I love local community events. Things like breakfasts at the fire station, “Jumbo Days” festival, small town parades, and community farmer’s markets make me so happy to live in rural Midwestern America. Everyone knows everyone around here which creates a level of decency and caring for one another.
One such event is the Spoon River Drive which actually links multiple small communities together for two fun filled weekends of shopping, good food, and great conversation. Spanning 100 miles of Illinois country side, the drive is a fall festival for vendors and shoppers to find unique crafts and gifts.
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to set up a little shop of my own at my aunt’s photography studio along the main street of the town I grew up by. I wanted to share it with you because I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of the projects out there.
My main objective of setting up a shop was not to sell projects, rather, it was to get to meet some local people and tell them about my decorating business and blog. In that regards, the weekend was a huge success. I got to have conversations with nearly everyone who stopped by and handed business cards out like candy.
Here is a little business tip for you: advertising is great and all, but the best way to gain clients is to personally connect with them so you become more than just another company, but a trusted acquaintance to them. At least that’s my theory. I haven’t been in business long enough to really test it out.
Another business tip I learned from blogging, actually, is that you never expect someone to buy from you unless you offer them something OF VALUE for free. On the chilly mornings I sat out there, nothing could give more value than a hot cup of coffee or cocoa free of charge. I’m pretty sure that’s why most people stopped, which is great! Even though they didn’t all buy furniture, they all took business cards 😉
Just for fun, I did a drawing for free event decorating. So, three lucky winners will either get a birthday party, a shower, or holiday decorating.
To attract drivers from the busy street to stop by I put my nicest pieces out front: the Industrial factory cart coffee table…
To find the blog posts for other projects in the pictures, simply search for them in the box in your upper right hand menu. It’d take too long to list them all here.
In the end, I’m glad I didn’t sell EVERYTHING. Our house would be sooo empty and we’d have to start from square one! It was such a great couple of weekends for meeting new people, getting the name of my business and blog out there, and participating in a community event, but, wow, was it a lot of work!
Did you meet me on Spoon River Drive? Leave a comment and let me know!