Posts Tagged ‘Handmade’

GCD: 2011 Illuminate, Deluxe & Online SALE Code

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It’s been our busiest holiday season yet and we are once again hitting the road (only for 30 minutes this time)! We love watching customers interact with our products and look forward to our select holiday shows every year.

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GCD Giveaway: Set of 3 Holiday Tea Towels

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My friend Alison and I go way back. She actually dated one of my friends her senior year and we went to prom together in a big group (we we’re so cool!). But, it wasn’t until my Freshman year of college that we got really close and she began her exploration in food.

Alison’s that one friend I can call up and we can chat for hours about blogging. This may sounds really boring to some of you but she understands how much work it can be to post a simple feature about muffins. She understands me. It’s been so much fun watching her grow as a cook and as a blogger. I’m really proud of her and have been anxiously waiting to introduce you to her yummy blog!

Visit Ali’s blog and enter to win a set of 3 Green Couch Design Holiday Tea Towels. The giveaway runs through Sunday, December 11th so make sure you stop by and whatever you do stay away from the Flourless Chocolate Cake (it’s just terrible)! ;)

From the Farm

P.S. Ali, Thanks for letting us be a part of your December giveaways. You are a truly a dear friend and we love you! :)

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Creatives Near You: JD [Handmade Artist]

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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:

  1. Is it handmade? First things first! If it’s not, it’s not going to fly at Deluxe.
  2. Would we buy it for ourselves, our home, our families?
  3. 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.

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Date on a Dime: Thankful for…

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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.

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GCD: Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash & Online SALE Code!

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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). :)

Kitchen Line:

(tea towels, aprons, mixer covers)

Concrete & Copper Bubble Jewelry:

(modern bolo necklace)

**NEW** Concrete Rings. We’re given em a try, let us know what you think (not sold online).

(4 Stacked Concrete Bubble Necklace)

(tiger’s eye: buckle & bead)

(double bubble: empty & filled)

(rope necklace)

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Craft Show 101: Pre-Prep (The Nit & Gritty, The Dirty Details, The Stuff They Don’t Tell You!)

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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.

Extra Bits:

  • Consider the weight of your booth displays and how far you have to carry them (upstairs, down a long street, etc).
  • Lighting
  • 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.

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GCD: 2011 Holiday Prints

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Halloween is over and that means the holiday season is officially here! We are so excited to show you our latest print designs and hope you’ll consider us for your handmade holiday purchases.

Each design is hand printed by us with lot’s of love (and photographed on our NEW table from Meg’s Great Grandma!) Special thanks to all of you who helped us out in our little facebook poll. We really took your votes into consideration and appreciate your input! Thanks for being a part of our design process. We plan on getting you more invovled in the future.

Find individual tea towels and stationery prints in our online shop, at Shop Good and The Onion Tree.

And of course… stay tuned for some fun giveaways we’ve got coming up VERY soon! :)

From the Farm

 

* See our fall schedule and if we’ll be at a handmade show near you this holiday season!

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Creatives Near You: Hailey [Ozetta Handmade Shop]

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Have you ever met one of those artists who’s work just reaches out and grabs you… we’ll, that’s Hailey. We were first introduced to Hailey when Cale purchased a handmade gift for me through her shop, Ozetta. He didn’t realize until later that he was ordering a cowl from someone right here in Oklahoma! We we’re so impressed with Hailey’s handywork we decided to order several of her pieces for gifts last Christmas. They were of course all hits and since then we’ve been Ozetta addicts.

Get ready to fall in love with Hailey and everything in her shop.

Q1) How did you get started knitting?

A1) I started crocheting when I was ten years old, but took a long break from it and picked up knitting. However, I have found that both are equally important in this industry. So, I do both. This art form appeals to me because you start with yarn and needles. That’s it. And with great care and process I begin to create something. It’s amazing what you can create with so little and make something so extraordinary. When I work on an order, I like to look at it as something entirely different than just an order. It means so much more to me than that. Each piece I create is full of meaning, love, and high attention to detail. According to my father-in-law I am building a piece. And I guess in reality, I really am.

Q2) Define what makes a great knitted piece?

A2) The definition of a great knitted piece depends on what you are trying to create. Each piece I envision I sketch, create a swatch, and then start on the bigger piece. When creating a specific look, it comes natural to me what stitch I should use. When the piece is finished I test all of them by wearing them out and about, I like to know how it will feel and if something is not perfect, I start over. It is a process of trial and error. My favorite material is a chunky super soft blend, this combination creates the most perfect scarf.

Q3) What is the inspiration behind your shop name?

A3) Ozetta is the middle name of my great grandmother. What’s surprising is the name was never really an issue; I always knew my shop was going to be Ozetta. My Memaw was the brightest person in any room. She had the best advice, was so very patient, and dropped subtle hints of what she knew you could become. She would always say “little Hailey, you can do anything”. I would sometimes stay for weeks with her in the summer months. We would wake up early to cook a huge breakfast for the two of us, watch movies, curl up in her handmade quilts while crocheting and talking talking talking. I think she always knew what I could become with my creative abilities. I wish she could see the skill that she alone taught me from just a chain stitch, has grown into something bigger than maybe even she imagined. Well, maybe she knew all along.

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GCD: Apron Giveaway

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We’ve only known Mindy and her blog Marigold Road for a few weeks now but since her and Meg are from the same town they seem to be practically buddies (seriously they found out they have several friends in common). Mindy actually found us when she was doing research for an up coming craft show. Apparently our Craft Show 101 post is catching google’s eye! We we’re obviously very excited to hear about this and thought it was such a sweet gesture of Mindy to shoot us an email and say hello!

Mindy’s got all sorts of good stuff going on so stop by her blog and enter to win one of our 100% cotton, Peace, Love & Cookie Dough Aprons. After all, how can you not like a hugger! ;)

From the Farm

* Special Congrats to Berendina, the winner of this giveaway!

** Turns out Mindy & Green Couch Design both sell products at The Onion Tree in Wichita, KS! We’d love for you to stop by if you are ever in the neighborhood and tell Bridgit we said hi.

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GCD: 2011 Fall Schedule

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We LOVE the holidays and actually this year, more than ever, we are totally a head of the game. We’ve learned A LOT since our first show and we are determined to make this somewhat busy season something we truly enjoy.

We are getting VERY excited about our upcoming shows and look forward to meeting some of you in person. Our hope is that you can plan a head now for a fun day of shopping, support handmade and heck… just bring the whole family (we lOVE babies)!

From the Farm

 

* You can purchase Green Couch Design products year around at Shop Good in OKC, The Onion Tree in Wichita, KS and through our online shop.

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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