Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Upcoming Fall and Winter Holiday Craft Shows

We're on the cusp of the fall/winter holidays, which means it's craft fair season! Below are a few Hudson Valley fairs coming up between now and December. Register to be a vendor, or go to shop for your holiday gifts.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Beekman Holiday Craft Fair
Beekman Elementary School
201 Limeridge Road, Poughquag, NY 12570
Handmade vendors can apply here.

Saturday and Sunday, November 22-23, 2014

Hudson Valley Hullabaloo
The Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center
Kingston, NY
For more information: http://hvhullabaloo.com/

Sunday, November 23, 2014
High Meadow School Holiday Craft and Book Fair
High Meadow School 
3643 Main St. Stone Ridge, NY 12484
For more information call 845-687-4855

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Hudson Valley Etsy Team Holiday Fair
Howland Cultural Center
477 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
Vendor applications are open, now through October 1, 2014. Find the vendor application here.(Note: You do NOT need to be a Hudson Valley Etsy Team member or an Etsy shop owner to apply). More info here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rhinebeck Arts Festival visit

This weekend I went to the Rhinebeck Arts Festival.  It was a lovely event with beautiful crafts.  It was full of fiber arts, jewelry, and furniture.  Live music added to the creative vibe.  My only complaint is the food, it would be nice for them to get creative food that matches the vibe instead of the county fair usuals of hot dogs and ice cream.   They had several great booths for kids.  We hit the Fiberflame booth, where my son painted a lizard and wove a leash for him.  Fiberflame now has a spot in Rhinebeck in addition to their original space in Saugerties.  It's a great place to take kids to try a craft, but also a great place to learn or demonstrate your own craft.  A bonus to the arts festival was discovering Will Lytle.  He was doing $1 portraits.  I got a family and a single portrait. He was also selling original illustrations that were magnificent for $20.  Another enjoyable part was the Shimbumi Silks demonstration.  I had actually bought a marbling kit previous to this event, so seeing it done by pros inspired me to do my own. I would recommend checking it out next year, it would be nice to see it grow into a bigger event.
Fiberflame's booth

Rows of supplies to make your own creation with the lovely Christina of Fiberflame

My son creating his lizard at Fiberflame's booth

tables of activities-Fiberflame

Original Illustrations by Will Lytle

Will Lytle drawing our $1 portrait

The Shimbumi Silks demonstration

Shimbumi Silks creating the design

Shimbumi Silks pulling the silk scarf out.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

Happy almost weekend!
Why not head down to NYC for a little city trip this weekend? Make sure to stop by my old haunt Fort Tryon Park in the Washington Heights neighborhood for the Medieval Festival of Fort Tryon Park. Our very own Dara Gallery will be there selling her gorgeous masks. It's all happening this Sunday, September 28, from 11:30AM-6PM.
Dara Gallery
Dara Gallery
Dara Gallery
And don't forget to visit The Cloisters while you're enjoying this underrated part of Manhattan...

Happy shopping!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Martha Stewart "American Made Awards"

We are excited to share that one of our members is a finalist in the Martha Stewart "American Made Awards"!

Go vote for Vanessa from The Pudgy Rabbit.  You will need to set up an account first but it's super quick and you can vote up to six times in one day.  You can also vote in other categories such as Food, Style, and Crafts - with including subcategories.  There is a lot of talent to choose from but make sure you show some local NY love to Vanessa!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

It's gonna be a busy weekend for the Hudson Valley Etsy Team! We have four members participating in events, one will even be pulling double-duty!

The first event, this Saturday, September 20, is the Puptoberfest is Succasunna, New Jersey. It's a little farther away than the Hudson Valley but this weekend looks liek the perfect time for a little trip into beautiful Northwestern New Jersey. There will be all kinds of doggie fun and it's all a benefit for the Eleventh Hour dog rescue, how could you go wrong, and don't forget our awesome Stone and Fiber and Lollypups will be there selling their creations.
Stone and Fiber
Stone and Fiber
On Sunday it's time again for the Warwick Makers Market in Warwick, NY. It takes places this Sunday, September 21, from 9AM-3PM, on the Railroad Green. The HVET members vending there will be Get Glassy, Huzzah Handmade and again Stone and Fiber.
Get Glassy
Get Glassy
Huzzah Handmade
Huzzah Handmade
Stone and Fiber
Stone and Fiber
Happy shopping!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

Our very busy Beyond The Picket Fence will be participating in 24th Annual Taste Of New Paltz this Sunday, September 14, from 11AM-5PM, at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz, NY.
Beyond The Picket Fence
Go and check out the bounty as well as BTPF's excellent soaps, lotions, creams, oils, insect repellents and much more!
Beyond The Picket Fence
Beyond The Picket Fence
 Happy shopping!

Monday, September 8, 2014

In My Studio: Getting ready for the Holiday Season

Yes I know its only the beginning of September but right now my studio looks like the Christmas Fairy has taken up residence!
This is the prime time of year to get prepared for the busy holiday season. My little boy is going back to school and after a wonderful summer - with very little work happening- it's time to get back to the grindstone and get making. My busy selling period on Etsy is the time from mid October through till mid December and getting ready for this is crucial.
In order to prepare for a busy holiday season of craft fairs and Etsy sales here are some tips to make the next few months the most successful.

1. It goes without saying to ensure that you have enough product to sell. Do a stock take of your current inventory.

2. Look at your sales for the same period last year. What sold well and what didn't.

3. Look at what craft fairs you are doing and what products do best in these locations.

4. Write a list and prioritize your making paying attention to the items that sold well and leaving out those that didn't.

5. Stock up on materials you will need to complete all the products in your list.

6. If you make a lot of holiday products buying in the sales after last years holidays can save a lot of money, otherwise lots of online stores sell Christmas craft supplies all year around.

7. If you sell on Etsy during this period make sure you have all the packaging materials you will need such as boxes, tissue paper, business cards and labels.

8. Once you have your products ready take your photographs well ahead of time and work on your Etsy pages.

I was looking back at some of my previous blogs and felt these might also be useful to mention:
In My Studio: Craft Fair Preparations tips on preparing for the many holiday craft fairs coming up.
and if like me you are juggling many hats here are some tips on ways to save time throughout a busy day. In My Studio: Time Saving Tips

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe" Abraham Lincoln
Good Luck and Good Making!
Sarah Omura

Friday, September 5, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend.

Ready for some late summer shopping? We have you covered as our team members participate in two different events this weekend.

How about a little trip up North to dress up? Dara Gallery and her wonderful masks will be participating in the Rome Revels Renaissance Festival and Artisan Market this weekend, September 6 and 7, from 10AM-6PM, in Rome, NY.
Dara Gallery
Dara Gallery
If you prefer to stay closer to home why not head over to Bethel Woods for another Sunday of the Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods? Huzzah Handmade will be there selling her gorgeous knits and felted items. This Sunday, September 7, 11AM-4PM.
Huzzah Handmade
Huzzah Handmade
Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Bounty of My Garden

The desire for a medium sized backyard vegetable garden turned out to be too daunting of a project for this summer.

To placate myself for the lack of one garden plot, I cleared a patch of ground outside of our back door. I planted herbs, spread wild flower seeds, and planted one Tomato plant, and one Cucumber plant, in a large galvanized container. In a front yard garden plot, I planted Zinnia seeds, spread wild flower seeds, transplanted Daisies, Black Eyed Susans, and tended to the Roses.

I am still hoping for that medium sized vegetable garden next summer, and intend to begin digging it before the frost starts.

There was something so satisfying about watching the tiny plants and seeds that were planted by my hands, mature into productive plants and flowers of vivid colors. Also satisfying is being able to utilize the bounty from my small garden for summer cooking.

Here is a recipe that is simple, and the ingredients can be adjusted as desired. The amount of each ingredient should be changed according to portions being prepared.

Garden Herbed Potato Salad

Potatoes of any variety // amount according to portion size
Celery // amount according to portion size
Onion // sweet, red, or yellow variety
Fresh herbs // suggested: Sage, Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme, Chives, Dill, Cilantro
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Vinegar ( I used Apple Cider Vinegar )
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Prepared Mustard ( I used Yellow organic Mustard )

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1" chunks, and place in a pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil until tender. Rinse and let cool. Chop celery, and onion. Mince herbs. In a lidded jar, add salad dressing ingredients and shake well to mix. Mix up potatoes, herbs, celery, and onion in a bowl. Pour dressing over the potatoes, just enough to wet the mixture. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve.

Jenny - Reclaimed Designs

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Selling One-of-a-Kinds in Today’s Retail Market: What are our Options?

For those of us that cannot wean ourselves from the love of making artisan crafts by hand, the constant dilemna is: How to market effectively and maybe…just maybe, have the chance of actually making a small profit through our businesses. Having gone the Craft Show, Home Show, Wholesale and Online Route, I cannot say I have the definitive answer, as it is different for everyone depending on how labor intensive your work is, how important it is that you are there to describe your process, and whether or not you have an item that can be mass produced in quantity or must be created as either one-of-a- kind or in small batches. But I have learned a lot in the 15 years I’ve been doing this since I left my position as a full time Art Teacher and set up a Ceramic Studio in my home. And I believe in Sharing because we’re not in competition, though it’s easy to fall into that trap. Really, We’re on the HVNY Etsy Team to encourage and enhance each others work and lives.

My business is making one-of-a-kind pieces of handmade ceramic and fused glass jewelry, and it is a multi-step process with creating pendant from raw clay, two eight hour firings, composing the necklace or bracelet or ring into a unique design. I plan to chronicle some of my ongoing marketing techniques, including successes and failures, and in so doing, hopefully shorten the learning curve for others. Currently, I have a Website, an Etsy site, I coordinate Craft Shows for others, (though am moving away from doing many myself), sell in some consignment boutiques, wholesale to Galleries and Crafts Shows and sell to a limited number of stores in the large Whole Food chain (in their Whole Body Depts.).

I guess what people might be most interested in right off the bat is how I got into Whole Foods as a vendor, which was an interesting process. I used to go fairly regularly to the Whole Foods in Ridgewood, NJ (where I lived until I moved up here to my little slice of Heaven in Warwick). I walked into their Whole Body Dept. one day when I was making a delivery to a consignment Gallery nearby. And of course, I was wearing one of my necklaces, which is always my most successful door to opening a dialogue about my business. I recognized the woman at the register and struck up a conversation.

Well, about 5 minutes into the convo, she commented that she loved the necklace I was wearing, and called over the Team Manager to look at it. The Team Mgr, in turn, said she thought the buyer would love the style and I made an appointment to meet with David. And I was IN. I said, “You mean I’m IN?” " Oh…you’re in", he said. Scads of paperwork, insurance forms, and getting UPC Codes later, I was selling at Whole Foods. Next, I approached another couple of stores in the chain who were eager to try out the line as well. And basically, that’s how it happened. So, the pros and cons.

The biggest PRO is the PR value of saying that you sell to Whole Foods, which of course, most people have heard of. Also, a lot of people with money shop there, and you never know WHO might walk in and discover your line, so to speak. It definitely inspired me to keep on my toes, bringing new designs all the time to keep the buyers interested. And now the CONS, of which there are many. Since my pieces are on-of-a-kind, I need to bring them to each store so that they can hand select. I have offered to email pics or send a “Pick Box” which I’ve done with other stores, but so far, No Go. I also need to sell my work to them at 50% of their Retail Price. Because my pieces are so labor intensive, and because I don’t like to move above the $50-$55 retail price, I end up with little or no profit once travel time, gas, time spent making the pieces, and materials are factored in. So, unless you can really rack them out, and have a great, easy to stock “Point of Purchase” display, it is very difficult to make any money, in selling handcrafted and “made with love” items to larger Chain Stores. Again, it’s nice to put in your Resume, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity, but for the type of product I market…definitely not a money maker. More of my musings to ponder next week….

Roberta Green from RGClay Creations