Shamrock Festival 2013

The Shamrock Festival has definitely been one of the busiest events we've ever gotten involved with as a vendor.  Ryan O'Donnell, who was working the booth for Celtic Clothing, recommended this event to us about a year ago.  He mentioned how successful he was at previous events so we decided to check it out.

It's funny how we've ended up at such a different path from my initial plans with Fukitt.  I never pictured my brand being at these types of events because I only saw my brand at action sports-related events and shops since that's what I was most comfortable.  Due to my difficult experience of getting into the mainstream shops and events, I was always open to trying different ways of getting any exposure and sales to increase revenues.  If it wasn't for fans and supporters motivating me to keep going and suggesting different ways to help me expand, I wouldn't have as much success as I would have today.

Anyway, we weren't sure how we were going to do since it was our first time vending at the Shamrock Fest.  I was asking myself so many different questions...  Should I have more green apparel available since it's a St. Patrick's Day celebration?  How much green apparel should I print?  Will I do well as a brand or are the audience only looking Celtic style apparel?

We got there the day before the event to set up our booth where we actually saw Ryan O'Donnell.  He was so great and he just kept trying to motivate us by saying, "You guys are going to do great.  This is your type of crowd."  Then he says, "Are there only two of you working?"  And when we replied, "Yeah."  He began to start laughing at us and said, "You're going to need help."  We were so excited but also slightly intimidated by the potential customers bombarding us at the event.

The day of the event, we got there a couple of hours before the start of the event to finalize the booth set up. We didn't realize that they didn't supply us with any tables or chairs so we had to get creative in how we were going to set everything up.  Once we were ready to go, we just looked around the empty lot where thousands of people are going to be...

Then we began to see the crowd coming into the event like ants swarming to get into a picnic basket...  Within only a few minutes we had already sold a bunch of apparel so we knew this was definitely going to be a hectic event for us.  As more and more people came, we got more busy.  We received such a great response with the audience of this event who were from all over the nation!  One couple in particular was from Connecticut who really wanted to get involved with Fukitt Clothing and they helped us really spread the word by distributing our cards to the audience.

We always have such a great time discussing our brand with people who have never heard about us before and then getting them to really think and evaluate themselves...and then get inspired.  One person who I couldn't forget was this person who obviously had some kind of life-threatening illness.  She came back to visit us multiple times and purchased some Fukitt apparel with a smile!

We would've liked to take more pictures of people who purchased our gear but we were so busy!  At one period, I think we actually had more than 10 people in our booth at the same time!  It was such a crazy time but we didn't mind it too much since it definitely made the time fly much faster.

We ran out of so many stuff and we had so many people requesting different items that were no longer available...especially our hoodies! In fact, we had one black dude who decided to buy my hoodie off my back at retail price?!  Haha...  It's funny because I was just telling my buddy, Tim, about an incident a while ago where someone else bought a fucked up hoodie off my back.  Even funnier is that Tim actually found himself having to sell the hat that he was wearing to one of the customers!

It was a great event infecting people with our brand and enjoying the bands at the concert that was easily heard from our booth.  With such a busy day, we decided to check out DC's bars to celebrate this successful event.  We definitely plan on coming back here next year!

by Ricardo J. Zulueta, Jr.

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