Monday, 27 April 2015

Edelstoff 07 experience: 4 things you might not realise as a visitor at a design market

We were so lucky to get a stall next to a wall, wooohoo!
T-shirts Chris and I screen printed together
© Philipp Lipiarski / 
The candle house didn't fit on the table, so we had it as a deco 'for us'. Guess what, we FORGOT to blow it out after the first day (it was a two day market). We only remembered it way too late in the evening and agreed that nothing can happen as the candle is in a metal/ glass house, but still, I felt pretty bad! Although nothing would have happened, I was quite happy to find out the next morning that someone blew it out for us. Better be more careful about candles in the future!
© Philipp Lipiarski /
I've been to design markets a few times in the past as a visitor, but Edelstoff was my very first design market that I've attended as a seller. I can tell you that the experience of a visitor vs. seller is SO hugely different. Sure, it makes total sense, but still, until I've tried it myself, I didn't quite know how it feels on the 'other' side.

It's an investment
As a regular visitor, I didn't even think about the fact that the sellers pay to be there. The organisers carefully curate the designer brands and select them after a round of applications, but the stall spot is paid. It's not just the stall fee you invest as the seller, it's also all the decorations (think every little - and large - box, display stand, light, logo banner, table cloth, etc.) and all the products that you need to buy in advance. It all adds up pretty quickly. 

For me, the tough part was estimating how much I'll need for the market and what to produce. Will I sell 10 greeting cards or 100? Should I order notebooks or gift wraps? All of that was so hard to guess, mainly for the first market. 

You need a buddy
Apart from the investment details, I never thought of the fact that it's not the best idea to sell alone. It is naturally possible, but not ideal. Any time you would need to go to the bathroom/ grab something to eat/ drink, you would need to ask someone to watch out for your stand and possibly lose customers as you were not there. Not so great.

Chris was ever so sweet and was there with me the WHOLE weekend, every single minute of it. It was an invaluable help. 

Time hustle
I also never really thought of the whole setup part before the event starts. I never imagined the sellers carrying in boxes, setting the stalls up, decorating the tables, making everything pretty, all morning before the visitors come in. 7:30 Saturday morning, HELLO! :) 

It however really wasn't so bad and both Chris and I were really surprised how fast the days flew by! We didn't have a single moment where we would look at the watch and think 'oh my, four more hours to go'. It was more like 'it's already four?'.

You don't get to see all exhibitors 
Neither Chris nor I actually had a chance to properly check out all the other stands. Whenever I left for a quick bathroom break, I wanted to be back asap so that Chris isn't there alone and vice versa. But we really liked the guys that had stalls next to us and the atmosphere in our corner was AMAZING. Laughs, smiles, totally having fingers crossed for others to sell well, we loved it! The whole market had a great vibe, but we could only fully experience our corner :D

To sum it all up, I am SO HAPPY we've been there. It was an amazing experience, we now know how it all works and are ready for the next one (which is in less than 2 weeks)! 

Next up: Feschmarkt in Graz on May 8 - 10. Yooohooohoooo! 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Why I keep on going to conferences although it's a torture for me + pictures from Eva Fisher's photography workshop

I've tortured myself a little this past weekend, again.

I went to a local blogger conference (Fashion Camp Vienna). Don't take me wrong, the conference itself was really fantastic and has totally exceeded my expectations, the torture part is completely in my head. 

Although I've been to a lot of conferences in the past (mostly representing my past employers, making contacts for the company), I actually really don't like start conversations with people I don't know. Approaching strangers, small talk, networking = NOT my thing! I am like dying inside when I'm supposed to network. This time was even harder as everybody was speaking German - the language I almost perfectly understand, yet constructing sentences just takes me too long for a normal fluent chat. I really didn't feel comfortable approaching small groups of girls that were so happily talking in German and completely switching the mood of their chat by being like 'Hi, I'm Natalie, so nice to meet you! Feel free to speak German to me whilst I respond in English' AWKWARD! (I know it's actually not so awkward, but in that moment, I felt like it's the most difficult thing in the world.)

I'll tell you a secret - I literally went outside during the lunch break to talk to my mum over the phone so that I wouldn't need to network. Haha! I'm so ashamed yet it's so me. 

By the way, I ADORE talking with people I know, one to one, or in small groups. My issue disappears once we start talking, but it's that moment when I'm supposed to open up a chat with a stranger that I totally freak out inside.

Yet I keep on going to conferences anyways. I love the presentations, the decorations (what a reason :D but I do!), the workshops and it always, always ends up being totally worth it. 

Well and it was the same for this conference. Loved the talks, loved the food, loved the deco, the goodie bag, the atmosphere and most of all - Eva Fisher's 1.5 hr photography workshop. She's like a food blogger superstar here in Austria (her blog is called Foodtastic) and her pics are a treat. The workshop was amazing. I learned a few great tricks and shot some of the best scene pics I've ever taken. 

So enough of confession time, here are some of the shots I took yesterday :) 

PS. Please have fingers crossed for me during the upcoming weekend, I'll be having a stall with my greeting cards, book marks, art prints, temporary tattoos and a few original illustrations at Edelstoff Designmarkt here in Vienna. This will be my first ever stand at a design show and I am so excited!! I don't know what to expect, but I can't wait already!

Friday, 10 April 2015

2 castle trips, kite and forest: snapshots from our Easter break

This year was the first year that Chris and I weren't in Sweden over Easter (you can see a photo story from our 2014 Swedish Easter trip here). One of the reasons why we stayed in Austria is that we would like to go to Sweden in the summer next and possibly drive up to Stockholm too. I absolutely love Sweden by the way. If it wasn't so cold up there in the winters and if the idea of potentially moving there did not include learning yet another language, I would be seriously considering it. Maybe one day. Swedish forests, lakes, quiet nature, the sea and their design are a couple of my day dream images. Speaking of which, I'm planning to do an illustration project based on those :)

In any case, this year we've spent Easter in Graz with Chris' family. It was so relaxed, full of family fun (we played card tournaments almost every evening :) and little trips.

I took a bunch of pictures and want to share a couple of snapshots with you so that you can get a little glimpse of the Styrian nature and our Easter break atmosphere. Enjoy!

A pretty blooming tree at Rabenstein Castle in Styria
Schloss Eggenberg in Graz

Now I honestly can't wait to get back to the studio and start working on new drawing projects, yay!
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