The Great Purge
The Great Purge
By: Marion Davis, Artistic guide
I am sitting here on New Year’s Day and wondering why I am writing a blog that won’t be published until the end of the month. However, experience has taught me how those projects creep up on me when I get busy and life intervenes.
I have reached a point in my creative projects where I have accumulated so many supplies that I can’t find what I want when I go to do a project. It takes me longer to pull products than it does to do a project. Since I don’t send nearly as many cards now as I used to when I was swapping I decided that is was time to try to sell my cards in 2012. That meant a lot of homework before I started creating.
First I checked out the local and state restrictions on retail sales like did I need a DBA (doing business as) and how to collect and report sales tax. Then I needed to figure out what records I needed to keep and where I would sell these. I also needed to know what my competition would be. The stores in my area were out. They all carry cards already but most of them are mechanically reproduces and sell at such low prices that after the store commission I wouldn’t even pay for my materials. I decided to concentrate on Farmer’s Markets and Craft Fair.
The new problem was how I find these and again what are they already selling. June to October the local farmers markets have guest artists so I think that would be a good place to start. I also spent several weekends this holiday season checking out the fairs I could find advertised. Deciding what I was looking for was another matter. Most of the things I need to consider are:
- Are they well advertised?
- Are they well attended?
- Are customers buying or just walking around?
- How many other vendors are there that would be selling similar products?
- Are they local enough that I do not need to stay overnight to be there early enough to set up?
- What is the application process?
- Are they juried and if so do they require physical samples or photos. (If photos I need to figure out how to get better photos of my work.)
- What is the fee?
- How large is the space?
- How can I take credit cards?
- And the biggest questions… What type of cards will I produce and how many do I need? If I do either physical or digital stamps I needed to check angel policies and be sure I only choose companies that allowed me to sell my work.
This led to the GREAT PURGE. I went through all the supplies I had collected to see what I was hoarding. Boy was that an eye opener!
I collected all the handmade papers, peel off type stickers that are not greetings or borders and corners, specialty card stock, my stock pile of good intentions, (buy it now because I had never seen these before) and anything else that was unusual. The volume was overwhelming. Yes, it is time to purge.
I am now in the middle of the creating process. I have decided that I need to stay away from the typical stamped cards because there was at least one Stampin Up demonstrator at every fair. They do beautiful work but I need to offer something different. I promise in my next blog article to include some of the finished projects. Meanwhile I am working on my list of things that use up product like 3D Decoupage sheets I have had for years. Those are all assembled and ready to be put on cards.
Photo 3 D decoupage
Cut N Tuck pieces and Spirelli pieces are in the process.
The larger Peel Off type stickers are applied to handmade or vellum paper and cut out. I want these cards to be WOWs… the kind of thing you buy multiples because you can’t make up your mind.
Wish me luck. If they don’t sell then I never need to make another card again except for my Stampers Quest commitments. I will keep you posted on my progress and what I am learning later this week.