Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentines Day Giveaway

Members of the Art Fire Michigan Guild got together to offer a multple prize giveaway~All Handmade Products!

One winner will receive these Valentine Gifts! Valued at $90!!!!
Open to residents of the United States over the age of 18.
Easy Rafflecopter
MUST complete mandatory entries. Incomplete entries will be voided.
Michigan Guild not responsible for nondelivery of prizes.

From StraycatFarm Winners Choice of a Crocheted Towel. Value to $5.50

From GossamerTangles Colors of the Heart Bracelet. Value $15

From HMCurriers Leather Rose Value $20

From AllWireUpTOO Red and White Crystal Bracelet Value $20.

From NorthernPinesStudio Heart Basket Value $12

From Clearwater-Creations Choice of Oven Mitt and Pot Holder Value $18

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Finds - Wine and Harvest Festival - Paw, Paw Michigan

Today's Friday Find come from Lois of LoisUniqueCustomKreations. Thank you for the suggestion! I want to try to cover as much of the state of Michigan as I can for the guild, so I hope all of you will continue to give me more great suggestions for shows and venues that I can feature in upcoming  Friday Finds.

This weeks find is the Wine and Harvest Festival in Paw Paw, Michigan. The festival bills itself as"Something for Everyone!" Held September 7,8, and 9th, 2012 this southwest Michigan show does have something for everyone. Children's activities, Wine tours, car show,  a juried craft show, and much more. The craft show rules seem to indicate they run a pretty strictly enforced "hand made only"  show. That's always a sign of a good show for me.  This is an outdoor show-so you need to come prepared for rain or shine. This year will be the 34th year for this craft show, another indication that maybe you should put this one on your show list. If you need more information about the craft show, just go to the Wine and Harvest Festival Website.

Outdoor Tents for Craft Shows-Which one to Choose?

If you are interested in doing outdoor shows, one of your first considerations is how to keep your items covered. Most shows require some sort of a tent or canopy. I've been looking at several different tents for myself, so let me share with you some things I've found to help you make your choice.
  • Color
My suggestion is ALWAYS go for a white tent. Plain white, no stripes, not a blue or green or tan canopy, white, just plain white. Why? Many shows require only a white tent. This doesn't mean you can have color-just accessorize! Also, a white tent will be cooler on hot sunny days, and your products will show with a much truer color if you have a white tent.

  • Size
If you're just starting out, I suggest a standard 10 ft by 10ft tent. It's the normal size for most shows-If you have a little extra room, you can always move some of you displays to fill the area, or to keep extra stock and supplies in the back of the area.

  • Budget
Budget is a concern for just about just about everyone when thry first start looking at outdoor show tents. You can try to find a used tent on Craigslist, or perhaps a local classified ad or craft guild. I've heard of people renting a tent. This might be a good way to test out a tent you are interested in, or to see if outdoors shows are something you really are interested in. Give a few of your local rental places a call. Often their price includes set-up, so it might be a good investment if you're only going to do one or two outdoor shows. What should you expect to pay for a tent?  Show tents range in price and quality, from less that $100 to well into the $1000 range.  So what do you get in the different price ranges? Here are some suggestions:

Under $100
10x10 Canopy by Biscayne
Giga Tent from Walmart 10x10


I  found these two canopies for under $100. The 10x10 Canopy from Biscayne is available on Amazon. For $44.95 if you just want to test the outdoor sales market it's not much to pay. Of course, you don't get any sidewalls, to protect your items. I think at 13 just wouldn't be sturdy enough for me. The Giga tent from Walmart is priced at $70.00 and is also available in white. So if you're really in a pinch these might be an option. Don't expect them to last for more than a season or two, and you'll have to be pretty careful with them. In my opinion, they're not worth the trouble. Save up and buy something a bit better. You will regret not having a sturdier canopy in the long run. You don't want these canopies getting blown around in the wind, and it would be terrible if a customer leaned against a corner pole and bent it!( And you know it will happen!) If you have used any of these style of canopies please share your experiences with us. What ever style of tent you chose, be sure to practice setting it up and taking it down before you take it to a show.

Next week I'll look at mid priced canopies from $100 to $500-There's a lot more choices available in this price range.

If you would like more information on the Artfire of Michigan Guild please check out our guild home page. We'd love to have you join us!

Until next week,
Have a wonderful week!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Member of the Day Gossamer Tangles (01/13)'s Rapid Cart Remote Checkout Technology


GossamerTangle's Studio

Unique Gifts

Friday Finds - Port Austin Farmers Market

Port Austin Farmers Market

This weeks Friday Finds came from a suggestion by Dee of AllWireUpTOO. Thanks Dee!

I love visiting farmers markets. They a great place to buy fresh local produce, and increasingly, to buy handmade goods. More and more markets are opening their spaces to not only food producers, but crafts and artisans. It's a great place to get to know local artisans, and for artisans to get to know their local buyers.

Did you know that according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Michigan ranks in the top 10 for winter farmers makets?

Here are some tips for finding and selling at your local farmers markets:

Finding a Market:
  • You can find a list of Michigan farmers markets at the Michigan Farmers Market Association website.
  • You can search Michigan farmers markets on the State of Michigans website Pure Michigan.
  • Try looking at your local county websites. Oakland County, for instance has a County Market and County Flea Market-which I'm going to expore further in an upcoming week!
  • You can also use that good old standby, Google or another search engine to help you on your search! What would we do without Google these days?
In future posts, I'll give you some tips about selecting your markets and products, setting up your booths, promotion and, since I'm an accountant by day, settling up with the tax man! I hope you'll keep checking in each Friday for my next Friday find.

Here's more information about the Port Austin Farmers Market.

The Farmers Market Season runs from late May to Mid-October.
In 2011 The Port Austin Farmers Market 2011 Season ran from Memorial Day weekend (May 28) through October 15. Named one of the "TEN BEST FARMERS MARKETS" in the state of Michigan - by Travel Michigan - and one of the "Top 25 Favorite nationwide!!!

Runs every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm - rain or shine! Downtown Port Austin.

For information about becoming a vendor, please call the Chamber of Commerce at 989-738-7600.

This looks and sounds like a wonderful place to sell, so if you're from up in the thumb area of Michigan, you might want to consider the Port Austin Farmers Market.

I hope you're enjoying my Friday Finds. Be sure to let me know if you have any market or venue you would like to have featured, or if you have some suggestions for future posts. I really would like you to use these posts to help build your business and get to know the Artfire of Michigan Guild members. If you're not a guild member, why not check us out?

Until next Friday,
Have a great week!