Selling my work at SXSW this year was a new experience for me. In fact, it was my first time to be in town at all during SXSW after living in Austin for 24 years. Usually I’m in the group of Austinites who leave town during the madness.
I primarily sell handmade stationery through my web store Crab Apple Designs and only sell directly at 2-3 shows a year, so I was a bit hesitant to try selling during South By. But I dove in anyway hoping that SXSW would bring the kind of geek (which I say with love) that shares my passion for retro paper goods. My craft emphasizes notebooks and sketchbooks made from old books and games, but my focus during SXSW was recycled comic books. I thought that a product that appeals to guys would be a good item to showcase.
I’m sure glad I took a chance. What a great time! I participated in a “pop-up shop” on South Congress with local live music within earshot and a flow of foot traffic from morning until night. This was my kind of crowd: friendly, happy, and genuinely excited about the products I make. Evidently, comic books aren’t just for guys! I was thrilled to meet girls and guys of ALL ages who found something to love about vintage comics.
The happy energy that the festival brings to downtown is addictive and I will surely plan on participating again next year! – Melissa Stewart