Posts tagged ‘washington’

SakuraCon 2013 Review Part 2: Thoughts and Impressions

Part 1 covered a basic run down of the con and my weekend in Seattle, Washington. Now for my impressions and thoughts of SakuraCon. 🙂

This was the Frosted Fleur section of my table at SakuraCon.

This was the Frosted Fleur section of my table at SakuraCon.

This was my very first time selling out of state. I was kind of nervous and really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I would have a much higher set of expenses for sure what with flight and lodging. What about food you ask? Well, I seem to run on con vibes when I get to artist alleys and honestly, I didn’t even eat all that much, lol! I purposely got Chipotle the first night because I knew I couldn’t finish it and that would mean making a $6-7 food purchase cover two meals.

Anyway, when I found out my location in the AA a few months back, I was sort of worried that it was going to hurt my sales. The AA shares the room with the dealers. We are off to the right. I was in the second to last grouping near the back corner of the Alley. Placement can really be key in an AA. I also had my back to the main flow of traffic. I figured I would just grin and bear it. Cons are mostly about just getting your brand out there.

Friends and family had to listen to me fret and moan about my location and worry that I would barely break even. Boy was I wrong. Friday was the best sales on a first day I’ve ever had and SakuraCon set a new record for most total sales at a single con. This was my fifth Artist Alley, so I know I’ve learned some things too in setting up my table and product placement, but people were also buying more items or some of my pricier items.

I also had repeat customers during the con. That’s rare for me. Usually, it’s a one shot thing. As con went on, people started coming back to my table, and often wearing some of the stuff they bought. My deco rings were a huge hit. They were also bringing friends back to my table too which was really cool.

One of my puns 'Loafing Around' which I'm definitely not doing these days!

One of my puns ‘Loafing Around’ which I’m definitely not doing these days!

Last year at AX, I started selling my artwork as prints. I’ve been putting them up on an overhead display to get them in the public eye and it really helped boost sales. This was the third con selling them and I’ve noticed that people REALLY like the bad puns I create so I put them front and center. I’ve noticed that people will be walking by and then stop and start laughing which will often then draw them in to my table where they will then look at some of the other stuff they may not otherwise have seen and make purchases. It’s also fun for me to see people getting a kick out of my creations.

I took a huge box of them and sold over half my prints. I also managed to move most of the cupcakes and cake boxes. I had lots of requests for t-shirts. I wish screen printing wasn’t so expensive and am still searching for a cost effective way to have quality printed shirts at con.

Friday was definitely the slower of the three days, but as I stated earlier, I still sold a lot as people were buying in higher quantities. Saturday was very steady all day long. There was a brief break in the afternoon, but it was very brief. Sunday was still pretty busy which surprised me for a last day of con that also fell on Easter Sunday. At past cons, Sundays are usually rather slow and that’s when I sketch or make a list for future cons.

The facility where SakuraCon is held was very nice. The Washington State Convention Center is huge and therefore a bit disorienting. I got lost a few times, but they had convention center staff placed all over and they were very helpful and friendly. There were many food options within the convention center itself from Subway to a bunch of cafes and coffee shops to the snack bar kiosks that most conventions have. I noticed there was also a FedEx Kinkos downstairs which I’m not sure if it was open during the con, but if so, this will be very helpful for next time when I hopefully have a helper and if I run out of prints.

Check-in (once I found it and I suspect that was more my fault with not re-reading the AA checkin email when I got there) was easy. I really liked how they had a separate artist check in right next to the AA entrance. More cons should DEFINITELY do this. I also really liked how they let us in on Day 0 to get set up. It’s so nice to not be a nervous wreck trying to set up on Day 1 minutes before they open to the public. In past cons, I’ve still been setting up when they open and I’m not the only one either.

The exhibit hall staff were very good in announcing things like special events and the time when it was getting closer to the end of the day. I also appreciated the reminder they announced a few times a day about ‘Please ASK the artist if it’s ok to take pictures of their items’. I know this is a general understanding and stated in many con guides, but I definitely think it helps to have a verbal reminder AT con.

I didn’t get out to explore the con much at all as I was there on my own so most of my experience is from the AA point of view. I did see a lot of creative cosplays. I noticed that there weren’t as many lolitas as there are at CA cons. There also didn’t seem to be as many people in the AA selling lolita items. I’m not sure if this was just from the group that got tables this year or if lolita isn’t as big in WA as CA.

So to sum up, I was very happy with the way SakuraCon went. I will definitely be returning in 2014!


April 5, 2013 at 4:43 am 3 comments

SakuraCon 2013 Review: Part 1 – The Breakdown

In a bid to expand my brand, I sold at my very first out of state anime con this past weekend. I had no idea what to expect. I did know that SakuraCon in Seattle, Washington is one of the larger ones. I’m trying to keep my out of state cons to the larger ones so that I have a chance at making back the added expenses. If you don’t want to make it to the end of this post I’ll just say it here: I had an awesome time and am definitely going back for 2014!! Ok, you can now log off.

If you’re still with me, I’m going to break this into two parts. This first one will be just a summary of events. I’ll talk about opinions and impressions in Part 2. If you are curious, settle in cause here we go!

Day 0 – The Anime Con Weight Loss Program

Inside the first ever Starbucks shop.

Inside the first ever Starbucks shop.

I really like how SakuraCon lets you get your badge AND set up on Day 0. This was the very first time for any con that I’ve sold at where I wasn’t try to throw everything up in a nerves fueled mad 30-40 minutes. I had been debating saving the vacation time and just flying up after work on Thursday night (Friday was Cesar Chavez day and a holiday for the university), but wasn’t too enamored with the fact that I would get in around 11:30 or something that night. I had all con to become sleep deprived, didn’t want to start off that way! And friends and family were convincing me to stop being a workaholic and just go up early on Thursday and enjoy myself and do some sight seeing.

I got in to Seattle around 1:00 which was half an hour later than I had planned as our plane was late. Then, I couldn’t find my shuttle and so spent some time in a mad dash ala Home Alone with two checked bags, a carry on and my messenger bag. Yes, I was running around with all my con inventory, display AND clothing for three days. I was pulling about 90lbs with me. Finally found the shuttle and was off to downtown Seattle. Once I got dropped off there, couldn’t find the AA reg so spent some more time running around with these bags. The Washington State Convention Center is HUGE. It spans the famous Pike Street. It spans a freeway. It’s rather disorienting! I ended up crossing Pike twice and by the time I found the check-in, I was sweating like a pig, but had probably burned off a ton of calories, lol!

Check-in was a breeze. Why don’t more cons do the separate check-in area for the sellers in Artist Alley?? I got my table set up and then dashed off to my hotel. Thursday was pretty much my only time to do any sight seeing as the rest of the time, I would be in the con. Pike’s Market was about 10 minutes walk from my hotel. After checking my bags, I rushed down there to see what I could see before it closed.

I saw the famous fish market and watched the guys toss the fish around. Checked out the flowers and peeked into some of the shops. I also made a pilgrimage to the very first Starbucks store. There was a line out the door (of course), but it was fun all the same to go there. I picked up some souvenirs and a decaf caramel macchiato and then headed out to find some dinner. I ended up with Chipotle mostly cause it was relatively cheap and I knew I could get two meals out of it, lol!

The Kimchi Kawaii table in the SakuraCon Artist Alley all set up and ready to go!

The Kimchi Kawaii table in the SakuraCon Artist Alley all set up and ready to go!

Day 1 – Here We Go!

After picking up a Subway breakfast, I headed to my table and got things fully set up and then it was just sit and wait for con to open. I probably could have set up less the day before and done more sight seeing, but oh well. Made note of that for next time. Finally, they let in the public and it was time to do business! First days at cons are generally slower as they are usually Fridays and so people are still at school or work or traveling to the con. This was no exception, but I did notice that people were buying higher amounts of stuff from me than at past cons. My Friday sales total was the highest I’ve ever had and up in the range of what I usually do on a Saturday at bigger cons. Definitely off to a promising start!

After con closed for that night, I went walking around a bit more and found some dinner at a nearby mall and then it was back to the hotel.

Day 2 – Now the Real Fun Begins

Saturday morning, I had another Subway breakfast and picked up my lunch as well. Subway, the fuel of con-goers. I was doing this whole thing solo and so I never really left my table all con. I freshened up the table and then did a quick look around of part of the exhibitor’s area and the AA. My neighbors in the AA each bought these adorable plushie sleeping kitties from the dealer’s area and so I went to look. I fell in love with a white, shaggy kitty and bought it. I named it Mochi. Mochi sat with me throughout the rest of con and attracted some attention too 🙂 Saturday was SUPER busy! It was pretty steady all day long and the staff did a good job of playing off that last minute panic at closing with frequent announcements of ‘Just 10 minutes left to get that item you’ve had your eye on!’. I started selling out of certain things by this point too.

Day 3 – Aw, Does it Have to End?

Sunday was sadly the last day of con. Sales continued to be strong even for a last day AND considering it was also Easter so there were some who stayed home with family that day. I sold 18 prints to one person which was a record for me! All too soon, it was time to pack up and then dash off to my shuttle and head back to reality. At least this time, my luggage was much lighter!

That’s all for the rundown. Tune in for my thoughts on the con and if you want to see more photos, check out the photo album I just uploaded to my Kimchi Kawaii Facebook page.


April 4, 2013 at 4:18 am 3 comments

Kimchi Kawaii is Headed to SakuraCon!

ImageCome see me this weekend at SakuraCon in Seattle, Washington. I’ll have lots of Kimchi and Frosted Fleur de Lis items up for sale, some of them you can’t get online.

March 28, 2013 at 4:24 am Leave a comment

SakuraCon Artist Alley

I'm at table #513 in the Artist Alley. Come see me!

I’m at table #513 in the Artist Alley. Come see me!

If anyone is in the Seattle, WA area you probably know that SakuraCon is rapidly approaching. Kimchi Kawaii and Frosted Fleur de Lis will be selling at the con in the Artist Alley. This will be my first out of state con and I’m a bit nervous, honestly. Once again, I’m near the back (what is it with me near the back of AA’s?), but I promise, there will be lots of fun stuff to make your trek worth it. Drop by and say ‘hi’! Ok, back to playing luggage Tetris and trying to figure out how to fit clothes and inventory into my suitcases. All I can say is thank goodness Southwest still lets you check two bags for free in addition to my carry-on and personal item!

March 21, 2013 at 2:42 am Leave a comment


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