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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Final Announcement!!! Black Friday Sale begins tomorrow!


Drum roll please...brrrrr brrrrrrr brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr: the final announcement about the Black Friday Sale at http://www.pinkycrafts.etsy.com/ is about to begin!  What could it be?  Just about everything in the shop is already on sale!  Well, get ready for one more category:

**********All cupcake toppers and other party accessories (excluding drink glass tags) will be 15% off************

Ok, let's recap. 
- Drink Glass Tags/Wine Charms will be $5
- Scrapbooks and Scrapbook pages will be 15% off
- Cupcake toppers and all other party accessories will be 15% off

The sale is limited to in-stock items only; custom orders are not eligible for sale prices. It starts tomorrow (Thanksgiving), and runs through the end of Cyber Monday.  Five whole days of the lowest prices of the year, just because Black Friday is a huge personal tradition of mine, and I'm thrilled to be able to participate as a seller this year, instead of just a buyer.

My Facebook fans will have an exclusive offer that will make this sale even sweeter; its not too late to get in on the action -head on over to www.facebook.com/pinkycrafts and click "Like".

To find other participating Etsy shops, go to http://www.etsy.com/, and type "black friday etsy" into the search box. 

Have a FANTASTIC thanksgiving, and happy celebrating!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Juicy Sales Gossip PART 2!

I Do Premade Scrapbook Page 
As promised, here is the next announcement regarding the Black Friday Weekend Sale at PinkyCrafts (in case you missed it, yesterday I announced that all in-stock drink glass tags and wine glass charms will be $5):

**********All in-stock premade scrapbooks and premade scrapbook pages will be marked down by 15%***********

If you have somebody on your list that you're having trouble buying for, this may be your answer.  Scrapbook pages look so elegant and special when they're framed - I'll bet you didn't realize you could do that!  Frames are under $10, and can be found on sale for less at most major craft stores (Jo Ann, Michaels, etc).  Add your photos, insert into frame, and you're done.  You can even swap it out regularly, making it a gift-giving traditon each year.  
Ho Ho Ho Mini Paper Album 

Premade scrapbook albums - either full-size or the economical mini versions - are gifts that can be passed down to generations.  Every single time I've given one as a gift, their jaw drops, and I usually see tears.  These gifts are so thoughtful and personalized!

Just a reminder, the sale starts on Thanksgiving, and runs all the way through Cyber Monday.  To find other participating shops, just search "black friday etsy" or "cyber monday etsy" at http://www.etsy.com/, or check out SassyBelle's Spotlight to find a list of DTeam shops that are participating.  This list will be updated as new sales are announced! 

The third and final announcement about the PinkyCrafts sale will be announced tomorrow (and its a good one!).  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pssssst.......juicy sales gossip! Pass it on!


Black Friday Sale!  All in-stock drink tags will be $5!
Although it may look like there has been little activity over at PinkyCrafts (as evidenced by my lack of posting!), that is definitely not the case. I've been working on a little surprise for my customers: a Black Friday sale!  I'll be taking part in this fun holiday tradition, along with several other members of the Etsy community, including my friends on the DTeam.

Ok, technically, it's a 5 day sale - but that's just even better news for you. It begins Thanksgiving Day, and runs until the end of Cyber Monday.  I'll be releasing tiny bits of information about the sale up until Thanksgiving, and maybe even posting extra special VIP coupons throughout the sale.  The only way you'll find out the details of this fabulous sale is to stay tuned to this blog or my Facebook fan site (http://www.facebook.com/pinkycrafts).

Now, without further ado, here is the first announcement about the sale:

*************All in-stock drink glass tags and wine glass charms will be $5*****************

Like all juicy news - make sure to pass this information on!  More details tomorrow!

Monday, November 8, 2010

No Longer a Craft Show Newbie

Day 1's booth set up - it was later changed AGAIN!
My first craft show is in the books!  It was a mixed bag of excitement and a bit of disappointment, but I still consider it an overall success.  The most important take-away for me was knowledge; I learned a lot about what worked and what might not have worked well for me.  I also got to spend the weekend with my wonderful momma, who was instrumental in this show running as smoothly as it did. 

I read everything I could find about craft show tips before my first one, but I still learned a lot that doesn't get covered in the basic guides. Here are some important lessons to remember for next time (and that might help other craft show newbies!):

1.  It might take you longer to set up than you think.  I did a full mock-up of my display at home, which I would highly recommend.  I had a photo of my ideal booth set up, and I thought it would be easy as pie to set up the morning of the show.  Not so much!  While my initial set up looked good, it just looked different on the actual table, and ended up trying out several different layouts. Before I knew it, shoppers were starting to trickle in the doors, and I wasn't ready yet.  Next time, I will decide how long it will take me to set up, and then add about 45 minutes to that to allow for last-minute changes.  If nothing else, I can use the extra time to roam around the other booths and practice networking!

2. Carefully consider your booth set up BEFORE you go.  This goes along with #1.  It was a crucial factor that I didn't recognize until it was too late.   Most shoppers would approach my booth and say "Oh, scrapbooking", and walk away; they categorized my booth as being a scrapbook booth.  While I do sell scrapbooks and pages, they're definitely not my biggest seller - my party supplies are.  Shoppers could not look past the scrapbooks on my table to see the wine glass charms, cupcake toppers and coasters that were also on there.  I changed my set up on Day 2 and put my wine glass tag display right in the center of the booth, but it was still overshadowed by the large scrapbooks and basket of scrapbook pages.  Scrapbooks are so attention-getting just based on their size, so my biggest selling items were overlooked time and time again. Next time I do a show, I will make sure to highlight my party supplies - I'll put sparkly things and lights inside my wine glasses to catch attention, I'll add some height with large crates on both sides to display the wine glass tags to catch attention, I'll get electricity to put twinkle lights around the cupcakes and wine glasses.  It won't be easy to detract from the scrapbooks, but I need to figure out how to do it if I'm going to be successful.

3. Consider the show's location when deciding which show to go to.  While this may seem obvious, I now realize just how important this is, and this is something I probably could not have planned for.  This particular craft fair took place in a small town near where I grew up, but I knew it attracted lots of customers.  By the middle of Day 1, as I was evaluating why I wasn't feeling as successful as I had hoped, it became apparent to me that those vendors who were doing well were the vendors that knew half of the people who came.  It wasn't just that these vendors dragged their friends and family down as my mom and I did, it was that shoppers would see a vendor they knew from work or school (that they hadn't planned on seeing), and they'd go right over to the booth.  I watched carefully, and those buyers would usually purchase something from the booth of the vendor they knew - they wanted to support their friends.  Being that this was a small town, the local vendors appeared to do much better than I did. Nobody knew me - I wasn't from that town, and I wasn't a veteran vendor at that fair.  In time, anybody could definitely build a following at that show, but that was a factor outside of my control that definitely impacted my sales. If I had been selling in a large metro area (like maybe the one I live in!), this probably would not have been a factor.

4. Consider the specific audience members, and how they associate with your products. Remember how shoppers would say "Oh, scrapbooking" when they saw my booth?  The next sentence out of 99% of their mouths were "I have all the stuff to do this, I just need to get it out for once!", and then they'd walk away.  I received tons of compliments about my products, so I knew it wasn't a dislike of my work that was driving down sales, it was definitely something else.  I realized that those that go to craft shows are those that enjoy crafting, and since scrapbooking isn't a particularly skilled craft, most of the attendees were potential scrapbookers that didn't need to purchase scrapbooking.  Silly me - I thought those that went to shows were looking for gifts, but that didn't seem to be the case here!  I need to consider my audience next time.  Once I highlight my non-scrapbooking items, this will be less of a factor, but its still something to be aware of.

5. Consider the time of year and what function your product will serve when deciding which show to attend,  Buyers at craft shows aren't ready to commit to big gifts this early in the season.  I had intended my scrapbooks and framed pages to serve as holiday gifts for my buyers - yet very few people purchased them as gifts.  I have no doubt that I would have done better later in the gift-buying season, when folks were ready to commit to that specific gift for a special person.  If I had sold baby hair bows, cupcakes, or winter hats, this wouldn't have been as big of an issue - buyers have a need for those products right now for themselves. 


As I mentioned, I did receive a lot of very sweet compliments on my work, and I gave out tons of business cards.  Those folks might visit my shop when they are ready to do some serious holiday shopping.  I did make my booth fee back (and then some), which was really all I set out to do.  While I didn't rake in thousands of dollars this weekend, I did learn a lot that will help me in my future craft show endeavors.  Hopefully my experiences will also help a few other sellers too.

Do you go to craft shows? What have you learned as a craft show seller?  For craft show buyers, how do you approach shows?  Please share your experiences in the comment section below!
Happy Craft Show-ing!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Its almost HERE!

New for the show! School-themed items!
The time has finally come!  I will be a vendor at the Philomath Frolic Holiday Craft Fair this weekend - and I'm so excited!  There will be 75+ vendors, plus some great food booths - and free admission!  We'll also be collecting donations for the local food bank. I've been building stock and making preparations for two and a half months now, and I cannot wait to see the fruits of my labor!  I'm one of the only (if not *the* only) vendors coming from the Portland area, so I'm excited to meet a new group of customers.  Since I grew up in the Willamette Valley, where the fair is held,  I still feel connected to the area - plus with my mom still living down there, it will give me a chance to hang out with her for the weekend!

If you'll be in the area, please stop by and say hello!  I'll be debuting several new drink glass tag designs and a new line of novelty coasters.  I'll be fully stocked with Oregon State University and Oregon State University-themed drink glass tags and coasters - everything new will be listed in my shop after the fair is over!  I'll have several show specials going, and if I sell out of the item you want, I'll create it and ship it free!

Hope to see lots of folks there!