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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spotlight on Mixed Media Art by Chelle - Paintin’ Divas

If you were fortunate enough to attend the Mississippi Craft Show last month, you would have been treated to the visual delights of Mixed Media Art by Chelle - Paintin’ Divas.  Mississippi Artist Michelle Ray Goolsby is originally from Jackson, Mississippi and now lives in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Michelle is a self taught Mixed Media Artist born into a creative and artistic family, she has been creating art in various forms for as long as she can remember. Michelle employs various mediums and techniques in her work and says that her favorite forms of expression are collage, paper paintings, and torn paper art.

Michelle has enjoyed painting on and off for many years, but after loosing her best friend to breast cancer, she re-dedicated herself to painting, and the sale of her art, in honor of the memory of her friend. Michelle often honors her friend in her work visually by the inclusion of wings, butterflies, birds, best friend sayings, and the like.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More on Craft Show Etiquette

Many things go into a profitable craft show experience and not all of them are dependent on the show promoter or customers. The atmosphere created by establishing a friendly working relationship with your fellow exhibitors, and by maintaining a positive outlook, go a long way toward creating an inviting and happy booth where your customer enjoys staying long enough to buy!  Here are some tips for proper etiquette at a craft show.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Craft Show Planning and Packing Checklist!

So, you're getting ready to attend a craft show and you're thinking about what you have to pack. It can be a daunting task and the last thing you want to do is get to the show and remember some key element to your booth set up that you have forgotten.  It might seem obvious, but a check list can really save you a lot of trouble and heartache.  

This following list should not be considered exhaustive and many things are optional.  It should, however, give you a good starting point to create a checklist of your own.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Craft Show Do's and Don'ts

DO NOT - Crowd your customers. Be sure to allow customers to browse unencumbered, but make it known you are ready to answer any questions or assist them in any way. Be pleasant, not pushy.

DO - Take the time to see what else is at the show.  That way when a customer asks you "do you know if anyone here is selling widgets" you will be able to tell them that you saw where someone in the next aisle over was selling widgets. Be helpful to your customers, even if that means you are sending them to another booth.  You never know when a customer in the widget booth is looking for your wares - and someone just told them where to find you!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Your First Craft Show? Don't Panic!

Sew Pink & Blue - by Emily Thomas. A great booth display!
There is a wealth of helpful information available to get you looking like a craft show pro in no time!

If you're about to attend your first craft show as an exhibitor, understandably you might be feeling excitement mixed with some nervousness. You will certainly enjoy your first craft show more if you are well prepared. Here is some valuable information that will help you have a great first show.

Tips and Hints

Creating a mock up of your booth at home is a great way to test your booth display and plan ahead. When attending your first show, it is VITAL that you do a test run before the show to be certain everything you envision will work as you intended. Be prepared for it not to work the way you planned it in your mind - it probably won't.  That is why you should test it out!  Even if it does fit the way you thought it would, you may figure out a better way to do things just by experiencing the set up.  There is always room for improvement.  You will also get an idea of how long it will take you to set up your booth, and it gives you the opportunity to resolve any issues or make changes.  The first time you set up your display should NOT be at the show. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Craft Show Etiquette

Craft show Etiquette: The DOs and DON'Ts

My wife recently went to a show as a vendor, and one of the other vendors acted very unprofessionally.  The other vendor did everything they could to make sure my wife didn’t make any sales.  They jumped up and down on the floor to shake their booth and make their wares make noise.  They stood in the entrance of my wife’s booth and forced customers to walk around and away from my wife’s booth.  When customers did come in to shop, the other vendor actually tried to physically pull the customer to their booth.  This was not that particular vendor’s first show, and the behavior was completely unacceptable (and this doesn’t cover half of what went on).
It was because of this experience, I thought I would share a few DOs and DON’Ts for what should be proper behavior at a craft show.

  1. Be Friendly, Courteous, and Polite - You are a professional and you should act as such..
  2. Be Helpful - Help your fellow vendor if they need you to watch their booth for a bathroom or food break.  You should cheerfully try and help keep customers in your neighbor’s booth until they return.
  3. Dress Appropriately - Dress casual but neat. If you don't make the effort to dress appropriately, your customers will think you craft is just thrown together as well.
  4. Setup On Time - Make sure to have your booth completely setup before the opening of the show.  It is unprofessional to still be unpacking and setting up after the doors have been opened to the public.
  5. Be clear about your boundaries - Only use the space you have paid for.  Make sure your display and products don't overflow into your neighbors space.
  6. Stay until the end - Packing up early sends a negative message that customers should stop shopping and leave.
  7. Use free time wisely - Get to know your fellow vendors, but be respectful of their time.  If a customer stops in, excuse yourself immediately.
  8. Promote - Advertise and let everyone know about the show.  The more customers that know about the show and come by, the more successful that show is for everyone.
  9. Don’t bring a product that was not approved for the show.  Bringing an unapproved product to a juried show is a good way to be asked to leave.
  10. Don't phone the organizers repeatedly with questions.  Save them all up and make one call or email.  Better yet - read your show material - chances are the answers are there! The organizers are dealing with a lot of other vendors and if they all called three or four times, it amounts to a lot of time on the phone! Wouldn't you rather have your show organizer spending their time promoting the show to improve your sales?  This doesn’t mean don’t ask questions. By all means, if you don’t understand something, or you need help, ask for assistance.  Just try to ask as many of your questions as you can at one time. Remember to look for FAQ's and other provided information first, to see if your questions have already been answered.
  11. Don’t complain to/about other vendors - Customers overhear these complaints and get a negative image of the show.  If they share that negative image with others, fewer customers come through the door, and you could potentially miss out on sales.
  12. Don’t steal customers - Always act professionally.  It is okay to try and attract customers, but not at the expense of keeping them from your fellow vendors.

  1. Most importantly, Have Fun!  Craft shows are an opportunity to find out what people like about your products.  It also gives you a chance to see what other crafters are doing. Who knows, you might even be inspired for your next great project.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gobza - Gobs of potential opportunity?

It's new and by invitation only.  Looks promising! Check it out.
So, there's this new website, called Gobza and according to the company This site "allows businesses large and small to post GobzaOffers 24/7/365. You control the deal. It’s free advertising! There are no limitations, no minimum requirements... You create as many deals as you want, when you want, as many times as you want."

They go on to explain how this benefits shoppers, too. Shoppers can search through offers for whatever they want - globally.

It costs nothing to join, but it is by invitation only.  What sounds great about it to me is the opportunity for any business to post offers.  This would be a very valuable tool for small business, especially handmade businesses trying to make it online.  Even more exciting is the fact that nonprofit organizations and charities can benefit by effortless fundraising. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Just for fun, on Valentine's day, I decided to post some funky and rather different Valentine related handcrafted items.

Infinite Mystery

Friday, February 3, 2012

Five Glass Sculptures

Glass has been used as an art medium for over 3500 years.  Glass beads and amulets have been found that were made as far back as 2500 BCE.  It is very amazing that just a few basic ingredients, such as sand, ashes, and lime, can be used to make this wonderfully beautiful and versatile material. Here are five pieces of glass art to celebrate the art of glass.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting to know Blue - Symbolism and Personality of Color

Blue on Blue by Randam Art.
There have been many studies focused on color and its impact on our daily lives.  There is no argument that color can influence our emotions, but our reaction to color is not always conscious.  Color can not only affect how we feel, but when used in art it can also portray an expression of feelings and emotions within our work. 

I would like to introduce you to my own favorite color, based on research, historical significance, and word association studies, this information should give you some insight into the generally accepted color associations and how we typically react to the color blue.


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