10 Lessons from 2016: A Pop Shop America Year End Review

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Happy New Year Everyone! Thank you so much for being a part of our 2016 and we look forward to a fabulous 2017! So much changes everyday. Here’s a fun recap of what our 2016 and an update for what to expect for 2017. We’ve learned so many lessons along the way.

The days in between Christmas and New Years have always been my favorite. It’s a week when nothing happens and you can get ahead. People feel stuffed full of food and well gifted – at least hopefully and start to think about the future. New Year’s Resolutions have always been my speed. I love making them up. I love sticking with them. The kind of holiday presents I hope for double as New Year’s Resolutions. These are the kinds of gifts that get me excited.

Here are all our changes to expect in the coming year and all the lessons we learned along the way.

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1. Things Change

We opened a Pop Shop America Boutique! OMG we opened a boutique. It started out as a month long pop up + an easy way to pack online orders. But in the first month, we realized we love it and we’re keeping it! It’s so fun to meet new people and to see all our handmade goods in person. It gives us the chance to work with some of our favorite makers more closely and fine tune our style. It makes packing up online orders a since and gives us the space to do our office work more efficiently.

We won’t be in the Heights forever, so we will be moving soon. Come visit us at 321 A W 19th St. Houston 77008.

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2. Emergencies Happen

Best to not dwell on these things -Life will give you reminders to always prepare for the worst. Always be prepared. 2016 was the year of festival emergency. Art Outside was evacuated mid event. Levitation Fest was cancelled. FPSF was evacuated twice. And Pop Shop had a crazy experience too.

Without warning our summer festival experienced a flash flood, high waters and electrical outages. So here’s a list of things you will always need for a pop up market in case of emergency.

  1. Be sure that your phone is charged.
  2. Have a plan for your security and staff.
  3. Know your exits.
  4. Have a megaphone or a way to communicate to large groups if there’s no power.
  5. Have flashlights + batteries.
  6. Have a backup charged bluetooth speaker + snacks and drinks. And don’t be afraid to give away snacks.
  7. Do whatever you can to help people feel comfortable through the emergency. Music and snacks are step 1.
  8. Get the contact info of anyone having an issue to be able to talk to them later.

3. Enjoy the Successes of your Friends

My two favorite times in 2016 that helped me enjoy the successes of my friends were Boss Babes Holiday Market & Oil Digger Tees brand expanding to Sun & Ski Sports locations across the US.

Oil Digger Tees is a really cool Houston brand. I’ve only had the opportunity to work with the found Brittany once but I can say that she is just fabulous! I seriously wanted to cry when I read her posts on facebook that her brand has expanded to Sun & Ski Sports locations across the USA. Well deserved and I am just so happy for her.

Boss Babes HTX is a market co-founded and organized by Ellyse of Stateline Design. Their first event was in December and it was a fabulously fun time!

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4. You Can’t Do the Same Things Forever

Things change. The worst thing you can do is to keep repeating the same mistakes. For us this year it was kid’s workshops which we’ve quit hosting. Unfortunately these were never profitable – just fun. But they quit being fun. Why? We were undervalued. When you have to struggle with your hosts to even break even it’s time to change. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand a teacher’s salary or what materials and supplies actually cost.

It’s also odd that people would want to short change children’s educational workshops. But that’s not for me to figure out! So ce la vie kid’s workshops! We’ll miss all those smiling faces and joyous good vibes. Kids are the best and we’ll always have some great memories of our kids workshops.

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5. If it’s Not Working Change It

It used to be industry standard that pop up markets had complimentary admission. Somewhere along the way it changed. And craft & diy festivals for the first time were allowed to claim what they actually are – Art Festivals with Stylish Shopping and Swanky Atmospheres.

This was the best thing that could happen to handmade design markets. This allowed for better events, better advertising, more goodies, perks and giveaways, better live music. Now there are just a few events that have complimentary admission – so please enjoy them when they come along!

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6. There’s Always Room to Grow

We have so many new achievements all lined up for 2017! We are currently in the process of having our items available on Google Shopping. Technologically speaking, it’s a difficult process but it’s going to be HUGE for us. We’ll let you know on social media when it’s finished – likely early next week.

We’ve also been more business minded online. We want to help the handmade artists we work with be as successful as possible. So working with people online is the best way you been building more websites working on SEO for other handmade companies, so reach out if there’s anything we can do to help!

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7. Believe in Yourself and Great Things will Happen

We couldn’t be happier than how the blog has grown! We seeing a steady traffic that has grown so much over the last year and we’ve hosted sponsored campaigns for lots of cool brands. Fun fact: did you know that shops that have blogs see 70% more traffic than those without? Having a blog that you love is essential to having a successful business. So we’re so glad this is a good fit for us.

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8. Hard Work Pays

The online shop has grown so much and we couldn’t be more thankful. It’s so fun to pack up little goodies with each order and ship these fun items around the globe.

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9. Take a Risk or Two

Wow! What from these previous accomplishments wasn’t a risk?! The whole thing is scary at moments, exhilarating often, and fun all the time. We’re so excited for 2017.

NYE Vibes.

A photo posted by Modern Craft Fair (@popshopamerica) on

10. Celebrate Everyday

We are lucky for what we do. We try our best to spread that joy in everything we do. Whether it’s our events, workshops, blogs or online we hope to share that celebration with you.

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