Archive for November, 2011
We first met JD last year when we participated in the OKC Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar. I don’t know how she finds time to balance it all (and right around the holidays) but JD and Sara Cowan (her BFF) put on Deluxe every December in addition to their own personal creative endeavors. After teaching in the Oklahoma City Schools for several years JD resigned to being a full-time creative. You can find her today working in her studio and weaving in time for her 18 month old.
Q1) How did Deluxe get started?
A1) Deluxe was created out of a need for a different kind of craft show in OKC. As crafters ourselves, we were hungry for the kind of show that would showcase our creative work and not lump us in with resellers and other non-handmade products. We wanted something a little more selective both for our vendors and our shoppers.
Q2) Define what makes a good craft show?
A2) What makes a good craft show is going to change from person to person. For us, it’s all handmade with the opportunity to talk with the maker. A good craft show for us also changes some from year to year. We like to bring back some of our favorite artists and also new ones, keeping the show fresh each year.
Q3) When you select artists for the show what are three key factors that can make or break the selection process?
A3) Selecting artists is probably the toughest part of putting on Deluxe. We love all of the handmade work that we see but we have to filter some out to keep the show in line with our vision. Three of the many factors we consider are:
- Is it handmade? First things first! If it’s not, it’s not going to fly at Deluxe.
- Would we buy it for ourselves, our home, our families?
- Creativity. Is it something we’ve seen a million times or is it new and something we think the shoppers will appreciate?
Q4) What advice do you have for others interested in starting their own handmade show?
A4) Get started. You learn a lot in the process. It helps to have a partner with complementing skill sets. Someone that can do the tasks that are out of you aren’t as comfortable with. It is also a good idea to go to other shows, see what you like, take notes, pictures, whatever will help you later. It’s really nice if you can get some experience as a vendor and a shopper.
As you are probably more than aware, we are in that season of giving thanks. Though there was an attempt to not “go with the flow”, and to come up with something that wasn’t completely season-dependent, the attempt fell short and we gave in to the overwhelming desire to join in with the thankful festivities. Besides, there’s nothing better to kindle that flame than to sit down together on a cold day with a cup of hot cocoa, and reminisce on all the things we’re thankful for. And as a bonus, we made our “Thankful List” a beautifully adorned one. We first went in search for the best leaves in the neighborhood and, since it was a little rainy, enjoyed a walking cuddle under our umbrella. Once our selection was made we started the process of flattening our leaves, placing them inside a large book and using a few extra as weight. Then commenced our sipping and thanking. When our list was complete… our leaves were not yet flat!! There would be no laminating tonight. =/ We laughed and figured that we’ll have to have another short date in the near future to add our adornments, and complete our beautiful creation.
This Thanksgiving things are different.
This feels different without you here.
You were our rock. The family cornerstone.
And we’re all a little lost without you.
Thanksgiving feels a little clumsy and we’re not quite sure what this looks like without you here.
Thanksgiving feels awkward. But we’re determined to live life.
To let it be full, as much as we can without you here.
And we will remember.
We will be thankful.
For every moment we had with you here.
And for every moment we have together.
This Thanksgiving, embrace all things family. Play cards. Eat Aunt Gertrude’s pie cause damn it, it will make her happy! You never know when it will be your last Thanksgiving with the people you love. Cherish these moments because it’s these moments that make life so sweet.
From the Farm
It’s finally here! It’s the day before the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash. Our tractor, I mean truck… is loaded. I can’t help but get that “Home Alone” feeling that we are forgetting something BIG (luckily we don’t have children to accidentally leave at home!)!? All in all we are having a stress free Friday and ready to hit the road bright and early Saturday morning (4:30 am to be exact!). It’s moments like these that we are SO thankful that we took our pre-prep seriously.
So… I’m sure you all are wondering what we might be bringing to our FIRST out of state show? We’ll kids, Santa’s got a bag FULL of goodies. Check it out (along with a 20% off SALE code for those of you who can’t make it).
Concrete & Copper Bubble Jewelry:
**NEW** Concrete Rings. We’re given em a try, let us know what you think (not sold online).
(double bubble: empty & filled)
Ok, so the producers of LOST have done it again! We are so hooked on the new ABC Sunday night show Once a Upon a Time. Not only does it feature all of your favorite fairy tale characters from your childhood story books but it’s got all kinds of dramatic twists and turns along with prince charming (named James) in a modern day setting! Personally, I don’t know what MORE you could ask for!
Last Sunday when watching the show we got all caught up in the cool set design for Snow White’s Loft Apartment. It’s got all the industrial brick and mortar you love with plenty of white paint and green friends. We just had to share this beautiful space with you.
Meg just walked in after a 9 mile run. She’s sweaty, her face is flushed and she’s breathing hard… I have to say it, she’s gorgeous!
We’ll we are in full production mode now folks! Actually… production mode is coming to completion and we are beginning to feel the calm before the storm. It’s that feeling that makes you wonder surly there is more to do? There has got to be about a dozen more things that we have forgotten, right? But honestly… we’ve really stayed a head of the game this year in prep for our shows and find ourselves coasting into them instead of crashing. And, that my friends feels SOOOO good.
Please know if you find yourself running around like a chicken with your head cut off, we totally understand. We’ve been there. Begging our friends to show up the night before for an impromptu “craft party” (i.e. cover your ass) and we are here to help you take a step back, get re-organized and gain control of your business!
Here’s a few tips we’ve learned in pre-prep that have helped us in the long run.
Pre-Order Product Materials In Advance: This sounds like a no brainier but no seriously, order them 2-3 months out! You never know when you’re going to have to deal with a cotton shortage or a specific vendor that stops carrying a key material you may use in your product. Give yourself time to order the item and send it back in case their is a mistake or the item is not exactly what you were looking for. We’ve ordered tea towels before and had a company send us a totally different item. If you are in a crunch you won’t have the time send items back and wait for your vendor to get it right. Often times businesses will offer a full “refund” but that refund can take 2-3 weeks before it is credited back into your account. If your cash flow is low (and you refuse to charge that credit card!), you may not have the extra money to order another “correct” batch with another vendor while you wait for your refund to come through. Give yourself extra time AND THEN a little bit of additional wiggle room to make sure you have the correct materials. Craft shows are a lot of work and there is nothing worse than getting to a show and not being happy with the quality of your product.
Mark Your Space: Go ahead, do it. On the garage floor, get your kids invovled and some chalk. Mark it to scale and setup your both just like you plan to at the show. This will help you fix any last minute sizing issues that may arise (like needing a 6ft table instead of an 8ft) and make your setup the day of the show quick and easy.
- Consider the weight of your booth displays and how far you have to carry them (upstairs, down a long street, etc).
- Extension cords and then a few more extension cords.
- Extra tools for assembly (we usually take a little tool set… even if you don’t use it, it’s nice to rescue your neighbors when they need a tool ).
- Craft Essentials: I always take a little jewelry repair kit in case someone wants this charm on this necklace, a stamp of our logo here, extra glue, pins, safety pins, pens, tape (clear and a heavier tape), scissors, hole punch (for tagging), tagging gun, extra tags, etc.
Have a Money Plan: You never want to lose a sale because you are not ready. Have plenty of cash and a backup plan in case your credit card machine for some reason doesn’t work. Since we don’t do that many shows a year we don’t pay the additional monthly charge to have a credit card reader. Instead we use a simple iPhone app called Swipe. The customer uses your iPhone to fill out their credit card information (so you don’t even see or touch it) and then presto done! It will even send your customer (and yourself) a receipt so you can confirm the transaction within minutes. You don’t need any additional gadgets or add-ons for your phone to use this app. It does take a little bit of time and can cause a line if a lot of people are purchasing via credit card at one time but it is totally functional. In our opinion Swipe works great for the minimal investment invovled. The other great thing about using your phone is that it does not require a telephone connection (like a credit card reader) and/or internet (which depending on your location can be questionable).
Lastly, if all else fails we always accept checks and keep an old fashion receipt book. You’ll have the occasional customer that wants a receipt with their cash purchase so this allows you do provide that along with tracking your sales for taxes (cause as much as you say you’ll remember what you sold later YOU WON’T! Save yourself the stress and write it down after every purchase–like you do when running your own garage sale). You never want to lose a sale because you are not ready to handle a certain type of payment. Alleviate potential awkwardness by making the checkout process as smooth as possible. Do your research, take the time to get informed (which makes you look good!) and be prepared for not “if”, but “when” money issues arise.
In celebration of our NEW Holiday Prints we’re kicking off Monday with a giveaway!
Win a set of THREE tea towels featuring one of each holiday print. Use them as fun stocking suffers, party favors, or keep for them all for your merry self! Either way, here’s how you enter to win!
HOW TO ENTER:
- Leave a comment on this blog post! Let us know what’s your favorite print in our new holiday collection. Or what favorite holiday dish you plan to cook/bake that requires some extra tea towels for clean up!
We love hearing success stories of those who go after that thing inside of them. That thing that drives them to be artistic. We have a sincere love and appreciation for innovation and functional design and we have been truly drooling over Emily Fischer’s work at the Haptic Lab.
Get ready to curl up to some wonderful white space…
“Soft-Maps are quilted maps of cities and neighborhoods that represent someone’s unique place in the world, and are tactile keepsakes meant to last generations.” – Heptic Lab Website