Friday, November 30, 2007

The Friday Rant ...

Just got back from dropping off packages at the UPS depot. The place was really busy ... I had to park a block away, and its in a very industrial area - nothing but warehouses. The line was out the door ... but virtually everyone there is picking up stuff, and I was the only one dropping off packages. I get everything ready before I go - I print pre-paid UPS labels so all I have to do is drop 'em off. The thing is, the people waiting to pick stiff up don't want to let me get past them ... they think I'm trying to "cut the line". They get incredibly nasty ... UPS policy says I can just walk to the front of the line and plop my stuff on the counter, but they don't wanna hear it ... and when they see what happens, they NEVER apologize for saying the nastiest stuff you can imagine ... they still look at me like I did something personal to them ... it can make a guy VERY uncomfortable!

This afternoon I am going to get stuff ready for tomorrow at Artists and Fleas. When we get there we want to open without a 2 hour setup. We really don't like setting up while shoppers are in the place, because they just pass by ... and that's a waste. I have some new pieces to go out this week again (I try to make a few every week) - a couple of Egyptian style .999 fine silver rings made with PMC and a 14k gold and ruby cabochon ring. Things are moving along well, and we expect things will go a lot more smoothly with our display.

And if I have time ... my other desktop PC is being VERY uncooperative ... I just put more memory in so it has 2GB Ram now ... I have never been able to get the on - board sound working, and so I bought a new sound card ... put it in ... Win XP says its working properly ... but still no sound. I have been building PCs since 1998, and the human always wins. Eventually. I love a challenge ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Artists and Fleas in Brooklyn is our new Saturday home base

So, we've got two days under our belts at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I can already see that if we stick it out we'll build a following there. The place is a great mix of stuff; and although there are established jewelry sellers at A&F, ours is different so we fit in fine. I really thought it would be an inconvenience to get there, but it takes just over a half hour - through the Bronx and Manhattan, then over the Williamsburg Bridge - no tolls, free parking ... MUCH more convenient than I thought it would be. People in the neighborhood are very cool - and appreciate what it takes to create. We'll have to see ... but so far we like it. We'll be there Saturdays - Dec 1, 8, 15 & 22 - and plan on going out there once a week.

We've decided its time to stop banging our heads against a brick wall (not literally, of course). For several years we've chased the holy grail keyword term - "silver jewelry" - getting very close to the top of the Google search engine for that term. But we really don't want to sell the same old tired silver jewelry everyone else has, and the sites at the top all sell the same stuff out of catalogs. Our strong point is that we make handcrafted silver jewelry - true artisan pieces - that they cannot get. At this time of year, sites like ours get pushed aside by the big sites competing for the same search terms that they couldn't care less about in July. So we now have a new plan. If it works out we'll be a lot stronger in a few months ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This Sunday - Etsy Day at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY

Terry and I are REALLY excited about this coming Sunday! We've been making jewelry for Etsy Day at Artists and Fleas in Brooklyn, and have some great stuff to bring with us. We didn't go to our last street fair due to bad weather in the morning, so its been three weeks since we sold offline. But the time wasn't wasted ... we got to work and plan to do more.

ARTISTS & FLEAS is a weekly artist & designer market that features the works of local New York City talent with new vendors every week - for more information visit http://www.artistsandfleas.com.
ARTISTS & FLEAS is located at 129 N. 6th Street between Bedford & Berry, 1 block from the Bedford Avenue L Train.
Open EVERY Saturday & Sunday from 12PM-8PM.

So, that's the scoop on A&F. I'll have to get back to this ... I got a pneumonia vaccine shot today. The stuff is making me very tired and my arm's SORE. But its better than going through THAT again ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The sad state of the street fair biz ...

Well .. this Saturday is our last street fair. The last two were washouts due to weather, and it looks like this Saturday its gonna ... rain. Again. Not a happy vendor. We will NEVER pay for nearly 30 street fairs in advance again.

On a more positive note, we are going to set up at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for four days - once each weekend - to sell our handcrafted silver jewelry and silver chains by the inch. We visited the place and were very happy to see a vibrant market with handcrafted jewelry, hand made silk-screened clothing and tees, an artist selling original prints, hand knit and crochet items like scarves, hats and gloves, a DJ selling collectible records (VINYL!) ... a great place for us to try out. We're looking forward to it!

It seems that most of these venues are great - for the people running them. Not so great for the vendors. Sticking to our website for now ...