Taking a beading break

It’s been way way too long since I’ve been here, or anywhere much in the blogosphere. Dottering about, making, selling,writing, reading.. to say life has gotten in the way is an understatement. I’ve barely touched my craft room (it’s a freaking mess), and keeping my motivation at any kind of productive, working level has been hard.
I have to do some serious work on my website which will be happening this week. I have to make time purely for that otherwise it will never get done and I may as well not even have it. Paying for something that is not working.

I have some new items to put up on the site, and want to have a few limited collections to sell off.  All in good time.  As I tell my husband, I have a list a mile long of things I want to do, and that’s without adding in anything to do with kids, house or him.
So many things to do, so little time to do it.

BonneyBird – Marcato’s display

This morning I drove off up the road to see Rachel at BonneyBird to update and tidy my display. I may pay her a commission to sell my goods but it’s still my responsibility to make sure everything is looking ok, she is happy and there are enough jewellery items and choices on display.

How could you not want to see what’s inside with an entrance that looks like this?

When I went overseas late last year I invoiced her a small box worth so she had enough to keep it full – or top up if she sold that much – and today I got that box out to have a look.
There were only 3 pieces left in it. Woo!

My display is now tidy and fresh, with all items on the table. I re-arranged things and have a few ideas to zip it up another notch later on. Namely making it more of a pink and white display, with some extra height. When I called in the other day Rachel had placed a mirror on the table which was awesome as I had not thought of supplying one. The only problem here, it was for sale, so if sold, there was nothing for my potential buyers to check out how a necklace might look. So I delivered one of my own. I have my banner on the wall behind, and while I like it, I feel it is a little bland, and would like to update it. It hangs wonky, but I know how to fix that. And then I can update it. Banner wise, is to get a vertical banner for markets.

Last night I went off to a garden birthday party and several things happened. My name was thrown around a bit with some of the guests not believing my name really is Jennifer Hawkins. Miss Australia, you say? no no no, Miss Universe thank you very much.
But the important bits, 1) Rachel was there and said I had sold something else that very morning, 2) I got lots of compliments on the necklace I was wearing, 3) another customer was wearing her necklace which was getting lots of attention and I hence got the compliments and 4) a friend asked me how much a certain item was she had seen on Facebook and said she was very interested in it as a gift (and has since said ‘Sold’ for delivery this week).
To say I am happy is an understatement. My new cards, flyers and the car magnet will be arriving this week ready for the big fair on Saturday, so there will be more pictures later. And I am super excited about seeing how they look!

Til then, keep creative
Jen 🙂

Meet Charlie!

Now Charlie is not your usual girl’s name but my newest staff member is not your usual girl. Tall and slight, with a beautiful soul she is definitely my classy one. With a twisted sense of humour to keep you on your toes.
Like Josephine she jumped straight into the modelling scene, with this beautifully delicate chain piece. The necklace of two chains with pretty green beads is perfect for her.

While Josephine has the curves to work well with the chunkier pieces, Charlie’s slight build mean the delicate and light pieces are all hers to manage. Given the two girls have been inseparable all afternoon I don’t think there will be anything to worry about when it comes to them working together.

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Next up will be introducing the twins and my two sets of triplets. Eight more gorgeous girls to work with. Thankfully we get on pretty well, not too many arguments happening here.
Jen

Stockists: Bonney Bird – Claire & Lila – Post Office

It’s going to be my year. I’m going to get in your face and push my jewellery.  I have new business cards which are funkier and more in tune with me, flyers with pictures and a list of where to find me and the big one – a car magnet. Drive around advertising. Gotta love it.
I have 3 stockists currently, but will be looking for more to get in out there and as each place has their own vibe I can tailor their stock to their customer base.

So far I have my place of work and two other small shops. One has just opened but the other two have been doing alright.

Having stockists means I have to work my prices to make sure I get what I want (and covering costs of course) and they don’t have to over price them to
One shop has bought them outright so I get paid while the other two have them on commission.  Both work well for me.
Buying outright means I get paid and can work on other things, but the seller then has to do the work to make sure they get their money back. Selling on commission means we both have to work on it. I’ll promote the s**t out their shop and share it, and for any shopkeeper – good service, reasonable prices and a welcoming atmosphere will get people back in.

My stockists are:

the Woodbridge Post Office – a selection of brooches and earrings

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Bonney Bird, Electrona – a funky eclectic collection. Hair clips, rings, necklaces and my limited edition Marca-ties – a bid style necklace of beads sewn onto a neck tie.
I do need to pop in and give my display a spruce up, but the picture will give you an idea of what’s there.

Claire & Lila Creations, Margate Train – feminine asymmetrical necklaces and my ball and chain collection (felt or wooden beads on chain)

For local readers and tourists alike please check out these gorgeous shops and support local artists.
You will easily find them right off the highway as you travel south of Hobart down ‘the Channel’ with stunning water views and passing through quaint villages.

Meet Josephine!

This week I welcomed a new ‘staff’ member to my team. She is still a little green and needs to look at how she presents herself, I think she will be a valuable part of the Marcato group.
She jumped right into the modelling aspect as you can see from this shot of her with a lovely red daisy chain necklace.

Later in the week we will be welcoming another new member which we’re both quite excited about.  Luckily the other girls aren’t the jealous sort, and if they had arms would have opened them to her.

Once I have everyone gathered we will have a group photo.

Josephine
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Jennifer 🙂

Market time and digital photos

I’m off to a fundraising market this weekend – a mere week after finding out about it. For something this big (and it is big) there would be no hope in getting a place this late in the day. But I got lucky.
The first I knew about it was in the local paper when hubby pointed it out, I said I’d think about it and maybe email them later.
That was Saturday.
Sunday evening/Monday morning I sent of my email and then got a huge surprise back.
The organiser not only said Yes, but she had been looking at my website – and loving it! – when my email turned up. She was very complimentary and I feel humbled by her praise.
And I am eagerly looking forward to attending.
Going slightly off track, I was sent an application for another market I may be interested in attending, and part of their ‘thoughts’ for good displays was to have a digital photo frame on display. Well, it got me thinking, I have wanted one for some time, so off I went and checked some out before picking one that looked alright. And it was on special so as a bonus I save $20+. Very happy.
Now the big job is to get a mass amount of pictures onto a USB to take with me. Wont be too hard really, I have so many of the buggers.
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And to add to my job list for marketing, I was thinking of working on some felt bags this week. I’m not so sure as I didn’t have a market to attend when I thought of this. We shall see what I end up doing.

I’m not sure how much of a time traveller I am, but time sure has flown since I got up this morning.
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Have a great week, I may or may not be back before market time. But there will be a recap and pictures afterwards.
Jen

New directions, new ideas and a link for shopping.

I know I’ve said this before, and I do, do something, then my motivtion decides to bugger off and drops me in the slow box for a while. I even went looking for the post but I can’t find it short of looking through every single one. Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
And this resurgence in motivation and get up has been brought about by recent sales from my website and a post on Facebook that ‘pages’ are likely to be written off almost. Well, Facebook are saying that for your ‘page’ to be seen in the future you will need to pay for it, or pay for ads or something. And friends have already noticed a distinct drop in visitors and views – and these are the ones with over a 1000 likers, not just little people like me.
So my thoughts are now even more focused on what I have to do. I like Facebook because it’s free. I don’t want to be paying for it when I am paying for a website as well.
So I’m working on a couple of ideas to kick start the website and have worked out how much I need to sell to pay for it. While this is not a lot, there are other things I need to pay for as well, so it all adds up, and paying for Facebook is not a priority.
One needs to work out what is going to be best for them and utilise that.
So right now, I am updating and sorting the website. Next week (I am working 2 days and then am busy til the end of Monday) I will be getting photos to upload so people can order earrings/rings/hair slides in their colour choice. These are the easiest to do on a grand scale without me feeling like I’m selling out, or going against what I believe. All other items will be reduced for (hopefully) quick sales and I can concentrate on what I do really like. Retro/vintage /boho styles and my glass work (pendants & Wraptures).

I also need to empty and restart my studio from scratch. There is so much going on, I need to find some sort of better storage solution for everything.

More importantly, I need to get into a better routine. Routine is important. While crafty people tend to want to work whenever, it is still important to have some structure so things actually get done.
This has to work in with my Community Centre, market, family, work life. For those that know me, they know that my life is anything but staid and there are times when life will not play nicely. It’s all easier on paper at least) if you work full/part time. There are set times to work around.
I am also aware of the time I spend with or without my kids. They grow up quick enough I want to make sure they have everything they need before they get licences/jobs/girlfriends and leave the nest more often and for longer each time.

Where am I going with this. Short answer. There may be some kind of spamming of products, links, pictures, blabbing to get my name out there more and trying to drive more people along.
I’m thinking, as I type this to get some sort of (big) link on the sidebar that is a direct link to my website. Actually, that will be the next job.
~five minute time lapse ~ Woohoo, done, super easy and takes you to the home page. I can change that to whatever page I like, which I may do another day, the Collections page, or the Shop Front maybe… Now to go and pout it on the main blog.

Have a good weekend (I know it’s only Wednesday but I wont be back here til after Monday).
Jennifer

hey ho, it’s off to market I go…

My email arrived eventually (when you’re waiting for something it will always take longer, it wasn’t that bad really) with a ‘welcome aboard’ and all the information I needed.

With a smile on my face I tripped back into my craft room and stood at the wall of props considering what I would take.
I finally decided on two large girls, 4 small busts, bracelet hanger and a basket with a small selection of bags plus of course the smaller table level items.
I’ve practiced this type of set up enough so I know I can fit it into two boxes and my point of sale. And considering I am giving my friend a lift with her honey and a fold up table I need to be compact.

The promo for the market on their Facebook page has shown my new earrings, so I’m glad I put them in and I will make a few more pairs as well (needed to anyway, so a good excuse to make sure I do).

So I’m all ready to go, with one or two things to add in, and just looking at this blog on the ipad and I want to change it again. So next time you come over it may look different.

More news either before the market (showing off earrings) or after (showing off everything!).

Jennifer 🙂

It’s fair day!

The day dawned beautiful and sunny. With a slight breeze. Everything was packed or stacked ready to go and all I needed was to get my bag ready with camera glasses, hat and plenty of water. It was promised to be a hot one.
Dad arrived and took my tables and gazebo in the ute and hubby and I followed in the car. Mum was already there – we have stalls next to each other – and vehicles unpacked and moved.
Gazebos set up and pegged the men left us to it, and I realised very soon on I had left my water at home. Bugger.
Set up took a little longer than usual but not by much. And from then on it was busy. About 10 I felt the need for another coffee and breakfast but between myself, the coffee van (conveniently across the road again) and Jakob’s Pantry next door it was nearer 11.30 before I got to leave and get sustenance. A unit went down very well too.
My decision to pack things differently this year paid off as it was so much easier – both at the beginning and end. I was able to leave one whole table set up til the last minute rather than having 3 tables half packed up and looking messy.

And one table – my bracelets and accessories – I’ve decided I will take to market next week. Quick and easy, but also full of fun little things available to everyone.
I did learn one thing. Friendly plastic. It melts when it gets too hot. If you were wearing a brooch or earrings like I was, provided you aren’t just standing around in the full sun, they will be ok. Where they were on my table, they were in the full sun, and while not obvious, when I went to move them, some were stuck, and are subsequently ruined. A small price, and a timely reminder for next time.

Overall my day was pretty good. I’d made back costs in the first half hour and the rest was, well, it’s what we want isn’t? Put it this way. I love full day fairs like this, and I got invited to go to another in early April. We’ll see what the email brings first. And off hand I’m pretty sure this year is the Channel art Trail, a 3 day exhibition of all kinds of artists selling their wares with some ‘working’ exhibitions included.

I am pretty happy with the layout of my gazebo, given I don’t do outside events often – jewellery tends to not like the wind – but I just love the opportunity to take lots of items and show off everything.

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One minor issue, the gazebo isn’t as big as I thought, so I can’t have the full layout and include the walls, as one of my tables was half out of the cover, but still inside the site markings. Another stall holder chatting told me about their verandah or awning you can buy to extend shade on the, but I’d be wanting to see if I can utilise it to add the wall to it as extra roof space. Did that make sense?
And after looking back at the pictures, I need a much bigger banner, and more girls to hang. The banner I would like is a vertical one that stands out the front of the stall or the biggest horizontal one, which would cover half the width of the gazebo. And more girls so I can have a whole row along one side. Small steps and investments. After all, everything I own (beading wise, gazebo included) has come from beading money. Not bad when I look at it like that.

What else? I saw heaps of people I knew, some I hadn’t seen for years, chatted with customers and had – as usual – a quick run around to see what else was happening, drank nice coffee, and ate beautiful lamb crepes and a cherry Danish.

And lastly a couple of pictures of the Fair. I know it doesn’t look much, but there were over 95 stalls plus all the other activities on show. From where I was, (my stall to my left) there are only 3 behind me, and the ground slopes downwards (south) for a couple of hundred metres.
To the right of me are more stalls, the hall, and activities for the kids.

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Looking straight out of my gazebo.

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Facing north, (my stall on my right) and across the road are where they have all the animals and any demonstrations, like shearing. The road go’s straight through the middle and our house is at the top of the hill behind all those trees. A mere 500m away.

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