Monday, October 28, 2013

What To Bring To Your Craftshow - A Checklist

I'm working on getting ready for a craft show this upcoming weekend. Between making extra inventory, I have been checking my displays and making sure I have everything organized so I don't end up at the show missing something important (like my jewelry inventory!). Since I make lists to keep myself organized, I thought I would share what I bring with me to craft shows.

Inventory to sell- I keep all my jewelry inventory organized in trays in a gray travel bag

Display Components
  • Table - if not supplied by the venue
  • Tablecloths - I layer a few different colors to make the table look interesting and have my base black fitted tablecloths in 6 and 8 foot sizes so I'm ready for whatever size table the venue gives me.
  • Display racks/components - Luckily jewelry displays are pretty small. I have a mix of store-bought and handmade displays. If you sell other types of items, you may need to get creative about how you make your display. Think vertically, too - everything laid out flat gets boring.
  • Banner/Signs - make sure people know who you are! I haven't gotten a vinyl sign yet but I made a pretty nice one with a 11x14" sheet printed at Kinko's that I mounted to poster board and sealed with acrylic spray. It works just fine for smaller indoor shows but I'll have to upgrade when I graduate to larger shows.
  • Clipboard with sign up sheet for mailing lists
  • Business cards & holder
  • (For outdoor shows) - Canopy & sidewalls
Packaging For Sales
  • Boxes, bags, etc - make sure to put your branding on them! I use clear address labels with my logo and website printed on them.
Business Forms, etc
  • Copy of business license - important, especially at bigger shows where there might be inspectors coming around to check that you have all of your paperwork in order with the state.
  • Extra price tags
  • Extra price stickers
  • Spiral notebook
  • Sales list - make a table that you can write what has sold, for how much, and how much sales tax you collected
  • Custom order forms
  • Extra paper for signs
  • Photo album w/ pictures of past projects, behind the scenes
  • Craft show information sheets - print out or gather up all the flyers and vendor info sheets the venue has sent you
  • Receipt book
  • Ball point pen
Office Supplies - because you never know when you are going to need to McGuyver a part of your display together...
  • Phone charger 
  • Pens (lots) 
  • Pencil 
  • Sales receipt book 
  • Sharpie 
  • Stapler 
  • Twine 
  • Binder clips & paper clips 
  • Scissors 
  • Tape 
  • Glue stick 
  • Box cutter 
  • Lint roller 
Cashbox/Money Bag/Vendor Apron
  • Enough cash for change. The amount varies depending on how much you think you will sell. I aim for $150-$200 in small bills and coins. I guarantee people will pay you with $20 bills, so make sure you have enough $1's. I'm pretty sure the teller at my bank thought I was going to a strip club the last time I got cash for a craft show... 
  • Square and Paypal Here credit card readers - there are so many people who forget to carry cash (me!), or spend all their cash, then fall in love with one of your items and only have plastic to pay for it - so being able to take credit cards will bring you more sales. The transaction fees on both of these are pretty low and they are secure and easy to use. (I bring both because sometimes my Square reader malfunctions) 
Cleaning Supplies
  • Small bag for trash 
  • Wet wipes 
  • Napkins/paper towels 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Bottle of water 
  • Granola bars 
  • Other simple snacks/food - go for non-messy, non-staining, non-sticky foods... no meatball subs or Cheetos 
  • Coffee in spill-proof mug
Personal Items
  • Makeup for touch-ups
  • "Feminine items" just in case of emergency
  • A few band-aids
  • Contact solution and case - I got dust under my contact in the first hour of one of my previous shows, and spent the whole day squinting with my eye watering because I didn't have my contact stuff with me. Now it goes everywhere with me.
  • An in-progress project to work on during down time - I usually bring supplies to work on chains. It gives me something mindless to do, is portable, and people usually come over to my table just to see what I'm working on. It also displays that I really do handcraft all of my items.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why, hello there!

Buried in custom orders and building up inventory for my craft fair, but I though I would share a little bit of what I've been working on lately...

(clockwise from top left: Red Creek Jasper and Copper Collar, Bumblebee Jasper, Peridot, Citrine & Sterling Silver Pendant, Fossil Coral and Sterling Silver Necklace (with viking knit chain), and Turquoise and Sterling Silver Pendant)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sorry! I Haven't Really Fallen Off the Face of the Earth...

I've just been on vacation. Then recuperating from the massive cold I caught while on vacation... (Thanks Mom & Dad!)

I was in Michigan visiting my parents and the Chicago area visiting a friend, so here's a picture of part of a cool historical fishing town in northern Michigan and a bonus picture of a blowfish in Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

In addition to helping my husband's little brother settle into junior high (and settling myself into having a teenager in the house!), I'm trying to get back in the swing of things with my shop and also starting to get ready for an upcoming craft fair.

(Which I guess I should start to promote a little bit, so here that goes...)

If you are in the Seattle area and would like to see my shiny things in person, and support the funding for the Northshore School District Special Education Parent/Professional Advisory Council (quite the mouthful, but they support the special education programs in my local school district), come visit the SEPAC Woodinville Holiday Craft Fair on November 2nd from 9-4 at Woodmoor Elementary School (12225 NE 160th, Bothell, WA).

And if you are the type of person to think waaaay ahead for holiday shopping, I will also be participating in a trunk show with Studio 54 Furniture and Fine Art Gallery in Enumclaw, WA on December 14th.  I'll have more information about that in a week or so.

I also have new fall dates scheduled for classes at Beadworld in Seattle (check out their website for the updated class list) and I also agreed to be available for private lessons through them as well. So I'm going to be one busy girl through the holidays!