2017-05 Maker Faire Update

Hi everyone!  We had such a great time practicing entrepreneurship.  Being able to speak to people and listen to their needs is an important skill to have (especially for artists and designers).  

This year we actually had two booths!  Our main booth called "Electrowear" in the dark room and an individual booth to show case a cool treasure chest computer built by Timothy L. (Age 14, Red Cloud)

Awards

Our main booth was awarded two ribbons!

  • Best in class for Education (Awarded by the founders of Maker Faire Bilbao, Spain)
  • Best in class for the Dark Room

Congratulations team!  Our vision and hard work definitely paid off and was recognized by the event judges!

    So how'd we do?

    This year we changed and expanded our offerings at Maker Faire. 

    • EL wires were back - our most popular item!
    • Light up butterfly hair clips and Stickablez 3D face art - our 4th year!
    • NEW!  Glow in the dark slime - made in-house by Hongyun Art Students.
    • NEW!  Light Up LED hats
    • We decided not to sell our glow in the dark 3D printed succulent planters this year.  It was a great seller last year, but had significant investment in printing each planter out and upkeep in maintaining the plants.

    We earned just a hair under $9000 ($8948.50 to be exact)!! over the course of two days of selling at Maker Faire - WOW!!  Great job everyone!

    All proceeds go to the Hongyun Art Foundation to fund next year's Maker Faire as well as the TA and other programs.

    This was a bit less than we did last year but we have some theories on the factors that played into why that is.  It's always important to evaluate your outcomes no matter what occurs and prepare for next time.

    • No Friday sales - We decided not to sell during the 1/2 day of Friday Maker Faire was open to the public.  Last year our Friday sales totaled just under $1000 which was nice, but it also served to drain energy from our skeleton crew (just Hongyun and Tommy).  This year we wanted to conserve energy so we decided to use the time to go see the event to gain ideas, meet other makers and form relationships.  This did however sacrifice raw sales numbers as well as time to experiment with pricing on our newer items during a lower impact day.  We did gain however knowledge and tons of ideas for future projects as well as partnerships with makers from all over the world including several makers on the east coast, Japan, Spain, and beyond!  There's always an upside and downside to every decision.  In this case we sacrificed short term gain for longer term prospects which we think will be valuable.
    • Heat!  It was unseasonably warm during Maker Faire this year.  In past years, we'd have steady crowds through out the day but as the heat escalated, the crowds thinned out.  One of the Makers we met had to go home early on Saturday since it was just to hot and he couldn't take the heat!  We believe this is the single largest factor that affected crowd size and sales this year.
    • New product mix and pricing - pricing is an art rather than a science and it takes time to get it right.  With our EL wires and butterflies, we have established experience with pricing and  elevator pitches.  Training the team was relatively easy since many were already experienced with these products.  The light up hats and glow in the dark slime were completely new so we needed time to focus in on the correct pricing and pitch.  If we keep the same product mix next year, we will most likely do much better as we have the pricing and pitches dialed in.

    Operationally, our teams did a spectacular job in preparation, logistics, cross-training each other, and making sure the event went smoothly.  We had nearly 100 students helping out over the 2 full days of the event and we're proud to say that everyone worked hard, stepped out of their comfort zone, and hopefully gained a lot from this role-shift and experience.  Each team spent several hours helping out in our booth working hard and talking to customers.  Great job everyone - you guys rocked!

    Saturday at Maker Faire

    Prep Day 1 Photos (Monday)

    Prep Day 2 Photos (Saturday)

    Friday at Maker Faire (Setup Day)

    Sunday at Maker Faire