Although I don't have a store devoted to selling my work online please don't hesitate to contact me if you've seen a piece you like at a show or anywhere here on the web! I'll happily package gifts and post worldwide. Here's a picture of how I presented my scarves and wraps at the Glucksman, Kraft boxes, a hand printed gift tag and tied up with natural coloured linen or twine.
As a guideline, gift boxed naturally printed silk chiffon or ponge/habatoi scarves cost €45 each, etamine (finely woven merino) or silk/wool blend scarves cost €65 and large printed nuno felt wraps are priced at €120 upwards depending on size, all excluding postage. Simple nuno felt scarves start from €40, simple saree silk nuno scarves from €80 and more complex mosaic nuno scarves and wraps start from €120, again all prices excluding postage. Hopefully the SumUp attachment for my phone and iPad will arrive this week (similar to Square in the US) enabling me to take credit card payments over the phone or in person, I can also bill via PayPal for those who prefer.
Anyway, I'm now debating taking the rest of today off! Emma and I arrived home from Cork at lunchtime and I'm definitely a little tired now. I'll collect some sloes while out walking Rex (for sloe gin), then I'm going to put a stew in the oven, while that's cooking I'll have a bath and wash my hair. I had been planning to felt another saree silk scarf this afternoon, at this stage I think I might leave that until tomorrow!
I've decided to have a spur of the moment blowout sale at Borris Food and Craft Market tomorrow morning! In my efforts to update stock at the Duckett's Grove design shop and my current ongoing attempt to wrestle my house into some kind of order it's become apparent that I have some lovely smaller items of felt that have either been hidden away unwittingly or haven't sold from the shop or studio for one reason or another. It's tempting to have an extended post mortem as to the reason for this, are they priced incorrectly, is the quality not good enough, did I felt too many of the one item, have they not been displayed well, how did I manage to hide them away in my spare bedroom etc., etc., the questions could go on and on.
Anyway, rather than spend days pondering the answers I've decided to have a blowout sale at Borris Market tomorrow then bring whatever's left to display at my stand for the Creative Carlow pop up shop for the rest of the weekend. This shop is part of the Pan Celtic Festival, so far we've had a variety of local and foreign visitors come to check out our work and I was lucky enough to sell several of my pieces yesterday so I do have enough space on my table to replenish with more stock. The picture above shows two embroidered phone/camera/change purses and three beaded bracelets, I'm letting all of these and many other similar pieces go for the bargain price of €10 each, please come along if you're in Borris tomorrow morning and pass the word on to all your friends!!!
The day has gone pretty quickly to date. I was under a little pressure to get set up at Mount Juliet, possibly because I needed to make some fresh cranberry salsa to send home with Alan as well as catch the bank before coming here. It’s also Alan’s birthday today and tonight’s the last night we’ll see each other until the new year so loads to do and almost NO time to get it done in! Anyway, I changed a little of our display here and now all we need are customers to arrive.
Emma manned a joint stand at Borris this morning as we didn’t want regular visitors to miss us for the last market of the year. I don’t know yet how that went, hopefully better than last week though!
Raising the front table and changing around the felt has definitely made a difference to our stand at Mount Juliet today. Ironically, it doesn’t look as cohesive as before but definitely more people are walking inside and browsing both the felt and Emma’s paintings. Yesterday Emma altered her section, I think that between us we’ve a better chance of sales over the next few days so fingers crossed we’ll all finish this marathon on a high!
While Borris House Christmas Fair at the weekend didn’t exactly rock my sales boat too much the atmosphere was lovely and by the end of yesterday evening I was happy enough with how things had gone. Mount Juliet Christmas Village on the other hand has been extremely disappointing so far, great if you are bringing your children to the Santa train (as 10s of 1000s are!) but totally hopeless to date as regards customers browsing the stands and making actual purchases. We’re committed to having our stand there until 9pm next Sunday evening so all I can do is hope that more visitors come this week to the fair itself as opposed to the train.
Creative Carlow pop up shop
This morning I had my first working stint at the Creative Carlow pop up shop on Tullow Street, I enjoyed myself and made a couple of good sales too thank goodness! Now I’m at home trying to catch up with the blog and a few household chores, washing, cleaning, tidying etc. but everything will never be done before 24th and neither will presents be sent abroad in time for Christmas delivery or indeed purchased before the big day itself for some of my Irish buddies. I’m annoyed with myself as I had really hoped to have everything bought or made by now, presents posted and cards sent, possibly I under anticipated how busy I would be travelling to and from all the outside events. Hopefully everyone will understand and enjoy their gifts even if they are a few days late, good friends will anyway so fingers crossed!!!
Our stand at the Creative Carlow pop up shop this morning
One thing that I am happy about today is that I was able to add another mannequin to our display and change around stock for Leiko and myself this morning in Carlow. While it’s not the best picture (rain has prevented any pics outdoors) you can see the sleeveless top I finished the other afternoon now displayed on a mannequin. As I mentioned before, it’s a real juggling game trying to keep each venue looking good with a variety of different items and colourways, tomorrow I’ll have a go at revamping our space at Mount Juliet.
Finally for today, I had a lovely time visiting Jim and Tina Behan at his house/ceramic studio on my way home from Carlow. Tina had selected a couple of felt pieces for herself over the weekend and I was able to trade with Jim for some fabulous eastern inspired wood fired tea bowls and pots. I’ve always adored this work of his so was in seventh heaven, thanks Jim and Tina!!!
I’m just home now after the first day at Borris House, Santa made an appearance too and will be coming back tomorrow to visit some more lucky girls and boys. Leiko and Norma (my current work experience aide) manned Mount Juliet and while neither venue made brilliant sales we all did a little better than other days. Tomorrow should see a much bigger crowd in Borris so fingers crossed they’ll be in a buying mood!
My crazy schedual continues! This weekend I was very happy with my sales at Duckett’s Grove, not so happy with them at Mount Juliet but then it’s early days there still.
Later today, I’ll be heading into Carlow town to stock up on more lighting for Mount Juliet and set up both my work and Leiko’s in Tullow Street for the Creative Carlow pop up shop. It’s a bit of a juggling game at the moment trying to gauge which stock to have at which venue, I mustn’t forget the market in Borris on Friday and the two day Christmas Fair in Borris House this weekend!!!
‘The Minimilast’ felting roller from ‘niki & niki’
There’s still time to order your ‘niki & niki’ felting tools for Christmas. At the moment you’ll need to get them from Niki Collier’s Etsy shop as I’ve no more in stock, we’re also offering free personalisation on each tool over the next two weeks, just our way of saying thank you to our customers!
Emma, Leiko and I have had an active and fun day for the start of the Mount Juliet Christmas Village experience! It’s another early morning tomorrow as I need to finish setting out my wares at Duckett’s Grove, we’re expecting over 7000 for the annual craft fair based on last year’s numbers. It’s been cold but not freezing here all day, I’m glad though that I brought my felted fleeces to sit on, they make for a much warmer experience whenever we get a chance to sit!
I’ve had a pretty frustrating morning on the felting front, two failed attempts at a new style bracelet and only one relatively successful result. My plan had been to get a lot of smaller jewellery items felted this weekend as I need to think of splitting my stock for both the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet and the Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair next week. I’m actually going to call it a day and start a massive tidy up instead. While I totally suck in the household department (with the possible exception of cooking in fact!) I so need to get sorted in advance of Christmas, once next weekend arrives it’s outside events right up until the night of 24th. Starting afresh on Monday morning with a clean and tidy house should help get the creative juices flowing!
How much felt is enough for a display table or booth, enough that is to create a good display, have a selection of different items in different colours yet not have so much out that things look messy and don’t create a good impression???
Katie dyed her hair to match the gorgeous flower she felted yesterday, FUN!
Because of the various different events I’ll be participating in over the next 5 weeks I’m very conscious that I need to have stock to replace sold items too. I’m not however going to do as someone suggested and hold items back for the bigger fairs, the last thing that I want to do is presume people will buy at these and not offer everyone at my regular gigs an equal opportunity to buy my items. After all, they’re the customers who support me throughout the year so if anything they deserve the pick of the crop in my opinion! A sale is a sale is a sale, all money gratefully recieved and the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned!!!
Katie’s finished her week with me as part of her transition year (4th year in the school she attends) work experience. It was interesting having her with me as I usually work totally on my own and a second opinion was definitely a help at times. In addition to being out and about facilitating two sessions with Borris Active Retirement, a birthday party for a 9 year old and Borris Food & Craft Market this morning we managed to naturally print/dye over 24 scarves on Tuesday and have a big pot of cochineal on the go yesterday, a busy and satisfying week I think! Thanks Katie for all your help, it was a pleasure having you at Clasheen.