Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's in Your Bag? Craft Show Edition!

by Leanne of Loomination

You've seen it in the fashion magazines: when they unpack everything in a celebrity's handbag and she's got a laundry list of expensive cosmetics, a bottle of Evian, and something really down to earth, like a dog eared paperback or one of her child's favorite toys. No one wants to know what's in my handbag - it's seriously nothing to write home about.

The real question on our minds is what's in your craft show bag? That's where the magic happens!

My Regal Craft Show Bag

I have a large black shoulder bag made by Regal that's full of compartments and pockets where I can store all kinds of stuff. I think this bag, which my mom found at a yard sale, was originally intended to store craftbooking supplies, but it's really perfect for a craft show bag.

The inside!

Here's the very long list of essentials that I keep inside:

Business cards & hang tags
Business cards of stores that carry my work
Postcards for upcoming shows
Mailing list sign up sheet on a mini clipboard

Three card readers (two Square and one PayPal, just in case)
A knuckle buster and carbon sheets (really, really in case)
Coin purse with change
Phone charging battery and wall charger
Pre-moistened lens cloths (great for cleaning your phone screen)

Three ring binder with my sales permits and paperwork

Safety pins
Straight pins
Scotch tape
Measuring tape
Lint roller
Scissors - three different size pairs
Chalk Pen

Anti-bacterial wipes

Chalkboard tags
Credit card sign

Handy clear pockets

If you're building a craft show bag, these are some great essentials to consider putting inside. A lot of these items are really particular to my work as a fiber artist, such as the multiple pairs of scissors, the lint roller, and the different kinds of pins.

I carry a million credit card processing options, a phone charging battery, a stylus and special cloths to clean my phone because at my price points most sales (some days all) are made with credit cards.

It seems like I might be carrying too much, but every time I take something out, Murphy's Law kicks in, and that's the one thing I'm going to need at the next show. Last week I had an indoor show and didn't want to bring a ton of stuff, so I took out the most essential essentials to bring with me and left the bag at home. The one thing I really, really ended up needing - string - was something I left behind. Luckily I was able to pull a McGuyver with a strip of fabric, but if I'd had the string, it would have worked out much better.

Lots of storage!

With the busy holiday season it's a great time to get organized, especially if you're a first time exhibitor.

What do you keep in your craft show bag?

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