I’ve held stalls at two [school] craft markets recently, and have another two to go before Christmas. It’s fun. Exhausting, but fun.
When I can figure out the button html, I’ll officially let you know that I have taken the pledge to buy handmade this Christmas, and encourage you all to do the same. I was in Target yesterday buying underwear [the only thing I won’t get from the op shop you’ll be no doubt relieved to hear] and was horrified afresh at the PLASTIC. And the OVER CONSUMPTION. And how it has somehow become MANDATED that every single item of clothes little girls own, even their SHOES, should be pink or purple. And boys should only wear things with advertising or aggressive pictures on them and they should only ever wear brown. Or grey. When did this happen? And how come there are ‘girl books’ now (purple ponies) and ‘boy books’ (bum jokes)?
Sorry /end old fogey rant. Back to ME. And my CRAFT STALL.
The bookmarks sell well, as do the washcloths, baby hats (I sold heaps of veggie hats and my precious acorn hat!), baby socks and playcloths. Oh, and the gnomes. At one market I sold heaps of the tiny gumnut gnomes, while at the next, not one. Soooo unpredictable.
I’ve been sharing a stall with a friend, S, who makes the most exquisite felted scarves, baby wraps, booties and trinkets like book covers, pouches and juggling balls. She’s gearing up to open an etsy shop, as is my other friend Y, who sells handmade soaps, bags and aprons. When they’re up, I’ll link to them and you must all go over there and buy up big.
As for myself, I feel some change coming in my online world. I’ve been nattering away for over two years here in this little space and I love it so. Blogging has taken me places I never expected to go. I look at things from a photographer’s perspective now. My knitting has moved beyond hats, jumpers and cardigans to socks, toys and um, food. I’ve even learnt snippets of
I’ve swapped chocolate biscuits with Jane from yarnstorm, attended a big crafty blog meetup, met several other bloggers in real life, and sent and received gifts and blessings from all over the world. Helped organise a Melbourne blogmeet (but couldn’t get there myself …), held a party, made connections with likeminded souls across the oceans and have become firm, regular, real-life friends with the now semi-monthly crafternoon group and weekend away women. I got a job! through blogging connections. Heck, I even became a PILL.
I’ve watched other bloggers write books, open etsy shops and generally put themselves out there, while I have thus far remained relatively anonymous. Part of me would love to open an etsy shop to extend what I’m already doing with the market stalls, but I’m hesitant to do so under the name Pea Soup (the market stall and the things I make don’t include any reference to Pea Soup; I have no business card or name yet).
There seems to be a plethora of bloggers out there, particularly in Melbourne, who create their blogs to actively network, promote their etsy shops and give advice about how to increase traffic to their blog. But for me the blog came first and the growth of it has been organic. When I hold a stall I don’t advertise it here en blogge with an invitation to come and buy from me and say hi. Perhaps I should? But that whole lack of privacy thing scares me, I don’t want the axe murderers to know where my children go to school, what their names are and how they play violin/wet their beds/bicker/have a penchant for a spot of air guitar on a Saturday night.
We must all find our own balance.
I’m thinking the answer may be to create a business name that would encompass the market stall and a possible future etsy shop, that is somehow related to Pea Soup, but not googleable.* Kind of like an inside joke for those who read the blog, and somewhere to which I can direct friends and parents but where they won’t find the blog. Or am I doomed? Do I go and delete all the dodgy posts about problem children and marital disharmony now? (Were there many?)
What’s a good name for a small handcrafted business consisting of things mostly knitted but occasionally sewn? I tried pea soup in French (Soupe des Pois) and then Petit Pois, but am now leaning toward Pease Pudding for the pea reference and the fact that it comes from a children’s rhyme and my things are mostly for children. I know it doesn't have anything to do with knitting. Any other brilliant suggestions? Update: Pease Blossom perhaps?
* Besides, there is already a woman selling on etsy under the name peasoup, and she even has a blog called pea soup. I’m not unique. Sob.
** And a big welcome to new readers visiting from Yarnstorm, by the way! My stats shot up to 600 readers a day when Jane revamped her template just as she received all that book publicity.
Oy. That was a long linky post. It was also my Thank You Post to all of you who come here, comment, interact, lurk, read, send, receive and share. Because I’ve never done the obligatory been-blogging-for-two-years, how-I-love-you-all post before.