I held my first book sale at the Crafteria event hosted by Across U-hub this weekend. It was by far the most exciting and nerve wracking event ever! In addition to experiencing many firsts, I was able to get a better vision for Wander Piggy. In this blog, I would like to share my experience with you.
First Book Sale Experience
Concerns prior to the book sale
Before Crafteria, I only sold my books online through Amazon. When Cecilia asked me whether I would be interested to sell them at the Crafteria event, I got super excited, and then extremely nervous. There were a few reasons why I was nervous. First of all, I don’t physically stock my books, so I was concerned about whether or not the books would arrive on time after I place the order. Next, Anthony already decided to attend WordCamp Toronto to further his knowledge in making websites. This meant we had to look for someone to take care of Beanie. It also meant that Anthony wouldn’t be able to help me out! I wasn’t too concerned about the set up and tear down. The only thing I was concerned about was the lack of time to pump milk. It is such a simple thing, but it is a big consideration since these were full day events. It was definitely a new mom problem.
Luckily, I was able to place an order for my books, and they arrived well before the event date. Anthony was able to make arrangements with his aunts to take care of Beanie. I had a little bit of trouble finding someone to help me initially. I’m one of those people who really hate asking for help, because I don’t want to trouble anyone. At the end, my friend Jacqueline agreed to help me on Saturday. I knew she went out of her way to do this for me. She was busy with her kids, they had family things to deal with, etc. On the day of, she showed up to look after my booth so I could pump, and she left. I barely got a chance to chat with her that day. So I truly, truly, appreciated her help.
When I volunteered at Across, I never got a chance to participate in a Press Conference. On Sept 27th, I was very happy to be able to attend this press conference. It’s been five years since I last step foot at Across. When I arrived, I was greeted by many many familiar faces. It was super nice and warm to experience such a feeling. Here’s a photo of the press conference. Look who made it onto the news? BEANIE!! ;D
The theme for Crafteria is “大笪地”, or street market, which was one of the signatures of old time Hong Kong. For this event, everyone got a coloured blanket, so we could set up our products on the floor. Initially, I only made a few signs to showcase my books, I couldn’t really picture what my booth would look like. During a conversation with Lisa, she asked me what my theme was. A theme??????!!!! I told her straight out that I don’t have one, because it never occurred to me that I need one. I explained to her that I’m selling colouring travel journals, so she suggested direction signs (like below).
I thought that was an amazing idea! Thanks to Lisa, I made a few of these beauties.
At the end, this became my booth setup, where I hid my bags and extra nik-naks under the blanket. It worked out wonderfully, because I had many places to prop up the signs. This is such a great picture! I love my two male “models” (random strangers) posing in the background!! Hahahaa!
On Saturday, I did a prize draw for one of my books, and I drew Vincci, one of the volunteers from Across! I was very happy because I knew she was very excited to get a copy of my book! It’s a good feeling to share my work with someone who really appreciates it.
Actual Book Sale
Presenting my books was a little bit of a challenge on the first day. That’s because I only had enough time to get my stuff ready, but didn’t have enough time to think through what I want to say. It was a little bit of a rough start on Saturday. I only sold 1 book, so I was a little bummed. But when I got home I told myself that it is already very good to sell one book! On Sunday, I said to myself, this is just for fun, so just talk to people! I ended up selling five more books! Two of the sales are to total strangers (YAY!)! Of course, I want to thank all the people who supported me. In total, I sold 6 books, and that was a huge achievement! So I’m very proud of that. 🙂
On Sunday night, we were presented with certificates by the Mayor of City of Markham, Frank Scarpitti (middle), Regional Councillor, Nirmala Armstrong (left), and Ward 3 Councillor, Don Hamilton (right), for participating in the Crafteria event.
At around that time, my good friend Grace dropped by to say hi to me. I was super happy she made it out to support me!!
Big Thank Yous
I would like to give my thanks to Across U-hub for giving me this wonderful opportunity; to all the people who supported me; to Anthony’s aunts for taking care of Beanie. And of course, to Anthony who was there for me both emotionally, mentally, and physically. I have a wonderful husband. He supported me through everything. From taking care of Beanie while I prepared for the show, to arranging for childcare, to picking up the boxes of books when they arrived, to helping me figure out how to set up the booth, to helping me pack all the pieces into the car so all I had to do was drive to the location on Saturday, to helping me clean up on the last day, etc, etc, etc. I couldn’t have done it without him. No words can describe how much I love this man.
Clearer Vision for Wander Piggy
Last but not least, I would like to write about my vision for my business. Since I started publishing my own books, I always felt that the directions of my books are all over the place. That’s because I have so many ideas in my head! For example, I had made some colouring reference books, some colouring travel journals, and I wanted to come out with inspiration journals and children’s story/activity books. I had questioned myself whether I should focus more on one thing. But after participating in this event, I saw a clearer vision for Wander Piggy. I want “connection” to be the word for Wander Piggy. Life is on hyper speed in this digital world. I want the people who use my products to rediscover the meaning of connection, whether it is a connection with themselves, with others, or with the surroundings. I want them to be able to slow down time and become fully aware of the present moment. So ladies and gentlemen, I present you, Wander Piggy.