Day 9 – Preparation and Presentation

31 days to crafts show

Working through my Craft show prep, I’m on day 9. Molly, on her 31 day journey focused on photography. I think I need to spend some more time on this one, but for now I have learned a little.

Humans are visual. The more appealing something looks the more we want it. So it is very important to take great, clear pictures.

The best place for me to take photos is on my back deck, lots of natural light.

The second part of my post is about preparation. I wanted to know what I was starting with, so I took a picture (not on my back deck) of all the yarn I currently had on hand.

yarn stash

Since I had taken this in my room, I had some extra clutter in the back of the shot. I wanted to get rid of it so I used the eraser tool on Pixler.com. Pixler is a wonderful FREE tool that helps you retouch and work with your photos. I’ve lighten pictures, added words to my photos. It’s great! And did I mention: FREE???!!!

Here are some examples:

BEFORE:

IMAG0419

AFTER:

step 2

Taking photos of my work is something I really need to work on. Do you have any tips or tricks to working with photography?

Motivational Monday- Days 6-8

crochet devo

Happy Monday!
I caught up on Molly’s 31 Days to Prepare for a Craft show. On her first weekend she spent time creating her inventory, she shared a tip about creating a sort of assembly line, and she learned how to say no when someone wanted to add to her already busy plate.

31 days to crafts show

Even though I working on my 31 days, it’s still Monday and it’s still Motivational Monday. Recently, I started working on an article about things I’ve learned from crochet. Slowly, I’ve been coming up with ideas for making my inventory. At one point, I had so many ideas I felt that I could never make everything I wanted to. Hand puppets, finger puppets, purses, bags, accessories, dolls, doll furniture!

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

I have to work. If I am going to be successful, I have to work! If I want to make my crochet hobby into my crochet business I have to be diligent.

Tonight, I have a one on one consultation with Sedruola Maruska from Yarn Obsession. We’re going to talk about how to make my goals happen.

So, what are you doing today, this week, this month to make your dreams come true?

Finished Friday- Day 5

31 days to crafts show

Happy Friday!

Here’s an update on my progress so far for my inventory.

One completed pig! This is my first (well the first one I have the guts to show of a stuffie that I created. I think Pinkie T Pig came out all right.

IMAG0463

I finished off the hair clips.

IMAG0462

I loved this pattern, Sara had posted it on her 31 Days to a Craft show and it was exactly what I was looking for.

IMAG0461

On Molly’s day 5, she offered a tip. Well I don’t have a tip about doing the craft but I do have a tip about pricing. I am by no means an expert. I undersell myself a lot. But it’s a learning process. So here’s what I’ve learned.

The only way a business, any business can survive is to make money: a profit. And the only way I can make a profit is if what I sell an item for is greater than what it cost for me to make it.

Let’s take my hair clips for example. Those are my Unit. I used the following supplies to make the clips: floss ($0.70), clip ($0.16) and glue (maybe for the dab of hot glue- $0.02). To find out how much it cost to make the clip I’d add the cost of the supplies.

0.70+ 0.16 + 0.02= $0.88

So, to make both clips, it cost me 88 cents. But there was more to making those clips: my time. Labor costs need to be factored in and this is where I always have a problem. Insert issues of self-worth 🙂 How much is my time/labor worth? How much would I like to be paid for crocheting? I’m going to say $3.00 an hour. No, I’m not trying to run a sweat shop but I also don’t want to out price myself so my business doesn’t make a profit.

So we have $0.88 + $1.50 (it only took me 30 minutes to make both.) The total cost of one unit is $2.38. I would have to sell these clips for more than $2.38 in order to make a profit.

There are other things to factor in, like overhead and the cost of running a business, like: the cost of the booth rental, the space I use in my house, business cards, packaging supplies! But for now, I’m not going to factor those things in. At least I know what it costs to make my hair clips.

I hope this was sort of helpful. How do you factor your price points?

M

Day 4

31 days to crafts show

It’s Teach me something Thursday. So this will be a post with two parts. On day 4, Molly talked about business cards. He’s what I came up with, but I think they are very boring. I need to work on them.

business cards 1

On Yarn Obssession, Sedrula posted a really helpful post about what every business card should have. Check it out.

I got a lot of positive feedback on my Enterlac Blanket, so I began another one for the start of my inventory for the craft show.

Enterlac 2

My son even requested one done in his school’s colors: green and white. I wanted to post a bit of a tutorial as well. I first found out about Enterlac crochet from the book:
616knDVViKL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_
But I didn’t really like the way it worked up.

Then I found a really helpful video on Youtube and she linked to a website. Both were really well done, but left out some tips I learned as I was working mine up.

I’ll be posting a tutorial for any who what to follow along.

Day 3- Inventory and WIPs

31 days to crafts showHappy WIP Wednesday! Today, I’m also working on my 31 Days to prepare for a craft show. On day three of Molly’s 31 Days she discussed how much inventory would she have to bring (and make) for her first crafts show. Well, I think that ties in to my WIPs.

I finished my Tusican Enterlac and I don’t have anything else pending so now is the time to begin making my inventory.
enterlac blanket

But how much to make? What should I focus on making? Where do I begin? Yes, I needed to take a breath!

Molly listed the things she was going to sell in her post, so that’s where could start.

Baby hats , Baby booties , Baby sweater
Dolls , Doll clothes , Adult hats
Softies , Patterns , Crochet key chains
Hair accessories , Flip flop charms , Purses
Blankets , Tote bags , Shoes
Crochet doll food

All these things could work, but depending on which craft fair I plan to enter will really help me focus on which items to focus my attention on.

This week, I’ve began working on…

I love this hat. I used Red Heart Baby love in lilac and green. The butterfly came out well. I want to do a tutorial on it.
baby hat and booties

This will be attached to a hair clip. One thing I kept seeing on boards and posts, is that hair do-dads for girls sell well. I used embroidery floss! I was a bit skeptical as to how it would work, but it wasn’t that difficult.

hair bow

I found a post that said, as a rule of thumb, you should bring 10x the amount of the cost of the booth worth of inventory. FOr example, if the booth cost $100, 10 x 100= $1000 worth of product. I’ve got a lot of work to get done.

If you want to see what other’s are working on, check out Tami Amis’ blog:

tami_wip

Day 1 and 2

31 days to crafts show

Day 1 and 2
I’ve never done a craft show. I’ve been to a few, but I set a goal and I’m aiming to keep it.

But where do I start? Google of course.

crafts shows

I started clicking on the links to find one. I’m not going to lie to you, I got a little overwelmbed by the cost to enter, the application, the pictures… I mean what do I really have to offer? Why would they choose me? I don’t have enough inventory to sell? How much inventory do I need anyway?

Doubt after doubt crowded in around me and I thought, nevermind. Maybe next year…

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

And guess what? Sara Dungan posted on her Facebook wall about doing a 31 Blog Challenge by Molly Eleen about what? Preparing for a craft show! Hello, who’s your strength? I love it when I notice how God works in my life.

So I went back to searching and narrowed down my choices of which shows I’m going to enter.
– Hampton Bay Days
– Hampton University Homecoming Bazzar
– Virginia Beach Christmas Craft Market
– Viginia Beach Craft Show at Kempsville
– Christmas in Our Hometown Craft Show
– Cypress Point Circle of The King’s Daughters Holiday Bazaar.

The tree most important words in realstate also helped narrow down my choices: location, location, location! All of these shows are close to me that way travel won’t interfer with me being able to get there, transport my inventory (if and when I have some- more on that tomorrow) and bring it all home inone day.

So here are the contendors

1. Craft Show. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kempsville Masonic Lodge, 4869 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach. Baked goods for sale and lunch served. 427-1978, 681-1808 or 490-4808. OCT 13

My thoughts: It’s a one day show. They didn’t list a price, but I’m assuming it won’t be cost prohibited.

2. Christmas in Our Hometown Craft Show. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Workforce Center next to Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin. More than 50 crafters and home party dealers with items that can be taken home that day. Lunch available and provided by Southampton Social Services. Admission is free, but canned goods accepted to support the Emergency Food Pantry. 620-5499. Oct 27

My thoughts: Another one day-er, not a huge time committment, that’s a plus. It’s a little more distance. I wonder will it have the traffic I would want? But some times smaller is better, right?

3. Cypress Point Circle of The King’s Daughters Holiday Bazaar. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Quality Suites and Sleep Inn at Lake Wright, 6280 Northampton Blvd., Norfolk. More than 50 exhibitors featuring custom jewelry, children’s clothing, accessories, books, garden, holiday and more. Proceeds benefit CHKD. Admission is $2, children under 10 free. For information, visit http://www.kingsdaughters.org/holidaybazaar.

My thoughts: This is a holiday one, which might be nice. People are coming to buy, but I don’t really have any “Christmas-y” type items I make. I do like the one day and it isn’t so early in the morning.

4. 31st annual Virginia Beach Christmas Market. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 25 at Virginia Beach Convention Center, 1000 19th St., Virginia Beach. Admission: $7, $2 ages 6 to 12, ages under 6 are free. Donations to the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia accepted. For more information, visit http://www.emgshows.com.

My thoughts: Okay, this is the first of the multiple day craft fairs. Three days of travel, three days of on my feet selling, three days worth of inventory… (yikes)

5. Newport News’ Fall Festival of Folklife is one of Southeast Virginia’s biggest celebration of traditional crafts, trades and entertainment. From the 200 crafts people selling their wares under a canopy of trees to the acoustic melodies drifting from the Lake Stage, Newport News Regional Park is filled with the sounds, sights and memories that have been carefully passed from generation to generation. The festival includes a craft competition, craft and trade demonstrations, free children’s activities, food vendors and continuous entertainment. Parking fee. Deadline April 1.

My thoughts: This is a very large show (200 crafters) and it might be intimidating for a first timer like me. And I couldn’t find any information about the cost of space rental.

6. Hampton University Bazaar will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in front of the Student Center, which is located at 135 Marshall Avenue. The vendor fee for this year will be $155.00 ($40 for Hampton University students) and will include the rental space and one eight foot table. This fee only applies to the Bazaar held on Friday. To become a vendor on Saturday, October 12, 2013, please contact Ms. Evelyn Stewart at 757-727-5383. The fee does not include chairs; you will need to supply your own. (Depending on the needs of your organization, additional fees may be charged and a detailed explanation of these charges will be enclosed.) The deadline for applications, agreements and payments is Friday, October 11, 2013. Late charges will be assessed for anyone who does not meet this deadline. Payments must be made by cash, cashier’s check, or money order; no refunds will be granted under any circumstances. We encourage you to respond as quickly as possible; space is limited this year. We are also extremely limited in the number of electrical outlets we can provide. This year that limit will be strictly enforced. There will be no on-site registration.

My thoughts: This is very close to me. One day. I wonder if they give a discount for alumni? I would have to narrow the focus of my inventory to gear towards college students, their parents, and alumni. Not impossible. But I know people come to the bazzar to shop.

7. Hampton Bay Days is proud to announce the addition of the Fine Arts Area to the Hampton Bay Days Festival. We are inviting artists to display and sell their original artwork in the media categories of painting, photography, drawing, graphics, and mixed media. Artist’s booths will line Mill Point Park in the heart of the Hampton Bay Days Festival. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your creativity and originality to a community that embraces art. Please print and fill out the application below and submit to Hampton Bay Days office to be considered for selection as a Fine Arts and Handmade Crafts vendor. Those selected to participate will have reduced booth space fees for a 10′ X 10′ area ($100). For a copy of the 2012 application please email fine_arts@baydays.com.

My thoughts: Another one that it’s in my backyard, but it’s three days. I’ve been to this event many times but I wonder if people really come to buy at this event or just to look and hang out. I also, don’t like the hours of this event.

A lot to think about! Ruling out any multi-day event, I think one of the smaller craft fairs will be best for a newbie. What do you think? How did you or would you select your first craft show?

I’m Building Me a Home

crochet devoProverbs 14:1 tells us that a wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears it down. That is one of my favorite passages. I’m building a house. Well, I’m building a crochet business which is sort of like a house. I’ve been working my craft more as a hobby but I want to make the transition. And as always and in all things, God’s Word has great advice for me to follow.

Romans 12: 8, 11, 12. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

• My gift is crochet, so I must crochet.
• I need to work hard.
• I need to use my skill to serve the Lord.
• It might not always be easy, but I have hope that it will all turn out.
• Patience is something that will have to be worked on. Riding out the hard times, knowing that I’m going to come out stronger on the other end.
• Constantly keeping in touch with God to help guide and direct my path.

I found (well Sara posted it on her Facebook page) a blog about 31 Days to Prepare for My First Crafts Show. I read it yesterday and really enjoyed the idea and since being in a craft show is one of my goals I set for myself this year, it really hit home. See, God’s hand at work! I think I’m going to be doing a 31 day journey myself. Any takers?

So what about you, how are your house plans coming along? How is your crochet business taking off?

Reevaluating

Happy Sunday!

I had some time and I was just reading a very interesting blog about 31 days to a Craft Fair.

My goal of doing a craft fair is looking a bit out of my ability range at the moment. Have you ever done a craft fair? And if so any tips??

M

Final thoughts Friday

Friday! Yay!

The weekends are great, aren’t they? I’ve got about half way to go on my enterlac throw blanket (I hope to have it finished by next week) and some running around with the kidos: parties, dates, auctions. Oh, my!

breakfast club

Last night, I was watching Breakfast club with my oldest son. Crazy experience. I love that movie and remember watching it so many times in high school and college (it was one of the six movies my roomates and I own – on VHS) and we watched it over and over again. But the funny thing last night was, I totally got the adults! I could so see myself asking one of my kids if this was the first time I would be dropping them off for detention or the last time.

My how things have changed. One line from the movie states: when you grow up, your heart dies. Do you think that’s true? Do we loose something as we age? As we expereince more of life’s stuggles and stresses? I hope not.

What do you think?

Have an amazingly productive and fun weekend! See ya on Monday for some motivation 🙂
M

PS. Which character were/are you?

How Are Your Goals Coming Along?

I’m doing some thinking this Thursday. It’s Valentines Day and the day before most people will quit their New Year’s Resolution. I figured, I’d check in on some of my goals.
• By December 2013, I will have published or submitted for publication five crochet patterns.
I have 10 months left in the year. I need to spend some time on this one. I’ve written (or began writing) two, I need to get these finished, tested and posted.

• By January 2013, I will launch a crochet website. (Yay, one down)
YAY! But, I would like to refine my website. I should be able to upgrade soon from a free account to one I can personalize in two weeks. And I want to drive more business to my website.

• Over the course of the year, I will maintain my blog by posting at least twice a week for 52 weeks.
I have been doing well so far with this. I went from wanting to post two times a week to posting four times a week. I need to continue to plan out my blogging schedule and spending two days prewriting blog post for the month.

• By December 2013, I will have 5 new customers.
This one is going well. I have had three new customers in only two months.

• By October, I will participate in at least two local craft shows.
I’m not sure how this one will work. I began researching craft shows last night and two of the ones I found were scheduled to be held in November and I’m feeling very overwhelmed and unprepared! But, I know I can do it.
How are you coming with your goals?

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Creating now.

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How To Sell Crochet and Other Crafts

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