Tag Archive: craft shows


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Where has the time gone? I can’t believe it is August already! So far, this summer, I have been prepping for my first two craft shows (the photo above is from one I did last month and my next one is coming up in two weeks!), which I did not realize would be so much work. To balance all of that frantic energy, I spent the rest of my leisure time hanging out with my friends at the beach and being lazy with the world’s two most spoiled weimaraners. What has been lacking, however, is the amount of time I have been spending on my Etsy shop and my blog. I am pleased that the creative juices are now flowing again and, for my first shop post in a while, I would like to introduce you to two new Betty Bracelets inspired by my recent trip to New Orleans.

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JAZZ

This delicate beauty is flirty and feminine with alternating hot pink and petal pink recycled glass beads surrounded by very chic deep brown leather. A lovely silver fleur de lis toggle completes the look. The full listing can be viewed here:

Jazz Bracelet

This bracelet was inspired by the many jazz clubs I visited in NOLA. While the hippest ones are located on Frenchmen Street, one of the most important ones, Preservation Hall, is located right in the French Quarter.

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Preservation Hall opened its doors in 1961. The hall was created as a sanctuary, to protect and honor New Orleans Jazz which had lost much of its popularity to modern jazz and rock n roll. Allan and Sandra Jaffe, the hall’s founders, wanted a place where New Orleans musicians could play New Orleans Jazz, a style, they believed, should not disappear.

Today, over 40 years later, the hall is still going strong. On any given night, the hall is filled to capacity with people eager to hear New Orleans jazz played by veteran musicians as well as younger ones learning and embracing this incredible genre.

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VOODOO

This whimsical bracelet begins with rustic honey brown leather surrounding ethereal pale aqua blue recycled glass beads. It is accented with a spirited sugar skull artisan toggle. The full listing can be viewed here:

Voodoo Bracelet

Voodoo is almost synonymous with New Orleans. On my last visit, I learned about the Bone Gangs of NOLA, which is a wonderful blending of voodoo traditions and jazz music.

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The North Side Skull and Bone Gang, based in the Treme neighborhood of the city, has been waking up New Orleans at dawn to usher in Mardi Gras since 1819! They dress in skeleton costumes, which is an homage to their voodoo roots, while playing lively NOLA jazz. I first learned of this wonderful tradition from the work of local artist, Joy Gauss:

Joy’s Clay Art

If you would like to keep up with the happenings of the North Side krewe, you can follow their blog here:

NOLA Skull & Bones

That’s about it for now…I have a crystal clear pool and two doggies waiting for me outside…

Thanks for stopping by!
~Erin

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One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies, Almost Famous, is “To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts…” And this quote pretty much sums up how I have felt for the past 22 years about my favorite band, Pearl Jam. There was quite a bit of buzz over the Internet this past weekend about PJ. First, Mike Einziger, lead guitarist of Incubus, tweeted to his followers a picture of him accompanying Eddie Vedder and Einziger’s girlfriend in a recording studio with the caption,”In the studio with my girl and Eddie Vedder, recording strings for Pearl Jam’s new album.” This tweet was first picked up by famed LA radio station, KROQ. The accompanying story was that Eddie and Mike were recording strings for Pearl Jam’s new album. This story was then picked up by several other rock music sites all over the Internet. The next day, the music magazine, SPIN, posted a clarification from Pearl Jam’s representative that Mike’s girlfriend, Ann Marie Simpson, an accomplished violinist, was actually the one who was contributing to the new album. Mike Einziger also tweeted the same clarification. Boy, am I glad we cleared that up, but I think we need to focus on the important fact at the center of this whole misunderstanding:

PEARL JAM IS FINALLY BACK IN THE STUDIO WORKING ON THEIR LATEST ALBUM!

So today’s life lesson for me is to focus on what is truly important and let everything else take care of itself. In my last post, I proudly shared the newest edition of my family, Chase the Weimaraner puppy. Having a puppy is a huge adjustment and I am making sure I spend the appropriate amount of time with him to get him acclimated to his new home. As a result, I have had to readjust the schedule for my business, Serendipity Blu. I originally planned to have at least 75 items in my shop for the summer season and to schedule at least two craft shows for the summer. I committed to two shows in Cape May, NJ in July and August, but I have no additional inventory other than what is listed in my Etsy shop. I had to decide what is more important: making new inventory for my shop or start to prepare for the shows. Since my shop is hovering around 50 well assorted items, I decided to focus on creating my craft show inventory, and I am proud to say, this week I crafted 10 new Betty Bracelets! I am also proud to say that Chase has yet to chew up the leather cord.

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I should probably also post on the importance of not spreading any unsubstantiated rumors, since that is how my story began. But I must be honest…I love the Philadelphia Phillies almost as much as I love Pearl Jam. So when people assume that Chase is named after Chase Utley, even though he is not, I usually do not correct them. (Yes, Chase is posing with a Phillie Phanatic toy!)

Thanks for stopping by!
Erin

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I am planning on participating at two craft shows at Cold Springs Village in Cape May this summer. I am very excited – and a little nervous! – since this is my first “real” craft show outing. I participated in a house party this past holiday season, where 5 of us from my South Jersey Etsians Team set up tables at our Team Captain’s house for a fun grassroots craft fair. It was a great experience and a perfect trial run to see how my display works. The photo above shows the setup I used to display my Betty Bracelets – beachy macrame pieces accented with recycled glass beads.

WHAT WORKED

I really like the light wood T-bar displays – the color complements, rather than overpowers, the brown leather, and the natural texture of the wood works well with the rustic style of the jewelry. I basically placed a bracelet display in front of the taller necklace display for some interesting height contrast. I think the contrast worked well also. I also love the look of the casually strewn seashells to complete the beach theme.

WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED?

While the display is visually appealing, it was not as welcoming as I would have liked it to be. I packed so many bracelets in the display that most potential customers were afraid to remove any to try on for fear of a bracelet avalanche. Also, all of the prices were listed on tiny tags on each bracelet. Many potential customers prefer to shop at their own pace and often do not like to ask for assistance until they are ready to purchase. Even though I did list all of the prices, they were not as easy to read because of the tightly packed issue.

The simplest solution was to purchase more T-bars. I now have four (2 necklace and 2 bracelet) so I can display fewer pieces on each. I also found some other great display ideas that welcome the client and encourage trying on my jewelry.

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This half moon display allows me to showcase 2-3 unbuttoned bracelets, which will definitely encourage potential customers to try them on. I also like that the natural wood matches my other displays. I purchased it from the Etsy shop Notable Notions for $8.00 with $4.95 shipping. Here is a link to their website:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/NotableNotions

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I just love these two latest editions to my setup! The mini chalkboards are such a fun way to list prices – plus I don’t have to bother with all of those tiny tags! I want to keep it simple with these Cape May shows and price my bracelets with only 3-4 options, based on the size of the beads. With these signs and the extra T-bars, I can segregate the bracelets by price, making a very easy and enjoyable shopping experience. Four of these chalkboard signs are available from the Etsy shop, Braydens Grace, for $18.00 with $4.00 shipping. For an extra $5.50, you may also want to order the wipe-off chalk pen – less messy than regular chalk!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BradensGrace

I am introducing a line of children’s bracelets – Lil’ Betty’s – at both my Etsy shop and the craft show. I was originally going to put them in a basket, so little hands can have fun sorting through all of the pretty colors, but I found this gorgeous squamosal clam shell and thought it fit the bill perfectly. It is about 8 inches wide by six inches deep and is quite heavy, so it will not topple over in wind. Check out the ruffled detail on the underside:

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I purchased this beauty from the Etsy shop Seashells by Seashore. The price tag seemed a bit hefty at $20.00 with $10.95 shipping, but was actually quite comparable for this size seashell.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/seashellsbyseashore

SERENDIPITY BLU IS IN THE PINK!

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I have gorgeous 2 inch square business cards that I absolutely love, but they are small and I was concerned they would get lost amongst everything else on my display table. I was going to order my regular design in a larger 3 inch square, but then I found these hot pink merchandise bags I purchased as a closeout a few years ago. I thought it would be fun to match the larger cards to the bags for the summer shows rather than stick with my signature aqua blue. I chose this design, which is actually a variation on a promotional magnet I recently designed. I especially love the vintage typewriter print on the back of the card! I purchased these from my usual vendor, Uprinting, and I was just as pleased as I always am with their quality and service.

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I glued seashells onto wooden clothes pins to act as anchors for my cards so they will not blow away in the ocean breeze. I plan to put 3-4 small bunches of cards around the table to encourage more customers to help themselves.

I am hoping these enhancements to my setup will encourage more serious browsing and potential sales. Keep you posted!

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

grassroots holiday bazaar

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I joined four of my fellow Etsians today for our home-grown craft show. We each set up a table of our wares, served some munchies & wine, and welcomed our guests for a relaxing afternoon of shopping & socializing.

Our hostess was Jaime, and she makes beautiful jewelry:

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Jaime is very skilled in wire work. I just love her earring designs!

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You can visit Jaime’s Etsy shop, Jewelry by Jaime at the following link:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelrybyJaime

Monique creates gorgeous home & garden accents. Her display featured beautiful wooden signs, stunning garden balls, and sweet holiday ornaments.

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You can visit Monique’s Etsy shop, Du Till and Daughters at the following link:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/DuTillandDaughters

Linda makes really fun resin jewelry. Her designs are vibrant & youthful!

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You can visit Linda’s Etsy shop, Pink Milkshake Kiss at the following link:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkMilkshakeKiss

Lisa loves to recycle & upcycle. Her display featured coasters made from both wood slices and ceramic tiles (which were emblazoned with images from old books!)

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Lisa also makes clocks and bowls from old records. She only uses scratched vinyl that can no longer be played.

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Lisa sells her wood coasters on her Etsy shop, Roof Top Creations. You can visit her here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RoofTopCreations

I had my display of Betty Bracelets and Seaglass Pendants. This was my very first craft show outing, and I appreciated the opportunity to work out any little snags. I will have to get some small spotlights (borrowed from Jaime for the day) to really make the colors of the glass pop. I also need to leave some Betty’s loose on the table so potential customers can easily try them on. I think I would like them to appear to be just strewn about with the loose seashells.

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All in all, it was a great outing. We had a nice showing, we each made a few sales, and we had a lot of fun bartering at the end. I walked away with some amazing one-of-kind gifts (garden ball for my mom, crystal earrings for my sister, Bruce Springsteen clock for my boss) and a great experience!

Thanks to Jaime for opening up her home to all of us!

Shanti,
Erin

it’s all in the details

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I am getting ready for my first craft show in two weeks and I am finalizing my display. I am pleased with this layout. It will be a small show, so I only need a four feet square table. I am featuring both Mermaid Tears (genuine seaglass pendants) and Betty Bracelets (woven leather with recycled glass.)

I already had the natural wood bracelet and necklace displays, but I wanted my display to have a more shabby look. I chose a vintage lace tablecloth that used to belong to my grandmom as my base. For the seaglass, I found an old pine CD crate, turned it over, and set one of my necklace displays on it. The display is holding neutral suede cords in 2 lengths to accompany the seaglass pendants. I found the beautiful screen display – it is actually an earring rack – and attached the pendants to it with wire. I simply propped this display up on the wooden crate. I finished the display with a vintage light blue Mason jar filled with small seashells and white lights – I love the way the seaglass reflects the lights! Here is a close up of this part of my show setup:

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I kept the display for my Betty Bracelets fairly simple. I placed a wooden necklace display behind a matching bracelet display to add an interesting height contrast and accented them with seashells:

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Since this is a holiday show, I will also be including packaging with each purchase. I found darling little Chinese food takeout containers and small kraft gift bags at my local Big Lots for a great price:

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I also have my essentials packed: business cards, discount cards, merchandise tags, muslin bags, and card swiper:

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The love my square business cards! The shape really sets them apart. I like to have just an image (this daisy design matches my Etsy shop banner) on the front and the text on the back. I ordered these from Uprinting:

http://www.uprinting.com/

As a way of saying thanks, I always offer a discount to my customers for their next purchase. These mini cards make great coupons. I used a Betty Bracelet image for the front and a coupon code and web address on the back. These cards are a special offer for Etsy shop owners from Moo Printing. You can get 100 free cards (note the cards have the Etsy logo on them) and only have to pay $5.00 shipping fee. I was thrilled with both the quality and the price:

http://us.moo.com/partner/etsy-minicard-trial?utm_source=etsy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=minitrial

I feel it is very important to brand your work. My image is beachy/boho/rustic. I use these simple muslin bags and kraft jewelry tags (tied with thin hemp cord) for a coordinated look. The tags are from Dolphin Beads Designs. You can find a full array of personalized tags and earring cards on their website:

http://www.dolphinbead.com/

I will be trying out my brand new Square card reader. Stay tuned in future posts to see how well it works for me. I am also including a stylus – it just seems like a more professional touch than having customers sign my iPhone with their fingers.

I’ll let you know how I do with my first show! It is tough for jewelry artisans – there are so many out there and it can be hard to distinguish your work from everyone else. I believe that I can have a successful show by setting up a very creative display, adding some little extras, and focusing on a niche market.

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