Saturday, April 24, 2010

PSU Earth Day Festival

After all of the work I put into this, I was slightly disappointed with the results, but I am cautiously optimistic that I will have something of a return on my investment due to the number of freebies and fliers that I passed out.  I managed to hand out nearly 40 free coffee wraps, either with a purchase or trading someone their paper coffee wrap for one of the reusable knit ones.

The festival was well put together, thankfully, and there was a lot of foot traffic.  It was encouraging to see so many people out for Earth Day, and visiting the non-profits, enjoying the music, and supporting the local artists and vendors. 

To any and all of you that came... thanks!  I appreciate your support and look forward to future events... I'm not sure when my next event will be, as fundage is running short right now, but hopefully it will be soon!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Prep Work

One of the most exhausting things about getting ready for a show is the two days prior.  Stressing about things like:
- Do I have enough product?
- Since I'm handing out card with info on it, how does the Etsy shop look? The blog? The Facebook page?
- Is everything that I'm taking seasonally appropriate?
- How about price? Is it all priced according to the demographic? For example, tomorrow's show is at a college.  I'm not going to take things that are $40 or $50.  I'm going to take things that are $5, or $10, or $15...
- Do I need to take the laptop? Would the PayPal app on the phone be enough?
- What about "To Do" stuff for when it's slow? Should I take more stuff to craft, or should I take stuff to read?  Decisions decisions.

Here's my take on these questions.  Having done a few shows at this point, and helped others prep as well, this is what I've come up with...
- Product: If you don't have enough product, there isn't necessarily wrong with that... have a notebook or laptop available to take custom orders! (Maybe retain one of each piece as a demo piece... or use yourself as a model)
- Web pages: make sure they are neat and tidy.  You wouldn't have guests to your home without at least straightning up a little, right?  Same idea here.
- Seasonal product... well, you're going to have a hard time selling beanies in July.  That's a fact.  However, you can mark them drastically down if you are not planning on returning to that pattern for the next season, or if you want to clear out some inventory.  Surprisingly, things like armwarmers are usable year-round... there are those like me that are freezing all the time, or that work in overly airconditioned offices.
- Pricing.  You don't want to be "that guy" as my pal Shanna of She's Crafty PDX put it.  While you want to make back your effort and materials cost, you also don't want to be the one that is undercutting everyone else.  Is selling out of product worth alienating your fellow crafty-types?  I try to keep things as affordable as possible - usually charging just a few dollars over materials cost, but that is because I make things because I like to, and also I don't think you have to pay a ton to get a quality product.
- Computers... well, I love mine.  Will I take it with me to an outdoor show? Probably not.  I need a new battery for mine and it won't work for very long without an outlet.  That being said, I would take it if I had a good battery.  I like to have a slideshow going of my previous work, and of my custom work as well.  It can be a great tool to show prospective buyers the range of your abilities.
- "To Do" stuff.  Yep, there are times it is going to be slow.  Really slow.  I take a small project - some coffee wraps or headbands, little things that are easy to pick up and put back down.  This is because you are a "seller".  You SHOULD be interacting with your clients/prospective buyers.  They aren't just buying your product, they are buying YOU.  In that sense, if you make a great impression, even if they don't buy anything but take a card, then they will think of you the next time.  If your head is stuck in a book, or in a sweater pattern, chances are they are going to think you are the crazy artist chick with 14 cats at home... not that there is anything wrong with that.  :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I haven't done a new post in about a week or so, because I've been trying to get things pulled together for the PSU festival... which, side note, they have the final posters done - aren't they cool?

I really am digging on the pinwheel flower, I think that was such a cute idea.  :) 

So far, I have made about 15 coffee wraps (to sell) about 20 as freebies/gift with purchase kind of thing and I'm wanting to make about 20 more of those - if not more.  They only take about 20 minutes, depending on the yarn, so it isn't a huge time investment and I'm using leftover yarn from other projects.  I have a super cute one that looks kind of like a corset.  :)  I've also done a few head wraps, with a goal of having at least 6 more of those ready, and I also have about half a dozen of the little soap bags done.

Left to do: logo-ing, tagging (with price tags made from that lovely repurposed wedding paper I found in storage), advance table prep, all that fun stuff - sign up for mailing list sheet, Facebook promotion - I finally made a fan page! - not to mention trying to get everything packed up into the smallest bags possible.  I don't know if I'm going to take any winter merch to clearance it out or not, I haven't decided yet.

I do want to get some more pics up on here of the stuff that I'm taking as soon as possible... unfortunately, my hands are so busy knitting that I haven't had much time for pics - or much else!

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Opportunities...

Today, randomly, I received an email from Etsy regarding a convo that had been initiated to me... Lo and behold it was regarding a proposition from a businesswoman in Bend that was asking about my little soap sack things.  She was offering a consignment opportunity... to sell my soap holders in her organic soap shop.  How Cool Is That?  I'm excited about this, and the chance to get my brand out - I don't necessarily regard consignment as a money maker, I look at it more as a way to get my name to more consumers, and hopefully turn them into clients!

For more info on Dream Pebbles Bath, check out her site here.  She has some really cool products, including this one that I want to get for the guys!  And also these fantastic Buddha face soaps that I want to get for me!