I mentioned before, that last year in December I was selling at iDoll for the first time!
Due to my good experience applying and vending at iDoll last time, this year I applied to vend at iDoll Vol. 49 in Tokyo on 23 April 2017! I will be vending with KitDolls who make crochet items (it will be her first time vending, yoroshiku onegaishimasu!) If you happen to be in Japan at that time, we hope to see you there! iDoll Vol. 49 will be held at TRC it will be my first time going to that area.
Below is our “PR cut” image — the table number and location will be announced on the iDoll’s website as the date draws closer. I am still preparing the items I am intending to bring/show case so I will post about it when it gets closer too.
When I visited Japan last June for Blythe Con Tokyo, I met up with a Alphond who told me that applying for iDoll for Foreign sellers isn’t very difficult and that I should try for it. Turns out we found some cheap air fare to Japan in November and so I decided to bite the bullet and apply for iDoll!
Applying for iDoll:
I had tried to apply for the event in December by e-mail way ahead in July/August, and it took a while before they got back to me (I ended up bothering some friends to help me check on things by calling and feel really bad to have had troubled them still ^^;, so I hope this blog post may help quell some worries.) Here is the link to an online form you can write in to ask for information, if you intend to apply for future iDoll events.
As of now, the iDoll Vol. 49’s page at the bottom actually have information in English, Chinese and Korean too! But when I browsed iDoll’s website in Chrome last year, it translated the website for me to english and I found the english PDF application form here (the link may change as the events completed).
From the PDF file, I created an image for the PR cut section, which can be a graphic or a photo which translate well in greyscale or black and white and filled in the form. I picked Amatuer booth – アマチュアブース (since I am offering/displaying items/clothing hand made by myself, so numbers are limited and not mass produced like in a big company, if you are a company you should apply for Pro booth – プロブース), and I ordered an extra chair – you will get a ticket to collect it on the day of the event, and may need to ask someone to tell you where to collect the chair from (which was what happened with me XD).
This was my PR cut last year:
For overseas (non Japanese residents) vendors, we need to bring our Foreign Passport, and the exact amount in cash payment for the booth/tables and chairs etc. We also need to bring a table cloth and and display (optional) to showcase our work, and bring change in case the buyers have a larger note for you, I will talk about this a bit more later.
Eventually I heard back after I emailed them again to see if they got my application and found out I successfully got in, I was overjoyed! And the mad rush for preparing the official items for the theme — Christmas, started! (When I applied for the upcoming iDoll in April, I did not have to wait as long for the response. )
The night before, I borrowed a small roller suit case from my kind hosts, and had a backpack and another tote bag to bring with me — yes so much stuff, but it really depends on the size of the doll items and if you wanted to bring an actual doll(s) to model the clothes/accessories you’re selling. The good thing with having a model or demo unit is the buyer can see the item up close, and if you allow them to take photos, the bad thing is if your dolls are big and you have something big to set up, you have more things to bring along ^^;
Having mobile internet (you can order a phone card, or a wifi dongle) ahead of time before your trip and arrange to collect at the airport or your hotel/lodgings) helps a lot, and I was able to use the wifi at my host’s to check on how to get to the event venue and when to leave for it in the morning. Also remember to leave enough time to buy some packaged food — I got a sandwich and some fruit juice, in case we were unable to leave the booth for proper meals.
The day of iDoll, 4th December:
The iDoll was held at Tokyo Big Sight last year, where many other conventions are held as well.
After following the crowds in search of the Event hall, we found the sign ages to iDoll ^o^
When me and my friend arrived at Tokyo Big Sight around 9.30 am (Vendors get to go and enter early), we saw lines of people queuing up to get in first, even tho the event opens at 11 am sharp – those people did not want to miss out on their first choice items from their favourite sellers! I also pleasantly found out the day of, that I got a spare complimentary ticket for an assistant or friend (which was awesome!) So I managed to have my friend to enter the venue without having to queue with the buyer line outside! ^o^ But there were unspoken rules to follow, like the sellers are not allowed to buy things from each other or queue ahead before the event start.
When I found my table, I started to unpack and set up my display and goods :3 After set up, the vendors next to us were super nice, they gave us some candy! And it showed how unprepared I was – didn’t have anything to give back LOL – reminder to self, bring candy or some omiyage to give your neighbouring vendors, I recommend even buying snacks from convenient store or something to hand out as a friendly gesture! :) The vendor on my right was a Korean lady, her booth name was Candy Smoothie , she was also a first time vendor at iDoll too.
The two ladies on my left looked like seasoned Japanese vendors, their booth name was 針山商店 (Hariyama Shouten). Later before we left, I gave them some handmade mushrooms (with magnets at the bottom) before we left XD
During the event I was so happy to meet everyone who were very kind to get my hand made items 本当にありがとうございました！ I also met some of my customers and friends (some for the first time after knowing their dolls and photos for many years!) Below is @toel_uru‘s adorable custom MDD :D
Below is @toraneko_doll Really like the display!
Managed to visit the lovely and talented @ronronshuka san’s booth as well! My Mirai joined in briefly for a group picture with her beautiful girls <3
Surprise visit by friends from HK and their cute girls! :3 Mashiro belongs to TonyBSD
On one end of the event hall, there are tables being rented out to doll owners to display their dolls and props :D I took Mirai over to visit ^^;
There is also some display boards near the entrance showing the vendors taking part with their booth numbers (see picture below). You can see my PR cut which I included my website and twitter — definitely recommend, in case you attract potential followers :)
Pro sellers from Korea :3
There were food trucks in the event hall too! I didn’t try them as I bought sandwiches :3
Eventually as the crowds slowed down, we saw some vendors starting to pack up and go, in fact there are some very popular vendors who sell out early and just left even earlier ^^;
iDoll also happen to organize other smaller sized events around Japan, example like in Sendai, Osaka, and Nagoya (etc), but this time I picked Tokyo mostly because I’m more familiar with Tokyo, but it will be at a different location – TRC , instead of Tokyo Big Sight. Hopefully in future I will have a chance to try to vend at a different location ^o^)/