An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Craft Show Recap

As a craftsperson, the "holiday season" is a time when I have an opportunity to sell my wares and generate some income. This year is the first time I've gotten it together in time to actually get into some local holiday craft shows and take advantage of the gift-buying going on in consumer land. I was fortunate in my choice of venues. The three shows I did were decently attended by folks who dug my offerings and were willing to part with their pocket change. The thing I love about face-to-face sales is the energy exchanged. My customers seem genuinely happy to try on endless pairs of mitts, finding just the right one, and the delight is palpable in the smiles as shoppers fondle and squeeze the inviting, wooley, soft wares on display. It makes me happy to see the response to my work. I value the feedback I receive from my customers and other vendors. It's fun to present new ideas and see how they go over. This season some of my new ideas were cutenesses like these:
I can't believe that I've finally succumbed to the cuteness thing, but they are soooo fun to make, and their adorableness is rather addicting. I've been perfecting my scrappy appliqué technique, and my latest exploration is making these bags. I'm inspired and excited to make more of these. It takes a fair amount of time to sew all the little pieces together, so I want the bag itself to be super-high quality, with the construction, lining, etc, so that people may be willing to splurge on buying them.
The hot item this season, however, has been the fingerless Mitts for Musing. I've gone into mini-factory mode stitching these up this past month. It's encouraging to have an item that sells well. I think what clicks with these mitts is that they are practical, in-fashion right now, unique, and...under $20. A great gift item. Thankyou to my customers! I have a handful of nice pairs left that I'll be photographing and adding to my Etsy shop this coming week. Too late for holiday gift-giving, but hey, it'll be mitt-wearing weather for months to come! Here's a photo of my table at yesterday's SCRAP Holiday Bazaar.The event went pretty much as I expected. I was happy with my sales, but attendance over all was somewhat slow, due perhaps to a lack of promotion. The vendors were quirky, wonderful folks, and I feel like I made some great new friends. Kelly at SCRAP did a nice job of arranging us all in various rooms, and providing cookies and hot coffee through-out the day. We had a fine time chatting and entertaining ourselves in our little room. One thing I love about this event is that all the crafts were created using upcycled materials. The wares were all high quality and showed an intriguing level of creativity. I'd like to see this event better promoted next year, as it's the kind of thing Portlanders would really go for, if they only knew about it. In the midst of all this local vending, I also had a custom mail-order for this furry family.
Now I just have to complete another custom order for several pairs of slippers, and I'll be able to take a break from my sewing-for-profit. I'm especially looking forward to attending to some spinning and doing some natural dyeing with my home-grown madder, as well as organizing my fiber stash and tidying up the studio. I want to keep on track with my business sewing, though; the winter is a good time to build up some stock for upcoming spring and summer events. It's a drag to be inside, chained to the sewing machine during the spring when the weather is shining and the garden is calling my name. One last thing; a question for you savvy Bloggers: the way I add links to my blog posts seems really slow and awkward, with typing out the entire address to the link (hence the lack of links!). I'm wondering if anyone out there has a tip for an easy way to do the links. Cut and paste doesn't work...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Next Craft Show Coming Up

Hopefully ya'all aren't getting tired of hearing about my craft shows! It's just that that's what's going on for me right now. This Sunday I'll be at Handmade NW's "Formal Holiday Artisans Fair" at the Chelsea Ballroom in Portland.This looks like it'll be a fun event. All of us vendors are dressing up fancy, and there will be live classical music and tea. I donated some "Green Grin Free Gift with Purchase" coupons for the Goody Bags that will be handed out to the first 100 shoppers. At my table I'll have cute stuffed animals and softies, felted goods, appliqued fingerless mitts, hot-water bottle cozies, lovely felt flower ornaments and goofy angel ornaments like the one above, and misc. wooly bits and bobs. If you do make it down, look me up & introduce yourself! I have one more day for way will I be able to make all that I'd like to! I've also had a bit of a dental disaster. A week ago I bit into something hard and one of my front teeth broke off. Yeh, it's a major drag. Not having dental insurance makes it a quadruple major drag. So I'm feeling pretty self-conscious about it, but life must go on. It may be a bit of time before I'll be able to get it fixed. I'm practicing smiling with my mouth closed. So while I'm quite excited about this coming up show, I'm also a bit nervous, you know, about the missing tooth and all. I just hope I don't scare away customers!