I still felt a little out of place beside all these emerging designers in a gallery space. They all have such a minimalist approach with 20 items lovingly anchored on wedges of wood or twisted vine. But you know me...
Give the table height, color and lots of things to look at.
I tried my best to cull it down and just take a small sample of say 30% of the products I do, but it still managed to look full to the brim.
Being minimalist is just not me...
An interesting fact, was that everything I sold on the day is exactly what I sell well at Northcote and Brunswick markets. So the city siders shopped no differently than the northerners. Not sure why I thought they would be drawn to anything different, but there you go.
In case boredom struck...or the need to go for stroll in the city, I had my trusty beau as my sales assistant for the day.
As it was, we spent most of the day tag teaming to go on photo trips, lunch stops and shopping adventures. The market really only called for one person to be manning a stall. Not much customer flow at all after 1 0clock. Admittedly, there was so much on in the city. Book fairs, fair trade markets, and not to mention at least three major markets in the burbs.
So I think the Christmas crowds were quite possibly evenly dispersed between all the amazing handmade offerings out there on Saturday.
At least I can tick another x-mas commitment off my list. We are quite quickly working our way through all the meetings, work party's, markets and making. With only one more market to go this Thursday night, I quite look forward to putting my feet up and taking time ride our bikes, go to the park and have a few BBQ's.
Hopefully the late prediction for storms holds out so you take in a big dose of handmade this weekend.
I'll be down at Craft Hatch, an intimate design market on level one of the city library.
My entire range will not be there, Just focusing on my screen printed men's items and some new art bangles and pendants.
Today you'll also find Sisters Market is on at the St.Kilda town hall and the lovely Made in Thornbury market is on. So lots of choices and lots of handmade out there waiting to put a few ticks on the Christmas list.
It's so crazy this time of year and although I've had a 'to do' list the size of the oxford dictionary, I've just had to take some time out to keep sane.
So we've had end of year concerts,
days at the beach,
playtime with ducky,
lots of watermelon,
and somewhere in between all that...I turned 35. A year older and wiser. So they say!
I sometimes think lists are more about getting it all out of your head and on to paper so you can sleep at night. Otherwise the brain just keeps buzzing and for me to have achieved 50 to 70% of the ridiculously extensive list by now is all good.
I may get there...and finish the extra 30%...or I may not.
One thing I know for sure is those little spells in between where there is a halt on the production front are absolutely neccessary.
To maintain balance and reclaim a sense of being. Otherwise we just become machines.
Northcote town hall, 189 high st, Northcote Vic December 2nd, 9th and 16th 5.30 - 10pm
Whilst day one was quiet, it gave me a chance to do the rounds and get a few of my own chrissie presents organized. It also gave me time to get the layout organized and make sure I could fit everything in. My first time trying to set up clothing, so I was a bit anxious. But it all came together looking really good. I'll take a camera for photo's this time I promise.
There are four of us hailing from Olive Grove at the market. Well five really, as Mrs. Beckinsale aka jenny has some of her famous tram cushions on display. It's almost like we are bringing the shop to you.
So if your in the neighborhood, do pop down and say hi and don't forget to bring your v.i.p bloggie voucher.
Saturday December 11th, 253 Flinders Lane, City Library, Level 1 Gallery, Melbourne
There is an amazing line up of talent for the day, so I'm a wee bit nervous that I don't belong, but I'll fake it till I make it... and pretend I am a designer worthy of such a high profile city central market.
Did I say NEVER.... Did I really say I was NEVER was doing markets again....
Well I may have used the word a little too liberally, never say never. Just say .... not for a bit. Not quite as dramatic but leaves yourself open for change of mind.
So, I did say I was no longer doing markets and that held true alllllll year. But there is no better way of testing a product in such a busy and face to face environment. At Olive Grove we only work one day a week, so you only see a small percentage of the customer that is drawn to your stuff on any given day. You don't entirely get the feedback you need.
What colors were they drawn too, did they withdraw once they saw the price, did they say "how cool would that octopus be on a green tee instead" All the important feedback you need and all the different perspectives from a range of people is really important. Because as much as hubby, kids and in laws say they like it all, it is important to appeal to a wider audience and hear what others have to say.
and.....I can tell you, at markets......they don't hold back. It's almost like you are invisible sometimes. Some shoppers forget, or just don't care that you have spent hours of love and devotion, creating every little thing they look at and quite freely they'll dish out stellar remarks like "how tacky is that" or "you'd get one cheaper at k-mart" Yep I've heard it all. But it's all good. Really. Diversity and difference is what makes Melbourne such an interesting place to live in.
It's what you do with those comments, that can make or break you. As far as the negative Nancy's go....I say shop at K-mart my love as you were probably brought to this craft market under sufferance from your mum or crafty gal pal, who is the one that appreciates handmade. No point at all trying to argue the value of handmade to someone like that. It's like water off a ducks back. My advice would be, switch off internally, smile and carry on. The price comments are always good ones to listen too. But you have to keep in mind that people often speak loudly about how something is too expensive, when they are on a budget. If they are shopping for a $15 kriskringle present and your hand screen printed tee is $60. Then it's possibly just an exclamation that it's out of there KK budget.
More so, if you hear rumblings of lets go back to the other stall that had screen printed tee's, his were only $25.......well then you may want to investigate. Is your quality, technique, fabric choice and artwork comparable to what else is on offer in similar products your fellow crafters produce. Possibly, you have over estimated the worth of your funky tee's or possibly....comparably... you have used sweat shop free, made in Australia base tee's, as apposed to others using made in china tee's.......you have used solvent free, water based inks, and eco packaging. The point here is, find your unique point of difference and capitalise on that. The average Jo will not know the difference that sets you apart from Mr. t-shirt in the corner...
Have as much signage or information available, to educate people on what makes your stuff special. Then you can most definitely hold your head high when confronted with "look at the price" comments and be proud that you are not ripping people off, you are offering a little piece of your heart and soul presented in a way that is so you....for them to embrace.
Anyway's I do ramble.....I hadn't intended on a 'why markets are good for sellers' speel, just sorta happened.
My mission today was to tell you, I have taken on board a few markets for the silly season.
BUT.....it is not FINKI as you know it.
You will not see one single thing you saw on my stalls last year. This year it's all new. There will be diaries, bags, cuff links, ties and tee's for men and children all hand screen printed with my own graphic designs.
I still do all my girly stuff, which you'll find this x-mas at the shop, but men's and children's wear is very new for me. S0 I'm taking it to the streets, to get some honest feed back and hope that one or two people along the way like it enough to take it home with them.
My first market will be this Thursday at Kris Kringle night market. 5.30 - 10pm, Northcote town hall and as per usual....I'm so anxious I just wanna throw up. Yep, I still get stage fright!
But no, I shall write my lists and check them twice to make sure I don't forget anything. And it will sorta be like a crafty reunion with all my market peeps, so It's all good....
I'll be sharing with the lovely Anna from Polly Pratt and most importantly, I'd like to offer you, my bloggy followers and friends a discount.
Just print this little flyer and bring it on market night to receive 20% off any goodies by 'Finki', if you have presents to buy for the girls too, or just need a dose of finki color for yourself I'd like to extend the offer to my goodies over at Olive Grove too.
Some of the funky tee's at Olive Grove... A mix of work from a few of our designers. *(If you decide to shop at Olive Grove, Don't forget, discount only applies to 'Finki' stuff)
So from now till Dec you can take this voucher to any of my markets stalls to buy stuff for the men or to the shop where my accessories and ladies clothes are on display 'Olive Grove Studios' and get 20% off 'Finki' stuff.
If you do visit the shop, don't forget it is a co-op with the work of 8 other designers there too and your Voucher only entitles you to a discount on 'Finki' labeled goodies.
Hope to see you all at the markets and if you are offering bloggy discounts over Xmas too, let me know. Because...as always, I pledge to only buy handmade for all my x-mas presents and who doesn't love a bargain. Jay xx
Bad blogger am I..... But I'm sure you know my patterns of absence well enough to know, that behind the scenes it's all go..........
I have turned the house into a crazy whirl wind of 'to do' lists whilst gearing up for the busiest time in retail, especially for hand made. I tend to have very long to do lists each day and only get 70% of them done, but 70% is better then none and the reality is....I do need sleep, food and family time. So I'm not quite the machine, making 24/7. If I was, I think it would quickly get old, balance and writing lists is the key so I can feel as though I am ticking things off each day and moving in a forward like motion.
The store is slowly getting re-stocked with all my faves, whilst I also work away at many exciting new things to hit the shelves very soon.
I will most definitely show and tell all, soon, But for now here are a few things that have been keeping me occupied:
A new range of summer dresses.
I tested them out in some funky green florals and a blue paisley...now in store.... but hope to have them as an ongoing design made up in basic colors with screen printed contrast trim and pockets.
For a little fun and deviation from the clothing ......
I got all my scrap booking stuff out and made these fun book marks.
Screen printing is always a pleasure, so there has been much more of that too.
new tee's, totes and halter tops.
This is my fave new print.
All works in progress, so you won't see them in store till next week.
Much more fun stuff to come before X-mas and possibly a few market appearances too...
Thanks to all who joined in on my 'end of blogtoberfest' giveaway.
We have a winner...or two actually.
I went with good old random org for the selection. I was a bit worried how I'd choose one for the red when most people wanted the black but luckily enough, I just hit go and a red selector came up first.
Can you believe it...random org chose number 1:
The first commenter 'Monet Paisley'..... What a lovely reward for being the first to join in.
Blogtoberfest how I loved thee and hate see you go, but I shall basque in the spare moments of each day where I might contemplate the washing, ironing or cooking once more instead of my commitment to finding something vaguely more interesting then the contents of my bag to blog about... LOL
Without further ado, to mark the end of Blogtoberfest I'm having my first ever giveaway.
All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me which prize you choose. Up for grabs is:
Exhibit A: Little birdy hand screen printed scoop neck tee in marle red,
or Exhibit B: Little birdy hand screen printed v-neck tee in black.
I've been trialling base tee's from various 'sweat shop free' suppliers, to produce a range of screen printed ladies tee's. My main aim is to find a flattering tee that comes in a great range of colors and fits up to a size 20........ so far no luck. Most only go to a 14-16 which they call an XL.
So, for the time being I'll still keep sewing my own tee's till a magical sewing fairy appears at my door!
Back to the giveaway.....these are both 'sweat shop free' organic cotton tees by Certton in a size XL which is a ladies fitted size 14-16.
Proudly screen printed with my latest design 'little birdy'.
Just leave a comment to tell me which you'd like and in I'll pull names out of a hat on Wednesday to announce the winner. Jay xx
Well Blogtoberfest is almost in the bag.... So what better time to show you 'whats in the bag'.
The bag idea came to me last week, when we were shopping at Abbotsford convent makers market. We were choosing a few prints by a photographer when he said " I think my girlfriend has that exact same bag" I got me thinking, well Mr photographer, you are creative, you girlfriend is probably creative or a lover of creative people... so it's possible we have similar crafty and uber creative haunts in the north, that we both frequent. Chances are we even have some of the same things in the bag too.
I love the crafty things that fill my bag and travel with me daily and I bet you do to. So without further ado, here's whats in the bag:
Being the sort of person who can not make decisions easily I went whole hog and ordered all the colors of the rainbow for my new tie range.
There have been a few technical difficulties to overcome in the process of screen printing the ties so they look ab fab 100% saleable, but I'm almost 100% ready to start the range.
Of course I have not yet culled my colors. It's come down to a bright range for the young and trendies and a classic range for the more stylishly conservative types.
Ends up a total of 15 colors.....aughhhh!
The idea was to screen print a big batch of samples to see how they came up, then choose the best ones....alas they are all divine. I really want to cull it back to ten adorable must have colors so I'll just need to sleep on it for one more night.
Darling Grandpa....(well that's what the kids call him, to me he's 'the father in law').....was the first victim to test run the samples and he sure does look mighty fine!
Mr Finny was next up,
Although it does sorta drag on the floor.....probably an obvious set back when your only 3 foot tall!
So off to bed I go, to think on it for another night before releasing the final range.
For more great Blogtoberfest reading, be sure to head on over to Tinniegirls.
At some stage a year or so ago, I knew that Finki was well and truly taking over the house and needed it's own space, so we created a dedicated study for all things crafty. This temporarily satisfied the needs of a crafter, till my adventures grew and started to take over the kitchen once more.
We then leaped on the opportunity of a studio space becoming available at work.
So having half at work and the rest in the study here, has kept it relatively tidy at home...till now.
I have fallen in love with screen printing and just want to slap a little painted birdy or ray gun on everything.
So two rooms my dears....is not enough.
The kitchen and lounge have become my drying racks for lots of new screen printed goodies.
Whats a girl to do!
For more great Blogtoberfest reading, be sure to head on over to Tinniegirls.
Mr Finki has been getting the camera out at every chance available to keep up his challenge of posting a pic daily for the new blog, which has got me into walking around with my eyes wide open too....
So funny how we can be in auto pilot a lot of the time missing the little things we pass on our way around town. I made a point of strolling to work the other day instead of power walking so I could see the sights.
Spotted lots of street art...................
and admired the many amazing old buildings of Brunswick...............
So we'll start having little excursions I think. Making a special time once a fortnight to walk around with our eyes up and our cameras out.
For more great Blogtoberfest reading, be sure to head on over to Tinniegirls.