Colorful Creations

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Spring is in full swing, which means summer is on its way! No one is in a hurry to skip past the beautiful spring pastels, but neither will anyone complain when it is time to break out the bright summer color scheme either! Colorful creations are appropriate any time of the year, but especially so as we are breaking out the popsicles for kids and the fireworks for 4th of July. Summer is all about colors!

With that in mind, I asked our Christmas in July team for the most colorful creations in their shops. So here are some of the best of the best in terms of colorful Etsy items!

Karen from TimeTalentJewels shared this absolutely stunning crochet wire necklace, fraught with summer colors! I just love the shapes and sizes of these beads, as well. Don’t they remind you of summer fruits or flourishing gardens? PLUS this listing includes both the necklace and an earrings set! Karen says: “What got me started on this particular Wire Crochet Necklace was a very small bead by the name of “”Dyed Jade”. The colors were just beautiful within that tiny bead and what colors popped out were Corals, Yellows, Aqua, and Chartreuse. I had a lot of fun trying to get the exact colors for this necklace and it finally all came together. There are even little yellow butterflies in the necklace which gives me hope that summer is approaching with the warmer weather that I absolutely love.”

(Pro tip: check out the rest of Karen’s shop! It is filled with equally beautiful and colorful pieces of jewelry!)

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Now here is a piece that everyone who wears sunglasses needs – and who doesn’t wear sunglasses in the sunny summer months?! I just love the bright colors and designs on the fabric, and I envision these being a perfect gift this summer season! Here is what Diana, owner of JolieFemme, says:

“My shop is always filled with colorful items. I love color and fun prints! I chose this fabric because the flowers are so bright against the white background and it has little skulls too. This item is easy to find in your bag and keeps your glasses safe and scratchfree. #colorfulisfun Bright color is great to bring a smile and good for any time of the year! #happycolor”.

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And now, an item that is rather unique for what you might expect on Etsy – but we love unique here! CorkyCrafts offers an array of seeds for flowers so that your garden can flourish this summer. The owner says:

“What is summer without sunflowers? A garden should make you smile, plus it is a great teaching tool with children too. In Texas sunflowers are king during the hot Texas summer months. We enjoy sharing our TX size flowers with our clients. My shop is filled with cork crafts and when I’m saving up corks for projects during the spring and summer we also offer our flower seeds to help spread a wide array of color in flowers to our customers to enjoy gardening to

Corkycrafts

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says:

At the time I created this, we were living in our first house we purchased. My husband loves to spend time outdoors in the summer so we built a huge deck on the back of the house and put in a koi pond right on the side of the deck. I love to take objects and turn them into something entirely different so when I came across these designer koi shoes I just had to make a ring or earring stud organizer out of them. They are also perfect for craft show displays!

Cynhumphrey

Any new moms out there? We’ve got you covered with this uber-cute diaper clutch! No longer does changing diapers have to be a dreaded task, because this colorful creation from artsyEVE is there to brighten up the task. Here is what the owners, Evelyn and Lucy, have to say:

“This little diaper clutch is the perfect little bag for taking a diaper, a small wipe and perhaps a pacifier with you–when you don’t want to carry a large diaper bag! Colorful and fun!”

artsyEVE

Georgie from littlecrowdesign says:

When Pantone announced the 2017 colour of the year was ‘Greenery’ it was no surprise to me! Green has always been my favourite colour – it can be bright and cheerful, or serene and calming. This original print features another favourite of mine – succulents! The combination of colour and design makes this pillow cover a special one.

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Izabela Gveroska from Gavriila says:

Love this necklace,it is so colorful,I enjoyed making it, I started to make it as a bib necklace,but I ended up as a crochet pendant. It is unique,only one piece, it was so complicated during the process of knitting, so it is impossible to repeat it once again.

Gavriila

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says:

This is a confetti clip art oval frame set. Photography transparent overlay or solid white background are both included in this set. I used my favorite colors to make the confetti sprinkles – starting with purple! Then on to pink. Couldn’t leave out blue. Blue and orange is a favorite combination. I really love pink and green. So many reasons to love this colorful clipart!

ButterflyFeetDigital

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

This charm bracelet is part of the ‘stripe delight’ range created specifically for the vibrant colours of Spring! The range also has earrings and a necklace available in my shop!

The beads are individually handmade made from colourful paper joined together by hand formed findings.

DeeDeeDeesigns

Victoria Evrard from StarryNightTrees says:

I love mixing lots of different colors together. This is my Celebration tree and I use every bead color I have access to. This is my favorite tree and I have mine out all year and use it as a night light.

StarryNightTrees

Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says:

Multi colored beads and gorgeous carved rainbow fluorite pendant depicting the goddess Kwan Yin. The necklace is beaded with turquoise beads, rainbow fluorite beads, purple river stone, turquoise quartz, orange bone beads, pink, blue and turquoise seed beads, and silver plated pewter spacer beads.

EponasCrystals

And last but not least…another stunning necklace! I hesitated to include two pieces of jewelry in the same post, but let’s be honest, we can never have too many necklaces – especially when they are as bright, colorful, and unique as this beauty from Bungalow42. Connie Lee, owner of this shop, shared the backstory behind this piece:

“There is a folk art vibe to these hand painted fish. Their history is a bit of a mystery. The original statement necklace was a vintage piece that belonged to a family member but no one seems to know its origins. Happy to report that all of the fish are in good vintage condition. It is obvious that they were handmade and hand painted with love. This was the first time that I got to deconstruct a vintage piece for new designs. It was big fun. #happycolor #fishjewelry”.

Bungalow42

If these colors didn’t remind you that life should be filled with color and joy, I don’t know what else could! Be sure to share your brightest pieces in the comments below. Let’s spread some color love throughout this Etsy community!

Craft Shows – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

I recently asked a few members of Team Christmas in July about their experiences with craft shows. They had a lot of tips and tricks, as well as advice.

The Good:

Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

1) My husband (reluctantly) agreed to help me. Crowds are not really his thing as he’d rather be on his boat, but I was really glad he was there. His muscle and his ability to cram every inch of the back of an empty truck with tables, display items, and product were invaluable! He was also able to run to a nearby store to grab what we forgot at home.

2) I met some wonderful people who have since hired me for custom work. I even embroidered the sails of a boat!

3) Starting out small was a great idea! I made a list of do’s and dont’s, and will refer to it for my next show.

4) I landed next to a lady that had been doing craft fairs for 30 years. I listened up to her advice!

 

Marjorie Scenna of MissScena says:

I did a few craft shows last year and then did 4 this past fall, right before the holidays. I really enjoy the interactions and conversations with the customers as well as fellow crafters. I took a peek at some great ideas for the future as well.

What I brought that was helpful:

-A small box of tools that I could use to make repairs/adjustments to my jewelry
-Some beads, wire and supplies to make something – people like to see what you are doing
-I used plastic storage containers for my supplies that stacked and were able to load them into large shopping/tote bags – made carrying easier
-Printed a bunch of labels/signs with prices and descriptions to attach to my displays, some I also put in small frames on the tables
-I invested in a banner from Vistaprint – it was eye catching
– I practiced my set up and displays at home first, took pictures at each show
– I had friends and co-workers stop by, made it fun but also caused others to stop by as the table was “busy”

While I didn’t make much money, mostly only broke even, I gave out a lot of cards and got great feedback from the people who did purchase. I also took note of what I sold the most of and what prices those items were. I do plan to do some more this spring to see what happens. Being in the Boston area, the weather definitely has an impact on turnout!

 

Rebecca Jimenez of SouthernTrend says:

I have only done one craft fair for a couple of years and a nightclub a few times when I sponsored an event they were having. I have done really well at both considering at the craft fair I only had a 6 foot table and an even smaller table at the nightclub.

Because the “booths” were small set up and tear down was very easy and interacting with people at both types of events was great!!!

Since I had done so well there I thought this year I would up my game!! A friend of mine suggested I try selling at a bike rally (motorcycles….bikers). I looked it up and signed up for an 8×10 booth. I knew I didn’t have enough inventory to fill it up by myself so I incorporated some other things people I know make and (sigh) bought some “filler” items.

I was pretty disappointed but I learned a lot. I did make my booth money back plus some extra and got some great feed back from people as to what they were looking for in handmade items as well as items to purchase to re-sell.

Set up and tear down was AWEFUL!! I got there and had three hrs to set up!! I barely made it. I have to figure out a faster way to set my jewelry out!! That’s what got me. I’m gonna be investing in some stackable trays!!
Biker rally’s are WAAAAAY different from a craft fair!! LOL!!
For now I did have to buy some biker related merchandise because I foolishly signed up for 4 more through out the year!! LOL!! I have already started planning on what I can make that is geared to this particular fun bunch of folks!!
Things in black or made out of leather are on the list FOR SURE!!
I think also that at any event you go to people want to get to know you. The second time I go back to every event I do better than before.
Give an event a second chance….change your inventory or at least add something new and try to be different from the other vendors!!
I can sleep and craft better now that I have purchased the biker inventory I know will sell till I replace it with hand made items.
Still ….learning….I’ll let ya know how it goes at the next one I go to!! LOL!!

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The Bad:

Jennifer Loftfield of CaffeinatedPapercuts says:

Oh boy, get comfortable; I’ve been doing craft shows for 3 years now and grew up a ‘craft show brat’ as my mother did them with her fabric goods. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the offensive when it comes to table setups, buyers, and sellers though mostly it’s good.

The worst was a first-time show that had a bad location, poor planning, and evidently all the wrong kinds of advertising. We had maybe 12 people come through all day and half the vendors packed up and left! I barely made my table fee back, but it did help reintroduce me to the world of shows and teach me to be a good sport. Was the show horrible? Sure, but the coordinator appreciated the fact that I actually stayed to the end. I may never attend one of her shows again, but we parted on good terms.

The best was my second big holiday show; I was on the wait-list and got the call 6pm the night before, as I was leaving my first big show, that I was in! I left the car packed, refilled what I could, and set out the next morning. The best all day was when I woman noticed I took Visa and proceeded to hand me nearly $100 worth of cards and stocking stuffers because of it! I still do those two shows, back-to-back, every year and they’re still the best.

I have found, for my products, that the best time of year for me to do shows is the holiday season; I start in November and end the second week of December. That said, the year I tried a spring show is when I realized I needed to diversify my stock; removing all of the holiday cards left my table nearly empty!

Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

1) The weather was TERRIBLE. We almost wrecked three times getting there, and, in retrospect, should have turned around and gone home.

2) Due to the weather, set up and tear down was difficult. Also, turnout wasn’t great.

What I learned:
1) To set up and tear down at home first. I mean EVERYTHING. Tables, table cloths, merchandise on displays, everything. I will play with it at home and find the perfect arrangement, take pictures, then setup in the display area using the pictures as a guide.

2) Take plenty of merchandise and create a custom order form for people to use and pay a deposit there.

3) Remember a phone charger to use Square or other credit card on my phone, and have a charged phone at all times.

4) Take a long extension cord. I paid for electricity that I couldn’t use because the outlet was too far away.

5) Have a variety of merchandise with a full booth. Take cards and give them out. Some of them find their way into the circular file cabinet, but some will lead to sales. You can offer a discount code for future orders, if you’d like to track your on-line sales after the show.

6) We sat in front of the table, then moved behind the table. We had a lot more traffic (and sales) behind the table.

7) HAVE FUN! Talk with the other vendors during slow times, mingle, talk with the coordinators, and smile the whole time. Be sure you pay attention to other vendor’s booths to get ideas for setup and marketing (NOT PRODUCTS).

8) Be selective. If you sell handmade, I would recommend a juried show that you apply to be a part of. Being next to an Avon booth was very smelly all day! Visit the fair first, if possible, to get a sense of customer base and what they are buying.

9) Did I mention have fun? That’s really important!

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The Ugly:

RosesWorkshop says:

Today I was a visitor at what seemed to be the worst show I have ever seen, and I’m very glad I didn’t have a table there. Most of the problems seemed to be related to the venue – it was in a casino!

Apparently there are restrictions on advertising a casino; that meant no posters or signs outside. I only knew the fair was on because one of the sellers told me last week.

Then of course anyone who wanted to attend had to prove they were over 18, so no families could come in even if they found it. Anyone who got past security then had to get past the slot machines and the bar to find the area allocated to the “craft fair”.

The sellers had tables provided – they were those bean shaped card tables with raised edges. Can you imagine the fun laying out your stock on that? And they were still in two lines down the room, so each seller was looking at the back of the head of the next seller; pretty hard to chat to your neighbour while waiting for a customer.

How many people do you think go out on a wet Sunday lunchtime to the casino and actually have the intention and money to buy handmade cards or baby cardigans?

My commiserations to all those stallholders on their wasted day.

 

What it all boils down to:

Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts says:

-what sells best online may not be what sells best in person. My cards are barely touched on Etsy to where I don’t even list them all anymore, but fly off the rack at shows. Conversely, my chevron tags aren’t touched at shows and are my best seller online. Listen to the crowd and see where you can grow your product line.
-accept credit cards. Both PayPal and Square have inexpensive fees and encourages people to buy the bigger items they don’t have the cash for.
-when possible, attend a craft show before you vend at it to get a feel for the crowd, the atmosphere, and to see if they’re truly handmade only or if they’re overrun by Avon and Shush shoes.
-don’t buy one of those craft show site subscriptions, just get on Google and go. Does your church/community center/school do a show every year? Start emailing them for applications!
-make your table inviting, not too cluttered, and reflect your business image. Pinterest is full of boards that involve beautiful and thrifty booth setups, and be sure to do some mock setups at home first.
-Etsy has a wonderful Craft Fair team that everyone is welcome to come read for tips, tricks, and comical vents.
-do bring a buddy when possible, or at least have one stop by around lunch. After all, we all need potty breaks!

I greatly enjoy doing craft shows, being able to interact with my customers, and bringing in some extra sales offline. And hey, they’re great exercise! LOL

 

It is a lot of fun to be a vendor in a craft show,but it also takes dedication and hard work. Have a good time and a great show!

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