Case Study: Planner Market BN (Part 2)

Interview was edited for clarity. For Part One of the interview, visit Creative Economy Week on What’s Neue

On being an organizer and vendor

Lisa, as a vendor (@PaperandPics) and also an organizer (@PlannerMarketBN) of such events, what unique insight do you think you have? What do you think most organizers neglect when having such pop-up / vendor events?

 

As a vendor

As a vendor, as long as I get the table fee back, everything else is a bonus. It is an opportunity to chat to customers, find out what their preferred stationery sizes or styles are, even where they prefer to shop and from their purchases. As a vendor I am able to assess which items they like.

As a vendor, as long as I get the table fee back, everything else is a bonus.

I would think decorative stickers would do well, but a lot of customers asked for the basics such as number stickers to date their inserts, public holiday stickers etc. This info is hard to know from having a cube shop, but fortunately I do sell via a website and am able to see the analytics.

Locally designed and printed stickers are definitely in trend. Paper and Pics (formerly known as BPC Paperie) were early in this market in 2015. Lisa was designing and creating carefully crafted stickers for planners.

Could you share more about how you began doing stickers? 

I started my shop because I wanted to start making stickers vs purchasing merch via Aliexpress or Shopee and reselling. For me, it was a way to bring planner merch available in the international market. The biggest market being the US, having the best selection and trendy designs, but expensive to bring to Brunei since they charge $3 USD a sheet. With shipping, each sheet would end up being $8 BND. Using locally sourced sticker paper, I was able to cut down costs. Like many industries, customers are getting smarter and have their own likes and preferences. So having the ability and tools to design stickers is so much more rewarding than buying premade stickers.

As an organizer

As an organizer, we want to ensure vendors are happy (low rent, comfortable venue, traffic). Having a decorated booth is less important than making sure traffic is available. Comfortable venue is a must, as our customers will not go to non-air conditioned places and vendors would be suffering as well. Low rent is also a big factor as most vendors do this as a side hustle and not full time.

Most organizers charge a premium, and as vendors we don’t usually need the extras such as adverts or decorated space.

Most organizers charge a premium, and as vendors we don’t usually need the extras such as adverts or decorated space.

Looking ahead: Future Trends

What do you think is the next trend in terms of stationary or crafts? Locally-designed planners, tapes, book charms?

We have vendors who make a small number of custom planners and custom inserts. We also know there are vendors who have printed their own designed notebooks, planners, calendars with local shops. There are also vendors that manufacture washi tapes from their own designs (via China manufacturers).

I think enamel pins are trendy at the moment along with stickers depicting trendy graphics (plants, Animal Crossing, Among Us, pastels).

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