Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buyer's Market of American Crafts (Baltimore, MD) August 22-25, 2010

My First wholesale booth
I'm so excited to be attending the Buyer's Market of American Crafts in Baltimore Maryland (Convention Center). It is such an exciting show where all Handmade Gifts artists will present their products to buyers. So I created my own booth and here's a rough home picture of it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

More CraftyStitches News

So here are more of my recent business accomplishments:

1. CraftyStitches LLC completed May 2010
2. CraftyStitches VA business license renewed and updated
3. CraftyStitches Supplier Wholesale accounts set up (West Minister Fabrics, Fiberco, Inc., and Zips) It's a big step for me because this really cuts down the costs and now I'm able to create freely with all the update styles and fabrics.
4. CraftyStitches sold over 160 listed items on Etsy and sold over 500 pieces of handmade quilted accessories to date. I'm so excited.

Chair of CREST

Jennifer Michael - Chair of Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST)
I am a quilter, fashion designer, crafter, and a number cruncher. I discovered quilting about 8 years ago - the patterns, fabrics and intriquacies facinates me. I love it. I studied fashion design when I graduated from high school (way way back). Then life took hold of me and now I'm a mom and also love to do numbers crunching and a systems analyst. Crazy how life takes you to so do some many things. But my love for fashion and sewing all my life brought me to the Etsy World and I'm so in love now. My shop, CraftyStitches starte 3 years ago and this year is the first year where I put my full attention to it and now my most popular line The Perfect Bridesmaids have really taken off.

My recent participation with CREST really inspired me to take more of a leadership role in life, and what I love to do so... I want to be able to help all of us (myself included) take our artistry seriously. I hope, as the Chair of CREST, I will bring us to a spotlight with Etsy and the Washington Metro Area through collaborations of events and business training. Please feel free to send me any of your comments and suggestions and let's make something (dreams) happen.

Stay tuned for other position members to post their short blimb.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thinking like a business woman...

So, I've been thinking about what I need to do to become more business savy as CraftyStitches. It's really hard. I mean hard hard! Maybe because I'm more an artist, crafter, mom and worker. Swtiching and turning on that gear box is definitely a giant paradym shift.

So here's what I've been thinking about doing to better understand what it takes to do business (gentle encouragement, comments are welcome)

  • BRAVERY! that's probably gonna be key for me. Eventhough many think I am so outgoing, brave to talk to people etc... I still feel inside like a shrinking flower. It's so wierd. I can give these awesome advice to my friends and family about going out there and just do what's in your mind and create the world that you invision. And now I have to take my own advice.

    • Tell yourself YOU CAN DO THIS - this is probably the same as above but really, I have taken some major steps to tell myself that I can do this like... getting an LLC, upgrading my old sewing machine, setting up my sewing room to make it like my own creative office space, participating in wholesale shows, going out there and telling people that I am making things and selling them.

    • Setting up my Corporation - so I've decided to finally incorporate and become an LLC. Yep CraftyStitches is going to become officially an LLC and so I'm out there! Way way out there! This is a major investment for me and commitment. I now have an EIN, articles of icorporation, etc. But I couldn't have done it without Company Incorporation. They did it all. I didn't have to worry about any forms etc.. No worries! I have a link on the right if you are interested in setting up too. So go and do it.

    • Joining Guilds/Associations and getting out - So I am now way way more active than ever in joining forces with others who are doing what I do or other things to inspire more energies towards being a business owner.

    Keep up with Jenn and I'll keep reporting great news and hopefully inspire you to do what you love too.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Where to find CraftyStitches Products

    Art Box in Occoquan, VA
    View my consignment goodies at the Art Box in Occoquan, VA. The Art Box features awesome art classes and you can also purchase lovely great etsy artists products. The Art Box is a very lovely cottage storefront with character, taste and lots of art. Kelly is a wonderful artist who does portraits, paintings, and sketching. Her art work captures a true essence of modern clean edge sketching and inner beauty. Check out her work.

    Retro Metro, Fredrick, MD and Mt. Airy, MD
    This is a wonderful shop for everyone. You'll definitely something: jewelry, arts, crafts, furnishings, for all ages, children - adults... I love this little shop. It's tre modern and craft-sy at the same time.

    The Hive in Mt. Airy, MD
    This is a very unique beautiful furnishing shop full of awesome little pieces for your home. They also feature jewelry and other accessories. I love the way the owner has designed the layout where you definitely will find surprises everywhere.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Falling for Handmade CREST Craft Show

    Event: Falling for Handmade: Capital Region Etsy Street Team Craft Show
    Date: 10/16/2010
    Time: 10AM - 4PM
    Location: Boehrer Park, Gaithersburg, MD
    Now Accepting Applications: Email me at for vendor applications

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Quote of the Day

    "Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open." - John Barrymore

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Twitting, Blogging, Facebooking

    So are you doing all of those things? Twitting, Blogging, Facebooking... this is all new to me until recently. It's still new to me and I'm still learning the jargon, the whole new world of social network through the internet. My social network is definitely upgrading since I joined these places. I didn't know how closed I am to this world until now. It's like turning on this incredible world of people that are doing the same thing you are and experiencing the same thing. It's really overwhelming.

    I still think I am typing my thoughts into the outspace of darkness and waiting for people to acknowledge me. But slowly I am starting to step out of my little world. Ok I hope you guys will send me all the updates on the symbols that people use out there...

    What do these mean?

    The powerful resources that are out there is really incredible. Can't wait to see where this takes me.

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    The Perfect Bridesmaids

    Check out these little bridesmaids...
    I'm so happy with the way these little bridesmaids travel size jewelry rolls turned out. They look so bright and cheery. This was a custom order for a soon-to-be bride who ordered them for her bridesmaids. I am so excited to send them to her. They were all made with different color coordinations of purple and blues - I really enjoyed designing with her. She picked out her fabrics and I went to did the sewing. Voila. Custom design with me - email/convo me.

    Planning a great craft show

    Now that I am taking the lead on planning the best craft fair ever for our CREST team members. I am so excited and have started to do as much research in planning a successful fair as possible. Craft fairs are a great place for artists to meet their customers face to face and show off all their work in person. The last few craft fairs that I have attended either as a vendor or as a customer, I found these things are important to me:

    As a vendor:
    - well advertised in the media (newspapers, local ads, internet postings, word of mouth, television ads)
    - established or have a great following (I realized that there are some craft fair attenders that are very interested in dedicated customers. They follow either the artist or the organizing company)
    - collaboration with other local organizations or a shared event (I think this is very important when it comes to getting the word out via word of mouth when it is a shared event with a local organization or city agency)
    - organized location (location location location, parking, easy to see, easy to access. I think if the locaton is centralized and on a main road it is great to attract drive by visitors as well as putting signs up early enough for people to who drive on that road to remember such an event)

    As a customer:
    - great blend of vendors with unique and great products (that's easy cuz, our CREST members are great artists)
    - easy to walk around and browse (love it when it feels like it never ends - isles and isles of great vendors, love that)
    - food/drinks (I think it is more enjoyable when I have a beverage/snack in my hand - keeps me shopping for longer)
    - for children (I love when I see there are activities for children to hang out and draw, learn a craft or play - I went to one in Torrence CA where they had a daycare center and they charged a small fee for the day care - IT WAS AWESOME for mommy!)
    - goody bag (I do love getting something for nothing - who doesn't?! It feels really good to walk around with a little plastic bag with some marketing products and learn more about who the vendors are where they are located - map or whatever and about the event so it doesn't feel like a flea market or just any street market.)

    OK. That's what I have so far so I am hoping my contributions and planning will be helpful to my fellow CRESTians. I can't wait to hear what other ideas are out there. Feel free to email/comment me.

    :) Happy craftying/shopping/other addictions!

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Inspired by Julia & Julie

    Did you watch that movie? I just did and now I am inspired to revive my blog. Yes. I can't believe it. I am actually typing my thoughts in a page and sending it into outerspace - just like Julie.

    Well, I too love to cook, sew, quilt, making things and selling my craftystitches creations. This year I pledge to work harder at my new line or products and making great and interesting things. I am also planning to become a vendor at many more of craft shows out there. So stay tuned to find out where I'll be. I also just joined CREST a local etsy group in the Washington Area. I volunteered myself to be a lead to creating and coordinating a successful 1st Etsy Craft Show. So definitely more to come so you can visit me and see me live.