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Whatever rings Mel's bells

Archive for April, 2011

Sad Face

ūüôĀ ¬† <—————– ¬†Me today

I got lousy news from the Poulsbo Farmers Market today. ¬†Apparently they decided not to include me at their market after all. ¬†Allow me to quote – they “upheld their original decision.” ¬†(Poor market manager was so uncomfortable having to call me, I felt so bad for him. ¬†I think he expected me to shoot the messenger.)

This doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m not upset about it. ¬†In fact, I’m upset for a couple reasons. ¬†I’m upset first because they cashed my check, which to me means acceptance. ¬†They never told me either way, all I got was an email asking me to send my insurance info (which I forgot) and saying my application was “on hold” until they¬†received¬†it. ¬†A week after I sent it in, lo and behold my check is cashed. ¬†Seems like an acceptance to me.

My second problem is that I disagree with their reasoning for the rejection. ¬†See, they have “too many jewelry vendors” this year. ¬†Um, I’m not competing with your jewelry vendors folks, I’m selling prayer beads. ¬†Three tables of prayer beads – a couple thousand dollars worth – and a half table with some earrings on it. ¬†Is that REALLY competition? ¬†The fact is, I’m not a jewelry vendor. ¬†Not this year, not at that market. ¬†So why exclude me on those grounds? ¬†That’s like telling a gal with a boothful of knit stuffed animals that they have too many knitwear vendors. ¬†Yeah, sweaters and blankets are the same as teddy bears.

Well, I tried. ¬†Can’t really do anything about it now, so I’m going to take my refunded annual fee and booth fee and send them to OutKitsap to pay for my booth at Pride this July. ¬†And I’m going to sell a lot, too! ¬†Mwa-ha-ha-ha!! ¬†ūüėČ

Poulsbo Farmers Market

Tomorrow morning I will be vending at the Poulsbo Farmers market! ¬†I’m really excited; this will be the largest farmers market I’ve ever sold at! ¬†I have done larger shows (hell, I did the Tacoma Dome at Christmas!) but not on a regular basis. ¬†Thoroughly excited to be part of such a big group and looking very much forward to what tomorrow brings.



ed. note: ¬†Um… ¬†Not exactly what I had in mind. ¬†Apparently there was some kind of mix-up and I may not be vending there after all. ¬†ūüôĀ ¬†Will keep you all posted on the results of the board meeting Tuesday. ¬†*fingers crossed*

Plan for 2011

The past few years I’ve been focused on making and selling jewelry. ¬†That’s how I started this whole mess, and that’s where my focus has remained. ¬†But recently I’ve been feeling more pressure from the large number of other jewelry vendors, along with the relatively small market we are all sharing, and as a result I’m rethinking my business strategy.

First, I’m hearing from lots of shoppers that they make jewelry too. ¬†Um, probably not going to be a regular customer for me if they can make it themselves. ¬†Second, I’m hearing from a lot of my jewelry students that they want to sell their own stuff. ¬†(I try to be realistic and helpful without overly encouraging them. ¬†They should know how tough this market is before they make a big investment!) ¬†Third, more and more of my sales are coming from prayer beads and supplies, and less and less from finished jewelry.

Sooooooo… ¬†As a result, I’m going in a different direction from now on. ¬†Two directions, in fact. ¬†First, I’m focusing on prayer beads instead of jewelry. ¬†Catholic and Protestant rosaries and rosary bracelets to start, then adding subha (Muslim prayer beads), Goddess beads (for the pagans), and mala (Buddhist prayer beads). ¬†Possibly also something with Stars of David, but I need to look into my options more. ¬†I can network with churches in the area, and also it’s a smaller market segment for online sales.

Second, I’m looking into a brick-and-mortar. ¬†I know, I’m crazy, right? ¬†Yeah, I actually am. ¬†But crazy doesn’t mean I can’t run a store. ¬†And so many people want to learn to do this themselves, I’ll make more teaching them and providing the supplies than I ever could selling the finished product.

So that’s the deal. ¬†This may be my last summer vending at market; this time next year I could be blogging from my own store! ¬†Keep it tuned in, people, and we’ll all see what happens next.