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Episode 90

Girl Gang Craft Podcast Episode #90 “Intentional Practices for Weddings & Craft Fairs” with Phoebe Sherman

Phoebe Sherman:

Welcome to the Girl Gang Craft Podcast where we dive in deep to all things business, wellness, creativity, and activism for artists and entrepreneurs. We talk with impactful female driven companies and founders for an inside look at the entrepreneurial experience where you'll come away with tangible steps to elevate your business. Are you ready? I'm your host, Phoebe Sherman, founder of Girl Gang Craft artist and designer, and marketing obsessed. We're here to learn together how to expand our revenue, implement new organizational techniques, and cultivate best business practices as we work towards creating a life doing what we love. Let's get started.

Before we get started on today's episode about five intentional practices for throwing a craft fair or a wedding, just a couple notes from me. Phoebe at Girl Gang Craft. We have some events coming up. Our next event is Salem. That is July 27th. That is at Old Town Hall. Please come out and support us if you want to be a vendor on that. We might have some spots on the waitlist, so go ahead and apply. And then next up August 8th in Sacramento at the Crocker Art Museum. That is a nighttime event and it is a pajama party. So come in your favorite pajamas maybe like a little 90s vibes. We love a feather boa moment. We're really excited about that event.
And then let's see app’s close for our Oakland event July 9th. Apps open for Malden and Sacramento holiday event July 11th. Salem apps are closed for the holiday. You can join the waitlist. We are changing our Providence event and we are working with a new venue. We are going to be at Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Providence at a new venue, and that will be December 7th instead of our December 21st. Those apps are open. We've sent you an email. If you've applied to either ask if you want to be transferred to the new event or not. Yeah, I think that's it. So holiday apps will be open for Malden and Sacramento on July 11th. Oakland apps will close really soon on July 9th for the Oakland event. Salem is closed and Providence will still be open, but we are moving it to December 7th. Before we hop into our five intentional practices for throwing a wedding or craft fair. If this episode is interesting to you and you maybe want to throw your own craft fair, you can grab our class “How to Throw Your Own Damn Craft Fair”, and that is available on our site Okay, let's get into it.

Hello, hello. Welcome back to the Girl Gang Craft podcast. Today we are talking about five intentional practices that you should think about. If you're throwing a craft fair or a wedding. So this episode is for you. If you're throwing your own craft fair, watch if you need help out. We've got a class for that. Or if you're throwing a wedding. I threw a wedding last year and somehow we're almost out of year. It's been almost a year anniversary of my wedding. They'll be in September. I know I promised you all a blog and more details about the wedding. It's just like the first thing that gets put to the back when I am working on my business. I would like that to happen, hopefully in time for the one year anniversary. But today I thought we would sort of marry our craft fair, intentional practices and our wedding practices. I do suggest if you're throwing a craft fair or a wedding, you read Priya Parker's The Art of gathering. She is, intentional event person. That's so not the right title that I should call her. She writes about intentional events, and she also does conflict resolution for major key players CEOs, but also like politicians and advocate for political purposes. So she's amazing. Her book, I highly recommend it the Art of gathering. Priya Parker. One of our first things is find your why. That's one of the first things that she talks about. And I think and know that it can be referred back to our crosshair throwing practices, our wedding throwing practices. And also, I just think it's really relevant for a lot of things, like I brought about the book club the other day because I felt like an author didn't really hold space for the reader. Well, I use this sort of framework for a lot of my own business practices, so I think this book is really relevant. How I'm going to match it here is that it's really important that you find your why when you're throwing a wedding and when you're throwing a craft fair. Let's take the wedding aspect first. And Priya goes really deep into this in her book. I think she talks about that when we throw events often, we immediately think of the format instead of the why, the format, the wedding. Okay, you walk down the aisle, you do this, you do this, you have a party, blah blah, blah, blah, blah. You have a big wedding, whatever. I think this is really interesting, particularly for baby showers. It's female focus. It's the mother. There's a particular amount of like games you play and these things don't work for everyone. And we're so quick as humans and as a society to pick the format without thinking about why. Why are we getting married? Why are we having a wedding? And I think that's a step one, especially for a wedding. Do you want to elope? Do you want to have a big ceremony? Why do you want to have a big ceremony? Is that because that's what's expected of you from your family? Do you want to have a religious ceremony again? Family expectations. There's no wrong answers. The wrong answer is not thinking about these things. The right answer is figuring out what works for you and the people you care about.
So for me and my husband, the most important thing was to celebrate our love and to bring our two sides together, because we sort of have these bicoastal roots and our families are from different and friends are from different sides of the country. We really wanted to bring them together in a way that was fun and celebratory and intimate and basically have a really fun party.
It kind of felt like the best birthday party ever, to be honest. So there are a lot of key elements that came into play when we decided this. And I will go more into that in a future episode. And in my blog post that is halfway done somewhere. But some of the things that we decided we wanted was a summer camp. We wanted a place for folks to stay on campus, to have a good time, to have fun, to intermingle. We didn't want a one day event. We've heard a lot of our friends say that the wedding went by like super, super quickly, and we wanted it to be a really long ass wedding weekend. So we had a three day event. People came and went as that works for them, but we wanted to have like an intentional container for this wedding and our friends and community to come together. Some other things that we were intentional about that didn't necessarily fit the wedding format is we wanted a talent show. It felt very summer campy. Our friends are very talented. It was really one of my favorite parts of the whole wedding weekend and things that we picked and choose, like we're both not religious.
We really had to think about the format of the actual ceremony, what we wanted, who we wanted to marry us, certain things that didn't work for us. For me, one of the things that is a typical wedding thing that I didn't want was for my dad to walk me down the aisle, but my dad have a great relationship with my family. But that felt patriarchal to me. I didn't want to feel like I was being given away. That's fine if that works for you. But that was one of those things that I was intentional about, that I wanted to walk myself down the aisle. I was meeting Matthew at the top of the aisle. Okay. So again, this intentional reason that we were having the wedding was to gather people together.
So that was something that we kept through the whole thread of the weekend. Let's bring this back to the cross there. So intentional. Why? Why are we throwing a craft fair? So one of the things that I obviously thought of early on was I wanted it to be fun forward. I wanted it to be fun for both the vendors and the attendees.
Maybe these things seem obvious, but one of the reasons I wanted to create Colleen Crafts originally is a lot of the events in the San Francisco Bay area were expensive and hard to get into. Also was a time when things were like sort of like minimal white beige, and that was not my vibe. I really also wanted to encourage emphasis on the political, and that's definitely been a thread that we have sort of attracted to us in our branding and marketing and who we are.
So we really do facilitate a lot of sort of political, colorful folks for our craft fair. I'm going to leave it at that. So again, why do you want to have this craft fair? Who is it for? Both on the vendor side? In the attendee side, what is it? Is this like a summer celebration? Is it a holiday market?
Is that like, your grandmother's church? I don't know, what is the intention behind your craft fair. And I think this also ties back to brand. And also, like for you. What are you getting out of this emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually? What are you facilitating for both the vendors and the attendees and also for yourself? Number two, which I guess I've sort of started to go into, is the vibe. So how does your why connect to the vibe. And this connects to the venue. activation and activities for both your wedding and your craft. Where do you want this to be? A really interactive experience. What do you want the vibes to be like? Is it sober for both mood and sober alcohol, I guess. What is the vibe?
What is the intention and how does this come to be in the space? So let's go craft fair first. Like how does the venue connect back to your intention? Some pragmatic things to think about, like how's the foot traffic? How is the location in terms of travel ability? How can folks get there? Is it accessible in terms of Ada compliance?
Is is it a focal point of the town? Like how are you finding the spaces in our craft fair class? We do talk about the kind of spaces it makes sense to get started with. Initially, those kind of spaces are free. We love a free craft fair space, so I encourage you to like, reach out to like breweries or maybe sort of public spaces.
I mean private spaces to community spaces, bars, all of these sort of spaces that would want you to curate something in exchange for the actual venue in the hopes that it just brings in traffic for everyone, sort of a community collaboration in terms of venue, right thinking about on the wedding side of things, our summer camp is very specific.
We also picked a coast. We have our family and friends pretty divided on both coasts. So what makes sense for us to invite our different sides of the family and friends to? And we did end up picking the East Coast. East coast is mostly more reliable for weather on the summer, although that certainly seems not to be true. But we wanted a swimming hole situation, so we had a lake. We really wanted the venue to reflect the fun, nontraditional, colorful, communal vibe of our wedding. So again, thinking about who you're working with, why you're working with them in terms of venue vendors, experiences, really circling back to that intention. Three is communication. And communication is so important as both someone who's throwing a wedding and as a craft fair curator. Let's talk about the wedding side first. Communication. Again, this goes back to an intentionality, right? You have to get really clear on what you want and your vision before you communicate it to other folks. And of course, there are other people involved in this, your partner, maybe your family. And again, you have to be intentional with how much you want your family to influence you in these decisions. And that's a very personal decision. Maybe you have a wedding planner, maybe you have a day of planner, or maybe you have like a full situation. Either way, that communication has to be spot on. You have to get really clear on your vision and communicate it well for that vision to come to life, this has to do not only your wedding coordinator or Dave or none of that, but you have to communicate with your vendors.
So in this case, in wedding to be great. That's the flowers, that's the cake, that's the photographer, etc., etc. and you have to get really clear with what you want. I'm going to give an example. I thought I wanted my makeup done. I did want my makeup done. And the person who did my makeup, we did a trial and it was not good.
It was not good. It was really, really not good. I had to communicate that with the makeup artist after the fact that it was not what I wanted, and I ended up doing my own makeup that day of so my communication had to be spot on. You don't want to go down the aisle with poor makeup, especially when you can do it yourself.
So these are just things to think about. Like, right. You really want to be clear about what you want. I'll give another example to the caterer. We loved our caterer. We did. They said they had never been asked this before, which is wild to me coming from California space where everyone has strategies, it seemed standard. And also my wedding coordinator also said this to ask for ingredients written somewhere publicly so that our guests who had allergies to certain food would avoid those foods that feel standard to me coming from the food industry.
Also, coming from an event planning industry, coming from just like California food allergy food capital and our partners that they had never heard that before, that wasn't a Goshen. I had to be like, this is really serious. Or like, we really need to make sure that the folks who have food allergies know what it's okay to eat and it takes like a strong backbone.
You have to be very communicative and you have to ask for what you want in terms of communication. In the craft world, you want to be communicative with your vendors. In this case, for the craft fair, it means vendors that show up and sell their work at the craft fair. So this includes intentional policies about things like application fees, booth fees, whether we have like a media clause, we have like a lot of little clauses in our applications that we've really learned over the years to include. You want to have your boundaries and expectations set really nice and tight, and you want to be clear and concise in your communication to your vendors. This means guiding them to tools and things like permits that they need. This means giving them clear communication on things like their loading and their map location. What you're providing, what you're not providing. This is a full time job to communicate to your vendors, and I would like to pride our team on it, because we really spend a lot of time and effort to try and make sure that all your vendors are held. You know what's happening. We've really guided you from A to B. This includes a follow up, really guiding the vendor experience from the beginning to the end, including like loadout, etc. this also includes clear communication for the venue for like the city if you need certain things like permits again and clear communication with the attendees as well.
So these are the people that are coming to your craft fair. So maybe you have a Facebook event, maybe you have an Eventbrite. You are clear about if dogs can come. You are clear about if there's a cost to come in, what they can expect when they get there. We include information about a raffle. We include information about where they can find snacks and coffee and food, and that differs from each location right?
In Oakland. Maybe that's all inclusive. At our event space here in Salem, we have less of a food footprint here, but we want to guide people to the local businesses where they can find food, snacks, where the elevator is, where the Ada accessibility entrance is, or things like that. So clear communication with both your vendors and your attendees and on the landing side, clear communication with your vendors and your guests.
Where can they stay? What can they expect when they stay there? How can they get to the space? What do they need to wear? What sort of shoes do they need to wear? Is it going to rain? Maybe all of these things like how can you really guide all of the people involved to have the best experience ever so they can show up and know what they need?
They can be there to celebrate you for your wedding and to celebrate and shop from the fair. Okay? Number four, be present on the day of. So this is a hard one for the wedding. You've done all this pre-work, and there might be some stuff that shows up on the day of there. There will be some stuff that comes up the day of maybe something's broken.
Maybe you didn't get this one thing, like there might be some chaos and you have to be present on that day off because you're here and this is about you. This is about your partner. This is about your community. You could ignore the problems at hand. You could assign them to someone else. Maybe it's a combination of the two.
Maybe you're like, okay, well, this didn't happen perfectly. That's okay. I'm going to be here now and enjoy the experience. And that's the most important thing I can tell you as a bride, just enjoy the day because it goes by so quickly. So be there. Enjoy all the people around you. Enjoy those moments. Really breathe. Take space to soak it in.
And in terms of craft fair stuff, maybe as a craft fair curator, you're a little bit more in problem solve mode than you would be if you were a bride. At the same time, you can't solve everything. You've done the work you've tried to get the people there, you've tried to hold space for the vendors. You want to talk to, your vendors you want to greet the attendees.
You want to navigate problems as they come. Maybe you're out of toilet paper somewhere. Maybe you're missing something. Maybe there's rain or wind. Like whatever. Come to each problem. Do the best you can and all you can do is the best you can on the day of. And number five follow up. So I think this is important again for both craft fairs and weddings.
For the wedding you're going to want to follow up with your vendors, maybe send a thank you note, check in if there's any deliverables that you still need for you. Like photos and also like them like make those payments. And then also, of course, your thank you note for your attendees and it's really important that you keep track of all the gifts that you get, maybe even keep track of like little moments with each guest.
And you include a little note to them, supposedly you have a year to write thank you notes and get them done sooner if you can, because you really don't want them that way over you. You're using one of the wedding things online wedding registries. You will get that list back. So that's really easy to do. But then making sure you get cards or cash or gifts on the date of that, you are writing that shit down as you open your presents so you can make sure that you write those folks back with a thank you.
And then in terms of craft fairs, you are following up with things like the deejay or the balloon folks with payments, making sure everyone getting paid, and then with your vendors, you're communicating with them. Okay. Thank you. Maybe ask for testimonials, maybe you're following up with the venue for anything you need to report. What can be done differently if you're going to work with them?
And again, what can you thank them for really being in communication? Maybe you need to ask for your deposit back. So making sure that you're following up after the craft fair or the wedding, it's not done. There is some follow up work that needs to be done. Okay, that is it for my five intentional practices for throwing a craft fair or wedding.
Let's go over them one more time. So find your Y. Find your vibe. Linking back to intentionality communication. Be present day of and follow up. Please ask me any wedding questions. Call me up the phone number for the and crafts on line is (413) 961-0855. Ask me anything about weddings. You can ask me about brand partnerships, email marketing or time management.
Those are the things that I'd like to focus on the next few episodes. And we do have a call in from our lovely podcast manager, Juliana, who is also throwing her wedding sentence. So let's listen to that note. Hey, Phoebe. Juliana here, I have a wedding planning question for you. I'm getting married next June, and I would love your insight on how you snagged sponsors for your wedding.
I remember when you were posting thank you to your vendors after your wedding, and I think you even mentioned some shout outs on the pod to some brands and companies who provided beverages and snacks for your guests. So I've never heard of anything like this before or anyone else doing this, but I love the idea of having some fun freebies that help reduce the costs that are also in alignment with my ethos.
But what a regular person like me be able to get brand sponsors for a private wedding. How did you pitch this? Well, thanks so much for your help. By yes, I think this is really interesting for brand partnerships. I got a few things donated. Let's see, we got wink donated, which the TFC beverage, we got 21 seeds donated and I think we got some snacks with lesser evil.
So these are all brands that I've worked with before. And yes, we have an audience. We said that we were going to give them a shout out. I think we give them a podcast commercial. So these were some things that these were some deliverables that we gave back to them in exchange for the free product. I think sure, as a quote unquote regular person, you could also reach out to brands and see if they want to donate.
I would suggest getting clear on your deliverables, too. What are you going to offer them in exchange? So maybe you don't have an audience, but maybe they want really high quality good photos about being at your wedding. And maybe that's something you or a friend takes. Maybe that's something the photographer takes. If you are using a photographer's image for brand purposes, right, you want to make sure that you clear it with the photographer as well.
But maybe that is utilized on the brand's social posts or something. So get really clear about that and figure out your deliverables. And I think the answer is yes. Get really organized with who you're reaching out to. I think drinks and snacks are a really great way to start. And then she has one other question. Hey, Phoebe, Juliana again with more wedding questions.
My venue is pretty DIY, which is both good and bad. Wow, this is like a dream venue so there really isn't anything bad, but I will need to rent all the things lockdown, caterers, flowers, all that stuff. But this gives me all the flexibility to curate everything and bring my own witchy and vision to life. So my question is where can I save money with vendors and rentals?
And where does the big spending need to go? Where were you able to cut corners and reduce costs for your wedding? And like, is there anything that you wish you spend more or less on? Thank you. Yeah. So thinking about how to save money with vendors and rentals, I don't know how well I can answer this, but I think you want to think about what's the most important thing for you.
So if you're someone who really wants really good photos and maybe a video, then maybe that's where the majority or that that's where a chunk of your money goes to someone that you really connect with. You like their visuals, photos and video. That's a hefty price. Maybe you spent a bunch on the venue, maybe you do like more simple food, like you got a food truck.
Maybe you do your own bar. We did our own bar. We did have to hire bartenders. I was not the law or I don't know, but we wanted people serving drinks and we just went to deejays and got a bunch of alcohol. We had the 21 feeds as well, and then even our friend sort of gifted us some cocktail recipes. So that was really cool. So you don't need to like, get a full bar experience. I mean, definitely look into what your venue requires and like what the law requires, because alcohol is always a tricky thing for both weddings and craft fairs. It's more complicated if you're selling it. Look into that as well. But like go get a bunch of alcohol from Costco and then you can even return alcohol you didn't use. Costco does that. We bought our alcohol in New Hampshire. So like the state run alcohol, people, we returned all the things that were not open. So that can be a huge cost cutting mechanism as well. Think about florals. Actually, we did some cost cutting things for floral. I worked with the florist, lemon and tulips up in Maine. Love them.
She did like a big arbor for us that she came and did herself. She did a couple of major pieces and then she dropped cut flowers, and my friends put the flowers together in the vases that I had handmade out of ceramics. So that was really special. And also a way to cut costs. I did a lot of thrifting for little like vignettes and little fun moments.
I got some fun mirrors. I did like Cricut Welcome sign. I did like a little mirror and pillars like Grecian Pillar moments with a bunch of disco balls, and that was a huge hit to people. So I really took selfies in there. I think I did a Taylor Swift quote what any do I don't remember. We'll have to come back to that. But you can get creative, especially if you're someone who is like a thrifter on Facebook Marketplace. I know Julianna, you are also traveling too. So think about that too. Like what you can get at the space so you don't have to like cart a bunch of stuff to the venue. What else? I think that's really thinking about. I do think you should get a day of coordinator. I do really think a day of coordinator is important. People have different packages for that. Maybe it's like a couple months involvement ahead of time. I think a day of ordinator is really important. Okay, I hope that helped. Let me know if you have any more wedding questions. I would love to hear it again. You can call me at and just leave a voicemail for 139610855 and if you like this episode, please send it to a friend or leave us a five star review.
Write a little note how this episode or another episode has helped you and we'll see you next week on the podcast. Thanks for listening.


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