If you’re a regular follower, you’re probably perfectly aware that we’re a creative agency. But sometimes we like to shake things up. So, we decided to participate in the Los Altos Art & Wine Festival—a fun, local event that many of us have attended for years, happening right outside our door. As first-time merch sellers, however, we didn’t know exactly what we were in for. Here’s a thing or ten that we learned along the way.

#1 Tipsy people are our kind of people.

We had a lot of fun chatting with attendees and seeing our “Grown in Los Altos” designs through their eyes. Lots of people enjoyed getting up close and personal with our full backdrop of the Los Altos landscape, spotting all of their favorite landmarks—from the totem pole outside the dentist’s office to the barnyard at Hidden Villa. And others who had swirled a few times before stopping by had a laugh when they found out we weren’t actually “growing” anything nearby. Sorry to disappoint—but there were very nice growers and sellers of other recreational goods just a few booths away, if you know what I mean.

#2 We were totes right to design totes!

Our tote bags were by far the biggest sellers of the weekend. Not to brag or anything, but they ARE pretty nice—with an inside zipper pocket and magnetic close. Plus our artwork, of course.

#3 That COVID-related supply chain delay? It’s no joke.

Even though they were designed and submitted for production at the same time as all of our other items, our tea towel delivery missed the festival. So, now we’ve got 75 of ’em. Hit us up if your kitchen would like some Los Altos flair!

#4 We now know why the booths aren’t made of plywood.

It seemed like a great idea at the time…so we made our Executive Creative Director Andrew (aka “Handy Andy”) build plywood walls for displaying our lovely merch. Um, that stuff is heavy. Moving, holding, hanging…and then unhanging, holding, and moving it all again was hard work. Truth be told, there might have been some ridiculous pivot moments. While it ended up looking great, we were pitting out. 

#5 The printed greeting card market is dead.

While many of us started in print, it seems that our move to digital was a smart one. We sold a total of one greeting card over the weekend. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I wrote an actual letter either, so it does sort of make sense. (Note to self: Add “send more cards” to my list of resolutions for 2022.)

#6 We discovered more hidden talents on our team!

Shout-out to Grady Baker and Alia Casino for being our top salespeople! They kept our card readers swiping all weekend long—and still had smiles on their faces at the ends of their shifts. Bravo, you two.

#7 We’re optimistic about in-person events.

For a while now we’ve been working on digital experience events for our clients—but the tide is starting to turn toward in-person events again. We were unsure about how that would translate to non-corporate events, but were pleasantly surprised to see a pretty good turnout at the Los Altos Art & Wine Festival. The crowd attendance wasn’t back to normal, but there were lots of people out and about—and it was nice to see.

#8 We’ve built them for clients, so why couldn’t we build an online store for us?

We’re not looking to become giants in the world of ecommerce, but we figured—why not? Our online store is currently under construction. In the meantime, if you’re trying to get all your holiday shopping done early, we can hook you up with those “Grown in Los Altos” gifts on your list. Just send us an emailand we’ll do our best to get them to you, pronto.

#9 Our local community stores are amazing.

We’re proud to be a small business in Los Altos! And it was so nice to be able to rub elbows with some of the shop owners we hadn’t seen in person in a while. In fact, our neighborhood gift boutique, Cranberry Scoop, stopped by the booth to ask if they could carry our totes in their store! Considering they’ve been doing this since the 1970s, we’re pretty honored to be singled out by them—and of course we said yes on the spot.

#10 We’re not quitting our day jobs.

While it’s fun to delve into other areas, we know what we do best. Designing merch: Yes. Creating event experiences: Yes. Making a living at selling merch: Not so much. We loved supporting our hometown event and had a blast. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi and to everyone who took a little piece of our designs into their homes.