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Category Archives: Talking Business

New Moo Business Cards

You’ve probably seen my tiny finger-sized business cards from moo.com. I’ve got funding for more print materials so I’m using part of it to print some business-card-sized cards from Moo. The very best part is every card can have a different image on it! I chose 30 different images. Here are a few.

Moo Business Card Moo Business Card Moo Business Card

Moo Business Card Moo Business Card Moo Business Card

Moo Business Card Moo Business Card Moo Business Card

Earrings

These are the earrings I made for the home show I had on Sunday:

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And yesterday I got a whole passel of new beads, including flowers, raspberries, butterflies, leaves and crackle beads – so of course I had to make more! These are destined for the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design’s gallery on Charlotte St., so get your butt down there if you want some! [earwires to be attached soon]

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Home Shows

I had a wonderful evening on Sunday. My man’s mother wanted to host a jewellery party, so I packed up and went out. I had no plans, but it worked out really well! Lots of people had fun, everybody got a wee pendant for a door prize, and I did quite well in the monetary fashion, as well.

All the way home I thought of ways I could make the next one better. I want to do more! I know several people who have offered to host one, already. Fun times!

End of Feblahruary

I think I burned myself out making things for my fall shows – I’ve made barely anything all winter. It’s time to ramp it back up, though! First up, getting this blog internal. It took some finagling, but I think I’m all set. Next, I’ll take and show you some photos of a few lower-end pieces I made to bring to the flea market in order to make some cash to get my wisdom teeth out (still recovering, ouch). These are things you’ll never see at my shows or galleries – but trust me, my gallery work is much more elaborate and fun. I really really needed cash. :) I’ve been off work for most of the week and I should have time today and this weekend to bring some of my plans to fruition. I hope to get back into production before Monday. Hey, I just realized I didn’t share photos of my other two shows in the fall. I think I just collapsed after the last one and haven’t yet recovered. First, Marconi. The sign is in the back in the corner, but I pulled it out front next to the stand-up area before the show started. Marconi Craft Show 2007 Marconi Craft Show 2007 I found my earring sales went up when I reduced the number on the table/stands. Also, people LOVED the loose agate slices, centre. Not sure if it was because they were loose or because they were centre. In any case, I didn’t do very well at this show and I won’t be doing it again. Next,  Victoria Park. This is the only juried show we have, and it showed. I did much better than the other two shows, by far. I’ll be doing only this show from now on – and not just because of the numbers. The CBCCD is a godsend and I felt welcomed and supported. Well worth the extra booth cost. Victoria Park 2007 Victoria Park 2007 Finally, I had a call about a week after the show for a commission for a wifely xmas present, made with beach glass they picked up together: Commission Christmas 2007 And now back to making my website more cohesive. Wish me luck!

Craft Show – St. Theresa’s

My first show went pretty well! It was tiring, and my knee was pretty much destroyed for about a week, but I’m feeling much better now. I had a lot of crazy interest in my work but relatively few people bought anything; it just wasn’t my market. But that’s ok! LOTS of people were excited to know that I’d be at the Marconi show. I was given my location as well – in an alcove under the stairs, at the end facing the main hallway – and I think with my sparkly display, it’s going to be pretty great.

Oh! And this is what it looked like!

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St. Theresa's Show 2007

Fall Shows

Here’s where you can buy my work this fall!

October 12, 13, 14
St. Theresa’s Hall, St. Peter’s Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia

November 9, 10, 11
NSCC Marconi Campus, Sydney, Nova Scotia

November 23, 24, 25
Victoria Park at the Armories, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Also, some previews!

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LizardLife

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And the completed Phoenix:
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Display & Packaging

Voila! Except for the stamp, this was all handmade by yours truly (and even the stamp I designed). I was solving all kinds of problems – keeping sets together, where to put chains, branding, coding and pricing (on stickers on the back, which I can mail merge from my inventory spreadsheet).

I’ve got ten different colours (five double-sided versions of cardstock), I’ve got production streamlined and efficient, and I think they’re gorgeous.

I think they’re rockstar and will be using them for shows and jewellery parties (rules for which are coming soon – anybody interested in hosting?).

Also of note here is the new hammered wire, my new-to-me earring designs (they’re not really that original), the beach-tumbled limestone, bottom-right, which I varnished before wrapping, a new way to wrap a stone by coiling hammered pieces together (the rose quartz), and a brand-spanking new bail I designed for holding the pendants on the chains (also new).

Arts North

My parents took a little trip up to Arts North and around the Cabot Trail a couple of weeks ago just so they could drop off some work for me, see the gallery and just take a little trip! Here’s a collage of some photos they took – they’re mostly blurry so there’s no point in showing them up close.

Clock wise from top left: The building from outside; my main display! The left shutter-type-thing is Darryl MacLeod’s work, while the black-covered table and right-shutter-type-thing is mine, with my mom reflected in the mirror in between; the ring display at the counter – mine are on the middle shelf of that little glass display, and if you look closely you can see my business card there; the main area of the gallery shop, filled with the owner’s gorgeous pottery; the upstairs of the shop, with some of Shari Macleod’s baskets (I recognize her work having done their website), and some artwork and really pretty quilts.

Isn’t it a totally gorgeous place? The floors are to die for. I’m very excited, especially since my first check is coming in the mail and it’s basically the same as a week’s worth of work at my day job. Not bad! They promise that June is really slow, too, and that I’m doing really well.

Go me!

Girls’ Night Out 2007

I had a really great time at the show last night. I was a little stressed due to not having left myself quite enough time, but my man and my mom are fantastic and they got me through it in one piece.

Two new sets of designs evolved for this show: Springflowers, and Chocolate. I’ll have individual photos up later this weekend, and pieces for sale on my site, but for now here are the show photos.

Girls' Night Out

Overall view of the table. The far end is cut off a bit, but you’ll see it later. The pic I snapped from the other end was blurry. :(

Girls' Night Out

My Springflower earrings. I am of two minds about this ribbon thing. I believe it’s gorgeous against the black, and it certainly draws your eye to the table, and I’m very very pleased with the height of the tiers (my quotation dictionary and my shakespeare are under there!) and the little tree things – but I worry that it’s competing with the earrings themselves.

Girls' Night Out

The centre of the table. I’m not really pleased with the overall look here; I didn’t plan well enough ahead. I only had vague ideas of what I was going to do. It turned out OK though – I think I got some good groups together considering I didn’t know what I was doing.

Girls' Night Out

My teeny gemstone pendants which I suppose are still priced too high, because nobody bought any this time either. However, they did at least see the damn things, which is an enormous improvement. I felt like I had just enough on the table that everybody saw all of it. People pick out the things you highlight, so I was constantly replacing the rings I’d placed in display boxes (see previous photo).

Girls' Night Out

And finally, what I thought was the highlight of the table but turned out to be of huge interest but not something you’d buy – the chocolate jewellery. I made all these adorable little chocolates out of clay and turned them into delicious pendants, earrings, and a fantastic neckpiece, and didn’t sell a damn one. What the hell? The neckpiece almost sold, but the lady didn’t have her money; she said to call today and she’d definitely buy it. However, she must have sobered up because when I called she didn’t want it. Le sigh.

The good news is, my old friend Amber was there in her capacity as a chocolatier – right across from me, as a matter of fact – and she decided she needed some chocolate jewellery for her and her partner and helper, so we bartered and she got the caramel set top left, the fancy turtle bottom left, the rum caramel-looking one bottom right, and I think another one, plus a ladybug ring, and I got a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels, a medium-sized chocolate pizza (think chocolate tart with almonds, caramel, toffee and candy on top), two fortune cookies, a chocolate piece that looks like an oreo, and a sampler bag with a bunch of stuff in it. Excellent!

And finally, the triumph: See the triangular piece sitting majestically above my chocolate? I sold it to a woman who’d tried it on at Christmas time, the sister of the painter who was set up next to me at Victoria Park. I’m astounded and grateful and happy, and it looks fantastic on her, and it’s the first big-ticket item I’ve ever sold, and I feel like I won a million bucks.

The interest level seemed really high – when the entertainment was on intermission, I was on full-blast autopilot, no time to sell because I was busy taking money. My mom was fielding things left and right (she actually got to make the big-ticket sale) and I was barely conscious of what was happening. My cousin-in-law Kim was there and she was at the end of the table selling me up so that people thought she worked for me – which, if I have anything to say about it, she will be. Next show I have, she’ll be front and centre, she was awesome – she almost had that other lady buying that chocolate neckpiece :)

I’ve definitely learned a few things. Packaging is better when it’s easy, and I’ll be heading back to the dollar store to get tons more of their little sheer gauze bags – at 8/$1, it’s a steal, plus they’re the perfect size for earrings, a ring, or a pendant, and the larger ones hold my boxes and my black business card shows through really well. I’ll need to remember to get a small stamp for my receipt book, and a large one for my kraft paper bags.

All in all, I’d call it a total success.

Arts North

I’m struggling with my light box – I burnt out a bulb yesterday and got a replacement today, plus a side lamp, but it still doesn’t seem to be bright enough. Or angled properly. Or something.

Anyway. I needed to take some photos to be featured on Arts North, so some of these are old designs, and some new. Enjoy!

Craft Market – Afterwards

So the show! Had to load and unload the car in the pouring rain; had a four-hour set-up that was completely killer on the back and knees and feet on the concrete floors, which became a recurring theme throughout the weekend. BUT we suffer for our art, no? I think the booth was worth it. Check it:

How we envisioned the booth, blankly:
Christmas @ Victoria Park

How it came about:
Christmas @ Victoria Park

Which now I see the front was a little messy but whatever, you couldn’t notice in person, promise.

I had the COOLEST neighbour, Lynda Lou MacIntyre, from whom I bought an extremely gorgeous mounted watercolour print of an Ingonish shoreline.

I remembered everything except bags (duh) but I bought paper grocery bags for Saturday. I did a lot of upselling of neckwires, both manufactured and handmade. People absolutely adored my Mix & Match Fruit & Veggie earrings.

I made only about half of what I expected, and many exhibitors said it was very slow; much slower than last year. HOWEVER. I got a LOT of interest including an official invitation into www.arts-north.com. Gave out a bunch of business cards to people who were very interested. Almost nobody walked right by; some people who were going to keep going, instead stopped in the middle of the aisle and came over! Also many many many people said some variation of “your work is beautiful / stunning / amazing / different / unique / gorgeous” … “different” cracks me up, ’cause it’s the caper way of saying it’s weird :)

We were judged on new products and while I didn’t win, I got Honourable Mention for Best New Product!!! That was based on the two neckpieces I did for show-stoppers, which can be found here and here.

I did a couple of really great pendants based on the style of that last piece, one of which is here, a rough-tumbled emerald which I love:

Emerald Pendant

As you can see part of here, I printed and cut and folded wee cards that had some information about various gemstones and placed them in appropriate areas.

I learned that people don’t look up; that nobody knows what a pendant is unless you put it on a string; that if you don’t watch it, rings will get stolen; that people love buying earrings; and that people try on jewellery to see how it looks on them, not just to see if it fits (that would never occur to me – if I like a piece I BUY IT).

My parents were an enormous help and I can’t love or thank them enough. My dad even bought Swiss Chalet (mmmm ribs) for a Sunday night break-down treat!
More pictures in the Flickr Set, plus if you pick “all sizes” on them you’ll get larger pics that show more detail!

Christmas at Victoria Park

So I’m a bit of a knucklehead. I wanted to send out notice to people I know locally that I’ll be selling my jewellery at the market this weekend. I spent 20 minutes gathering emails from different email programs and my MSN contacts. I wrote the email verrrry carefully. Then I was unable to copy/paste the addresses simply into the TO or BCC fields. Just wouldn’t work. I ended up breaking them into 3 groups and copy/pasting the addresses individually into three separate emails.

And all three emails? Went out without a subject.

Garrrrrrgh.

For what it’s worth, here’s the notice:

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I’ve got big news: this summer and fall have been devoted to creating hundreds of new jewellery pieces, from pendants to neckpieces to bracelets to rings and earrings. And this weekend, they’ll be available at the Christmas at Victoria Park craft market!

The market is at the Armouries at the north end of the Esplanade in Sydney – just drive past the cruise ships until you see the army base; the market will be where the big snowman is :)  Hours are:

Friday, 5-9pm
Saturday, 10am-7pm
Sunday, Noon-5pm

You can see a preview here: http://www.gaylebird.com/jewellerydesign.html

I have a pretty big range of products and prices so if you’re shopping for a huge gift or just a stocking stuffer, chances are I’ve got something for you.

The market’s got a lot of other great presenters, too; more info at:
http://www.capebretoncraft.com/

Hope to see you there! If you feel like helping me out in the booth for a while, I’m trading for booth credit and hugs :)

Come early, come often, and bring your friends!
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I’ve got my signs ready, my displays planned out and some even pre-loaded, lots of great little tiny busts I made to show off individual pendants, prices done, pieces named, and I even got some Gem Info signs to plonk all over the table. I might actually be ready for this thing! (probably not)…

Some pics of the preparations…

The world’s largest business card:

The mock setup we did of my booth:

The extremely awesome busts I made out of cardboard (the black one is covered in fabric) and which got kind of washed out in this photo but I love them anyway:

And for good measure, a picture of the necklace and earring set that sold at the CBCCD auction for $175(!!!), after it sold:

Inventory
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* Neckpieces: 12
* Neckwires (Plain): 13
* Rings: 51
* Bracelets: 11
* Mookaite Pendants: 14
* Ocean Jasper Pendants: 29
* Agate Slice Pendants: 15
* Various Large Gemstone Pendants: 20
* Various Tiny Gemstone Pendants: 48
* Various Glass Pendants: 13
* Various Earrings: 9
* Veggie Earrings: 30
* Veggie Pendants: 11
* Series – Sea-Found Pendants: 14
* Series – Amethyst & Olive Jade: 5
* Series – Pale Dreams Pendants: 5
* Series – Tiny Beach Glass: 50
* Series – Tiny Stick Pearl Pendants: 6
* Series – Tiny Labradorite Pendants: 5
* Series – Tiny Pietersite Pendants: 5
* Series – Pour & Tumble Pendants: 10
* TOTAL: 380 Only three more days until the show!!