My husband and I create literally OODLES of pincushions, selling to quilt shops across the U.S. We have our own wholesale website and work with another distributor as well. In addition, we sell them in our crafty Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/OodlesOfWhimsy) and at the local Farmer’s Market. We offer a variety of shapes and sizes in every color of the rainbow :) Without a doubt, our smallest item is definitely our biggest seller !
So what is a Finger Pincushion ? And what’s the big deal about it ? Well, it’s a mini pincushion that you wear on your finger or thumb while hand sewing. It’s tiny and portable; doesn’t take up much room so you can tuck one in your travel sewing kit, car glove box, purse or overnight bag. You can keep one stashed in your office drawer for those little emergencies like repairing a sagging hem or replacing a popped-off button. You can hem curtains while they are hanging and this little pincushion moves along with you so you aren’t tempted to stick a pin or needle in a nearby chair cushion or (heaven forbid~) in your mouth. When the phone or doorbell rings, your pincushion stays safely with you keeping pets and toddlers away from pointy pins and needles while your attention is elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry
We’re tweaking some of the products for our Farmer’s Market booth. We have added new crafts for selling there that are not even offered in our Etsy shop just to test the waters a bit. I don’t usually put many seasonal items on Etsy because buyers often wait until the last minute to order and it’s a bit hectic hoping USPS will get the item to them in time for a Holiday. Also, it’s no fun to store any unsold seasonal crafts (and remember where I stored them!). But we are enjoying having a format/guinea pigs/testing grounds to introduce new items to sell :) I will include some photos of the new crafts within this post for you to peruse…
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I just want to share a little enthusiasm. Maybe it will give your flagging momentum a boost. Threads Magazine wrote me. Out of the blue. In the middle of a mediocre work week. Here’s the scenario…
You’re a Crafter. You craft. Not (just) because you like to, but because it is like breathing to do it. And we all know it’s best to keep breathing. So you keep at it. Some days more than others. Your clothes have dangling threads from sewing, your fingers are tinted from tie-dye or paints. You spend money equally on food and craft supplies.
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~Do you have to pay to be in a consignment shop?
Some shops do charge an ongoing monthly fee as well as a percentage of each sale. Some only charge a percentage of sales. Do the math; figure out how many items you have to sell to be able to pay your monthly fee if they charge one. If my net on a dinosaur bag is $15 and the shop is charging consignees $30 per month, my first two dinosaur sales each month go toward paying the fee. Basically I gave away two bags for the privilege of selling there. Are there enough sales after that to support this venue?
~Do the items you bring in have to be bagged and tagged?
It varies. The earrings I sell are hanging on a cardstock backing with tiny holes for earwires to slip in. The loaded card is then put in a small zip-top bag. Some stores require a “hang-hole” at the top of the product packaging. Other stores provided a metal jewelry rack and wanted the earrings hung there without the backing. I have found little items displayed in baggies have a bit more protection from theft due to the size and stiffness. Also, individual earrings don’t get lost as the packaging keeps pairs together. Tagging with prices was usually my job, not the store’s. Keep records of items you bring in to sell. How many, what date, the prices of each. If the store calls you to ask about pricing (maybe the price tag fell off), discounts (if they buy 3 pair…), can someone order the same item in another color? or do you have more of XX, this master inventory sheet will be necessary for your sanity :)
~How much percentage will they take from my item’s selling price?
I have experienced 20-50% consignment fees. If the store charges 20%, when I sell a $10 item, my “cut” is $8.00. Read the rest of this entry
You make a really neat Widget for a friend’s birthday. When unwrapped at the party, several guests say, “Wow~ you made that? You should sell these somewhere!” And having heard this before, you’re thinking, “Yes, I’d love to but how and where?”
First, accept the compliment. Second, folks often have no idea how hard it is to ‘break in’ somewhere, but do want to encourage or support your endeavor. I have a bit of experience in this area. Everyone’s journey will be a little different of course, but I’ll share mine. Maybe you can learn from some of my mis-steps :)
Many downtown shops love having items from local artists and crafters selling in their shop. Some reasons are: This appeals to their idea of supporting the community. It helps fill shelves without paying shipping fees. Tourists and visitors love having a memento for going home, reminding them of their recent trip.
Shops generally acquire their merchandise in two different ways; consignment and buying wholesale. This post is about the consignment route.
Back up a couple decades: I used to make Dinosaur Diaper Bags. These were Stegasaurus-type dinosaurs with four feet, a long tail and jagged teeth. They were padded, fully lined with a zipper, rope straps and large button eyes…a fun look. We had two little boys at the time; I made my own diaper bag, he was a purple dinosaur and we all liked him. End of story.
~Not quite. You see, once we had the pattern figured out, I made up two ‘prototypes’ before the purple one (a green dinosaur and a blue one). We liked the purple one so that’s what we used.
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