Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Shopping on Etsy

Fun news! One of my bibs made it into the "Baby Gift Guide" on Etsy! I'm really quite pleased as the employees of Etsy pick the products and they are really picky about what they'll use. YAY! One of my "Extraordinary Equine" Bibs is in the 2nd row.
And I wanted to take a minute to encourage everyone to shop on Etsy for their holiday gifts this year. You won't find a better selection of UNIQUE gifts that you purchase right from the artist. It's also a great way to support your local artist AND get a gift that is really nifty too!

Click here to shop Etsy's other gift guides. Or go to Etsy's home page and start searching for that perfect gift! For instance, my brother (and brother-in-law and step-dad) like fishing. So I'll do a search for "Fish" or "fishing" and then you can narrow it down by price or item. I have found some GREAT and fun items that way! Don't forget to also check out the vintage section.

In other news, I am doing one other fun "trunk show" this weekend.

Holiday Trunk Show
Featuring unique gifts you won't find at Target and without the frenzy. The focus is on gifts under $100 (great selection under $50!). And, if you see something you think would look great on you, we're happy to send a "hint" to your personal Santa Claus!

We will be serving wine, hot chocolate and tasty bites PLUS complimentary gift wrapping. Cash and checks only (thanks!)

Where: Berkeley Row • 4400 West 46th Avenue #102 • Denver
(at the corner of 46th & Tennyson)
When: Sunday, December 7 from 2:00 - 5:00pm

Invite anyone and everyone! I have been busy sewing up a lot more appliqued tee's in larger girls sizes (I'll have size 4T-12), more onesies and of course lots of bibs! See you there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can the 3rd time be a charm too?

This past weekend I had my 3rd craft show and it was a BLAST! I'm finding out that one of the reasons I really like shows is that I get to meet some really amazing fellow crafters (Hi Dorothy & Becky!), and I just love talking to the customers and seeing what they pick out (usually not at all what I would have guessed!).

My booth space was a little bigger this time - 10x10 - so I borrowed an 8' table and here is what it looked like!
It actually changed a bit by the end of the day - I moved the rack on the left up to the table and pushed the table up to aisle level. It seemed to work better. I also need to get something to go behind me - it gets a little cluttered looking when you can see the people behind me! I'll have to see if I can talk my dear husband into building a contraption that folds up and is not too heavy to carry!

So I'm a sucker for the mountians... my drive up to Longmont was so so beautiful with the sun coming up and just starting to hit the snow covered Rockies.

I like this one. I love Waffle Houses. This might be the closest one to our house and it's about 45 minutes away!

Overall it was an awesome show. I sold over 25 bibs and 10 onesies/t-shirts. I had a lot of questions about bigger sized t-shirts (kids and adults) so I'm taking the plunge! I just purchased a bunch of t-shirts in size 4-12 which will hopefully be on the site within the next few days. The two horsie t-shirts I had sold already! I also bought a bunch of onesies since those make such great gifts too. I may start doing some bib/onesie sets too. The possibilites are endless! :)

Here is a look at the two shirts I had (I can make more if you're interested!)

I also sold out of my bib/burp cloth sets so I am going to have to make more of those too! I think I may make a couple that match the bib that was in the magazine as those have been selling like hot cakes! :)

If you would like to get a quick e-mail when I do add my bigger sized t-shirts to my Etsy site, or if you are interested in a custom shirt (same price as the ones pre-made! They'll be $14), please let me know! You can contact me through my Etsy store (click on the "contact" button). I promise I won't send out a ton of e-mails (I hate spam too!).

Thanks to everyone who I met at the sale - especially the mom with the adorable twin boys who came just because she saw I was going to be there on my Etsy annoucement - you made my day!!

Til next time...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hip Violet is in "equestrian" Magazine!

It's OUT! The November issue of the United States Equestrian Federation's member magazine "equestrian" is showing up in mailboxes all over the country. With a lovely HIP VIOLET bib in the Gift Guide! I'm so excited! The magazine did a beautiful job of laying out the pages, and they only did 21 items so look how big my bib is on page 3 of the spread!!

Above is the page to the right with the ordering info. I'm so excited to see if I get any orders from the ad! I am also trying to scurry around and make a few more horse bibs - I got this great horse fabric a while ago and have yet to make anything out of it!

I'm thinking those would look cute with a little stirrup or snaffle bit applique. I better get crackin'!

In other news, my next (and last) craft show of the season is this weekend! It's the Mollie McGee Holiday Craft Fair at the Boulder Fairgrounds in Longmont, CO. Come and see us and get a jump start on your holiday shopping! It's Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday from 10-4. Keep in mind that strollers are not allowed on Saturday - time to get out the baby carriers! :)

See you there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Second Time's a Charm!

I had my second craft show last night and it was a SUCCESS!! Plus it was really really fun and in an absolutely AWESOME venue. I already can't wait for next year!

It was a benefit for the Parenting Place in Boulder, and it was in the evening so it was pretty festive. There were appetizers, drinks (my friend Nicole and I have decided that ALL shows should have a bar... we appreciated the extra sales!) and a jazz band. So fun!

Here was my booth set up this time. Pretty much the same as last time :)
This was in an art gallery though... again, why can't ALL our shows be in galleries? Much much better than in church basements or exhibit halls of fairgrounds :) And warmer too! My friend Nicole and I had booths right next to each other and we were right in front of these huge windows that looked down on the streets of Boulder and the mountains. I can't think of a more fun place to have a show! Here was my view:
Nicole sells amazingly cool felt barrettes (we're now the proud owners of 2 more), beautiful handmade jewelry, and her signature "Twombley" dolls that are sooo cute! We had so much fun - I wish we could do every show together! Here we are posing with our booths and some of the artwork on the walls of the gallery.
Nicole got a bib for a friend of hers, and found out it fit her perfectly ;)

Overall this show was MUCH more successful and MUCH more fun! I sold almost as many bibs and I did onesies - in fact I'm headed out in a few minutes to see if I can expand into some bigger sizes of shirts to applique (I'm thinking 2T-4T). I was really surprised at how many people bought them, and how many people wanted special orders (which I gladly will do!). I also had THREE seperate people ask if I had matching onsies for twins they knew... so I guess I'd better start making some doubles!

I also sold quite a few barrettes and gave out TONS of cards. I'm really thinking about going "corporate" - I think my bibs would make really great unique baby gifts for business owners to give customers. Nicole and I might try out a few networking dinners to see how that goes. How fun!

The other thing I learned at this show is that I need to be more specific to genders when I pick out my appliques and colors. I had made a few green onsies with floral appliques (thinking for a girl) but people kept asking if it was for a boy. And I had a cute off-white onesie with a brown floral elephant and that one also kept getting the boy look (the onesie had ruffles on the sleeves, so I think not!). SOOO I really need to stick with more traditional colors for boy and girl so I don't confuse people!

It's just always so much fun because I love that my booth makes people SMILE. Even if they don't have kids or grandkids or anyone to buy for, it was really cool to see people smile when they saw what I was selling - and to hear that they thought everything was so cute. Yay!

'Til next time

Monday, October 20, 2008

Christmas is Coming!?!

Whether we like it or not! So I made some cute Christmasy bibs to get in the spirit!

I also just finished up a fabulous custom order - these were SO fun to make! Thanks Molly for picking such fun fabrics!

In other news, I've been having some sewing machine troubles. My dear sweet Beatrice (my Kenmore sewing machine) fell ill and I had to borrow my friend Sarah's brand new Brother machine. It sews GREAT but it took me a few hours of swearing at it before I figured it out. They did NOT make those very user friendly! So special thanks to Sarah for saving my little sewing butt!

If you have a chance to peek at my Etsy shop you'll see that I've been adding lots of new bibs lately. I finished about 18 bibs this weekend - many of them are horse bibs and I even did a couple just for the little cowboys in the group! As usual if there is anything you'd like to see, let me know! I'm working on a robot applique for the boys, and I have a new flower one that I think will be really cute.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Horse Bibs & Horse Bibs and

when you're done with THAT... how about a few more HORSE BIBS???

Why so many horse bibs, you might ask? I am SO excited to tell you that I got an e-mail last week asking if I'd like to have one of my bibs featured in the November Holiday Gift Guide in a magazine called equestrian which is the publication of the United States Equestrian Federation. HOLY COW!! I'm so excited!

But, as the person who contacted me noted, I might want to make a few more bibs. See, they send out 90,000 copies. Now I'm not great at math, but if just a teeny tiny percentage of the people who get the magazine actually would like a bib... I'm in big trouble! Currently I'm training my 20 month old daughter to applique and we're going to start our own sweatshop in the living room. ;)

Here are just a few of the bibs I've been making:

I've also had to (darn it!) buy more fabric!! I really love buying fabric from fellow Etsians - my two favorite stores are fabricpalooza and Acme Baby Co.

Despite my less-than-stellar first craft show experience, I have decided to do a couple more of them that are a little more selective and I think will be more my crowd.

November 13
Girls Night Out • Boulder, CO •
Girls Night Out does have a $25/$30 admission fee, but it's all tax deductible and for a great cause!

November 22-23
Mollie McGee Holiday Market • Longmont, CO • Boulder County Fairgrounds

I'm really excited to see how it goes!

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

So my first craft show with Hip Violet was yesterday... here is the lowdown on how it went!

The Good
• I sold enough bibs to pay for my booth space... barely!
• I met some REALLY NIFTY fellow crafters
• There was a horse sale going on at the same fairgrounds so I got my "horse fix"

The Bad
• The craft show was not exactly my "crowd" so I didn't sell much at all. The people selling gourds with faces painted on them, anything made of Bronco's fabric, and the fudge shop all made out like bandits.
• I was really surprised at how many moms who were either very pregnant or had kids of bib-wearing age didn't even take a second glance at my bibs or onesies. WEIRD!
• I also had a lot of older ladies stop, look, compliment me on the bibs but comment that they didn't have any grandkids who were at bib-wearing age anymore. OF COURSE!

The Ugly
• Aforementioned painted gourds
• Scary, huge fleece blankets... that you wear
• Storage cans made out of kids jeans and a coffee can
• Purses made out of old jeans with extra fringe

Overall it was a great learning experience. I didn't forget one thing, and got my booth totally set up in about a half hour. I really loved how my display turned out

I also met another fellow crafter, Nicole, who makes really really cool felt barrettes and jewelry that was right up my alley. We have very similar styles and taste - she gave me some really great advice on upcoming craft shows AND it was just fun to talk to someone else who has been doing the circuit for a while! Here is Violet modeling her new Marmalade barrette:

I'm trying to talk Nicole into starting her own Etsy site since I think she would do AWESOME on, so stay tuned for her link :) RIGHT Nicole? RIGHT!

I also had a great conversation with Gina who makes really colorful yarn from alpaca and lambswool, and Angela who makes wonderful smelling soap. They were all in booths close by mine and made the show more tolerable (it got really slow and a little boring at the end!).

Anyway, I'm glad I went and it makes me much more excited to try some shows that are a little more my style. Stay tuned for how those go!

Make sure to check out my Etsy site in the upcoming days as I'll be adding all of the bibs I made for the show. There will be a TON of new ones!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Craft Fair, Here I Come!

I know that most of you have been wondering this for years, so let me put your minds at rest. Here, my faithful blog readers, is what a pile of fifty bibs looks like:
I am getting so excited for my big debut at a craft fair! Not only have I been sewing up the above bibs, but I also made myself an appliqued table cloth for my both:
My dear husband has been making me some great displays and I really think it's going to look great! I can't wait to see what it's going to look like all together!

I have a TON of new bibs that haven't made it onto Etsy yet, lot's of new things for boys, girls and in neutrals too. Plus I have some great holiday bibs that will be perfect for the upcoming season. I'll also have some bib & burp cloth sets, barrettes, and appliqued onesies for all those little munchkins on your list.

See you there!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On Cloud Nine!!!!

Holy cow!! I made it on the front page!!

I haven't been promoting my Etsy site much (usually I'm on the forums a lot, plus renewing my listings daily) this week since my craft show is coming up, but I checked my numbers this morning and I had almost 400 hits and EIGHT hearts on one of my bibs. Huh? I thought maybe I was featured in another blog, but nope - I was on the FRONT PAGE!!

My fellow Etsians know what a big deal this is - it's HUGE! And I'm beyond happy!! Yay!! Yay!! Yay!!

My "Extraordinary Equine" Bib is in the middle on the bottom. I think this was posted sometime yesterday evening as all my hits came between 4:30pm and 5:30pm yesterday.

:) jesi

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Two Little Birdies

My bestest friend Kara is going to have TWO beautiful babies this winter. And this week she found out that she is going to have one boy and one girl. How PERFECT is that? I wanted to make her a cute maternity shirt (those of you with kids know how hard it is to find FUN CUTE not dorky maternity shirts, right?) so here it is: twin birdies. One boy. One girl.

Speaking of which, next time I'm pregnant (don't get any ideas!!) I'm getting this:
This is by a fellow Etsy seller MuthaCrafter. Click here see her shop.

I also made what might be my new favorite bib. You won't find it in my shop because I *gasp* made it for my own kid!! We have a wedding to go to in a few weeks and I wanted to make her a rather elegant but cute bib. I LOVE this floral pattern - there is something so untraditional about the colors that I just adore. And elephants are becoming my new favorite thing to applique.
Even though it's hard to believe, CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!! I picked up a few half yards of some holiday-like fabric and I hope to make up some bibs in the next few weeks. I'm excited to see how they turn out! I'm sure they'll end up on here so stay tuned!

And it's official - I'm taking my bibs to a CRAFT SHOW!! If you're in the Denver area, Hip Violet will be at the Adams County Fairgrounds on October 4 for their Fall Festival Bazaar. I am trying to get my inventory up to 50 (!!) bibs to take with me and hopefully a few onesies and some barrettes. I will probably close my Etsy store down temporarily around that time since I'm taking all of my online inventory with me. I'm really excited about my displays - I have some really fun ideas and I think it's going to look great. Don't worry, this blog should probably be retitled as "Hip Violet Prepares for Their Bazaar Debut" and you're all coming along for the ride!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gifts for Grandma (among other things)

I've been wanting to make something to send my grandma since she seriously is such a sewing inspiration to me (see first past WAY down below). Since I don't think she'd appreciate a bib or onesie so much, I found these kitchen towels and appliqued some little cherry (and cheery!) birdies on them. She likes cherry/cranberry things so I hope she likes them! And hopefully she hasn't suddenly gotten internet access and is peeking at my Hip Violet blog to spoil the surprise! :)

Here is my first custom bib and burp cloth set. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, although I have to learn how to sew on a cloth diaper a little better! I picked up some boy colors for the burp cloths the other day so I'm going to see what I can make in the next week and hopefully get a few sets on my Etsy site. I'm hoping to make a few new listings for customs - a bib and burp cloth, and maybe a bib and onesie or onsie and burp cloth. If you have an opinion on that or something else you'd like to see, please post a comment! Not only does it help me a TON to know what people might be looking for, but I feel special when I get comments. A warm fuzzy kind of special. And it's cold and chilly here today.
And this week I had a rash of customs sitting at my table ready to go out into the real world and get spit and drool and dribbled upon. Before they got defaced, I shot a bunch of photos of them all. Aren't they cute?And I KNOW my two (or three) loyal Hip Violet blog readers have been dying to know - Where, oh Where does the Sewing Magic happen? Why here, my child:

I get oh so much inspiration from my french Easy Rider poster. And there is Beatrice, my faithful sewing machine on the right. She's just a little Kenmore machine with NO bells or whistles, but all I need are a straight stitch and a zig-zag and those she has. However she has never been used so much and I think she may have to be put out to pasture soon. Poor little lady!

My wonderful husband built me this shelving unit (on wheels!) for my fabric. On the top sits my buttons and barrette-making supplies, and on the other side my pile o' bibs waiting to be sold. On the left are all my prints - girl stuff on the top two shelves, boy stuff on the bottom. On the other side is just SOME of my backing material. My overflow is on the other side of the room sitting on chairs (oh so professional!). It works for now! The black bag is where I store sold orders waiting to be picked up or sent out.
And that's that!

In other news, I am seriously thinking about taking my bibs and onsies to some craft shows this fall. I'm waiting to hear back from one juried show, and another one I just got the paperwork for. The second one is more of a bazaar so it's not too expensive but they say that over 4,000 people go through. Ahhhh!! Guess I'd better get sewing! I'll make sure to post dates and locations of my shows when I finalize them. I'm so excited! And scared! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hip Violet... Not just for KIDS!

Nope. No way. Not just kids stuff over here! I made this shirt for myself the other day. I've been wearing it a lot and I love that it's been a good marketing too.. "Where'd you get that shirt?" "I made it!" or "I make bibs. Like this (points to shirt)" ;) I also made one for my sister. Maybe if she's feeling generous she'll send me a picture of her wearing it.
I made this one for Violet yesterday. She looked so cute in it and her chocolate brown sweatshirt!

Action shot! She's singing along to the band that was playing at our local music festival.I also decided that it was pretty silly of me to be handing out my business card out of a dorky business card holder. So I made my own. It's a prototype, but works great and I've already had a couple of people ask if I'm going to put them on my Etsy site. MAYBE! Check soon to see if I take the plunge!

Other than that I've been busy! I have been trying to make more horse bibs since my last one sold in a day, which was pretty exciting! I'm also thinking about doing some local art/craft fairs this holiday season so I'm trying to sew-sew-sew and get some inventory stashed away. Speaking of stashes, you can also buy my bibs at My Crib - it's a consignment store in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. The owner is super nice, has really cute kids clothes on consignment (read: I just spend whatever I make selling bibs on new clothes for Violet!) and of course now carries Hip Violet bibs. Yay!

Have a glorious day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Fun of Custom Bibs

One of the fun things I have been doing a lot of lately are custom bibs. They make awesome gifts for new babies, first birthdays, or just because! Which reminds me that although I have made quite a few bibs for Violet, I haven't made her a "V" bib yet!

Here are a few of my newest ones:

Those also happened to be two of my favorite fabrics! These are for a local mom. I'm excited to see how she likes them!

On Wednesdays my daughter is in daycare so I get to sew all day. Yeah, right! So far I usually have so many kid-free errands and projects to do around the house that I only sew half the day. Today I got two bibs finished and two about halfway. I have discovered that sewing bibs two-at-a-time is a great idea. I use the same fabric and the same color applique (although a lot of times a different animal on each one) and I can get them done quickly without changing my thread a lot and/or getting up and down 18,389 times. I'll have to take a picture of my little sewing area sometime. It's in the corner of our living room ;)

Here was one of the bibs I finished today:
My horse friends had been bugging me to do some horse bibs. There is a huge shortage in the "gifts for horse people who have babies" that aren't totally cowboyish OR too cutesy. Isn't that the case with most things? Anyway, I had used this horse head outline in some of my logos I used to do back when I was a graphic designer (okay, I still am I guess!). See, mom? That pretty college degree isn't going TOTALLY to waste! :)

This is the other horse-related bib I have:

It's got tiny little bucking broncos on it, and the horse shoe has little silver nail holes. Aren't they cute?

I also made my first bib and burp cloth set the other day. It's now listed on a site called HyenaCart that is similar to Etsy in that it's a lot of handmade goods. I'm a guest vendor in one of my friends shops. Here is the set:
Oh, sorry such a small picture! Check out the HyenaCart store here:
The Giggling Guppy
My stuff is waaaaaay at the bottom.

Speaking of which, I made up a few of these super hip peace sign bibs. I LOVE them!!! I can't believe it hasn't sold yet! It is a "double the peace for just one price" bib - peace signs in the back. Peace sign in the front. You can't go wrong with Junior dribbling watermelon juice down this one!
Peace out -