Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

Posts tagged ‘#craftshow’

foodietoos8-readSince the warm temperatures are with us once again, I’d like to remind everyone that sharing your love of food with one of my Foodietoos (temporary tattoos) is fun and entertaining! They are a conversation-starter at any barbeque or picnic. Just think: You could wear the Foodietoo equivalent of an ingredient in the salad or snack that you brought to the party! Wear “Lucky Kale” and bring a Kale Caesar Salad. Curate an artisinal cheese and charcuterie board with “Quel Fromage” on your arm. Procure laughs and paninis while displaying “Gluten Forever.” Foodietoos are the perfect summer accessory.

I have also expanded the line to include greeting cards which have Foodietoos attached as gifts for the recipients. There is a “Gluten Forever” love card (inside greeting: I love you more than carbs themselves.), and two birthday cards, one features “Quel Fromage” (inside greeting: Yep, it’s another birthday. But at least there’s cheese!) and the other, “Lucky Kale” (inside greeting: Wishing you lots of love, luck, and greens this year.”).

I created my line of Foodietoos during the summer months of 2014, and in mid-August they first became available to customers. Now I have been selling them for about 9 months via the The Nancydraws Shop, and at a few craft shows I’ve attended during that time. With this project I’ve been able to show my talent of combining words and images while sharing my sense of humor at the same time. It has been so enjoyable to hear laughter and positive comments at the craft shows or after I show them to people that I have met. These reactions are just as affirming, if not more so, as when someone makes a purchase!

So, check them out in The Nancydraws Shop! The tattoos are available individually or in a set of eight: Nuts-Seeds-Snacker, Lucky Kale, Love-Death-Yogurt, Gluten Forever, Honeycrisp Apple Cult, Love Links, Quel Fromage, and Quinoa Queen.

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Percival eating noodles… a Hanukkah card available in The Nancydraws Shop.

At last I may share details about the tools that I was testing when I participated in a small-scale market for employees only at Etsy HQ! That clever, crafty company now has their own credit card reader for in-person sales. The timing couldn’t be better for me, since I am just beginning to get out there to the craft shows with my illustrations and greeting cards. I can tell you from my experience that the tool works perfectly with the new Etsy Seller mobile app. When you have the reader attached and the app launched you are ready to take sales in person via credit card, or use it to record cash sales. A full list of your shop items are available and the app creates e-mail invoices for customers and (I love this part) adds buyers to your page’s list of followers so that they will receive updates when you post new products in your shop. There are many great features, and I’m very excited to receive mine in the mail… I ordered one today about 4 minutes after opening the announcement email!

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The Etsy card reader!

For more info and FAQ, click here to go to the Etsy site.

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It was all a mess when I began!

If you’ve read the first installment of my September Craft Show Wrap-up, you already know that I enjoyed my first craft show experience! I didn’t want that post to get too long so here is a second one to describe more about gathering and creating my table display.

When I was thinking about how to plan my craft show table for  The Nancydraws Shop my main goals were to make it inexpensive, lightweight, and eye-catching, so this is where my creative problem solving skills and online research came in handy.

I didn’t want my display pieces to be heavy because I thought I’d be able to carry everything by myself on the subway and save money on having to use a car service. (That didn’t happen, because of volume!)

At first I had no idea of my color scheme or even how I’d display any of my items until I purchased a couple of organizing bins at T. J. Maxx in a nice shade of green. I also had an antique gold card holder and since it can only display 6-8 cards I decided to look for some cardboard shelf-display boxes at the Park Slope Food Coop in order to have multiples available on the table. I found out that frozen burrito boxes were just the right size for my cards! I covered them with a matte gold wrapping paper that matched the antique gold card holder.

A week before the show I went into a dollar store near my day job and was lucky enough to find a sheet set with the perfect shade of purple printed with a fun but not-too-loud pattern for my table covering, and a couple of green metal buckets for some of my smaller items.

Testing out my display at home.

Testing out my display at home, before I added signs.

Towards the end of the end of my preparation process for each show, I added finishing touches; signs and price tags. I wanted to make all of the prices as easy as possible for shoppers to find so that they don’t need to ask.

By using a couple of things I already had at home and re-purposing the boxes I didn’t have to spend very much on the display itself, the total was less than $40. It was light (I needed 3-4 bags to transport it all along with the items I was selling) and as you can see, very pretty and inviting.

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Nuggets of Joy

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Me and The Nancydraws Shop table at Ridgewod Market on September 21, 2014.

Back in August I decided to give myself a new challenge and bring The Nancydraws Shop to a craft show. Over past year a few friends and fellow artists I’d met suggested that I give that venue a try. My friend Janet had put the Ridgewood Market on my radar. It takes place near her home, in an up-and-coming neighborhood in the borough of Queens. I also found that the vendor fees were quite affordable, so I set my sights on having everything I needed ready for the September 21 show. As I began making my lists of items to bring, supplies I’d need to purchase, and what I would need to create a tempting display, I was invited to a mini-craft show opportunity that was happening earlier in September, and I decided to go for it. I can’t share many details about it other than it was a GREAT experience and it was fun to be in on a secret that hopefully will be public in the next couple of months! I will have to share more about that in a future post.

A few Christmas cards available at The Nancydraws Shop.

A few Christmas cards available at The Nancydraws Shop.

Many people don’t realize that the majority of my greeting cards are printed one-by-one with my wonderful, hard-working, reliable Epson printer. Once they are printed, most of them need to be cut to the size I designed them to be. My Epson does take its time but it is worth it because of the excellent quality prints that it produces. After the image on the front of the card is printed, I like to let some time pass to make sure it is completely dry before I put it through again to print the inside greeting.  Many of my nights after-work and a lot of weekend time leading up to these shows was spent printing cards and gift tags, or cutting them up and placing them in their clear sleeves. Luckily, my studio assistant, Mongo was on hand and made sure I took breaks.

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Mongo knows how to relax.

As an artist I am really lucky because my parents own and operate a custom framing store, so they have matted and framed a number of my artworks in the past. Since they are in North Carolina, we have worked out a situation where they keep my prints until a customer purchases them from my Etsy shop, and they  ship them out. For the craft shows, my father was wonderful enough to pack up and send what they had. I definitely didn’t have to worry about printing too many of my illustrations, but I added some from my “Love, New York” series and restaurant illustrations. On top of that, he sent some professionally printed cards and journals with my designs that I’d had professionally printed sometime before I opened my Etsy shop.

"Gluten Forever" Foodietoo

“Gluten Forever” Foodietoo

The items I was most excited to bring to the craft shows was my temporary tattoo designs, Foodietoos. They were already available in my shop as of early August and I had a number of those ready to go, along with the labels I had designed for them, but of course I cut out and packaged up some more!

After the car service dropped me and my stuff off at Ridgewood Market (I am SO glad I didn’t try to drag a rolling luggage, backpack, and two large bags through the New York City subway system!) it took me about an hour to set up. I had plenty of time left before the market opened, but it was good not to have to be in a rush because I had more space to fill and decisions to make than I had at the mini-craft show. There were a few lulls once the market was open to shoppers, but not many. It was fun seeing what caught people’s eye on my table, even if they didn’t make a purchase. A handful of friends were even able to stop by, which made it even more fun. Creating artwork is usually a solitary experience so seeing customers reactions to my ideas was very rewarding.

I worked very hard to get those nuggets of joy, but isn’t that what being an artist is all about?

Percival Featherington III, “NYC Pigeon Extraordinaire” was the most popular of my characters, along with the turban-wearing lady from “Love, New York.” I was able to chat with a couple of other sellers near me, and it was fun to share the experience with them. A few even stopped by my table to let me know they liked my work or display, ask questions, or make a purchase. I did the same when I had time to wander and shop when there weren’t many visitors around. There was such a nice community vibe going on.

One thing that surprised me was that a few people asked if I had designed all of the items, which I had of course, but that’s something I thought would be obvious.

In case you’re wondering, I’ll definitely be at another craft show in the near future! Stay tuned for more about that, and for the second half of my September Craft Show Wrap-up post, which focuses more on how I put my display together.

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