This is our booth home for 3 days at Indie Market Bay Area: a wholesale trade show perched on a beautiful pier overlooking the San Francisco bay in Richmond, CA. In my 18 years in business, I've exhibited in a LOT of venues, and truly none have the historical significance of this location.
We are inside what is now called Craneway Pavillion, but in its previous life it was first a Ford 🚙 manufacturing plant, and then in World War 2, it morphed into an assembly plant for making mililtary tanks and Jeeps. . .and guess who stepped in to work here? You guessed it - women. ⠀💪🏼
It's no coincidence that next door hosts the Rosie the Riveter museum. 🛠 I get chills when I think about all the women who worked in this same building: who set an example of leadership and strength - that helped pave the way for me and my fellow vendors to live this life. The entrepreneur life.
Other than pounding the pavement going door-to-door to boutiques, in-person events like this trade show are the most effective tactic for getting a company's name out there.
From a business standpoint - this was a key wholesale show to attend, since the San Francisco Gift Show closed, there hasn't been a wholesale market that would showcase the unique work of designers of hand-crafted gifts and home accessories, and attract Bay Area independent boutiques and retailers. This is why Kiss that Frog - a small rep group stepped up to do just that. They know what it's like to be a vendor - and they they make you feel like a partner and a teammate, not another body filling a booth to cover their rent.
It was the little touches of Indie Market wholesale show that set itself apart and why I will return:
- attracted local independent buyers and retailers who value true craftsmanship from small designers that are NOT on Amazon.
- load in/load out assistance for vendors, with free parking
- spacious open-concept trade show which fosters cooperation and community amongst vendors
- free coffee, tea and pastries each morning for vendors and buyers
- daily hosted cocktail hours, for vendors and buyers.
- gorgeous sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay with plenty of natural light
I'm grateful for the unconventional shows - that choose venues like this, and curate artisans and designers who are carving their own path. I love my booth neighbors, the new stores I've landed and for the sweeping views of the Bay. . including the flock of Pelicans 🐦 that photobombed the below pic - (which I didn't see till I loaded this post).
Special thanks go to:
- Helen of Cookie & the Dude for carpooling, yummy lentil salad (recipe please?) and morning prosecco
- Adia, of Rain City Forge my new favorite neighbor (for life?). her kindness, and chill and sense of humor made it all the more enjoyable
- Liz at Stocklist Goods who flew down from Tacoma, WA to walk the show. (and introducedus to Animal Instincts SF one of our newest stores!)
- Jaimie and Alec for their generous hospitality (and overnight oatmeal. . .gotta get that recipe!)
and the countless bay area stores who came to discover independent designers and makers in a venue with the BEST VIEWS and the coolest show organizers around.