Confessions of a craft fair virgin.

Last weekend I finally took the plunge and ticked something off my bucket list.  For ages I’ve wanted to run a stall at a craft fair.  While I love my Etsy store, I was keen to try selling at markets as well. Selling in person has some distinct advantages: you don’t have to worry about crazy shipping costs, potential customers have a chance to touch and try on your wares and you can joke and chat with your customers.

I was extremely nervous about running my own market stall.  I was very worried that my crafts weren’t good enough or that nobody would want to buy what I was selling.  I was concerned that my social anxiety would make it hard for me to interact with my customers without it seeming forced.  I also felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that would be involved in running a stall.

So guess what… it was really hard.  I put in tonnes of work and preparation, I only made a single sale and I felt so nervous every time someone came to my stall.  But you know what else? It was totally worth it and I would definitely do it again.  Here are a few observations I took away from my first time as a craft-stall vendor.

There’s no one “right” way to run a stall.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time stressing over how I should set up my stall.  I looked at countless Pinterest boards for inspiration and ended up completely spinning myself out.  I was so unsure about how my stall should look, what type of displays I should use, how much stock to bring and so many other worries.  In the end, I went for a pretty minimalist look with a few displays and most of my stock spread out on the table.  And you know what?  It really seemed to work.  My colourful goodies really stood out from the crowd and loads of people were drawn to check out all the awesome colours and textures at my booth.

There were some really professional-looking displays at the market.  Some vendors had made their entire stall from scratch.  Others hired tables and used home-made or pre-purchased display racks.  But they all looked awesome and everyone was making sales.  When you’re trying to plan a stall, it’s best to stick with a few simple ideas that seem right to you, see what works and build from there.  Comparing yourself to other stalls will drain your energy and worth.

Talk to other vendors and learn from them.

I met some fantastic vendors at the craft fair.  There were some people who, like me, were relatively new to the game and others who were market veterans.  Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and I picked up some great tips to help me with my stall and my customers.  If you’re a newbie, these tidbits of info are so valuable.

And don’t forget, even if you don’t know that much about markets there might be some other areas that you have some flair in.  For example, the woman running the stall opposite mine has been thinking of starting an online store so I was able to give her some pointers based on what has worked for me in the past.  We swapped advice and it was a great learning experience.  It’s great when people are willing to help you out and learn as well as teach.  It’s the type of scenario that everyone benefits from!

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Bring business cards…and lollies.

Not every customer will be ready to buy on the day.  Markets can be quite overwhelming and some will be unsure of what they want to spend their money on with so many options on offer.  For that reason, it’s nice to have something that your potential customers can take away with them.  I made sure that each person I talked to took my card and a sweet treat.  If people wanted something I didn’t have, I highlighted the fact that I can make custom orders on request.  Offering people a card in a friendly way isn’t too pushy, and it gives them the opportunity to take a look at your shop when they have more time on their hands.

Pay attention to what your customers have to say.

Although it can be daunting to put your crafts out for display and potential criticism, it can also be a valuable learning experience.  I gained so much insight into the kinds of things my customers are looking for, which will be very helpful.  For example, I was able to take note of the items that were most popular, and which things people asked for which I didn’t have.  I noticed that there were a lot of children at the market shopping with pocket money, and that most of my items were out of their price range.  So next time I plan to have some small cheap items, such as headbands or crocheted brooches, which can be bought with small change.  I will make sure to have some of the sought-after items that people seemed to be looking for.  And I will put those more popular items in a prominent place so they catch the eye.  Even though I only made one sale this time, I feel more equipped for my next market.

Have you ever run a craft market stall?  What did you learn from the experience?

Five Fandom Friday: games I love to play.

Wellity, wellity, wellity!  It has been a while since I’ve done a FFF post, hasn’t it?  Well it’s time to shake off the cobwebs and settle in to talk about one of my favourite geeky subjects: games!

 

This week’s prompt is “games I love to play” and it’s a topic that’s dear to my heart.  I adore games of all kinds, and although I love to win I like to think that I’m a pretty good sport.  Here are five games that are super fund and usually get played whenever I have friends over.

 

1. Cards Against Humanity

Although it’s definitely the least politically correct game that I own, Cards Against Humanity has to be at the top of my list.  I have shared countless rounds of this hilarious card game with friends and some long-running jokes have been born from such occasions.  It’s dirty, crude and highly offensive, but it’s also a great way to spend an evening with friends.

 

2. Trivial Pursuit.

I’m a nut for trivia and I enjoy any kind of question-and-answer game. I actually own four different versions of Trivial Pursuit: the classic edition, the pop culture edition, the 90’s edition and The Disney edition.  I’m super psyched because I’ve heard rumours of a Harry Potter edition, which would be amazing.  When I was at uni I used to catch up with several mates every Sunday night for a post-weekend trivia match complete with ice cream sundaes and lots of laughs.

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3.  Ankh Morpork

This is probably my favourite strategy game in my collection.  Not only does it really work your brain but it features loads of references to the Disworld book series.  But you don’t have to be a Terry Pratchett fan to enjoy this fantastic game.  Play it with your craftiest friends as a great alternative to Monopoly (which, incidentally, is my least favourite game of all time).

 

4. Mario Kart

Although I’m not much of a console gamer, I do love a spin around the track in Mario Kart.  Although the Nintendo 64 version will always be a favourite for nostalgic reasons, I do love the Wii edition of the game.  I always play as Yoshi and I’m deadly with a red shell.  Take me on and you’ll see…

 

5. Tsuro

Tsuro is a relatively recent addition to my games cupboard.  It’s an extremely simple game that requires you to think on your feet to come out on top.  While there is some skill involved, it is mostly a game of chance.  I love puzzle-type games and this one is brilliant.

 

What are your favourite games?  I’d love to hear some  recommendations so that I can give them a shot.

Things I love Thursday

Heeeere’s Thursday!  I’m feeling so ready to leap into this week’s installment of Things I Love Thursday, so let’s just get right down to it.

This week I love:

– The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit.  I started watching this adorable program on Netflix and I’m addicted.  Kimmy is so wonderful and I wish I had a roommate like Tituss.  I’ve been humming the theme tune to myself ever since I started watching it.

– Surprise visits from my Mum and her dog.

– My new Doctor Frank N Furter tee shirt.  So fierce.

– Taking a sick day.  I feel so guilty whenever I take a day off work, even if I’m on death’s door.  But after one hour at my computer on Monday my head was throbbing and my sinuses were fit to explode.  So I decided to be a grown up and just take the day off.  I had a great rest and came back to the office on Tuesday with a clear head.

-Treating myself to pretty underthings.  I was in dire need of some new undies so I splashed out and bought some gorgeous handmade ones from Cherry Lingerie London.  I am so happy with them.  Not only are these knickers super cute, but they are gorgeous quality and so comfortable.

I chose a mixture of sexy and cute designs, and they are all outstanding. I will definitely be buying more from Cherry.

– Slippers at the end of a long day of work.

– Making time for blogging again.

– Home made spaghetti bolognaise.

– Getting a surprise parcel from my grandmother filled with vintage scarves.  There are some stunners among them and this Malta scarf is one of my favourites.  My ex-boyfriend’s grandmother was Maltese and she was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  She passed away years ago and I confess that I still miss her sometimes.  So it’s nice to have this scarf to wear in her honour when I’m missing her.

– Lighting the heater.

– Walking to work in the morning air, which is pleasantly chilly but not yet frightfully cold.

– Bidding a fond farewell to one of my most special friends, who is heading off for a year in the UK.  I’m going to miss his goofy face, but I’m so proud of him for leaping into this great adventure.

What do you love this week?

What’s new in my world?

Hello sweet blog reader.  I apologize most sincerely for going AWOL for the last couple of weeks.  But things have gone batshit crazy around here and I needed a bit of time to juggle all the awesomeness that I’ve been hit with.  But I haven’t forgotten you!  How could I ever?  Let’s grab a coffee and chill while I tell you about my latest adventures.

 

Work

My job has been going brilliantly.  Last week I had my three-month performance evaluation and my bosses were very pleased with me and offered me a permanent position.  This was a huge weight off of my shoulders because I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop the whole time I’ve been at this job.  After my last job ended abruptly, I was a little paranoid that I wouldn’t last in my new position.  But after three months I’ve learned heaps, I’m constantly improving and I’m really enjoying my work.  The people I work with are dedicated and so lovely and it’s a really positive work environment.  I feel so blessed.

 

But it’s not all sunshine and roses.  Full time work is hard, y’know?  I feel like I’ve been pushing myself too hard to maintain all of my non-work commitments and it’s been wearing me down.  I’ve had bouts of exhaustion and depression when I’ve tried to cram too much into my days and ended up watering down my performance and enthusiasm.  I really need to take a step back and remind myself that I need to rest and that I can’t do all the things I used to when I worked part-time.

 

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Crafting

I’ve been balls-to-the-wall preparing for my very first craft fair stall.  I applied for a stall at a boutique market in town months ago, and I was so chuffed to receive confirmation that I’d have my very own spot at the Twig & Bloom market in Benalla.  I’ve wanted to try selling my goods at markets for a while now, and I feel so pleased that I’m taking the plunge and actually doing it.

 

Lemme tell you something: preparing for a craft fair is no walk in the park.  It’s hard, it’s time consuming and it requires a lot of creative energy.  There is a lot more involved than just making a lot of stuff and whacking price tags on it.  You have to plan out your stall setup and come up with a way of recording sales and marketing and pricing and stock management and all that jazz.  It’s gotten to the point where I’m just worn out with managing all of it.  Once this fair is over I’m going to take a huge break and just chill out and recharge.

 

 

Romance, polyamory and coming out.

So, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been dating and exploring polyamory.  I still am and it’s going brilliantly.  I met an awesome couple who were looking for a woman to join their relationship and date them both.  We have been on many dates and I am totally smitten with them both.  We have loads in common and they are just such amazing people.  I am deeply attracted to them both and I’ve been having a total blast with them and I can’t wait to see where the future leads.

 

Polyamory was something I never gave much thought to, and admittedly when my beaus asked me out I was apprehensive.  I was very unsure how I would go in a three-way relationship.  Jealousy is something that’s been a problem for me in past relationships and I believed that I’d find it too difficult sharing my boyfriend with another woman, or that she might get jealous of me.  But y’know what? I haven’t felt jealous at all.  It’s amazing how I’ve begun to develop attachment and attraction in each relationship and how our relationship as a trio has grown.  It’s early days yet, but I think I’m onto something pretty special and I’m so excited about it.

 

This experience is also raising some difficulties for me.  For one, it has meant coming out as bisexual to my family and friends, which is quite confronting.  I’ve known for a long time that I’m attracted to women as well as men, but as I’ve never dated a woman before I never saw a reason to bring it up.  Having to tell my parents that I’m not only bisexual but that I’m dating both a man and a woman was hair-raising.  It’s been tough, but I think they’re getting used to the idea.  So many of my friends have been really supportive too which is awesome.  And I’m still figuring out if and how to tell the rest of my circle.  On the one hand I’m excited about my new relationship and I want to scream about it to anyone that will listen.  But on the other hand I know I’m going to face some opposition and I’m not feeling entirely strong enough to deal with that yet.

 

 

Supanova

I let my geeky streak run wild last weekend when I went with my lovers to Supanova.  I met a lot of fantastic new friends and had fun shopping and geeking out.  I actually didn’t take any photographs to share this time around.  I was enjoying just being in the moment and not wanting to spoil the mood by whipping out my camera every few minutes.  I saw some awesome things, but by far the highlight was meeting George Takei!  We ran into him on our way out of the con and he was such a sweetheart.  It was a fantastic and laid back con and I had an absolute blast.

 

But enough about me, what have you been up to?

 

Things I love Thursday 9/4/2015

Happy Thursday to you, ladies and Jellybeans! I hope that you’re ready to leap into a big ol’ list of love, because here we go!

 

This week I love:

– Dating and exploring the world of polyamory.  I’ve found two very special people who are really lighting my fire at the moment and it’s been brilliant in the most unexpected way.

 

– Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

 

– Hot cross buns and tiny chocolate eggs.

 

– My new Sick Sad World tee shirt.

 

– My job.  I’m enjoying it so much.  The work is challenging and I’m lucky enough to work with a fantastic group of people.  I couldn’t be happier.

 

– Long walks through the rose gardens on sunny mornings.  When the sun hits those roses, the fragrance is just heavenly.

 

– Art deco jewellery.

 

– Minties.

 

– Pulling out scarves and jackets for the first time this year.  It’s beginning to get chilly!

 

– Giggles with my brother.

 

– Bojack Horseman.  If you’re a fan of silly and borderline terrifying adult cartoons, then this one is for you.

 

– Contemplating Netflix.

 

– Beginning the two-month countdown to my birthday.

 

– Knitting.  So much knitting.

 

What about you?  What do you love this Thursday?

Daily outfit 7/4/2015

Fact: when I was a teen,  I was utterly obsessed with Daria.  Every afternoon I would stretch my acne-riddled body across the living room sofa to watch the antics of the outcast of Lonsdale High.  I was convinced that there could be no cooler person on the planet than Daria, and I held her up as my own personal role model.  I could relate to her frustration with the monotony of high school life, her fascination with the macabre and her ongoing rivalry with her more-popular sibling.  In my eyes, Daria was the Queen of the Misfits.

Now, fifteen years later, I’m still smitten with the abrasive Miss Morgandorfer and her quick-witted buddy, Jane Lane.  So when I found this tee shirt in Pulp Kitchen, I couldn’t resist snapping it up.

I am wearing:

– Sick Sad World tee from Pulp Kitchen

– Red mini skirt from Supre

– Black leggings from Holeproof

– Black motorcycle boots from Big W

– Key earrings from Etsy

– Fleur du lis ring from Equip

– Beetle ring (gift from my parents)

Although they are on the pricey side, Pulp Kitchen’s tees are worth the extra bucks.  Not only are they really soft and comfortable, but the prints stay vibrant for ages and they keep their shape really well.  Plus they have such a brilliant range of prints that range from geeky to nostalgic.

Were you a fan of Daria back in the day?

Things I love Thursday 26/3/2015

Well hello there!  My blog has been a bit quiet these last few days because I’ve been super busy.  Work has been nuts this week because one of my co-workers was away having dental surgery.  I’m still busily preparing for the craft fair.  And in addition to that I have started seeing someone pretty special. So I haven’t had a lot of free time for blogging.  Sorry dudes!  But I haven’t forgotten you and I’m ready to rock this Things I Love Thursday.

 

This Thursday I love:

– Seeing people take risks to chase the things that matter most to them.  I think it’s so brave to take the path less travelled, but so worth it if it leads to something that brings you joy.

 

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-The fact that it’s cold enough to wear tights again.

 

– Visiting Melbourne and seeing all my favourite sights.  It was fantastic to have a weekend away.

 

– Being kissed by someone who makes my heart race.

 

– Yes Please by Amy Poehler.  What a fantastic read.

 

– Taking a long walk during my lunch break to clear my head.

 

– Green toenail polish.

 

– Salted caramel anything.

 

– Men who aren’t afraid to cry.

 

– Coupling. I began watching it this week and it’s sensational. It’s kind of like the British version of Friends.

 

– Holding hands while walking down the street.

 

– Typing quickly and hearing the clickety-clack of the keys.

 

– The final days before it’s too cold to walk around the house barefoot.

 

What do you love this week?  Jump in and share!