Monday, August 1, 2011

Finding the Upside

Well, here we are, 2 days after the "big show" and let me tell you, what a letdown.  After all the weeks of busting our rears to get our inventory up where we wanted it to be, making new displays, reworking our table design, etc.  There was a horribly low turnout and we sold very little.  In the seven hours we sat there we made barely twice our booth fee and watched one vendor chase customers away from people's tables and another vendor complain the whole time about the fact that we had our little one with us. She is 4 and has been working markets with us all summer.  She knows how to behave and what is expected of her.  Almost every other vendor there complimented us on how well she behaved.  GRRR

On the upside, we did make enough money to cover the booth fee and lunch.  The girls got some adorable freebies.  I love the ducky soaps I bought the girls, and so do they.  We did some networking.  And we got a lot of good info on other local shows that do well.  While we were down there we ran into Hobby Lobby to get some beads that DJ needed that are cheaper there than through our other suppliers.  While we were there, I found a gold mine of clearance yarns and bought 7 skeins.  I would have happily bought more but we didn't make anything at the show so there was no more to spend, sigh.

I haven't finished writing the pattern I'll be giving away here, but I did get the one for my soap saver finished and tested.  The feedback from the test was positive so now its offered for sale. I sold more of these at the show over the weekend then any other category we offer.

Well off to bed for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Its Coming Along

Well, we've had a VERY productive day.  I got a lot done both craftwise and around the house.  Got some things taken care of at home that really needed to be done, so I feel accomplished.  The best part of today though had to be breaking the 50 listing milestone on our webstore. That's a huge accomplishment for me.  Origionally DJ was suppose to do the majority of the photography for the site, but that task has fallen on me, and I am not very good at it.  We got some really great pics though of some of his new earrings and I'm very proud of him.

The new pattern writing venture is coming along slowly.  DJ is working on some very interesting new earring patterns and some new displays.  He just finished the design for dream catcher earrings.  They are beautiful, can't wait to see how the finished pair looks:)

Even better, today I got a phone call about a custom order.  I made 2 extra long king blankets for a friend of DJ's over the course of the spring/early summer.  He called today and wants another one done in a similar pattern with the same color scheme as his second one to be a Christmas gift for his dad.  I'm excited to be getting big orders, and excited to be getting our name out there, but these blankets take weeks to do.  By the time the piece is done I'm almost 40 skeins of yarn in, and my hands are raw from rubbing on the crochet hook.  Totally worth it!

Off to bed for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Does a Happy Dance:)

Today we are doing a happy dance!!  Had an awesome day at the farmer's market.  We sold almost twice as much as we usually do and had a great time doing it, also managed to get a few early Christmas shopping done while we were there;)  Now three pair of our handmade feather and gem earrings are on the was to Iowa in the bags of three very happy ladies and I may have picked up another wholesale account.

We got home to a mailbox full of goodies.  Finally got to try BuzzPlanet's lip balm and dirty bug soap, and let me tell you we are in Love.  The lip balm feels amazing and smells even better, and I can't think of one bad thing to say about this handmade vegan soap.  There was also a new shipment of crystal beads waiting in the mailbox and now DJ is on another earring making bender.

Yesterday I discovered exactly how easy international shipping really is, and therefore added the international option to our shop and I'm already noticing increased shop views from it.

All in all its been a really great day.  We have both gotten a lot done and are feeling really encouraged overall.  Here's hoping the good Karma keeps up and things keep going this well.

Off to knit some more washcloths for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yay, Things are Coming Together

Today has been a productive one if I may say so myself.  DJ and I got a ton of work done on our displays for shows, which we will unveil tomorrow at market.   The first 4 earring racks are now almost completely full and the second one is designed and should be completed before end of day.  We got the base layed out for our branch display for the bracelets as well now it just needs to be drilled, glued, and sprayed.

I sat down today and really got going on my pattern writing.  The first one should be up here within the next two weeks.  The project is already made, its just a matter of finding the time to finish the writing.  Once it's done you'll be the first to know!  The pic above is the pattern I'll be releasing.  Its a quick and fairly easy pattern to make, that wows new mom's.

Well, off to get some more work done for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Day, Another Blanket

Yes, I know its been a while since our last post.  Well here's an update on what's going on.  I got the doll line going, and we'll know in a few days how it will be recieved.  Currently there's 3 blankets and half a dozen or so hats ready to go to market with us Friday.  I'm currently working on my first written pattern.  Most of my blankets are either modifications of others I've seen, ones I've been doing for years, or off the top of my head.  As I've been getting more and more feedback on my work, I've decided to branch out a bit and offer the patterns for sale for a few of my favorite designs.  The problem with doing this, I have to have a completed project to picture with the pattern so it's taking longer than I'd hoped it would.  The first one I finish I will post here for free for all of my friends and followers.
DJ went on an earring making frenzy last night.  He completed an entire display board worth of gemstone earrings last night, so now I get the not so pleasant job of photographing them.  He did most of the product shots in the beginning, but lately that's falling on me to do.
As our first big show is getting closer and closer, I'm drifting backwards towards easy and tried-and-true patterns that I can pump out quickly and efficiently to bulk up my inventory.  Trying really hard to have $2000-3000 worth of inventory between us when we go.  I'm not sure if we're going to hit that mark or not, only time will tell.  I know that cotton dishcloths and soapavers sell well and are easy to make, and I just bought another cone of kitchen cotton, so that will help bulk up the inventory.
Well for now its nose to the grindstone and get it done.  Back to knitting for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Step Two-Creating New Products

As we are prepairing for our first big show, we're working on developing a few new lines of products. As this show is now less than two weeks away, we really need to get working harder than ever at getting things made. I just yesterday started on a line of blankets and hats for baby dolls to coincide with the baby blankets and hats already offered.  Our girls seem to love these, so hopefully they will do well.  DJ is working on a line of bracelets that coordinate without exactly matching with the earrings he already makes.  These will be available in both adult and children's sizes.  There is a distinct possibility that he will also be making some anklets as well considering that they have been requested at the market.

The farmer's market that we work each week is becoming more and more profitable.  I'm glad to see that business is picking up on that front because online sales are still at a standstill and DJ is starting to get worried that we will never really get this new venture of ours off the ground.

On a lighter note, as we are prepairing for all that comes over the next few weeks we are getting amazing responses on all the work we're doing from family and friends.  And, somehow, we still manage to get in a few hours at least every few days for fishing.

Well, off to make more blankets for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Here's to Beginnings...

Well here we are, what started out as a small custom order for friends and family and gift giving hobby is now trying to turn into a full fledged business.  I have started marketing and selling my hand made knit and crocheted baby hats and blankets, scarves, etc. and plastic canvas ornaments and magic wallets online.  here's our website Its a scary thing putting yourself out there...

Years ago my dad contributed to a lot of craft shows, and for a few years before he died he and the rest of the family were heavily involved in the show circut.  But I never really got that involved at the time.  Now years later we're prepairing for our first big show and its terrifying and exciting at the same time.

DJ, he makes hand tied flies.  This started out as a joke.  I was going to learn to make them so that when he and I finally decide to make things legal I could put a small hand tied fly on each invitation- fishing is a MAJOR part of our lives.  The stuff came in and low and behold, he loves to tie flies and I don't have the patience to learn the skills.  I can sit down and knit or crochet for 6 or 8 hours and not blink an eye at it, but can't spend an hour at the vice.  Who knew? 

We've been doing the local farmer's market to get our names out there.  Its been a great learning experience for us, and lead to DJ branching out from just flies to now doing beaded and feather earrings.  And the earrings get more attention than the flies.

Well, off to sleep for this hopeful crafter.  More to come as time goes on.