Saturday, June 26, 2010

Use Your Networks! time goes on, it becomes obvious that your pieces of work start to become a little bit better and better each time you sit and really focus on your craft.  I've been noticing this myself in both my moms work as well as mine.  You start to become more detailed, more proficient, and start to add your own style into your work...eventually people will recognize and be able to identify your items from your own unique ways of constructing your pieces.  With doing this, you start to get noticed more, you make a name for yourself.  I believe we are on that path.  Still early in our journey..but I think we may possibly be heading some where.

In the last, oh let's say 2 months...our work is getting recognized a little more here and there and let me tell you it's exciting!  A local boutique has shown interested in many of our items and is in possession of some of our items right now...reviewing them to see which ones would be a fit in the shop!

Then, a few weeks ago, a cousin of mine who lives out of state happened to be in town for the weekend. 
He was looking over some of our items and asked if he could take some pieces back home with him because he has some friends that own a boutique as well and are always looking for new things to have in their shop.  So of course we hopped on that wagon!  Within 3 days of his return back home, we received the news that the boutique owner LOVED our stuff and is excited to carry our line in their shop! 
I thought to myself...their excited?!?!...... We are ecstatic!

And then....a couple of days ago my mother told me about a cousin of hers who owns a little restaurant near a local beach.  Apparently, a building near the restaurant was vacant and moms cousin bought it, fixed it up, and is now opening it up to be a little gift shop/candy shop/local artist gallery. 
My grandmother, Diana Smith, who recently wrote a children's story called, "Every Sock Needs A Mate", will be doing a book signing at the shop tomorrow.  (YAY Gram!)
While out there, she is bringing a few items of ours to show my mom's cousin to see if she would be interested in carrying our items in her shop as well.......COOL OR WHAT???

It may seem like we are just having a lucky month....maybe we are but, I can't express enough toeveryone to use your networks!  Tell anyone and everyone about your work, you never know who is listening and/or looking.  You also don't know who all your friends and relatives know that also would help you along the path of being noticed.  USE YOUR NETWORKS!!!

Every Sock Needs A Mate
By: Diana Smith

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Items I mentioned in earlier posts, we did our first craft show this past week. It wasn't as good of a turn out as we had hoped for. It's actually kind of a bummer because we had made several new items and I didn't bother listing them on our Etsy Shop because we were anticipating them to be sold at the show. So, I spent some time last night fixing the photos of the new items and listed some on Etsy....I'm so exxcited about them because I think they are absolutely beautiful...check them out!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Our First Craft Show

Today my mom and I participated in our first craft show together. How exciting, right?!?!?!
In my opinion, we did "alright". Well, we actually did good compared to the other crafters around us (not trying to sound like I'm bragging).

It was a 1st annual craft show / chicken bbq held by a local boy scout troop. There was probably about 20 crafter booths set up and for a 5 hour show, I want to say there was MAYBE a total of 10 people that showed up to shop. We made 2 sales and received 2 custom orders to be filled by the end of July. Not bad for the small amount of people that actually showed up. I was kind of bummed out though, considering it was my/our first craft show and having a poor turn out....but then I realized in comparison the the number of sales all the other crafters/vendors got...... we ended up making out pretty good.

On a different note, I must say I was darn proud of our table appearance!
I've been doing some extensive research on craft shows and never realized the importance of appearance, and all the little details that go into making a table look the way it does.  Good thing I spent so much time doing that research, it really paid off.....I think at least :)
I may have drove my mom crazy in the weeks before hand, but I think it worked out for the best.

For anyone else who may be a virgin to the craft show set up, here are some pointers I would like to share with you:

#1.  Set up a trial run of how you want your table and items to look and be displayed on the day of the show.   Once you have everything set up how you want it, take pictures of it!  By doing this, it will help refresh your memory the day of the show on details you may forget about.
#2.  Be sure to bring packaging, labels, stickers, price tags, pens, markers, calculator, paper and most importantly...your business cards!!!

#3.  To help keep track of any items you may sell, take the time to create  a custom invoice of sale sheets.
Make this sheet fit your items, meaning provide a space for the item name/description, a space for the price you sold it for, the quantity you sold, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, provide a space where you can make notes of the type of person or people that bought each item.  This will help you narrow down and target who your buyers are. 

#4.  If you have the time, try to create your own custom order forms.  Someone may approach you loving everything in your shop and want to place a custom order.  So be prepared in case this happens.  You want to be sure you get information such as:
- Name
- Address
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- What Item They Want Specifically
- Specific Colors
- Specific Size
- Quantity Needed
-  Materials To Use
- Date to Be Complete By

Customize the form to fit the specifications of your craft.
#5. Permission forms, this is with the idea that there will be a good turn out of people willing to buy your items.  Once your item is purchased, ask the buyer if they would be interested in having their photo taken wearing the item you just sold them (that being your craft is wearable!).  Also, inform them that you would like their permission to post the photo on your website, blog, etc.  If the buyer agrees, then that is where the permission form comes in....By doing this, it brings potential for a return buyer as well as more traffic from the buyers friends and family to the site.

#6.  Bring some additional items to work on while waitting for the time to pass by. It's been said by others that it isn't very professional to be sitting there reading a book while potential customers are walking boring does that make you look?  Instead, you actually attract more people to your table when working on something ne.  People are more attracted and drawn to those practicing and creating their craft right there in front of their eyes rather than someone who doesn't provide a hands on show.  All in all it makes for a better appearance of you and shows your dedication and devotion to your craft.

Well, I hope those pointers work as well for you as they did for me (us).
I will post pictures from the show tomorrow. Good Night!