mass production- sort of

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Well I've gone and done it now. I've applied to my first craft show and been accepted. On May 14 & 15, I'll be showing at the Art Star Craft Bazaar, an indie craft show in Philadelphia! I love attending indie craft shows, but have been too intimidated so far to be in one. How the heck am I going to fill a 10' by 10' booth with quantity & variety of irresistible wares? No turning back now!
I started production in earnest this week. My parents, sensing rightly that I'd bitten off more than I can chew, came up for the week to help out. Dad played with the kids & did chores while Mom & I sewed our little hearts out. Of course things didn't go quite as planned. The day job kicked in a with some urgent freelance work and my little boy caught a nasty bug and needed attention. A miscommunication with a supplier yielded a package of purse frames in the wrong size & color. For a while there it seemed nothing was going my way. I consider myself lucky I had help!
It was a good thing I had projects organized and ready to go before they got here. The plan was to focus on one product category at a time, starting with coin purses.
I prototyped a few new designs and colorways in advance to beef up the variety. We worked on the purses in batches, cutting multiples and performing each step on all before moving on. I have to say it's rather mind-numbing to work this way, but at least I had someone there to chat with.
There are a lot of steps to these darn things! There were no finished purses until the very end of the week.
Mom got bored and wanted to move on to onesies. We tacked labels into 50 of them while watching a Will Farrel movie one night. Then she begged me to let her design one, and I said OK. She came up with the crazy quilt heart which looks very chirp & bloom. Each one is slightly different and has recycled shirt fabrics, floral ribbon, and hand embroidery. She is a collage artist with her own Etsy shop after all!

Time management challenges, botched shipments, delegating work... it's almost like I'm back in the garment industry!
Since it's my first show, I have no idea how much to make of any one thing. I'm shooting for 6 per design, divided between 3 sizes, of each onesie. Maybe I'll do more if I finish early, but that's unlikely! There are still skirts, dresses, & hair accessories to go... Wish me luck!

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