Friday, November 13, 2009

Playing with paper clay

The past few days I haven't been doing much crafting (although I have a lot of projects planned). It's been a week more about finishing things up and getting prepared for holiday crafting.

In the finished category:

  • My online creative marketing class is over.
  • Halloween is pretty much done (except for today's post).
In the getting prepared category:

  • I have been cleaning the disaster area formerly known as my studio (if a craft store blew up I think I'd have a good idea what that would look like).
  • I bought a bunch of materials for a bunch of holiday projects.

While at the store I also picked up this stuff called paper clay. I've been experimenting with it for a few days and it's really neat. From this picture you might be able to guess what I'm thinking it would be useful for.

Yup taking the foot impressions of my newborn nephew. Here I just tested it with a stamp instead of his actual foot. This stuff is just paper so it's totally non toxic, it's really soft which hopefully means that it will take a good impression of his foot, it dries really like weight, and can pretty much be treated just like paper afterwards so the crafting possibilities are pretty huge.

Right now I'm leaning towards holiday ornament/birth announcements.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Business of Crafting: Etsy vs. The Craft Fair

I've been taking this course on creative marketing organized by Laura Bray, and I'm currently reading Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo so I guess I've been giving the business side of crafting a lot of thought recently.

I'm married to an entrepreneur, I've had my own business before and I have a marketing/branding background- so although I don't have any immediate plans to sell crafts I naturally gravitate toward this line of thinking. All the lessons and reading have got me wondering how the traditional craft show stacks up to Etsy. Has Etsy taken numbers away from the fairs (not to mention the brick and mortar stores)? Do they have different target markets? Maybe they have a symbiotic relationship?

Oddly I can't find any information on this topic. Etsy is really great about giving user and sale stats so it's easy to see they are growing every month. What I can't find out about Etsy is- who's their market? You'd ask any craft fair you're thinking about spending time and money to display at, who is likely to walk through the door- if I were opening an Etsy shop I'd want to know who is likely to browse. Without that information I might be spending a lot of time listing items that aren't for the typical Etsy buyer.

And I haven't been able to pin down any information on traditional craft shows!

So who's buying on Etsy and what's the state of the craft show industry?

I'd be great to know if anyone has pulled together this information. Or maybe you've have a personal experience with one or both you'd want to share? Leave me a comment or send me an email I'd love to hear about your experiences and thoughts on the matter!

The Nephew

Born yesterday, 6 lbs 11 oz.
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