Meet Our Vendor: exit343design
We are so happy to introduce you to another new vendor, exit343! Super cute designs that will make great gifts this holiday season!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Stephanie and I’m the boss lady behind exit343design. I’m a formally trained printmaker hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I draw, design, and screen-print stationery, art prints, and a variety of gift items out of my home studio. Each item in the exit343design storefront has an element of hand in its creation- whether it is the design lifted from an original drawing, the physical printing itself (95% of my storefront), or the physical crafting of the item (buttons).
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
Lately, I have been working hard to expand my greeting card offerings to have a more well-rounded selection. This, of course, in addition to a bajillion other things on my to-do list!
How far will you be traveling to come to UCU?
I’m flying in from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so something like 2,800 miles? Vending at Urban Craft Uprising will actually be my first ever time in Seattle! I’m staying in the area for a couple of extra days, so please feel free to stop by my booth and give me some tips on great places to check out during my stay.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
I love vending at craft shows because it’s a wonderful opportunity to get direct feedback about products and designs. It’s such a great feeling when people stop to interact with my wares and talk about how it fits into their lives. Vending can be hard work, but it’s worth it to create bonds with customers, market the business, and get feedback outside of the studio and social media!
How did you get started in your business?
I got started in art school and signed up for a local show as a way to unload some extra prints. I came in with literally no preparation- no business cards, no website, not even a table cloth. People ACTUALLY liked what I did and bought my work! I was immediately hooked and my interest in entrepreneurship was sparked. Ever since that summer of 2007, exit343design has been growing steadily and organically until it became my full-time gig in 2016. It’s been a long road and it’s always full of bumps and surprises, but I’m so lucky to be doing what I love.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
The nature of being an entrepreneur is about constantly learning, but two things that stick out to me right now are:
1- Marketing is arguably more important than a product itself.
2- Burnout is real. Take and make time for self care.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
My current favorite item is my line of booze bags. I’m a huge fan of local wines and craft beer, as well as giving the perfect gift. Also, I hate wrapping gifts. I have a booze bag for just about every occasion; selecting a personalized wine or beer and slipping it in the bag is seriously the easiest gifting ever!
What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
I try hard to make a variety of designs that make people laugh or to pick up immediately to show to a friend. This is most applicable when it comes to greeting cards- exit343design cards are great for that one friend who’s got a good sense of humor, possibly sarcastic, and definitely vulgar.
What’s the best experience you’ve ever had with one of your customers?
In addition to my retail line, I do custom wedding wares as well. This year I worked with such a rad couple to create the coolest, most unique invitation suite I’ve done to date! They were married at a music venue and the whole suite reflected that and their love of music. Doing freelance projects like that really is a collaborative effort and I feel like I gained two new friends after the whole thing was said and done. You can see photos of it on my website and on my Instagram.