Feature Interview (1)
Darren and Ying from Sacred Gems
(One month after the festival)
Q. How was your experience as a vendor at Flowwa’s festival?
It was perfect timing as we were just opening our own shop in Brunswick around the same time as the festival. We met Kerry at our pop-up shop inside Barkly Square Shopping Mall on Sydney Road. She approached us with this opportunity to showcase our offering at her festival that was about to happen in a week or so. The festival location being in CBD (Central Business District in Melbourne) was very appealing and we said yes on the spot! We started collaborating on advertising for the festival on Instagram right away. The festival became a memorable part of this whole exciting period of starting our shop!
Q. How would you rate your ROI (Return on Investment) in terms of what you made from the festival versus your time and costs?
Sales-wise, it was about the same revenue at the festival and at a typical day at our shop. But there’s ripple effects from the market exposure at the festival. I’ll tell you an example. There was a guy (festival participant) who showed interest at the booth, but he wasn’t ready to buy anything. He just came in our shop for the first time yesterday! (one month after the festival) We talked for 2 hours here! It was great! We want to connect with customers this way, creating a community where people feel they belong. So, yes, we recognise the indirect ripple effect, people from the festival will take some time to think about it and come into our shop later. Maybe a week later, a month later, or even later. They might talk about us with their friends and they might come in. We can’t know all of the effects, but it’s meaningful.
I had the same experience! I held a flower arranging workshop for a small group the other day, (also about a month after the festival) and one of the participant said she booked the workshop because she saw me at the festival. She brought her friend too. These don’t show up in the sales numbers on the day of the event, so you may not notice it, but this type of market exposure is very effective if you’re a business wanting to create a fan base and frequent repeats.
Q. You have a wonderful wide range of products in your shop. How did you decide which products to showcase at your booth with limited space?
It is mostly intuitive, but I guess there was two clear points I was conscious about - Firstly; I made sure to bring a few attention-grabbing items that stood out, such as the Bumble Bees here. (photo below) A lot of customers are drawn to this when they come into the shop. Secondly, I focused on smaller pieces with lower price tags - because the customer’s psychological readiness to purchase a gem is different when they are spending time inside a gem store versus when they randomly encounter one at a festival where all other interesting things are happening at once.
Q. Why do you want to support Flowwa’s cause by collaborating with them?
We have many things in common in our long-term goals. We both want to build and grow a community here with likeminded people, and safe and supportive and inclusive environment. Our founding stories are similar - we both started our work because we wanted to use our learning experiences from hardship to create support networks for others.
We also have commonalities around the theme of connecting to the nature’s power. Both crystals and flowers are pieces of nature that humans seem to be naturally drawn to. It connects us to the Earth, grounds us and helps us with calm, tranquility or focus and so on. I look forward to more collaborations on this theme!
Sacred Gems has a happy energy that can’t be explained in words! You notice it as you walk into the store.
Please visit the store and tell Ying and Darren that you’ve read this article about them on Flowwa.org!