Monday, May 25, 2009

First Craft Fair at Blackrock Market

First craft fair completed! Hurrah!

Ever so sorry for the prolonged absence but I was frantically flitting about the place like some kind of blue-bottle- headless chicken hybrid.
I didn't sell much really but it was very exciting to get out there. The weather was very changeable and I overheard some people saying they didn't sell anything at all. None the less, it was such a thrill seeing people taking interest in my crafts and trying on the jewellery. It was also intriguing to see which items drew attention and which were left largely unadmired.
It wasn't truly my demographic and most people were just buying from the antique and food stalls but still, the experience was priceless. Now for an image injection, here are a few stars of the show:

My jewellery, mainly the flower cabochon rings and earrings, probably got the most attention.

Although the display case which I made from a 2nd hand book attracted alot of interest by its own merit.

The lavender bags were a nice sensory hit, often people could smell them just before they would see them. The designs which got the most interest were these guys:
3D Glasses

Cherry blossom branch

Rainbow French knots

This upcycled cardigan got quite a bit of frisking up by the punters but
no-one bought it which was unfortunate because it was very reasonable
Sorry for the out of focus picture. If you'd like a clearer image let me know and I'll give my camera a good talking to.
For most of my altered clothing I buy items second hand and then add to or alter Item. The aim is to start out with a good quality item and then givesome individuality.
In this case it was a lovely knit wrap cardigan
(originally from Miss Selfridges according to the label) I replaced the tying ribbons, which were a cheapish looking blue affair, with ties of patterned pure silk, cut and sewed from length I had in my stash.
I also added a hand embroidered branch circled with wool which I needle felted on to look like a built in brooch, this is a feature in a few of my altered pieces.
I priced it at under €20. I think that's cheap considering the top alone cost €7 for me to buy second hand.

Perhaps the larger items would have sold better if they were more accessible from the front of the desk. As you can see here they were mostly behind me due to prohibitive space and the fact that I didn't bring a railing (Note to self: Duh!):

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Market, to market..

Only a week and a half to go until my first market. It's not a purely craft dedicated affair and it's on every weekend so that takes alot of the pressure off. No insurance needed either. A great place to start all round. It's here:
Blackrock Market

I was doing quite well in terms of preparation but I seem to have run out of steam somewhat. Perhaps I was just trying to get to much done and have burned out. Maybe it's because I had to move the date back a week and lost momentum. What do you do during time of motivational stagnancy? Any tips?
I think I'll watch some Simpsons, have a shower and then just get back to kicking the craft out of my stash. Worth a try. I'll post some embroidery later if all goes well.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How ( and why) I chose my label's name

One of the milestones for me in this venture was choosing a name or label under which my crafts will be sold.
Seems a pretty straightforward process for many designers and crafters but not so for my choosy ass. I'm pretty sure it's hereditary as when I was born I didn't have a name for about a week but it worked out quite well I reckon (Cheers Mam and Dad).
Ultimately my decision was ruled by my gut. I needed a name I could wriggle down into and feel at home. However that's not to say that I didn't apply some more conventional logic. These are some of the consideration and steps you might need to think about.
  • Using you actual name. Yay or nay?
This works for some people but I ruled it out instinctively. I just didn't want that. I love my name but a name doesn't give a customer an image or any idea of your aesthetic so I felt this wasn't the path. Another element to consider here is whether you want someone who is looking for your
products to end up on your Facebook page? Could be frustrating. Even I find my Facebook page boring! I want people to wind up on my Etsy (when it gets kickin') or this blog fairly smoothly - not navigating through 6 Google pages of I Know What You Did Last Electric Picnic.

  • Take 2 elements of yourself or business and smush them up a bit (smushing optional)
I read this on another blog, (I don't know where as I wasn't planning on starting this blog at the time so I wasn't saving links) I will post the link if I ever find it. If you were making jewellery out of car parts for example you could be Bolt the Beads or Carburettor Creations. For my part - Sailmaker: I love the sea and most influenced by nature also a lot of my stuff is sewn, sailmakers need to be good at that. Daughter: Well all women are united in daughterliness. Okay so neither of my parents make sails but I did want to stress that I'm a sole person not a large label. Combined I like the nostalgic effect and it just feels like me.

  • Google search and Etsy Search
Put your prospective names through the online mill. If there are other businesses with similar names my advice is to steer clear. Again some people are okay with being "Designs by Kelly 0890", but it comes back to not frustrating a client who is trying to find you.
  • Take it for a walk
Use the name for a day or so, mention it to some honest freinds or family see what reaction you get. You don't have to take their advice but a differnt perspective can be illuminating. When I told a relative that I was considering Mortal Anemone as the name she said reminded her of a fatal enema. A valid point.
Etsy give some great tips on choosing the name of your etsy shop or label here:
If opening an etsy you best be comfortable with your name as you can't change your shop name.

So thus ends my exceedingly long second post. I see the land of nod coming up of the starboard bow.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Land HOO!

And so its starts...
Welcome to my blog and thanks for dropping by. My writing is a little rusty but bare with me and hopefully I can improve with practice.
In these last few weeks I have been delving through the muddied waters of trying to set up, what is effectively, a small indie craft business. As many will know this is not an easy course and in Ireland where craft suppliers are sparse and the community rich but fledgeling in comparison to the US or UK, it's that bit tougher. But poppycock to all that I say! It will heave into life or splutter out leaving me with some insights and experiences, those of interest I hope to share with you.