Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Free Crochet Pattern Time again!!!

So,  I have been playing a lot lately at using up scraps of yarn and sometimes upcycling or recycling items I already have to give them a new look!

Here's one for a Braclet:



20-40 yards of Recycled Sari Silk Yarn
An old bracelet
Size 4.5 mm crochet hook.
Darning needle.




Row 1:  Make a slip knot as you normally would to start crocheting.  With the inside of the bracelet towards you and the yarn on the insert hook to the inside (from top to bottom) of bracelet, yarn over and draw up a loop, bring yarn around back side of bracelet, yarn over, pull thru 2 loops on hook.  You are going to repeat this until you have covered your bracelet.  Join with slip stitch to first stitch.  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Please see the photos for visual
help.





















Tip, work the tail from the beginning under as you go, then you don't have to weave it in later.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pattern Sale in my Esty Shop

Shop Link:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/chrisssmith22

**I am having a sale on all patterns Beginning Friday November 20/09 @ 6 pm until Sunday November 22 @ Midnight. This sale will include all single patterns in my shop. Please note sale prices will not include pattern collections, pattern sets, or my charity pattern.**
I wanted to give everyone a chance to make their own handmade gifts and save some money too.

Here is the challenge!! If I can reach my 100th sale by midnight on Sunday I will send everyone who purchases a free copy of the pattern of their choice (not including pattern collections,or pattern sets)!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I made it thru my First Craft/Gift Fair!

Well, I made it thru Christmas Chaos.  I learned so much about selling my items.  My eco friendly fiber art was  a hit with both young and old alike.  My Step-Father aka Papa was a real estate agent and has done hoards of home shows, he gave me a few tips.   I am also including what I learned.  I hope this helps.
Stand up or use a stool that puts you on the same level as your customer.  I also sat/stood and crocheted at my table and this brought loads of interest.  I used a mannequin to display my items, I changed what my mannequin was wearing every 30-45 mins.  I also used my mannequin to show people how to wear the items I make.  SMILE!!!!  It draws people to you, I can't say how many people  were simply drawn to my table by my smiling at them.  Listen to the customer but remember you are there to sell not visit.  Deter people you know from just visiting with you at your table, this can deter customers.  Post some sheets with large Titles about what you do, many people will not read them but the Titles such as Hemp or Bamboo will be seen and draw them in.  Print out a business sized card with Large lettering on it that says Custom orders welcome.  Make tags easy to find.  People almost always look at the price first.  If you can have 2 people working your table, do so.  I found that if some one is taking a lot of my time and humming and hawwing about the sale, and you have someone else waiting.  Politely say your partner is going to assist them and help another customer.  Sometimes this gives them the push they need to make a decision. It can also redirect their attention to what they want.    Be kind, be courteous, be polite.  I hope you find this info useful.  :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It gets easier to talk about your business......

I'll never forget how difficult it was to talk about my business at first.  I was so sacred of rejection.  I thought people would think it was stupid.  Frankly, not every person I talked to was interested.  especially when I was talking about crocheting.  I found the key was being at the right place at the right time.  Literally shopping at places that I believed my items would do well.  Wearing my items was huge!  People would ask, "Where'd you buy that?"  Of course, this was an opportunity to talk about the stuff I make.   Now,  I am shameless!  I had to find out who would buy this and where are they?  With the Handmade market taking off, this can be difficult.
I consign.  I consign my items and patterns.  This doesn't make me hoards of money at this point, but it sure helps to get me exposure.  Plus then I can brag about it on my blog and websites.

Networking online was really something I did not do for a long time.  I was never big on forums and such.  Now, I realize I have to.  I also need to look at other people shops and support them.  I don't have loads of time to be on Etsy forums for example, but I try to make an appearance, or do a critique to help a newbie.

My three rules to live by:  Be Kind, Be honest, Be helpful.

Frankly, not everyone cares that the item(s) are made with hemp or fair trade sari silk.  They just loved the item.  Point is I cannot give everyone the same spiel, they are not all interested.  So is researching my fiber choices is not a waste of time, because when someone does ask, I have answers.
Constantly, I get you don't use acrylic yarn?  No, I don't and no, I won't.  I have my own personal beliefs that I will keep to myself.  

Realize that your business is built on others businesses.  :)