Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Good morning all - well I am finally making progress on my jewelry for the upcoming Christmas Craft show I have this weekend. If anyone knows where Hartsdale, NY is - you are all invited! I was up until about 1am working on my jewelry, so I finally feel like I have accomplished something. Speaking of craft fairs, I have an article listed today regarding Craft Fairs. Check the attached link below for "Saras Texture Crafts." Just a few suggestions for those getting started doing Craft Fairs. I am sure by next year the list will be 2x as long as I am sure there is still a lot more to learn. Enjoy your day, as for me, I am going to attempt to do another Christmas charm bracelet - then I am off to join my daughter for lunch to celebrate her birthday. Yes, I did get her gift on ETSY!!!!!
Posted: 27 Nov 2008 02:34 AM CST
I have noticed in many of the Forums the past few days that the question of Craft Fairs has come up. It is also that time of year to be thinking about Christmas/Holiday Fairs. The main question seems to be "what should I expect." Believe it not, I have only been doing Craft Fairs for about a year; but within that time I learned so much, and would like to share my experiences, observations and thoughts.Of course, the main thing is signing up. Easy you say: well not exactly. First thing to consider, is the Fair going to be in a place where there would be a lot of traffic (people!). Definitely consider doing a show if it is in a town, esp. one that is well known, or an area that will attract a lot of people. I will start with my bad experience (so definitely omit this from your lists): my friend and I, another Estian, signed up for a triad of Fairs in CT, which has a lot of beautiful, and very old fashioned towns. Thinking we had it made, we arrived at the first one. It was on a small lot in the middle of no where, and only 10 vendors. No traffic, no people, and NO sales! If this weren’t bad enough – it had poured the night before, so the whole area was soaking wet and muddy. After that we checked on the remaining two Fairs, well each was a worse area then the first – one, was on the lawn of an old-aged home! Needless to say, the first one was enough for us, and unfortunately could not get our remaining money refunded. So my First Suggestion: check out the area before you sign up for anything. One fair we did that was great, and which we were solicited for, was "The Pleasantville Music Festival" sponsored by Radio Station 107.1 in NY (a little plug!) It was a great experience, the music was all day, the food was from all local restaurants, and each vendor couldn’t have been nicer. Yes, we did quite well that day.Second Suggestion: before you do your first fair, do a try-out set-up at home. This means setting up your table, arranging your crafts, jewelry, quilts, candles, etc.; and then take pictures. As you set up, you have the time to rearrange your crafts in a way that will attract people – screaming: "Hey, look over here!" This will save a lot of time when you get to your site. You will immediately know exactly where each piece belongs and how it compliments each other. Oh yes, if possible, get a TENT, which adds another 15 min. set-up time.You would think after all this I would be an expert. Well, here comes the most important thing of doing Craft Fairs. When you get a moment (when those many sales start to slow down) walk around and get to know other vendors. I learned the most by doing this. One, you learn about other upcoming fairs, but the best thing I did, was to meet others crafters who make jewelry (which is my forte). I observed how they set up and arranged their jewelry, which gave me quite a few new perspectives on how I could best arrange my table that would immediately attract even those just browsing. So, the Third Suggestion of my mini tutorial is to take a break during your Craft Show, and observe how others present their crafts. Remember a lot of these people have been doing this for a long time and are quite experienced; so you can learn a lot from them.
Ok, now you are all set up and ready to start selling! Wait, my Fourth Suggestion, when people walk into your shop (or up to your table), even if they are just browsing, give them the courtesy of a hello and a smile. You don’t have to follow them like a store detective, but who knows, that one little smile might just be enough to render a sale.
Finally, make your shop comfortable and attractive. A few flowers, here and there, at the Harvest Festival we did in Cold Spring, NY, we had little pumpkins all around our work. Christmas time, put up a few decorations or a little tree with some decorations. I hope I was able to answer a few of the questions that will help new crafters as they pursue their talents elsewhere. Good luck!
Written by Pamela Baker of http://www.magdalenejewels.etsy.com/
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Another Sunday, it is almost 4pm and haven't accomplished a thing. Today was going to be my "get my butt moving making jewelry" day. I have 2 Christmas Fairs coming up, next weekend and the following weekend. As of yet, I haven't started. I think I have Etsyitis, I get involved in reading the forums, then say ok, just one more thread; and an hour later I am still sitting here! So much to do and so little time, but I know I will eventually get everything done - when?
Anyone started Christmas shopping yet? I haven't even made an attempt. If you live in NY you know why. Every shopping mall or store has lines a mile long, or just attempting to get into the parking lot adds another hour. The best time is to sneak in during evening hours, where we walk around saying "ok who do we have to buy for" or "I don't know what to get this person."
Once I get past birthday's then maybe I can think about Christmas. In our family, we have 5 whose birthday's are in November, mine included. My daughter's is on the
27th, in 2 days, but she is all taken care of - thanks to etsy shopping! Oh yes, not to forget myself, I cheated and bought myself a gift for my birthday on Etsy. I have to give credit to 2 great jewelry (metal working) artists from Canada. They had hearted my shop on Etsy, and I always like to check into a person's shop who had time to visit mine. Anyway, yes, I did buy a beautiful ring from them - so I will have to mention them - "artisanimpact.etsy.com" - really you should see their shop.
They were really nice to work with, and also showed concern when I hadn't convo'ed that I received the item. But thankfully it did arrive the next day, and I not only emailed them that I received the ring, but sent them a pic of me wearing it!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Happy Black Friday or should I say Happy Day after Thanksgiving, when some of us get to rest, shop while others are busy at work. I don't know how many of you attempted to go shopping today, I was about to take off for the Mall, but gave myself some mercy and stayed here - figured I can go shopping when all the nuts are back at work on Monday. I don't know about where any of you live, but here in NY (suburbs) some of the stores opened at midnight, and some at 5 am - people actually waited on line for over 6 hours just for a sale!
Thank goodness we have Etsy, we can shop and don't even have to leave our computers!
I have been busy working on doing a lot of pieces (jewelry) for Christmas. I am hoping to open my Holiday Shop on Etsy by next week. In the meantime, my friend Marion, mademarion.etsy.com, (She makes beautiful quilts and handbags), and I do all our craft fairs together. In fact, I will have an article in the Storque/Crafts of Texture on Nov 27 regarding doing craft fairs.
Anyway, we have a few Christmas fairs coming up in the next few weeks. So I have my work cut out for me. The attached pic shows one of the Christmas charm bracelets that I have made. I already sold 3 and have custom orders for 5 more bracelets!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Besides designing jewelry, quilts, etc. I am also involved in a local theater group, The Ft. Hill Players. I am on the Production Staff as the costumer, and make-up artist. It is something that runs in our family, My daugher -who is a Board Member, also directs, acts, and has been stage manager for many of the shows. Coincidentally, my mother started out as a make-up artist for this same theater group, then starting acting, during the 50's. Last year I went from behind the scene's to front stage - directing and acting. I did a play called "Letters from an Artist" based on the Off-Broadway play "Love, Janis" which is based on the life of Janis Joplin. As I did the narrating of Janis' letters, my daughter, Kelly, was my inner Janis, acting out the stages of her life, right up until her death. My son, who directs and films for a local TV Station, did the music for our play. ps - We did great "glowing" reviews! So hopefully this January, I plan to act and direct another one act play for our group.
The picture is of our Production Staff. I am the one sitting on the desk in front and my daughter is standing next to my left.