Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts

02 August 2009

Marketing Skills

Taking Bello Modo on the road is fun, inspiring, and exhausting. It is a great way to meet customers and suppliers, to discover cool new products to add to our already extensive selection, and to find inspiring examples of presenting products and samples. Some displays are eye candy in the truest sense of the word.

We have several different inks, stamps, and paper crafting tools in our online catalog. Ranger, one of our suppliers, was present at the wholesale show. We stopped by to say hello and take a look at their displays. Their Star is Tim Holtz, designer and marketeer extraordinaire. He has given his name to a line of tools and accessories. High quality and fun stuff. He was at the show, too. Standing room only at his demonstrations and long lines for his Make & Takes.

Ranger has beautiful displays of their inks, powders, and paints. Every color is presented in a uniform way, literally painting an attractive picture for their customers.

While taking a few shots of Ranger's displays for reference, I noticed one of the products in particular. Take a closer look with me:

It's sanding paper. Tim Holtz Sanding Paper to be precise. Three tiny strips of two by seven inches. Retails for $2.00. For an extra dollar you can buy a five pack of nine by eleven inch sheets at your local hardware store.

Designer Sanding Paper. Now that is an example of genius marketing. My hat off to you, Mister Holtz!

29 July 2009

Disney World For Crafters

Greetings from Florida, everyone! Pam and I have escaped from the full blown heatwave - triple digits! - in the North West to the much cooler South East. The humidity here is something else though. We are in Orlando, home of Mickey Mouse, alligators, flamingos, and for a few days, the Craft and Hobby Association's Summer Show.

The CHA 2009 show lasts five days, three days for the wholesale show (we shop) and two days for the retail show (we sell). We flew in on the Red Eye early this morning, and immediately went shopping. Bello Modo is expanding a little bit in the direction of scrap booking. Scrap booking, for the non-Americans, is the art of making a photo album. But it's not about the photos, it's all about the album. There is an overlap, however, with jewelry design and embellishing and we hope to establish a customer base there.

It's not all work and no play though. Most vendors have a Make & Take where you can play with the merchandise and make a pendant, or a t-shirt. Or an ornament. It's almost Christmas, people! And of course there is the lovely pool at the hotel, the cabanas have wireless internet, and every night at 10 PM we watch the Disney World fireworks from our window!

18 July 2009

Get Out!

Since I have indulged in the joy of beading, I need a place to keep my beads. And not upstairs, with the rest of the craft and sewing stuff, because I can't get to it there. Instead I have created a nice tidy box for myself where I keep my goodies, tucked away under the 'stairs'. Unfortunately my daughter has discovered the red beading box. And she loves to play with both the beads and the box.

Lola uses the phrase "Get out!" in a very demanding way. "Get OUT!", she'll tell us many times a day. She usually means "Stop" and we are trying to enhance her vocabulary with the phrase "Please stop." Sounds much nicer, don't you think?

But in this case, the words are warranted. "Get out!", right back at you.

28 May 2009

Beading On

Last weekend Bello Modo organized its first annual Trunk Show. We had invited several lampwork and ceramic artists to join us at the Hotel deLuxe (wonderful venue with superb service and the best Gorgonzola Cheesecake EVER - we highly recommend both the hotel and the cheesecake) in downtown Portland OR. Like any trip without luggage or time restrictions, we loaded up a U Haul truck with far more products than we could possibly put on display and leisurely made our way south on Friday afternoon.

On a side note: there is a new television show called 'Leverage' that is set in Portland. When we arrived at the hotel they were filming next door. After we had set up, we headed to the bar for a cocktail and found most of the cast and crew there too. The show stars Timothy Hutton, my friend Susan's teenage crush. I was so hoping to run into him. Not because of him - while he was rather attractive back in the day, I can't in all honesty say he is aging very well - but just to able to tell Susan I ran into him. But I didn't, so I can't.

It was a great trip. We learned a few things like not to plan a show during Memorial Day Weekend, to book a larger room, and to bring an A-board to put up outside to attract walk-ins. I also think we should set up an area where our customers can play with their new treasures and we can show them a few tricks. In spite of these shortcomings, we did pretty good. On Saturday evening Shelly met up with a friend which left me with the evening all to myself. Finally I was able to give in to my need to bead.

Since my first necklace, I have developed a taste for more. But I hardly ever get the chance to be creative. There just isn't enough time. At work, we are busy filling orders, working on the website, organizing the store. At home, I have a husband and a daughter competing for my attention. Not to mention the endless list of projects and the bad lighting. But last Saturday evening, without any of these distractions, I played to my heart's content. And when I ran out of beads, I simply went downstairs to pick up some more. Heavenly!

Next week I am going on my first business trip ever. I suppose our Portland show was technically a business trip too, but there was no flying involved. This time there is. Pam and I are going to Milwaukee WI for five days to the biggest bead show in the nation. I am very much looking forward to it. Beads galore during the day and meeting up with family and friends at night. Who knew beading would be so much fun?!

01 May 2009

The Need To Bead

I have been working for Bello Modo for about ten months now. I should clear up right off the bat I am NOT a jewelry maker. Never have been. I was perfectly safe here. I could work with all the pretty, shiny, yummy beads and still go home with a full paycheck rather than owing the boss money at the end of the month because I spent it all on beads.

Slowly but surely, as I got more familiar with the inventory and the art of jewelry making, an urge to be creative started to build inside. At first I could satisfy it with website work and reorganizing the shop. But soon that was no longer enough. I expanded my activities to include some crafty projects, embellishing a birdhouse and a notebook with some very cool brass pieces.

Then one day, Pam brought back gold, copper, and silver colored heart banded resin donuts. I cannot say exactly what about these beauties I love so much but my need to bead could no longer be contained. Yesterday I made my very first necklace. I added a few large copper resin nuggets and strung it all together with a handful of seed beads. Add a large copper clasp and voila, this is what you get.

Now I am really in trouble...