If you’ve ever sold anything at a craft fair you’ll know that being organized can make all the difference. There are so many small things you need like calculators, scissors, stamps, bags, cash – and those are just the basics – that it’s sometimes hard to stay sane through it all. Well, Anonunoya is a Japanese online shop that sells a very specific product: tablecloths and aprons specifically designed for selling at craft fairs, or any kind of booth really.
The tablecloth itself is named Anonuno (あの布 or literally, “that cloth”) and comes from very humble beginnings. Dojinshi Conventions are big deals in Japan – huge auditoriums and event spaces get filled with anime artists looking to sell their self-published works. The largest of these fairs (and the largest comic convention in the world) is Comiket where close to half a million people show up.
In 2014, one such exhibitor asked her older sister to make her a tablecloth and the sister went a little wild. The exterior side had a clear-pocket to place pamphlets for visitors to take. The interior side had pockets for cash, pens and any other items she might need. In awe of the creation, the younger sister posted pictures of it to twitter, where it went viral. Soon she had strangers contacting her, saying they wanted to buy one. And so the older sister decided to open an online shop to sell her creation. And the name she used when she sent the original to her sister, Anonuno, stuck.
Unable to keep up with demand, the sister has had to outsource some of the work to a local factory. But each tablecloth is still made-to-order and takes about 2 months after the order is placed. They come in 2 variations, “Simple” (2,700 yen) and “Pocket Detachable” (3,500 yen), a more complex tablecloth that allows the exhibitor to swap in and out differ central pockets according to their needs.
The website lists upcoming dates when orders can be placed (all other times they’re listed as “sold out”) and the next dates are July 9 and then August 10. Unfortunately, if you don’t live in Japan and speak Japanese, obtaining one could be difficult.