A day in the life of an entrepreneur for me is different everyday. Some days are easier than others. What they all have in common is keeping my eye on the clock and working at being efficient. Each day is interesting, challenging and rewarding all wrapped up like a present. In part 1 of this blog I will take you through the experience and schedule of doing an outdoor Art Show in August in the Silicon Valley.
A Day In The Life of an Entrepreneur
Artist Show Schedule - Selling at Art Shows & Festivals
4:00am: It's Saturday morning and the weather is still quit warm. I jump out of bed, grab some coffee, check my email and do a social media post about my upcoming show while carefully watching the clock.
4:30am: I quickly shower, style my hair, do my makeup and get into my outfit. To keep life simple, every show I style the same way - a black dress, black Sketchers, black jacket with MONOLISA jewelry, wear the same make-up - tinted sunscreen moisturizer, blush, Stila glitter diamond eye shadow, black eyeliner, mascara and lipgloss. My hairstyle is always a large bun which allows me to show my MONOLISA pieces nicely and keep the hair out of my face while sweating when setting-up or taking down my tent.
5:10 am: I quickly make my bed, make a peanut butter sandwich, and pack bubbly water drinks in a cooler with two water frozen gatorade bottles. Next, I start packing my van with my products. The night before each show I line up my bins next to the exit door so I can quickly pack my car and be on my way to the show. I don't like surprises so I make sure to have a full tank of gas and all equipment is ready to go. After the car is packed I double check that I have everything - handmade products, setup equipment, show paperwork, food, and my handbag of course.
Designer, Lisa Ramos heading to a show - hoping for no rain
5:25 am: I am ready to go. I punch in my navigation to the show destination and I am on my way. Show destinations can be as far as 90 miles away, so I have to allow for plenty of time to get there. For each show there is an assigned checkin time. Show checkin times range from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Therefore shows that are 90 miles away with a checkin time of 6:00 am means I up at 3:00 am. I consider myself lucky if my checkin time is 7:00 am or later.
Art Show Destination Arrival
6:45 am: I arrive to the show destination and checkin and drive my van through the blocked off areas quietly praying my spot is in a good location. A less ideal location can include any of the following - a wind tunnel, next to a smelly sewer, a loud chanting vendor, stinky food aromas, behind a loud music speaker, faraway bathrooms and parking a mile away.
I find my spot and scope out where the bathrooms are. I then quickly unload my tent and display equipment. Typically you have around 10-20 minutes to unload and then you have to figure out where you are going to park. Some shows come with parking challenges such as being really far away or difficulty finding a parking spot.
7:15 am: I find a parking spot, take out the dolly and start loading bins. Most important rule - always keep product bins with me. I never leave them in an empty unattended tent. I would rather walk half a mile carrying a dolly with all my product bins than risk someone taking all my handmade work. So, if you see a lady in a long black dress with sparkly jewelry pushing a dolly cart with stacked bins in a main city intersection thats me.
7:25 am: It is Task Time. My tasks include setting up the following - popup tent with all side walls intact, four 10 pound tent weights on each corner of my tent, three display tables, table cloths, display boxes, product display holders, flowers, lighting, mirrors, sitting chair with back pillow and rubber floor mat for me to stand on to ease my daily foot pain.
Items tend to fly from the wind
8:20 am: I start setting up all the handbag and jewelry products. I take each jewelry piece out of its bag and set it up on the jewelry table. Each piece has a price and sku I match with the display stand. Then I take each handbag out of its dust bag and carefully put it on the handbag display table. When setting up the products I have to do it carefully - without dropping them. Who wants to purchase a scratched Italian leather bag or fancy crystal chipped earrings?
9:30 am: I have 30 minutes before show time. I do my last minute tasks such as checking my internet wi-fi connection, credit card processing devices, set up multiple portable fans to stay cool and making sure equipment is secure such as mirrors (the wind always blows those away). Lastly, I take a few booth pictures for future social media and blog posts. Before show time I always try to take a few minutes to meet my vendor neighbors and have a quick chat.
Let the Show Begin - Art Shows
10:00 am: It is show time now. People are starting to come by the booths, which is always the exciting part of a show. Many times it can take a few hours before the big crowds of people come to a show. The weather is warm, but comfortable.
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm : The crowds are picking up and people are walking and shopping. I mingle with my customers and help them pick that perfect item for themselves or someone else. The heat is picking up and my fans are on full blast. My floor fan keeps my legs cool and my other fan blows lightly on my face. If the heat starts to get unbearable, I reach for my frozen gatorade bottle in my cooler and put it behind my neck for instant coolness - always a life saver.
3:30pm: A nice breeze is coming in my tent - just enough to cool me off, but not blow my products away. I mingle with my vendor neighbors about how the day went and hear a little of their life story.
4:10 pm: I start getting my jewelry bags in order and ready for take down. Take down is when I take each product and put it in an assigned bag with SKU number.
5:00pm: Take down starts. Since I am doing a two day show, the tent and all the equipment stay up. The only thing I take with me is all of the products.
6:15pm: I go behind the back table and reach under it for my dolly. I always keep my dolly in the booth so I can quickly load my product bins onto it without having to go back to my car. My goal at the end of the day is to quickly load my product up and get to my van. After loading all the products onto the dolly, I double check I have everything, make sure the display equipment is secure in case it is a windy night and zip up my tent.
6:40 pm: All of the products are packed in my car and I am ready to head home. I turn on my navigation to direct me home, I sit back, relax, start driving and turn on one of my favorite podcasts - the Jordan Harbinger show.
7:45pm: I call my husband to let him know I will be late, because traffic is backed up on 680 near Mission Blvd. I only have 40 miles until I get home which seems like eternity.
8:55pm: I arrive home and bring the bins inside the house. I am ready for a nice cooked meal, my husband made and a glass of chardonnay. During dinner I share my funny moments about the day and what the show experience was like.
10:20pm: I am exhausted and feel as though I completed a marathon. My eyes are tired and ready for bed. My alarm is set for 5:00 am. I am excited that tomorrow only means a few tasks for setup - remove the pollen and dust on the table cloths and setup all the products. I fall fast asleep. Tomorrow is a new day.
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- Tags: Art & Wine Shows, Artist Blog, Artist Life, Bay Area Festivals, Bay Area Made, designer lisa ramos, handbag designer, Jewelry Designer, jewelry made in california, Made in California, Made In USA, Roadshow Artist, starting a business, women entrepreneurs