Pop up bazaar experience

A few weeks ago, I was asked from the school librarian whether I would be interested in having a stall at the pop up bazaar in the school. I thought it would be a great opportunity to create original craft products and experience being a retailer for one lunchtime.

First I brainstormed what I can produce for the target audience – teachers and middle / high school students – that is inexpensive, practical and worth buying from me. As I love making cards for my family members and friends, and Mother’s Day is just around the corner, I decided to create cards featuring paper cutting decorations. Also, I decided to make folded greeting cards with original digital illustrations.

I collected the ideas of designs during the day, on the way to and from school. The key to the card design is to think the occasion the audience may use – for thanking someone, for birthday or special celebrations, or greeting. So I kept the design simple, some are more abstract and less fantasy.

 Three weeks before the day, I made the base of hand-made cards. Deciding the dimension of cards and colour combinations of paper for inside and outside. I also went to buy materials such as 300gsm cards and envelopes. The lucky thing was that I already had enough materials such as mount board and coloured paper so I didn’t need to spend a lot, and that even if I didn’t use everything I bought, I could use them for something else in the future.

Initially, I was thinking to draw on postcards made of watercolour paper, but I didn’t have enough time to think of designs and actually work on the production…

  Then I drew designs on the inside of the cards, where would be covered by another layer of the paper.

  Cutting them out wasn’t a difficult process, but time consuming and nerveracking. Spending while Saturday before the bazaar was a bit stressful but rewarding.

  Pictures below are a couple of completed cards:

 I printed the digital illustrations on 300gsm cards on a school printer. Experiencing printing issues and paper jam made me feel so frustrated and tired but it taught me to be more organised and better in managing time. The day was extremely busy. I was rushing when setting up the stall, and I was busy during the lunchtime, but it was worthwhile. Along with cards, I also set up a small printer and a laptop for photograph prints sold for 50 cents. I sold a large number of cards and some prints, I had only 1 hand made card and 2 folded cards left at the end of lunchtime! I made profit of $57.50, and after subtracting the cost, about $40 remained.

I really enjoyed the process of organising for the bazaar. I thought I can improve selling works by understanding the way to handle printing more efficiently, packaging cards beforehand, speeding up the printing service, and providing wider range and quantity of cards to choose from. I would like to thank school librarians for encouraging me and supporting me in having a stall at the bazaar!!

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