Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Craft Business’ Category

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 »

Creative time.  Tax time.  Time to make those computers and printers work for what they cost.

I’ve been working on a big drop-off for The Farmer’s Daughter.  I’ve got dozens of magnets and dozens of candles for the owners to stock their shelves.  I’m in the home stretch, ready to send an e-mail to the owners telling them I’ll be coming by tomorrow with the motherload of product.

Oops, I ran out of burning instruction labels, and I also misspelled Patchouli on the front candle labels.  No worries, I’ll just print some more.  Except all of a sudden my laptop doesn’t recognize my printer.

Hello, I introduced you two years ago.  Why do you ignore each other?  Did one of you do something to make the other angry?

I’m not angry at either of you.  I love you, my darling laptop, and you, my trusty printer.  In the threesome we have going here I’d say you, Printer, are causing the most trouble.  I need you, trusty printer!  Forget about whatever gripes you have with the laptop.  Perform for me!  I’m the one you love!  I’m the one who needs you!

I tried to stay calm and be understanding.  I clicked everything I could to help the printer along, but to no avail.  The stubborn little booger wouldn’t budge.  There will be no printing tonight.  There will be no product drop-off at the store tomorrow.

Do you ever find yourself in a situation and the perfect song comes into your head to reflect that moment?  It happens to me all the time.  When I realized my printer wasn’t going to help me my mind starting singing a song from 1979.  It’s like I was trying to get my printer to feel sorry for me and work for me, via telekinesis.

Printer, you left me, just when I needed you most.  Please come back.

Read Full Post »

This time of year seems especially boring after the myriad of festivities during the holiday season.  The only thing to think about during these cold days is…taxes.

But wait – doing tax work this time of year makes things less boring for me.  I’ve been getting my business spreadsheets perfected so I can submit the 2015 sales taxes due now, and also submit the numbers to my tax man (Husby).  Comparing income and expenses inspires me to get ready for the 2016 craft season.  I want to organize Craftland.  It’s time to order supplies.  It’s time to build inventory.  It’s a new page in the continuing adventures of Auntie B.

So what if it’s cold outside?  I don’t have to go outside to melt wax.  So what if I’m snowed in?  As long as I have bottle caps I’ll have plenty to do inside.

Taxes?  They’re an inevitable pain.  Winter?  It’s cold and dark and colorless.  Lots of people curse both taxes and wintertime, but both motivate me to get going on a new year of crafting.  I guess that’s what people refer to as the silver lining.

Read Full Post »

OK, so I’m here tonight thinking I can relax but I totally can’t.  If I sound really chaotic and twirly it’s because I am.  Ack!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed the new additions to my blog sidebar.  Check them out.  Right there, to the right of where you’re reading.  I have a cool little slide show of some things I make and sell, and I also added links to the two shops where you can find my wares, as well as to my Etsy shop.  I’ve been at The Farmer’s Daughter for several years with nice success, and I just started a working relationship with Gumball Collective this month.  I’m very excited about selling to a new market and will be interested to see what I can offer in that neighborhood.

With two brick and mortar shops to stock, an Etsy shop to stock and three shows coming up in a mere three weeks I’ve gone completely mad trying to figure out which venue needs what kind of inventory.  I start something and forget about the other thing.  I pick up on that thing and remember I didn’t do something else.

But here’s the thing.  I have some new magnets that I know you’ll love.  OK, maybe you won’t love them.  Maybe you’ll even be offended by them.  I don’t care though, because…it’s art, man.

Take, for example, this insensitive piece:

Seriously? You’re making fun of mental disorders now?

Or hey, how about some swearing?

Wouldn’t you say the same thing?

I know!  I’ve gone completely insane, and plus very confused as to where these magnets should be shown.

I’m going to come clean.  These magnets, no matter how offensive or profane they may be will be offered, eventually, everywhere I show products.  There will be other magnets too, because the possibilities for magnets are limitless.  And right  now I don’t even have links to the magnets shown here (in case you are so insensitive or brash to actually want one) because they’re not even on sale at my Etsy shop just yet.  However, they will be, and soon.  Like, tomorrow.

All of you people shopping online, keep an eye on my Etsy shop for the additions coming in the next couple of weeks.  For those of you shopping in White Bear Lake, MN  check out  The Farmer’s Daughter.  If you’re in Northeast Minneapolis, MN visit  Gumball Collective.

Seriously, no matter how mental I get I’ll make sure these venues have some things you’ll love.

Now, back to your sanely-paced regularly scheduled programming.

Read Full Post »

So here’s the thing.  I’m having a little fit of pique these days and it’s frustrating me to no end.  I can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything more than the bare basics of survival.  You know, eating, some sleeping (not enough, of course), keeping my abode clear of dust bunnies, and earning a living.  My writing has come to a standstill, and that’s even counting e-mails to people, commenting on blogs I might have time to read, and responding to comments on my blog, much less blogging or writing for pure pleasure.  It’s a disgrace and I feel like Dobby, wanting to beat myself about the head and neck for not living up to my potential.

Dobby is not living up to his potential. Dobby must punish himself!

What can lift me up?  I know ~ this weekend I’ll be at the Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival showing my wares.  I’m really looking forward to it, and I have a lot of candles, drink charms and magnets to show the world.  And don’t even doubt the whole world will be there.  It’s a great show with a ton of artists and a whole bunch of local wineries offering samples of their delicious wines.  I even got a haircut for the event!

Hannah’s Bend Park during the Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival. So much fun!

I’m looking forward to hobnobbing with customers and fellow vendors, eating some good food and listening to music.  I’ll go into the weekend with a spectacular attitude that will ground me into my crafty business.  When that happens everything else seems to fall into place.  Who wouldn’t be energized by a weekend in a beautiful park by the river, meandering along a path of lovely artwork and delightful wines?  Plus, I know spending some time close up with my products and the people who enjoy them (and will hopefully buy them) will give me a boost of energy to push me out of my funk.  I’ll have more energy than I’ve had in a while and will be free once again ~ I’ll feel like Dobby, getting his sock to freedom.

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: