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NOTE: I’m a dumb ass and my boyfriend just informed me i’ve been mixing my metaphors. Like booze and sleeping pills, it could be dangerous. The title of this post was supposed to refer to the phrase “Wet behind the ears” but I confused the saying with someone being “green” as in “new and young to something”. So alas a new phrase, “green behind the ears” is born meaning: to have not yet participated in one’s first ecologically conscious craft show…

My set-up

My set-up

Well, I did my first big craft show! I’m so proud! It took a lot of work and preparation, and today, I chill out a bit and don’t really want to look at my press (my print pulling hand still has some blisters that need to heal, for reals).
Left End

Left End

Right End

Right End

The crowds were alright for the show. I don’t really know too much about what to expect this time of year, during that weather etc etc in regards to turn-out of attendees, but its seemed like there was a good flow of people.

I am a little disappointed in the amount of sales and such though. I’m pretty sure its not my fault (I Am good enough, people like me!), as a few other vendors where wondering where all the sales were too. But, really, I suppose we should have expected it in this economy…

One thing that really killed my sales was my table location. See, I picked a nice corner spot, thinking that I’d be right by the doors where everyone came in. I guess The Powers That Be decided those doors were Emergency Exits only, so instead the main entrance was at the exact opposite corner, putting my table at the end of the very last row. Unforeseen switch-a-roo there… BAH and FIE!

The other things that I hesitate to complain about because they were pretty awesome, were the Fashion Show, and the Bands. The Fashion Show went on for almost 2 hours, and while it was very cool and participants got their work show cased, it literally blocked off an entire aisle of vendors from any traffic at the busiest time of the day.

The last thing I’m going to have to keep an eye out for at other shows, is : Do Not choose a spot directly in front of the band stand. While I had a front row seat for several great acts including Raw Earth and Red Card Royale, it was hard to converse with customers, and I think a lot of shoppers avoided that corner because of how loud it was. Also, there were belly dancers that accompanied Raw Earth. They were EXCELLENT. I loved it! (One gorgeous woman even asked me to dance with her but I was so intimidated I couldn’t. She was too beautiful and I was unworthy…) But anyway, awesome as they were, it created a bottle neck in front of my table. Lots of people hovered to watch the dancers, but no one wanted to walk in the narrow space between us end cap vendors and the dancers.

Belly Dancers

Belly Dancers

I’ll hand in these observations as notes for next years Green with Indie.

All in all, for this show being the first show in the area of its kind to focus on sustainable goods, up-cycled art and craft items and be billed as a No Waste Event, it was a complete success! April Tate of Miss Lemon fame of the STLCM did an amazing job organizing the whole thing and booking the entertainment. (I don’t know when that woman sleeps.)

Webster U was gracious and we had no problems that I know of with the event being held in the gymnasium. Hooray! They’ll let us back next year?

I also got to meet some pretty kick ass fellow Craft Mafioso, like David from Cranky Yellow, Kate of Red Anvil Art (she traded me a necklace!!!), Katie from Scarlet Garnet, and Shelah of Destroyed by Design.

I met some other great crafters (and colleagues I hope) like Sparrow Studios, Chef Jeff, Secret Leaves Paper Works and lots of others who are linked on this page.

Next big shows coming up are the Big Ass Indie Art and Craft Show July 31 – August 2, and the Cherokee Street Cinco de Mayo Art Fair. Also, check out some of Lock and Key’s printed Ephemera for Sale at Cranky Yellow, on Cherokee Street at Nebraska in Saint Louis Missouri.

Things I must do Today:

• price brown kraft cardstock at Xpedx

call Mr. Niehaus about Tulsa Hub job he die cut for me

• cut paper for mini-valentines

• print mini-valentines

• layout address books

• Drink more water, i’m getting a headache…

So the last few days I’ve been figuring out this Alchemy thing on Etsy… Have you heard about it? its a fantastic feature and I’m REALLY liking it! i started exploring it when someone sent me (through Etsy) a request for a custom item, some business cards. I got a notice with a request, a desired price, a deadline and a brief outline of what they were looking for. What a great idea! Someone wants me specifically to make them something! We began discussing details and hopefully I’ll get them their cards by the end of the month. yay!

Now, what I discovered is aside from being able to request a custom item or commission someone directly, you can also place a public Alchemy Request. Its the almost same, but the public request is open to anyone who bids. There’s pages and pages of people looking for quotes and estimates to make everything from wedding rings to wedding invitations, journals to articles of clothing. If you see something that you think you can make for them to their specifications then you “place a bid”. Just like real businesses! Whee!

So I started looking around and saw a few Alchemy posts for printed and/or letterpressed items. A few of them seemed a bit out of my league and the prices they request (and I assume would expect) were too low for letterpress, unfortunately. I did bid on some of them but gave them a more realistic price, so I don’t know if they’ll like that. But a few others I put in some bids for along with an explanation that the price they requested would probably only get them the most basic of features and to contact me to talk more about the other options available. Then I started pretending I was going to do the job and began drawing up ESTIMATES.

Yes Estimates, the bane of my existence. I’ve been really wishy-washy about giving estimates, because I didn’t know how. A few weeks ago, I posted about it on the LETPRES listserv, and got some excellent responses. The folks who troll that list really helped me to outline a process of pricing, recommended reasonable mark-up percentages and labour rates. Now, I think I have it kinda figured out. At least, I’m satisfied with the method I’ve derived. We’ll see as I make these jobs (if my bids are accepted) if my estimates panned out correctly or not. I’m pretty sure that I was able to cover my costs and create a profit as well, without stiffing the client or myself. I’ve just got to remember to keep accurate time records and materials purchases!!! (ugh, so much math. I went to Art Skool so I wouldn’t HAVE to do math.THing is I’m good at it but I don’t like it. Like mucking stalls. I can do it, but who’d want to?)

I’m feeling a bit more confident and less over my head now. I’m gaining experience, learning and applying my knowledge. Its good.

So, bring me your jobs! I’m open for business!

Today I had a meeting with a really cool lady named Lisa who is a sales rep for greeting cards. She approached me during the Cherokee Print League Holiday Sale 2 weeks ago. I was at All Along Press peddling my wares for the holiday shoppers, and it was a blast1 I didn’t strike it rich, but I sold enough to cover my costs which is a great confidence builder! I took note of which items sold well and plan to use that knowledge accordingly.

Anyway, Lisa and I spoke about what having/being a sales rep means and how it could work. I’m so small in business terms that she’s open to forms of barter and trade in place of monetary compensation! How cool is that? I LOVE barter relationships!

So I am putting together a small packet of samples for her to bring around to her appointments, and trying to figure out my wholesale costs so that I can make enough money to maybe supplement, if not support myself eventually.

I’m still going to continue promoting the Etsy thing, any way I can. There’s a daunting task: marketing and advertising. Who do I tell? How do I tell them? Where do I put ads? SO much to learn.

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Graphic Arts Monthly issues

Mid-flight snooze.

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What Day is it Anyway?

April 2017
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