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Cherry Blossom Vendors – Spring 2013

April 8th, 2013

See vendors for weekend of 13-14

See vendors for weekend of 20-21

Vendors for the weekend of the 13-14

Ana Apple

Bluebird Designs

Candy Deco

Cody Vrosh & Binary Winter Press

Creative Playware


Elemetal Jewelry


gneiss wood

Jumbo Jibbles

Korrupt Label

Lucy & Mabel


Paradise Rose Shop

Princess Punk

Shannyblewog Designs

The Enchanted Square

Unpossible Cuts

Vendors for the weekend of the 20-21


Adorn by Anastasia

Beautiful Jean

Cody Vrosh & Binary Winter Press


C Rose Designs

Everyday Love/Nidhi Chanani


Glitter Disaster


IMPRESSED by nature


Le Petit Hat Company


Paradise Rose Shop

Raw Elements Jewelry LLC

Sparrow and Sundry

Susan’s Sweet Squees


The Little Red House


Recession-Friendly Business Tactics

March 8th, 2009

Most businesses these days are seeing a dramatic decrease in sales due to the recession.  Most businesses I’ve been reading about are reporting approximately 30% decreases in this year’s sales over last, but one industry is actually growing: crafting.  According to the New York Times, this past holiday season sales of handcrafted goods and craft supplies were both up over last year.

One reason for the growth of crafting is obvious: saving money.  It costs much less to make your own gifts than to buy them from a retailer.  And on web sites like Etsy, you can often find handcrafted items for a steal because they are not marked up to cover the costs of middlemen.  People are also staying home more often, both because they can’t find work and because they are spending less money on going out.  This means more time to spend on crafting.

Another reason for the uptick in sales is that people are considering each purchase more carefully.  When customers have to be extra choosy about how they spend, they consider not just the upfront price of an item, but how long it will last, how safe and environmentally friendly it is, and whether it goes to support a local artisan (and therefore our own economy) or a large factory overseas.

Naturally, the largest increase in sales has been in craft supplies.  There are sales figures from Michael’s and JoAnn to back this up in the New York Times article, but it’s easy to see anecdotally as well.  One of the products I sell is a cross-stitch pattern for a “Meat is Sweet” sampler.  Normally I sell only one or two of these per craft fair, but at the last SF San Francisco Bazaar I sold out of the ten I had halfway through the day.  I also visited the Stitches West knitting expo last weekend and all of the yarn and supply booths were packed.  Jamie’s own Urban Fauna Studio had three people working their tiny booth but it was not enough to satisfy the throngs who were clamoring to buy.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, the most popular craft right now is sewing.  This makes perfect sense.  From what I can tell, most clothing (and accessories, and home decor items) currently available is extremely overpriced, poorly constructed and made in less than ideal labor conditions.  But with the help of the Internet, you can design your own fabric using services like Spoonflower, and then turn it into a dress, a bag or an apron using any one of millions of free online tutorials.

So how can you use these trends to help your own craft business?  Firstly, thank your customers for what good choices they’re making.  Tell them you appreciate their choice to buy a product that is made to last and that helps to stimulate our economy.  You can include this type of message in your newsletter or in a note you include with each shipment.  Throw in a special repeat-buyer’s-only coupon, too.

Secondly, give the people what they want.  Convert any designs you can into kits, patterns, and materials, especially sewing projects.  Offer one or two of these for free and promote the heck out of them.  Submit them to blogs like Craft Magazine, and bulletin boards like Craftster.  You’ll pull in lots of traffic for the free stuff and if people like what you offer, they’ll be back to buy others.

Third, create combo deals.  In tough economic times, folks love the Value Meal.  Offer a free pattern when you buy three, or make sets of products that are cheaper than three or four individual ones.

What are you doing to make the most of the recession?  Share your ideas and comments below.

Interview With Katy Kristin

October 17th, 2008

Katy Kristin will be at the November 2nd 2008 You Bazaar! in SF.

You made stuff for Mr. Bill! Whoa! Please tell me about working with claymation. Have you thought about making your own claymation webisodes? (Hedgehog and Gnome Go Adventuring, perhaps?)

My first job out of college was in the art department for “The Mr. Bill Christmas Special.” I had a lot of experience sculpting in clay, so I got to be the Mr. Bill character sculptor and have worked on all the Mr. Bill projects for the last 12 years (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long). It’s definitely been a really awesome thing to get to be a part of, and this spring we just did a Mr. Bill Mastercard commercial. The funny thing is that everyone always thinks Mr. Bill is claymation, but he’s actually super low tech- no animation at all. The character of Mr. Hands just picks him up and moves him around, or things happen to him in real time, like getting smashed or thrown or decapitated…

I did do some claymation for Mad TV, “Furious George” and “Clops”. That was a really fun job, too, and lucky for me I didn’t have to do the actual tedious job of frame by frame animation. I made the puppets and some sets for “Furious George”, which was about George the monkey getting taken to an animal testing lab run by the man in the yellow lab coat. George escapes and he gets his revenge. “Clops” was like a clay version of “Cops” with pop culture toys and characters all getting busted for various crimes. I got to work on Redneck GI Joe and White Trash Barbie having a domestic dispute.

But yeah, I’ve often thought of doing my own stop-motion animation shorts. It takes an unbelievably long time just to complete 30 seconds, so so far time has been the major reason for not actually making any. It’s something I’ve thought about for years, and you’re right, I’ve totally wanted to make it with my gnome and hedgehog characters. I also want to do a monster one with Bigfoot living in a treehouse, the Yeti living in an Alpine chalet, and the Nessie in her lake. But alas… well maybe someday. I guess I’d have to really get some stories down first.

I love your new unicorn deer ( Do you make your own plush patterns?

Thanks! I do make my own plush patterns and, man, that deer, was really hard. The bottom part that encompasses his belly and the insides of his legs took forever to get right. I haven’t made a second one yet so I’m still not sure if I quite have the final pattern perfected. Usually I do a drawing, then make a bunch of measurements, and then go through a bit of a trial and error process.

Ever since I read about the real Unicorn Deer in Italy ( I became obsessed with him. I really wanted to make a plushie version of him, so I went to my parents’ house and dug my old Bambi stuffed animal out of the attic. I looked at him and pictures of some of the vintage 60s deer toys like this one on flickr ( for inspiration. If I make another one, I want to put a squeaker in his face.

I just found the link to Shelter Kit from your blog and now I will have to spend the rest of my night poking around it. These are awesome. A few times a year I become obsessed with container houses. What do you think is important about building/designing/having an active hand in your immediate environment?

I think that where you live and what you surround yourself with has an immeasurable effect on how you feel, how productive you are- basically on HOW you live. If you are surrounded by things you love, I think you are more likely to be in a good mood and deal with stresses well. If you are surrounded by horrible decor that reminds you of being car sick, you’ll probably not be too happy. Likewise, if you work in a cramped and suffocating space, it’s really hard to be creative and productive. I’m saying this because right now my workspace is really cramped and suffocating : )

I’m kinda looking for a new place to live. I totally wish my husband and I could buy some land and build a Shelter Kit ( house on it, but after researching getting loans for land and construction, I think we’re gonna have to try to buy a regular house and then gradually make it cool and customized.

But going back to the original question, I’m a huge fan of the Arts and Crafts movement, which was all about making every aspect of the home and workplace beautiful and functional. Everything was carefully designed, the outside of the house, all the furniture, the art on the walls, planters for houseplants, rugs, lighting, utensils and dishes, everything. Very cool and very well thought out. The Arts and Crafts movement was also kind of anti-mass production, so all in all, it was almost like an earlier version of the current indie/diy movement that’s going on today. I know there are big differences, too (like you wouldn’t have found dirty quotes embroidered on William Morris pillows or anything), but I think maybe the hearts of the two movements are similar.

Speaking about environments.. what’s yours like? Where do you do your creating and why?

Well, I guess I did admit to having a cramped and suffocating work space. Maybe it’s not THAT suffocating, but it is too small. I’ve crammed in as much cool stuff as possible, though. It’s a little haphazard, but I’ve worked in Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, Pippi, gnomes and mushrooms, and other random stuff. I just got this cool rotating display rack for free from a store that was going out of business, so that’s kinda taking up some precious workroom real estate right now, and it’s blocking my view of some of my action figures, but hey, it was too good to pass up.
Basically the workroom is a very small bedroom with desks and shelving units on all four walls, minus the door and the closet. Supplies packed in labeled boxes, sewing machines, a heat transfer press, button maker, computer, printer, books, product inventory, and our huge music collection are surrounding me at all times as I work. I hope there isn’t a really big earthquake. Wish us luck in finding a house with more workspace soon, : )

Okay and now I just scrolled down to see a Pippi Longstocking (lurve) AND a Barapapa (more lurve), do you also love Moomintroll? Just askin’.

I only recently discovered Moomintroll and just got some kleenex packets with Moomin on it. But I don’t know too much about the Moomintroll stories yet. I bought my friend one of the books, so I guess I’ll have to borrow it back from her. But Pippi and Barbapapa I’ve totally loved since I was a little kid. There’s this weird house off 280 near the Crystal Springs Reservoir, and when I was little I always used to think it looked like a Barbapapa house. My parents called it the Flintstone house, though. I wish I had a picture of it. Next time I go down there, I’ll have to bring my camera. Here’s a link to someone who wrote about it, but the picture is from when the house was still painted white (

What other kid stuff do you still love? Books, characters, etc.

Well, I know I’m being redundant but Wonder Woman and Princess Leia were and still are huge heroes. I’m just going to list everything I can think of but there’s so many I’m sure I’ll forget some:
Star Wars (I know, duh), Alice in Wonderland, Narnia, Wizard of Oz books, Huckleberry Finn, Swiss Family Robinson, the Matterhorn at Disneyland and the real one which I hope to someday see, Bigfoot, Yeti, Loch Ness Monster, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, these books by Wolo that belonged to my dad when he was a kid, Richard Scarry, Mary Blair, this 16mm film they used to show at my elementary school called Winter of the Witch, Lord of the Rings books, Lloyd Alexander books, Dark Crystal, pretty much all Jim Henson stuff, Heidi books, Anne of Green Gables, Maurice Sendak, Mary Poppins, Red Dwarf BBC series, Willy Wonka, The Red Balloon, Rankin Bass shows, Gumby, Cheburashka, Beatrix Potter, Caldecott, Legoes, Playmobil, Davy Crockett (mostly just his hat),…

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I liked too many things to pick one, so I just majored in Fine Art. That way I got to draw, paint, build stuff, and play with clay and porcelain.

What is your favorite medium? Do you prefer different things (painting or sewing, etc.) at different times? Why?
Well, I guess I still don’t have one favorite medium. I really totally enjoy lots of different things equally. I think I work more around getting an idea to make something and then figuring out what materials I need to make it. So sometimes it’s a stuffed animal or hat, sometimes it’s a painting or drawing or print, sometimes it’s a piece of furniture, sometimes jewelry, etc. A lot of things revolve around me being obsessed with a certain theme and trying to find a way to wear it. Like I love treehouses, so I made a muslin apron top and drew a treehouse on it. I also collected all these tiny Japanese toys and ended up putting them all on a necklace, so now it’s a really bulky, heavy colorful charm necklace that’s also one of my toy collections.

Do you have any new surprise plushies for the upcoming You Bazaar!?

Well, I’m hoping to have some new ones. I’m hoping to have some felt dolls with pressed faces, kind of antique style, like the old Steiff or Lenci dolls. But they take tons of time so… I’m also hoping to have some Alice In Wonderland themed toys.

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
Wow, that’s a tough question because there are so many awesome indie artists out there. Okay, everyone I know personally (and you know who you are) I totally admire their work and what they’re doing. They pretty much inspire me and help me all the time. I don’t think I can answer this without leaving important people out so I’ll just name two people who I don’t know yet but whose stuff I love. Made With Love By Hannah ( is completely rad! If you go to her website, you’ll know why I love her stuff. I love and collect a lot of the same stuff she does. She screenprints her own fabric and sews it into amazing skirts and tops and other goodies. I have her skirt with gnomes, deer, mushrooms, and an Alpine house on it (yep, all on one skirt). I also really like Loobylu. I wish I owned one of her unbelievably cute softies. Everytime I read her blog, she mentions something I’ve been thinking about. Seriously, I just now checked her blog and she mentioned reading one of the Moomin books. Another time she talked about a Barbapapa house. And she does really, really cool illustrations.

Crafty Business Questions: Preparing for Craft Fairs

October 12th, 2008

This is my first craft show.  What do I need to bring to make sure I’m prepared?

After participating in several craft fairs I have compiled two checklists: the must-haves, and the nice-to-haves.  The amount of stuff you can bring from your nice-to-have list depends largely on how much booth space you’ve got and how much room your must-haves take up.  **Note: this list is for indoor fairs only.


  • Craft fair info. Includes directions, rules, and booth location.
  • Inventory and inventory list. Bring a variety of more and less expensive products, and bring as much as you can fit in your booth–I have run out of inventory at really busy craft fairs.  Write down everything you’re bringing to sell and how many you have at each.  This will allow you figure out exactly what you’ve sold.
  • Change. I recommend $200-$300 in small bills.  I break it down as follows: 12 tens, 10 fives, and 30 ones.
  • Cash apron. Forget the big, black cash box with the lock.  It’s awkward and heavy at a fair.  You can make a cash apron from scrap fabric (I made this one–it’s just rectangles), or you can get one from your local hardware, craft or office supply store.  Some things labeled “tool apron” or “craft apron” will also have pockets that work.  For those wanting a more fashionable cash apron, LuluKnits sells a tutorial for this gorgeous little number.
  • Tablecloth. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be long enough to cover the top of the table and hang down long enough to hide the messy pile of boxes and bags you’ve got stashed under there. I’ve been using the same $1.99 plastic green tablecloth for years.  Stay away from fabrics that show dust or dirt easily, that aren’t machine-washable, or that damage easily (like velvet or velour).
  • Helper. This is so important, especially during holiday fairs.  You will need someone to help you set up and man the booth while you eat or visit the restroom.
  • Business cards. Customers, store owners and members of the press who visit your table want an easy way to find you again.  I go through a couple hundred business cards at each fair so bring a lot.
  • Credit card slips. If you sell anything over $10, I highly recommend you set yourself up to accept credit cards.  You can use tools like Propay or Paypal rather than a monthly account (more on this in a later post), but you do need something official with which to collect information. An imprinter with sales slips are best (you can get one with 100 slips for about $25 online), but you can also print your own order forms–just make sure your customer still receives a receipt with your contact info on it.
  • Receipt book. Good for keeping track of what you’ve sold and for taking custom orders or orders that will need to be shipped.
  • Cell phone. Use in case of emergency or to call in credit card authorizations.
  • Signage. Anything your customers should know should be posted in big letters, from your business name, to your prices, to the fact that they get a free button for signing up on the mailing list.
  • Display materials. Again, it doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to work.  Things that make merchandise vertical (i.e. visible from a distance), such as hangers or small easels are great, as are a couple of strategically placed spotlights.  Small shelves or boxes help to separate lots of small items, like jewelry or wallets.
  • Packing materials. Newspaper and old supermarket bags are fine.  It’s free and good for the planet!
  • Energy bars and water.  If you’re super busy (and you always hope you will be), you won’t have time to eat that pasta salad you packed.  An energy bar fits beautifully in a cash apron, however, so you can sneak bites here and there.
  • Emergency kit. Containing tissues, aspirin, allergy pills (if you get allergies), band-aids, breath mints and hand sanitizer. Also pack any emergency medications you may have and an emergency contact number.  Exchange numbers with your helper.
  • Fix-it supplies. This should include at the very least: paper, cardstock, pens, permanent marker, masking, clear and duck tape, string, scissors, and anything you might need for your particular wares, such as needle-nose pliers, glue, price stickers or a sewing kit.
  • Business license and seller’s permit. It’s the law, folks.  Copies are okay.  You can leave the originals home.  More on this in a later post.
  • Comfy shoes. At a busy fair, you’ll be standing all day.
  • Extra clothes. Sometimes it’s freezing at the fair.  Sometimes a customer spills soda on you.  You know.

Nice-to Haves:

  • Media kit. Packet of photos, bio, press clippings, line sheets or order forms, etc.  To give to the occasional interested member of the press.
  • Lunch. Whatever you can eat quickly and with as little mess as possible is best.  Raw veggies, crackers, etc. are good.
  • Camera. It’s nice to document the event and your booth set-up, especially if you have a web site or newsletter.
  • Gift wrap. Tissue paper or small jewelry boxes are good.  Keep it fast, easy and cheap. Customers  appreciate not having to wrap gifts themselves during the holidays, but you shouldn’t lose a lot of time or money on it.
  • Lint remover. Especially good if you have a dark tablecloth and/or a cat.  Tape works in a pinch.
  • Hand truck or fold-up cart. The skinnier the better, to navigate narrow doorways or aisles.  A godsend when the parking lot is really far from your booth.
  • Board with mounted press clippings. Nice if you have room on your table.
  • Laptop. Depending on your fair’s set-up, you may be able to bring a laptop to show customers a more extensive catalog, or to accept credit card payments online.
  • Chair cushion. As my high school Economics teacher used to say, “The mind can absorb only what the seat can endure.”
  • Music player. Make sure to check the rules with your fair coordinator(s) about this one. Keep the volume low enough that you can converse with customers easily.
  • Craft Supplies. Great for downtime and for luring customers to your booth.  People love to see the magic behind your crafts.
  • Wholesale order forms and/or price lists. For the occasional interested store owner.

What other items are you glad you had at your last craft fair?  Do you have a crafty business question you’d like answered?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

By Biz Miss

Interview with Elaine from Audelaine

September 22nd, 2008

Elaine Rogowski’s work is inspired most often by forms found in nature. She draws and sews, makes stuffed animals, ornaments, bags, pillows, potholders and paper goods. At the top of the list of favorite subjects are birds, bones, rodents, and sea creatures. She is an artist and natural history afficionado who likes to make both decorative and utilitarian items.

Elaine of Audelaine is certainly a girl after my own heart. Nature documentaries! Squid! Endoskeletons! She will be vending at the You Bazaar! in SF November 2nd!

I love that “birds, bones, rodents, and sea creatures” are your favorite things. Where do you go to get inspiration about those things? Are you also mad fan of the moldy oakland museum of california natural history section?

I’ve always loved forms and shapes found in nature. I’m obsessed with structure, so endoskeletons and exoskeletons fascinate me. I guess my interest started during childhood but really became full force when I started studying biology and zoology in my senior year of high school and first 2 years of college. I love all natural history collections, anywhere and anytime. I can’t wait for the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to open!

What are your inspirations in your daily life that you use in your art too? Can you talk about your personal creative process? Which part is your favorite?

My daily inspirations come from walks outside, and watching people interact with each other and with nature. I’m always listening to people’s conversations and watching how individuals react as life unfolds. I like to draw with mechanical pencils and black ink pens. I try to do so at least one hour per day, more if possible. I tend to draw birds, skulls, and insects most. Lately I’ve been drawing more owls than anything else. I like taking walks with my daughter around our neighborhood and exploring local flora and fauna. Late at night I also watch nature documentaries that I’ve recorded on DVR. I love learning about nature and science. I also check out books from my local library on different animals, plus I have my own collection of science and nature books and magazines at home. I guess you could say I’m a pretty big nerd.

I noticed you dabble in all sorts of art and craft. Does that run in cycles for you? Sewing one month and then drawing another, etc?

It does run in cycles, though I try to sew at least once a day. I have so many ideas for new projects that I start many but have trouble finishing them all!

I’m always interested in other peoples work habits and work spaces. Do you set specific work hours for yourself or work when you’re feeling creative? Are you super organized or messy? What does your workspace look like (include pictures if you like!)? What kind of sewing machine do you use?

Well at this point there’s no way I can say I’m not a messy worker. I have stuff all over the place in various stages of completion. With a 2 year old running around the house I have trouble setting specific work hours so I usually end up working sort of sporadically throughout the day and then later at night after everyone else is asleep. I use a portable Elna SP to do all my sewing. It’s pretty simple and reliable, though I have no idea what year it was made. I also recently inherited an older Kenmore machine (probably 1960’s?) in a cabinet that looks pretty good but I need to have it serviced before I put it to use.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your art/business?

I hope to put up my own website within the next year to further showcase my work. Right now keeping up with my Etsy store is about all I can handle, plus trying to do more local craft/art shows. I am working on possibly collaborating with 2 other fantastic local artists but not sure when that is going to come to fruition. Hopefully some time in the next 6 months. Until then I’ll keep plugging away in my own little nook.

What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?

I like to play with my daughter and our 2 small dogs, go out and explore the Bay Area with my family, read books, watch nature documentaries, and post pictures on Flickr.

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?

I really like the work of (in no particular order):
Miriamdema ( whose work often involves nature and vintage images; I find it both entertaining and interesting;
Holly Bobisuthi, whose talent with both drawing and metals is amazing and fascinating (;
Dianna LaFerry, another very talented illustrator and designer whose owls are divine (;
Little Robot, her style is amazing and incredibly detailed, I love the dialogue she creates with beards, nature, and inventions (
Jessica Plymate (, her work is quirky, funny, and cool;
and though there are too many to mention individually, the members of the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) are a daily inspiration and emotional support group for me. they are all so nice.

I could keep going but that would take way too long. So many incredibly talented people out there!

Right now my only venue for selling my work is my Etsy store,

I frequently post pictures of work in progress on Flickr:

The interviewer, Minnie, also blogs about crafts and other things at Thank You For Not Being Perky.

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