Punk Bazaar Xmas Edition – a photo post

I skipped last Friday’s blog post to bring you this photo-packed one instead!
Had an amazing time with my friends and fellow artisans.
All photos were taken by Natalie Colon, my punk bazaar sidekick.
Have a great weekend everyone!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had an amazing day with your loved ones. I know I did!
Apart from getting stuffed with amazing puertorican food and spending the day with my family, I came home to find that, not only did my shop make it to the Etsy front page, but I was also featured at Latina.com for a small article on latina etsy sellers! This article/slideshow featured 8 wonderful etsians who sell jewelry and art.

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You can check out the slideshow at

http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/holiday-gift-guides/latina-etsy-artists?slide=2#axzz2lzQ8lUov

Have a wonderful weekend, and remember to support your local businesses today on Black Friday. โค

Punk Bazaar Photos!

Here are some photos from Tuesday’s bazaar at the Biercade; taken by my friends Eduardo and Natalie.
The punk bazaar was intended to bring different types of artists together and interact and support eachother by attracting their different clients and audiences. Every booth filled up with amazing products which ranged from handmade to old-school goodies. We also had a talented tattoo artist which got to tattoo about 7 people within a 5 hour time frame; and an amazing street artist and photographer known for his awesome wave walls. Within the hour the place filled with locals, tourists, band supporters, horror movie fans, urban artists, a few of my loyal customers and friends. Mission accomplished!

It was a great experience; one that showed just how close and supportive the “underground” music scene is and how different kinds of people all come together to support the local arts and small busineness.

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Punk Bazaar – what, where and why?

What exactly is a “punk” bazaar?

I recently had the opportunity to host events on a monthly basis. One thing I always wanted to do was a gathering of artists to show off each of their skills and/or creations to the public and a way to support eachother. I wanted it to be a way for people, who had no resources or money to promote themselves on a professional level, to build up their business, brand or name. Having my own business I learned that many of the participating brands on big events were either bigshots, had the resources or money to expose themselves to a greater public, had all the necessary paperwork to build a “legal” business, or knew someone who could help them get to these events for free or for lower fees.

In reality, most artists and small brands can’t afford to do this just yet. Some of these events can cost up to $400 per vendor for ONE day. I’ve seen fellow artists sell here and there, on a corner of a tourist area during weekends, through a friend who had the luck of partipicating on a big event, selling to their friends in college or hangout spots, etc.ย ย The organizations who do these events usually have endless waiting lists of people to participate and only choose certain types of businesses depending on what they sell. Many will never get to make it to this list.

So this is how the punk bazaar is born. A free independent and alternative space to go and sell, promote and showcase your talent, completely free and best of all: run by likeminded people without the help of bigshot organizations, designed to support a DIY way of thinking, hence the word “punk”. I wanted to include different kinds of people with different talents and skills, which is why I’m kicking off the first bazaar with cool clothing brands, accesories, band merch, tattoos, magazines, comics, food and live art. Hopefully it’ll give a chance for the audience to appreciate the hard work of those who have it tougher making it in each of their fields rather than the usual trends we are exposed to every day.

Starting November 5th at the Biercade, San Juan Puerto Rico.

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A quick look into Fractal Clothing

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A new line of prints is born! Fractal Clothing is a smaller collection of prints, separate from Samsara in terms of style and color. I wanted to create something different and more personal this time, considering all of Samsara is “vintage” art and not drawn by me. Fractal on the other hand, will be inspired on geometry, sacred lines, astronomy and beyond. The art will be either drawn, edited and/or intervened by me.

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I’ll also be experimenting with darker colors this time!
A new shop will be made for Fractal to separate my styles, which I’ll post once it’s ready for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, take a look at some bits and pieces of what Fractal is all about.

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working the weekend

Last week I wrote a few tips on how to work craft fairs and such. Well, last weekend I participated in one which is held weekly at the Melia Hotel and Resort here in Puerto Rico. Being a first timer at this particular bazaar, I made sure to have enough inventory for 2 days of work. With over $900 of merchandise I went last Friday, set up booth at 6pm and finished around 10pm. Saturday’s lasted longer, starting at 4pm.

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One thing I learned about working bazaars at night: BRING YOUR OWN LIGHTS!
Since I knew we were going to be working at the lobby I didn’t think it necessary but boy was I wrong. Always come prepared with extras even if you won’t use them: illumination, power cables and extensions, your own table, a plastic sheet to put over your stuff in case it rains if you’re working outside, etc.

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It was an awesome experience considering I was also staying at the hotel with my family ๐Ÿ˜‰

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See ya next week!

A quick How-To on selling at craft events & bazaars

I like to read the Etsy forums every now and then; surf through different threads, learn from my fellow etsians and even share my own ideas from time to time. One thing I see quite often are the threads regarding craft fairs, art shows, bazaars, etc.

Many etsians ask for advice on how to deal with being a first-timer at these events. What do I need? How do I handle promotion? etc etc.

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Preparing for events is a lot of work; especially if it’s your first time and you’re completely clueless! My first time was about 2 years ago and yes, I was less than prepared compared to right now. ย I have to admit that I’m still nowhere near an expert on this, but I’ve done quite a couple of events and have gathered a few tips which I’ll share with you โค

In my opinion, the most important part of these events is attracting your niche market. For example, my shop mainly attracts people between the ages of 18 – 30. My clients for the most part are into art, music, anything out of the ordinary, street art such a graffitti, etc. That’s part of my niche market.

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So, when I participate in these events I try to showcase my items in a way that’ll attract my niche market. I place art prints, stickers and promo cards on my table, I hang the coolest shirts right in front of the booth or depending where I’m selling. There was even one time when I hung my totes from a tree. YES! THAT HAPPENED!

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Apart from making your booth niche market-friendly, also pay attention to the possible future “not sure if I’m ready to buy just yet” customers. Many people are hesitant at first; they might see something that catches their eye but will tell you “I’ll come back later”. Others are far from your niche market; they may not even be a fan of your product, yet they’re right there in your booth. Give them a business card. Give them a treat, a freebie, a sample of your product. It all depends on what you sell. I like to give stickers for free sometimes. Some people get so curious over them that they ask to see more of my prints. One sticker can turn into a sale in matter of seconds. So do what you need to do to attract your market!

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Selling beauty products? Soap? Lotions? Give out samples.
Selling candles? Light ’em up! Attract buyers with your awesome scents. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Right after you catch their attention, your next step will be building a network. Make friends with your clients; give them your card. Ask for THEIR card. Who knows? You might need their services in the future. It won’t always be about making sales. In fact, you could end up with a great opportunity on your hands by simply networking instead of pressuring your visitors to buy. I had a woman visit my booth one time who did not want to buy anything from me. Instead, she just asked for my business card because she was the owner of a local pub and wanted some custom shirts made for her employees.

You never know who might show up. Stay friendly!

Make sure your business card includes social networks. It’s not all about phone numbers and emails anymore. Three of the most popular places used for networking are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join them, update regularly, upload photos, promote your shop, link your accounts for cross-promotion. This means you can update your twitter and have it show up on Facebook aswell. Or upload a photo on Instagram and send it over to twitter, FB, tumblr, or any other network you have linked!

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As you keep working craft fairs and selling events you won’t only be doing business, but also creating a fan base for your shop, and these social platforms will help them keep up to date with you and your products.

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So you have your products, your way of promoting, networking and setting up your booth. Make sure to bring snacks, water, petty cash, a portable card reader if you can, bags (eco-friendly is always a plus), sun lotion if you’re selling outdoors, and HAVE FUN!