Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Th-th-th-that's All Folks!

The craft show I've been preparing for madly is over and done. Turnout was light, as were sales. I think the problem was two-pronged: 1) the economy is still pretty shaky, and 2) I focused on having a high-end product at a low-end show. My clay work received a lot of attention and admiration, but I only sold three very small pieces. Most sales were earrings I'd marked down to bargain bin prices and small necklaces under $30. Lesson learned.

My booth helper on Sunday was friend and mentor, Lorin Fields. My association with her over the past 10 years has been an adventure. She was the person who taught me to dye fabric, and she was instrumental in gearing me up to work craft shows.

This weekend she talked me into applying to the Piedmont Craftsmen Show in Winston-Salem, NC for next year. It's only 80 miles from home, and it's 12 months away, which gives me LOTS of time to work out a full 10x10 foot booth setup and make up some more show pieces. Yes, I decided to put this beauty up for sale.

In the meantime, I've got lots of leftover stock to fill up my shop, so stay tuned for upcoming listings. Note: free shipping in the US and Canada until December 15! (shipping fees will be refunded through paypal after purchase).

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Elegant Displays on a Zero Budget

Well, nearly zero. My booth design is finally ready for this weekend's show. I've tweaked and fussed, lost sleep, and worried, and now it's looking pretty good.

This was how it looked last year:

For the 2010 show, I've eliminated the grid cubes in the corner, and all the little picture frame displays for the smaller necklaces. They were ridiculously unstable and it was tricky to get the necklaces off them at the point of sale.

My conundrum this time was how do I display my new clay work? I've added brooches to my inventory, which I'd never had before. As well, I've got all these pretty little necklaces with chains that get tangled up with each other and knotted. I could lose sales while trying to sort that out.

I want displays that look elegant AND cost next to nothing to create. Always up for a challenge, I dusted off my mojo and got to work.

Take one ugly bulletin board from Staples ($20)
Sponge on some leftover paint ($0)
Fire up staple gun to tack down a velvet remnant from a friend's stash ($0)
Cover the staples with a ribbon ($0.75)

"Voila!" A boho-chic display board.

This board will go where those grid cubes were in the previous photo, leaning against the wall.

After the board project was finished, I still had a small piece of the velvet. I'd picked up a drawer organizer several years ago at a yard sale for $2.00. The gorgeous cherry wood is in new condition! I cut foamcore to fit the compartments and glued on the velvet. Wowzer! That's a display worthy of the bracelets I have ready to sell.

Now the only thing I need is customers. I have high hopes...

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sparkles and Texture Galore

My time has been divided between beadweaving more sparkly goodness and tweaking my booth design for the show, which is less than TWO WEEKS AWAY!

My work modus operandi is to start a piece without a plan, then to run out of a specific bead. The piece takes up residence in the Closet of Abandonment, and I forget to order more of that-thing-I-ran-out-of. The result of this behavior: my project graveyard is full. Last week, I bit the bullet and placed a massive order with Fire Mountain Gems. The box arrived over the weekend and I knuckled down to finish some pieces.

I now have two very beautiful bracelets finished and listed for sale in my shop.

The rest of this week will be devoted to booth design. This is the first time I'll be showing my polymer clay pieces and they present some display issues. Like, what's the best way to display brooches?

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl