Monday, May 26, 2014

Maybe a New Direction

Now that the spring craft sales are over, I figured I'd take a bit of a hiatus.  Last year, I was so burned out by late spring, I didn't craft all summer long.  This year is different though-  I still had a lot of stock left last year, so didn't have as much to do for the season this year, so a little less stress.  I've had a lot of custom orders lately, and have enjoyed working on those.  I have a graduating senior this year myself, so you'd think I would be stressed out and unable to create, but it has actually been the opposite- maybe I'm using it as an escape from the stress!  I have been browsing Pinterest a lot lately and finding a lot of new ideas and inspiration, and have a lot of things I want to try.

And that brings me to this- an opportunity to consign in a new local resale consignment shop/boutique.  It has only been open for just over week, but I've been in 3 times already!  It's near my office, so it's easy to go over and browse on my lunch break.  I took my daughter there and she found a great dress for only $10, and I got a purse on the same trip.  They carry mostly clothing and accessories, but also have vendors who rent space and sell everything from jewelry to accessories, candles, bath and body stuff, and even some home decor stuff.  No paper goods though.  They posted on their Facebook page the other day that they had some vendor spaces available, so I messaged them on a whim and asked if they'd be interested in carrying greeting cards, and provided a link to my Etsy shop.  I got a message back that they'd love to talk to me!  I need more of the details first though- I have the cost info but need to find out about how they do payments, what I'd need to do as far as merchandising and pricing and whatnot.  It is a risk, because I'd have to put some money up front, and if my items don't sell, that's money lost. But, I have some funds saved from my spring sale season, so I am thinking about going for it!  My fellow crafter/Salem Etsy Team leader Megan is going to try it- she called me on the same day I heard back from the shop, because she had just been in that day and was really excited about it!  It will be a new experience for both of us- while she has done some wholesale sales to some locals shops, she has never done consignment before,and neither have I. Well, I'm planning on going down there today to get more info and maybe pick up a contract!

In the meantime, I just completed 2 new custom graduation boxes.  One was for a repeat customer- remember this?
I made this one 2 years ago for a local customer, for her niece who lives back east.  She contact me recently because her nephew, the brother of her niece, is graduating this year.  I explained that I am not making the octagonal boxes anymore, but would be happy to make a square one.  She was fine with that, and gave me lots of graphics to include.  Here's the new box:

While I was finishing up this one, I got another order through Etsy.  I was excited for this one, because I got to use colors besides red and/or blue!

Luckily it was a long weekend and I had time to spend on working on both of these!

I also made a card for a friend who has a 50th birthday coming up.  It is a new style- sort of a pop-up card, called a card in a box.  At the risk of having the picture out there before he sees it, here it is:
It was my first card of this style, and it did not go exactly as I expected it to go and does not quite resemble my original vision for it, but it's ok.  I guess I am used to working with the 4x4 exploding boxes, and this is smaller- when it's "popped out" like this, the box itself measures 3x2.75.  So some of the ideas I had weren't possible because they didn't fit.  Also I had trouble with putting the embellishments in in a way that they didn't obscure the layer behind them.  Oh well, live and learn!  Here is what it looks like when it's folded flat:
The other side (not pictured) is pretty  much the same, but I left a panel blank to write a message on.  This measures 6x6 when folded flat, so it fits well into the 6.5x6.5 square envelopes I have in stock for never-ending cards.

As I said, I have been looking at lots of new card designs, and want to try making more of these novelty-type cards.  I sell a few of the regular cards from time to time, but not much, so I'm thinking it's time to try a new direction.  If I end up being a vendor at this consignment shop, it's a great time to try some new stuff!  Also, my thought is that since I will have to pay a monthly rental fee, I will need to move some inventory, and if I can carry some of these types of cards that people are willing to pay more for than a standard card, that will help me cover the costs.