Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Littleputs class wish list:

Things I'd like to learn:
dying yarn
anything with metals
silk screening
mobil making
sewing machine usage
paper making
wheel throwing (field trip!)
studio visits (mine too)
how to make findings

Things I'd like to teach:
Stab binding
Coptic Binding
Wholesale Workshop
Marketing workshop
Pendant making
Other fun stuff with paper

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Combining Blogs

I cannot keep up with 2 blogs so I've rearranged this one to host my previos tips & will continue on at Thanks readers, see you on the other site!


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Learn your market via craft shows

Photo courtesy of one of the best Etsy photographers Aliciabock

Most top sellers on Etsy (maybe all?) have put in their time in real world markets. Standing outside in the heat, sweat, rain and tears is a rite of passage for any one who wants to make a living as an artist. There is nothing better for your business than meeting the people who buy your work (and meeting those who don't). I spent 4 years at the Portland Saturday Market as a regular vendor. This gave me the best opportunity to see what sells, what hardly sells and what I should never ever make, ever. (Not that I don't try that on Etsy too). Getting real time feedback on your prices, your work and your overall shop image is invaluable!

Go to fair, a craft show or a farmers market. Set up shop and bring on the buyers. Its really late to sign up for most summer shows but a lot of local farmers markets set aside a few corners for craft vendors and booth fees are usually very low. Find an open venue, bring a table and your best display ideas and get to know your market. The information you can gather from one of these venues is priceless.

Side note, not all every market is great for crafts and not all sellers will have "thier" market at every venue. If you find an open one that will let you set up a table, go with out expectation. You could sell out and you could sell nothing. If you approach it from a market research stand point you'll gain tons, even if you sell very little. Once you've had a taste of the craft world you can research and apply to shows that fit your work. A lot of the fall and holiday shows start taking applications now and its great to go to the larger ones with some idea of what to expect.

You can find some of these big shows hunting for vendors on Craigs List, and you local city art council can also give you lots of good information.