Thursday, July 14, 2011

My New Marketing Job

Holy cow! It's been 5 weeks since I've touched my blog, thanks in part to my amazing new job in marketing and social media for Corner Bakery Cafe. I couldn't be happier here. I also could eat an Anaheim Panini every. single. day.

Not much has been going on in the world of tefi. I've made several beaded necklaces for myself, took part in the Etsy Dallas Supplies Me! sale, and have started working my tookus off planning this year's 4th Annual Jingle Bash. Other than that, it's my real job, my awesome kid, and just livin' life in general.

The good news for you guys? I'M HAVING A BIG SUMMER SALE!! Any purchase in my Etsy shop through the end of summer comes with a freebie - either a magnet set (of 2), a bookmark or a mirror. You choose! Visit my shop today and start getting free stuff:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sneak Peek!

Why yes, I can do delicate. Check out my latest collection of simple chained necklaces made of top-quality Czech glass and artisan lampwork beads. I'll be offering them up for sale at the Lotus Yoga Pop-Up Shop community event on June 18th in Lakewood (Dallas TX). Lovely!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Designs In My Shop!

What didn't sell at the recent Spring Bash and Renegade Austin last month, I listed in my Etsy shop. Every design is my own creation, totally one-of-a-kind and original, and made by me with needle and thread! Hope you likey.

Big Triangle Design

Little Triangle Design

Totem Style Design

Stacked Design

Fabric Beads on Ribbon

and more of the clustered art sculpture pendants

Visit my Etsy shop today (or click here to see all my fabric necklaces)!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Job = New Clothes + New Shoes

Now that's my kind of math.

On my lunch hour today I went on a mini shopping spree. With a brand new job on the horizon (Marketing Coordinator for Corner Bakery Cafe), I wanted to update some old staples, replace some cheap and worn pieces, and just splurge a little to celebrate my accomplishment (and my birthday, which was this past Sunday). Living within my means on a daily basis makes an occasional splurge like this possible! Check out my booty:





Forts, Crafts and Cocktails: Austin Recap

My birthday weekend was a beautiful mess of toys, hotel fun, crafty sales and cocktails. We hit the road Friday morning - me in my Element loaded with my handmade goods and displays; my mom, Grandy and Ian in their car loaded with 182 toys:

Saturday morning was a whirlwind of setting up my booth, drinking lots of coffee, and preparing for a day of charming customers and making sales. After nearly six years of doing craft shows, I've got my set-up nailed down and had over an hour to kill before the doors opened:

Saturday night Ellen and John (good friends and owners of Holy Cacao) took me and Jason to Haddington's on 6th. We had copious amounts of tiny chi-chi cocktails with names like Devil's Moustache (mescal, a flaming orange slice + a whole bunch of other stuff). We also had tiny portions of fancy food that cost more than my weekly Tom Thumb bill. Everything was incredible.

Sunday was day 2 of Renegade sales. In the meantime, Ian and the family made forts, went swimming and basically had fun in Austin. I didn't get a chance to do any site-seeing or shopping while I was there - maybe next time!

Oh, and then there's this:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's on like Donkey Kong, y'all.

This weekend! Austin, Texas! My birthday and Renegade Craft Fair!! Boom:

Come find me in Booth #40 next to my friends Dowdy Studio and Cut Out and Collect! We'll be the ones making all the dang noise in the back left corner. Don't be surprised if you see me dancing to Kool + the Gang while I sell all my handmade stuff. That's how I roll.

Here's a sneak peak into my display set-up. If no one buys anything from me, I can just hold a "Necklace a Day" contest for the next year and a half.

Oh. Hello there, Beethoven.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is my son, and he's awesome.

Ian came home from school last week with the most awesome child craft ever. In case there's any doubt about Ian being my spawn, I present Exhibit A:

and Exhibit B:

Marketing Your Craft: Give It Value!

Okay you guys.

I'm getting real tired of seeing under-priced items riddling the aisles of craft shows and covering the pages of Etsy. While overpricing may hurt the individual seller, underpricing hurts us all.

You don't have to be a marketing genius to understand that if your price is too low, the buyer is going to think your products are cheap. And "cheap" is the last thing we want people to associate with our handiwork.

When the general shopping public is exposed to an abundance of under-priced handmade work, they are going to start believing that handmade work is tantamount to bulk generic diapers at the Shop & Save. We have got to banish this Wal-Mart mentality when it comes to the art and craft we work so hard to produce.

Keep in mind, you still want to price your items fairly, and not alienate your potential customer base. Here are the things I consider when pricing my items:

+ How much do the materials cost? Include the gas it took you to drive to the place where you bought them, the postage you paid to have them shipped to you, and any other costs associated with acquiring the raw materials.

+ How much is the design worth? If you're working off a tutorial or pattern, this price point should be lower than if you designed the item yourself.

+ How long did it take you to complete the item from start (design) to finish (completion)? At a bare minimum, you should charge yourself no less than $10/hour. Making an item by hand is worth more than flipping burgers - give yourself a proper wage.

+ How are you selling your product? So you have your finished product, but you aren't anywhere near done. Build into the price the cost of maintaining a web site, creating good product photography, and selling at craft shows.

+ What about all that other stuff? Yes, long-term overhead costs should be built into your pricing. Think: business cards, office/studio space, gas/travel, paper, ink toner, computer, internet service, utilities. In other words - all the things you expense in order to create and promote your handmade product.

+ Finally, as a person who appreciates and understands handmade art/craft, I ask myself: What would I pay for this?

If you still feel uncomfortable paying yourself a fair wage for your handmade work and (gasp!) actually pricing it so you make a profit, do these three things:

(1) Say this out loud, "My art/craft has value. If I believe it's cheap, everyone else will, too." Repeat this to yourself until you get it.

(2) Tell the world your story. It's time to get comfortable talking to strangers, y'all. Do craft shows, work on your web copy - tell your story so everyone knows exactly why they should pay $35 for this handmade, originally-designed t-shirt.

(3) Pick up a book at the library on shopper psychology and read it. You'll soon learn why the same shoppers who shell out $98 for a mass-produced necklace at Anthropologie balk at your better-crafted $30 handmade necklace. It's the perception of value. Make people believe your stuff is worth buying, and they will buy it.

I'm not writing this to help you. Really, I'm not. I want all the sales for myself. Okay, that's not entirely true, but I'm not going to lie to you and say I did this altruistically. I want the handmade market to improve, and the only way to do that is for us all to collectively improve the way we sell our items and the story we tell the public.

So get to it! You have a lot of homework to do and the clock started ticking 2 minutes ago.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sew, work, sew, listen to music, work, sew

I'm on a mad sewing blitz these next few weeks as I prepare for Renegade Austin. I don't even think I'll have time to bead a few of my new big wood bead necklaces unless I clone myself.

I'll work on that.

Until then, I'm listening to a little She & Him and Florence + The Machine and sewing like mad in the car at stop lights, on my lunch breaks, in queue at the bank, ANYWHERE.

Here's a crappy photo I took last night of some of my new triangle arrow designs. They are pretttyyyyy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Next Up: Renegade Austin

Now that the 3rd Annual Spring Bash is over (whew - so much work), I've got my sights set on the 2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair in Austin TX. It so happens to be on the weekend that I'm celebrating my 36th birthday and my and Jason's 10th anniversary. So come buy my stuff okay!!

The hotel room is booked, time taken off from the real job, the parents are coming with to watch Ian, and now all I have to do is:

(1) Make more designs like this one (above). I sold out half my inventory at the Spring Bash!

(2) Make more yo-yo earrings and rings. DONE

(3) Shine the sterling silver chain from some of my necklaces. They are looking a little dull from so much air exposure as I've been preparing for this crazy spring show season for the past couple of months.

(4) Make more fabric hair clips. These sold like crazy at the Bash!

That's about it. Can you believe how prepared I am? Whoo!!! Now come see me in Austin and buy me a birthday beer already.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Get up and booty bounce to this:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Just send a simple email + save animals.

Man (on left) with tears tightly hugs his rescued pet dog. On right, Sendai city firefighter. Japanese caption translation provided by: Kirsten Ernst for Global Animal.

Here's a message I saw in the Regretsy forums and I took immediate action. You can, too, with a simple copy+paste+send:

The Japanese government have placed a 20km No Go zone around the worst effected nuclear plant. Unfortunately there are still tens of thousands of domestic animals stranded in this zone. Before this, rescue groups and local citizens were managing to go and at least put food down for these animals, and were gradually catching them as well to help reunite them with their owners.

Rescue groups already have in place a system for quarantining and treating any radiation issues these pets and farm animals may have. And the humans are also taking their pills and only going in for short times, but they're willing to put themselves on the line to prevent as much suffering as possible. Unfortunately, the 20km No Go zone is making this impossible, and they're worried many of these animals are going to starve to death. - here's a video, but it is sad. (I COULDN'T WATCH IT)

So how can you help? All you need to do is send a politely worded request to the Japanese government basically saying something like this (copy and paste this!):

Dear Prime Minister,

There are many thousands of domestic animals and pets in the 20km exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. While it is understandable that you are trying to protect your citizens from harm, there are many animal rescue groups who are prepared and who have measures in place to deal with potential radiation poisoning and quarantining animals they catch. In addition, there are many they cannot catch who need feeding, including the farm animals who have been left in their stalls and barns. Please consider allowing animal rescue groups to enter this zone and continue their valuable work.

Thank you, the bravery and compassion of the Japanese people are an inspiration to all.


Click here to go directly to the Prime Minister's contact page. It's so easy and costs nothing. Please do this now:

DONATE NOW (click here and scroll down for a list of charities accepting donations to help animal victims of the earthquake and tsunami):

Tomorrow at the Bash: New Wall Art

These photos do not do justice to the two new large fabric wall art pieces I made this week to debut tomorrow at the 3rd Annual Spring Bash!

{dangit this thing didn't rotate! tilt head to the right}

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A photo journey through my crafty madness.

Here's a little photo essay walking you through all of my behind-the-scenes preparation for this Saturday's 3rd Annual Spring Bash. What you're seeing is the final stage of what has been a half-year-long process getting handmade product ready, reworking my displays, painting, swearing, cussing, loving and creating. If you aren't in Dallas, you have 2 more days to shop my goods in my Etsy shop before I close it down for the weekend.

{all taken with my new iPhone!!!}

fabric rings $8

super secret, newly-repainted beautiful display built by Dowdy Studio

hair clips and hair bobbies for $10 on my newly-painted pegboard display

pottery shard necklaces for $25 and all sorts of pretty earrings

the new gridwall set-up; it's a work in progress

check out that gorgeous new wall art, top right

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Look at my hot fake husband.

Hands off, ladies.

Isn't he yummy? This was taken at last weekend's Oak Cliff Earth Day festival at Lake Cliff park - photo courtesy of Oak Cliff People. Read a little recap here courtesy of my gal Pamela of Dowdy Studio. I was sellin' my stuff on the other side of the park while Jason educated festival-goers on the Jefferson Median Beautification Project, a grassroots effort to beautify our little corner of the world. I manage the modest JMBP blog over here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I've got crazy eyes.

It's on like Donkey Kong, y'all. This Saturday is the 3rd Annual Spring Bash, co-founded and co-produced by yours truly along with a team of fellow dedicated Etsy Dallas members. This will be our 9th show to date and I could not be more excited and downright scared of all the things I still need to do to prepare:

+ Cut out labels, write prices, and tape to new display, which I traded with Dowdy Studio for a stash of fabric and my never-ending gratitude. It was black, I painted it straw yellow, it's awesome and covered in fabric sculpture necklaces - loads of new designs. Pics coming soon! DONE!

+ Go to American Store Fixtures to get a ton of gridwall hooks for my fabric wall art. DONE!

+ Take legs off gridwall panels, hose down (or leave out in the rain overnight), set up panels in living room, merchandise the heck out of it, covering it with fabric wall art, magnets, brooches, hair clips and more! (oh so much more)

+ OMG make more fabric wall art.

+ OMG make more brooches. DONE!

+ Go to the bank, get a million dollars in ones and fives, because this show is off-the-hook crazy with awesome shoppers throwing money at us wee Dallas artists.

+ Set-up newly painted pegboard, hang pottery shard necklaces all over it. It's the color of the ocean and it's beautiful.

+ OMG make more pottery shard necklaces.

+ Stop at Michael's to pick up some large shopping bags for my large wall art. DONE!

+ Label large shopping bags. DONE!

+ Pack all this up Friday night, sleep.

+ Wake up at the butt-crack of dawn on Saturday, drink a pot of coffee, put on my new awesome mum, and head to South Side on Lamar to get the space ready for the big show.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Heart the Golden Girls - A Zine

When my friend and fellow Golden Girls nutcase, Erin of Haute Hardware, had her baby a few months ago, I knew I had to get her something special. Now, I birthed my son only a couple of years ago so I know the importance of honoring the mother during this special time. Babies get enough junk as it is, anyway. So naturally, I got Erin this:

It's the most awesomesauce Golden Girls thing out there, except for maybe this, which is the best thing I've ever seen in my life:

For my first Mother's Day back in 2009, Jason bought me this t-shirt:

So today, as I pulled in front of Erin's house to drop off bags of Ian's clothing and shoes he's grown out of + this I Heart the Golden Girls zine by jackiepeppermint, the tradition continues.

Long live Sophia Petrillo