Summer travel season is almost here. Road trips. Plane trips. Hiking and biking and all the good stuff. It is no secret that I bring my yarn EVERYWHERE. Seeing me at the airport with yarn in hand is a shock to no-one! Here are some fiber friendly travel tips. Never leave your yarn at home.Read More
Like most creatives, I knit or crochet wherever I go. I can be found at concerts, at events, in the car, on the train, at the park, at the doctor waiting room with yarn & hook (or needles) in hand. The truth is, if I can't bring my yarn, I probably won't go. But this also presents a challenge of carrying around my project without intruding on whatever activity I am enjoying.
While I love my collection of project totes and bags, none of them were just perfect for my on the go activity. Especially places like concerts, walking on the beach or a day in the park. So when I stumbled upon OtterburnPQ on Etsy I have to tell you I was intrigued. And then, I was in love!
A project bag that hangs on my arm? I had so many questions. Will it hold my yarn? Will it be comfortable? Will it be too heavy? Will it be sturdy? Will it interfere with my movement? Well, I just had to get it to try it out. And then I fell in love with it.
I got the medium bag to try, thinking the small would be ideal for my cottons but I am a bulky wool kinda gal. The bag arrived fast - and for handmade items that always impresses me. The quality stood out immediately. It is incredibly sturdy and well made. The fabric is super soft, which is great because I have sensitive skin.
It is lightweight and the wide armhole helps the yarn flow so nicely without me having to tug at it. I use this bag all the time. At the park. On the train. Everywhere I go. It has quickly become high up on my must have list when I pack as well.
Next up on the Get Your Craft Fair On Series is the perfect prep and pack. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things you don't want to forget. For me, that's a trap. Instead of focusing on what I need and planning, we find ourselves getting a bit frantic with "oh, and don't forget" items. That can lead to stress trying to remember and missing things you need. This is all easily avoidable with some solid prep and packing for your event.
For me, I break it down into four categories. This helps me go through each aspect of the event so I really don't miss a thing. I start this process as I am building the display and that way as I think of things, if they are not on the checklist already, I just jot them down. By the time for packing rolls around, I am a lean prepped machine and packing is a breeze.
Here are the categories and how I break them down followed by a sample of the checklist I use.
Now that you have the perfect display layout for your items, make a detailed list of what you will need to get set up. By keeping the Booth Display its own category, you can focus strictly on the mechanics of setting up your display. Do you need any tools like a hammer, screw-gun, pliers, etc.? Do you need string or push pins? Will you need a step ladder or trash can? Go through each stage of your booth set up and make yourself a list of items you will need. Pack them all so that you can set up your booth exactly as you envisioned but also be prepared for what may come up!
What will you need to sell your products? What about payment processing; have you tested your device and updated any apps? Did you set up for Sales Tax and know the rate? Do you have business cards and a place to put them? Will you be taking custom orders? If so, how will you keep them? Do you have an order form? What about color swatches for your customers to select from? Do you need your business license on hand, is it required by the event? This is the finishing touches stuff that means so much. It is imperative to maintain brand through the whole selling experience so think of what you need to do that.
Prepping inventory can be overwhelming. That feeling of the need to make ALL THE THINGS. Take a beat. Breathe. Go through your current inventory and decide what you need to add. Make yourself a small list and production timeline to get items ready. Set mini goals such as 10 scarves week 1, 5 hats Monday, etc. Based on what you can truly achieve, don't over pressure yourself, you can create a schedule of what to make.
I also like to make a full inventory list of what I am bringing. This helps me track sales and inventory throughout the event and keep things easy. In addition to product for the event, you may want to make a list of what will be put out first so that can be packed where it is easily accessible. And, while in theory we should have all of our products prepped and ready, I always find myself with last minute To-Do's. Maybe you need to add fringe to an item. Maybe add a hem. I also like to have Work-In-Progress projects on hand to work on during slow moments in the booth. It is a great conversation starter and can help pass the time if you have down time.
HOTEL (if applicable):
For me, I like to have my tea and oatmeal. It is easy, portable and I can make sure I eat something everyday because it is easy to forget. So I have a little kit I take.
I also have my personal essentials to take to the booth each day: Travel Tea Mug, Flat Outs for my poor feet, mascara, lip gloss and face cream. If I've got these I am set for the win.
You can use this checklist that helps me or just make yourself a list of what makes you happy and get prepped to pack for success.
This is a cool story:
I've known Sabina at Crochet Gallery for many years - since she started her shop I believe. I was looking for a triangle scarf for myself on Etsy and that is how I discovered her shop. I hate making things for myself, so I am more than happy to support another artisan to make something for me. Since then, I have commissioned work for myself, and occasionally for my customers as well, and over the years we've enjoyed chatting about yarn and growing our businesses. Over time we have become friends; but we've never "met" in person.
Last week, Sabina posted about having s'mores on Instagram. I commented: "I want crochet & s'mores" and then she replied "come on down".
I thought about it and ... it is slow season, I can crochet anywhere, I mean... why not! Since I was about to take a road trip anyway, I decided to change my plans and leave the next day. Once I reached her general area, I sent an email: "want to have s'mores tomorrow?" The reply was funny because even though we'd never "met" I could imagine her as she typed it. It read: "Seriously?"
I said sure... and a few emails later, just like that, the next day we were two old (and new friends) hanging out bonding over s'mores, crochet and yarn. If you follow me on Instagram you saw the awesome fire pit .
Sabina welcomed me and it was instant connection. We laughed, traded stories and she even made home cooked curry and a Bosnian bread for us to enjoy. (The woman is a dynamo and does it ALL). Oh, and yes, s'mores did indeed happen for dessert!
The next morning we enjoyed coffee, more laughs and she even taught me how to knit - which I've been wanting to work on and learn for so long. That was a huge bonus!
It was probably one of the best ideas I have ever had and so much fun in a short time. The time visiting flew by in fact. It was as if we'd always been friends, which we kind of have. Sabina is amazing and it was a blast hanging out.
I will always be grateful for the way we connected so many years ago and love the way this craft world really brings people together. 💖🌺🌷