Nov 10, 2009

The holidays are coming! (plus, shopping for shoppers)

Star and Crossbones has booked two more craft shows in St. Petersburg (the captain's hometown and birthplace, doncha know): Art Attack on November 21, right before Thanksgiving, and the ARTPool art/craft/vintage show on December 19 — right before Christmas. That sounds like it should be exciting...

We may also be attending another Daytona Beach event on December 5, if we can get the logistics right (i.e., if Brian's family in the area have finished remodeling their bathrooms so we have a free place to stay).

The event we did over the weekend, at the antique flea market, was a bit silly for us, really ... which I thought it probably would be, from the way things were the last time. But it rained on and off all day during the last one, so I thought I'd give it a second try. But it looks like my feelings were right: The people who shop antique flea markets (or at least, the people who shop at that antique flea market) don't seem to be the same people who look for quality handmade items, which points up the importance of finding craft shows and events that fit your products — it's like the need to advertise to the correct audience. Meaning it doesn't matter how great your stuff is if you're marketing to the wrong people. (People who only read literary poetry aren't going to buy Harry Potter, no matter how many times they see the gimongous display at the bookstore.)

And if you don't find your market, you could make the mistake of thinking your products aren't marketable or good enough. From reading along on mailing lists as people try to find good shows, I gather it takes trial and error and word of mouth — or luck, lacking those two things — to find your audience, so for those of you out there trying to find your niche, keep trying. I certainly don't intend on giving up until I've given it a good run.

And hey, I got a nice bamboo barrette-thing out of it, from the other artist who had a table at the event:

Hand-painted bamboo hair thingie

I also got a lopsided tan, from sitting in one direction all day ... but them's the breaks when you dare to sit outside in Florida.

Nov 6, 2009

Halloween doings: a craft show and some piratical sewing

We spent Halloween in Daytona Beach this year, doing our first "real" show as Star and Crossbones. A few months ago we had a table at an antique shop's "flea market," because a friend of mine who works there asked us a couple of days before it to fill a spot — but we didn't have a banner or business cards or a Web site or ... yeah. We had us, some homemade displays, and whatever we happened to have in stock at the time.

The Daytona Beach Hallowgreen event was the first event at which we set up a tent, had a banner, and passed out business cards. We even had a receipt book ... OooOOoooo. Here I am sitting in our booth (and knitting):

Star & Crossbones at Hallowgreen

And for good measure, here's a photo with Brian and a close-up of our table — I took this one early in the morning, as soon as there was enough light, so I couldn't forget to take a picture:

Star & Crossbones at Hallowgreen

It was a fun show. The organizer has told us we'll be welcome back next year if we're interested, we met fellow Etsy FEST member Cory from Aquarian Bath, whose lead we followed in order to get into the show, we got to visit Brian's family in the area, and we gave out all but I think three of our business cards — so even though we only sold a couple of things, I think it was a pretty successful show. (I do wish I had gotten the fabric labels done in time to sew them into the scarves, though. Oh, well. Next time.)

And actually, we're doing the antique shop's "flea market" again this Sunday. We still won't have our normal business cards, since the new batch hasn't arrived yet from the printer (alas...), but I'll just have to whip some up and print them out myself, because we can't just have nothing. ;) And this time, we'll have a table. And chairs. And more of a clue about what we're doing. And the all-important receipt book. Wahaha. (Come see us at Memory Lane Antique Mall in St. Petersburg, if you're in the area.)

Oh, and the other thing I had to do for Halloween was sew a pirate shirt for a guy Brian works with. In the last entry, I was going to try cleaning my sewing machine with Citra-Solv, so that, you know, it would actually work so I could sew the shirt. I should have documented the battle, but sitting on a tile floor for four hours unscrewing tiny screws and using two billion paper towels and a pair of tweezers to remove 10 years' worth of gunk from a bunch of metal gears didn't inspire me to take photos. Suffice to say, the machine now runs. Not perfectly, mind you, but I didn't kill it, and it didn't kill me. I declare this: A WIN!

And look, I was a good girl and sewed the placket facing on the commissioned pirate shirt before I sewed the front piece of the shirt to the back piece:

Placket facing: before and after

Wins all around. Except for the fact that I've been suffering from post-craft-show out-of-it-ness — or maybe I'm catching a wee bit of something. But I can't let that stop me, as Star and Crossbones must sail on...
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