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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Branding for your business on: Today at 04:09:09 AM
As soon as I saw "Coaster Girl" I knew it was you. Sometimes AFI is not for the faint of heart though, as opinions can be strong.

There's new thread here I just replied to. I would like your opinions too.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: In need of advice on: Today at 04:03:03 AM
You have an interesting product!

So where do you go from here? First, get out from in front of your computer looking for sales. You discovered something important. You're 'plankton' in the sea of Etsy.

Who do you want as your customer? Moms? Well, there's another group with lots pf spendable cash who will buy your product. Grandmothers! But grandma isn't gonna shop in a place with a name like "Skulld". Find a 'normal' name. Like "Rami's Studio" or "My First Wallet". Skulld has zero to do with your product.

Then, make about 50 or so pieces and sign up for a craft fair! Schools have them, especially in the fall. As a beginner, do a Bing images for craft fair displays and get ideas for yours.

You very well could make a few hundred dollars in one day at your first fair. And from there, the sky's the limit.
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Branding for your business on: August 26, 2014 04:42:55 AM
As a professional full time crafter I found that for me, branding is not part of my business as I do craft fairs as 90% of my income. The other 10% comes from my website.

I do zero on Etsy or the other sites where I'm just one of 300,000 others. Studies show that only the top 2% actually can make a living from those places.

I make my own business cards because I make them 1/8 of an inch longer and wider so the "card collectors" always notice mine in their stack. I only hand out cards at shows to direct people to my website if they're not sure about buying or want to reorder. I'll hand out maybe a hundred cards a show.

I package everything I make with a header showing my product first and my business name and website second. My brand is my packaging. I design and print all my headers too. Cost? Pennies.

Branding for me is not sitting behind a computer 'tweaking' my store, it's actually getting out in front of the customers. Talking to them, bantering with them. They actually get to touch and play, and that is still a major part of commerce today. They remember me because they go home and their neighbor sees my product and wants to know where they got it.

My homemade business cards and homemade packaging are all the branding I need.
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Looking into craft fairs and feeling overwhelmed... on: August 14, 2014 04:01:18 AM
My first question would be 'how many craft fairs have you attended as a customer?' If I were you, attend as many as you can find so you can see for yourself what they're like. Talk to the crafters. Don't be afraid to ask some general questions about craft fairs in general.

As far as the particular fair you're interested in, questions came up immediately. You should know whether or not they will supply the table and how big it is. You should know how they're going to advertise the show. No advertising, no people.

Next, always look for craft fairs only. No resale merchandise, no Avon, no antiques, no "entertainment". The promoter is raising money and is "selling real estate". It's not a craft fair by any means.

Usually schools have craft fairs to raise money and the fall is when they're held. Once school starts, call every school district in a 25 mile radius and ask if they're holding a craft fair this fall.
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Pole & Drape Question & Tablecovers on: August 12, 2014 03:55:32 AM
http://www.dharmatrading.com/tools/safe-t-guard-fire-retardant-spray-for-most-fabrics.html#reviews

I purchased this product a few years ago because we needed to have our table covers treated. It works well but we also had to bring the bottle to show proof it was done.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Pole & Drape Question & Tablecovers on: August 11, 2014 04:07:51 AM
First off, your material, especially for the drapes must be fire retardant. And some venues will require proof. Your display will attract the Fire Marshal. 
Maybe do a Google for what type of material the venues use for pipe and drape.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Required Liability Insurance for craft shows? on: August 11, 2014 04:01:29 AM
With rare exception, homeowners insurance will not cover you when you're 'off site' or doing a show. For this you need separate insurance.

We're with RLI insurance for our crafts business. They will do what you are looking for. Our premium is $279 a year for the million dollar coverage, plus insurance if someone falls in your booth, or your canopy flies away in a windstorm and hits someone else's display.
Here's their link.

http://www.rlicorp.com/Products/IBP/agent.asp
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Would these sell? on: August 07, 2014 03:22:11 AM
Hi Cindy.
The boxes wouldn't sell around here as they are too small to be useful. I have seen the larger (6inch) boxes at school shows and they're usually under $5.
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Whoa! What a fee! on: August 05, 2014 03:25:30 AM
We have paid $400 - $450 but it usually a two or three days shows that have good attendance numbers. I personally would not go to that show and pay $300 for a short period of time. Your time is money, set up, and your expenses.
Welcome aboard! Where are you located and what do you do?
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: What am I doing wrong cant seem to sell and having horible luck on: August 04, 2014 04:16:03 PM
I have never understood so many people trying to sell on etsy.  Why do newbies even try it whe it's already so oversaturated with every kind of craft?
As of today there are over 290,000 stores on Etsy. How does one even get noticed? I'll set up with 150 other exhibitors any day!
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