Monday, April 28, 2008

Stressed Out - In a good way

I am in the process of getting ready for a HUGE baby expo that is taking place in Houston, Texas in a few weeks. I'm trying to get TONS of Zadyballs made to send, and it's taking it's toll.
And, in the process, I've had a few requests recently for wholesale and consignment, so I have to figure in time to work on those too.
Needless to say, I have NOT been getting much sleep lately as when the kids are awake they don't want Mommy to be sitting at the sewing machine all day.
I'm trying really hard to find a balance between family and my business. Some days are better than others.
I just have to keep reminding myself that the KIDS are what is most important. The rest will take care of itself.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What I've Learned From Craft Fairs

Yesterday I attended my third craft fair.
Each of the three have been completely different, and I've learned different things from each of them.
Fair #1 - Hissyfits Children's Clothing Store
Cost to participate: $0
Time spent at fair - about 4 hours
Results - Sold 5 ZadyMinis, 2 ZadyBalls - $68
I also got to meet some fantastic Etsy members and network with them.

What I learned:
  • ALWAYS bring shade if the fair is outdoors!
  • Inexpensive items tend to sell better than more expensive items. I didn't have enough of the inexpensive items.
  • Location is everything. While I didn't do super well, not nearly as well as I'd hoped for, I did better than some of the other vendors. I think this happened because we were at a children's shop, and so people were naturally more interested in children's items.
Fair #2 - 7th Avenue Street Fair
Cost to participate: $75 (I paid half)
Time spent at fair - about 9 hours
Results - Sold 11 ZadyMinis - $88
I did hand out several cards and talked with lots of people.

What I learned:
  • Sharing is not always a good thing. Because of the cost of this fair, I chose to share the space with a friend. While this may work for some people, I don't think that it worked for me. I felt like we were actually in competition with each other, not helping each other. Some people were confused by it as well.
  • Know what kind of crowd to expect. Bigger is not always better. I had huge expectations for this one. I was told that they expected 10,000 people, and that's probably about accurate. BUT, even with that many people, many of whom stopped and talked with me, very few were willing to buy my items. I think this happened for a couple of reasons:
    • There were SO many shops to choose from. There was literally 1/2 a mile of shops. With that many choices, and only limited funds, shoppers can't possibly spend money everywhere.
    • The crowd was not necessarily the "right" market for me. Very few people had kids, especially young babies. I should have guessed at this when I was filling out the form. "Children's" items was not one of the choices for types of shop. I had to select "other".
  • Candy is a good way to bring people over, but make sure it is age appropriate! You'd think this one would be a no-brainer. I had read on the Etsy forums that having a bowl of candy at your shop is a good way to draw a crowd. This actually worked, although a little too well. Most of the people that grabbed some candy were actually teenagers, and not exactly who would be interested in my product. Also, the candy I had was hard candy (the cheep stuff) and a little boy (staceyrebecca's son - how embarrassing!) almost choked on one! So, I'm not going to use that anymore!
Fair #3 - Villa de Paz Spring Carnival
Cost to participate: $15
Time spent at fair - about 4 hours
Results - Sold 6 ZadyMinis, 1 ZadyBall, 1 Zadybug - $83

This one was the most interesting. I actually went into it with VERY low expectations. After I registered, I heard from a few people that this one last year was a total bust. So, I figured I'd go since I had already signed up, but I wasn't really expecting much. And rightfully so. There were MAYBE 100 people, if you count all the kids. But, of the people that talked to me, probably half of them bought something!

What I learned
  • You never know what's going to happen. Had I decided not to go, I never would have gotten the sales that I did.
  • The type of crowd is everything. There must have been the right type of people there. It was a very family orientated event, so maybe that is why I did so well.
  • Watch what you say to other vendors - always stay positive! There was another seller there, selling non-handmade goods, who spent the entire time COMPLAINING about everything! From her job, to her house, her kids, and family. I was so tired of it by the end and determined that I would never buy from someone that negative!
This is a continual learning process, and I of course an no expert. I have another fair this coming week, and I'm sure I have plenty more from it.
Biggest lesson learned:

Friday, April 18, 2008

EtsyBABY Mother's Day Contest

EtsyBABY© wants to Baby Momma's - with our Mother's Little Helper Spa Basket Give Away!
April 17th - May 3rd
Featured on

Look for a photo of the spa gift basket in participating EtsyBABY© shops and when you purchase the item where the photo appears, you will be entered into our random drawing making you eligible to win our Mother Little Helper Spa Basket - A $50.00 Value!
Winner will be notified on May 4th via email.

It's Momma's Turn, Baby!!!

Here's the list of shops that are participating. All you have to do is find, and purchase the item(s) with a picture of the spa basket and you'll be entered in the drawing to win it!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've been blogged!

I just wanted to share the AWESOME blog that I am featured on today!!
Maternal Spark features moms (like me!) who are trying to balance life and a business.

Check it out!
Vote for my post Featured Mom - Alayna of Zadyball on Mom Blog Network

Shipping to Brazil!

I was thrilled yesterday to get an order from a buyer in BRAZIL! I just LOVED filling out that custom form and sending it on it's way. I've shipped Internationally before - to Canada, UK and Australia. But Brazil is extra special to me.

My father spent two years in Brazil in the 70s (before I was born) so I was raised with a tiny bit of Brazilian culture. Mostly the food! We had Brazilian rice and beans more times than I could count. He also made a fabulous Brazilian drink for us. Oh, I wish I could remember what it was called!
My parents also had a foreign exchange student live with them the year after I left home. Zeila became like another daughter to them. I didn't really get the opportunity to get to know her that well, since I was living across the country, but she did come to my wedding.

Anyway, I just think it's awesome that I got to send a Zadyball somewhere that has such fond memories for me!
Check out my updated Zadyball Locations map!

My Brazilian "sister" Zeila (far right) at my wedding, Oct 23, 1999

The ZadyMini that was sent to Brazil today

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Shop EtsyBABY

There is a new place to find everything you need for baby! just opened TODAY! It is such an amazing website. Go check it out!

And, I'm celebrating with a little giveaway of my own. Purchase ANY full-size Zadyball or Zadybug and receive a ZadyMini FREE!