Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/28 Riverside Arts Market - Spidery!

My supply of shirts was dwindling down so I tie dyed the remainder on Friday, after Thanksgiving. It took me a super long day to get these done. I always underestimate how long it takes to just do stuff! I had planned on sewing more Bird-E Towels for the market but there was no time.

Here are some shirts, soaking in a solution to bring them to the right PH level so that the dye that I use will be permanent.

With the super cold temps, I had to bring my operation inside and then keep the kids away from the tempting bottles. This was set up on top of my dining room table. I used pieces of cardboard to soak the small spills. Tie dyeing is messy!

I keep grates over bins like this to contain the dripping. And I'm now mixing dye by the gallon or half-gallon...thus the milk jugs (which were thoroughly cleaned obviously.) I like to recyle and reuse with my business. I use reuse plastic bags over and over and over again...even though it takes precious time to clean them out after each use. The same with the rubber bands that I use.

So yesterday was my second to last schedule appearance at RAM. It was cold, brutally cold for this gal who does not have proper winter clothing. My hands especially did not like the cold. It was hard to get them to cooperate with me at times. My feet, however, where quite toasty in my hand knit wool/cotton socks...ones that I knit myself a couple years ago!

I changed the layout a bit, like I always do depending on where I am and what is around me. I really prefer spots with one end open.

For the most part, it was a long slow day. Traffic was down compared to the previous 2 weeks. Sales were about half of my average. Not complaining really, these things happen and I am very thankful for the customers who did stop by and find things to purchase. I have high hopes that next week will close the year for me with a bang. You know, so that I can actually pay myself instead of just accumilating supplies. ;) Not that I don't get immense pleasure from opening 200 yard rolls of fabric, dyes and t-shirt blanks. Oh, I like that just fine!

This week's RAM theme for me was spiders...partly because of this beauty..

This is the Christmas spider that I bought from my booth neighbor, Samantha. I had never heard of Christmas spiders but I was entranced by them! She included a little piece of paper with a brief version of the story but I found a longer version here... Kids were really drawn to the spiders so I know my kids will love having this on our tree. And Samantha has an etsy store! Her stuff is gorgeous and she's really nice, too. She does have some spiders in her store now...

When my hubby comes to help me break down my booth, our children are sometimes with him and they help. When my middle dd was undoing velcro from my tent, she found this little spider.

I can't believe that the Riverside Arts Market is so close to wrapping up for the year. It has been such a great thing for Riverside, heck...for Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, too. But, considering that I am and have been a Riverside resident for nearly 20 years, I feel what I consider to be a deeper appreciation. This is my neighborhood and my small business is thriving, in part due to RAM. And the other kudos go to for sure!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Muses' Corner

I have crossed another milestone with my business. My product is now in a brick & morter store in Jacksonville, Florida. The store is Muses' Corner and it's in the Avondale area, 3562 St. Johns Avenue.

I set up one spiral rack with some of my tie dyed stuff. I also left a small qty of my Bird-E Towels.

That's it for now. After my Arts Market days are over, I may send more stuff over.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Riverside Arts Market 11/14/09

My hiatus is over! I guess it's been 3 months since my last date at the Riverside Arts Market. It's so much work to get ready...especially the first one after a break. I have been working very, very hard to have product available. My booth looked like a rainbow exploded over everything....lots & lots of tie dye and a tall stack of my popular eco-friendly Bird-E Towels.

The morning was very chaotic. I bought a cash register to help me keep track of sales and to help speed up the process of providing a receipt for my customers. I spent time programming keys for departments. I printed price labels with dept numbers on them so that I just had to push a button to get the right item. The only problem was that I ran out of time to get the stickers on every item. No problem...I would have time to do that at the market. haha I left the stickers at home AND I left the lovely master list I had created. So my first customers had to wait while I figured out which keys were right...and somehow in the process, I rang up a $10,000 order and I couldn't figure out how to void it. argh! My cash was a bit off at the end of the $10,000. hehe It was actually very nice to have all the good data from the register so I don't regret the purchase. Next week will go easier, I'm sure!

Another new thing was that I now accept credit cards through propay. What an awesome thing! More then 50% of my sales were credit cards. And it was very easy to do. Well, my knucklebuster was a fail but it was easy to rub the card impression with a receipt so it worked out.

Exciting events of the day:

  • Having a woman driving a segway crashed into my booth. She was so apologetic and a bit embarrassed, I think. It slid my grid walls over a bit and knocked off some shelves. Product (and the lady, I might add) were all fine after a bit of dusting off.
  • When I was talking to an old friend, I had a kid push cash register buttons and the drawer popped open! I was able to fix it. Lesson learned! Lock the drawer every time. That was too easy. I thought it was in a somewhat secure location but I never imagined a child would be tempted and would actually touch it. Thank goodness it wasn't a thief.

I'm suddenly feeling very sleepy so I better end this. I was going to head out to my studio...but I just decided to head back to bed for a little bit longer. {{yawn}} I've been working so hard lately that sleep has not been a priority.

Here's one photo from the day. I love how my booth looks! It's such an improvement over my first days. I can really get a LOT of product up on those hooks. Yay! I have more photos up on my facebook fan page. Become a fan here to see them. Thanks!

Oh and I had a very good day, sales wise. I felt like the day was a bit slow but when I sat down and totaled everything, I found that I must have mentally been counting the cash because my guess was close to the cash amount. By the time I added in the credit cards was a good final number!