Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pet Fest in Pictures (and a giveaway!)

We had a great time at the Humane Society of Jackson County's Pet Fest this past Saturday. The weather was beautiful, the crowds and other vendors were friendly, and we enjoyed great food, music and pet-friendly activities. The event was called Pet Fest, but I think it would have been more appropriate to have called it Dog Fest - I don't think I've ever seen more dogs in one place before. Sure, there were a few kittens at the adoption site, but other than that, it was dogs everywhere! Dogs of all breeds, colors and sizes. Brady & Cooper love socializing with other dogs & I think they had a blast. They slept for hours after we got home.

The weather was beautiful, but it was hot out in the sun - luckily, we came prepared with our tent. We set up the Brown Dog Boutique booth in the tent, and it's amazing what a difference that made. It was SO much cooler sitting under the tent. Throughout the day Brady & Cooper alternated between sitting in front of the tent greeting everyone that walked by and relaxing under the tables - popping out every now & then to say hi.


I've found that craft shows are difficult to prepare for, especially ones that I've never been to before. It's hard to anticipate (1) what people will be interested in on a given day, (2) what price points people will be looking for and (3) whether people will be in the mood to spend money at all. In the case of Pet Fest, it seems that most people loved to come around and look, but I got the impression that no one came to the event planning to make many purchases. Unfortunately, I don't think that many of the vendors sold much, if anything. The good news was that booth prices were very reasonable, and all of the money generated at the event went directly to the Humane Society of Jackson County.

I only sold one set of note cards (to my good friend over at Vintage Victuals - thanks Ellie!), but didn't leave the event disappointed. I was glad to support the HSJC, and I did end up handing out a number of business cards which will hopefully lead to new readers of this blog & more visitors to my shop. Fortunately, I didn't prepare too much inventory for the event. Because the majority of my sales are custom designs (where customers select the dog silhouette, colors and personalization of their choice), it's difficult to create a reasonable inventory that includes all of the combinations that I offer. I did introduce a new product at the event that got a good response from the crowd - a Pet Sitter's Guide. I developed the Pet Sitter's Guide out of personal necessity - I found that whenever my husband and I went out of town, I had to re-write a list of instructions for the person watching the boys - what they eat, when they eat, the vet's contact info, special instructions, etc. Every time I wrote down new instructions, I worried that I was forgetting something important. Hence, The Pet Sitter's Guide - a colorful, fill-in instruction sheet that features a cute dog silhouette at the top. I will be adding The Pet Sitter's Guide to my shop soon. In the meantime, I have 3 (yes, 3!) sets to give away to my readers! In honor of one of my alma matters, the University of Georgia, the sets that I will be giving away feature a white bulldog silhouette surrounded by a red & black circle. To enter the giveaway, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post:
What is your favorite summer vacation spot and why?

The rules:

One entry per person - no entries after 5pm EST on Monday, June 8. The winners will be chosen at random and announced next Tuesday morning. Good luck!

16 comments:

  1. First off, I am sorry sales were high at the event:( Your table looked cute! I hope you generate some sales though from the passer bys!
    My kids would have gone nuts....they love nothing more than animals. {3 legged and 1 eyed, they do NOT care!!}

    My fav. vacation spot is Isla Mejures, Mexico!
    Why? 1-it's where my husband and I went on our 15th wedding anniversary! It's sooooo secluded.....just a little town...nothing exciting really, lol. I love that it's all about family. They all stick together there. 2- it's my fav. cause I can't just hop in the car and drive there...makes it that more special! {and makes me want to go back that much more!}

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  2. Did you mean Monday June 8?

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  3. Whoops! Yes! Please have entries in by Monday, JUNE 8 - I'm still getting used to the fact that it's June already - thank you!

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  4. My favorite summer vacation spot is definitely the panhandle of Florida. Even though I've been so many times before, it's the memories I've made there over the past 25+ years (like how vague I am about my age?!?!) that make it so fun to visit. I love the white sand, blue water and drinking wine while the sun sets.

    I think your idea for a pet sitter's guide is fabulous - I can totally see myself using this!!! (And then giving our generous pet sitters your treats as a "thank you" gift like I did last time...which I am promptly going to blog about right now)

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  5. Your booth looks great & Brady & Cooper are adorable! Too bad on the sales, but the exposure is good too. It's hard when you don't know what to expect!

    Fav summer vacation spot...Desolation Wilderness with the dogs. We rent a cabin there and can hike out behind it all day without seeing anyone, taking in the gorgeous scenery.

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  6. My favorite summer vacation spot would have to be Hilton Head. I haven't been back in quite some time but we used to have so much fun there as a family. I would love to be sitting at the Salty Dog right about now with a refreshing beverage!

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  7. My favorite vacation spot in the summer is a campground about 1.5 hours east of our place. We can take our ATV's and ride for hours. The whole family loves it!!

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  8. My fave vacation spot is St. Simons Island. It is such a cute coastal town with a ton of history. The residents are very friendly and there are tons of great restaurants, shopping and other attractions - and of course, the beach!

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  9. My favorite summer vacation spot is on a Royal caribbean Cruise! I love cruising and their ships are so awesome, not to mention that you get to visit so many cool places!

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  10. My favorite vacation spot is Oak Island NC! It is a very family friendly spot and it is so beautiful. We love to walk along the beaches and at low tide you can walk all the way around to the neigboring island :)

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  11. I bet you'll get lots of attention to your shop with all the cards you handed out. I'm pleasantly surprised sometimes how well that actually works. I'm glad you mentioned how much the tent helped keep you cool in the sun. I just purchased one and am going to get to test it out at a show this coming weekend.

    My favorite summer vacation spot is Las Vegas. We actually got married there at the Tropicana. (No Elvis or drive-thru chapel for us!) I just can't get enough of that place. The pools are amazing out there (although I am starting to miss beach vacations, so we'll have to try to work one of those in soon). There's so much to see and do and so much awesome food and, if you're into shopping, it's well-known for that too. For my birthday 2 years ago, my husband booked me into the Dolphin Trainer For a Day program at The Mirage. I spent all day feeding and exercising their pod. It was just the most amazing experience.

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  12. Pulau Redang --- It's a great place, full of natural reefs and corals. If you've never heard about it, just Google!

    aikychien@yahoo.com

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  13. FAvortite vacation spot is anywhere with my family!! We love warm weather and the beach calls our names often!! SO favorite beach would have to be Destin!! Also Savannah, GA and Tybee Island great places to visit!!

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  14. My favorite summer spot is Cabo San Lucas. I love the humongous resorts that offer you everything so you never have to leave. And there is nothing like laying on the beach and feeling the ocean spray!

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  15. Claibourne JordanJune 8, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    Thanks for joining us at PetFest! I am sorry sales weren't good, but I think you are right that most of your products are custom made. You were a great addition to the day! I mailed the labels to our friend in South Carolina today. I can't wait for her to get them. Thank you again!

    Our favorite vacation spot is Nags Head, North Carolina. Luckily, we get to take our dogs with us and have so much fun playing in the sand with them! We have to keep them out of the water because they can't keep the water out of their mouths! It can't get here soon enough - come on July!

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  16. Hey Katie! :) Favorite vacation spot: pretty much anywhere with a beach and sunshine. Hawaii is probably top of the list though! Amazing scenery, beautiful beaches and so much to do. I can't wait to go back!

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