Did you read that? 8 hours. Last night, I came to the conclusion that there was no way I could duplicate the efforts of yesterday for the craft show. Yes, I would love to do it and yes, I am slightly bummed, but here’s what I’ve learned.
I should visit craft shows before I actually participate in one.
I’ve never been to this craft show. The 20% of sales is fine and not the actual hesitating factor. I wasn’t able to put my business cards on any of the hoops, and I wouldn’t actually be manning the booth, or have access to display my hoops, myself. I don’t know if this is normal, but I want to see how others’ items are displayed and whether there are any tricks to getting your name and Etsy shop (at the very least on the items.
I know how long it takes to make my ornaments.
I had an idea of how long it took to make the Christmas Manger Ornament, but I never timed the tree or the snowflake. They are really intricate with a lot of metallic thread – that tricky metallic thread! Stitching those hoops takes a little longer, especially for the tree because I pick the color of the ornaments on the tree on a whim – sometimes I take a while to pick the right color!
I’m not a failure.
After I decided not to enter the craft show, I thought “Am I a failure?” I asked my husband and he said “Of course not. We’ll just plan better next year.” I tend not to give myself any slack. I am a hard worker, I always have been. I push myself to be a good mom, wife, corporate employee (when I was one), student (when I was working on my Master’s degree), blog + social media coach, you name it. Seeing as I want to NOT burn out on this, I don’t want to spend 8 hours a day stitching because of a massive deadline. I want to stitch because I am excited for the person who will receive the finished design. I also want to continue to build my shop. I just started that and got 3 sales, I shouldn’t abandon it even for a little while to attend to the new shiny thing aka craft show. My personal goal is 1 sale for every 100 views and I haven’t missed that goal yet!
I shouldn’t water down my brand just to…anything.
For a moment, I thought that I could create less intricate designs for the craft fair just to meet the deadline, but – that’s not what I want to be known for. I don’t want to just back stitch some letters and call it a day. I want to add sparkle, and care to the items. I want customers to know that I thought about what my hoops would look like against their twinkling Christmas lights, or on their mantles. I won’t just design any old thing, just because.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the work in progress.
I’ve been working on my first custom order that I designed last week. I used the stabilizer/Sticky Fabri-Solvy for this one. I took the elements the customer asked for, along with the name and dates of the person they were commemorating, and sketched up a 4″ hoop on paper, then I scanned and printed it onto the stabilizer. I cut out the newly printed design and used the tacky side to adhere the design onto the fabric.
I don’t know if I love it. I have to apply a lot more pressure to the fabric because of the thicker texture of the stabilizer. I’m also the kind of stitcher that likes to look through the piece and see where the needle is coming up from, I can’t do that as the stabilizer is opaque. The needle also gets gummy because of piercing the tacky stabilizer. That’s not horrible as you just wipe it on a piece of scrap fabric, but it does slow down my stitching. It’s great for getting my hand lettering transferred perfectly, so I may still use it in the future.
I sold two pieces and was able to get this shipped off, no problem. Here’s how I wrapped them up:
I used brown kraft paper, white raffia ribbon, dark purple washi tape (not shown, used on the back to secure the kraft paper) and Avery labels for the gift tags. Those are actual templates! I didn’t hand write that! I did, however, write a personalized note in pen on the backs of the gift tags.
I sold the “Hope” hoop! This one was so popular when I shared it on social media, so I’m not surprised. Not to worry, I am in the process of creating more of them soon. If you’d like me to make one for you specifically, please don’t hesitate to message me, and I’ll add ya to my list!
I was rethinking how I closed up the backs of my hoops and wanted to try covering it with felt like this tutorial. I hit my local craft store and got some felt in hot pink, lavender and dots just to be whimsical. What do you think?
Lastly, I received my business cards yesterday!! How exciting! I only ordered 100 of them because I knew that I would be working with my designer BFF, Rhonda and she would come up with a logo I could use to brand all my stuff! I purchased these from VistaPrint. Not bad for their template, eh?
> > > I want The Stitchy Scoop! < < <