June 2010

In This Edition:


If you have received this newsletter from a friend,
click here to subscribe, or send a blank e-mail to craft-gazette@aweber.com.

No email addresses on this list will ever be sold or given away for any reason whatsoever.

To change your details or to unsubscribe,
please click on the link at the bottom of this email.


The Red Balloon Craft Gazette is sent out free of charge, and we are therefore dependent on advertising revenue and income from affiliate links to keep this newsletter going - so please support our sponsors and use the links provided in this newsletter should you wish to purchase their products!


Crafters, suppliers, teachers and shop owners:

We offer several affordable - and several free - options for advertisers wanting to reach a highly-targeted market of dedicated crafters.

Please click here or contact us at info@redballoon.co.za for more information.


It is here

And I don't mean just the World Cup, but also the next edition of the Craft Gazette - it is here, at last! :-) Our more observant readers will have noticed that there hasn't been a Gazette for a couple of months. I went over to Paris for a conference in April, and promptly got stuck there thanks to the Icelandic volcano. Yes, it was terrible. All those croissants and crepes... I don't know how I survived! And the department stores - just awful. But seriously, it's quite incredible how losing a week of work time can set you back; it feels like we've all just been playing catch-up since then. And just as things are starting to even out a little, it's time for the World Cup!

Tell us what you'd like to see

Nevertheless, we're back with another edition of the Gazette, packed full of crafty events and info. If there's anything you'd particularly like to see in a future edition, why not let us know by emailing Guinivea at info@redballoon.co.za? We can't promise anything, but we'll do our best to gather whatever content you'd like to see.

Send us photos of your soccer-themed crafts

We've been seeing some fantastic examples of soccer-themed handwork around town. If you've created any specially themed craft items for the World Cup, please send us a photo and a description - we'd love to feature your work in the next Gazette. And if you have a website, do send us the link as well. You can email your photos to Guinivea at info@redballoon.co.za. Please send a maximum of three photos (and just one per item) - as much as we'd love to plaster our walls with your photos, we do have limited bandwidth. Looking forward to seeing your work!


Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Price and Profit

by Kim Christopherson

Pricing, pricing, pricing! “Where should I price my product?” is the never-ending question. Every small business owner has asked it when getting ready for a craft fair. Is the price too high? Too low? From my experience, I can tell you that the bottom line is that your time is money and that there is value in that. So don’t sell yourself short by pricing too low and don’t allow inventory to just sit there by pricing items too high. Here are some ideas on how you can do what you love and reap the benefits of selling at the same time.

I’d like to share three techniques on how I come up with pricing when getting ready to sell.

Price Point

Following are several factors you should consider when setting prices for your hand-made items.

1. Cost of Materials: Write down the total cost of your materials per item. If you use one yard of material, but make three items from that one yard, then divide the price of the yard by three and apply the cost to the item. Accounting for all costs is very important so you know what your break-even point is.

2. Related Costs: Account in your expenditures for the cost of the booth, any travel expenses, etc. Divide the total amount of related costs by the number of products you will be selling and you’ll have a better idea of the amount to add to each item sold.

3. Pay Yourself: As I mentioned before, your time is of utmost value. Set a reasonable hourly rate and multiply by the time it takes to produce each item sold.

The most important thing is to find a pricing strategy that works for you. But notice I used the word, ‘strategy.’ I use that term because there really can be a ‘science’ to it. Make sure you do not guess what a good price might be without taking into account your costs. Make it worth your while by doing the homework beforehand to come up with a price that will be positive for your business.

“Know the Show” and Plan Accordingly

You also need to keep in mind the audience you are selling to and what price the market will bear. If your high-priced items just won’t sell, look for ways to reduce your materials/labour costs, which will allow you to lower your price and still sell profitably. If this can’t be done, find something different that you can sell for a lower price while still making a profit. Each craft fair is different, and even the market and economy will vary from year to year, so make sure to keep these factors in mind.

“Knowing the show” will also allow you to understand the groups who will be coming through. Oftentimes juried shows attract an audience who are willing to pay a higher dollar amount. A show at your local elementary school gymnasium may have you rethinking the items you choose to sell. It is hard to tell, but taking the time to evaluate after each show you do will help you the next time.

Ways to Move Your Products

And finally, a few ideas on how to “move your products” when selling at a craft fair. What works for one might not work for all, so be creative in how you package your prices. That is one of the luxuries of being the one in charge! You decide for yourself some new ways to sell! Here are a few ideas:

1. Offer a wide range of price points. Make sure everything is clearly marked. Potential customers want to know immediately how much something costs. I like to call it the “Car Sales” approach. I don’t know about you, but one of the things I don’t like when I am looking for a car is not being able to find a price front and centre in the window. If I see the price at first, then I immediately know what is within my budget and what is not. If I don’t see a price, it is a rarity that I will actually find the sales person to inquire about the price. I want something fast and easy. The easier it is to find a price, then the more likely I am to become more interested. Offering items at different prices that are clearly marked will bring more consumers into your booth. They are less likely to just walk on by because it is obvious if they will be able to find something in there that fits their price range.

2. Combine items. Pair items together that, if sold separately, would individually be priced a little higher. But be sure to advertise to customers that if the items are sold together, the price is lower. Customers will feel they have received great value for their purchase. And they should, too! You will make more money with a higher transaction value. It’s a win-win for both the buyer and the seller.

3. Get creative with your sales! Here are just a few ideas of what you can do to boost your sales!

  • Include a small, free gift with a minimum purchase amount.

  • ‘Buy one, get one at 50% off’ sales.

  • ‘The more you buy, the more you save’ kind of sale. For example, if they purchase $50 worth, then they could receive 10% off their entire order, or if they purchase $100 worth, then they may receive 20% off their order.

  • Offer free personalization whenever possible. Many are coming to these shows for that one-of-a-kind, unique gift to give. Personalizing something shows exactly that. They won’t be able to find that at a big chain store! So if possible, personalize! You might even think about taking pre-paid orders for items to be personalized at home later for pick-up.

Pricing can be tricky, but each time you sell, you will learn so much. Ask friends and family for objective and honest opinions. Keep an open mind and don’t be defensive. Talking with them can be very helpful. Discussing these things with fellow crafters both online and around your community can also be beneficial.

About the author: Kim Christopherson is the owner and creator of www.YouCanMakeThis.com. Find hundreds of downloadable patterns and “how-to” eBooks for your home and family. Sign up for the YCMT newsletter and receive a $75 ebook bundle package for FREE!

Article source: Content for Reprint


Win with Red Balloon

Congratulations to Leigh-Anne Skidmore, Dheshree Chetty and Cathy Arther, who each won a Contemporary Dyecraft hamper, compliments of Metz Press and Slipstream Fabrics; and also to Bev van Wyk, who won a bead hamper, compliments of Lavender Lane Craft Studio.

We have some exciting prizes lined up over the next few months, so keep reading the Gazette, and visit the Red Balloon Craft Junction regularly to make sure you don't miss out!


What's on

Get more info on these and other events on the Red Balloon Events Calendar.

  • Paddocks Lifestyle Market (Western Cape)
    Come and enjoy the flair and great vibe of this gourmet food, art and craft market every weekend at the Paddocks Shopping Centre in Milnerton.
    Dates: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
    Venue: Corner of Racecourse and Grand National Boulevard, Milnerton
    Time: 9am - 4pm

  • Cobblewalk Lifestyle Market (Western Cape)
    You'll find decor items, crafts, art, chic clothing, handcrafted jewellery and goodies for the children at this indoor market, which runs throughout the year.
    Date of next market: 26 June 2010
    Venue: Corner of Verdi Boulevard and De Villiers Road, Sonstraal Heights, Durbanville
    Time: 9am - 3pm

  • Art, Coffee and Shop (Gauteng)
    Feast your eyes, try your talents and have a coffee all at the same time. Come try your hand in these creative classes; no experience required. Once you've finished, browse the other works of art and relax with a cup of coffee.
    Date: Every Wednesday through to Saturday
    Venue: 216 Ontdekkers Road, Roodepoort
    Time: Various times
    For more information or to book classes please contact Tracy on 079 906 6889 or 076 712 3221.

  • Putstop Entrepreneurs’ Market (Gauteng)
    Come join this fun-filled family affair for crafters and entrepreneurs.
    Date of next market: 3 July 2010
    Venue: Corner of Alouette and Frelon Streets, Elarduspark, Pretoria East
    Time: 9am - 1pm

  • Bunny Park Craft Market (Gauteng)
    From the unusual to the unique, an impressive showcase of local handmade arts and craft is on display. Come and enjoy a wide selection of cakes and lunches from the tea garden and food stalls.
    Date of next market: 26 June 2010
    Venue: Pretoria Road, Rynfield, Benoni
    Time: 9am - 2.30pm


Can you help?

  • Brenda has written a book and is asking if anyone has advice on who to contact to get her book published. Can anyone help?

  • Anel is looking for someone who gives mosaic workshops for adults in eastern Johannesburg (Randburg/Parkhurst/Greenside area). Do you, or do you know of someone who does?

If you can help with either of these requests, please email info@redballoon.co.za. You can send any requests of your own to the same address.


On the bookshelf

Kids Learn to Knit by Lucinda Guy and Francois Hall

Reviewed by Cara Visser

If you’ve got kids aged between six and nine years, they’d love to join Bob the wolf and his two talkative friends, Peg and Pip the mice, in learning how to knit. Kids Learn To Knit is fun, colourful and superbly entertaining! Even big kids (yes, adults) can take a page or two out of this one.

Published by Metz Press, the book introduces knitting in a fun, educational way. It teaches basic knitting techniques including casting on, casting off, producing a slip knot and a knot stitch. All kids really need is wool and a pair of knitting needles to get started.

Once the basics are out of the way, your kids can move on to one of the six exciting step-by-step projects, all with their own charts and templates. What makes this a real page-turner is all the quaint illustrations, complete with commentary from Bob, Peg and Pip of course.

Towards the back of the book, there’s also a useful section tackling the likely event of things going wrong - holes in your knitting, dropped stitches, and running out of wool, for example. There’s also a how-to section where you can pick up on more techniques like stitching seams, sewing on buttons and stitching on felt shapes.

Makes a fantastic gift, guaranteed to bring hours of fun!

Get more info on this title here.

Find more book reviews in the Craft Compendium.


Opportunities for crafters

Get more info on these and other places to sell your crafts, in the Craft Outlets section of the Red Balloon Craft Junction.

  • Crafters' Market (Gauteng)
    The Crafters' Market is a unique and truly South African retail store, offering an exquisite selection of handcrafted crafts. Crafters' Market first opened its doors in 1996 in the west of Johannesburg with just a handful of crafters. The store’s popularity grew and there are now 6 stores in Gauteng, featuring the work of over 300 crafters.
    Dates: Open daily
    Stores: Atterbury Value Mart, Pretoria East
    Boksburg, East Rand Mall, Johannesburg East
    Clearwater Mall, Johannesburg West
    Kolonnade Shopping Centre, Pretoria North
    The Glen Shopping Centre, Johannesburg South
    Northgate Shopping Centre, Johannesburg North
    Applications: Contact Pierre Holtzhausen on 072 236 0978 for an application form, or click here for more information.

  • Arts and Crafts Market (Gauteng)
    This Sunday Market has stalls available at R100 each. But do hurry if you are interested, as there are not many spots left.
    Next date: 4 July 2010
    Venue: 216 Ontdekkers Road, Horison, Roodepoort, Westrand
    Applications: Contact Tracy on 079 906 6889 or at tgradidge@hotmail.com, or click here for more information.


That's all for this edition. Enjoy the World Cup, and we'll be back with more crafty news next month!

Till then,