Saturday, October 31, 2009

what I'm reading: craft inc business planner

I just received the Craft Inc. Business Planner by Meg Mateo Illasco for my birthday, and I have to say I highly recommend it. Its the practical companion to Meg's book, Craft Inc., which is an invaluable resource for anyone running a crafts business. The business planner includes lots of useful tips and tricks, plus worksheets to help you plan a budget, price your work, or plan a marketing campaign. Not only will I use it as a resource for my business, but also when I'm teaching my students about running a business.

And speaking of teaching, I really do love teaching all aspects of running an art, design, or crafts business. I had a blast earlier this year when I did a professional development workshop at Arizona State and presenting about micro-production at Kent State (where I went to grad school). And I'd love to come speak to your school, group, or guild as well. Just drop me a line at meauman(at)yahoo(dot)com - I'd love to present on any of these business related topics - pricing, marketing and promotion, wholesale and retail shows, web 2.0 and social media, and lots more. So send me an email, I'd love to work with your group in 2010!

Monday, October 26, 2009


One more from Coroflot. I totally need this for my road bike - aerobars that double as a u-lock. You know how much I like duel purpose stuff, this totally takes the cake!

nomadic wonderland

Have you discovered Coroflot yet? You could certainly lose more than a few hours browsing.

I just set up a portfolio on Coroflot, then discovered this wonderful piece by British designer Eunsuk Hur. The entire piece is modular and can be configured to the users needs. And its completely gorgeous.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

fall SALE

I was doing a little fall cleaning in my office this weekend, and decided it was time for a really BIG SALE in my etsy shop. I think you'll enjoy it!

And cozy/cuffs are all still just $20 while I prepare to launch the new version.

I'm also just 2 sales away from 200, so as a little thank you, I'll be sending out a special surprise gift with the next 5 purchases! (Note: Apparently I was already at 200 sales when I originally wrote this - special gifts for the next 5 purchases anyway! Thanks for your support!)

How's that for a fall sale?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

cozy/cuff sale!!!

Ok, so I know this seems a little counter-intuitive after my last post, but all the cozy/cuffs in my shop are now on sale for $20! That's over 40% off!

Why, you may ask. Well, I'm trying to make room for the next generation of new and improved cozy/cuffs. (And no, I won't give you any more info than that - I'm just going to keep teasing you until I'm ready for the big reveal.) But in the mean time, enjoy the original cozy/cuff at a really great price!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the cost of the cozy/cuff

When I showed the cozy/cuff at the New York Gift Fair in August, I got a lot of feedback on the price - namely, most people thought they were too expensive. While I've been fluctuating the price a little bit, its been within a range that covers my expenses plus allows me a little profit. But most of the cost is wrapped up in material and making costs. Why? Because they are made in small batches in the US, rather than by the truckload in China.

I was talking to a friend the other morning, and explaining that, as the daughter of a US-based manufacturer, I could never outsource overseas. Its just not something I'm interested in. Its important to me to keep production as local as possible. She then asked me, would I be willing to mass-produce the cozy/cuff overseas if it meant that then everyone in the US used one? What's more important - the type of production I value, or getting more people to stop using a wasteful product?

I was also thinking about reactions to the cozy/cuff at Crafty Bastards. I occasionally get comments from people to the effect of, "I'd probably forget and throw it away by mistake." And today while watching Big Ideas for a Small Planet, it hit me. People don't think about what they are throwing away. If we paused before tossing things in the trash, you wouldn't have to worry about accidentally throwing your reusable coffee sleeve away.

So, if I sent the cozy/cuff overseas to be manufactured just so that they would cost $5, it would be defeating the whole purpose. What's the point of replacing a disposable object with a practically disposable object? If the cozy/cuff has a higher perceived value, hopefully you will think before throwing your coffee cup away. And maybe you'll start to think before you throw other things away as well.

i heart wool

Today I'm working on prototypes for some new cozy/cuff designs (and no I won't give you any more details than that!) and it has me waxing poetic about wool and felt. So I thought it was about time I showed some images from my trip to NYC a few weeks back. I went with a bunch of Towson students a faculty, first to see Design for a Living World (again). Afterwards, we took the ferry to Governer's Island to see Pioneers of Change, an exhibition of Dutch design.

With out a doubt, my favorite installation was of my design crush, Christien Meindertsma. Sadly, Christien wasn't there on the day I was there, but I loved how she displayed all the steps of her process. I especially loved the details on the types of wool and dyes she uses. It brought me back to my feltmaking days in grad school, when I meticulously recorded all the wool dying I did.

Now all I'm thinking about is what a wonderful material wool is, and all the fabulous things I could do with it. (Oh, and that wouldn't it be fun to have a few sheep of my own!)

thanks crafty bastards!

A little late, I know, but thanks to everyone who came out for Crafty Bastards this weekend! Its been a year since my last retail craft show, and I had forgotten how important they are - for connecting with your customers, for getting feedback on designs, and for catching up with all my crafty friends! Thanks to everyone! (And thanks to whoever made the weather so gorgeous!)

And a big thank you to Amy Klainer, who shared a booth with me! Thanks for making the day go smoothly! Its nice to not be alone in the booth all day for a change!

Friday, October 2, 2009

crafty bastards!

Hey everyone - if you're in the DC area tomorrow, don't forget to stop by Crafty Bastards. I'll be in booth #116 with fabulous Towson grad Amy Klainer.

I've got cozy/cuffs galore, plus the new ornaments (you can't even get 'em in my Etsy shop yet), gocco prints, and all your favorite jewelry (including some new chains in all sterling silver). So stop by and say hello!