Progress Report

The Kickstarter seems to be going at a healthy pace. I would love for it to be doing better but I will take what I get and learn from the process. I think I will be doing more Kickstarters in the future.

Just a heads up I will be going on my Honeymoon next week and so will not be tracking things as closely as I am now.  We will be approaching the half way mark by that point and if my have my way be working on a stretch goal or two. Remember that the more money we raise above the goal the cooler the swag you can look forward to.

With the news that Disney has purchased Star Wars I couldn’t help but make the first colorway I work on Star Wars themed. You first have to understand that Star Wars was my first geek and will always hold a place in my heart. Secondly that honeymoon I mentioned is happening at Disneyland. I think this will work out wonderfully. As soon as I have some color swatches I will happily share them with you.

The other thing I need to get working on is the stitchmarkers. I want to make a specialty set just for people who are a part of this Kickstarter campaign. I am working on how to make ones that are either geeky cool or kitten themed to go with my company name. I think I am leading towards geeky with dice and things. As soon as I have a prototype set I will post pics so that you can drool and use them as a way to convince your friends to back me.

Also following my return from the honeymoon the ETSY shop will be getting a much needed update with more product and hopefully some better banners and things. I love the holiday season and hope you will look to many small business and home town places for your shopping.

Finally I have done some research into how I want to make my tags. In the beginning unless we make our stretch goals I will be using business cards with the info written on the back. If we pass a stretch goal or two or when the sales of the fiber crack takes off I will have cards printed up that fold in half and have  the inside printed with places to fill in the fiber content, colorway, batch #, Oz or yardage and price. The back of the card would be blank so that stores can have a place to put their own stickers or barcodes.

I am having so much fun with this project and want to make it as successful as possible.

Calling All Geeks

It is that time again for treasury Thursday. This week I found one treasury put together by someone other than me and then two new ones from me and a recycled older one. This week I launched my first ever Kickstarter for hand dyed roving and yarn in geeky themes. In honor of that all of the treasuries are geeky.

This first treasury is put together as a gift buying guide for the geeky men in your life. The curator found a lot of fun items, many of which I would love to own. One of my top favorites is the Millennium Falcon chocolates. I would also use the Scotty mug with pride.

The second treasury is one that I put together with all of the fun geeky knitting related items I could find. I tried to cover as many geek areas as possible along with a variety of useful items. Take a look you might just find that one thing your knitting bag has been missing.

The third treasury is the one that I put together to celebrate the fact that many of my friends we off playing at PAX. It is a treasury that has been around for a little while but is still a fun one. Also no one can deny its geek nature.

The final treasury is one I put together more recently to highlight some of the wonderful variety of geek fun available on ETSY. I am amazed and all the interesting things that my fellow shop owners come up with. The world is full of some amazingly creative geeks.

Don’t forget to check out the Kickstarter, you too can help a creative geek get her products to market.

Kickstarter Is Go!

My Kickstarter is live. Now the real fun begins. As you know I am a total geek with a love of fiber. Now I have to get my act together and make my hand dyed products a reality. I have been dying for my own use and for limited sale for over 5 years now. I have the techniques pretty well figured out although there is always room to learn more. Also the fun of dying is that no two batches will ever turn out just alike.

Hand dyed worsted weight yarn.

Today I am spending time on the web making sure I have all the best resources for my supplies. I have two places that I am currently looking into ordering my fiber from and one source so far for the dyes and other supplies. I want to find out how to get my wholesale gig set up with as many sources as possible so that I can have a healthy selection to choose from and get the best prices. A better price for me means better prices for you and very possibly more variety in the product offerings.

For the Kickstarter I will be developing 5 color ways that I will be using for both the yarn and the spinning fibers. I want to apply those colors to 3 to 5 different yarns and 3 to 5 different fibers. Among the yarns I want a sock weight, lace weight, non-wool, and a good basic yarn. For the spinning fibers I want superwash wool, a silk blend and at least one non animal fiber.

In addition to looking into all of the supply sources I am also looking into the goodies I would like to add on when I meet my initial goal. The first and most obvious place the money will go is into additional dyes and dyables. If we break the $2000 mark I will be investing in a spin Dryer. This dryer will allow me to dry my product faster so I can make more in less time. If we break $2500 I will pick up an electronic yarn meter. This tool will allow me to more accurately measure the yardage of my yarns. I like to sell yarns in usable sized skeins, meaning if it is sock yarn there should be enough for a whole pair of socks. The more money we manage to bring in the better my equipment will be, the more options I have to bring to the market place and the higher the quality the product will be.

Treasury Thursday PAX Edition

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PAX Prime Crowd 2012

 

This weekend PAX Prime takes over the Washington State Convention Center. This is a fun Convention that is all about the world of gaming. You can sit in on panels about games and game companies. You can play games and you can shop for many things gamer geeky. I will feel successful in my company when I can afford to buy booth space at PAX. Until then enjoy these fun treasuries that feature things that appeal to those of us who wish we were going to PAX.

The first treasury has fun things that you might find in a dungeon. This one seems to be more specifically targeted at the Dungeons and Dragons players although it needs to be updated to include my gelatinous cube soap.

The second treasury has accessories for your con going fun. This treasury is not just about Cons like PAX but also general fantasy gaming cons like Norwescon.

Finally we get to my treasury for the week. I tried to represent as many different types of gamers as possible in my treasury.  Mostly I just had fun letting my inner geek out.

Treasury Thursday

I am well over due for a Treasury Thursday. I am still in the process of building my blogging habit so please have patients with me I promise I am becoming more regular at this.

This week for my treasuries I am looking at things I would want on hand for the fall gift knitting season. If you are like me you are starting to worry about how many gifts you have to make. These ETSY treasuries have some great tool and supply ideas to hopefully make it easier to complete your knitting projects.

The first treasury is my own. I just put this one together with all of the tools that I either have and use or would like to have for knitting. A few of them are also things I am thinking of getting for fellow knitters in my life. I chose my items based purely on what I like this time so fair warning I have eclectic tastes.

The second treasury is all about fiber. She has a nice broad selection of fibers both wool and not wool fibers for spinning. Her colors are mostly colors that I enjoy. I also like that she has filled the treasury. With the large variety of items available on ETSY it seems like a waist to not completely fill a treasury.

This final treasury has an interesting blend of tools and knitting related items. I was especially intrigued to see that someone is selling hand knit dog fur socks. The painting that is listed is also very interesting. Apparently this treasury was full when it was first published but now has some slots open because things sold.

I hope you have fun looking at these items and think about making a treasury of your own. I love to see what other people think is cool.

A crafty tattoo sticker.

A First Timers Hints For A Successfull Convention

Geek Girl Con 2012 was my first solo sales event and a success. As a way for me to process what I have learned I am going to share my knowledge with you. If any of you have insights to add or comments to make please do.

Jeff and I at the booth.

Conventions offer interesting challenges. You need to have product prepped, display items, signage and personal care items.

The product side of things may seem a bit obvious but are worth going over. Do yourself a favor and have your product packaged, inventoried and boxed for transport a day or two before load in. Remember the amount of time it takes to prepare your product will invariably take longer than expected. The last thing you want is to be rushed when load in begins. For conventions cardboard boxes for loading in are nice as they can be recycled if you don’t need the full number when the time comes for load out.  For packaging you want something that looks nice and is easy to label especially if you are selling a product where ingredients may be important. Also you don’t want you packaging to take distract from your product. Along with this goes bags. In many cities like Seattle you are now more limited on what bags you are allowed to use. You can no longer get a box of the extra cheap grocery style bags and call it good. Instead you need paper or a heavier more reusable plastic like the bags you get at a clothing store. You might also consider having some inexpensive reusable bags made with your company logo and saying on them for sale at a reasonable price. Remember to figure in the cost of the bags when you think about the cost of your product. It is up to you if it is worth getting custom printed bags or just bulk stock. I tend towards bulk stock.

How you build your displays are important. Many events provide at least one table all though you may wish to bring or rent additional ones. Before your event do some practice set ups so that you can have the most successful display set up possible. Your display should show your product off, attract positive attention and be inviting. Having multiple levels not only makes it easier to show off your product it also allows you to display more product in a smaller booth space.

This is a picture of a display rack that I may use as inspiration for some of my own displays.

Have a nice set of table clothes for your tables. You want your tables to look professional. A high quality cloth with a sheen and a subtle stripe helps your booth look prosperous. It is a subtle difference between a well-stocked booth and a cluttered booth. People need to be able to see and easily identify the items you are selling but they also need to see that you have a full selection of product. As you can see from the picture this is one area that I need to put a lot of work into.

Signage is hugely important. A large eye catching banner helps your regulars find your booth on the convention floor and it helps attract new customers. I suggest using a banner stand so that you don’t have to worry about how you are going to hang your banner. It is simple to make one from PVC pipe, they are easy to set up and take with you even if you have to set up your booth alone.  The other important signs are price and item identification. It is a good idea to have signs that are easy to update as prices change. The challenge is to have small enough signs as to not distract from the product and are also professional looking and easy to read.  Select a standard font and use it for all of the signs to create a uniform look. I prefer not to use hand written signs as my hand writing while perfectly legible doesn’t looks classy enough.

Finally the thing that I feel is the most important, self-care. First make sure you are wearing clothing that allows you to move freely and not overheat while still being appropriate to your convention. Feel free to cosplay just make sure you feel comfortable and aren’t going to fall out of your clothing. You also need to have comfortable shoes, it is hard to have fun and interact with customers if your feet hurt. I love fun looking shoes but I hate sore feet. I also suggest putting down foam puzzle mats to add some cushion to your floor. I keep a supply of drinks and snacks in the booth. I want to be able to stay hydrated and fed without having to leave the booth. I bring things like peanut butter sandwiches as they have a healthy stock of protein but at the same time do not require refrigeration. I do get out of my booth and go see what is going on around me but the last thing I want to do is have to spend my quick breaks standing in line for food. Sleep is also necessary make sure that you get enough. I know that fun things are often happening in the evenings of a con but you also have to stay healthy.

I hope these ideas help you. It has helped me to put them into words and soon practice.

 

Treasury Thursday

On ETSY one of the fun ways that you can find new and unusual goodies is to look through the treasuries. Anyone who is a member of the site can create treasuries on any theme of their choosing. For Treasury Thursday s I will be choosing two treasuries that others have created and creating a new one of my own.

The first Treasury is titled Midnight Lady and is put together by Sigita. This treasury is features a mix of jewelry, clothing and art all in the blue, black and night theme. Interestingly even though Sigita has an ETSY store Crafts By Sigita she does not list any of her own items in this treasury.  The fine art photography was what initialy drew me to this treasury but it is the Jewelry that I find most interesting.  If I could buy any of the items in that treasury I would get the photo of moonlight trees and the Kaleidoscope necklace.

The second Treasury I am going to point out is fittin’ for knittin’! This treasury is put together by Jody Barras and features hand dyed yarns. There is a wide variety of colors represented but overall the treasury is a little boring to me. I find that I like more variation in my treasury items but that is just a quirk of mine.

The final treasury is one of my own called I’m In a Mood. This treasury got started because I have fallen in love with the new mood beads that are available. So I decided to see what I could find that were things I liked that turned up under a search for the word Mood. There are an outstanding number of creative things on ETSY with the word mood linked to theme. These were just the ones that caught my attention today. I tried for a variety of types of items and mood themes. Mostly I just had fun.

Emerald Citty Comic Con

 

 

My first geek sales event was Emerald City Comic con. It was a success and a great learning opportunity. I had a blast talking to as many people as possible and getting to see all of the fun costumes. I sold some of my dice soaps and my mood bracelets. My dice soaps did fairly well but would have done better with a better display system. The mood bracelets did fantastic.

The soaps did just fine. I wish I had had a full stock of all the colors in all the design. I was especially sad to not have had any of my orange soaps on hand. Of the soaps that I did have the Guest soaps sold the best. I will be making sure to have many more of them with me for future events. The soap needed to be spaced out better so that it was easier to see the variety of styles and colors. I also need to make better signage and have a better inventory and organization system. It is a learning process and a lot of fun.

The mood bracelets are a brand new item. I brought them along to ECCC on the off chance that they would sell, they sold amazingly well. I had to make more of them for the last day of the event. I will be posting them soon on my ETSY store along with some other new designs. With the addition of the jewelry items I need to look at even more ways to set up my booth space and display my items. For this event I was able to borrow a display piece from one of the people I was many the booth with for my bracelets but I need to start stocking my own.

My next event will be Geek Girl Con August 11th&12th. This is will be the first event that I have a table to myself.  I am planning on bringing a larger variety of soaps, jewelry, woven items and knitting and spinning kits. I hope to see many of you there.

Larisa Harris at Emerald City Comic Con 2012