Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pin it to Win it ~ Samantha (Sam) Slouch

The winner of the "Pin it to Win it" contest is Carri Calderwood!  Congratulations Carri!

Samantha Slouch by Crochet by Jennifer
Available on Craftsy, Ravelry, and Etsy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crochet by Jennifer Pinterest Contest! (ended Aug 1st, 2013)

(click on the pic to view it larger)

Go here to view Crochet by Jennifer's pinterest board.

A winner was chosen on August 1st, congratulations Lois Everett!

Stay tuned for future winning opportunities with your pinterest boards!  Thanks for participating everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Craft Show Checklist

Craft Show Supplies:

These are some items from my own personal checklist for craft shows.  I sell crocheted hats, scarves, booties, slippers, etc. and I only do indoor shows (in the fall), so your needs may be different.  (This post will be revised as I add photos and more tips, so be sure to bookmark it!  The photos I'm adding now are from my first shows, before I streamlined my displays to be less cluttered.)

Click here for a PDF version of this checklist.

My very first craft show.  My table was a hot mess!  I was supposed to have two tables but had to condense everything onto one table.  It poured rain for the first half of the day and I didn't have a tent...luckily my neighbors let me squeeze under their tent!  This was the one and only outdoor show I ever attended!

It may have been cluttered, but I was proud of my first hats!  

This cute little girl loved her new hat and wore it the rest of the day...even though it was over 80 degrees!  

Another happy customer from my first show.  

Personal Convenience:

nail clipper
gum or breath mints
pain reliever
cell phone
snacks and drinks in case you can't leave your table
cell phone wall charger

Second craft show, slightly better.  Everything is still very cluttered but at least my table had some height for the display.

Items Needed for Sales:

fanny pack or apron for money (then you don’t have to worry about a cash box)
change ($30 - ones, $40 - fives, $40 - tens) 
extra price tag labels 
business cards
business card holders 
square app or paypal app on smartphone to accept credit cards
receipt pad (I record all of my sales with a description, size, color, & price)
money receipt pad (if you want to take orders at the show, make them pay in full first!)

bags for customers (I use nice brown paper bags with handles, they are a little expensive but I want to come across as more of a "boutique" and they coordinate well with my business cards.  They cost me about 25 cents per bag, see links below.  I also bring a few brown lunch bags, they work perfect for small items like flowers and coordinate with my other bags.)

here's a great small assortment of bags:

Fourth craft show.  Still cluttered, but this show was a huge success, I had a ton of sales!

Add-ons for Sales:

extra buttons (give customer the option to add a flower to any hat)
fabric flowers on clips (have extras on hand to add to any hat)
clip on hair bows (give customer the option to add a bow to any hat)

Customer Convenience:

hand mirror for customers to see what they look like in the hats
master price list to refer to if something doesn't have a price:
Digital photo frame to display photos of the items being worn/used
Candy or balloons for the kids this will draw people to your booth!

Display Items:

table(s) - if not provided
chair(s) - if not provided
tablecloths - if not provided
banner or signs for your business
wire cube display
jewelry holder for crochet headbands
basket for flowers
mannequin heads to display hats
newborn size doll for displaying newborn hats and booties (people LOVE my reborn doll)
"over the door" hooks (if you are using the wire cubes) I hang bags from them on the back of my cubes, and hats in the front.  You can get single ones and multiple hook ones from walmart or other stores.

My display from the back side, where my bags are hanging very conveniently.

sheets to cover your display if you set up your table the night before
cart/dolly for bringing your bins in from the car
camera - to record what your display looked like so you can make changes next time, or repeat it.  Also, when customers purchase a hat, ask if you can take a photo, I’ve gotten several cute pictures of hats on babies, kids, AND adults this way.

You might find customers that are thrilled to model for you!  

Handy Items (never know if you’ll need these):

lint roller
hole punch
paper clips
binder clips
measuring tape
paper towels
wet wipes (come in handy for cleaning off a dirty table before you set up)
paper and marker to make impromptu signs
small crochet hook to work in ends if you discover you missed something
plastic bags for garbage

Slight improvement at this show, but still a long ways to go before I'm happy with my display.  Here you can see the jewelry stand that I use for my headbands, it spins and works great for this purpose.  

Tips I've Learned:

Add height to your display for visual interest (risers, wire cubes, etc.)

Don't put too much on the table, have extra stock under the tables.  You can always pull it out if the customer asks.

Set up your display at home a week or so before the show so you can tweak it, take photos, see what you might be missing, etc.

Rearrange your display often as you figure out what is popular.  I adjust my display all day long.

If you're alone, try to have a friend or family member visit you at the show so you have someone to watch your booth while you run to the restroom, or get something to eat.  Your neighbors will usually help too, but if they get a customer, they may not be able to watch both booths.

Announce your craft show on facebook, your blog, twitter, whatever social sites you use!  

Click here for a PDF version of this checklist.

Disclaimer:  Any purchases from advertisements will help support this content at no extra cost to you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The 'inspiration' behind the Adult Chunky Slipper pattern

First, a little history.  

In August of 2009, I quit my full-time job at a clinic so that I could stay home with my 2 year old daughter.  I had plans to expand my web design hobby into a career.  I also kept myself busy that first year by selling on eBay.  In November of 2010, I started crocheting again after a long hiatus.  First I tried a dog sweater, and then...well, I'll get to that.  I had only made afghans up to this point.  Both my grandmothers had a hand in teaching me to crochet when I was a little girl and I always loved it, but I didn't have a lot of time to crochet when I was working outside the home.  

So anyway, the next pattern I tried was a free one I found online, for a pair of toddler slippers.  This pattern got me HOOKED on crocheting again.  I learned some new stitches (front and back post double crochet) and it made me realize that when I got stuck, I could look online for help.  You can find that pattern here: 

Over the next couple of months I tried more free patterns, then I eventually got brave and bought one online.  At that point, the web design was kind of sporadic since I was just relying on word-of-mouth and hadn't really done any advertising...and I was watching my spending, so it was a little nerve-wracking buying patterns that I wasn't sure if I'd be able to follow.  But I was having so much fun trying new patterns and very quickly realized I was modifying them to put my own spin on them.  I wrote my first pattern just a month or two later.  Because I jumped into designing patterns so quickly, I sometimes feel like it was a little bit too rushed....but I have learned soooo much along the way, thanks to some fabulous pattern testers (and friends) that have helped me grow.

Fast forward to June of 2012...I was having incredible success selling my much more than I ever dreamed possible.  Enough so that I was able to quit the web design business entirely (although I still have a few clients I work with).  Then one day I get an email question from a lady who bought a pattern from me and can you imagine the THRILL I felt when I realized it was Bev Qualheim...the lady who wrote the slipper pattern that inspired me to get back into crochet?!?!  I couldn't believe it!!  I wrote to her right away (and of course refunded her money for the hat pattern as a 'thank you' for inspiring me) and told her how excited I was that she found my patterns, and how she inspired me.  

Over the years I've made many slippers and by no means do I wish to take credit for the IDEA of these slippers.  I've just expanded the sizing, added more details and tweaked it a little bit. So with all of that, I wish to thank Bev Qualheim and invite you to check out her website for some fabulous free patterns:  Please tell her I sent you!

Adult Chunky Slippers, pattern by Crochet by Jennifer.
Photo copyright Angelina Rossi.

You can find my free pattern for Adult Chunky Slippers here.
You can find my free pattern for Kids Chunky Slippers here.