Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New plan?

Ok.  So things didn't go as I had hoped.  It was gray.  It was rainy.  It was windy.  A few vendors backed out, simply so they wouldn't have to be setting up in the rain.  We were under cover a pavilion, so all was safe and dry once there - but even the crowd never appeared.  On top of that - although I've never actually DONE this show as a vendor, I had attended it as a 'shopper' a year or so ago.  I remembered it being (and it is advertised as being) a HIGH END art and original craft show-there were paintings, and basket weavings, etc.  No knock offs, no imports, but original hand made art.  Well - I think somewhere along the line, the high end artists dwindled, and the everyday crafters (crocheted towels, plastic canvas cross stitch, etc). continued.  Out of only 14 vendors that were showing that day - NINE of us were jewelry.  NINE.  TWO of those were imports and items like you see in the shops in the Bahamas, Jamaica, etc.  ONE other jewelry vendor was also seed bead work, but nothing like mine.  Hers were all copied right from the magazines and free pattern sites found on line.  BUT - she was selling them (and they were done very well) for less than $20 and $30 for intricate, detailed, crystal laden bracelets.  I didn't stand a chance.  I came home somewhat damp and very defeated, and have been quite down for the last few days.  I am considering NOT taking part in the next 3 dates that I committed to at that market.  I don't believe that it lives up to the hype it was given, and it definitely isn't drawing the crowd that I expected. 
So - as I stated up there in the title before I chose to vent (sorry, girls.  I get carried away) - I think I have a new plan.  I have been attempting to sell on Etsy since February.  Haven't sold a thing.  Was getting frustrated with that as well, and have even started pulling the original items that I started with instead of relisting, since no one was purchasing.  LOTS of views - just no bites.  A friend had suggested (way before the disastrous results on Sunday) that I should try selling some of my BEADS on there.  At the time it seemed a daunting task, with the photos, and the daily posting to stay at the top of the loop, etc.  But you know what?  I'm going to try it.  Why not?  My sales at the shop have been very, very poor lately, and in fact I may not even make enough this month to pay my bills.  I had hoped after 4 years to have been making a decent profit consistently (I do very well some months, and others not).  So I did some research and spent some time on Etsy yesterday, and I think I might as well try it.  I also understand from a fellow Etsian that being a regular BUYER makes a difference.  Not sure who or how people know that I would buy, and why that would make them buy from me, but I DID see some cool stuff when I was there yesterday.  So if I do have some profit from this month's check (or maybe I'll just dip into Sunday's unused petty cash), I'll try making a purchase or two.  At this point - what have I got to lose? 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Up before the sun

With butterflies.  Not sure why I'm nervous - I've been selling in my OWN shop for almost 4 years now - but this show today has me really antsy.  Soooo want to be successful. But it's the great unknown of profit that is doing it to me  -especially since the weather is, of course, not going to cooperate.  I will be under cover of the park pavilion, so my jewelry, my displays and myself should be just fine.  But shoppers don't come out in the rain.   Especially when parking is at a premium, and a lot of walking is expected.     So instead of getting a good night sleep, I've been up and down, and tossing and turning and finally up for good before 5 am.  And it doesn't look good out there.  I hope I can at least get my velvet covered display and rolling cart from the house to the car and car to the pavilion without getting soaked. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Music in the open air

You've probably read me blogging about our music nights before.  I can't help it - it's one of the last things besides eating and movies that my hubby and I like to DO together, and one of the last things that seems to be FREE, or close to it, in the area.   Tonight was Eastwood - I'll have to take the camera and take a picture next time of the people filling up the space between The Fish Market and Bravo, sitting in our canvas lawn chairs, tapping our feet and nodding our heads to the beat. Some people dance.  Most people just sit back and relax.  So nice though when there's a breeze, and of course - people watching.   Thursday night will be an experiment - a new venue for our favorite music - BLUES.  Probably won't be free to park anymore - hopefully the new spot will work.  Otherwise - we're stuck with occasional Fridays about 1/2 hour away (not counting the Tuesday gigs).  What can I say?  We're music snobs.  It's gotta be just right....
BTW - if you were planning to join The Poor Beads Club, and didn't get a chance to join us on Saturday - go ahead and join in anytime!  Just be sure when you post to YOUR blog - you either post a comment on mine - or email me that you did it. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Busy as a bee

About 2 years ago - my husband made me swear off craft shows.  They just weren't working for me - the work far outweighed the sales, and I NEVER made a profit.  Once I had my own store established - it seems silly.
But the times they are a changin'.  I am an intermediate/advanced seed beader, and enjoy the detail heavy, fancy pieces that take alot of work, and merit a big price tag.  I've had a hard time selling these "art" pieces in my current store venue, so I have been wanting to find another outlet.
Along came The Meridian Artisan Market.  And to heck with my hubby's request!  Since it doesn't involve setting up my tent, or hauling my own tables, (which means he doesn't need to be involved) and was very affordable rent wise (only 40 dollars for 4 weekends), I decided to give it a go.  This is supposed to be a very prestigious show, one that's been going on in a town just a few miles away for about 3 years now, that I had really forgotten about.  They do advertise - I guess I've just chosen to remain oblivious to it.  Until now.  Now I'm excited about the prospect of doing a show again, being able to display my work somewhere other than my shop.  And gain some potential bead AND jewelry customers as well.    So this is a shot of my pile of inventory in progess - except for the piece in the top right corner.  That one's mine.  I will probably be wearing it to one of the shows.  It's based on a Tina Koyama design.  Get lots of compliments.  LOVE the peacock look. 
Be sure you check out the blog site listed in the last post.  Jayne is a multi media artist and beader - I mistakenly saw some scrapbooking type work, and mistakenly called it that.  Ooopsy.  Sorry - go check her out.  VERY fun stuff!

Poor Beaders bling

Well, it was a rather small showing for our first meeting - but here's Jayne's Poor Beaders post.  Jayne is also into scrapbooking - BIG TIME - which is another one of those crafts that would probably pull me in in a heartbeat if I let it.  As it is, I use scrapbooking papers and accessories to decorate my display cases and shadowboxes - I have the fancy shears for edging my store signs, etc.  Glad she's also got the bead bug - go on over and check her out....


I'll contact the other girls again and see if we can make a go of meeting number 2 sometime next month.
And in other Babblenews:  It's been a long time since I've actually participated in a 'craft show'.  They are usually quite costly to participate in around here, as well as time consuming, and tiring, all for what has never been more than a few bucks.  My husband made me swear off them a couple years ago.  BUT - times they are a changin'.  It's been a rather slow year around the shop, and while I'm not ready to throw in the beaded towel yet - I needed to find a better outlet for my fancy detailed seed bead laden works.  Etsy isn't cutting it, in fact, I'll begin withdrawing pieces from my site beginning tomorrow.  Haven't sold a thing in 4 months.  I don't want to devote any more time to that....anyhoo - I have been given an opportunity to participate in an outdoor (of sorts) Art Market, once a month, beginning on Sunday.  It is outdoors - but underneath a big pavilion - THEY provide the tables.  So all I have to bring is my work.  They also recommend that we go wild with our table displays - to draw people to us.  Doing table displays is one of my favorite things!  It takes me forever to set mine up (I'll have to do this one in an hour, urgh)...and can't wait to get out my still unused show displays I used to use.  SOME of them are in use at the shop -but the larger hanging displays, and some of the risers are still in storage.   I'm really looking forward to these 4 shows - 4th Sunday of every month - in one of the areas more 'well to do' communities.  I know I already have TONS of stuff and don't need to make much new at all, but I am spending my week this week making 'Kerry Slade Beaded Beads' - which fit Pandora bracelets.  The ladies are gonna love 'em! 
Thanks to Jayne for posting her Poor Beaders post - please stop over to her site and check it out. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Welcome to the first meeting of The Poor Beaders Club

I'll be checking back here for your comments - I'll then post your blog addresses in a new blog tomorrow so that you can view each others work, and comment, too. 
One of my favorite pieces, and one that reflects ME the most - is one of my 'goddess' pieces.  "Royalty" is not quite as seed bead intense as some of my pieces - but I found surrounding the face to be challenging because of the THICKNESS - it's probably almost 3/4 inches - and uneven on one side - so getting the face to STAY in the bezel wasn't easy.  This was my first 'clasp in front' necklace, and is accented with Sugilite barrels, some small bits of Amethyst, Russian Charoite, and sterling chain. Purple is, of course - my favorite color.  I do believe I'll wear this piece today - in honor of our first meeting.
The trick I learned and use the most, as well as passing on to my customers the most - is about Nymo thread.  Remember that it is like the grain of fabric.  If you use the end of the thread that came off the spool first (the farthest away when you finish pulling off the spool), then it will be much simpler to thread, and fray less.  MOST of the time.  :0) Some of that Nymo is just darned annoying!
So that's it, girls.  Our first meeting.  Here is a question - are you all on Facebook?  If so - be sure to friend each other (AND ME!).  We could  do an instant message chat and work on a project.   Just a thought.  Have fun, girls - BEAD HAPPY!  I'll be at the shop and away from my blog all day, so I'll check back later for your posts....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Meeting of The Poor Beaders Club

Let's plan to 'meet' over the 24 hour period 12AM Saturday, June 19th through midnight that night.  If you are interested in joining, post on YOUR blog the piece of jewelry that you've made that BEST reflects YOU as a person, along with any tips or tricks you've learned along the way, and then comment on THIS blog post that you've done so.  Be sure to include your info so that all of the other joiners can visit your page and see your posting.  Once we've introduced ourselves in this way, we will plan our next meeting and event (challenge, trade, charity, etc.). 
Never done this as a facilitator before - so I hope I've dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's.  I may post a few more times before then - so LOOK for this blog title in my archives.
Cool Moon Creations & Beads
A Poor Beader

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Working on the 'poor' details

Ok, ladies - the original thought was to do something DURING Bead & Button.  Since that's almost over, and I've got a lot on my plate  -  it won't quite come together this week. BUT - the concept of "The Poor Beaders' Club" is still a good one - so let me, as the originator of the idea, think and plan for a day or so - and then put some dates out there for our first 'meeting'.  If you have responded that you're interested - it might be easier for you to comment or email me your email addresses so I'm sure you get the information and get included.   I hope to get with you by Saturday evening or possibly Sunday morning.
Welcome to 'The Poor Beader's Club'!   (Facebook fan page soon to follow!?)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are you a "Poor Beader"?

Lisa Criswell/Indigo's Beads posted a comment in my previous blog that this club thing would be a great way to share challenge projects. I also thought it would be a good way to inspire some of the more beginning beaders to 'branch out' and try new things.  Can't wait to hear from the rest of you about what you'd like to accomplish with this club.....Along with trying to plan a bead retreat for sometime next year, this has got me really excited. I'm thinking that just our blogs might work, as long as everyone posted and read them within a certain block of time. The "Poor Beaders Club" is closer to fruition! Hope to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Suggestions for that club

Ok girls - sounds like my 'poor beaders club' comment kinda perked some interest.  So - how would we go about starting an 'online' club for beaders? With people from all over the country?  I don't have any fancy schmancy video equipment, or an Iphone or WebCam or any of that technological goofy stuff.  But I DO have Facebook - and a blog.  So do you have some suggestions?  Just being Facebook friends - and posting as we work, or instant messaging though Facebook might work - or simply each having blogs that we post to as we're working.....what do YOU think?   Chime in, ladies!   Let's see if we can make this thing work!  HOW FUN!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not feeling the (bead) love

I think I get this way every June.  I get really, really depressed and frustrated that I can't be a Bead & Button show attendee.  I am so envious of all of my fellow beaders that are going.  I haven't ever been able to attend Tucson either -  probably never will because of the distance.  BUT - Bead & Button is a driveable distance away - probably only about 10 hours.  And still, here I am.   I've even had the pleasure (and I mean that in a NOT so positive way) of having people look down their nose at me like I'm not important when I respond to their question about whether or not I'm going with a NO.   So I sit here, wondering - HOW can beaders AFFORD to go to Bead & Button?  I have a bead shop to run, I have stock to purchase, I have bills to pay, I have a husband that was until recently, laid off from his job.  There is simply not enough $$$ in the budget for it.  Does everyone just max their credit cards to the limit to make the trip?  Or am I one of the 'poor' beaders that gets treated like I'm from the wrong side of the tracks?  It's not like I don't try to sell my art pieces.  MOST of my beadwork is very detailed, seed bead heavy work, ala Marcia, and Laura, and Rachel. It's all very unique, and unlike a lot of the other work around my area.  I've got an Etsy site.  I've tried local art galleries.  I have it proudly displayed for sale at my bead shop.  And all I get in return is comments and pats on the back.  Which are nice.  But they don't pay the way to Bead & Button OR the bills for that matter.  And then when I hear and read comments from beady friends that are going about how many classes they are taking, and what they plan to buy, and attending the parties - it depresses me even more that I seem to be the poorest beader in town.
Maybe I need to start a local club for hard up beaders that can get together and commiserate and bead together during Bead & Button.  The "We're Too Poor for Bead & Button but we still consider ourselves Beaders" club.  Although I'm thinkin' I may be the only member....sigh.
So that's my rant. Sorry I put you through that. If there is someone out there with a great solution short of winning the lottery, I'd be glad to hear it.