Are you ready for the the Largest West Coast Miniature Trade Show/Convention? Otherwise referred to as #minicon! Its a fascinating show that features all scales and types of miniatures. #nominiatureleftbehind
In this Miniature Podcast episode, I chat with Lisa of WeeBitTeeny Modern Mini’s and Paris of PRD Miniatures. They are (2 of the 3) masterminds behind IMoMA (International Market of Miniature Artisans). The show will be held in Las Vegas, February 2023. You can learn more about the show at: https://imomalv.com/
Hello friends, and welcome to My Miniature Obsession podcast. I’m your host, Rachel Karpf. This podcast is about all things miniature, we will explore the world of minis. And all its raw talent, dedication, patience, and the new energy of this art form. Here for miniature hobbyist and professionals from all over the world, we will gain a deeper insight into the creative processes that drive them. We will also explore what their biggest struggles are their most devastating failures, and the most uplifting successes, I hope to encourage and inspire you in your miniature hobby. Because even the ordinary become extraordinary in miniature.
Hello, friends, it’s me, Rachel. And welcome back for another episode of My Miniature Obsession podcast. Thank you so much for listening in chatting minis with me, it’s always the most fun thing to talk about me when to agree. I realize it’s been a while since I posted a new episode. And I apologize for that. I guess I’m just really caught up in all the things happening in the mini district, and all the new items in the mic drop manager shop.
So hot off the press. This just was uploaded to my website, one of the new items that I created was a mother’s day packs. So this is much like the miniature subscription box. However, it’s a one time box, and it ships just in time for Mother’s Day. And it’s packed full with little miniatures that any manager lover would love. So Hint, hint, you can drop the link to your loved ones and tell them this is really what I want for Mother’s Day. I always think I’m the easiest person to buy for. Like hello, anything small, right? But I hear from my family all the time that I’m the hardest person to buy for. I just find that so fascinating. So I guess we just need to keep dropping hints, maybe leaving links in email boxes, Hey, check this out. This is something I really one. So if you know someone that really likes miniatures, and she’s a mother, this is something that definitely something she’ll enjoy. So check out it, it today is at the micdropminiatures.com/shop.
So speaking of boxes, I shipped out my April miniature subscription box at the beginning of the month. And it was such a huge success. And I want to thank those that reached out post it stories and pictures of your boxes on your social media. I really, really appreciate it. I love hearing from my subscribers and the things that they like the best in the back. So thank you, thank you for reaching out and posting, I really, really appreciate it. So the next months back ships on June 5, I always think I have such a long time in between boxes, but man, it sure does fly. So if you want to get in on the fun, the cart is currently open. I’m letting a few more people in. Other boxes are all handmade. So as you may know, miniatures take a long time to make. And therefore I really really have to be selective with how many people I let in for the subscription. So I will every month I add a little more a few more people. And so the cart will be open for a little bit longer. And it probably won’t open again until June. So you definitely want to check that out if you’ve been wanting to the link is the minisubscriptionbox.com.
I’m really looking forward to next week because I get to go to Chicago. With the world opening up again. This will be my first mini show. I’m so excited. I feel like for about five months now I’ve been talking about it and then like bam, it’s already here. Maybe my mom was right. Please don’t tell I said that. But time really does go faster and faster as you get older. At least for me. I feel it too. So if you’re going to Chicago show, I’d love to hear from you. Maybe we can even connect How cool would that be? Also, did you know that when you are there my friend Teresa has another show that same weekend in the same location. It’s okay It’s like maybe 15 minutes way, but there are buses, transportation that I’ll take you from each show, back and forth. So it’s something you definitely want to check out. She also has classes that are very affordable, and very talented artisans that we’ll be selling at her show. So make sure to check it out. And it’s manager shows.com. And again, you guessed it, the link will be in the show notes. So speaking of shows, in this episode, I chat with two of the founders of the international market of miniature artisans. And their upcoming show in Vegas. I’m really, really, really excited for this show. When it gets to go to Vegas, and two, it just sounds so amazing. I won’t, I won’t let you listen to the episode, I won’t ruin anything. But before we dive into today’s episode, I just want to make sure that you know about the monthly mini challenges that we are doing inside the mini district community. And this is a Facebook group. And it’s been so much fun. So every month I give a challenge. And it’s a chance to win cool many prizes, learn techniques, meet new many friends. And well just have fun. So last month, we were to make a miniature out of a paperclip. And there were some amazing projects and people are sure creative. And this month’s challenge is to make a miniature using a discarded item. So that’s right, it’s time to go dumpster diving. Okay, so you don’t have to maybe go that extreme. But maybe if you have an item that you would normally just throw away, maybe you can think about turning it into a miniature. And again, this can be any scale, it’s super simple I can do is create it, post it to the group. And then I add your name and to win some cool prizes. So even if you’re maybe creating it’s not your thing, I definitely would check out all the amazing projects that people have been posting inside the group. There is just such amazing, amazing talent for such as little, you know, Facebook groups, so something you definitely want to check out. So you’re ready for another link it is facebook.com/group/theMinidistrict.
Always please reach out to me with any questions feedback, I’d love to hear from you. I can be found on social media @micdropminiatures or @theminidistrict. So thanks for listening. And I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.
Thank you so much for meeting with me today and talking about your exciting show coming up in Vegas in February. I don’t want to wish time away. But I wish February 2023 When Hurry up and come because it seems so exciting. So the show we’re talking about is the international market of miniature artisans.
IMoMA kinda like MoMA San Francisco, MOMA in New York. That’s what I was going along with when I came up with a name, something simple that’s easy to read, has a little some balance to it.
nice. I love it. So who wants to start just tell us about the show and how it got started. I know this is kind of a new show, but because of COVID it was canceled a few times.
I’ll start real quick. It kind of started out of necessity because the previous show that wasn’t that was it started out as a wholesale show was the simpler show. And simpler was a nonprofit run. So there was a board. I think there was five members, and they would rotate out over the years. I don’t recall exactly how old they were. I know it was over 2025 years old.
I think it was 39 years old. 39
so old, old enough that it had been around had had a nice track. Nice little run. Yep. And you know that again, miniatures is all about the people, the artisans so we didn’t want to see it go away. I think what happened with them as they they kind of hit a stalemate as far as what they wanted the future to be. So they voted unanimously to disband it and shut it down. So unfortunately, a lot of people felt like what are we going to do now? What’s next? And myself as a as an artisan, Cindy Gonzalez, and Lisa all felt like, you know, this is too important. Our location was was As to fabulous, if you will, to let it go. So we decided to just start fresh and create our own. And we had a couple of meetings and discuss what we wanted the future to be. And just understanding social media like Instagram, and Tiktok, and Pinterest, and all those different things that are all these different new artisans coming out working with different mediums. And we wanted it to be all inclusive, we wanted to keep the scale similar as far as 112, you know, three quarter, you know, half scale, potentially working with some of the one six scales as well, just because there’s so much variety, and we don’t really want to leave anybody out. And there’s room for for a lot more than what we’ve seen. Where were we, where we’re at where we want the future to go, please sell segway to you if you want to jump in.
Yeah, I’ll follow up on that. So I just kind of think that like, for me, personally, I run a wee bit teeny as Paris, myself, and Cindy, we’re all retailers, we all have our own shops. And we’ve been doing it for Sandy’s probably been in the business over 30 years, Paris over a decade and myself getting close to a decade. And as artists like I personally travel the show circuit, and I’ve been doing so since 2011, as a retailer, and Cindy, is been traveling the show circuit for 2030 years as a wholesaler. And so we’re very familiar with every single show all across not just the United States, but internationally. And what we found was that, you know, you travel the show circuit, and you kind of start to see the same dealers over and over and over and over and over again. And we really were kind of seeing the industry in terms of the show circuit die out, it was less and less at each show and less and less participation. And there were a few shows that were really kind of, you know, on the ball with the new whole social media craze and reaching out to, you know, new artisans. And we kind of felt like there was a niche that wasn’t being touched on, which was of course, as Perez mentioned, just all of the Shopify and Wix and Etsy, and just Instagram shops and Facebook shops, and there were so there’s probably still even at this point with my, I would like to call great marketing skills, a gazillion dealers out there that I just have not even found yet. You know, however, they don’t have a market. And that’s what we are, we’re a miniature marketplace, we want to we want to represent miniature artisans, all over the world internationally, in a way that no other show does, we want to kind of bring the show circuit into like a new era. And be all inclusive, like he said, and all inclusive to us kind of means expanding the scales, because a lot of the shows are very limited on what you can sell in terms of not a lot of the shows have specific criteria with regards to being handmade, you can, you know, mix it up with imports, and handmade and whatever. And we feel that’s, that’s great. You know, we want to we know, artists don’t make everything that they sell. But we also know that artists make multiple different scales. And so a lot of the shows are associated with the word dollhouse. And we all grew up on miniatures as dollhouse fanatics, not Paris, he came up in the industry as an interior designer and an architect. And he just became familiar with building the miniature scales of his real life furnishings. But for the rest of us in the world who grew up with miniatures and loved it, we kind of found out that these shows not only did they didn’t have a really good selection of modern, it was it was a lot of vintage a lot of mid century, which is great. I don’t I you know, for me personally, it’s what I grew up on. It’s what I love. I actually kind of find that that era of miniatures was more detailed it was the craftsmanship was better than what today’s craftsmanship is for most artists.
And it just was missing that Mitch, of touching the people that are coming into the industry in our age group and our era and what we think is going to continue the industry for the next generation of children is the excitement of seeing something that they’re familiar with just like the elder generation. They get excited when they see the Victorian because it’s it was what was in their house. We want the new generation of kids to see what’s exciting to them. And that might be Calico Critters, that might be five surprise Is that might be a toy side of miniature that might be Barbie that might be one six scale that might be, you know, animais dolls that could be ob 11 dolls that could be the little, you know, little rabbits that they’re putting in their doll houses these days. There’s a million different types of miniatures out there. And a lot of people when you mention all of them, they associate that like, if you say Barbie, you’re gonna associate Barbie with a just a purple castle and a pink dress and a Barbie doll. They don’t realize how many actual real Artesia ones out there are making real life furnishings and dressings and accessories and decor and actual houses that they’re hand making for this toy doll. And so those artisans aren’t represented in the world of the current miniatures show circuit. There’s great shows Chicago’s Tom, Bishop, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Diego, there’s a million fantastic shows out there, I go to them, Paris goes to him, we all go to them, we’re never going to stop going to them. Because we think that this industry needs to support each other, to continue the growth. And we’ve I cross market all of these shows on our platforms, because I think it’s really important. I talked to all of the promoters, I think that it’s, you know, we need to bring the industry out of this whole seclusion idea of we were in any competition with each other. Because if we want to keep this industry alive, we all need to realize that we’re all miniature enthusiasts, regardless of scale, regardless of tight, if you’re a diecast, or a scale model builder, or whatever you do in the miniature industry, we want to represent you. And right now, the show circuit doesn’t represent that niche of audience, as well as even Etsy, like if you sell on Etsy, and you’re a miniature dealer, and you’ve never done the show circuit before, you have one market, and that’s your Etsy, retail, e commerce buyer. And for me, you can go to your local Etsy marketplace in Mississippi somewhere, because you’re in a, you know, you’re an Etsy store out of Mississippi. And it’s like a craft show. So your buyers not going to be really particular, you know, looking at your, your particular item, you’ll your sales aren’t going to be great, you’re going to be on a marketplace, but you’re not going to draw in that specific buyer. So for me, I think the main idea of our show is to come into a new era, to bring in more children to attract more children with what is there by bringing in all of the different scales, all of the different types. I mean, there’s miniature crochet, there’s miniature clay artists, there’s miniature painters, none of these people go to any of these shows, and we’re reaching out to mostly them. Although, you know, our core base comes from symptom which ran for 39 years. And that core base is key to us to our success. And we want to continue to promote those artists and they do travel the show circuit, and they are valuable, they do mean a lot. They they represent the last 40 some odd years and miniatures. And, you know, they’re there. They’re dedicated, and they’re loyal to all of the shows. And so we want to continue to maintain a space for them. And like a lot of other shows that are juried and limit their space on tables are hoping our idea of becoming a Mini Con miniature Convention, which is our motto, our hashtag, all skills matter. Miniature everything, you know, we don’t want to associate with just dollhouse. So we kind of are looking towards the future. In creating the first ever miniature convention. There’s a lot of shows, there’s a lot of small trade shows, Mom and Pop shows,
one international conventions,
there’s no conventions, but we’re in Las Vegas. This is the convention capital of the world. It’s super cheap to eat super cheap to fly to super cheap to stay at a hotel. And it’s fun. It’s fun. It’s fun. So we’re trying to create a just a completely new era of show and draw a lot of different, a lot of different facets into it and bring it into the new new generation is all sounds so
exciting. Oh, would you consider like railroad like trains? Yes, yes. Okay. Well, and
here’s one thing I really want to want to make a point of is that we’re trying to break the stigma the mold of girls play with dolls. Yeah, cars. Exactly. Young boys were cheated by being shooed away from the doll houses when we were younger, because that’s what the girls play with. But yet we had aspirations to be architects. So then you understand where the conflict comes in later on. When a guy is at a dollhouse show, and he’s walking around, and it’s just like, oh, what’s he doing here? You know, and you kind of get that feeling like I shouldn’t be here and it’s the same with the little boys. It’s like the moms bringing the little girls but you don’t always see the little boys with them. And it’s like they’re missing out. Yeah, my table alone, I’ve seen a lot of people’s eyes just open up like, oh, I should have brought my son. You see the modern and it’s quite like today, quite honestly, it’s really like going to a car show in today’s market expecting to see something that you’re used to seeing on the roads. And all you see are Mounties. Yeah, from the 30s and 40s. And maybe a few from the 50s and 60s, but where, you know, the 70s and 80s. And where today’s cars, you know, that kind of thing. So really, by us moving with technology as fast as we’re going into the future. As Lisa said, you know, kids get excited by seeing things that they’re familiar with, which are things in their home. And it isn’t necessarily much the dollhouse really was brought about so that little girls could train on how to keep a clean house and how to work in the kitchen and associate things like that. But that’s that’s gone. Those bowls are, you know, totally men and women, boys and girls alike, it doesn’t really matter anymore. So, point this is really about enjoyment. It’s a pastime. Collecting miniatures is a therapy for a lot of people. And quite honestly, with the, with the pandemic, a lot of people were reduced to staying home and trying to find a new hobby that allowed them to maintain their sanity while they were inside in a lot of people have turned to miniatures
in the millions. Do you think you’re in COVID?
You think though, now that the world is opening up again? Will people still do managers? Do you think it’s here to stay? Oh, absolutely. I’ll ask
you that right away. If you take somebody who picks up on golf, and starts getting into it, do you think that they’re going to stop all the sudden, no, to find a passion, and you’re excited and the light is lit is lit, it’s really tough to go back. Anybody in any miniature show or you know, will tell you the same once you get into it, once you understand it. And once you’ve gotten a little bit of drive, and you start having a vision, you become a different person. You understand what it’s like to finally create, I talk with clients and customers alike that will say, you know, seeing your stuff in modern has really got me into collecting because before there just wasn’t enough that interested me that they have direction now that they have something that they have an outlet, who met me and how nice I would make my things but the reality is, that’s just the beginning. Once you get at home, this is not an art piece that you hanging on the wall, it’s active. This is something that now you get to create as a interior designer. It is it doesn’t matter what scale it’s in. It’s all designing it’s all artwork. And so that’s something that even though the pandemic may lift at some point, that’s not that won’t go away. That’s, that’s those are people discovering their passions.
Yeah. And to touch on to touch on that one more time is that you mentioned bringing it to the to the male audience audience and I mean, everybody in the miniature industry would be surprised if they did, I’ve spent probably five years doing research on on who’s out there in terms of the E commerce world and not just states but internationally. There are probably more male artisans than there are female. And they are they do have you know, a tendency to lean more towards architectural builds and scale model builds and Wargaming and you know,
what is it costing models things like that see
models and diecast and train but the industry of miniatures has long been included with train and with with scale model building I mean it it’s how it kind of started I mean, it’d be Yeah, he mentions you know, the dollhouse world but the history of miniatures came from actual very wealthy people creating replicas and owning these miniature replicas of their own mansions and houses and that’s it was it was a high end thing it wasn’t a toy it was a high end collectors luxury item the luxury item and for you know, it’s really kind of just trailed off in the in the in our world and became more of the toy toy world with Shopkins and I mean, if you look at the last winning toy for the last nine years for the for the for the number one selling toy in the United States, it’s a form of a miniature toy whether it’s a Barbie or a Shopkins or you know a doll or something. Hmm many brands and identity brands five surprise Calico Critters. Absolutely. We blithely I mean, life’s not in us, but it’s gigantic now and they’ve got, you know, Barbies got a con. And Blake’s got it as a con, but many doesn’t have a con, you know, and we need a con. That is like those cons that represent a much wider audience of, of artists coming together and being kind of one
that I was gonna say if you go into Target or Walmart or any of those bigger stores today, you go to the toy section. They have aisles and aisles and each aisle has it’s almost show oriented. So you have like Peppa Pig, you’ve got Paw Patrol, every one of those has their own characters, they’ve got their own vehicles, they’ve got their own buildings. And it’s like, these kids want to emulate what they see. And it’s no different than watching HGTV as an adult, you want to be able to do these flips in these remodels. Well, this is a way to do it, that’s feasible, as opposed to actually trying to buy real property and make it a full time job. These are things that people can come home and go into their hobby room after work, and unwind, put some music on and do their own form of design or, you know, update a room or decorate it for the holidays, things things like that.
Can you speak to the artists in that’s coming up and never done a show before? Because that was my kind of my first thought is, how do I travel with all these miniatures? How do I like that just kind of,
well, before you even travel, you would reach out to one of us. And that’s kind of what we’re going to do with our website is make it you know, have some q&a page where we’re the new artists and can look on there and say, if they have that question, we’ll contact a few of us maybe in some cases, there might be somebody in your area, that let’s say you’re close enough to a show to drive. And you guys can can drive together. You know, and that’s that’s the other nice thing about the miniature industry is that we’re very close and very connected. So a lot of people, you find that you have that common interest and that common passion that it makes sense, because really when you are traveling and going to shows that’s the number one thing that comes up as the expenses. So in reality, it is nice to be able to team up with some people, maybe you’re carpooling or shipping, you could ship items together depending on on how big your things are. And then once you get to the shows on that, and what you do there as far as who to contact, how to set up a table, how to light a table, there’s a lot of different things that we’re going to be putting on our website to, you know, give that kind of information to the first time.
What do you do personally? Do you put everything on the airplane with you? Or are you drop shipping, it
depends. I rarely drive to a show because most of them are too far away from me. And that was actually one of the reasons why I helped establish a moment here in Las Vegas, because Las Vegas is my hometown. So yeah, I can just put it in the truck and drive it down. But in most cases, you have to fly. So to break down. As far as the things that you you know, any any structural pieces that you put on your table, I usually like to have at least one showpiece. And then at least two boxes full of, you know, the merchandise that I can put out.
And I noticed you you’re gonna have wholesale and retail.
Correct. That is because there is a wholesale market, obviously, but we don’t have, we don’t have enough artisans to keep fulfilling the wholesale side of it. And even that’s going to take some some education to some of the new artisans, whether or not it’s something that they would want to do either go hold wholesale only, or do both or just stick with retail. So that’s something that we’ll be able to kind of help educate them as well. But we like to, especially if we’re going to do a Mini Con, we want to build it up. So sure, we could just do a retail shell but part of the reason for also keeping wholesales because we already had a wholesale market in place with cipta. So we didn’t want to just kick everybody to the wayside because you had vendors that that’s all they did was wholesale, and you had buyers that came to buy just from the wholesalers. But the buyers are starting to learn that if you’re only dealing with those wholesale vendors, and they’re getting older, they’re retiring, or they’re just you know, they’re just moving on. You don’t have the luxury of grooming new artisans. So having a wholesale retail show allows those wholesale buyers to walk around, introduce themselves to some of the new artisans that they meet, even if it is just retail, give them a card. Speak to them about the different pieces that they might be interested in and dialogue with them from that point.
Yeah, and with a with a touch on that with the expansion of just the idea of bringing in all these millions of you know, ecommerce dealers that don’t know and have never known and don’t do shows. You got to think like yes, they’re hand making a lot of stuff but they’re also really trying to figure out where do I buy Where do I have to create enough inventory to go to a show? You know, how do I how do I start a store, a lot of them don’t even have stores, you know. So it’s, it’s an avenue of where not only can the wholesale buyers mesh with the retail, you know, once we build up the retail side of things, those retail buyers are gonna come early and shop at the wholesale. So they’re, they’re kind of helping each other, you know, continue to grow.
And how does one get into the wholesale? Do you just have to have your business license? And,
yep, you have to have your business license your seller’s permit, you have to register and provide that information through the registration link on our website. And it’s very strict on that side of things. And then retail is open to the public.
And can you talk like, how big are you hoping like vendors, wholesale and retail? What is your
um, currently right now our first annual had, I believe, 43 vendors, and it was a wholesale, only today’s show, we’ve obviously decided, you know, expanding into the retail space. So we have a four day show five days technically, because there’s a setup day. But um, our show is going to be four days, it’ll be two days wholesale and two days retail, we’re looking at probably around another 45 to 4050 dealers on the wholesale side. And we’re looking to expand in the upwards of the 50s to 60s on the retail side. So some of the dealers will do both. As of today, we have 11 months to go before showtime. And I think we’re already close to 50. dealers were at about 46 or 47, with another estimated 12 promising to register here in the next couple of months. If that happens, and a lot of those dealers that came to our first annual reregister will be over 60 already. And in the next 11 months, if I can even come close to doubling that, I’m going to be extremely excited.
So up on your marketing efforts, were working
And we were also at Delta, you know, a rough hand when our inaugural show started out. Great. Everybody liked it. And then we got hit with COVID. And then the second year, we had to cancel as well. So we’ve had a two year hiatus. We’ve had some good feedback. And so we kind of known what we needed to do as far as stepping up our game a little bit. But for the most part, you know, we’re ready to, to get back into it as I think are a lot of other people. And, you know, we should be I don’t I’m not sure what the percentages would be. But it’d be nice to increase the show each year by you know, 10 15%.
And it’ll just be a one year, when once
a year. Yeah, for now. It’s just gonna be once a year based on based on the other show circuit. And, you know, that’s what that was. The other thing we tried to do is keep it close to the time that that the original symptom was because that’s when the buyers were coming out. Plus in February you look, you look at it from the perspective of people flying in from the east coast. And so we’re trying to find the time that’s you know, the weather isn’t too bad.
Yeah, so when I think of Mini Con, I think of like at the end that you’re just gonna have this raging party, right, because you gotta go out Vegas style, right.
But a raging party, but yeah, we’re gonna have elements of fun.
Yeah, we had a dealer event that Paris kind of curate and put together we had about what was it? 20 Something dealers out of the 40. How many people went on the party bus with?
I think there was about 25
total. We had a nice little party voters.
We had a party bus,
that party bus. I’m there. That’s
Yep. And we went to a sky lounge and had some hors d’oeuvres and some drinks. And then it was
all while looking at the at the at the strip and miniature.
Yeah. Nice. So I have only been the biggest ones. And so the Gold Coast Hotel that’s not on the strip, right. Is that considered?
It’s actually it’s over near the Palms Hotel. So there’s still in a nice block of other casino hotels. Yeah. But yes, it’s not right on the Strip. But I think that’s better for us. Yeah. Distraction.
And I noticed your rates. Is that still like $70 a night that’s
the rates are much more reasonable where we’re at as opposed to one of the properties on the strip itself.
Yeah, when I saw the rates because I know Chicago I’m going in I’m, I’m in the almost two hundreds almost. So the rates were definitely nice. And just when I want to know about you’re going to have some show and that shows, classes, workshops. Can you talk?
Yeah, we’re gonna have a few workshops. We’re still in the works with those just because we’re trying to get some of the artisans to commit. Same with the times on it. Well, we’ll have those on our website. As soon as we can get all of that up. And enough people, I think we have like four or five people committed at this point.
Yes. So that’s, that’s a building process for us. Because we had like he said, we were out for two years with COVID. Cancelled. And coming off just the wholesale show with with no, I think, did we have workshops at the first show?
I don’t think we did. Yeah, so
it’s a building process. Right now, I think we’ve got 444 to six registered workshops, and I’m working on continuing to build that up. What is good about the workshops that I want to mention is that it isn’t wearing we’re doing our workshops that are allowed, we’re going to allow local retailers here in Las Vegas, like clay, ARKS, Vegas is going to come and do a class. They’re not a dealer, they’re not even a miniature buyer. But we’re trying to incorporate local people in that process, as well as offer that to our dealers, and our, our buyside audience, whether you’re a wholesale buyer or a retail buyer, we think that offering that allows them to create an avenue to collect, you know, a revenue on their, you know, their in to cover their expenses to travel to the show. So what I suggest is somebody is worried about expenses, come up with a workshop, teach a workshop and come, you’re going to get into the show, and you’re going to teach your workshop and you’re going to make a little bit of money. You know, I’m Alma keeps 10% of the proceeds from the workshops, but the teacher sets their price. So if they’re going to charge $100 per person, and it’s 10 people, I mean, take off 10% And you’re making what, 900 bucks, right? Yeah, so I mean, it’s worth it. And we’re not, we’re not excluding, you know, anybody from being a teacher at a workshop. So we really want to build that up and help that create revenue for people to allow them to travel to the show. So
yeah, whenever I talk to someone or ask someone like, what’s your biggest struggle in miniature, they’re always electricity. So if you have someone that
electricity and also finishings, too, what do you think about it finishings and electricity have nothing to do with skill? They obviously help scale quite a bit, depending on how you’re writing it, how you’re finishing your pieces, the kinds of things that somebody might say, well, you know, I just I don’t know what I would make. It’s like, but do you have a certain skill set that you could share with somebody? Right, right class with that as well?
And when do you think someone can get on your website and start looking and registering for those
workshop links open now. So you can register for the workshops right now. We finished it last week, the teachers can register the buyside has not been set up yet. So we are going to create the Beisa I’m sorry, the buyside the student side link very soon. So right now anybody can register. We also created a new link that’s going to get sent out to anybody that registers for the show, whether it’s a workshop, or you’re a wholesaler, or retail dealer that will get sent out and have you provide us with all of your social media content, links and channels, so that we can continue to market all of our dealers on an ongoing basis between now and Showtime.
And what is your website? I’ll put it in the show notes and everything but sure.
It’s, it’s I’m MoMA dot l v.com. Or is it?
I’m on my ld.com The lv.com I m m. O M M A L? Is it. Wait, sorry.
I am Oma. It’s too early. I haven’t had to call v.com.
Yes. You haven’t had often you’re on a podcast. Wow. I that’s like the first thing I do is the coffee going?
It’s I’m OMA lv.com Yeah. And so I wanted to also touch on another thing that I MoMA is looking at the future to do is with the idea of being a marketplace and a miniature convention, as far as the live venue is one aspect of what I’m Alma is creating right now. But in the future. Our goal is to take every dealer that attends our show, past, present future and create an online shop marketplace that is going to be very, very, very detailed, to pull a lot of different shops together into one marketplace. So we’re going to try to create this concept of the marketplace in an E commerce way where I Momo will be a secondary e commerce site as a marketplace for all of our dealers. So Alibaba, it’s kind of a mini miniature Alibaba Aliexpress Alibaba kind of thing. So that’s our, that’s our future goal is to sort of give another outlet. There’s a lot of miniature artists out there that don’t know a lot of marketing techniques, you know, they might got an Etsy but their sales are low, or they might have a Shopify account, but they don’t have, you know, Google search word set up or you know, they don’t have a lot of, they don’t know how to do Facebook marketing, or Instagram marketing or ads and things like that. So what we want to do is, Cindy, and Jeremy are Jeremy’s our IT guru, he’s a genius. And we’re going to end up creating that site and the back end of it will allow us to do individual fulfillment options. So as people order items that are listed from high MoMA, the artists will get the link and be able to fill that order. And so we want to create that secondary ecommerce marketplace as I MoMA, for all of our all of our artists, and that way, they don’t just get the opportunity to sell with us at a live event, they get the opportunity to sell with us all year long.
It’s so cool. It’s like Etsy, but when you go on it’s miniatures, like
maniacs Yeah, and you don’t have to search for all of the talent, it’ll, it’ll all be in one place. And I’m sure they all have their own websites and their own and some don’t, some don’t. So we will have a wholesale side of it, and we will have a retail side of it. So that’s a future endeavor that we’re really working on and trying to get the thought process together on how to create that so so
I’ll link that’ll take them to their website, or they actually buy on that website,
no, they would buy on our website, and then the back end allows the order to be filled by the third party dealer. So they’re going to get notified of the order. And then they’re going to be able, and I know there’s a few sites out there right now that allow that, but right now it’s one person doing it and maybe selling three or four other people’s things. And that’s a that’s probably a micro percent of, you know, there’s there’s not too many stores out there that know how to do it. I personally do, I do it through Shopify. But in terms of, you know, just a big, huge inner, you know, marketplace that represents all of the the artisans is not available, so you have to search for everybody individually and shop 20 10 million different sites.
That’s exciting. So you, you kind of have a timeline for that.
It’s gonna take probably over a year to build that process out.
Well, right now we’re not even that’s not our priority, our priority is just really building up the second annual of the show. And what I like to tell people is our main building point for me personally as as just having a marketing and sales background is that a lot of the dealers, they like to wait till the last minute to register, and it it kills, it kills our opportunity to market the show, it kills our opportunity to pull in the traveling buyers, it kills our opportunity to entice other dealers to attend a show with low dealer attendance showing. So in one way, this pandemic, you know, has hurt us. And in another way, it’s helped us because it’s honestly given us two years to market and to continue to build. And we’ve been lucky that nobody’s dropped out in these two years, everybody that’s registered has maintained their, their presence of wanting to come. So I think that the main thing I tell people is that as as a marketing person, I want to encourage all of the dealers that want to attend our show to register between now and June 1, because you need to give me the opportunity to spend at least a half a year focusing on getting that by side traffic, and we want to we want every dealer to have a good return on their investment. We don’t want people traveling to the show for fun. We want them traveling to the show to make money. And for us to make that happen. We have to have them on the dealer’s list so that we can focus on getting that buyside traffic in and enticing people. Look, we’re growing. We’re huge. You know, we’ve got we’ve got over what, out of the 4546 47 dealers we’ve got registered over 20 of them are brand new dealers to not only our show, and I think probably close to 10 of them have never done a miniature show before. I don’t know any other show out there that’s had even 10 New Dealers that’s never done a show before never in since 2011. Have I attended a show where I’ve seen 10 brand new dealers that I’ve never seen a day in my life. So that’s our avenue of focus. It takes lot to encourage somebody to do a show. So like Parris said earlier, we are creating a section on the website that’s going to help them learn the processes and the payment methods. And, you know, cash and taxes and sales IDs. And all of that stuff is going to be on our website to help people understand how easy it is because I tell people look,
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I try to tell people don’t stress over it too much. Just bring a tablecloth take cash only. And set up a six foot table on your house and fill it up with miniatures. And if it doesn’t fill up, display it nice, you know, you can curate your own table at home really quickly. A lot of people think they have to have so much product. And then what I realized is I took so much to every show I was traveling ridiculously and it was like it was so insane. And it was stressful. And I’m like, Look, I can really minimize what I have to take and still have a fantastic show. And your retail display is an art form as well. And that’s something we’re all because you don’t want to overcrowd your No, well, because it’s you got to remember their miniature too. So it’s hard. People do like to pick things up. And that you know, it’s a tangible business. But the reality is too many things. It’s hard for people to kind of get in and then put them back where they were. So pretty soon you have chaos all over. So there’s a lot of resetting your table, switching things around, sometimes from one day to the next way through the day. I’ve reset aside and suddenly got some more sales over there because somebody had come back by and didn’t notice something. Yeah, the thing is, it’s really hard to visually focus on every little thing. So you want to have proper lighting, have things elevated, you know, different elevations. So that’s something that we’ll also have on our website to showing people how to set up a table because it is very important.
Yeah. And you want to encourage people to order you want you want to make you have your business card. If it isn’t there, or it’s it’s sold, you can tell people hey, it’s sold, but come back and pick it up at the end of the day. So I can continue to sell it. So no, there’s there’s there’s different ways to make it work without bringing your entire stock.
And we know that the show in Chicago in November, a lot of people had like they were cardboard, and they look like stairs and then they just go out. So those look oh, those work, too.
Yeah, there’s a lot of people that put clothes over them too. And traveling, you’re flying. lightweight, easy to pack up. Yeah. Obviously they’re, they’re not the most attractive thing out there. But at the end of the day, what is most attractive is the table beings set properly, where your pieces can be seen, and they’re properly lit. And that’s what people are focusing on. Yeah,
I just want to thank you for helping the industry and trying to modernize miniatures, and just bring it to life again. So thank you for all that you’re doing. It sounds amazing. Like I said, I can’t wait for February to come. Anything else you want to share about the show?
I think we covered it all. Thank you so much for having us. We appreciate it. Yeah, definitely.
Thank you again, and thanks for joining me today.
miniature community>>> www.theminidistrict.com