Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Craft Fair Psychology

A bit about the uniqueness of each product may spark gift ideas!
The Happy Hollydays Bazaar is just around the corner! November 7th and 8th. We participated last year, really enjoyed our experience, and decided at the last minute to dive in again this year. Why the last minute? Well, craft fairs, despite the cute little booth with a pair of smiling vendors, are a lot of work! Come Thursday evening next week we will be over-caffeinated and navigating our way through pathetic arguments, and will go to bed around 3:00 AM Friday morning.
But that's okay, it's part of the fun.
(And this year we will have our dear friends from Degno di Nota right next to us!)

{Last year I created a list of things to bring; it may be helpful to you if you are a craft fair person yourself.}

Today I wanted to share about "Craft Fair Psychology". I find myself often psychoanalyzing customers. I am sure pretending to be a psychologist and a statistician come into play for anyone that sells a product. Does a psychostatistician exist?

{Daily I am coming up with formulas that help us measure growth and production, like dollars earned/customer view. It's actually really fun!}

Here is what we learned last year, and what we will be changing (based on our consumer psychostatistics)...

U-Shape Booth - This is what we will do this year...
1. Display

Last year our booth prevented customers from moving about, and they questioned what was for sale. We needed a space to sit/receive payment, and this became exhausting and difficult when there was a rush of customers.

Last Year

2. Pricing

Last year instead of price tags on individual items, we used small signs. This year we will tag all the items. We thought that having price tags might seem tacky or impersonal, well it backfired. Even though we had prices printed out near the products, the customers still asked. It's like anywhere you go, you always check the price, and usually do what you can to avoid asking someone in a store.

Prices are written on the little cards...

3. Options to Buy

This year we will bring a variety of options for customers, and a variety of price points. Customers like to search about, touch products, and compare prices. They also respond well to a sense of urgency (maybe?). At craft fairs if it's too easy to "come back later" they usually will disappear. If we limit quantity of each option, and have a variety (price and selection), the urgency to buy will be greater.

We will have a limited collection of vintage one-of-kind dispensers. 

4. Marketing/Informational "Stuff"

Last year we created all of these various informational cards for customers. In the moment of taking payment, talking to a customer, packaging, you really forget so much. So this year we decided that have all of our marketing info already attached to the merchandise. 

Business card and Information card - already attached

5. Packaging

Customers are drawn to pretty and creative packaging, and we are drawn to the easiest and most cost-efficient options, that also tie in to our brand/aesthetic. We are still problem solving how to package our large items beautifully and efficiently, but as for the jars, this is about as easy as we could make it. 

We don't know how things will turn out at the HHB; we do know where our trust is seeded, and this freedom allows us to simply enjoy the two days of Christmas music and holiday shoppers.

In reality, we wish we could control sales but we must trust vulnerably and respond with grace.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5&6

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Etsy Man Guide

Are you already thinking about what you may get this year for the men in your life; what do you wrap up for those dads, husbands, brothers, boyfriends, grandfathers, and sons? Here is a photo list of some of the coolest I have found. 

I am definitely considering this beard oil for the husband. 

Beard Oil - Yes!!!

Leather Satchel - for the studious one

Perfectly Sweet - For the Stocking
For the Brewmeister
For the Traveler
For the Sentimental One

For the Cookie Monster

For any guy...
For the Tech Man

For the Artist

For the Hipster
Season's Greetings!! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Holiday Cheer

We have been having quite the fun lately preparing for the Happy Hollydays Bazaar! Last year we participated, and despite the hours of preparation and last minute chaos that are involved, it was well worth it. And they play Christmas music the entire two days!!!!!!!

This year we decided to go ahead and make holiday phrase wooden signs, nothing fancy, but a way to add a touch of excitement to one's home during the holidays.

Signs can be customized and painted. Families are able to purchase them as a winter break craft project for their children.

Now, it does seem early for all of this, but in reality, we're almost too late! Craft stores had Christmas trees up in late September. We are pushing November here and just trying to possibly jump into the rush.

So far we have planned to create the following phrases:


I think that's it so far. . .


Friday, October 18, 2013

Easiest Pillow EVER!

I have been out on my own, or "On the Lam" (I am not a fugitive), for many years now, let's say about 12 years. Honestly, those first couple years of "adult" life do feel like you're running from something, running from who you know yourself to be, and then you come full circle back to where you were. Right?

Why is this relevant? What does it have to do with throw pillows?

Well, this might sound gross, but many of the throw pillows laying around my home are from those early days. They have traveled with me from one apartment to the next, acting as tiny accents in my tiny spaces. Now I am married and live in a house, and I am sick and tired of these pillows.

This is not really a tutorial, just a photo documentary of parts my process.

I learned from this great lady at No. 29 Design. Her tutorial was the easiest I have tried, and the most intuitive for a rookie like myself. Also, envelope pillows perfect if you are new to sewing; dealing with a zipper can be really frustrating ;).

I found some fabric that I like. 
This one is really nice, it almost feels like a linen, and I love the print. 

Again, on No. 29 Design, the how-to steps are quite easy...

And here it is! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Feeling Fall - Acorn Squash Bundt

Fall is such a sweet time of year; there are many ways to make it feel even more present in your home. Here in Texas our fall season seems to be rather short, and fickle. It's October and we were still having pretty warm (hot) days at the beginning of the month. I have learned to make the inside of my home match more with the season I want it to be, even when it feels different outside. 

Candles are the most helpful, especially if they throw a yummy scent, like "mulled cider". I burn a lot of candles (just like my mom). Sometimes I buy them and sneak them through the wood shop into the house, as Sam thinks I buy too many. It could be worse, it could be shoes, or purses.

Candles also help with lighting. During the fall you want it to feel cozy, because it should be cool and crisp outside. I like to filter some natural light in through the living room, but also leave some rooms darker with a few lamps on.

Next, the yummy fall treats! This year I discovered the delicious acorn squash. In fact, I didn't even know what they were until a Trader Joe's cashier asked me how I was going to cook mine. ??? 

Me: "Oh, I just bought it for decoration, I like the colors."

Cashier: "Hmmm....well I am not sure that this is the type of gourd that will last through the season, it will go bad."

Me: "Oh...people eat this?"

...and so my research began, how in the world does one eat this?

I found this recipe on Pinterest: Said She Said He

Put on my apron, set my oven to 350 F...and went for it.

I changed the recipe a little, well, a lot, but I always do this. In fact, I often change recipes to work with what I already have, or to add more flavor/texture.

2 Eggs - 1/2 C Brown Sugar - 1/2 C White Sugar - 1/3 C Coconut Oil

For the Acorn Squash:

I cut it in half and baked a couple days prior. Strangely I put salt/pepper/curry power on it thinking I would eat it with chicken, but that didn't happen, so yes, this bundt cake has curry power in it, but trust me, it works out. 

Brown sugar is so so pretty!

I chose to purée these ingredients, because the squash is a little stringy. 

It smoothed out nicely.

Dry Ingredients:

1 C Whole Wheat Flour - 1/2 C Pancake Mix (I am trying to get rid of it.)
1/4 Teas. Salt - 1 TBL Half Baking Power/ Half Baking Soda
1 Teas. Cinnamon - 1/2 Teas. Nutmeg

Powerful granules that make your home smell delicious! 

Sift together in a separate bowl.


Instead of walnuts I chose 1/3 C Dry Roasted Almonds and 1/2 C Dark Chox Chips

Chopped it up in the Ninja...mixed into the batter

Greased up the bundt pan with coconut oil

It smells yummy! 

My bundt took about 35 minutes to bake through, I left it in for 40 and it came out a tad dry. 

Clean the dishes while you wait.

 A delicious acorn squash bundt (with secret curry powder). 

 Now my home really feels like fall!

It's 60 F outside, and rainy;

my "Mulled Cider" candle is burning;

my house smells like cinnamon and nutmeg;

oh, and do forget the choral music...

and the coffee!!!