Wow, the time and effort that goes into participating in an event! In the name of “finding out my closet value”, and cleaning out my bursting-at-the-seams clothing storage, I spent hours on the prep:

  • Sorting through my closets, drawers and bags
  • Organizing by price range
  • Folding, ironing, and hanging
  • Designing, printing and stringing up personal price tags
  • Collecting and personalizing shopping bags
  • Packing and loading for transport

SO, what have I got to show after all that effort? Apparently my closet is only worth a mere $3; that’s $1 per sleepless night. (Mind you, my items were “priced to SELL”, ranging from $1-$20, and $30 plus for co-ordinated sets.) And I wasn’t the only one. The majority of the closet vendors turned out an average of 4 items sold for the entire day. Traffic was extremely minimal, experiencing it’s peak traffic period for a mere 90 minutes in the later half of the alotted 4-hour time frame. Many of us took to shopping and buying from each other! Not exactly the smash that “Smashcakes and Closets” boasted about.

Still, it was stellar idea held by an equally stellar organization that experienced success on it’s first try out. So where did Fashion Forward fall short on their second try?

  • Marketing: This event relied heavily on social media and word of mouth by it’s participants. But after signing up for the event in early October, signing up for the mailing list, and liking the Facebook page, I heard nothing about the event until a few days prior to its launch.
  • Location: The event took place in the lower level of the Incubes building on Peter Street, an entrance which is easily overlooked.
  • Practical promotion: In the city, print isn’t dead. A strategically placed sign at the entrance facing the pedestrians, or flyers in key traffic areas (maybe even a personalized balloon or two) could have made a big difference.
  • Incentive: Who could resist freebies? Example, the treats that were offered by Smashcakes at the event would’ve served a much higher purpose if small-cut samples had been offered right at the doorway. Or perhaps mini swag bags featuring goodies from the other businesses featured at the event could have served as lovely welcome or parting gifts.

At the end of the day, at least I was able to organize my closet and get reacquainted with some forgotten wardrobe favorites. But on behalf of my fellow closet vendors, valiant efforts should be rewarded. And Fashion Forward is attempting to do just that! A few short hours after the event’s close, I and the other vendors received this email from Fashion Forward:

So will I give it another go come spring season? Hard to say; we’ll see how much additional closet inventory I accrue by then (wink wink)!