Monday, March 28, 2011

Squaring Up!

There's nothing worse than losing a sale because you can't take credit.  Gone are the days of everyone writing checks.  Looking for a merchant account, card reading equipment and the rest would send me into a credit score panic.  Those days are gone too!  I got a Square!  Ok, I got the square ages ago but next month at Shop Crafty it will get its first real big road test.  

The Square works with your iPhone, iPad or Android phone, plugs into the headphone jack and turns your  device into a smart little cash register.  The tiny bit of card reading hardware and the account are free.  The account set up was easy and the transaction fees are a fair 2.75% of each transaction, compared to PayPal Virtual Terminal which has a $30.00 per month charge and a 3.1% + .30 charge per transaction.  At the end of each selling day I receive an email with my totals and the next day they are deposited into my bank account.  It's love.  Easy, card swipey, never turning away a sale again, love.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What I've learned so far. (Day 3 of my Flickr Show Me Your Booth Obsession)

Holland Fabric House booth

This photo is amazing, inspiring and just generally delicious. It's from Holland Fabric House and they have an equally delicious website.

I'm learning, after thousands of photos, that color is good.  I'm going to make friends with color.

But more importantly I'm learning that styrofoam heads and, really heads of any kind, are bad.  Think long and hard before you place a disarticulated head in your display.  I'm not going to post cautionary pictures unless they're of my own mistakes because everyone is trying really hard to put together their best presentation- I'm just going to tell you what I'm learning.  No heads.  No heads with faces.  There are a few vintage style heads that you mayyyyy be able to get away with if you're a milliner but even then, it's a close call.

Styrofoam heads though, bad news.  No.  Just- no.

A New Experiment

Trying something new.  The glass tiles I've been using for my nail polish rings + the ArtChix Images I've been using for my wooden tile pendants + sparkly nail polish  = Love!  But are they rings, pendants or magnets?  I don't know yet! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Craft Show Display Distress

When I first started selling my jewelry I was lucky enough to have access to a gorgeous artist's loft in Boston.  Surrounded by other artists, having a sale was as easy as opening the doors and hoping I had enough inventory to last me through the weekend.  The first year I found a roll of tar paper 4 feet wide, I hung it horizontally, drew swirlies on it with a silver sharpie an hung my jewelry right on the wall.  Everyone responded to it, all of the men had to touch it to see what it was made out of, and the women noticed how sparkly the jewelry was against a matte black background. (tract studio lighting everywhere didn't hurt either!)  Over the course of the three day Fort Point Open Studio event I. sold. everything.

Crazy happy sales continued three times a year, four years in a row.  I started doing other Boston shows, and they rocked. (except for the one in July, in a parking lot, with my friend who had yet to find out she was pregnant and was WAY cranky, that one sucked.)  And then I moved to Austin, Texas.  It's a crafty mecca.  I love it, but I've been here for 5 years and I'm still out of my element.  Especially when it comes to designing a successful and eye catching craft show display.  I have no idea what I'm doing, and in 3 weeks I've got my first show of 2011.  (2011 being *THE* year, so this has to be *THE* display, no pressure.)

My mom bought me three bifold doors with slats from the Habitat ReStore, I feel like I can do something with that.  I've got a ton of vintage serving pieces from my Boston shows, I know I can do something with those... and yet I'm afraid that when I put them together my display space will look like a little girl who put on every article of her favorite clothing and none of them match.

So- last night I started looking at every picture in the Flickr "Show Me Your Booths" photo pool.   It's an awesome resource and I highly recommend that you take a look- there are definitely some "what not to do" photos but there are tons of brilliant and beautiful booths out there!

I do feel inspired but I wear black for a reason, it matches with... black.  And blue jeans.  And white, if I'm feeling fancy.

I'm going to be turning my kitchen into my pretend craft fair space this weekend.  Here's hoping I don't mix too many stripes with polka dots (though if I were a felty crafter I could do that and add some owls and bric a brac and it would look adorable.)

I'll take pictures of my attempts!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Social Media Love On The Go

Getting Social Media Love On The Go

Get Fans and Followers to your Twitter and Facebook, even at craft shows!
This is a fantastic article, complete with a link to make a poster to hang at your shows, turn into a decal for your car... you name it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It really is this bright!  Cover Girl City Lights (sweet holographic glitter) over Color Club's Psychedelic Scene.

The Nail Polish Ring.  aah!  This piece is Color Club in Ms. Socialite, Zoya Vegas Freeze and Orly Shine on Crazy Diamond.  

New Year's Resolutions. So far.

It's March! I feel as if I've already wasted two months but I know I haven't.  Last year, after some less than stellar craft shows and one super fun but economically disastrous solo exhibition, I decided to try my hand at some new things.  Pieces with a lower price point than I've ever made before.  I love beading, I've done it for 11 years and while my style and ability have changed and improved the economy has done the opposite.

So, what's a girl to do?  For a while I read all of the articles about how there's still a market for me, not to give up, bah.  I'm not giving up- I read this quote by H.G, Wells "Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative."

That's my motto for 2011.

January saw much experimentation, lots of resin, meh.  It's fun, but it's not my thing.  I'm going to keep working at it but I'm leaving the awesome resin jewelry to the awesome resin jewelry makers.  For now.

January also saw one of the best creative epiphanies I've had to date.  I'm a little bit of a nail polish fiend.  To the tune of almost 200 bottles and the shelving units you find at salons.  So I bought lots of different things onto which I could paint nail polish.  Trial and error, trial and error, fumes, sticky fingers for weeks, trial and error.  Et voila!  The Unrepeatables nail polish ring was born!  Now I can't stop making them for long enough to actually commit time to selling them.  Which brings us to March.

I'm a firm believer in lists, I think something written down is more likely to get done.  So I've been writing down my goals.  The ultimate goal- January 2012- is not having to get a job.  Lots of my craft groups and Etsy Teams have goals such as "quit your day job" mine is "not having to get a day job".

January's Goals:

  • learn to make wooden and scrabble tile pendants. Done. So fun!  More on that another day.  
  • have a clean work room.  Once I got it clean it's been easy to keep it that way.  Organization, however, is something I'm constantly working on.  I will have a photos of The Bead Room post in the next month or so.
  • figure out how to integrate nail polish into jewelry.  Done and done! I haven't loved what I've made as much as I do now in years!

February's Goals:  not as clearly defined, I got distracted making things.

  • plan a strategy for placement of my items in shops.  Luckily I have an awesome friend who studied marketing and a sister why really likes my work.  The process has begun.
  • list every day on Etsy.  Hasn't happened, I'm averaging twice a week, I don't feel like a failure, I just need to work harder on it.  

Goals for March:

  • three shops.
  • list every day.
  • prepare for a big Craft Event I'm participating in in Mid April.
  • start a blog.  done! yay! 

I'm really working towards a successful year, I'm joining groups, reading a lot and generally taking charge of my crafty future.  I want to be a Crafty Mastermind and I hope you'll join me!!