Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Queen City Holiday Craft Show

One down, 4 more to go.  Thanks to all the hard working folks at twist who put a great show together.  It was so awesome to see many long lost craft fair friends! I am getting ready for show number two, Queen City Craft that is happening this Saturday. I hope you'll come check it out! If you are a regular shopper at Queen City and are looking for me, I'm excited to say I'll be switching up my spot this year, so look for me upstairs!

Here are a few items from some great artists that will be vending this year!

Umm.. are these not the cutest most colorful toys you've ever seen? by Nifty Kidstuff

hoodie by New Duds
I love New Duds so much that I had to include a photo of their purse too. I got one of these for my birthday in July and use it everyday. It's awesome and so well made! 
Isn't this the sweetest most darling necklace? by Sweet Avenue Jewelry
If you have ever been to Frog Hollow, I'm sure you've seen John Brickels amazing clay works. 
Can you say cute?  Erinn Simon of Urban Farm Girl makes the cutest little crocheted creations. 

I hope you'll come see us and do most of your shopping buying handmade items this holiday season! :) 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Twist favs part 2!

It's crunch time for Twist which starts tomorrow!  I have just been tying up all of the loose ends.  I'm excited to say this is the first show where I'll have my appliqued patchwork hoodies!

I wanted to share some more of the artist that will be vending there.  There is so much awesomeness that I had to split it into two posts, see my Vermont artist post here.

First up, Beehive Kitchen Ware.  I remember seeing their wares while attending a wholesale show with my Mom a few years ago.  Their kitchen wears are so great, it was hard to pick which photo to share with you.  All of their products would make great holiday gifts for just about anyone.
These lovely cups are by Abby Berkson. I met Abby at Twist last year and her work is beautiful, go buy something of hers! 
This beauty is by Rachel Pfeffer Designs. I have been drooling behind my computer at her designs. Isn't this ring the most beautiful ring you have ever seen?  I am going to treat myself to one of her pieces this year! You should too! She was also etsy's featured seller a few months back, check out her interview here
This lovely pillow was made by Vonica Designs. I made friends with Erica last year and am excited to be vending next to her. Come see us at the back next to the DJ on Friday and next to the Crafty Kids on Saturday (booth 113 & 114!)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I can't believe my first holiday show is only 5 days away. My, how time flies. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite vendors that will be at Twist. There are so many that i'll be splitting it into two posts: my fellow Vermont artist friends and then a second one of non VT peeps.  This show is amazing. It is my second time doing it. It's such a breeze to load in and out and I don't even have to bring a table or garment rack, it's rather luxurious. And as vendors, we even get fed! Hot DOG! No, not fed hot dogs but you catch my drift.

Here are some of my favorite Vermont vendors.. check them out.
 First up, Coob Originals. Calvin makes awesome jewelry and accessories out of recycled skateboards. I have a pair of his hoops that I love to wear!
by LoveErica I love this ring so much, it is so affordable and it reminds me of my mother's wedding band from when she was married in Hawaii! 
I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time fellow artist Moe of Recycle Moe at the BCA Markets. She's also helping to organize the Women's Festival of Crafts in a few weeks so if you aren't in 
Northampton, be sure to check us out there! 
this lovely skirt is by Sarah Green of Mountain Ash Design
beautiful porcelain bowls by Rob Cartelli

Deer Wall Art by Fiddleheads For Fiona

Okay, so maybe Lisa moved and actually lives in Northampton now but I will always think of her as a fellow Vermonter! :) Lisa is Elle Paisley Designs and makes awesome jewelry out of recycled watch parts. 

stay tuned for part two of awesome vendors that will be at Twist and don't forget to come see us Friday 6-9 and Saturday 10-6 at Northampton Center for the Arts/17 New South St. Northampton, MA! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

stocking up for the holidays & applique frenzy

I have been having too much fun doing applique on everything blank that I own.  No more plain hoodies, t-shirts or yoga pants for that matter will be left in my closet for very long.  I started this for fun, but meanwhile trying to figure out how I could come up with enough inventory for the holidays and the ridiculous amount of shows I signed myself up for.  I just don't have the time to stock all of the shops I sell in, keep things rolling on etsy and prepare for shows with all one-of-a-kind made-from-scratch pieces.  I took a little poll on facebook and it seemed that there would be interest in some of these designs on some more simple pieces.  I also think this is a more affordable approach for some people who were interested in my designs but couldn't necessarily afford the one-of-a-kinds.

After buying a few sample hoodies, yoga pants, and t-shirts I've come up with some really cute designs that I hope to have photographed over the next week or so but meanwhile, I want to know:What colors would you like to see in terms of hoodies & tees? I'm thinking mainly long sleeved tee's? I can be swayed.

Please help! What would YOU like to see? :) I'm not sure if I'll be putting these on etsy, or just taking them to some shows and putting in some shops. I'm also not sure if I'll continue them after the holidays. It all depends on how they go over. I'd love opinions!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Holiday Shows!

Here is what my crazy holiday show calendar looks like this year! Come by, I'll be all over the place!

Twist - November 11th + 12th
Northampton Center for the Arts
17 New South Street 
Northampton, MA 

Queen City Craft - November 19th
Union Station
1 Main St. 
Burlington, VT

Craftland Show - November 25th - December 31st
235 Westminster St.
Providence, RI

Women's Festival of Crafts - November 26th + 27th
Union Station
1 Main St. 
Burlington, VT

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago - December 3rd + 4th
Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
Chicago, IL

Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco - December 17th + 18th
Concourse Exhibition Center
San Francisco, CA

Look forward to seeing you! Meanwhile, if you can't make it to one of these shows, I'll have my etsy shop on hopefully the entire time, although I may close it close to the holiday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thank you etsy

Yay! I am this week's Quit Your Day Job Interview feature thingy majig on etsy.  I can't tell you how humbled, honored and excited I am to have had this opportunity.  Check that one off of my bucket list! ;)

Yep. It's totally always this neat and organized. Just a short week and a half ago, my world was rocked by being asked to do this interview.  I of course dropped every other project and everything else that I was doing in order to make my studio look totally awesome and unrealistic.  When reading most of those interviews on etsy I always was so envious by how neat and organized their studios were.  Now I'm SURE that they all had to have done what I did. Or maybe not. Maybe it's not normal that I over ran the rest of my apartment with the the stuff I usually keep in my studio in the hall and my bedroom. I wanted it to look really really nice for the 3-5 photos she asked me to take.  What? I took hundreds and pondered over which to use for days? Who said that?

Anyway, I had so much fun and am still pinching myself :)

Here are a few of the photos I loved but didn't use

these are my little helpers.

panoramic view!

all of the lovely local Vermont wool that I can't wait to make into neck warmers! 
last but not least... this is my ''I just had an etsy sale face!" 

Thanks so much for reading my interview and now it's time for me to get back to work on things for the holidays! Speaking of, I have been having so much fun doing applique! After I ran out of tea towels, moleskines and all of my old hoodies, I was thinking of buying some nice hoodies or maybe thrifting some for the holidays but would love some input on what you think? Here is a photo of what some may look like: 
I'd love some input! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Renegade Recap

For quite some time I have wanted to participate in the famous Renegade Craft Show. It is the craft show of craft shows after all. It's HUGE with 300 vendors and they host shows in Brooklyn, San Francisco, LA, Austin, London & Chicago. Renegade is based in Chicago and also has a brick and mortar shop in Chicago along Division St.

Several months ago I was super excited to get the news that I was accepted to the Chicago show! I planned on driving so that I could bring as much with me as possible and just a good old fashioned road trip with my Mom was in store.

I headed to Dallas, PA (my old stomping grounds) to spend a few days with friends and family before heading to Chicago. I was a little worried about being able to travel through Vermont and upstate NY because so many roads were washed out due to Irene. Luckily though, all roads were clear and I made the trip with my two buddies safe and sound.

Once I arrived in PA I was very surprised to see that the flooding had followed me. It was awful to hear again that so many people were in jeopardy of losing everything. This also proved to be an obstacle for us getting to Chicago. On Thursday before the show we hopped onto 80west for about an hour before the road was closed. I stopped at three different truck stops trying to find a different route to take to cross the Susquehanna. I kept getting responses like 'YA AINT GETTIN THERE FROM HERE' or 'YOU BETTER FIND A PLACE TO STAY QUICK'

AH! My family on lower ground was being evacuated and staying at my Mom's house. Evacuation deadlines moved up from 8pm to 4pm. It seemed like it was going to be serious business and for a minute we thought we should just turn around and go home. If waters receded we could drive through the night on Friday! or maybe make it in time for Saturday. It all seemed crazy. One fed-ex trucker suggested taking a crazy route that he STILL wasn't sure was passable and would have extended the trip from 11 hours to 19, nonetheless we had lost a few already driving to a road closure and turning around. I had to try. We headed to the turnpike and passed through a few areas that we thought the road would be closed. After a few hours, 81 WAS open through Harrisburg and that meant smooth sailin'!

After a VERY long drive, we made it to Chicago! What a lovely city. We had a free day to walk around and eat yummy food and relax. I'm sure there was much more that I hadn't checked out but my favorite neighborhood that I had been to was the one Renegade was held in, Wicker Park. The shopping on Milwaukee St. was great, too! Lots of cute vintage stores. Then it was back to the hotel to get some sleep before the big show!

I was the first of the staggered load in times, which was great because I am a bit finicky with moving things around 10 times until I get it right. It was SO EASY to load in. We rented a tent, so didn't have to bother with putting one up and we were able to pull the car right next to the tent. It may sound silly, but that can make such a difference.

I set up my (half) booth and met my awesome booth mate Tiyani of Tiselle. She made really lovely letterpress cards. One of the most exciting things about doing a show of this size was being able to see so much cool stuff in person! Lots of things I've gawked at on etsy and also people I hadn't seen in a while. I also got to meet several different shop owners of whom I sell in their shop! Here are some of the things I purchased while I did the rounds of shopping.
doily coasters by uncommon

this I bought for my boyfriend :)
Do the Dishes Tomorrow flour sack kitchen towel by letterform
this was a gift from my Mom!
Porcelain Egg Planters by EcoElements
and last but not least this lovely blizzard hat from YesJess
(mine is red but love this color too!)

All in all it was such a great time! If I do another Renegade I will most likely fly and that will be interesting to see how to come up with neat displays as I can't really bring most of that with me!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Renegade Chicago + New button necklaces

I'll be listing these pretties throughout the day today in my etsy shop. I've made about 15 or so new ones and love them!

I am also so super excited to say that I've been accepted as a vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago this upcoming September! More details to follow. YAY!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer is here!

Woohoo! I have been trying my hardest to do any little task usually done in the studio outside. Which really means, making jewelry & sewing on buttons.

Aside from that, I have been vending at the BCA Market every Saturday (weather pending). So if you are in Burlington this Saturday or any Saturday until the end of October, come by and say hi!

Above are some new necklaces that I just listed in my etsy shop here. Get them now before they're gone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

new studio and high speed! woohoo

Woohoo! We finally moved almost everything in. It seems those little odds and ends turn into a lot of car trips. My new studio is located in our new apartment. It's twice the size of the last second bedroom I was using and it has TONS of light, which is so very important to me. I can't believe we didn't take before pictures. This place was SO much work! The floors all were repainted with a shiny white porch paint. I can't tell you how much white floors really brightens a place up. It may not turn out to be that great during this great mud season here in Johnson, VT.

I can't tell you how much I missed being able to do simple things like walk to the post office, coffee shop, use high speed internet and such. My boyfriend and I used to go on dates to the laundromat 30 minutes from where we lived to use their wifi and do laundry. Ridiculous, I know.

There are downfalls of not living in the middle of nowhere, though. For example, our walls are pretty thin, we don't have a yard to let the doggies run free in and the bathroom....I mean.. the toilet chamber.. see for yourself

Another thing I thought I wouldn't get sick of was our wood stove. While it feels so, so nice and I love the idea of using a renewable resource, it dried me out like crazy, from my hands to my throat. It was also all we used for heat, so on those -20 degree nights, our room was pretty cold!

I have a lot of unpacking, sorting and organizing to do. Then comes the fun part: decorating!

While I am super pumped to get all of this done, it's also just before craft fair season starts and I am about to gear up to have lots of merchandise. I'm coming up with fun new designs for spring + summer.

Here are some of the shows I'll have a booth at in the coming months. Come see me!

Craft Show @ Parker Pie/161 County Road West Glover, VT from 11am-3pm contact for more info

May 6 & 7 Twist Craft Show in Northampton, MA

May 14 & 15 Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia, PA

May 19 Trunk Show @ Fancy Tiger in Denver,CO

May 28 & 29 River Arts Open Studios in Morrisville, VT

June 4 @ Queen City Craft in Burlington, VT

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

consignment. to be or not to be.

I'm thinking spring. It's been a long, cold and snowy winter. The holiday season was great. I made money doing what I love to do. I saved it too! In late November through early January, when all of the sales started to roll in, I thought there might be an end to the madness. And there was. And it wasn't much fun. It is so much easier to spend the little extra money you make instead of saving it. There are so many little things you may think you 'need'. I am so grateful to have had such a successful holiday season. It was the first year I didn't have a "day job" to steal all of my time away. I was able to see what was selling and make more of it. I was able to keep all of the boutiques that carry my line stocked. I had time to scout out new wholesale accounts.

I want to start a weekly post focusing on advice for my fellow crafters. When I first started my line, I had no idea how to approach a boutique or other brick and mortar store. I finally got the courage to go into one store and bring a few shirts to see if the buyer would be interested in carrying them. There are many little handmade shops all over the country waiting to have your handmade goods to sell and each has their way of finding new talent.

Lots of the stores that carry my wares also seek out merchandise by attending big trade shows that happen once or twice a year (i.e. Pool Trade Show, New York Gift Show, Craft Council) . Many have websites requesting that you fill out an application. Often times they will review and get back to you only if they are interested. Some buyers are really busy and only like to look at new designer requests by appointment only.

When I was just starting out, I was so excited to have my line anywhere that it didn't matter if it was consignment. I didn't care if the split was 50/50. It didn't matter if I wouldn't be paid without having to ask.

I have now been selling my clothing and jewelry for years and I still have a hard time deciding on whether to keep consignment as an option for my line. For those of you who don't sell yet, or only sell online, consignment is a lot of work both for the artist and the shop owner. It's a lot to keep track of. Before I seem negative about it, I want to say there ARE some shops impeccable about paying on time, each month, sending out a list of what sold, etc. But there are a lot of shops that don't do this. I'm not a bill collector, I'm a clothing designer. I hate having to badger people for money. It's okay though, you have to decide if it's worth it for you.

Here are some things to consider
  • wholesale or consignment? After much trial and error, I decided to be picky about consignment. I stuck to just a few boutiques and pushed for wholesale. I only consign my clothing locally, where I can go in and check on it or if I've already been selling smaller accessories and I am 100% sure it will sell. Shipping is too costly and the items are too valuable to lose if a place doesn't have their act together. Some places just don't do wholesale but they may be a great outlet for you to sell your goods. Don't totally rule out consignment.
  • ask the potential boutique for references. If someone isn't willing to provide you references of fellow crafters, they may not have a great track record and therefore, I'd skip it.
  • start small. think ahead. After a lot of trial and error, I decided that if I was consigning with a new account, I would send out 10 pairs of button earrings. This way it's not a TON of stock, if something goes terribly wrong but it's enough to tell whether things will go over well or not. Things sell better in groups. Look at the pictures below and notice which stands out more.
  • Consignment Agreement Before you decide yes or no, ask the potential store to send you their consignment agreement. Read it over. Are you paid monthly or quarterly? On the 1st or 15th? If things don't sell, who pays return shipping? Are things donated if you lose touch within 3 months? Are your tags cut off and removed so that no one knows who made the item? All of these things are fair game if you sign a contract stating so. **MAKE SURE YOU GET A COPY SIGNED BY THE PERSON IN CHARGE** A contract is null and void unless it's signed. Some, few, but some stores don't have contracts. You have the option of writing your own. Be sure that the store signs it and returns it to you.
  • percentages and dolla, dolla bills. How much does the store take? What is fair? Some stores take 40% and give you 60%. I think this is a fair amount. It allows you to make more than a wholesale cut and gives the store a decent cut also. Some take an even lower 30% and give you 70%, great for you but the store doesn't make much. Some places do 50/50. I've noticed that MOST of the places that are 50/50 are in bigger cities, with higher rent and expenses. This can work and does work for me in a few spots. The downside of a 50/50 consignment rate is that sometimes it's nicer to have the extra 10-20% because you are doing more work (double checking sales, inventory and paying for shipping). If your items are making the higher 60-70%, and things sell well, there's always the option to ask the store to start on a wholesale basis.
  • sales and special orders. If it doesn't detail sale information in the contract, ask. Some places will run sales and they should take the cut out of their end. I have also been asked if I'd like to participate in sales (a percentage coming out of my end and the shops end). You have every right to not agree to a sale price. After all, you are already only making a % of the retail price. Some places may ask you to make a special order for a customer. Sometimes their percentage will be a bit lower, sometimes not.
  • pricing and other notes Whether you sell your items in a few different retail venues, they should be priced the same. I know that if you sell on Etsy, you make 100% of the profit and you will only make a fraction selling in someone else's venue. Price your work at a fair price so that you can knock 50% off and still be making a fair wage. Evaluate your pricing and don't try to be cheaper than everyone else. Handmade is worth the extra money. I will write a blog post on pricing in the near future.
I hope this is clear and helps! I'm sure I left some out and please ask questions in the comments section if you have them.

I also wanted to say thank you to all of the boutiques that I deal with that are wonderful. You know who you are :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

designer's block!

I'm having a bad case of designers block for my spring line. It's time to put away the wool and heavy fabrics and get to work on spring clothing. It's just that this time of year I have a hard time believing it will actually be spring and summer again. What do YOU plan on wearing this spring and summer? What kind of designs would you like to see?

I am excited to announce that i'll be taking part in this year's beCAUSE show. It's a show where each artist donates a percentage of their proceeds toward a certain charity or foundation. This year I chose Pete's Greens after their devastating loss in the barn fire. Come support some local artists and tons of great causes!

Also in the works, I am moving. Again. I know, I know. I just moved 6 months ago. While I do love it out here for some reasons and love my roommate(s) but it's just too far. An hour round trip driving to and fro the post office isn't helping me with time management and I just can't deal with this slow satellite internet. It takes 10X as long to get things done and some things I can't get done. I have to wait until we go on our weekly dates to the laundromat to use their awesome high speed internet.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

organic cotton is in!

johnson gal dress $120. organic cotton and local wool

One of my new years resolutions was to start a line using organic cotton. Well, it came and I made a few tops(and a skirt!) I have also been using some local wool made down the road at Johnson Woolen Mills right here in Vermont.

You can also find other dresses, skirts and even legwarmers in my etsy shop here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Valentine's Day Goodies

pink patchwork dress. $82 available here
This is the second to last week of my big new year's sale. This week select clothing from last year are marked down 20%. Next week they will be marked down 15% and after that they'll be back to full price. Here are some items that I made this week. It's been a pink week and i'm trying to stick to Valentine's day themed items!

pink snowflake leggings. $20 available here

cute little heart earrings.$10 available here

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

weather pending!

We're currently being hit with a big snowstorm. This means two things for me today: 1. Way too gloomy to take product photos and 2. Too dangerous to get to the post office. While I have lots and lots to mail out and lots to take photos of, I'll have to postpone.

My second week of sale has continued, this week select handmade clothing is marked down 30%, the week after it will be 20% and then 15%.

I've added another goal to my new years resolution. To make a physical product catalogue. While I like the idea of just being able to e-mail businesses and stores, a lot ask for a catalogue to be mailed. I may be missing out on great opportunities until I am able to mail one of these out.