Last weekend Dave & I were at Got Craft? – a bi-annual craft fair that’s one of the biggest in Vancouver. It was our first market of 2013, so Friday night was spent dusting the cobwebs off our display furnishings and packing our stock and our tool kit (what’s in our tool kit? pliers, tape, screw driver, wire cutters, zap straps, more tape, S hooks and … chocolate! Lots of chocolate!).
The market went well – especially considering there was an impromptu venue-change less than 1 week before the opening day, due to a fire at the original venue. Even with a flash change of venue, there were still tons of people that walked through the door and came to say hello (if you were one of them, thank you, we loved meeting you!).
One of our favourite things about attending markets and craft fairs is that we get to chat with our customers. Since most of our sales are online, it’s nice to be able to experience a bit of human contact and conversation – especially when it’s a returning customer stopping by to tell us that the bag she bought from us last Christmas is her ‘go-to’ every day bag (I had a huge grin when I heard that!).
Our customers are the inspiration behind our designs. Everything we make, we make with them in mind – trying to solve their problems with new functionality and features, while still staying true to our aesthetic. It’s amazing what can happen in a brief interaction when a customer looks at a product and asks if we can make it with X instead of Y, and maybe add an additional Z… Of course we can!
One of the custom orders that came out of last weekend’s market was a simple little cuff in dark chocolate brown. The customer liked one of the cuffs we had at our booth, but she needed something that would fit her wrist, so we took her measurements and set up the custom order. The next day, she returned to our booth after having been to our website that evening. She saw our leather bookmarks with the quote “Life is a Journey, Not a Destination” and wondered if there was some way of incorporating that quote into her order.
Voila – her idea, our execution. I particularly like that it’s an infinity symbol – a continuous circle wrapped twice and crossed over, particularly symbolic with the quote inscribed.
Another custom order request we took that day was for our Super Slim Card Wallet (a design which also came about from a customer’s custom request) – but with an added twist that’s to be a graduation present for their 18-year-old son. I’m excited to get to work on this one because I think it’ll be a huge hit, enough so that we’ll probably add it to our regular stock. That, and it’s a custom dye job – which is always fun since I love getting my hands dirty.