RSS Feed

Great show!

Posted on

I had reluctantly accepted that our family calendar was just too rammed full for me to indulge myself with a visit to the Hobbycraft Show at the NEC, despite reeeeeeaally wanting to go.  And then as if a crafty-fairy God mother was granting me a wish a lady at my work had some spare tickets going cheap decided to sod the to-do-list and go and join the fun.

Anyone who’s been to an exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham will know how exciting…and tiring…that long walk is.  From the train station to the exhibition hall takes about 15 minutes to walk, anticipation building all the way.  You see others speeding ahead of you, eager feet propelling them towards the joys that lie ahead.  The mutual understanding with complete strangers, a kind of geeky obsessive urge to get right in the thick of it.  Just the joy of feeling that atmosphere of being among like minded people, creatives, crafters, addicts.

There was so much to see, so much to get sucked into, card making demos, sculpturing and painting, cross stitch (which I had to try and stay away from for fear of being wooed!)……but most importantly of all, jewellery making and polymer clay.  The main draw for me was visiting the British Polymer Clay Guild stand.  I’d already checked out their website, already knew I wanted to join their website members list but I wondered what kind of people they were, are they welcoming to new members? would they snigger at my feeble attempts at clay work compared to their professional looking pieces of art?

The Guild members I met were lovely.  Friendly and open, willing to share their techniques and tips and most inspiring of all….they had that same geeky excitement about polymer clay that I have.  So that settled that, I’m definitely going to become a member of the British Polymer Clay Guild………..can I get a whoop whoop!?!?

The rest of the Hobbycrafts show was good too, I visited two other clay related stands.  Which gave us two very different experiences.  The first were the new and only UK distributors of a make of polymer clay called Cernit.  The ‘Guild’ ladies had said that since Cernit changed their formula they have started to  recommend the Cernit brand for the type of ‘cane work’ I do, so I was intrigued.  I had a really long chat with the lovely couple and bought some Cernit clay to try out and I treated myself to a new pasta machine for my clay work as the one they were selling had extra wide rollers, something I’ve been looking for for a long time!

The other polymer clay stand we visited was run by a couple of clay artists who sold their jewellery and ran demos and workshops on various clay techniques.  Some of their work was lovely, I was interested in the high gloss resin finish they were using on their pendants.  But I found myself in a very strange situation standing at their table.  Some of their work didn’t seem to be as good as my own.  I couldn’t quite believe it, and looked very carefully at their work.  How can they be at this huge exhibition, visited by thousands of craft enthusiasts yet some of their pieces were, in my humble opinion, of fairly low quality.  The cane work was not very sophisticated, there didn’t seem to be much thought put into the design of the canes themselves, and the finish of some of the jewellery wasn’t as ‘fine’ as I would have expected.  Perhaps I am a perfectionist in my clay and jewellery work, perhaps that’s why I sometimes feel frustration and disappointing.  But having seen the fantastic quality if the work on display at the British Polymer Clay Guild, compared to the other pieces displayed….I know where I would rather be heading.

Advertisements

Bring it on

Posted on

The Christmas stress begins…….only 4 weeks until my first of two christmas jewellery stalls.  Lots to do, no time to talk!!

I’ve got two days off work this week to dedicate to jewellery prep so no time to waste…..hopefully I’ll have good things to report by the end of the week.

 

Taking stock

Posted on
Self Raising flower workbench

Sorting out my jewellery stock.

I had a minor panic the last time I was putting together an online order when I couldn’t find the right pair of earrings straight away.  They were there, just well hidden and it made me realise that I really need to get organised if I stand a chance of being able to run a small business on my own.  I’ve made a good start, printed off the inventory list from both my Self Raising Flower online stores (on etsy.com and on Facebook) and have started to check off stock items and re-home them into labelled boxes.  If I can get my stock in order it should be a pretty slick operation the next time I get an online sale.

And when I’ve organised the online stock I’m going to turn my attention to the boxes of stock that I have saved for my market stalls.  I’m hoping that if I get chance to make some new pieces of jewellery before Christmas then some of the new stock can come to the markets with me and some of the summer market stock can be listed online to freshen up the online stores a bit…..juts have to find time to do the photography.  Never enough hours!

 

I’ve gone international.

Posted on

I’ve seen a bit of a flurry on sales through my etsy shop recently, the last few weeks have been pretty busy with new customers from all over the UK but most exciting of all, my first overseas customer.  A fabulous pair of purple cufflinks is currently flying over to Canada.  I’m keen to know how long it will take for them to arrive with their new owner and I really hope I get some positive feedback from them.

Handmade polymer clay cufflinks

I’m pretty sure the advertising coupons I used on Facebook and Google are the reason why traffic on both my sites has increased so much so I really need to think carefully about my marketing budget once my freebies have run out!!

 

First Facebook sale!

Posted on

I’ve had my first sale through my new Facebook shop….admittedly it was someone I know who already showed an interest in my handmade jewellery when I posted photos to my fanpage. But it’s still a sale! Happy days, hoping for more.

Writing my Christmas list

Posted on
  • Get brain in gear…….find a pen.
  • Look at craft fair opportunities in Birmingham
  • Plan other sale events e.g. my workplace, jewellery party with friends, online sales
  • Check through existing stock, allocate to market/sales/online stock
  • Complete all jewellery projects already in progress
  • Work on new jewellery designs for Christmas
  • Think about new products
  • Order supplies and materials early
  • Look at diary and schedule workbench sessions
  • All systems go!

Real life advertising.

Posted on

So, I’m finally getting round to using the free advertising coupons I got given when I renewed my business insurancethis year. So I now have an actual real life Google advert for my etsy store http://www.selfraisingflower.etsy.com

I’m kind of excited to see if this is going to have any effect on hits and more importantly sales!

Also about to set up a Facebook ad to try and gather some new fans….also using a free coupon I got.

Fingers crossed everyone.

%d bloggers like this: