Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Craft Business’ Category

At the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters springtime poses a bit of a dilemma.  On one hand I love to tackle the spring cleaning chores.  Deep cleaning.  Thorough cleaning.  The kind of cleaning that takes a few weeks to accomplish.  On the other hand a lot of my crafting projects clutter up the house.

Tidiness facilitates cleaning projects, crafting projects thwart tidiness.

I’m in a constant state of conflict trying deciding what should take priority.

For example, creating drink charms involves this…

…and this…

 

Mr. Henry Hedgehog likes to keep an eye on things.

Luckily the candle creations occur in Craftland, far away from the living spaces I want to deep clean.  Craftland never gets a deep clean, but while wax is cooling in the molds I try to straighten up the area and keep things organized.  Multi-tasking, man.

Creating, tidying and deep cleaning keeps me busy in the spring.  Also kind of makes me mental.  With my shoulder to the wheel those deep cleaning projects will be completed and I’ll feel so accomplished.  Or maybe, as is the case many years, the ammonia, rags and mops will become forgotten before I’ve finished spring cleaning the entire house and my attention will focus on bottle caps, fragrance oils and wicks.

Either way, everything will get done in time.  I hope.

 

Read Full Post »

There was a tale written by W. W. Jacobs in 1902 titled The Monkey’s Paw; it’s one of my favorites.  The message of the story is, be careful what you wish for because you may just get it.  Interestingly, this sentiment goes back as far as 1749, attributed to Goethe.  The gist of it is, perhaps what you wish for isn’t really what you want, especially in the literal sense.

When I retired from the day job I thought it would be perfect if I could accumulate wholesale and consignment business to sustain my candle/craft business.  I figured it would be easier tending to businesses rather than depending on art/craft shows and festivals.  After all, I’m not getting any younger.  Setting up a canopy and displaying goods to people who may or may not attend the festivals much less purchase items, is becoming more risky, physically.  Oh yeah, Husby and I are still very able to do the shows now, and love to, but we can’t do it forever.

Wholesale and consignment opportunities are what I wished for.  Guess what?  I just nabbed a new one.  I was fortunate enough to be noticed by someone who thought I might be a good addition to a gallery.  Did you hear me?  A gallery.  After encouragement from this person I applied to show my candles in the gallery and the jury decided that yes, Auntie B’s Wax is a nice fit for us.

Today I dropped of my first contribution to the artZ Gallery in Amery, Wisconsin.  I’m so honored and proud that the artists who run the gallery thought so much of my candles to include them in their lovely space.

The artZ Gallery in Amery, Wisconsin.

The artZ Gallery in Amery, Wisconsin.

Save

I wished for another brick and mortar venue.  I got it, despite my feeling out of my comfort zone pursuing it.  A fine art gallery?!  I’m glad I wasn’t too careful with my wishful thinking.  I feel like I did right by Maude when she said:

“Take a chance.  Get hurt even.  But play as well as you can.  Go team, go!  Give me an “L.”  Give me an “I.”  Give me a “V.”  Give me an “E.”  L-I-V-E.  Live!  Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room.”

I wished, I lived, and I’m happy to have done so.  And I’ll talk about it in the locker room.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

What a different life I have now that I don’t go to the day job every day.  Different, as in better!  I’ve noticed it the most when I’m getting ready to take my wares on the road to craft shows and festivals.

A lot of work goes into making actual products, as any artisan knows.  Then there’s packaging the products.  I spend a huge amount of time getting my candles and drink charms retail ready ~ creating labels, protecting them with shrink wrap (candles) and bags plus hang tags (charms) and putting price tags on each and every item.  After all of the products are made and packaged they have to be displayed within a 10′ X 10′ space as efficiently and pleasingly as possible.  That requires props, tables and shelving.  When it comes time to actually head out to an event the products and displays have to be accounted for in addition to the canopy under which everything is placed.  The canopy requires assembly at every show and won’t be complete without stakes and weights.  So many things to consider and organize…and fit into a standard SUV for transport.

Husby and I have it down.  As my roadie he makes sure all of the displays and canopy are packed, as well as a huge toolbox containing everything (and then some) we’ll need for the structure.  I’m responsible for packing all of the products as efficiently as I can.

Gathering my products and shelving.

Gathering my products, props and shelving.

If I’m lucky, the only thing I have to do at the last minute is pack up my scented candles.  I don’t like to keep them tubbed up for too long for fear the fragrances will bleed together.  I’m paranoid that way.

The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.

The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.

With all it takes not only to create these products but to also take them on the road I’ve never been more grateful for the fact that I don’t have to squeeze it all into little snippets of time like I did when I had a day job.

This weekend I’ll be at the Baker Orchard Art Festival in Centuria, Wisconsin.  It’s just a short and beautiful drive from Minneapolis/Saint Paul and will surely get you excited about the autumn time of year in the midwest.  Plus, I’ll be relaxed as ever as the day job is gone.

Happy Days!

Read Full Post »

Minnesotans seem to roll with the seasons quite seamlessly.  We have to rotate our wardrobes in the closet to accommodate 97° heat in the summer and -25° cold in the winter.  We need boots as well as flip-flops, tank tops as well as parkas.

Now, it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy.  We’re all outside enjoying warm weather, the cool waters of our 10,000 lakes, and lots of alfresco dining.  For Auntie B’s Wax it means a few outdoor festivals to enjoy the fresh air, the happy crowds, some good eating and good music en plein aire, and also some happy customers in my booth.

Have a ride through the park in a horse-drawn wagon and be serenaded by the driver to boot.

 

Mingle with the festival crowd and artisans. Everyone is there to have fun, so they’re all in a good mood.

Husby and I have been on the road these past couple of weekends enjoying summertime living and selling my wares.  The month of July has taught us much (zip first then velcro {which means nothing to someone who doesn’t “lock up” a canopy at night}) and has given us some nice memories to talk about.  We’ve seen some long-time craft show friends, have accommodated repeat customers, and met lots of new people.  We’ve eaten some good food and had some fun dancing to the music wafting through the warm, summer air from the stage in the center of a park.

Happy festival goers. Someone is about to become a bride!

 

Look for the cute, little Auntie B’s Wax booth at your next art/craft show.

If you haven’t visited an art and craft fair lately, you’re missing out.  Go forth and imbibe in the elixir that is life!  Meet the creative people and be inspired to create yourself.  Art, music, crafting, food…it’s all about making life richer.  And who, I ask you, doesn’t crave the richest life possible?

Read Full Post »

It’s been eight months since I last took my wares on the road, so you can imagine how nervous excited I am to be heading to Madelia, MN for my first show of the season.  I would have never even known about the event were it not for social media and Bridget, the chamber assistant in Madelia, who invited me to join the town in celebrating Park Days as a vendor.  Thanks, Bridget!

The first show of the season is always filled with questions.  Will Husby and I be able to hoist the canopy in a timely manner?  Did I remember to pack table coverings?  How hot will it be and what should I wear?  Do I have enough product?  Is everything priced correctly?  I’ve spent this week making lists and checking them twice to make sure everything runs smoothly.  And you know what?  It always runs smoothly, even when it doesn’t, because when we’re on the road Husby and I are a craft show team extraordinaire.

There is one thing about this show that bothers me – it will take us two and a half hours to get to Madelia.  The road trip doesn’t bother me, it’s the fact that I’ll have to get out of bed by 4:00 a.m.  I don’t know if I can do that anymore.  I don’t think I ever could, even when I had a day job.  But then, when I feel doubtful about getting on the road in time, I remember that I’m waking up early for something fun.  There will be a beautiful drive in the countryside with a sunrise to boot, followed by a day filled with art, music, food, and happy people.  What better reason to wake up before dawn?

Read Full Post »

Slow Summer Predicted

It’s that craft show registration time of year.  Actually it’s past that time of year, for most summer shows at least.  My craft show schedule should consist of more than one show…alas.

I’ve been tripped up by several things regarding show registrations, mostly because two of my main venues have gotten a little weird for me and I’ve decided not to participate.  I’ll miss those venues more than I can say, but one must make hard business decisions.  Looking for new show and festival venues is like shopping for a new doctor or dentist – a long and painful process that must be done, but if you find a good one you can stick with it for a long time.  The two venues I’ve deleted from my schedule accounted for four shows during the year, and I have no idea how to make up for them.

The Art and Wine Festival in Cannon Falls, MN  is on the docket (see the 2016 Events tab above) and I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve got one registration ready to be sent out next week, plus another that’s put me on the fence – I can’t decide if I really want to do it or not.  Summertime craft shows will probably see me as a customer and researcher instead of a vendor; perhaps I’ll find some good venues in my travels, ones I can participate in next summer.  I’ll also keep my eyes open for late fall and winter shows, something I didn’t care to do when I had a day job because there was never enough time.

I remain occupied with supplying my Etsy shop and two brick and mortars with my wares, and I’m happy about that.  Being new to a life sans day job I’m still a little discombobulated, but I have no doubt everything will unfold as it should.

Read Full Post »

I spent a good part of the day buying supplies for my little crafting business.  To be specific, I had to buy boxes, bags, and wax.  Boxes and bags and wax, oh my!  Here’s the thing though – I hate shopping.

I might have mentioned this before, but if not I’ll tell you right now that I’m not completely “girl” because I don’t like to shop.  I get anxiety, especially when I have to shop AND save money.  I’m a defunct excuse for a female and was thrown into a tizzy.

There were two contender suppliers for boxes and bags, and two contenders for wax.  I fretted and toiled over which suppliers I should use.  This one saves me a bunch on product but charges a boatload for shipping.  This one is a universally trusted supplier and the other one is a new one for me.  The differences added to as little as $6 and as much as $15.

In the big picture, $15 (much less $6) doesn’t amount to much, even in a tiny business like mine.  Yet I couldn’t make a choice, for fear I’d be wrong.  For fear I’d lose.

Then it occurred to me…it just doesn’t matter.

I clicked “submit” for the boxes and bags supplier and got a purchase confirmation.  Then I did the same for my choice of wax suppliers and it was done.  Except I made a mistake with the wax.  I accidentally went with the 2nd choice supplier.  But you know what?  It just doesn’t matter.  It’s the same wax, just a cost difference.  I’ll still make a profit.  Not as big of a profit, but a profit nonetheless.  That that’s what matters.  I wasn’t wrong in my choice, just not completely right.  We’ll get ’em next time, Tripper.  Even though it just doesn’t matter.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: