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Rites of Passage, Melb 2022

The Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne

Rites of Passage was an absolute blast!

It’s the longest event I’ve done to date - I’ve done 3 day-ers before, but Fri & Sat were around 11-hour days, it was intense! I actually tapped out on Friday around 8:30pm and went home (it closed at 11pm) because honestly: for retail the Friday was the quietest event/market day I’ve ever done, and I was hearing similar things from other vendors. They had set up times available Thursday evening, but next time I'd probably set up Friday morning, there's no rush for retail on the first day, the people who came through were mostly looking for/getting tattoos.

The silver lining of it being so quiet the first day was that I could leave my table and go talk to people, go wander around and really go up and down all the aisles looking at stuff, I never get to do that - even when a friend is helping me I’ll only be away from my table for 1-2 hours scattered throughout a day (or weekend, depending), and you don’t get to see much by the time you’ve eaten, gone to the loo, and chatted with other stallholders.

So yeah, I called it and headed home early on Fri, I needed to save my energy for the weekend anyway - Saturday and Sunday were so full on! The busyness level felt like pre-covid-times, it was so good - and considering I was right down the end of the building I was really stoked with how it went.

People in high-vis vests lining up to collect their exhibitor badges
Just a couple of images as I was waiting to get my exhibitor badge! All the artists got a literal bucket of freebies for their weekend, where's my bucket of goodies?! 🤣
An empty booth space with a couple of suitcases in itAn aluminium frame on the ground and fabric draped over it, ready to be stretched over the frame and stand at the back of the booth
This was from when I was setting up - I can fit most of my stuff in two suitcases! The media wall is like 2.2m high or something, and I'm a shortass so I need to lay it down to set the dang thing up 

All set up! I'm really happy with how my displays are looking atm, putting the gorgeous backing cards by Obscurio.co up helps bring everything together! I also borrowed the little 'exam' table and the chair from the event - they had *heaps* of them sitting against a wall well after opening on the Friday, and it helped me organise the back of the booth better!  

And people were wearing their jewellery straight away, which was so fantastic - I loved that they loved it so much, and it’s such a buzz seeing something you’ve made being worn!

The vibe of the whole event was awesome - they had dj’s come in for it, and it was SO fun to be boppin away to the tunes all day, I was Shazam-ing stuff all weekend to add to my playlists :D

There were something like 300 artists, but less than 30 vendors, most of which were industry related, like Killer Merch who do screen printing for a lot of the artists, Matte Gold who do foil printing for a lot of artists (like business cards), Tatsup who supply ink, cartridges and aftercare; and then a handful of fantastic retailers like Shoe Me, Shiny Bones, Dove and Lyre and more - all making/selling fucking cool alternative jewellery or homewares or shoes! Every vendor that was there made sense in the context of the event - I don’t actually know if the application process is juried, because I just inquired and asked for an info pack, applied, and got in cos they still had spaces available.

Gorgeous insects preserved and framed by Dove & Lyre! And me 'n Dr. Pickles, a match made in heaven?? 

Yeah. What an bloody awesome event.

The crowd was SO lovely - I’m not sure I could pick a favourite moment from chatting to people, but a little girl there with her family who *loved* the resin snake earrings that I make - I’d never have thought of them as being suitable for kids because they’re so big (they ain’t for the faint of heart!) but her mom held them up against her to see the size, approved, bought them, and she put them on her daughter straight away - AND they looked so badass on her! It definitely blew my mind. She was SO happy, it was really heartwarming.

They came back later to say hello again, and tell me how many compliments she’d been getting on her earrings, day made, I tell you!

Ugh, everyone was so nice, fuck!

I will 100% do tattoo events again. Doing the pop culture circuit (Comic Con and Supanova) I’ve met so many cool af people and made friends, I’m looking forward to being a part of the tatt circuit community too 🖤

Me the next day - sleepin the heck in, and stuffing my face with pizza 

 

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colourful sheets of resin that were cast for the collection, stacked on top of each other but showing all the colours and textures

Creating IN BLOOM

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