Monday, December 21, 2009

Down Time

The shows are done. Woo Hoo

All of my orders are completed. Woo Hoo

Now I'm just crossing my fingers and toes that the last few packages arrive intime! They were all sent with plenty of time to arrive so please postal workers - get those few remaining packages delivered.

I finished a pair of socks I've been working on since the spring. Woo Hoo!

Taking a wee break from hooking. But I have 5 more hats I need to get made up soon. I will return to the hook after the holidays.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tips for a Craft Show Organizer

What makes me the expert? Nothing. But I have been to a more then a few as a vendor. There are shows that are well organized and well attended and others that aren't. I don't have all the answers - but I here is a list of items that I have found make for a better craft show.

1.Getting vendors is easy! Make sure you get the traffic too.

Vendors are eager to to go to successful craft shows. We hunt them down. Word of mouth, internet even publications. The key to a successful craft show is to get traffic with people who come prepared to spend money. Of course if your vendor products don't match your traffic target audience then there will be an issue there too.

If you are organizing a fundraiser make sure your community is willing to support you. At a recent (not so great) show another vendor came up to me and said he can tell if it will be good based on the bake sale table. If the parents and volunteer community within the organization are willing to support the bake sale with great baked goods, chances are it will be a good show. But don't rely on your immediate community of family and friends. Spread the word!

A. Signage within the neighbourhood. And good signs. BIG BOLD lettering that people can read while they're driving by. I've seen so many signs that I've been looking for and I can't even read them! Place, Date, Time maybe even directional arrows. If you need more space - use 2 signs spaced one behind the others so people can catch Craft Show, Date, Time then a few meters behind the place. This way if they're driving they don't have to strain to see it. I've been told I have amazing eyesight as a passenger and if I'm straining - there's an issue with the signs! Loads of signs - surrounding the neighbourhood.

B. Community Papers - use them! I know that most organizations don't have the advertising budget to place an ad. But ALL community papers have a "what's going on" section. Send them the information a few weeks in advance including the date, where, when, what, and even why if it's a fundraiser for something. Community papers love to support their communities! Even send out a press release and get them their for the event for some after event media coverage. The more you build the reputation of a show the more successful it will be year after year.

C. Web Sites - There are tons of websites that allow you to list events for free. Use them. Many people I know search Kijiji. Does your local community have a website about what's going on? Contact them and put a listing in. It's usually free for community organizations who are putting on a fundraising activity.

D. Drop Flyers - this is something that is so easy and can be so effective. Especially if you're a school. Make up a little 1/2 page flyer. It can be an simple black and white flyer with a little clip art. Get volunteers to help and simply put them into the mailboxes of the homes surrounding your organization. This can serve two purposes. The first is to invite them to the invent. If they're not part of your organization they may not be aware of it. And secondly it can at least alert them to (hopefully) increased traffic in the area as a common courteousy. I'm not talking thousands either - it doesn't take long to drop 200 flyers and it's great exercise. Of course avoid the houses that ask for no junk mail or flyers. The last thing you want to do is anger your neighbours.

2. Communicate!

This is huge. Communicate not only to your community and to the public but to your vendors! I know you're busy, but a few days before the show send out a reminder email (or call) to all the vendors. Build excitement with them! And give them, or remind them, the information they need. Where is the show. General directions. Do they check in (where) once they arrive. When can they start setting up? Will you have helpers there for vendors? If you're asking for a donation to a silent auction or raffle will someone go around to collect them? Will you have a canteen or a place where vendors can purchase food during the day. Specify that vendors are not allowed to pack up before the closing time!

Once at the show and vendors are set up - I've often found it's a nice touch when the organizers go around to each vendor if possible to thank them for joining them and to wish them success during the day. It's something so small, but it makes a big difference.

Feedback forms are great too!

3. If it's a Craft Show - make it a CRAFT Show.
I've been to craft shows that should have been called an open house or a shopping party or something else. As a crafter when I attend a craft show I expect it to be crafts! Not resellers! How are Ty Beanie Babies considered a craft? You know - I'm even fine with a few reps from something like Creative Memories, Epicure Spices even though it's a bit of a stretch but there is still some creativity involved in the end product, but selling china dolls from china? Or silk scarves from India? Don't get me wrong - I think there is a place for everything, but again if you are calling it a Craft Show - keep it to crafts. I know many artisans who are not as willing to stretch their imagination of crafts as I am.

Also - think about the layout of where you're putting your vendors. Do you have 2 card makers beside each other?

4. ATM Machine!
I know this one costs money - but if you're at all able to, bring in an ATM machine! Your patrons and vendors will love you for it:)

5. Seeking Vendors
As I mentioned before in my opinion it's very easy to get vendors. But make sure the vendors you get are right for your target audience and community. There are some wonderful crafters who are hobiests and price their pieces accordingly. There are some wonderful crafters who are artisans who actually pay themselves for their work and price their pieces accordingly. Are you looking to have more of a bazaar type sale with hobbiests? Or a slightly upper scale sale with artisans? Not that you need to choose one or the other. I think a great show has a good variety of items and a variety of price points. But something to think about.

I love doing craft shows! I love setting up and showing my Loopy wears. I love talking to potential buyers about my hats and the sock monkeys. I love talking to other vendors and checking out their talents. It's amazing what people can do!

I've always found it easy to tell when a show is successful. If vendors are buying it's been a good day:)

I don't think if you fall all of these tips that you'll have a guaranteed hit, but I do think that these tips will certianly help get you there. Organizing any type of event is no small task! It's a lot of hard work, organization, communication, blood, sweat and tears I get that! These are just tips of things I've noticed in the shows I've attended as to what makes for a better show then others.

I'm sure other crafters have other tips they'd like to share! Feel free to leave them in the comment section:)

Good luck!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gotta love little helpers:)

I was just taking a picture of all the size 0-3mth hats (and the newborn hat) I have in stock to email someone. I got the picture I needed and then my little guy wanted to help with the photo shoot. This was his vision:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ask and you shall receive! Some of the latest custom orders

I've done a multitude of custom orders lately both from the online sites and from the shows I've attended. The moral of this post -I don't have everything in my online shops that I make. So if you think I can make something - ask! I probably can. Different colour combos, add a flower, whatever! There's just no way I can make all the hats and have pictures taken of them to post. Not enough hours in the day. And lets face it, on the rare occasion I do allow myself to slack off and take a hat free day:) Not often, but it happens on occasion.

This one is so cute I had to post 1 pictures of it so you could get the full view. One of the new colours I've been working with (sold out - waiting for a new shipment!) is Abbey Rose with the Burnt Orange - beautiful!

And as you can see it's an earflap hat with a flower :)

I also get a lot of requests for single coloured visors. Not a problem. I love the black here with the black flower. I've done this with the flapper style too - charcoal with a charcoal flower. Nice and subtle.

And 2 or 3 toned flowers! Not a great shot but you get the idea. The hats here are celery and the centre of the flower is celery for each of them. One row of petals one colour and the outside another colour. Very cute!

And I just really liked these hats - all in soft ecru with the rose pink and celery flower. Don't you love my new wicker heads too! So much nicer then that styrofoam ball!
I'm attending one more show this Sunday. Details are in the previous post. Well actually there's one last show after that but it's at an office building. I'm still maintaining my quick turn around and hats are still being shipped out within 3-5 days!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Chance to Shop in Person

It's been a whirl wind of shows. Four down and two more to go.

The next show I will be at is:

Windows on Christmas
Sunday, December 6th from 9am - 3pm
Walter Baker Sports Centre, 100 Malvern Dr in Barrhaven

I also have a show scheduled for December 9 & 10 in an office building in Hull.

If I do any more I'll be sure to list them here. It's been a busy season and I'm loving it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Burgundy Order

After our show last week I came home to a custom order of 6 hats in burgundy and grey. Here's a picture of them which are now on their way to Texas. I love these colours together.

I've done a lot of other custom orders too, I just haven't had the time to photograph them before shipping them out which is usually my first priority to get them to the buyer as quickly as a can.

I've also received some really great new colours! A dark grape, abbey rose and I think my new favorite it Tannin. Which is almost like a brown with a hint of purple. Gorgeous!

I also just finished an awesome adult flapper beanie that I will try to get pictures of after this weekend to list. A black one with a red flower. Beautiful, very classic looking.

We're just in the process of last minute prep work for our show this weekend which is being held at the Glebe Community Centre. If you're in Ottawa be sure to come and check it out!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Show of the Season

Well we had a great first show of the season and I'm hoping things only go up from there! As listed in the post before this one I'll be at the Glebe Community Centre this weekend!

I took some pictures of my table as I was excited about the new items I added this year. I think it's coming along great!
Every year I'm able to add a little bit more to the table to help make it a bit better. Of course every show you're at you learn something new too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Want to Shop Loopy 4 Ewe in Person?

'Tis the season for shows! So if you're in the Ottawa area and have wanted to buy a Loopy 4 Ewe hat but just weren't comfortable ordering online here's your chance!

All Saints Catholic High School Craft Fair
5115 Kanata Ave, Kanata, K2K 3K5
Saturday, November 7
9am and 3pm
*I will likely be in the gym
Admission is $1 or a non-perishable food item

GNAG Craft Fair
Glebe Community Centre
175 Third Ave, Ottawa, K1S 2K2
Friday, November 13 6pm-9pm
Saturday, November 14 10am - 5pm
Sunday, November 15 10am - 4pm

W.O. Mitchell Elementary School Craft Fair
Saturday, November 21
10am - 3pm
80 Steeple Chase Drive, Kanata, K2M 2A6

There are possibly 2 more shows that I am waiting to hear about and I will post them once they've been confirmed!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prepping for my shows - what does it look like?!?!

This is where I'm at with my show prepping:)

I have in my hands 12 sock monkeys. We'll have at least 14 for the first show I believe.
We have some great socks to that will eventually turned into adorable monkeys or other creations....
(I have no idea why spacing gives me an issue with some posts! Like this one!!)
I also have 54 new hats ready to go. And 1 more is almost done. I'd like to get at least another 10 done for the Saturday show.
Also in this shot you can kind of see one of the wicker heads I got. Not a great shot of it but they are adorable.
And I'm so excited because I just picked up my poster that my friend designed for me. It's awesome!
*Photo credits:
Shipra Panosian of Orlando, Florida
Melissa Fullmer of Dallas, Texas
Kim Vandermeer of Ottawa, Ontario
Traci Nelson of Hamilton, ON
I can't wait to see my table all set up with my new stuff!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just really busy~

I have not abandoned the blog! I'm just super busy preparing for my shows.

Although I did finally upload the picture of the little bear hat! So I'll leave you with that:)
I dont' have any listed and I don't have any instock - but if you'd like one just ask:) And I will be listing them at one point! I'm also hoping to have some instock for my upcoming shows!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Become a Facebook Fan!

I've set up a business page on Facebook under Loopy 4 Ewe . Become a fan! Post pictures of Loopy hats in action in the fan photo section too - it's one of my favorite things to see!

Eventually I'll be offering exclusive offers through the Facebook fan page. Maybe even some contests for a chance to win FREE Loopy wears. Sounds good? I just need to get past the craft show circuit season, build the fan base and then we'll get things in motion.

See you over there!

Friday, October 9, 2009

What's been happening in Loopy land? Lots!!!

I dropped off my order yesterday to 3 Little Monkey's on Bank St. yesterday! Some great hats from 0-3mths right up to 2-4T.

I've also been steadily working on custom orders like these ones!

I've been making double thick earflap hats for awhile now and have had every intention to get some made and put them up for sale in my shops but it just hasn't happened. So I was excited when someone asked me to make some for them.
I've also made this great charcoal hat with the black flower. I'm running low on charcoal and hoping my shipment arrives soon!
I also JUST finished this hat that's on it's way out the door as soon as I post this blog post. I love the bright colours of the flower.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Colour Combo

I've been getting in some new colours for my stash lately. Love the colours! Here are 2 hats that I've recently done with the newer colour combos. I'll be (not so) patiently waiting for the mail to arrive within the next couple of weeks because I've ordered some brand new colours that I can't wait to see. I'll be using them for inventory for my upcoming shows.

With these new colours my stash is growing. I think it may be time to retire some colours from my collection as well. That will be hard!

I'm still having a hard time photographing purple!! Seriously.I have tried different lights and it's just not working. This is the closest picture I've had to the truest colour. But it's not event close!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Quick Turn Around TImes

I'm happy to report that even though I'm very busy making hats I still have a quick turn around time. Usually when a buyer puts in an order I can have the hats made and shipped withing 3-5 days. Sometimes even within a day. If you need it fast just let me know. I can usually accommodate.

Providing quality hats and great customer service are very important to me.

So even as we're approaching the busy season this will continue to be my goal!

If you have any questions feel free to contact me either through my iCraft shop or my Etsy shop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Final 20 of the 104 order shipped!

I shipped off the final 20 hats of the 104 hat order I was working on last week. These last 20 hats had some great new colour combinations including one of my new favorite. Here's a picture of just a few of the hats that were included in this order.

I thought I'd be ready to work on orders for my upcoming shows but this is not the case. Approx 57 more hats to make and THEN I can start working on inventory for shows. Although I think I will have to start sneaking some inventory in between orders soon or I won't have anything for my tables!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

24 more hats on their way!

Today I shipped off another 24 hats. And once again I did not have time to take a picture. 28 left to go and I can start working on inventory for my upcoming shows...well and orders I get between now and then!

Even though I didn't take pictures of those last 24 hats I do have some pictures to share!

This is a picture of the 15 hats I delivered last week to a shop in Kanata that carries just the smaller sizes. They made an appearance at the Baby Boom Show so who knows how many are left!

I had a customer ask me to make some sweet hats for two girls that are part of triplets and sent the two pink ones. The visor beanie is for their older sister.

Kim, a local photographer emailed me late last week asking what I had in stock for newborn hats, which was nothing, but I was quickly able to get these cuties off the hook for her and ready for her newborn weekend photo shoots! Can't wait to see the pictures from that. The hats always look WAY cuter on then flat or on styrofoam balls! lol

Sunday, September 13, 2009

50 hats delivered / shipped

Woo Hoo - On Sept 9 I managed to ship and deliver 50 hats. Phew. It sure felt good!
I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the 32 hats I shipped off to Denver. It's part of a much larger order that I'm still working on. I do have pictures on my other camera of the 3 hats I shipped off to BC and the 15 hats I dropped off at a local store.

I did take a picture on the camera I just uploaded of this hat that was purchased as part of a fundraiser for The Weekend To End Cancer. I had made another hat that was very close for her cousin that was a hot pink hat, a yellow centre and the flower petals were blue. The girls like to have the same, but different so switching up the flower colours is always a great option for situations like this.

I also received an email from a photographer in Hamilton who was in town and purchased one of my hats at a store in the Market. How great that she contacted me and was kind enough to share her pictures! This is one that she took. Thank you Traci from Creative Simplicity! Makes my heart melt:)

Right now I'm working on finishing the large order for Denver. I believe there are about 43 hats still to go. I'm almost done all the hats and will soon start adding the flowers! Some great new colour combinations coming. Plus I have a few other custom orders and I'm trying to sneak in some hats to take to the store in the market. All in all it's still very busy and no time for knitting socks yet!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fundraising for The 2010 Weekend To End Cancer

I was so excited to go to my mail box last night to find that the lip balms from Carvel Country Soap had arrived! I ordered 5 cherry, 5 raspberry and 5 strawberry lip balms to go with the new breast cancer awareness lip balm cozies I'm making with the handmade lampwork buttons from Brilliant Beads! Carvel Country Soap even made a custom label for our team - Groovy Boobie Girls! They're the perfect match for the cozies!

I'm selling the cozies for $15 (includes cozy, lip balm and shipping!) at both my iCraft and Etsy shops. So far I've only listed one in each but there are more to come.
I have enough buttons to make 20 cozies, although I will admit I finally kept one for myself! I didn't last year so this year I kept the first one I finished!
This is the one I kept for myself!
The proceeds from the sale of these lip balm cozies and lip balms are being donated to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation to support the continued research, education and patient care for women with breast and gynecological cancers. Our goal is to raise $20,000 and help provide hope.

New Boy Visor Beanie

I was making some hats to drop off at the local store and made up this cute visor beanie in a misty grey and apple green. I love the colours together. This is one I'd like to make to get photos taking to add to my iCraft and Etsy shops. Maybe one day! lol

Here's the latest batch of hats I made to bring to the store. They sold out of the last batch I brought them within 3 weeks! It's been a busy summer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sneak Peek of What's to Come!

I think it's obvious by now that I'm participating in the 2010 Weekend To End Women's Cancers again this year? lol I'm on a personal quest to raise $2400 and to help our team achieve a goal of raising $20,000! In order to do that there's lots of fundraising involved. Besides asking friends and family to donate I try to get my craft involved!

Last year Gillian from Brilliant Beads made me some gorgeous handmade lampwork pink ribbon buttons. I once again asked her if she would do the same for me this year and she agreed. So these beautiful buttons are on their way to me right now! Soon I'll be able to add them to lip balm cozy key chains.

Also on their way are fabulous lip balms from Carvel Country Soaps! She's even made up some great labels for our Groovy Boobie Girl team so I can't wait to see them! They'll be in strawberry, cherry and raspberry flavours! I'll be selling some of the lip balm cozies with lip balm and some without. And of course the proceeds from the sales will be directed towards my 2010 Weekend to End All Women's Cancers!

As soon as I get them completed I'll be posting them on my Etsy site and my iCraft site I have about 9 cozies that are just waiting for buttons and won't take me long to complete! Hopefully within a week I'll have some listed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some of the Custom Orders Completed

Here are just a few pictures of my recent custom orders. An adult hat in brown with a pale pink flower and an apple green centre along with 2 lip balm cozies.

These were actually part of a trade I did with Becca Bee Designs ( who makes the BEST girls dresses. We have 5 now and LOVE them all. Very well made, wash, dry and they come out gorgeous! And psst - she has a back to school sale on now!

And these two cuties that were for sisters - a soft ecru hat with a pale pink flower and celery center and not to be exactly the same but to match is a pale pink hat with an ecru flower and celery center. They were really sweet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No time to photograph

I have been working on a number of items that have gone out without me taking pictures! This included 12 hats that I dropped off at a local store a few weeks ago.

I did manage to snap a some quick picts of these cute hats. Similar but just the colour of the inside of the flower is different.
This is the ever popular flapper beanie in Ivory with a rose pink double flower. One flower has a celery centre the other has a soft teal centre. I can make you a hat of any colour combination too either through my Etsy store or my iCraft shop

And I managed to take better pictures of this hat. The previous pictures didn't show it off very well.
What I really need to do is make some hats to send off to my photographers again. Oh and make some hats for the upcoming November shows! I feel so behind already. Note to self - contact the retailers soon to get their fall orders. Ack!

I've also been working on lip balm cozies that I will be selling again with the proceeds going to The Weekend To End Breast Cancer. My team, The Groovy Boobie Girls has a goal to raise $20,000! Not bad for a bunch of chicks:) I have a few cozies ready, just waiting for the amazing buttons from Gillian of Brillian Beads. She's once again making me some amazing handmade lampwork pink ribbon buttons for these cozies. And Krysta from Carvel Country Soaps is going to make some yummy lip balm for me to go with the cozies this year! They'll have a special Groovy Boobie Girl label and will come in Strawberry, Raspberry and Cherry flavours! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

28 Hats Down, 54 To Go!

I finished the first 3rd of an order. Here's the first 26 hats I completed and shipped off to Denver. Woo Hoo. And his is what they look like:)

I also made these 2 lip balm cozies which I listed in my Etsy shop. I'm still donating 80% of all items with pink (and all lip balm cozies- pink or not) to Breast Cancer until July 15! Shop for a cause:) The lady bug one has already sold - Thanks for your support!