Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fine Line Between Courageous & Crazy

So people are telling me this will get easier. So people are telling me they warned me. So people are telling me I'm nuts. So we adopted a puppy. We had no intentions of getting a large dog. We were even planning on waiting until Greta was out of diapers. But sometimes opportunities arise that you just can't pass up. Or maybe you just fall foolishly in love. This is Trixie, a 5 month old chocolate lab. She needed a home. Apparently I needed less sleep and less time to get work done. And Greta needed someone to get all riled up when it's getting close to bed time. So, tell me again, is it going to get better? easier? am I crazy? But aren't they adorable???

If anyone knows any tricks for balancing puppy, toddler, and a business feel free to share! (or any tips on getting my poor kitties,that have been hiding for the last week, used to this clumsy giant pawed playmate?)

Greta is modeling a record album tote made by her aunt Dawn, aka: freakyoldwoman and her alter ego starlettwinkie so check out her shops and tell her I sent you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Getting ready for market

Here we are, the countdown to Capitol City Public Market opening day. It starts on Saturday April 19th. Am I ready you ask? Oh heck no! I don't have enough product, I'm not organized, and I'm not sure of my set up. Funny, but I'm not really worried about any of that. I am worried, however, about the weather. Mother nature can do brutal things to outdoor markets, and my main enemy: wind. The tent turns into a giant kite, and I turn into Mary Poppins, holding on to the center, ready to fly away. Not to mention displays and signs can blow over.
Weights: check! Walls: check! Heater: check!

So with one year under my belt here are some of my tips for doing an artists market or craft show:
  • have alot of change. Then get more.
  • put your information on the customer copy of your receipt book before you start, you can use a stamp or print labels, this way, if somehow they don't get a business card, they still have your info.
  • Make a price list with tax and total, if you're like me my math skills are completely absent early Saturday morning. I still use a calculater for figuring change, that and plenty of caffeine and I'm in business.
  • Have things in different price ranges. I like to have available impulse items, like magnets & keychains. People like to have something to bring home when they've been enjoying themselves and these small items can fit the bill easily.
  • Have discounts for multiple item sales. I have a 3 for price on most of my items, for instance all necklaces are $18.50 or 3/$45.00. People will remember someone who has a birthday coming up, or that new outfit they need to accessorize.
  • Raise your tables. This makes a huge difference, and thanks to my friend Angie for sharing the tip. I used pvc pipe as "stilts" to raise the table up to 36". High enough so people don't have to bend over to see things and the little sticky toddler fingers can't grab things as easily.
  • Put something at eye level. Have something interesting to draw people to your space. Whether it's a colorful sign or a hanging display, it will make your booth more interesting. (Last year I had the wall o' bottle caps, I may do something different this year!)
  • Get a banner for the front of your tent. Make one if you have to. Create brand identity and get your name out there.
  • Give your customers the option of wearing their purchase or carrying a cute bag. I have at least 50% want to wear their new treasure, and advertise for me in the process.
  • Dress appropriately, layer. You never know with early spring, and if you happen to be set up in the shade it's going to be even colder. If you're in the sun, you may need some sunscreen. Prepare for both! Pack some "little hotties" hand warmers and a tube of SPF.
  • Know where the nearest atm is, especially if you don't take credit cards.
  • Have a sign-up book for e-mail mailing list, you can let your customers know about new items, special sales, or send them coupons for their next visit.
  • Learn to smile when someone asks how you make things or other trade secrets (I'm still working on this one!) It's okay to make a joke or be evasive about answering, just don't be rude.
  • Have different levels on your display tables. This brings more visual interest as well as gives you more room to showcase your wares. Last year I stole my husband's shoe shelf from the closet, this year I found some shelving at Lowes that you can easily break down and remove the legs. I'm looking forward to being able to pack things into the car easily.
  • Bring your tools so you can alter or adapt things to your customer's wishes. I will happily switch cord lengths or change a pendant to a key chain to please a customer.
  • Make friends with your neighbors. You never know when you might need change for a $50 or run out of credit card slips, or simply need a quick potty break!
  • Please don't just sit behind your table, greet people, welcome them, walk around and interact! Show that all of these wonderful creations came from you and yes, you do have a personality. :)
  • Most of all have fun! I am so fortunate to be able to sell at this venue, and I love seeing people shopping and having a good time.

I'm sure I have a few more tips, but I think I've given you enough for now, and I've got to get to work, the clock is ticking!!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Idaho Indie Works Etsy Artists Show & Sale

My wonderful etsy street team had our first big event last night. I must say, it was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who came out to support our Etsy introduction to the community. You can see photos of the event in our flickr pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/boiseidahoetsystreetteam/
Based on the crowds last night, I'd say most of Boise now knows about Etsy!
A big hug and thanks to Sem Olaya from Decore Furniture Concepts for hosting the 25+ artists that showed up to display and sell their wares.
Buy Local, Buy Handmade!

First Blog Post!

Good evening Miss Courageous!
I've finally started a blog... I'll be posting some of my favorite creations and some wonderful finds here so stay tuned! I'm also planning on bringing you "tales of Miss Courageous" stories of everyday courage from ordinary people as they "be heroic". Get ready for some whimsy, wit, and inspiration, because after all, there's a little "Miss Courageous" in all of us! :)
Be Heroic,