Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I've Been so MIA (Renegade Craft Fair!)

((I apologize ahead of time for my ghetto fab photos. I didn't get a chance to take my Renegade ones off of my good camera yet, but hey thats just another blog post to look forward to…right? Right.))

holy cow what an amazeballs weekend.

I have been so MIA lately, and you can blame it on my weekend. Not that I'm complaining, cause if I could I would so Renegade Craft all day erry day.

For those not familiar with Renegade Craft Fair it's not just any "craft fair". There are no little cute grannies making lawn ornaments or doilies. It's a traveling indie craft fair that hits up major cities along the US (Brooklyn, San Diego, LA, Chicago and Austin) I was lucky enough to attend the Brooklyn one this past weekend. There were 300 vendors and you have to apply and be accepted in order to be a part of this fair. I am NOT saying this to be all like "yeah buddy home gurl is da bomb diggity" I'm saying this so you can get how epic this fair is.

I'm going to be sharing tips and tricks on how to prep for a craft fair on this lil lady's blog in a few weeks, so for now I'm just going to tell you about my experience with Renegade.

Holy. Frekkin. Cow.

I absolutely LOVED it. You know what else I love? Lists. So now in no particular order here are some highlights from the event:

• I was frekkin PETRIFIED at first. I would say about 85% of the vendors there have either done craft fairs before or are old Renegade Veterans and knew exactly what to expect. I had no idea what to expect since I have never never EVER sold my goods face to face before. The first half hour was super super weird. People would walk into my booth and check out my stuff and I COULD SEE THEIR FACES. I could see them literally laugh at my quirky print wording or giggle over my pillow pantie plushes. But it was terrifying having people just check out your stuff like they were judging you. I don't mean that in a bad way, but its like "Hi, I'm Leonora, this is me, all of me, do ya dig it?" 

• I had a really awesome booth neighbor. It was this dude named Jay who had done a bagillion and one craft shows. He gave bub and I a ton of advice and even let us borrow some of his supplies that we didn't think we would need. The best part? The whole time I am staring at this Jay guy going "ok, HE LOOKS SO FREKKIN FAMILIAR. Do I follow him on twitter? Am I stalking his blog? Why is everyone taking pictures with him?" Oh, right, thats cause he was Jay McCaroll winner of Project Runway back in the day. For 2 entire days I had no clue who he was, he had lost weight since I saw project runway that I was only able to put 2 and 2 together when I finally googled his ass when I got home. I am so grateful that I got to hang out with sucha talented bro (yeah, I called him Bro, we're kinda tight like that now) (ok, we're not) (but if we were I'd call him Bro) but seriously he was so down to earth and we were shooting the shiz for a few, I hope I get to meet him again someday down the road!

• I had warned Bubs ahead of time that there was a good chance people were going to be calling him bub. And they did. And I laughed. 

• Having people thank ME for giving THEM my product was unreal. Here they were, handing me over my product, giving me their hard earned money, and thanking ME. I was all like "are you joking? Thank YOU for supporting ME" I was totally shocked that brooklyn had such a warm and welcoming crowd. Us New Yorkers can be pretty awesome at times, its rare but it happens ;)

• Not everyone is going to agree with your pricing. I must say out of all the vendors there my booth prices were definitely more towards the lower/reasonable end. My other booth neighbor was selling necklaces for 70-90 bucks just to give ya an idea. There were these 2 girls who came up to my booth, snarked at the fact that my prints were 20 bucks, then came back about a 1/2 hour later and asked if I accepted credit cards so they can buy my prints. (Victory is mine) (fist pound to the chest) (winning) (ok I'm done) 

• I got to network with sooooo many people. Having brooklyn be RIGHT by NYC was a HA-UGE benefit to me. Someone who worked at Etsy had bought one of my necklaces, representatives from Magazines asked if they can contact me down the road to feature me, I have a potential deal with happening in the works, a producer for ABC News requested a retro TV plush from me…I just can't believe all the exposure I got in those 2 short days.

• Bubs was great during the entire time. At one point he even said "I'll man the booth, go shop around!" I wasn't going to argue with the boy, I'm almost positive there was a Leonora Shaped puff of cloud smoke back in my booth from when I high tailed it out of there so I can finally check out my favorite handmade shops in the flesh. Getting to talk to other graphic artists who do what I do or talk to other handmade shop owners who I totally and completely look up to was so surreal. THESE PEOPLE GET ME. THESE PEOPLE DO WHAT I DO. HOLY COW WHY CAN'T WE ALL LIVE IN SOME AWESOME HANDMADE NEIGHBORHOOD AND BE MODERN AGE HIPPES TOGETHER?! 

 this is what working outside in the heat looks like.
and this was how cute I did look before the humidity got to me. To everyone I met that day I promise I'm not a hot sweaty mess with terrible sun screen streaks all over my nose.

• Ironically the biggest thing I can take away from Renegade Craft fair had absolutely NOTHING to do with my shop, or meeting new people, or getting my name out there. It had to do with Bub. I got to see him from a completely different angle. Don't get me wrong, since day 1 of starting Yellow Heart Art he has 110% been totally supportive of me (he was even my first etsy sale) but the way he was at Renegade was amazing. He woke up super early with me to pack his truck full of tables, chairs, tents, 4 large plastic suitcases, display props, cubby holes, a cooler full of food, a mannequin….in other words a whole lot of shit. Drove me an hour to Brooklyn, unpack the entire truck, carry it to my booth, set up a tent, set up the frame for my "Yellow Heart Art" Banner, set up all the tables, and stay with me for 11 hours both days in the heat, the sun and humidity. He also just didn't sit on the chair next to me like a bump on a log, he was interacting with people, helping me with inventory, keeping track of all my sales, getting super excited for me every time anyone bought anything, kept telling me how proud he was of me, taking pictures of booth and letting everyone on facebook now my progress for the day, taking over the booth so I can use the bathroom or shop around for a bit, snuck out of my booth to surprise me with a son of a sailor necklace that I was eying--I mean really the boy totally surprised me. And if that wasn't enough after only getting a small amount of sleep that past weekend he stayed up with me from 2am till 4am when I had gotten sick from dehydration and lack of food. Even if I didn't make a single sale this past weekend just having Bub do all those things for me and having his face light up with pride was just so fulfilling.

If there is EVER a Renegade Craft Fair remotely close to you YOU NEED TO ATTEND. If you own your own handmade business I strongly encourage you to try to be a vendor, the experience is 110% worth it.

Also sorry about the lack of pics, they are still on my super duper camera and I didn't have a chance yet to take them off, pinky promise you'll see those soon! But for now check out some new inventory that made its cameo at Renegade and is now available in the shop!


  1. Congratulations on your success! Sounds like an amazing craft fair! Where I live it's all about grandma doilies and wood sign craft fairs...I would be poor after this one! Love the new prints too, I gotta get one soon! Although, I might have to get a camera plush first!! :)))

  2. You rock my socks off, lady. For real.

  3. i am so proud of you, woman!!! this booth is BA-LOOOOWWWWING my mind!!! i am beyond impressed with all of it! and Bubs is too good!! he sounds like the sweetest thing. i love every single part of this - congrats, friend!!!!

  4. p.s. when i grow up i want to be just like you!

  5. HOLY FREAKING AWESOME. Sooo so excited for you!! The booth looked amazing!!

    And I agree with Ilene! I want to be just like you when I grow up.

  6. You are so amazing!!! I LOVE your booth!!

  7. hooray for you and all of your success! I can't wait to see how this all works out for you! Sounds like you have some amazing endeavors coming your way! holla! :)gina

  8. You are so awesome! I am seriously so jealous of all this. Congratulations, I am so glad it went amazing for you!!!

  9. It was really great to meet you and see your awesome work in person. Sounds like you had an amazing experience, and the part about Bub warms my heart. I'm so happy you had a wonderful experience!

  10. Aw this post was so sweet, love what you said about Bub. Thanks for the info on Renegade. You inspired me to check out the one they have here in L.A. xo JA

  11. ohohoh so cool you are just the best. I loved reading this!! Renegade is like a dream come true////and your prints??? just amazeballs, okay?

  12. I just totally love this! So proud of work so hard and deserve all the great things that happened this weekend. The part about Bub made me cry...I'm so glad you have each other.

  13. Ugh! I'm so mad that I missed the Renegade Craft Fair again this year! I swear, I never hear about the good stuff until the weekend after... I'm glad to hear it was a success for you though!

  14. aaagh! i just started typing this epic comment, and realized that i ought to just email you!

    so, here i will say that you and Bub are super awesome! and i'm so glad to be introduced to your blog, because the personality shining through is making my day!

    this was our fourth renegade fair, and we're finally starting to get the hang of it! i really hope to see you at future fairs!

    now: i go to email to continue with my previously attempted verbal diarrhea!


  15. (1) You are so cute, and your booth looks awesome!!! So glad you had a great experience! :)

  16. Your booth looked awesome! So glad it was a good experience :) Wish I could have stopped by!!!

  17. Congrats! I'm so glad you had such a great time, you deserve all this awesome success!!

  18. Congrats! I am so glad it went well and I cannot wait to see you all over TV/internet :).
    I agree about pricing. No mater what you do people will make comments that are so rude. I always want to scream "I MAKE THIS STUFF!!!"

    But that would be crazy. So, you just have to develop a thick skin because every show some jerk will say something kind of rude.

    You have inspired me to do the Renegade in L.A. Now you just need to fly out here and be my booth bitch/friend for the day :).

  19. I agree about pricing. No mater what you do people will make comments that are so rude. I always want to scream "I MAKE THIS STUFF!!!"How do i get a loan


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