Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Five tips for applying for a craft market or craft show

So you have been making some handmade items, maybe selling them online? Perhaps thinking of applying for a local market or craft show? Over the next couple of weeks, I will be writing all my tips and tricks and your guide to surviving craft, handmade or flea markets! 

I’m a veteran of markets – as a customer, as a business participant and more recently, as a volunteer committee member running a market, I like to consider myself to be a semi-pro (just indulge me ok?). 

My stall layout in just a little 2m x 1m space.
Photo by Narelle Browne Photographer
I have asked advice from other handmaidens, businesses and market conveners and have come up with some great tips and ideas from lots of experienced crafters.

Firstly, some important things to consider when you put in your application.

Five tips for applying for a market

1. Good photography – the first tip is about your photos. Can I go out on a limb here and say that overly edited and filtered iPhone photos aren’t a great reflection of your products. I’m very fortunate to have a girlfriend who is a professional photographer and happily accepts payment in products for taking photos of my ‘collection’ each year. With a little time and planning, you can take great photos yourself. There is plenty of information online to help you take better photos – creating your own lightbox, taking photos in natural light or editing photos after to achieve the best look (see reference links below).
Doesn't this photo of these two cheeky, cutie patooties
show off my dresses much nicer than on a hanger!
Photo by Mel Riddell Photographer
Make sure you have photos of your stall or marquee set up and close up photos of individual products. Include any cool details on your products that might be missed in a standard photo.

Ensure the files you send are not too big or too small. Imagine one poor person downloading each photo if it is 4 or 5mg. They are likely to give up and only open a couple of photos to assess your application. 

2. Description of your products – make sure your application includes clear and concise information about what you are will be selling and have on display the day of your market. Be specific about what you intend to sell at the market; don’t just say ‘dresses’ – what type of dresses, what fabrics, what size range and what cost. 

 A list of items is always better than a general description of your overall business. 

3. Description of your process - if you have a unique making process, make sure you let them know, as curators they are always looking for something different and unique. My process isn’t very unique but I always write that everything is locally made, by me on my vintage horn sewing table in the corner of my bedroom. So not unique but certainly memorable right?

 One of the regular stallholders at the markets I attend makes glass jewellery. She wrote about the process here on the blog. It is so interesting reading about how she creates her products. Don’t sell yourself short. Describe how you make your products – what is 'just the way you do things' could be amazing to someone else. Include a photo of you in your studio if you like. 

Kuhl Design describes her process of creating her beautiful ceramics.Photo by Narelle Browne Photographer

4. Promote yourself – writing about ourselves is probably the hardest thing we have to do. You might need a friend to help with this one! Maybe start by answering these questions and then bringing it all together:
  • who you are – married, kids, day time job in xyz etc
  • where you live – local suburb, on a farm with rolling fields, looking at the chooks running around. You get the idea!
  • what is your experience with your design and products – learnt to sew at an early age, taught by a mentor, studied at college and so on
  • where do you draw your inspiration
  • how you started out in your business
  • where do you see your business heading in the next few years
Once you put it all together you might want to have a short and long version depending on what you require for the different applications. 

Inspired by Paper tells a story of loving paper growing up taking simple 'paper craft' into an interesting story.
Photo by Narelle Browne Photographer

5. Branding and presentation - professional and consistent branding goes a long way! Stall holders and their products are a reflection of the market and customers always notice. Presentation of the items themselves is important and needs to be consistent and interesting. 

You might also like:

Much more to come in the next couple of weeks including what to take, presentation and how to engage your customers. 

Do you already attend markets? Are these tips helpful? Would love to hear what you think and if there is anything I can help you with!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sweet Pouch Swap received

This amazing little pouch just had to be shared. Since Kara (my swap partner) doesn't have a blog, I thought I would share what she made me! I shared the pouch I made yesterday.

My favourite colours are purple and green and I wanted something 'useful' that I could actually use rather than a clutch for example, that I rarely use now that I carry around the typical mummy tote!

When this darling little bag arrived I was in awe! It is just gorgeous and soooooo me! Each outer side has a pocket and there are pockets on the inside too.

It was immediately put to work to carry my little yoyo forms, fabric and needle and threads that I was using on the train on the way to work. It now has some felt flowers for making into clips. This little bag is multitasking!

This photo makes me laugh! I quickly took these photos when it arrived (before my Spring has Sprung blog tour) but I will admit now that there isn't much left. The first to go were the little Utah Honey Caramels. Yum! Next was the Utah Mint Truffle. Lovely! I still have most of the Sweet Afton's Creamsicle left as you really can only have a little tiny bit at a time. Man it is sweet!

I love love love it - thank you so much Kara x

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sweet Pouch Swap reveal

I took part in the recent Sweet Pouch Swap hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts

Sewing theme inspired Open Wide Pouch
It was so much fun getting to know my partner, Kara from Utah - who isn't a blogger, so lots of emails back and forth and stalking on IG - and trying to work out what to make. For whatever reason, I decided to challenge myself by making a quilted Noodlehead Open Wide Pouch. You see, Kara is a quilter. I am not. Seriously, what was I thinking. Oh the stress! 

I recently had a week off from work and with the kids at school, I spent the better part of a day creating this. Ok I exaggerate, it was really more like a morning! But it was worth it. Something I don't usually make and a wonderful sewing challenge.

I used thick iron on pellon or wadding as I really wanted a quilted look but in future I would just stick with a stiff interfacing as it was so hard to sew through the layers at the end. I really hope Kara is gentle with it!! 

I just love how it all came together and some things that were a random surprise like the lines on the bottom shown in the picture above. 

Of course it wouldn't be a 'Sweet' swap without some sweet goodies. Kara and I discussed our love of local, more handmade chocolates and sweets and she certainly met the brief (I will share her creations tomorrow). I gave in to the excitement of seeing so many sneak peeks on Instagram and decided to go very Aussie! 

Kara has three little boys so I went with lots of little things in the hope she would get some too - the terribly Aussie much loved Tim Tam biscuits, some little Favourites chocolates (Flake, Cherry, Crunch, Moro etc), a packet of Life Savers Fruit Tingles and four little Carmello Koalas. 

I also included a packet of AFL trading cards for her boys to share. A little slice of Melbourne!! My son is completely obsessed with footy now and not being from Victoria originally, I really struggle to keep up! All I know is that I will be in big trouble if there was something special in that packet! 

I'm kinda have a thing for owls so couldn't help popping in the little owl coin purse. I hope she can find something little to keep in there. 

So there you go. Can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Market round up

Last weekend I was back at the Maribyrnong Makers Market, Gamon Street Seddon. I might be slightly biased about this market (as I'm a volunteer on the committee that runs it) but I really, really love this little boutique market. I love the location - takes me one minute to drive, mmm maybe two if I get a traffic light! I love the other stallholders and consider so many of them friends now. I'm humbled by the customers who support us every time. Thank you.

I was fortunate to have some photos taken by the very talented Narelle Browne (find here on Facebook here and online here).

Sorry for the photo overload (and I didn't share them all!). It is so hard to choose just one or two!


On display - little shelf built by my hubby

Toolsets and saws - I will be blogging about these soon

Gorgeous little peasant dress.
I love this material - sigh

Baby snap clips in every colour - so pretty!

Little yoyo hair clips to match the dresses and skirts

Beautiful wool felt flower clips. So pretty for Spring!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spring has Sprung Giveaway Winners

I kinda went into hibernation this last week. I had blog fatigue and then also had a market on the weekend (will share some photos tomorrow). So sorry for the delay in announcing the winners!

Again I would like to thank my lovely sponsors. It was so overwhelming to have resounding 'yes' answers when I asked if they wanted to be involved. A very humbling experience.

So a round up of all the winners and I will be in touch soon with details about redeeming your prize.

Day 1: Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop

Tell me your favourite pattern and how you would make it?

And the winner is ....

Jenny W, who caught me with the sentimental aspect! Congratulations Jenny.

"The lil long johns are adorable. I would make it for my baby using stretchy shirts/dresses/skirts I'm no longer using so that they're not only sentimental, but the scent of mama will help him sleep!"

Day 2: The Oz Material Girls

Tell me which crafty club you would join and why? 

And the winner is ....

Pam from Threading my Way. Congratulations Pam, I never thought about the idea of seeing all the different designers. Great idea!
"I'd most like to join the FQ Bundle Fabric Crafty Club. At the end of the year, I'd have been introduced to 60 designer fabrics, many of which I wouldn't have come across otherwise. This would most possibly take me out of my comfort zone and force me to use fabrics I might not choose myself. Thanks for the chance to win - AWESOME giveaway!!!"

Day 3: Flirt Earrings 

Which is your favourite earrings, colour and where you would wear them? 

And the winner is ....

Kylie R, congratulations Kylie. I want photos of you wearing them cleaning the house!
"I love the Lacee in Pool, Kelsey in Crimson and Meldoy in jet black, They look so gorgeous and lightweight that I would wear them everywhere. As a stay at home mum that will most likely involve cleaning the house and school drop offs! I'm sure wearing these cuties will make those activities much more enjoyable."

Day 4: The Janelle Wind Collection

Tell me which pattern you think best reflects Spring and why? 

And the winners are ....

Prize 1: Jasmine B, loved the mental image of you sitting with your mum sipping tea! 
"Tea for two! Lovely spring breezes, blossom on the trees, sitting down with this set to enjoy a quiet cuppa with my Mum, perfect spring morning :) "
Prize 2: Debbie J, I love cherry blossom trees at this time of year too. 
"I think the Candy Girl pattern most reflects spring with the beautiful bright colours and flowers - reminds me of our lovely flowering cherry blossom tree  at this time of the year :-) "
Day 5: Patterns Only

Tell me which pattern you would like to choose for a Spring project and why? 

And the winner is ....

Melissa N, this answer literally made me crack up laughing. Thank you for putting a smile on my face!
"Thanks for the comp - I would put my hand up for A+ SKIRT A-LINE MAKE IT PERFECT PDF ePATTERN Sz 3xSml -2x lge. Yes I'll get the delightful "chub rub". Yes there's no doubt when the wind whips up I'll flash my knickers, but when someone asks did I make that awesome skirt I will say yes :) & be very proud of myself (before noticing that I've spilt something down the front LOL)."

Day 6: sewpony Vintage

Tell me what Spring means to you? 

And the winner is ....

Bridie P, you are certainly going to achieve a lot with all that list! Congratulations.
"Spring this year means lots of achievements for me - learning how to hand block fabric, finishing university, a major house clean and the birth of my baby boy. Oh and it means a bit of hayfever but lets focus on the positives!"

And one of my favourite projects from the Linky Party was from Alisa from A Stitch in Between who made this gorgeous basket for her new nephew. What says Spring more than new babies!?! Alisa, thank you for joining in the Spring fun even when you are heading into fall/autumn in Taiwan!

Thank you to everyone involved - bloggers, sponsors and readers!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Words of wisdom

“Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.” - Mark A. Clement

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Words of wisdom

“When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” – Lao Tzu

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spring has Sprung blog tour Day 7: Actually Amy and Blossom Heart Quilts

I feel like we are finishing up our Spring has Sprung blog tour with a bang! Our two contributors today are both quilters (amongst everything else as well!) and contributors to And Sew We Craft. I kinda admire quilters. I 'dabble' but really don't quilt. So I have a kinda crafty respect for them!

Amy from Actually Amy is up first. I personally hate the term 'mummy blogger', I don't like that it defines what we blog about. But how you would describe Amy I'm not sure. She blogs on books, holidays, family, menu planning, sewing and more. A little of everything and whatever takes her fancy. I like her style! I'm kinda, sorta, maybe inspired to try her Slash that stash month challenge. Perhaps one my husband would like too! 

Amy is sharing this gorgeous quilt with us today. Again *sigh*.

Next up is Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts who recently hosted the Sweet Pouch Swap (I hope to blog about mine next week when it arrives!). She is currently hosting the ABC quilt along as well. Plus sells gorgeous patterns and Japanese fabrics through her etsy shop. Phew. Alyce is an Aussie living in Japan so kinda celebrating Spring with us, right?

Alyce is sharing this gorgeous tulip block tutorial on her blog. How gorgeous!!

No giveaway specifically today but don't forget to enter

Join our Linky Party - I'm leaving it open until mid September and hope to choose a few of my favourites to share with you. 

Thank you so much to all the bloggers for joining us, all the readers (new and old) for sharing our blog tour and the sponsors for donating the wonderful giveaways.

Reminder for you if you want to go back and view them again:

Sunday 1 September

Monday 2 September 

Tuesday 3 September

Wednesday 4 September 

Thursday 5 September

Friday 6 September

Saturday 7 September

Until the next time I have a crazy idea to create a blog tour (mmm maybe just Spring 2014!), thank you reading.


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