Learned Something New

Acrylic Pouring….yes or no?

I saw a video on you tube of acrylic pouring, I currently have many many canvases just sitting in my craft room begging me to use them so I thought why not. I purchased the pouring agent here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FNZ8QGD. I mixed the agent with regular acrylic paint then did the pour using 2 different techniques I saw in the video’s. Then set them aside to dry. It took a full 48 hours to dry completely and they looked slightly different once dried. I also poured a 3rd one the following day but apparently can only add 2 pictures :). Now that they are ready I am planning to add something to each of them tonight. Will add a new post once done to show the results!

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Custom Orders Love them….or hate them

I recently had a custom order for a very good friend of mine and my husbands for T-Shirts for a walk they were doing. It was a crazy order only because of the time constraints everything was last minute. However the customer came over and lent a hand which helped a lot and I really loved how they all turned out. My best moment…..when they sent me a team picture of everyone wearing their shirts. I did learn a few things with the order so thought I would share them here.

  1. Make sure you can deliver on time. Don’t take an order you MIGHT not complete, in business reputation is everything. Word of mouth can for sure make and break a company so do everything you can to make sure the words spoken are good ones.
  2. Always order extra materials. Things happen when making things, always do, equipment malfunctions, user makes a mistake, colors run etc. So order more of what you need just incase this happens. In my case I was making T-shirts. So buy at least 1 more of each size to make sure you are covered. and By at least 1 yard more of your colors of Vinyl to handle any mistakes. For example while making the final 3 T-Shirts for my order I did not mirror the image for the back of the shirts. When this was caught and I went to re-cut said image I had no more of that color left. Now this order was for a personal friend and she said not to worry about it (I offered it in a different color) but this would have been bad news if for a regular customer who ordered online for example.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the order. I got this order late in the game so to speak because their regular person had a family emergency and had to cancel 2 weeks before the event. My Original plan was to order all the materials and give myself at least 3 days to actually make the shirts. Everyone paid on time so that helped, however there was a problem with the Vinyl order and nothing shipped on time which meant a 12 hour marathon session of cutting and pressing shirts the night before the event. NEVER again on that one. Next time I need 1 month advance notice for an order of that size so I can ensure I have at least a week of actual work time to get the job done lol.
  4. And my final lesson of the order….count everything 3 times before delivering. I got the order done around midnight the night before the event. I gave the customer all of the shirts and went to bed. The next morning I get a text message that they are one T-Shirt short…..Go look in my craft room and YEP there it is!!!!! It was in a bag originally so it never occurred to me to recount everything and double check. Again this ended up working out but lesson learned!.

Vendor events/Craft Shows..Stop the whining!

Over the weekend I participated in a large vendor event. So of course the weather was amazing. Which meant business was slow. However there was business you just had to pay attention. I made back what I spent to be there and made some great connections with other vendors. I did outside my normal which was a booth strictly for Chalk Couture which I normally don’t do. I normally do Kathy’s Kreations at vendor events, more cash and carry for sales etc. However this one was inexpensive so why not??

The event was happening from 10a-4p most vendors were set up by 10am myself included 🙂 I opened you tube on my ipad faced it toward the shoppers and played Chalk Couture videos on a loop for all to see since there wasn’t alot of foot traffic to demo for. Added bonus those that were interested I was able to focus on them and getting them to try it themselves on my demo board.

Anyway several other vendors were complaining about the lack of foot traffic, shoppers, etc. However every time I looked at thier booth they were not there. People at events will NOT wait for a vendor to come back to their booth. If they are interested and no one is there to answer questions they will move on to the next one and you lose a sale. Now after the event some vendors were posting bad things on the event page which is simply in poor taste, and bad business. I thought the event was well organized, well advertised, vendor’s were spaced out very well and there was a good variety to choose from. The organizers did everything they possibly could to make sure the day was a success, mother nature just happened to give us the first nice weather day of the year and people wanted to be outside in it instead of at a craft show. No fault of theirs.

SO my point to this ramble is as a vendor you are NEVER promised lots of sales so if you do an event that is not as successful as you were hoping for chalk it up (get it chalk haha) as a learning experience, networking opportunity, etc and move forward. IF the event is less busy than expected, if it is well organized and advertised DO NOT take it out on the person who runs it.

Ramble over 🙂

Kathy.

Welcome!!!

I love all things craft related, card making, scrapbooking, drinkware, home decor, T-shirts you name it.

Since I cannot be the only one I thought why not start a blog to share my love, frustrations, tips and thoughts. If it helps someone along the way great if not then it’s good for me and that works too!!

So first who am I? My name is Kathy and I got bit by the DIY bug when planning my wedding in 2014. Almost everything decorative from the wedding was made by myself, my husband or my sister and brother in-law, we bought very few “finished” pieces.

After the wedding I found myself with free time, and found I very much enjoyed making things, and having projects going, so I purchased a used Cricut Expression to play on and was hooked. Fast forward to Black Friday in 2015 and I got a great deal on a Cricut Explore One and graduated from scrapbooking and paper crafts (which I still do just for me and the fun of it) and moved into Vinyl, working on glassware, home decor etc.

I launched Kathys Kreations quietly at the end of 2015 doing local craft shows where I offered custom glassware items as well as home decor items, upcycled wine bottles, mason jars etc. Beginning of show season in 2016 myself and my daughter launched full force.

Things I learned in year 1. People LOVE custom items, BUT have zero vision. If you set a table full of glasses out with nothing on them and tell people you are able to customize them onsite, most people keep walking, there are so many options to choose they have no idea what to choose. However if you have a table full of items already “designed” people not only stop to look they shop as well. Then add on I can also customize glasses that it is the key. Year one I brought only blank wine glasses, coffee mugs etc and a HUGE sign that offered customization. Sales were terrible, I was selling home decor items so focused there and kept going.

Also in 2017 I got the brilliant idea from my husband to make bath and body products in addition to the glassware and home decor items I already offered.

Year 2 2017. I got the opportunity to participate in events at a local mall for a fee. Thought to myself why not? It is built in foot traffic. So I signed up for a few weekends, and took my glassware goodies with me for selling. Those were long days….10a-9p Friday and Saturday 11-6 on Sunday with set up, tear down and traveling back and forth….BUT during those long days I would design glasses while there. This helped fill my time and people seemed interested so they would stop to see what I was doing. BINGO bringing people over to me. I noticed a trend during these weekends that MOST of my sales were coming from my “cash and carry” items, which would then get custom work going.

Year 3 2018. I signed up for a local summer market on Friday nights near my house BUT no power so custom orders on site not really and option for me. So I made a HUGE selection of pre-designed glassware and home decor items for display. It was fantastic! Record sales on those nights and I did not have to make anything on site to less equipment to pack which is always a plus. I adopted this practice for my indoor shows as well, mostly designed items both glassware and home decor, BUT brought my equipment along so I could customize as well. I had record sales at those shows as well and found most of the “custom” work I did was simply remaking glasses that were selling well.

Also in 2018….I joined a DS company called Chalk Couture. I usually never do direct sales because I have worked hard building Kathy’s Kreations and do not want it to suffer in anyway because my attention is elsewhere. However I did join Chalk Couture because it is a DIY home decor company that allows me to create amazing home decor items that I can sell under my Kathys Kreations name, as well as participate in shows that might already have a wine glass person but not a Chalk Couture Vendor.

I had originally signed up so I could make pretty things and enjoy the designer discount, however have quickly found that I really LOVE this company and want to share it with everyone I know! So have started building a team and making another business out of it.

So Now 4 months into 2019 I currently work Kathy’s Kreations which has finally gotten to the point that I get orders via email and facebook etc, thanks largely inpart to the market I did last summer. I also work Burmans Bath and Body which I will admit is mostly for friends and family etc. I don’t do alot of craft shows for just that one as the market is fairly saturated. And I am working my Chalkin About It chalk couture business, as well as working full time, to say I am busy is an understatement. But I love it and have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon 🙂 Stay tuned here for more posts about all aspects of my crafty life.

Thanks for reading!!

Kathy.