I’ve been antiquing for quite a few years and during one of my weekend travels ran into a place called Nickorbobs Home Decor Craft Mall http://nickorbobs.com/index.html . Its a great place and has lots to offer. There are lots of vendors and booths of all sorts. I did notice that there are many crafters in this place. When I first discovered Nickorbobs I felt my wares were not worthy.
As my work became more worthy, I finally thought, what the heck, give it a try, see if I can get a booth. I did a craft mall back in the early 2000. It was a nearby shop in my hometown of Downers Grove. I did pretty good at sales, however the traffic was low and the cost was rather high. Coomers Craft Mall eventually closed down in February 2005.
So last year I said to my husband I wanted to take a trip down towards South Springfield. He didn’t know what I was up to. He thought we were antiquing. There is a antique shop just across the way from Nickorbob’s. I indicated to him when we got there I wanted to see if it was possible to get a booth. I don’t think he was ready for this, but he was willing to let me give it a try.
Went inside and spoke to Cyndi one of the managers. I indicated to her that I do machine embroidery and sew. She indicated that they did not have anyone that does machine embroidery and asked what types of sewing I did. I said that I can do all sorts of sewing but my specialty is making fabric purses. She indicated to me that they have a 85 yr old lady that makes quilted purses and I would not be able to sell. Well shucks. She said she could put me on the waiting list. I said great and that I would send pictures. Well the pictures never happened, but another trip a few months later would take place.
My next trip down to Divernon, Illinois took place in early fall. This time when I went I took a bunch of stuff to show. And I took a purse! So I again spoke to Cyndi and showed her some of my embroidery items, aprons, towels and what not. I indicated to her I could do baby oneies items, however I was turned down on that as they have a vendor who specializes in baby items, but not embroidery, but appliqué . Oh well, I’m okay with that because there is so much more I can do. Cyndi and another crafter really liked my items. Then she saw my fabric purse. When Cyndi saw my purse she said to me, “oh you can definitely sell these here, they are totally different than the ones the 85 yr old makes”. YAY! So she checked the waiting list and it hadn’t changed, I still had 3 people in front of me. I can wait. And as I wait I can continue to be creative.
Sometime before Christmas there was a call on the answering machine. It was Cyndi indicating that there would be about 6 booths opening up in January and if I would be interested. Of course I would be and called her instantly. She remembered the items I brought and indicated to me that someone was checking out a booth on the 2nd of January. I told her I would be more interested in checking out booths that were available around the 15th. See I was suppose to make items the first week of December, but that never happened, so I had to increase my inventory before the 15th.
The weekend of the 2nd I was off of work, drove down to the craft mall and spoke with Jak. Another manager of the mall. I asked her if it was possible to see what booths would be opening up and if I could pick it and hold it. Sure enough I was able to do so. So I put a hold on the spot. Two weeks later I was back in Divernon, Illinois setting up my booth. I had enough time to make aprons and towels. I already had done a load of baby blankets and purses, so I didn’t have to rush. I also made and had some embroidered wall hangings that would also go in the booth. The biggest mad rush was pricing and labeling everything. What a task.
I’m still awaiting for the first sale and I was down there a couple of weeks ago, as Jak and Cyndi indicated that they have customers coming in looking for a particular item and they don’t have anyone that made them. Well between the two week, I had some of these items made. This will be another blog shortly. But here is my booth. I’m already ready to update the booth because I need different ways to showcase items.