Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Solstice Fest is a Comin'!

After many years of procrastination, I will at last be selling at the Burnt Creative Market within the Blacksburg Summer Solstice Festival on June 21st. As will all festivals, I am frantically bustling around in an attempt to NOT forget important things like my tables or my stock. Seriously, it's happened before. I tend to get goofy when in a rush.

My trusty BFF Biscuit will (I think) be coming with me to help things run smoothly. Alas, she cannot control the weather, which will hopefully be pleasant enough for people to come by and actually shop. It's quite difficult to browse when it's either in the 90s and you're sweating to death or it's blowing sheets of rain into your face. We're totally hoping to avoid both of those scenarios on the 21st.

As per usual, I have been making things up to the very last minute (like I didn't have enough stock or something)and have come up with some rather funky pieces, if I do say so myself. Lots of odd things involving cleavers and swords and the like. But also involving cute things like roses and pretty gems. Oooooo!!!

I've gotten a lot of rainbow pieces added to the collection, which makes me smile. I haven't had a lot on hand lately but I got my mitts on some nice supplies and had at it and voila! Rainbow goodness!

We're looking forward to a good day and with any luck we will have one. Even after doing these things for 10 years, I really never know what to expect. The weather and crowds can be so fickle!

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Craft Show and Festival Checklist and Mini Guide

So I'm no craft show pro by any stretch of the imagination. I have, however, done my fair share of them over the past 10 years. Some were hits, more were misses, but I have learned to always expect the absolutely unexpected and to always be prepared for everything but the apocalypse. I don't have the fanciest most polished booth of them all, nor do I buy new displays for each event. But I do go prepared.

On that note, I'd like to share with you my general (but not exhaustive) checklist of things I take along with me to craft shows. I'm sure most of these things will be on just about every show checklist you'll read, but they are quite important in ensuring your day will go off more smoothly and leave you with only a minor headache instead of a migraine at the end of the day. Now, on to the list!

1. Product. Duh! It seems so obvious, but I have spent so much time fretting over whether or not I was forgetting things that I have literally walked out the door without my jewelry. I always take my entire stock with me, because you never know what will catch someone's eye that day.

2. Displays, including table coverings/skirts, props/busts/etc./ I'm not a fan of laying my jewelry flat on my tables, at least not all of it. I like to create a bit of height variance, because it seems to attract the eye more than things just lying flat.

3. Tables, a comfy chair or stool. Some like the height a stool gives, so they can interact with customers more. I usually just take a folding camping chair, and do some standing when customers stop in. I try not to just sit the entire time, because it tends to be a bit off putting.

4. Tent, if your show is outdoors and not under some sort of mega-tent or permanent structure provided by the event. You don't want to be rained on in case the weather turns gross, but on that note, don't forget to take:

5. Tent weights. After many years of toting plastic paint buckets full of rocks around to shows (fun times!) I finally bought some legit tent leg weights that are made specifically for that purpose. Note, however, that these are not good for very blustery days, and that they will still force you to get up and hold your tent down in the event of wind gusts. But, it's better than rock buckets and better than nothing. There are great DIY guides on using pvc pipe and cement to make your own tent weights that are worth Googling. I just haven't gotten around to trying it myself yet.

6. Lock box/apron/money pouch/etc. to keep your change funds in. Don't forget to go to the bank before the day of the show and get change, too! I usually take between $100 and $150 in change, depending on the show.

7. Get a Square or Papal card reader so you can take credit/check cards. It will keep you from losing sales and the Square reader is free. You can request one, plus free signage with the Square and major card logos on it letting people know you accept cards at your booth. These are good to have and the "set" comes with a small standing tabletop sign and several stickers with the logs in different sizes. You simply request them through the Square website and they'll send them to you. Note that you must have a smartphone to use the Square reader, unless you opt to use offline transactions. I haven't personally done so and wouldn't really want to.

8. Don't forget your own signage. I had a custom banner made by a seller on Etsy, which was made to match the elements of my shop banner. It's got metal grommets on the corners so I can attach it to my tent with zip (or cable) ties. It's large enough to see easily but not so large it becomes obtrusive. You can also get good deals on banners online through Staples or VistaPrint. I haven't tried either, but have heard they are good for an economy banner.

9. Take plenty of business cards and buy a couple/few business card holders to strategically place on your tables. Some people take them themselves, other will ask. I always say "Feel free" and give them to both people that make purchases and those that express interest but don't buy.

Now that we have all that covered, I'll go ahead and throw all the misc/emergency items into one section. You never know what you'll end up needing, so if space allows, take everything! I always take:

A notebook to track my daily sales and state sales tax, my state sales tax certificate, paper clips and binder clips, pens, fine tipped Sharpie markers, extra pricing tags, lots of zip ties, bungee cords (for anchoring purposes), patches for you tent canopy (leaks happen!), tent side flaps and one or two tarps, in case you have to batten down the hatches in extreme weather situations outside, bottled water to keep you hydrated, small snacks that aren't messy (so you don't have to stuff you face with a chili dog at lunch time and get it all over yourself and your tables), a calculator and state sales tax cheat sheet to help with totaling orders and giving change, a camera to capture any magical moments that may occur, hand sanitizer or wet wipes for germ removal purposes, tissues, a sweater or jacket for cool mornings and days, aaaand that's about all I can think of right now. Should a light bulb go off or anyone come up with any other suggestions, I'll make an edit.

My final suggestion is to dress comfortably, especially when it comes to your shoes. Wearing cute but impractical shoes for these events isn't a good idea. Wet morning grass is cold and you will be uncomfortable all day. Been there! Some will say to dress "professionally" but it all depends on you and your target market. I don't do "professional" attire because I sell kooky cute things and prefer to be myself 100% of the time. If I run someone off because they are offended by my girly, bright tattoos, I likely didn't want them buying from me anyway.

So, there's my spill on that. Feel free to comment with any suggestions or additions and thanks if you took the time to read this! Happy festival-ing!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Suck at Blogs!

Soooo...I've neglected my poor blog for HOW many months?!!! Tragic, I tell you. :( I kinda' let the "Creation a Day Challenge" die off, but I have been making things here and there since September, namely resin jewelry and some chainmaille, too. My besty Biscuit and I attended the Radford Highlanders Festival last year as usual, and we rocked it out like woah. I love that festival so much! The atmosphere is amazing, the heavyweight games and vendor talent are amazing. It's just an all around fun time for us. Though we didn't wear our kilts last year, we still had a great day and the weather was nice and we got to meet and see some cool folks. So thanks again, RU! We'll definitely be back in 2013! Lessee, what else is going on...OH! My beloved manga series Vampire Knight has but two chapters left before it's officially over and done. I am a rather bittersweet Luna (hehehe...) about this, but the last arc has been pretty gut wrenching for for me as a Zeki shipper. I'm psyched to see how it ends and hopeful it won't devastate me when it does end. I've made some maille as of late, and just finished this piece today. It's a simple Euro 4-1 in bright aluminum with a cute little functional locket. It has a small fire opal glass cabochon set in it and it's got "Wear me to a Ren Faire!" written all over it.

I'm also looking for more shows/festivals to attend this year, one of which being the Claytor Lake Summer Celebration on June 8th in Dublin, VA. I've never been to this one, so I'm trying to gather some more information before I fully commit to it. It's an eleven hour long show and it goes after dark, so I'm going to have to come up with some battery operated lighting if I do decide to go. Thoughts? Please share if you have any! I got my third tattoo courtesy of the amazing and lovely Christinia Davie of Blue Lotus Tattoo in Salem, VA for my 29th birthday in January. Best birthday gift EVER! She did a great job on my evil cupcake, which is on the top of my right foot. If you're in the area, go visit her for your next tattoo! She does such wonderful work! Rob Perry is also piercing from her shop now. I haven't gone to him yet, but plan to for my next piercing, which will probably be my labret or an industrial. Haven't figured that out yet, but when I do, I'm THERE.

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more crafty Luna news! I'll try to keep up with my dear bloggy more often, I swear.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Creation A Day Challenge: Day 10

Day 10 brings this cool turquoise and steel full Persian bracelet. It's one of my favorite weaves and I had some leftover turquoise anodized aluminum rings, so I just went with it. I then decided to name it after my bf's Night Elf Rogue, Maldion. *is a huge effing nerd*

Hopefully, I'll be able to keep with the challenge. So far so good! Still busy prepping for the festival. It's fast approaching, I tell you! I already feel like I'm behind!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creation A Day Challenge: Day 9 + OMG I'm Getting a Headache

Yes, so the Creation A Day Challenge is moving right along! I JUST (like mere minutes ago) finished making this quick little rosette chainmaille bracelet. It's all stainless steel, so you can wear it whenever, wherever you wish. It LAUGHS at water, it really does. I love stainless steel. It's awesome and amazing, IMHO.

I am also nursing a headache, despite my coffee guzzling this afternoon.

I suppose it's a stress/OMGI'malreadyrunningbehindforthisthing headache. I've been readying for the Radford Highlanders Festival for weeks now, and I still feel like I haven't even started preparing. I have less than a month now to get everything straight and priced...heck, MADE, even. I don't know why I'm under the impression I need to make even more stuff to take with me. I'm pretty sure I have enough. @_@

My bff Biscuit is accompanying me this year, so it's sure to be a fun time. She's also going to be selling some of her polymer clay creations, so I hope we both do well so we.'re not all cranky-pants for the entirety of the day. That'd be quite sad.

More creations on the way, plus (hopefully, if the nice weather holds out this weekend) new pics of existing creations to help spruce up my Etsy shop. Woooo!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Creation A Day Challenge: Days 7 & 8

I'm so bad about keeping up with things, and this is proving to be no different! So here's another combined post for my Creation A Day Challenge.

Day 7 brought about this cute cupcake ring. It's in a gunmetal ring and topped with a glass cabochon. It's nice and sturdy and adjusts to fit probably a size 9 or so finger. I actually made three of these, but was so lazy I only snapped a pic of this one.

Day 8's creations were these three glittery resin skull necklaces. I cast them in a mold I'd bought for Halloween and I thought this would be a good, simple way to use them so I wouldn't have to throw them out. I attached small bails to the backs and strung them each on a colored ball chain. Wooooot. That's that for now. More creations coming soon!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creation A Day Challenge: Days 4,5 & 6

Oopsie doo! Who was lazy (in regards to posting things on her bloggy) this weekend? Meeee! I did make things this weekend, but I failed to post them for anyone to see. My bad!So here is a combined post for the creations from days 4,5 & 6. First, I finished up some glazed retro horror and pinup pendants for day 4. They aren't perfect, since I opted to use glaze instead of resin because I'm impatient and didn't want to wait overnight for it to completely dry. The 50ft woman has a few bubbles and they are a tad cloudy, but they are still wicked cool.
Then, the Exodar plugs for day 5, which are a mix of turquoise, royal blue, violet and purple glitters. I was trying to represent the Draenei (yes, they're my favorite in-game race, followed by Blood Elves) pretty well, and I think I did. They are 1" (25mm) double flare.
Lastly, I made a cute red and black handlebar mustache pendant for day 6. It's got a nice weight to it because the image is protected by glass. Everyone loves a nice mustache! All my creations are or will be for sale in my Etsy shop.