We have made the very difficult decision to cancel January’s Handmade Gift Show. After sending out notification emails in October and then waiting for invoices to be paid, we’ve had over 20 vendors drop out. Although each had their own different reason, this is one of those shows where we really need the symbiosis of a FULL room of vendors to draw the types and numbers of buyers that we want to see through those doors, and since you’ve already registered for this event we wanted to make sure we had a full room of vendors to make it worthwhile for you to take time out of your day to attend.
It’s an inertial pattern that can head in either direction, and unfortunately over the past few seasons it seems that it’s not going the direction we want to see. While our January HGS right before COVID hit in 2020 was exactly the energetic mix of buyers and vendors that we wanted to see, it seems that since COVID this has been the one show that has not seen its bounceback. It could be the fact that Faire has begun to dominate this landscape, it could be so many shops closing since the pandemic, or the ones that are still open placing fewer and more conservative orders, or choosing to do their shopping online versus attending events like this one. We honestly don’t know the reason, but as we approach the time in the season when we’d really be ramping up our buyer outreach, we don’t feel that we can confidently sell this event with so few vendors, and we know it would not be beneficial to you to do so.
We have never had to cancel an event for non-COVID-related reasons, and are devastated to be bringing you this news. Growing your handmade business is SO MUCH WORK and we wanted to help. We love educating our vendors about ways to approach wholesale, and we love the idea of having a show that is strictly for buyers who are actually interested in handmade.
For those of you who have been attending our wholesale events for many years, we know you’ve come to expect a caliber of work and professionalism from our vendors, and for this reason we are still committed to only filling our shows with the best of the best–and if we can’t bring you a full show of that, we’d rather cut our losses and see what new form this event could take down the road, rather than beginning a cycle of low expectations for our buyers, and in turn, our vendors. Thank you for your understanding and be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you’d like an update if and when we bring this show back–possibly in a different form–in the future!
You guys are AHHHHHMAZING! Thank you so much for providing us with this opportunity. It was such a huge bummer when the Seattle Gift Show went under and I was so excited when you posted this event. I seriously cannot wait for next year. I think this show is going to be just as awesome for many many many years to come!
I had no idea what to expect, but I went from never having done a wholesale show before to having 2 new wholesale customers in WA and one in NJ, how cool is that?! And there were several buyers who expressed interest that I will be following up with. A few mentioned the possibility of doing pop-ups in the spring and summer, which I’m very excited about! And the networking with other vendors was so valuable, I learned so much. Yes, I definitely got a crash course in wholesale vending!
My personal goals for the show were to 1. crash course myself in the wider world of wholesale 2. pay my booth fee with cash-and-carry 3. make at least two potentially long lasting buyer relationships. This was all achieved the first day! So I felt good right away.
[We got] more orders than we expected – 16 total with 7 new accounts, plus a few promising leads!
I made several new connections, modeler than half of them high quality connections, several of those wrote at the show, some already once they left, and I fully expect half that number more will write in the next month. And I feel like once other local shops see and hear about my brand in those shops, it’s really going to increase my local visibility. We are just getting started!
I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was a first time of this event outside of the Seattle Gift show but I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you did this. It exceeded all of my expectations! The buyers were awesome. It was smaller and easier to talk to buyers than at a large show….which is something I really really loved. I often feel like there isn’t enough time to chat with buyers or there are thousands of booths so buyers just rush on by in an attempt to see everything. Plus, the vendors rocked! I picked up some great tidbits and advice from others that have done other events.
I had very few expectations going into this since it was my first show, but I felt prepared on my side of things from my work with Katie Hunt at proof to product’s Paper Camp bootcamp. I felt that this show really allowed me to connect with buyers that were an ideal audience and some audiences that I hadn’t even thought about! Staff, vendors, and buyers were all incredibly lovely! I had great conversations and feel really good about the feedback and follow up to come!
I got a great crash course in trade show vending! I tried some new things with my booth which will translate to retail shows as well which is awesome. I got to meet the reps from a shop I’ve been flirting with and they were also excited to meet me- pop-ups and account in the works there. Handed out a few cards and postcards. I got to show off some brand new designs and got feedback on them which is so useful. And I got a really great new order/stockist that financially made doing the show immediately pay off and then some.
I didn’t make any orders at the show, but I made two very promising contacts! One with an amazing PNW stationery rep (Woo HOO!) and with a great bookstore that would like my work as murals in their new store opening in the fall. I also made great contacts with about 5 or 6 stores that I think will buy in the future. Wholesale is a long game and this opportunity to be at UCU show was priceless! Thank you!
Magnuson is a great venue. Several buyers commented on the ease of getting there (vs downtown) and parking accessibility.