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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Just some questions on: May 18, 2007 04:32:06 PM
I know that in my state that their are a LOT of regulations for food business,  and inspections that people have to go through.  Like at a fair that I did, the people behind us were fudge vendors.  They had about 4 different certificates that by law they had to display.  They were also telling me about the inspections that have to be done on regular basis.  That the state has specific requirements for everything, down to the packaging that the people where taking the fudge home in.

Which is why I decided to not even risk giving away candy for free in my booth any more.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Artist Block on: May 17, 2007 08:00:01 PM
This thread was just what I needed. 

Right now I am painting even when I don't really feel like it because I have a bunch of shows that I am suppose to do and want to make sure that I have enough stuff to do them. (I have 4 full weekends of shows, and yes, I question my sanity over this all the time!)  Its hard in a way, but I realize that just because I am not 'madly in love' with an item does not mean that someone else won't be.  I realize that what appeals to me will appeal to everyone else, because everyone is different.

So just go for it.  Thats part of being a business owner, reaching in deep, pulling stuff out even when you are not fully sure how the results are going to be received.  Sometimes, you are pleasantly surprised.
3  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Re: great fabric sale in new jersey on: May 16, 2007 07:19:01 PM
That place moved?  I thought they were still on route 1 in Linden?!?!?! Or do they have three locations now?

I have a need for a large amount of fabric at a low price....
4  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Re: Where is everybody?? on: May 16, 2007 07:15:33 PM
Anyone interested in having a crafty get together?

Sure! I even know which two projects I would bring with me!
5  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Re: Who else is running a small business? on: May 16, 2007 07:13:45 PM
I am looking for someone to help mind 'ye olde tent' during the show and help pack the tent and the rest of the stuff when the show is over.   Oh, and making me laugh is a plus cause I think I picked the world heaviest fabric for my skirt. (My mom made me the most kick ass costume!!) I mean its pretty, but what am I thinking wearing this weight fabric in June in NJ?

By help mind, I mean pop by the booth once in a while and let me go take a BRB.  Knowing me, I will have a cooler hidden with drinks and snacks to eat during the Fair. The person minding the booth has to be dressed for the period and on the official list, which also gets the person in for free.  Then after the all clear is given help me pack what needs packing and fold up what needs folding, and help me load the truck.

It just seems that everyone I know is busy that weekend with Birthdays, Weddings, Graduations Parties, and Baptisms....
6  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Re: ATTENTION JERSEY CRAFTSTERS - check it out! Craftster heatmap! on: May 16, 2007 06:45:59 PM
i vote for bethiej78 for president!!! lol


bethiej78 has my vote too!

 Great Job on the map!! You placed Rahway perfectly! It's the southern most town in Union County, and is mostly surrounded by Middlesex!! That is so cool to see where everyone is....
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Punch Needle Embroidery Rooster on: May 15, 2007 07:57:13 AM
I love punchneedle, and all these pictures of projects got me to bring my current project out of hiding. 

My only issue is that I am having a bit of time transfering my ideas on to the fabric.  I really need to get some transfer paper or something. 
8  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Who else is running a small business? on: May 14, 2007 07:10:14 AM
I was just wondering how many NJ Craftsters are doing the whole crafty small business thing.  I think there are a few of us are, and just wanted to take an 'official' NJ Survey, and sort of a find a support crew of people who *know* all about the *joys* of running a small business here.

I am doing 3 weekends (yup two day shows) in June.  It seems that June is the Renaissance Fair Month here in NJ. I have a feeling that is my 'target customer' so I am going for it.   I am painting up a storm and trying to find a helper for the one day of the one show.  Anyone got any advise/idea on that? I tried the usual routes that I could think of, but a lot of people are giving me 'the look' when I tell them they need a costume....

Later,
Jen
9  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Re: Anyone doing these fairs? on: April 15, 2007 03:58:46 PM
I had one sale between the two fairs.  Angry  I sold exactly 1 item between the two shows (a small dragon box) and did a barder with this jewerly lady across from me for a one of my dragons, as she had a really nice necklace that I got in in exchange.  She had a horrible show too, but gave me the information on a Fair that is in June.

I am gearing up to do a Medieval & Fantasy Fair cause I think that's going to have more people who are my 'target consumers'.   I am also thinking of going for the shows that charge people to get in to them, because if the person is paying to get in the door, my theory is that they are ready and willing to buy.  I am also looking into art shows as well for this reason. 

I figures I got my name out some, had a few business cards take, added two names to my mailing list, and my pitch is feeling more like my own.  So I did learn something, even if that was all I took away from the shows.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Should I do a Renaissance Fair? on: March 07, 2007 12:09:39 PM
I make a lot of mythical/fantasy items, but the first show I did, I sold nothing.  I realized it was not the right market for my items, and I think my stuff would be a hit at a Renaissance Fair.

However, there is a couple of things that are holding me back from signing up for the two fairs I have found locally.

1) I am not sure I can get a 'helper' to agree to dress in costume.   I am not even sure what I would wear for a costume! My Mom sews, so I figured we could go look in the Halloween costumes and find something for me.  But that would leave me alone in my booth for the whole time of the fair hours.

2)  The fairs are two days, with setup being a day prior of the event.  I have the option of camping right there, booking a hotel, or heading home.  If I were to camp, I'd need to get a new tent and stove, not to mention the other camping supplies. I'd have to rent a van to get it all to the site.   Now I supposed, I could trust the fair people to keep an eye on my stuff overnight, and just take the cashbox/charge receipts home with me.  Yet the idea of leaving my works alone is bothering me some, as I am not sure how secure the security can make a the fairgrounds.  But packing up the whole thing to set it up the next day does not seem like a good idea either.

3)  I don't own a tent that I could use as shade for my booth (yet) and was not budgeting it for an investment for this year.  I am not sure if anyone I know has one I could borrow either.

Part of me really wants to because of the potential exposure of my business to the right market.   Yet another part of me is wondering if between the cost of the costume, the tent, and the fees if I should venture this when I am just getting started?  I know that the costume, and the tent could be seen as investment because I can get multiple uses out of them. 

Any thoughts?  Anyone ever did a Fair?  Anyone ever do a multiday show and did you leave your work?

Help!

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