Viewing entries tagged
handmade

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Summer Learning with Etsy Dallas

Take advantage of the slower summer months and work on sprucing up your business for the busy fall season with some classes and workshops with Etsy Dallas!

See below for the current calendar and hop on over to their blog for details on all the classes!


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Etsy Dallas Artisan Market at Taste of Dallas


Exciting news! Etsy Dallas has partnered up with Taste of Dallas to create the Etsy Dallas Artisan Market. This will be the 30th year that Taste of Dallas has showcased the best of what the Big D has to offer in art, music, and food (and now the local handmade scene).

The Etsy Dallas Artisan Market will include exclusively handmade vendors with all the quality goods from emerging artists and designers you have come to expect from Etsy Dallas including jewelry, accessories, art, body care, clothing, home goods, kids, pets, and stationary. In the coming months, you will be hearing a lot more about this exciting event, but for now-artists go apply here!

Applications will be open until April 15th.

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DIY: Handmade Valentine's Day Cards

As a continuation from our last post about the Love Letter campaign for DoSomething.org and Meals on Wheels, I thought I'd share a tutorial on how to make a cute handmade card for your special someone this Valentine's Day!


Materials needed:
Cardstock - One bright color for the card and one craft color for the envelopes 
Hearts cut out of of paper -  use as many colors as you want
Glue, or glue dots
Marker
Envelope printable download - follow the link below to download

  1. Download and print the template for the envelopes on the craft paper and cut them out
  2. Fold the envelopes along the fold lines and glue the flaps together 
  3. Glue the envelope to the card and start gluing hearts in it spilling out
  4. Write a message of your choice for your loved one!
Want another fun Valentine's Day Card tutorial? Head on over to the Etsy Dallas blog to read my guest post with another DIY!


Happy Valentine's Day!

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Love Letters

This month, we joined DoDomething.org's Love Letter campaign to make Valentines Day cards for senior citizens in our community that are home bound and face isolation due to disability, location, and language barriers. It was a really fun project for us and our Etsy Dallas team members that family and friends participated in and we got cards from all over Dallas and Austin too!

In total the team made over 100 handmade cards that Meals on Wheels will deliver over the next few days, and we hope it will put smiles on many faces!

Below are a few cards that Jenny and I made for the project. Later this week we will post some tutorials so you can make your own cards!










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GIfts for Tiny Humans - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

Toys, tee shirts and tepees! The gifts on this list will be sure to delight kids of all ages.

Taxidermy Baby Hippo Head by Nothing But A Pigeon

Ballet Giraffe Art Print 8x10 from Serious Creatures

Desert Birds Tunic by Freckled Chicken


Batman Deluxe Small Peg Set by Wooden Leg Named Smith

ninja turtle inspired handmade sock monkey by Mush Tushy 

Bunny Plush Pillow in Pastel Peach with Black and by Regal Cottage

Happy Star Plushie by These Things

HERO kids tee in athletic grey by Sweet Tees Shop

Handmade teepees from Bonjour MaeMae

Girls Fall Dress Girls by Emmi Lee Designs


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Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostess - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

We all have that one friend that loves entertaining. Don't just bring a bottle of wine, show your appreciation with a gift that can be used for future parties or be a conversation piece (ok, and bring that wine too!)
Celadon serving bowl with multi glaze stripes by BLUEFLAMESTUDIOS


Fused Art Glass Coaster Black Opal Art Glass by kesslercraftsman


Machine Embroidered Kitchen Dish Towel Blue and by InYourBones

Mojave Natural Leather Bowl by Scout and Lilly


Siracha Dish Towel by Fisk & Fern


Dragonfly Heart Pocket Planter by bothhandsstudio


Large Peacock Illustration Print by curiousandfanciful


You're Home Hand embroidered hoop art for your home by bedthread


Calaveras Craft Apron by miamaria



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Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash!

Yep, it's time again for our favorite show, the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash! Mark your calendars for Saturday November 21st from 11am-6pm.

This year there will be over 100 artists, mostly local and 100% handmade. The first 50 shoppers will score a coveted Bash Bag with all kinds of goodies from our vendors (last years was pretty awesome). There will also be bars on site so you can sip and shop, and a restaurant so you can fuel up for a second go 'round to make sure you didn't miss any must have gifts.




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Super Easy Sugar Scrubs with Kitchen Ingredients

Before the holiday weekend I posted a special tutorial on how to make sugar scrubs from ingredients found in your kitchen and sent a special early edition of it to our Fund on Etsy campaign backers.

I'd now like to share it with the rest of the world! Follow this link to find the tutorials! I'd love to hear how your at home experiments work out!


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Get Silky Smooth Legs for Summer!

Summa, summa, summatime! Well, summer may not have *officially* started, the 90 degree temps here in TX say otherwise and pool parties abound. It's really the only way we don't melt down here in the summer months.

That means it's time to start showin' off those summer legs! Want super soft and smooth legs? Follow the easy steps below!

  • Shave your legs as usual.
  • Massage in one of our Pig and Peacock Sugar Scrubs until the sugar is mostly gone. Be careful as the tub might get a little slippery!
  • Using your razor, shave the sugar scrub off your legs.
  • Rinse legs with water.
  • Pat dry with towel.
  • Ooh and ahh over how soft your skin feels.
  • To lock in moisture, apply lotion to your legs after drying off. Consider layering one of our matching scents of lotion with the scrubs and smell heavenly all day!

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Support our Fund on Etsy Project to Make DejaVino Candles a Reality!

For a long time now my sister and I have wanted to expand The Pig and the Peacock and add new products to our line. However, between our real jobs, keeping up with wholesale orders and organizing charity events with Etsy Dallas, it leaves us little time to make anything new.

We have been wanting to launch a new item to our shop called DejaVino Recycled Wine Bottle Candles. We make DejaVino candles by upcycling wine bottles. First we hand cut the wine bottles, then sand them down by hand too. We then etch quotes or images into the bottles using etching creme before hand-pouring them with 100% soy wax.

Prototypes of our DejaVino Recycled Wine Bottle Candles. Production candles will be sandblasted for a more impactful etch


We got the idea to make these candles by watching the bartenders at my boyfriends restaurant (Cafe Izmir) toss dozens of wine bottles in the trash every night. We just thought that there had to be something we could do to give those bottle new life, hence the name DejaVino. We have actually now provided Cafe Izmir with custom DejaVino candles with their logo etched on to them!

Currently what stands in our way of making this new line of candles is two things:

  1. Scalability of soap making production.
    • Our soaps are made in small batches which make it time consuming to produce large quantities to keep up with orders
  2. Scalability of DejaVino production.
    • As mentioned above every step of making DejaVino candles is done by hand. While they will still be 100% handmade, there is a big difference between hand sanding, and utilizing a belt sander. There is also a big difference in time and quality in using etching creme vs using a sandblaster.
How will this Fund on Etsy project help us?
  1. Scalability of soap making production.
    • We will be able to have custom soap molds made that are 100% larger than the current ones we have. Doubling our capacity will give us back valuable time to create new items like the DejaVino candles.
  2. Scalability of DejaVino production.
    • Since our arm feels like it is going to fall off after sanding 5 bottles, it is really important to get some tools. Roughly half of the funds raised will go towards a membership to Dallas Makerspace. There they have all the tools we need to streamline production of DejaVino candles, such as belt sanders and sandblasting cabinets.
    • The sandblasting cabinet is key to our production as it creates a much sharper, cleaner, deeper etch in the bottles that can not be achieved with the etching creme. It is also a lot faster too, which means we can etch more on any given day.
We are really excited about this opportunity to grow and hope that you will help support us by backing this project! We are also so honored that Etsy has chosen us to be one of the shops to be part of their Fund on Etsy launch!

How can you back this project? It's easy. Follow this link to our DejaVino Recycled Wine Bottle Fund on Etsy page and choose your reward level! We have a large selection of rewards from $5-$500, with a lot of goodies at every level!




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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

While it is all good and well that we are finally getting boat loads of rain here in TX, we are becoming a little waterlogged.

Yeah, those trees back there...that is where the river is supposed to be...
This rain has also just been havoc on our soaps. Why? Because some of our soaps have a high glycerin content, and glycerin LOVES moisture. So much so that it will suck it right out of the air. This is actually a pretty awesome characteristic, because it will do that for your skin to, keeping it soft and moisturized. But what it does on the soap is form condensation on it.

A couple of Coal Soaps with condensation from the humidity
You can see in the picture above, that condensation from the humidity is making our Coal Soaps look a little more like diamonds! If only it were that easy to make diamonds! Once the humidity goes down the condensation will dry and the soap will look matte.

If you happen to have handmade soaps, and see this happening in you soap dish, fear not...your soap is just fine and the ingredients in it are just doing what they do best!.

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Crafts for Crayons and Girls Inc.

We are really excited and proud to be working towards what we hope will become an annual event to benefit Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas which will help girls and young women to be strong, smart and bold. I wanted to share on a more personal level why this is so important to me and my sister.

Two months ago Verizon came out with an ad called Inspire Her Mind that featured the life of a young girl whose parents slowly socialize her to not be interested in science-it stated a startling fact (at least for me): 66% of 4th grade girls like math and science, but only 18% of college engineering students are female. It ends with the question "Isn't it time we told her she's pretty brilliant too"? 



This struck a nerve with me (and my sister, the other half of Pig and Peacock). Our father, the engineer, ingrained it into our beings to be interested in math and science, to have a strong curiosity for how the world works and to learn about it. We even had to learn how to work on our own cars! I know that math and science isn't everyone's cup 'o tea, but the disparity between those two percentages bothered me, so I started looking into STEM mentoring which led me to Girls Inc. which offers mentoring to girls in math, science and tech.

Then, a month later, Always, came out with a campaign and video called #LikeAGirl asking grown men and women to run and fight "like a girl". Then they asked little girls to do the same, and asked the question "When did doing something 'like a girl' become an insult"?



The response from the little girl at 1:15 is what did me in. When she realizes that like a girl is not a good thing, but an insult. Tears. Seriously. It was at that moment that I knew I had to do more that think about doing something and take action. The more I read about Girls Inc. and their mission to empower young girls to be strong, self-confident, and successful the more I felt the need to do something for this organization.

While my sister and I joke that our family was dysfunctional (whose wasn't?) I really appreciate all that our parents did for us. Our father taught us that we should be the smartest kids in the class, that a 99 meant we were capable of making a 100. I appreciate that our mom taught us that to hit like a girl meant we should win the fight (she's real fiesty!) and that if we applied ourselves that there was nothing that could stop us. I realize now more than ever that we are truly lucky to have been raised by them, even if there was a lot of tough love. To thank my parents, I will share that encouragement with others who need it most.

The Crafts for Crayons event with Etsy Dallas seemed like the perfect place to start. While we do have some very talented guys on our team, most of the team members are women who run their own micro/small businesses. We are also all about helping lift each other up and elevating our community. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for us, as a team, to get involved and help by collecting school, craft and art supplies.

We hope that you will join us on Aug 30th at NorthPark Mall from 1-5pm to help support a great cause and share in the opportunity to make a difference!






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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show (like a pro) Part 2.1

Now that we've covered product, layout, displays, and signage, it's time to get down to business. Literally. After you have made items to sell and put price tags on them you need to start preparing yourself to sell your handmade goods. It is really important to be well prepared for transacting business-if you are not well organized, customers might get frustrated, you may end up with a few people waiting to pay, and you will undoubtedly become frazzled, which is no fun.

From the guest post we wrote on the Etsy Dallas blog:
Prep for Doing Business
One or two weeks before the show, gather everything you need to do business and ring up transactions. Pens, calculators, invoice/receipt books, and shopping bags are must haves. Make a bank run to get change - think about your price points and plan your change based on that. If you take credit card payments via square or any other device or app, make sure they are in working order and that you remember passwords for apps. Another thing we do is create a cheat sheet of all of out items pricing with tax. At the bottom we have every price point from $1-$100 with tax added for a quick reference guide.



In addition to the bare minimum of receipt books, etc. you want to make sure that anything you plan to use to package or wrap items you have on hand as well (tissue paper, twine, gift boxes). Thinking back to your booth layout, make sure that all of these items along with shopping bags are laid out in a way that will make it fast and efficient to wrap or package items. Make knitted scarves and plan to drop them in shopping bags? Easy peasy. Make ceramic dishes and need to wrap them individually and them box them up? Plan to make some space for that and keep all materials handy. Plastic Rubbermaid drawers under a table can make for a quick wrapping station. If you make jewelry, you will want to be sure to have small boxes or pouches to protect purchases. It is also a really good idea to have boxes handy during the holiday season if people ask for them. I know it is an extra expense, but it is also part of the handmade shopping experience to have items nicely packaged. Uline is a great resource for packaging supplies.

Most craft show vendors have adopted the Square and other credit card payment methods, but it is always good to be prepared to take payments the old fashioned way (card imprint and paper receipt). Just because you have a square and the phone app doesn't mean you are guaranteed good cell signals or wifi. We have totally been to places that were the dead zone for cell phones, and with 50+ vendors trying to tap into the free wifi, forget it...nothing was working. This is when that receipt book will be extra handy, make an imprint either rubbing the card with a pen under the carbon copies (anyone who has ever worked in retail knows the drill) or write it down. Be SURE to destroy the card numbers asap after you are able to run the payment, and black out the # on the guests receipt for safety too. This is also where cash will come in handy, if your are not sure you have enough, bring more-you can always redeposit it into the bank after the show. Even if all of your items are under $10, be prepared to make change for someone who pays with a $100 bill. You know that person (can you tell we used to work retail!?) the one who comes first thing in the morning straight from the bank with a crisp hundred and you have to make $92 in change and they wipe out all your $20's...? Be prepared for that person :)

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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.2: Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays

A continuation of the blog post we guest wrote on Etsy Dallas about craft show setup.

From part one of the Etsy Dallas blog post:

Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays
About three weeks before the show, plan your booth space. Decide what your table layout will be, how your displays will be set up and where chairs and product storage will go but still be easily accessible. Tape off the booth space on the floor or driveway and be sure everything fits. Once you have a "floor plan," decide how your goods will be displayed.



It is important to do this because often you only have an hour or two to unload and set up for a show. Depending on your product unloading could take you 30 mins or more. Have to set up a tent? Add 10-15 min for that...tables? 5 more. That is 50 of your time right there, give or take 10 min based on the product you make. So it's imperative that you plan ahead on set up or you will either be unprepared or rushing right before the show starts.

What should you do in this dry run setup? Tape off on the floor or driveway (with painters tape) your exact booth space. Bonus points for setting up your tent in your driveway and working with that (and double checking that your tent is in order and you have all your parts and pieces).

Once you have your booth space marked off or tent set up you should consider the following:
  • How many tables will you need and what should their layout be-keep in mind you should leave room around the tables so you can enter and exit your booth space
  • Where and how will my displays be set up
  • Will my displays hold my product?
  • Can I see over and work around my displays?
  • Did I leave work space for myself to write receipts, wrap or package purchases, put my soda?
Try a couple different layouts. You may think you have laid out the best option, but try a few more anyways. You never know what you will come up with and it is a good exercise to do, just in case when you arrive at the show your booth space or location changes. It pays to be prepared with  a few options and be flexible.

Missed Part 1.1? Find it here:

How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.1: Make Enough Product



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Craft Party Photos!

We had a great time at the Etsy Dallas Craft Party and wanted to share some photos! Thanks to all who came out and to Etsy and Etsy Dallas for putting it together :)




 




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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.1: Make Enough Product


Last week I shared the link of part one on how to prep for a craft show that I wrote for Etsy Dallas. As promised, I wanted to delve in a little deeper into some of these topics for you to really create a comprehensive resource for newcomers. We were once new too, and have pictures of the hot mess we were at our first show to prove it! Thanks to other seasoned crafters we found our way and now can happily pay that advice forward.

From part one of the Etsy Dallas blog post:

Make Enough Product
First and foremost you need product – and plenty of it. You should aim to still have a relatively full display toward the end of the show. If your booth looks empty, you might get passed by. Depending on your price points, you should expect to sell 1/4 to 1/3 of the inventory you bring. The best way to be prepared is to make a production schedule and try to stick to it. Then bring everything to the show, even if you aren't sure you will sell it.

There are many formulas for how to arrive at how much to make and bring to a craft show and I will cover more of them here. Some things to keep in mind for this is what kind of product you sell, your price points, and how much it takes to fill your display table. Since a lot of these formulas are in terms of dollars you will need to convert that to units based on what you make. We make soap, and at an average retail of $4-$5 to make $100 I would need to sell at least 20 bars. But if you sell $50 necklaces, you only need to sell two to make that same $100 and most likely will not need to make nearly as much inventory in units to cover your sales.

The next thing to consider is how much it takes to fill your display table or booth. You want your display to still look full at the end of the show (between 75-80% full at least). If your booth looks too empty shoppers may pass you up thinking that you have sold out of everything and you can miss a lot of sales this way. For example, for our soap, it takes approx 200 bars of soap to fill our table, so if based on the formulas below I expect to sell 250 bars, I need to make about 450 in total. Never. Look. Empty.



Here are a few formulas that you can use to give you an idea of how much you should make. I will use the same soap (at $5, 200 for display) and necklace (at $50, 50 for display) for these examples.

Option 1: 7x-10x your booth fee
With 10x the booth fee being your high side target, and 7x what you will more realistically sell.
Booth Fee $100
10x$100=$1000 
for $5 soap that is 200 bars to sell + 200 bars for display=400 total
for $50 jewelry that is 20 to sell + 50 to display=70 total

7x$100=$700 
for $5 soap that is 140 bars to sell + 200 bars for display=340 total
for $50 jewelry that is 14 to sell + 50 to display=64 total


Option 2: % of attendance
If the show you are doing gives you an annual attendance rate (assuming they are an established show) you can use this number as a guideline to multiply by your average transaction. The lower the price point the higher the rate. For under $10 a 3% rate of purchases per attendees is good-that is 1 of every 100 people. For higher price points this rate may be 1% or less if your price point is really high.
Show attendance=2000
3%*2000=60 shoppers
1%*2000=20 shoppers
60 shoppers*avg soap purchase (3 bars or $12)=180 bars ($720) + 200 display=380 bars
20 shoppers*avg jewelry purchase $50=20 necklaces ($1000) + 50 display=70 necklaces


Option 3: 1/4-1/3 total inventory sales
As we stated before expect to sell between 14 (25%) and 1/3 (33%) of what you bring. This approach is kind of a backwards approach to what you will sell. We have found you sell between 25-33% of the merch you bring. Want to sell $1000? Then you need to bring at least $3000 in inventory ($1000/0.33) which is 600 bars of soap at 33% (200 for display + 400 to sell).


Keep in mind that the cheaper the booth fee the lower the attendance usually is. It costs time, money, and effort to bring people into a show, so if the fee is low and there isn't an estimated attendance expect a low number and base inventory off of that.

Also consider the type of audience that is being targeted for the event. Does the target audience for the show match up to your target customer in terms of the type of product you are selling and your price points? Are you selling fine art for $400 at a show targeted to college age audience? It may not go over well.

Always remember at the bare minimum you should sell enough to cover your booth fee + the time you would pay your self for the hours you worked at the show x 2.

A lot of this comes from experience so it is important to keep track of how much you brought and how much you sell, in dollars and units (and by item type) if possible. The more detailed information you have the better you can use that information to help you prepare next time! 



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Etsy Craft Party 2014: Recapture!


Who's ready for a partay! Join Etsy Dallas and other area crafters for an evening of fun, food and drinks. This years theme focus is on transforming photographs into display worthy works of art using a variety of craft supplies and techniques! This years Craft Party will be held at City Craft this Friday (6/6) at 7pm!

Take a look at some of the inspirational pieces our team members have already cooked up in preparation of the event! Bring you own photos (or copies of them) or you can choose from photos on paper or fabric that will be provided at the event.
Photos from Etsy Dallas

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How To set up a Craft Show Booth Like a Pro

A few weeks ago we were asked by Etsy Dallas to guest write an article on how to set up for a craft show. My question back was "the day of? or all the actual work that goes into it?" Both! They said.

The resulting brainstorming session of me and my sister resulted in a two part series covering everything from the weeks leading up to the day of the event. We covered topics ranging from inventory forecasting to what's in our disaster kit.

There were several things I would have loved to delve into deeper, but I'm pretty sure they weren't going to change it to a 10 part series for me! :)
So over the next few days and weeks I will hit each subject in more detail so you can learn a little more of the behind the scenes buildup to a craft show.

But for now, head on over the the Etsy Dallas Blog to check out part one of How to set up a craft show booth like a pro!


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Find a Little Bling at the Bash


We have some wonderfully talented jewelry designers at this years Bash, it'll be hard to choose what to take home (at least for me). Here is a sneak peek-I love how all of these pieces have a very nice natural/earthy inspired feel to them-perfect timing for Earth Day.

Enameled Bangle by Creative Input by Liz


Gold Band by f. is for Frank


Gold Leaf pendant by Kathleen Care Jewelry


Snowflake earrings by Sarah Briggs


Agate OOAK ring by Treah Designs


Sliced amethyst necklace by Estie Made


Copper and Abalone cross by Jean Love Designs


Raincloud earrings by Release Me Creations

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