Sunday, November 25, 2012

Writers and Bookmarks

I spent the weekend at a writing retreat hosted by Writescape. I thought I would bring along some Urban Contessa bookmarks, give my fellow writers a present and let them pick one for their very own.

I thought it was a good idea. And it still is. But...

All the writers thought the bookmarks were wonderful. And several of them asked if I sold them. Well, of course I said yes.

Yeah, you see where I'm going with this: I'm sold out.

Well, not really.

I have four left.

What's making me panic is the fact that have two craft shows coming up, and the bookmarks are my biggest seller...especially at Christmas. To make matters worse, one of the participants-slash-organizers convinced me to sell the bookmarks at my next writing circle's next breakfast, on December 8. There are a lot of members that attend these breakfasts, and I have to be prepared for all of them to buy three. After all, they sell for $5 each or three for $10. Why wouldn't you buy three, right?

And then she suggested that I contact a couple of local book stores to enquire about selling them retail.

Now, I know it sounds like I'm complaining. I'm not. I swear I'm not!

This is the equivalent of me pinching myself. What I'm doing is trying to convince myself that this is actually happening. I'm feeling very Sally Fields-y right now.

You like me. You really like me!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hungarian Club Craft Show

Today I was at my favourite craft show, at the Hungarian Culture Club in Oshawa.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I go for the food. I always have reasonable sales at this show, and I like to see the regular vendors that attend, but I go for the food. Who wouldn't? I mean, we're talking about home-made cabbage rolls, home-made goulash, home-made pastries and squares. Just plain home-made goodness!

But I digress.

This is the only craft show I do that has round tables. I'll admit, I hate it. I can't seem to come up with a workable set up that properly showcases my work.

See what I mean? It's too crowded. But there isn't enough room to bring a second table, so I put up with it. It's worth it for the cabbage rolls. 

The big sellers today were tote bags, tooth fairy pillows and, of course, bookmarks. Maybe I need to do something to better market the bookmarks. They are the biggest sellers. I'll have to put my thinking cap on. Or sew myself one. 

I also came home with a great stash:

Hand made noodles, poppy seed loaf, and a variety of pastries.

While I think about a new marketing plan, I'll be snacking. Snacking very well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

O'Neill Craft Show

The O'Neill Collegiate Craft Show on Saturday was a lot of fun. It was my first time at this show and I was very impressed. There's something to be said about hosting a craft show at a school.

I parked my car and spent a moment gathering my empty Starbucks cup (don't judge!), putting away my GPS (again, don't judge!) and when I stepped out, there were eight burly football players standing behind my car.

"Pop your trunk, ma'am, and we'll help you into the school."

Well aren't you the cutest things?!

Three Rubbermaid bins (fabric is heavy!), four baskets, one hand-made wooden carousel (made for me by my Late Uncle Ken), usually take me three trips back and forth from my car.

Not this time. This time, I just wandered behind them, swinging my purse, whistling Dixie (or some off-key ditty). It was awesome.

It took a while to figure out how to set up my table. It was smaller than the usual craft show table. The entire time, I kept cursing myself for not bringing my portable table.

In the end, I stacked two empty bins, covered them with a sheet and used that for the bookmarks.

Tooth Fairy Pillows were piled up in their basket. Bowl of candies for the men. Yes, the men. They're usually the ones that take one. It's like a treat for them for being such good boys, tagging along with their wives through the craft show.

I've started blowing up balloons and stuffing them in the tote bags for display. So much neater than newspaper and I hand them out to kids at the end of the day. There's always at least one vendor with kids.

I'm looking forward to some down time when I can cut and sew up the fabric I bought for totes and placemats. Not to mention the various kiddy fabrics I bought for Tooth Fairy Pillows.

Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised with the sales. As usual, the bookmarks were a big hit. I'm seriously considering apply for a booth at the annual writer's conference in the Spring. I can only imagine how many bookmarks I'd have to bring with me. I figure about two thousand bookmarks.

Gee. When I see it in writing, I start to panic a little. I should probably start sewing.

Gotta go...