I hinted last weekend on Instagram that I would be making a big announcement this week and here it goes! This may not be that big to you, but it is a big step for me. I have been given the opportunity to share a booth rental space at a shop in town! For you locals, it is the Shoppes on Trade Street in downtown Greer. This is a very exciting opportunity because the shop recently came under new management, and they are restructuring to include 14 new artisans in various fields- sewing, crafting, jewelry. They are really working to bring in a more modern vibe to the store. I will be sharing my space with Brio Trio. (Check out her super cute fox and wolf softies!) We open our booth the first weekend of March.
As you can imagine, that means I have been a busy little bee cranking out lots of new onesies and hoops for my space. It’s a lot to do in a short amount of time, but I am feeling pretty confident with what I’ve gotten done so far. I’m hoping to get finished with all the things that I have on my list so I can branch out and try some new items…we shall see how that goes. Anywho, I have committed to try this out for 3 months at least. Here’s hoping to a great, new venture! I am a bit nervous about this, because I have done some re-evaluating of my prices and such and have made the leap to adjust my items how they really should be priced. Part of me is worried that means that no one will buy anything, but one of the things I learned at the Maker’s Summit was not to undervalue myself because I am crippling my future options.
I thought I would share some pictures of some things I have been working on so far…really loving it! Spoiler alert… I am now branching out to include some girly items. I also updated the etsy shop for any of you who like what you see, but live out of town. Whew! I didn’t realize how long it had been since I did a proper update on etsy…it majorly needed it!
Another fun thing is that my logo has been completed (yay)! I am working on a new blog and etsy header, but I was able to go ahead and order my custom stamp so that I can stamp my logo on my onesies and hoops. Feels so good to be official. Now to go make some money to reimburse all my supply costs!
This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Makers Summit. In their own words, the Makers Summit is “a one-day business conference for the art, craft, and design world” where you can “connect with fellow creatives while learning how to start or grow your creative business, hear practical advice from industry experts and participate in collective discussions.”
This conference was run by the same people who have run the Indie Craft Parade for the past 3 years. I knew that it would be a good conference but wasn’t sure that it would be worth it for me to attend. Thankfully my husband convinced me otherwise and I decided to try it out. It. Was. Amazing. The three main speakers were Stephen Fraser from Spoonflower, Kimm Alfonso from Etsy, and Grace Kang from Pink Olive. In addition, there were several discussion panels with various crafters/designers and chances for individual consultations with the speakers. I was inspired, challenged, motivated, and overall had tons of fun! How great to have the opportunity to meet and brainstorm with other indie crafters who were also seeking business direction and inspiration.
I plan on taking this week to think over the notes that I took and work on some plans for the future. Right now my brain is spinning with all the info that I absorbed and I am looking forward to mulling over it and developing some new ideas. I just happened to sit near Stephen Fraser for both lunch and dinner and really enjoyed hearing his Spoonflower story and getting to know him as a person. Everyone who came was so down to earth and willing to impart helpful tips and advice to those of us beginning our creative careers.
Kimm’s speech: I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of this Dr. Seuss quote!
Very nice lunch table decor
Amy Flurry explaining how to pitch yourself to a blogger or magazine editor during one of the discussion panels
In addition to the Makers Summit, I also attended the after party also known as The Best Craft Party Ever. It was tons of fun and Ian was able to attend this with me so we got a fun date night in on the deal. We had a great dinner, letter pressed cards, screen printed tees, and made a terrarium and beeswax candles. It was quite the full day and I am totally exhausted now but it was worth it! Events like this make me feel so blessed to live in this great town where so many fellow crafters are working to create a larger arts community! I tried to take semi-decent phone pics throughout the day so that I could give you a taste of what it was like…
Me looking quite preggers in that apron screenprinting my own tee.
the afterparty crowd- stolen from the hub’s Instagram feed 🙂
Just a little newsy post where I ramble on about all the big plans I have for this weekend. Maybe if I write them down for all to see, I will actually get them done! 🙂
First off a WIP that actually got completed last night. Woot, Woot! This is a little scarf I began back in the winter and never finished. It is my lovely grandma’s 77th birthday tomorrow, and she is a lover of bright, happy things so I quickly finished this up in order to give to her tomorrow at her birthday lunch.
Next up, a custom Etsy order that I need to finish up. Here’s the fabrics that I pulled for it. It’s a collage of 3 hot air balloon hoops and I am pretty excited about how it’s shaping up.
Another item on the old weekend list that I can’t post any pics of is some pattern testing for an upcoming quilt book. I was happy to be picked as a volunteer especially since she is sending up fabric as a thank you- I do just about anything for free fabric. Sorry to be cryptic but one must tease every now and then. 🙂 And I’ll be sure to post all the details once the book is published.
I have pulled out a few knitting WIP’s over the last few weeks as I prepare for fall’s arrival and am hoping to get the one off the needles this weekend so I can start something new. I am most definitely a novice knitter- and super slow at that, but every fall and winter I get the urge to pull out the needles and improve my skills a bit. This is a simple dishcloth using the Chinese Wave stitch. (I know, you’re thinking, why does a dishcloth take you so long?) Next, I want to start on a winter hat for Oliver. Got any good, easy patterns for toddler hats?
Lastly, some family fun time should also take place… who can resist spending time with my two favorite boys? We took Oliver for his first bike ride last weekend and hope to make it a regular occurrence now that it’s not so hot out.
FYI most pictures coming to you compliments of Instagram. Feel free to follow me there @brookecrook if you want to be bombarded with cute pictures of the little man as well as random fabric fun. 🙂
I received another commission last week for more wet bags for cloth diapers. This client wanted zippered pouches. I have to admit, I most definitely like the drawstring bags better than the zippered ones. I just do not enjoy putting zippers in. However, I am happy for work: more jobs= more fabric money. 🙂 The first bag is a small 13×16 inch perfect for the diaper bag. The second one is a large 17×21 inch bag meant to be used in the house as a wet pail. Everyone seems to have a tutorial for zipper pouches and I have read many of them and come up with my own way to make them- kinda compiling all that I have read. I did use this tutorial to do the covered zipper ends. I have never done that before and I like how clean it makes the zipper look. I am pretty pleased with how my business both on etsy and thru word-of-mouth is building up and I hope to have some time in the next few weeks to make some more inventory to share with a few different sources. First, I need to stop making these Washi dresses! I can’t wait share my purple shot cotton one with you next week!