Thursday, November 18, 2010

Here are 10 signs you might be cut out for entrepreneurship:

I wanted to spotlight this cool blog, The Blissful. She has loads of good information about entrepreneurial happenings. Check her out HERE\.

Here's her other site. (here)

And Abby Kerr Ink (here)

1. You're an idea person. And not just a dreamy, impractical idea person, but someone who instinctively knows how to give an idea legs. You don't just sit around and say, wouldn't that be cool? You actually get out of your chair and make a plan to see if it's cool.

2. You're an incurable optimist. You believe that things generally work out for the best--even when things work themselves out in a way that others would perceive as a fail. You believe that every deep experience lends itself to learning.

3. You like change. You might even crave it. You'd rather shake things up than wallow or stagnate.

4. You're willing to sacrifice more than the average person would to take a chance on a dream working out. This means you see short and even medium-term sacrifices such as preferred housing, discretionary income, stability in some relationships, and a nice budget for clothing and groceries as all part of the bigger picture. You are willing to forgo some comfort and joy today to get to what you might be able to attain later.

5. You're a self-starter. And a good self-manager. You don't need someone looking over your shoulder--or dangling a paycheck--to get a job done. You don't even really need praise or encouragement. Your satisfaction comes primarily from the process of creation.

6. You bounce back easily. Your setbacks are very short-term and you somehow always find a way to rise again. Or, things always just seem to work out okay for you, even better than okay. Others might say you seem to have good luck, or good karma.

7. You don't dwell on things and people that are out of your control. {Or you get really mad or frustrated and then use it to fuel your next move or decision in a healthy, productive way.}

8. You speak as though the outcome you want already exists. You don't have delusions of grandeur and you're not a liar or a bull*hitter. But you know how to position yourself in the today to apprehend what hasn't happened yet in the time-space continuum most people can see. Whoh. That sounds a little crazy. But you're okay with that, because that's how you think. You don't have to be all loud about it, but it works for you.

9. You're your own toughest critic--and your own best friend. At different times, you need to be both.

10. You have an uncanny sense of when it's time to shift or make a change. You identify what's not working and are intent on finding a solution. Or you know when to quit, as so aptly described in The Dip, a book by one of my marketing heroes, Seth Godin. This trait can sometimes creep your friends and acquaintances out, as you jump from one Big Thing to another Big Thing without so much as a backward glance. But you always seem to know what you're doing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Candy Giveaways at Shows

I have been using dishes of candy to lure people into my booth for a while now, and it really works! I often use brightly colored candies in a cute vintage dish. I put a little pink serving spoon in the dish, and people come back repeatedly to visit for more. Whether they buy something or not, that's fine - at least they are viewing my work for a second while they munch.

I wanted to feature some candy ideas for you to use, let me know if this works or you have an opinion on the matter :)

Goodies from Vintage Markets and Beyond...

See more of Contented Sparrow's images on Flickr HERE. Thanks for the inspirations!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(17) Patrick Ryan

I posted a tiny bit about this designer HERE, but wanted to learn more. So, I asked him if I could feature his words and his work on the blog...

I have truly learned a lot of new concepts just from reading Pat's answers. He has turned on that little light bulb in my head, making me further understand that your booth is not just a 10' x 10' space, it is actually a 10' cube. Please read on to hear words of wisdom from a master artist, engineer, and designer. He builds a lot of custom display pieces, counter tops, desks, and other furniture for upscale buildings. I believe that building your own displays for craft shows is really a great option if you have the skill set. If you own a store front, it is incredibly important to have a some sort of counter that is interesting and functional. This way, you can have you register there, a work space, and a place to store packaging materials and other supplies without the customers seeing your mess.

1.) What is your name and occupation?

My name is Patrick Ryan but friends call me Pat or Patrick. I don't have a preference about who I am name-wise. Patrick Ryan is a common name. Kind of boring really. I make my living using art, design, and engineering.

2.) Your website/business?

I have a lot of websites based on my ideas for that day, but my main website is probably

3.) How did you get into this line of work? Do you work for yourself?

I graduated from San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in Fine Art. Then I got a BSEE in engineering from the University of Colorado. I didn't really want to be just an artist or just an engineer so I found a happy world of "design" that fell right in the middle of those two fields. I have created my own career by bridging these worlds, and I have worked for myself since 1994.

4.) What types of things inspire you?

Interesting people who make objects - not necessarily the objects themselves, unique workspaces and studios, authenticity, natural materials, evidence of hard work, color used unexpectedly, complexity within simplicity

5.) Can you tell us a bit about Visual Merchandising?

Visual Merchandising is creating a feeling that the item on display is real. A successful display allows a customer to intrinsically understand that a product can somehow just work for them. Or fit within their personal needs and desires.

6.) Is it best to stick with one color scheme with our main displays, or should we use a mix of colors that work well together?

I like color that is naturally occurring. Using color to mask or detract from the obvious is not necessary and will create displays that cannot be easily changed or modified. This is not to say that color, if part of a brand strategy should be ignored. But consumers have also grown weary of brand thugs.

7.) How much of our display should be at eye level, bend-down-level, and reach-up level?

A good example of conventional, boring display can be seen in jewelery stores. Ninety percent of the product is presented in a flat case you lean over and look down into. But jewelry is actually dynamic and moves with the body in different ways. Lighting angle effects jewelry. Whoever creates a new way to display jewelery will create a whole new and effective way to sell it.

8.) Any major words of advice when setting up a craft booth in a space that is roughly 10' x 10'?

A 10'x10' booth actually contains around 800 cubic feet of potential 3D display space. This is very large in most circumstances. Customers only "see" about 3 to 4 feet into a booth as they walk by. A display should concentrate on the initial 320 cu. ft. of "active" display to engage and draw the customer in for a closer look. This includes the floor, walls, and even the perceived ceiling that makes up the cube. Rented, lightweight display fixtures that are cheap and wobbly should never be used at the front of the booth. Nor should there be a traditional-looking "check-out counter" look that sets up a boundary most customers won't cross. Incredibly creative displays and booths are usually the ones built with the most limited budgets. Limited budgets are a blessing in disguise for display design.

Thanks for opening my eyes to some really important concepts Pat!

Cow Mountain Creations : How to Display Clothing at Shows

Wow! I am totally enamored by this awesome seametress. She and her husband are a team of crafters who really know how to set up a nice craft fair booth. It looks like she is always really stocked up, and has unique items that no one else has.
Her cute aprons and pajamas are surely crowd pleasers.
I saw her booth recently on Flickr, and have been thinking of it ever since.
It looks like they use a gridwall system as well as wooden walls to display this large amount of clothing. Clothes are so hard to display, and they really seem to have a clothing store inside their tent.
I would be at this booth for hours, looking at all of these nice items and displays.
It's like stepping into a huge closet and never wanting to leave :)

Make sure to check out Cow Mountain Creations on Flickr HERE.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pat Ryan Displays

Pat Ryan's Things - This designer builds fascinating interior displays for shops around the country. He is quite amazing!

Art + Science Salon in Chicago, IL