Friday, August 15, 2014

Inside the Studio with Rebecca of Songbead

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Congratulations Melissa of Bead Recipes!
You have won a Beads of Courage pewter Space Shuttle bead from Erin at Tesori Trovati
Please send Erin an email with your information.
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Hello there from Edinburgh, capital of beautiful Scotland! After a year in Belfast, I am now back - having come full circle - in my home city. It still feels like I am on holiday but I am sure that won't last!

This week's Inside the Studio is going to be a picture-heavy post. Why? Because I am spending very little time inside the 'studio' (otherwise known as whatever space I can eke out at my Mum's house; where we are currently staying whilst the dust settles from our move); instead you will find me up at the West End Fair, running every day from the 2nd - 24th August. Tired - me?! Just a little....but we are over the halfway point, and after a rainy start (come on August!!), the weather seems to have turned. 9 days to go - wish me luck! 

Take a tour round the fair with me...

Decorating and building the booth, version 1...wallpaper from B and Q, a hardware chain! House box frames discontinued from the supermarket, with wallpaper sample inlays...


Peeking out on day one....can you spot the umbrella?!


Phase one involved using some of my Kraft gift boxes for a display - good in a pinch!


Version two - I moved after the first week, allowing me more of a 'back stage' area...I also 'upgraded' my gift box display to some painted wooden flooring samples. Not the cheapest solution, but they are sturdy and will hopefully last...


Do you like my new Songbead sign?


A close up of some of my display...


Peeking out from my wee hut, hiding from the rain. Brr!


Earrings are always popular at summer events for me...
















Some of the new jewellery, made specially for the West End Fair...




And some of my new 'double-dipped' handwoven beads, made during some of the slow rainy days at the beginning of the fair. What colours would you like to see these in? 

I hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour of my fair so far! 

This week, I am offering up a selection of my new double-dipped handwoven beads for you to use in your jewellery. They are not available to purchase right now so you will be getting an exclusive gift! 

My question to you is: 

What's your top craft fair tip? Display, preparation, organisation.....any aspect of taking part in a craft fair! I'd love to know. Leave your answer in the comments below to be in with a chance to win some of my beads. 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, based in her country's capital, Edinburgh. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.



22 comments:

Liona (Blue Merlin Creations) said...

Lists! Very boring, but very practical - that, and sturdy bins in which to transport everything. Lastly, some kind soul to come and bring a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate (that kind soul is usually my Mum!)

Lori Minahan said...

I recently saw an earring display that used shutters on either side of a mirror. (I wish I could remember where). The slats on the shutters were used to hang the earring cards. The mirror and the earrings all in one place. I'm gonna try it. lhminahan@gmail.com

beadrecipes said...

I like to practice my display before I go, make sure things fit and look OK. And I like to set up what I can in advance -- like earrings!
Really love your displays, they look wonderful! I'm sure the painted flooring samples will make nice photography backgrounds when you're not doing a craft fair.

Susanm said...

I don't sell my jewelry but as a buyer, I gravitate to displays that are unique, but well-organized. I like to be able to pick up an item, as well as clearly see the price. If the seller looks interested in her/his work and/or customers, I'm more likely to look more closely. I recognize that you can't be "on" all the time, but it's amazing to me how many crafters look bored or uninterested in talking to customers.

Kathy Lindemer said...

Your displays are terrific! Very professional and attractive!

What works for me is a photo. I set my display up in my garage the way I want it then I take a photo of it on my cell phone and pack everything into my car. I now have everything I need and I use the photo when I get there to remind me of how to set it up.

Deb Fortin said...

I have wood jewellery trays that i bought when my local bead store closed. I use the padded flat inserts for necklaces and I pin them in place so they don't slide around then I stack all these in my rolling cart and it's easy to set up my space ,i jus place the trays around ,sone are set up on risers so I get a variation in heights. In the past I found using the flat stand up necklace board stands too prone to wind gusts pushing them over. so i stopped using those

patodat said...

I think that a sucessful sales event begins with one most important concept,PREPARATION! I spend time with mock setbups to get the display looking good. I also consider the theme of the show or venue to aid in my choices of stock. I think the time you take to prepare pays off in increased sales and product exposure. let your distinct style be a "calling card" that makes your booth the talk of the show!

Ann said...

I saw a display that was an old frame with chicken wire. The earring cards hung on them. It was interesting and easy to access.

Divya N said...

Gorgeous jewelry, I am literally drooling over them and fantastic display. At fairs, I like designs having clear price tags with their logo on all products, it saves time and a lot of frustration for a buyer. As a seller I might lose some customers who might think something is out of their price range and I find that the pros greater than the cons. Other quick tips include carrying baskets/trays, eye level mirrors and having a repair kit handy

Malin de Koning said...

Rebecca, I love your displays and set ups at the fair. The sign looks super. And all your new jewelry. Thanks for a very inspiring blog post. I've never done a fair, market or show myself. But perhaps one day … I imagine there is so much to think about and prepare. Especially the first time.
Malin x

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

I haven't a tip to share, but I have to say I would be excited to explore a booth as beautifully displayed as yours, Rebecca (love the sign BTW!)

Debra Gibson said...

I loved your wee hut Rebecca! and I really liked the new Songbeads sign it really makes your little place pop! As for me I have to have my display organized and use a few items for decoration . I have some black wooden trays for displaying my earrings which also keeps them all nice and tidy . And my lovely sisternlaw gave me a very nice piece of silk from India that I use for my table that makes it all come together. Thanks for the chance to win some of your pretty beads! I must make an order pretty soon you have some new beads that I have coveted for a long time but alas I had no extra to purchase them but that may all change here pretty soon!
Cheer's Rebecca !

Alice said...

I love your displays and your little hut. And your jewelry is just lovely.
As for shows, I like to take a photo of my display so I can recreate it at the next show in a flash. Sometimes it doesn't work since not all booth sizes and shapes are the same.

Claire Lockwood said...

So much colour and loveliness!

Ann Schroeder said...

I really love your displays, and your in a pinch kraft box bracelet displays actually looked quite good. They sort of were saying, "Take me home." My tip is as a buyer. When you see something you really love, don't get cheap and decide you've spent your money already. If at all possible, buy it and take it home. You will enjoy it for a long, long time rather than thinking again and again that you wish you had purchased it. Scrimp somewhere else to make up for it.

Katherine Thompson said...

Aasforthe bead color black and cream. As for booth displaays I like clean and contrast. This helps me differenciate between items and groupings.

suzi said...

I have old decorative photo frames (glass removed) with tulle (the stiff tutu type) gathered up & held in place where the photo should sit. I can pre-load/hang these with earrings before I get to an event, which saves on time when there, and means if the space I have is larger than expected, I can place more frames out. The tulle really holds the earrings in position well.

Sarah Ogren said...

Beautiful booth. Love the depth and those little display houses are clever!

Marybeth said...

Vary the height of the display. Make items easily accessible for trying on. Love your style, btw.

Ella and Nesta said...

Your earrings are so beautiful! Love your booth design too! The sign is a brilliant touch. My tip (as a buyer too) is not to always stay inside the booth, letting people feel more free to look around. Your booth would be very successful here in Italy!

Christine Walker said...

Unfortunately I don't have any tips I haven't done any fairs yet but your booth is stunning your displays are fantastic! I wish I could of visited you but Edinburgh is a wee bit far lol your jewellery is stunning too I totally love my earrings you made while at your fair I have worn them every day ;) p.s I enjoyed ready this!

Emily C said...

I don't sell at the craft fairs, yet. When I browse, 1 thing that annoys me is when people have a really small selection. I know this can't be helped sometimes, but I like certain colors. When you restrict yourself to a few colors, you lose customers (or at least me).