Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wholesale Advice


Here is a wonderful article
with lots of great links and advice
on selling your crafts at wholesale.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Etsy Banner Maker - Sneak Peek

Check out this Sneak Peek of a new Seller Tool on Etsy!

It's a Etsy Shop Banner Generator and it is super cool.

Follow the Directions on the page to save the banners you create (note: On my Mac I had to change the file type initials at the end of the file name manually, i.e. it said filename.php and I retyped it as filename.jpeg or else it would not upload when I tried to put it up in Your Etsy > Appearance)








Also check out these great prefab banners, avatars and buttons for your Etsy shop and/
or blog or website.








Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Product Images

Here's an image of my new photography set-up that I use to take product images of my pottery, jewelry and buttons. I use 'Daylight' light bulbs in ordinary inexpensive clip lamps along with a couple of light reflectors. 99% of the images I take these days are digital, which allows me to take images of my clay work quickly and inexpensively.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tasha's Craft Show Survey Answers

Here are my answers to Mymy's Craft Show Survey:

+ why do you sell at craft shows vs. other selling venues?

Selling at Craft Shows allows me to sell lots at one time and I like getting direct feedback from customers/potential customers.

+ how do you decide what shows to do?

I look for shows where my work will be a good fit and that either a reasonable driving distance from home or are in a town where I have friends :)

+ what makes a show a "good show"?

A 'good show' is one where:

- the other vendors are showing high quality handmade work

- the attendees show respect & appreciation for you & your work (as in, you don't get a ton a really offensive/stupid comments or questions about your work and/or your career choice)

- A good show is well-run and the organizers are friendly & helpful

- I take home a reasonable profit (as in, I *make* money far above & beyond covering my expenses - I like to make a profit of at least 10 times the booth fee)


+ for juried shows, how do you know what photos to send?

Indie Shows differ from Fine Art and Craft Shows on this point - the images that get you into a Fine Art and Craft Show can keep you out of an Indie Show in some cases - I send images that represent all the different types of crafts I make & sell (pottery, jewelry and handmade buttons) but I choose an image of each type of work in the same color scheme so the images still look related to each other.

Here's a link to more of my advice on Images for Juried Shows.

+ what preparations go into planning for selling at a craft show?

- I plan way ahead of time to make sure I will have enough inventory for a show.
- I make travel arrangements ahead of time
- I try to keep my show supplies and equipment well-organized so packing takes less time

+ do you have a check-list of items to bring? if so, what is on it?

I do have a checklist (but it tends to be more in my head these days because I do so many shows in row)

Things You Need to Bring to a Craft Show:

* enough of you artwork or craft work to fill a booth (or table at Indie Shows and Flea Markets)
* a tent, stakes and/or weights (outdoor shows only)
* display equipment (shelves, tables, table covers, hanging system for 2-D work, jewelry display items, mirror, etc)
* business cards
* signage (some shows provide signs with your name, booth numbers, etc)
* packaging materials (bags, paper or bubble wrap, tape,boxes, etc)
* change ($1's, $5's, $10's, $20's and coinage)
* sales tax permit (some shows provide a temporary permit for vendors)
* ability to accept credit cards (optional)
* drinking water and food (or buy festival food - I do like festival food on occasion)
* baby wipes (you get dirty at shows)
* glass cleaner (your work gets dirty at shows)
* a vehicle big enough to fit all your show stuff in (I fit all my pottery stuff in a Subaru wagon)
* a hand cart (some shows let you drive up to your booth, others don't or are inside)


+ how much money do you bring for change? what do you keep your money in at shows?

I bring at least $50 for change in mostly $1's and $5's and I keep it in my lucky wooden cigar box, but I used to use a small file folder (coupon organizer) that fit in my apron.

+ do you accept credit cards? why? why not?

I do accept credit cards because so many people use a debit card or credit card with a 'rewards program' these days - not too many people carry cash or a check book anymore.

+ do you accept checks? why? why not?

I do accept checks, but am careful to check identification.

+ what about charging tax?

I always check what the local sales tax rate is and make sure I am set up to collect it - I really love show organizers that provide a temporary permit for vendors because if you are from out-of-state the process can be a lot of paper work . . .

+ if a crafter has a wide price range of items is it smart to bring them all? or stick to a certain price point? why/why not?

I bring a wide range of price points to my shows especially new shows because you never know what will sell. I almost always bring too much work.

+ do you price each item or have a price list on hand?

I price each item because almost all of my work is one-of-a-kind.

+ do personalized items sell at craft shows? (do you ever take orders & then send the item to the customer afterwards?)

I do take orders at shows for items I will custom make later and ship to the customer.

+ what do you use for a table cover? sign?

-I use differ fabrics for table cover - depending on the show - sometimes plan black and sometimes a fun retro print.

-I have my own sign with my name and logo on it.

+ how do you display your items?

I have shelves & table-top pedestals for my pottery, earring & necklace racks for my jewelry and small flip-bins for my handmade buttons on cards.

+ do you bring bags/packing supplies for customers?

I reuse paper grocery bags & newspaper for my pottery, pretty gift boxes & little paper bags for my jewelry.

+ how do you transport your items to & from the show?

In my station wagon in big 'Rubbermaid' containers.

+ do you need a business license to do a craft show? what about a permit?

In most cases a 'Resale Permit' to collect sales tax is all that is necessary, but I always check to make sure nothing else is required.

+ any other advice/ideas?

Get to the show on time especially if it is your first show - don't show up 30 minutes before it starts. You will not be ready when customers arrive and will annoy your neighbors.

Your Input: Mymy's Guide for Newbie Craft Fair Sellers

Mymy is putting together a guide for first time craft fair sellers and would love some help!

If you have a moment, answer the questions below then email your responses to mymy@girlswirl.net. Your answers may be used for the final piece which will be posted to http://www.indiecraftfairguide.com. Be sure to include your contact info (along with a website link) when responding!

Feel free to post this to your blog or forward to anyone you think might be interested in taking part. Be sure to include your contact info (along with a website link) when responding!


Questions

+ why do you sell at craft shows vs. other selling venues?
+ how do you decide what shows to do?
+ what makes a show a "good show"?
+ for juried shows, how do you know what photos to send?
+ what preparations go into planning for selling at a craft show?
+ do you have a check-list of items to bring? if so, what is on it?
+ how much money do you bring for change? what do you keep your money in at shows?
+ do you accept credit cards? why? why not?
+ do you accept checks? why? why not?
+ what about charging tax?
+ if a crafter has a wide price range of items is it smart to bring them all? or stick to a certain price point? why/why not?
+ do you price each item or have a price list on hand?
+ do personalized items sell at craft shows? (do you ever take orders & then send the item to the customer afterwards?)
+ what do you use for a table cover? sign?
+ how do you display your items?
+ do you bring bags/packing supplies for customers?
+ how do you transport your items to & from the show?
+ do you need a business license to do a craft show? what about a permit?
+ any other advice/ideas?



Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Craft Show Workshop

I'll be in Brooklyn at Etsy Labs on July 22, 2007 giving a workshop on participating in Art and Craft Shows.



Date: July 22nd, 2007 Time: 1-3PM
Location: Etsy Labs, 325 Gold Street 6th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.


Description:

Learn all about doing shows - from picking the right shows for your work, to photographing work for juried show applications, to product packaging, to building or buying display equipment, to day-of-the-show checklists, to accepting credit cards at shows - everything you ever wanted to know about doing shows. Digital and film photography of craft products for juried shows will be demonstrated during the workshop - participants are encouraged to bring an example of their work to photograph during the workshop (and their camera is optional, too).
Participants will take home a full-color booklet compiled by Tasha McKelvey on selling at Art and Craft shows.

Note: 10% discounts to "PAL" members of the Etsy Labs

There are only 15 spaces available in total so sign up quickly!
Class fee is $50.00 ($10.00 booklet printing fee included in this price).


This class will be led by Tasha McKelvey. Tasha McKelvey creates functional clay works - both pottery and jewelry. She currently resides in Richmond, Virginia and exhibits her work in galleries and shows across the Mid-Atlantic region. Tasha has worked as a full-time studio artist for the past seven years and has extensive experience participating in Art and Craft shows. Tasha has written art and craft business articles for Croq Zine and for her own arts and crafts business blog. Tasha holds a degree in Studio Art and is currently pursuing her teaching certificate. She is also a member of the Richmond Craft Mafia and the Virginia Artisans.
More about Tasha McKelvey at www.tashamckelvey.com

Business Week


Business Week did an article on Etsy and I was interviewed to be a featured Etsy Seller for the accompanying slide show.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Art and Craft Business Blog Article Published in Croq Zine


An abridged version of "Good Beginner Art and Craft Shows" by Tasha McKelvey is featured in the Summer 2006 Issue of Croq Zine.