Two snippets from my shop at the Briar Patch; third craft fair in the books. I had the most unconventional space, but it was at the entrance of the cafeteria - a huge plus. I loved my spot. The people came to shop and they were drawn to my art ~ "it's beautiful", "it's unique", "I love it" were words I heard over and over. There were tons of smiles. Sales were good; I know it will only get better.
I had one woman, a stroke victim who couldn't speak. She had her middle aged son wheel her into my shop area; she spent over 10 minutes looking from one piece to the next. The look on her face was intense. When she got to the end of the pieces, they stopped and she looked up at me with the biggest smile she could muster. What a rush ~it gave me goose bumps to know that my art made her that happy. I felt blessed.
Looking beyond selling my art, Bloomingayl is going to grow in a new direction. I will be opening an on-line shop at the first of the year that will focus on paper crafts and mixed media. For most of us, the local "scrapbook" store is less than what it was, and in many cases it's thing of the past. Suddenly big box stores have become the go to. Their products pander to mainstream crafters and artists; that isn't bad, but is it enough. Bloomingayl the store is going to focus on the innovative, the unusual, the stuff that is rarely seen and hard to get. The idea is to move beyond the big box store and make available products that will take your art or books to the next level.
I am a bit worried about the crafter-artist tendency to buy on impulse. I know we all do it. You buy it after class or because friends say it's a must have; it sits, on a shelf, in a closet, in a drawer.You move it around a dozen times and five years later while cleaning out your space you find it again - what the heck is this? I don't even know what to do with it. . .suddenly that must have product gets put into a donation bag or worse yet into the trash. In effort to do away with this awful, wasteful syndrome, Bloomingayl will test what is sold, let you know how to use it. I will welcome any questions and give my informed opinions. I love sharing my artful journey. I love it enough that as a pre-new year, New Year's Resolution, I am going to master the video. I promise. I am so looking forward to testing this marketing theory.
Big things ahead and a lot to do. In the meantime ENJOY!
Light bulbs going off as I test new ideas for Bloomingayl's craft fair shop. Two events in, and I'm working on small journals. The prototype I gave to Diane included a cute little bag of goodies; things bought and things made.
I love my cameo. I love print and cut files, some that I buy, more that I create using digital images. Right now I don't have the time to create my own drawings, so I rely on the art of a few digital artists who are okay with small amounts of S4H/S4O. My favorites, Paula Kesserling, found at The Lilypad and Manu and Courtney Designs at Scrapbookgraphics.com.
Another bit of personal info - I am a planner junkie. My go to planner is the Get To Work book from Elise Cripe. The 2017 book I just bought will be year number 3 using this format. As to what I use in my planner; I have in the past bought stickers, saved ephemera, invested heavily in Tim Holtz's Distress Markers and made the Sharpie fine point pen my go to for writing. As the planner craze has ramped up, I noticed that Silhouette designers were creating print and cut sticker files. A few of them have authorized commercial use. Thank-you to those folks. Along with the die cuts, these planner stickers will be featured in my goody bags.
I have 4 days to come up with this product line; first photo in this post is a page that I am printing and cutting with a cute Courtney Design doll featured at the bottom. The second photo is of a sticker sheet printed and cut to test how this innovative process works. These little books are going to be awesome fun.
Off to the creative races. . .In the words of Arnold " I'll be back" with the finished product.
Energized by an inspired weekend at the Briar Patch at Mountain Ridge High School. Sold a few pieces, met some wonderful, talented people and learned so much. Amber and I lucked out. The event put up a tent for us; we had to set up out tables and display. Talk about novice vendors. . .if there was a wrong way to do it, we made it happen.
Our beautiful, fun pieces were set on white table cloths. Absolutely washed them out. We ended up going down with our display instead of up; a total waste of our space. We overdid "diversity" ~ we had everything on display, which made it really hard for our customers to zero in on anything. You'll notice there is no picture; I may be laughing; we created a disaster, that I don't need to remember, but will never forget.
I had ordered a folding baker's rack, some cool acrylic risers and an interesting fold out book stand that will become the bones of our booth, along with the traditional 6 ft tables. Unfortunately those products are a week from being delivered. The one thing we did get right was being outside. The art sparkled.
We've been given a second chance, and will be doing the Briar Patch at Horizon over Thanksgiving weekend. White table cloths will be replace by black; the table cloths will reach the ground on both sides. I have some other cool ideas to incorporate, including a director's chair and a plant. If all goes well, I will have pictures to share. Wish us luck. . .
One of the things to come out at last weeks event was my need to diversify. If I had made baby books, I am pretty sure that I would have sold them all. So many new humans on the horizon. Instead I buried my head in mixed media that I love and forgot about all the other great things I could add to my shop.
Based this small journal on the one done in 2010 for Diane. On the cover, a bezeled ice-resin piece made in a class taught by Dana Edwards when Paper Vineyard was in its original location on Alma School. Next week I'll work on the goody bag that will go with each of these. Too cute.
My space at the Believe Marketplace at the Cornerstone Church in Chandler last weekend. My maiden voyage into the world of craft fairs. I've read enough to know that instant success was a non-sequater. This event was a good place to start; well organized, attentive planners who checked with us periodically and great foot traffic inspired vendors. I learned so much.
I sold enough to cover fees plus a little extra. Nothing to write home about. On the other hand, what an education. There is an entire craft fair culture. I was clueless. Kim put our booth together and she did a great job. In the end I realized that the Marketplace wasn't a good event for me, and that if I want to excel at this I need to take a risk and go out on my own. Normally I think I would I have been blue about the results, but I wasn't. I was more excited than ever to wade through the weeds, develop my brand and a store that is all me. I spent a good deal of this week moving in that direction. Having this experience converted theory to reality.