COFFEE FIRST Sequin Sweatshirts // SS16 Collection

Since 2011 I’ve been creating sequin embellished apparel (see herehere & here!) and selling my designs since 2014 (see here & here!). I’ve always had a special place in my heart for sequins! Last year, in October, I released my first all-sequin embellished line of short-sleeve sweatshirts to the public! The most popular design was the “Coffee First” sweatshirt and was sold out before I even uploaded them to my online boutique! I had people texting, e-mailing, PM-ing, Tweeting and Instagram-ing me, BEGGING to buy the sweatshirt after I posted the first teaser image on Instagram! Because of that incredible popularity (and the countless inquiries I’ve received since!) I decided to release the Coffee First 2.0 just in time for Spring!

Coffee First Short Sleeve Sweatshirt

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My 1st Pop Up Shop Showcase & How I Got Ready for It!

As readers of this blog I’m sure you’re all aware of my Etsy shop, Glitter & Bow. It’s my ‘baby’ and one of the many ways I show my creativity! I had planned my first live pop up showcase for next Summer, but as I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was very honored and excited to be invited by RAW Artists to participate in their October showcase in Nashville. I jumped at the opportunity to try something on a small scale so I could ‘dip my toes’ in the proverbial pop up pool!

 Above: video preview of the finished pop up shop — ready for shoppers!

 

Above: the G&B space right before show

The hardest part about getting ready for this pop up were the mere 6 weeks I had to prep and the fact that I could find NO tips or articles online about prepping for one. However, I welcome a challenge, especially if it helps me grow professionally and creatively.

Please don’t take this article as the ‘Bible’ for newbie pop up planning. I only hope that by sharing my discoveries I can point someone in the right direction for taking this big step and feeling reasonably prepared if this is something you are ready to do.

showcase3

Above: new designs not yet in my shop that showcase attendees got to shop first!

1. Choose your pop up location based on the type of client you want to attract. I was invited to showcase at RAW and chose them because this was an evening, 18+ event, calling for cocktail attire. My sparkly designs definitely attract the Southern, cocktail dress wearing sort (like myself!).

2. Ask the event manager how many people are expected to attend. This is so you can make sure you have enough product and not miss any potential sales! I also made sure I had custom order forms on hand as well in case I ran out of anything that ended up being unexpectedly popular.

3. Plan your booth/area/table layout beforehand. I drew actual pictures out on paper of how I wanted my area to look at the event so I could save time during set up and make sure everything looked perfect.

4. Label everything. Make sure all your products have their own label and create a price sheet to display prominently. Customers can save time asking how much every item is if this information is readily available. I personally dislike asking for prices while shopping at pop ups, showcases or craft shows because it seems like the seller doesn’t really want my business and isn’t prepared (or expecting) to make a sale.

5. Make them want you. When asking people to take a business card I want to give them something back. There are a couple things you can easily invest in as a small token of appreciation for your client’s attention. I chose to have custom hair ties made and put them in a jar on my table to offer along with a business card. By the end of the night half the attendees at the show were walking around with bright, neon pink wrist bands that said Glitter & Bow! Another crowd favorite freebie are stickers. Make sure your logo isn’t the main focus of the sticker. Create a cute quote, illustration or shape that’s appealing and put your logo/contact info somewhere on the edge of the sticker. Look at the ones ban.do gives away at their pop ups!

showcase

Above: free hair ties for attendees

7. Make a list, check it twice. Make lists of anything and everything you’ll need for your pop. From display pieces, to snacks and water bottles, extra pens, paperclips, cell phone charger… I mean everything. It’s better to stash a bunch of stuff in your car that you don’t need over panicking at the last second because you forgot an extra battery for your camera.

…which brings me to #8.

8. GET AN ASSISTANT. Find someone reliable who will still be your friend after the madness, and pay them handsomely! A darling friend was thankfully available to help me out all day for my pop up show and I did my best to make her feel appreciated! Some Chipotle & Sonic the day of show, a custom outfit to wear for the showcase, and a gift bag of goodies I knew she would love was a small price to pay for how much stress she took off me that day!

assistant selfie _ glitter & bow pop up shop

9. Leave a lasting impression. Plaster your info on everything. My pop up area was so sparkly and eye catching that people were constantly taking selfies and video of it all night. There’s no way the huge ‘Glitter & Bow’ banner could be cropped out of any of those photos! My contact info was on every tag, business card and clothing label. The one thing I wish I had thought of was putting a “Share your snaps on Instagram and use #glitterandbow” so we can see them!” sign of some sort on my table (next time!). I also had an e-mail sign up sheet on my table letting people know what I’m about as a business. The top of the sheet stated that no info would be shared or sold and I never send out e-mails unless there’s something new in the shop or something FREE (downloads, coupon codes, flash sales, giveaways, etc.). Clients appreciate this sort of truthful transparency. Just make sure you actually deliver on your promises.

10. Make a budget and stick to it. A lot of what I bought for my pop up (like the sequin table cloth, 2-tier clothing rack, acrylic display stands, bulk tissue paper and bags, etc.) are all going to last through many pop ups, so I let myself spend a little more than I would like to make a really strong first impression. I didn’t want it to be obvious this was my first time! However, be sure hosting a pop up will actually help, and not hurt, your bottom line. I definitely think making connections, winning over new clients, and getting exposure is hard to buy, so it’s difficult to quantify a black and white numbers budget. Just figure out how much product you would have to sell at the pop up to break even and decide what to spend on supplies from there. If you’re expecting a huge turnout, and the audience totally fits your aesthetic, you can probably bank on breaking even, and making a profit — which justifies a bigger decorating budget.

Above: pop up table close up

11. Push It. Push it real good! Market your showcase. This one’s tricky… you want to make sure your current clients, followers and fans know about the pop up without pushing it so much that they decide to un-follow you on social media. Make sure you set an announcement on your Etsy shop, Tweet, Facebook post and Instagram about the event leading up to the date. Create a Facebook event and generate a QR code (you have this option when you create a Facebook event) to invite your fans to attend. If the event requires tickets, make sure that link is easy to find. I also wrote a blog post a few weeks ago talking about the event. Generate incentive by offering a discount code to your ticket buyers to use on purchases at your pop up. If you have a newsletter, send out 1-2 e-mails (not too many!) announcing the event and include links to your Facebook event post and blog post. Another way I generated interest was releasing a new line of products at the showcase. Fans had to follow along to get updates and my showcase attendees got to shop first pick at the pop up.

Above: my assistant wearing one of my designs at the pop up

12. Dress for success. During set up and break down my assistant and I were in yoga pants and pony tails but during the showcase I had us both dressed in sweat shirts from my FW15 collection. I let Ali choose her design (“Coffee First” in gold sequins on a slate sweater) and I chose to wear a sneak peek of next season’s collection! (below: “Best Day Ever” in silver sequins on a black crop sweatshirt from my SS16 Bridal collection)

best day ever sequin sweater

Above: my complete outfit for the pop up

I chose a blush pink tulle skirt for Ali and a black tulle skirt for myself. We accessorized individually to our own tastes to show how similar sequined lettered sweatshirts could cater to two completely different aesthetics. I’m telling you about our outfits to say if there’s any way the items you’re selling can be worn or used during/at your pop up, DO IT. This gives shoppers a chance to see your items at work in real life and helps them see potential.

Above: Ali’s sequined ‘Coffee First’ sweater and pink tulle skirt

For example, if you sell tassel garlands in your Etsy shop, use them to decorate your space. If you ask your Etsy customers to share snapshots using your items on social media, screen shot those pics and create a look book to display on a table at your pop up so potential clients can see how other real people use your product. I created a virtual look book with my sweatshirts styled around other clothing articles and posted it in the Facebook event photo album before the pop up. (slideshow look book below).

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Okay, I think I covered everything! Below I will link to the items I used to decorate my pop up space so you can get some inspiration. Let me know if you have any questions or comments! Please feel free to leave your thoughts 🙂

happy shoppers

Decor details: Acrylic clip boards HERE, sequin table cloth HERE, acrylic chairs (similar) HERE, tassel banner (handmade – similar) HERE, clothing rack (custom) similar HERE, acrylic display pieces HERE, HERE and HERE, tags (handmade with Minc foil applicator), glitter logo banner (handmade with Silhouette), business cards (handmade with Minc foil applicator), folding wood frame organza room divider (borrowed from my sister-in-law, similar) HERE

Custom elastic hair ties by Riled Violets HERE (contact directly for pricing)

Outfit details: Tulle skirts (custom) similar HERE, Loren Hope Abba earrings in ice blue c/o Rocksbox HERE, black patent So Kate Louboutin pumps HERE

Brand Rep Instagram Spotlight

I absolutely love seeing my sequin hangers shared on Instagram! Recently I’ve started working with two of my favorite bloggers and one of my favorite Etsy shops as reps for the Glitter & Bow brand. Today I wanted to tribute a little shout-out for all the lovely photos they have posted on Instagram featuring G&B sequin hangers. I think the best advertising for any product is showing potential shoppers how an item can be used in real life. Below you’ll see Lexie (J’adore Lexie Couture) using her sequin hanger to display her and her daughter’s favorite clothing, Oksana (Foxy Oxie) using her sequin hanger as a decoration piece and Katie (Sass & Cloth) using her sequin hangers at a pop up shop! Thank you ladies for being such fabulous brand reps and sharing the glittery goodness!

A photo posted by ♡ Rachel ♡ (@mydiy.life) on

A photo posted by ♡ Rachel ♡ (@mydiy.life) on

A photo posted by @sassandcloth on

A photo posted by @sassandcloth on

A photo posted by @sassandcloth on


Sequins All Around!

Hey y’all! I wanted to share the latest addition to the Glitter & Bow Etsy shop this weekend : Sparkly Personalized Sequin Initials for your office, home, wedding table toppers, nursery decor, or anything you can think of!
I will be honest… 100% of the goodies in my shop are a direct result of me having a vision of the perfect item and not being able to find it anywhere for a decent price. I’ve seen sequined letters of different sizes and colors for sale various places but was never impressed with the quality or price. 
The ones I created are made of nice solid wood and completely drenched in sequins! (You won’t find gaps between sequins showing wood underneath or white glue squishing through the sides either!)

This beauty comes in sparkling gold (shown), silver, black or white sequins!
Leave me a comment below telling me which letter and color you would choose and where you would display it!
With Love, Rachel

How To : Wear a Blanket Scarf

Today’s post is certainly not an original concept. There are more than likely literally 100s of scarf tying tutorials out there… This post is simply to round up my favorites for easy access!
First, you’ll need a blanket scarf. Every year Zara releases a beautiful array of plaid/tartan blanket scarves in the softest of weaves… however, they always sell out very fast (within weeks usually of becoming available online). 
For those of you who missed the most popular 2013 style you can now PRE-ORDER it from the Glitter&Bow Goody Bar on Etsy!** I have these available at my wholesale price discount since there’s a 3 week wait. But trust me… you’ll be the envy of all your fashionable friends and followers when they see you snagged one of the season’s most coveted accessories!

image via
Now on to the tying tutorials!
I love this visual photo inspiration board to start us off with some ideas from popofstyle.com. As you can see, you really don’t want to tie this type of scarf too tightly because of its voluminous size and pretty pattern being hidden!
Here’s a 7-step tutorial for the ‘half tie’ from ClassySassyBlog.
Above is a 6-step photo tutorial from CortInSession for the simple drape that’s probably most popular.
Here is a video tutorial in case all that plaid is making you see double!
Let me know your favorite ways to tie scarves with a comment below!
 Signature

**As of 9/4/14 the scarf pre-order is closed but check back in November for re-stock!