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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Taking credit cards at shows - suggestions needed on: May 05, 2005 05:34:00 AM
I recently did my first show (big one!) and I lost out on a few sales because I wasn't set up to take CCs. On my web site I use PayPal (via Mals-e), but I need a way to accept CCs at the shows. I have a card swiper that just needs a new plate with my company name. I also have a Tranz 330 unit that is brand new, but I don't have a land line to update it. My husband and I only use cell phones. I understand companies like ProPay will let me approve a card over a cell phone, but their rates seem kind of high. Also, I guess I'm okay with swiping the card at the show and running it through at home later online or something, but I think that can be kind of risky.

What do you do? I don't plan on doing a ton of CC business. It would just be every now and then - unless I ditch PayPal and go strictly with my merchant account on my site. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / First show was a success! on: May 03, 2005 04:16:51 AM
I just wanted to thank you all for your advice on so many things. It was really helpful and you're a great group of people! I just did a big 3-day expo which featured products made here in NH. I can't believe I pulled it off because I'm pregnant and just 2 weeks from my due date!

Sales were "okay" but the exposure and contacts I made were invaluable. I even got to meet the Governor and his wife and got a photo taken with them! They came around to the booths. I also was contacted by a large paper north of Boston and was given a feature article.

I had the best time meeting other business owners from my area. It turns out one of my neighbors had a booth and I had no idea he was a craftsman! It turns out he makes wood products (cutting boards, cribbage boards, etc.) in his basement. He's literally one house from mine. There were 4 people from my town besides me and it was so great to meet them.

I just revamped my web site and posted all of the photos and newspaper articles on my "news" page which can be found here if you're interested: http://www.dippychick.com/dip-news.htm

Thanks again everyone! I won't be doing any shows until the 4th of July weekend. I have to concentrate on the baby now.  Cheesy
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Placecard holder ideas for little booth signs? on: April 15, 2005 10:41:30 AM
Hi All! I have a big show coming up at the end of the month. I make and sell gourmet dip mixes with fun, crafty packaging. I have 14 flavors and will be serving samples at the show. I plan to put out little plates or trays of the dip samples which will be in portion cups served with a pretzel stick. I need to label the trays somehow with each flavor. I thought it would be cute to make little placecard holders to hold each sign and would love some ideas! I thought about taking some Sculpey clay and sticking wire in it and coiling the wire on the top to hold the little sign (or getting some alligator clips). The little signs will just look like the graphics on my site here... http://www.dippychick.com/shop.htm. (Hope that's okay top post that link) I just want something that shows the flavor and is eye-catching. I'd like the holders to be fairly simple (and simple to make since I'm 9 months pregnant and have little patience right now!). Any ideas are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!!!  Grin
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / I'm in the paper! (article attached) on: April 05, 2005 02:27:16 PM
Okay, so it's a dinky little local paper and I'm on page 23 right near the classifieds... but it's better than nothing, right?   Grin
Actually, a much larger paper interviewed me for an article on small gourmet food businesses and it should be coming out this weekend or next. That should be pretty cool. Gotta love free publicity!
Anyway, here's the article. Thanks for checking it out! If the image is too small to read, the actualy link is http://www.dippychick.com/personal/ctn_article.gif
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Help with naming product! (should be fun) on: March 12, 2005 06:09:57 AM
I currently have 13 dip flavors and would like to even up the number. I decided to offer a plain garlic dip (with some herbs in it). My dip mixes all have kind of quirky, funny names. Here is what my husband and I came up with so far. Would you let me know which you like? Any suggestions?

Battle Star Garlic-tica (husband's)
Inter-garlic-tic Voyage (or Mission or whatwhatever)
Herb's Inter-garlic-tic Voyage (since the mix is garlic and herbs)
Groooovy Garlic (would like this to be a longer name - although I can always add more "o"s!)
Garlic Giggolo (would like this to be a longer name)
Instant Garlic Breath
Vampires Be Gone!


Most of the craft shows up here have older women at them (buying tea cozies of course! lol) so I can't get too crazy with the names. Also, I have to draw packaging to go along with the name, so the vampire one may not be suitable.

I plan on making a decision by 3/12/05 so any advice is very much aprpreciated!  Cheesy
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Silkscreening 3 small signs? on: March 10, 2005 04:57:41 PM
Hi everyone! I usually hang out on the "crafty business ventures" board. I am a crafter / food vendor. I started my own dip mix company. I just purchased some really neat wooden displays that have a wooden back piece for signage. I'd really love to put my logo on them, and thought maybe silkscreening might be the way to go. I'm not sure. I only need to do 3 signs, so maybe there is a way to do some sort of transfer instead? I'd like to avoid handpainting if I can. I'd like to just print it off of my PC and get it on the wood somehow.
Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!  Smiley
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / My press release worked, got an interview! on: February 28, 2005 12:29:54 PM
Im sick as a dog with a bad cold but had to jump on here and tell you the cool news. A somewhat large newspaper around here (Eagle Tribune, a northern Boston paper) is coming to my house/business next week to interview me for a spotlight on new companies! A photographer is coming too. I sent out a press release and they liked it, so they called me today. It was my first press release ever, so I'm happy it worked!  Grin

Hope you are all having a good day. Were about to get socked with more snow. I'm heading back to bed...  Tongue

8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Help! Need advice on table size for booth asap! on: February 25, 2005 02:29:00 PM
This may sound dumb, but I can't decide which size tables I should buy! I am a food vendor (dip mixes in fun, crafty packaging), and I can't figure out how to best lay out my booth. I have a BIG expo coming up in 2 months (my first show ever!) and I'm freaking out a bit. Staples has folding tables on sale until tomorrow (2/26) so I thought I'd throw this question out and see if I get any answers.

My usual space would be 8x10 or 10x10 (both 10 wide). I plan to buy a 10x10 Ez-up tent for summer shows, but that's much later. I should mention that I have a medium sized SUV (Saturn Vue) and I can fit a 5 foot table in the back with the seats down - possibly a 6 foot one at an angle. Also, I have a problem with muscle weakness so I can't carry anything too heavy, so lighter tables are better.

I thought about buying 4-foot tables and cinching them together, or 5-foot tables and doing the same - but two 5-foot tables would take up my 10 foot wide space. Do I want to do that?? The 4-foot tables seem like the best answer, but they are only 24 inches wide, and the 5-foot are 30 inches wide. I'd rather have a wider table.

Also, since people will be sampling my dips, (and dip booths tend to be crowded), it would be hard to get people into my booth. It's probably better to do a horseshoe shape with the tables with people on the outside. I don't want to interfere with my neighbors' space. So do I have to do 4-foot tables maybe?

I don't know what to do! Help! Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!!  Smiley
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Help! I need suggestions on displaying... on: February 13, 2005 08:00:20 AM
my food samples. I started a dip mix company, and will be serving samples at craft shows, home shows and farmer's markets. I will be offering samples for people to try, and I came up with an unusual idea on how to keep the dip cold. I would love some suggestions, because I'm not sure if it'll work or not. I explain it more at this link and I posted a graphic showing what my idea is.

http://www.dippychick.com/personal/dipbox.htm

If anyone has a sec to check it out, I'd sure appreciate it!  Wink
Chris
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / My Dippy Package Designs :-) on: February 12, 2005 06:35:34 PM
I just started a gourmet food company creating and selling seasonings for dips and spreads. I drew all of the package designs. Hope you like them! They all have funny or quirky names. You can see them better at my site. (Craftster made my photo small so it's harder to see.) www.dippychick.com

http://www.dippychick.com/images/13-dips-7in.jpg
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