucky the last several years.  With all of our moves I have had a TON of packing paper.  JUST this year I was in danger of running low.  But a friend moved to her new house and gifted me with ALL of her household packing paper.  Yay!

And I nearly forgot to mention painters plastic.  My shows are often under a big tent.  The condensation that gathers on the underside of the tent will drip, drip, drip!  So I always cover my work for the night with 2 or 3 $2.99 plastic sheets.  We always seem to have painting projects planned at home so they will be reused at least a few times after the shows...

My Essentials Box is the thing I pack up after day one and take to the hotel with me, while leaving my booth set up for the next day.

For me I include, the money box (of course) with my Square, for the credit card shoppers and $180 worth of change.  I'm sure that seems like a lot of cash.  But my husband is an accountant that believes in being prepared.  And you don't want to lose a sale because you can't break a $20 (or $50 or $100 for that matter!).  I will say the tides have turned and the majority of my sales are by credit card.  But I agree with Greg that I should be prepared.  (AND I have come to the rescue of fellow artists more then once when THEY were not prepared with change...)  I also bring 2 receipt books (I think positive) and extra pens and batteries for the adding machine.

Plenty of business cards.

Book for emails and or addresses for the one day mailing list.

Commission book.  I finally have realized that that slip of paper that I scrawl a commission request on is not good business smarts.  So I always enter any request in my book with all the pertinent information (request, address, deadline etc.)

Package of Wet Ones.  (We are talking porta john territory.) Antiseptic hand wash (see prior note).

Hammer, all in one tool, rope and various clips, clamps and pins (for holding down the previously mentioned plastic) and shims (in  case my tables don't sit level.)

Scissors! (As I hop up to add them right now before I forget.)

Besides this box of essentials there is usually an extra bag of last minute extra pair of socks (my shows are usually in a field and morning set up can mean wet wet feet.) A roll of TP, a towel or two and a bag for garbage.

Is there something I haven't mentioned that YOU never leave home without???


cookingwithgas said...

Good list, makes me tired just thinking about it!

Tracey Broome said...

I always have to have a lip balm, my lips get so chapped at shows. Also black tape or duct tape, never without it, keep a roll in my car at all times. For cool weather shows I bring a thermos of hot tea and my favorite mug of the week, gives me comfort at those slow shows:)

Michèle Hastings said...

Your list is very similar to mine, except for the socks!
I also pack a tape gun, some bubble wrap and a few extra boxes. Also a tape measure. Occasionally someone wants to measure a pot to see if it will fit in a certain space in their home.

Anna M. Branner said...

Oh a tape measure is a VERY good idea. Definitely adding it to my bin!

Anna M. Branner said...

Tracey you are right about the lip balm!

Traci Mcdaniel said...

It's nice that you've put in all your important stuff there. The only other thing you need is sturdy enough storage that will last and will be sufficient enough to carry all the bulk and weight. Have a great day!

Traci Mcdaniel @ CMH Inc.