Thursday, August 28, 2014

Acceptance....

Spinning My Wheel Fibers has been accepted into the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, taking place on September 27th and 28th, 2014.
I'm very excited!  It's our first, two day festival. I'm nervous that I won't hold up during the 2 days.  A one-day festival does me in....but I'm challenging myself to work on making it!

There was a very interesting conversation going on, on Facebook this morning.  A person asked [in one of the fiber groups], if there was a different festival at which she should sell her one-of-a-kind hand-made goods.  She doesn't sell spinning supplies, but she sells hand-crafted items, such as buttons, and birdhouses, and shawl pins.  She has not done well at the fiber festivals....
A couple of people are actually marketing people, and they told her that she should be doing juried craft shows, not fiber festivals, as fiber festivals are basically for those that do things themselves, and they are looking for the tools/fibers/dyes/etc that they can use in their own art.  Knitters and crocheters look for yarn.  Spinners look for spinning supplies or fiber they want to try but don't have access to.  Felters are looking for fiber to use in their art.

It was an interesting, well-timed, and hit-home type of post for me, as I struggle constantly with the "am I doing the right thing" issue.  Selling fiber that I buy wholesale, and sell retail, isn't the artistic side of me.  Selling the spindles I make, that has a better feel for me, because I am being artistic AND selling to spinners.  Believe me, if I had the correct tools, I'd probably be trying to figure out how to make more tools for spinners to use!  Alas, one more thing to add to the wish list.  Ha ha.  Hubby would have a cow if I told him I'm now getting into wood working (and/or metal smithing)!!!

I actually enjoy ordering and selling the fiber.  Most of what I get is commercially dyed Merino, and it comes in SUCH a wide variety of colors.  When I set up my booth, it's like a box of crayons!

See?  The colors are fun and amazing.










My spindles are just as colorful....here is just a small sampling of what they look like:

I love color.  You wouldn't know it to look at my home.....because I share it with a very traditional guy, and over the years, I just didn't spruce it up much.  I've had thoughts of changing that.....

Sorry, back to the subject at hand.

Because I've had the struggle of whether to do the artistic side, or do the retail side, has been on my brain for so long, I felt as if it was an either one or the other situation - and guess what?  It's NOT.

I can be creative, but I have to find the right shows and venues for that creative stuff that I make and enjoy sharing.  When it comes to selling to spinners and fiber customers, I can do the fiber festivals!  Win/Win!

I just need a better plan of how to make that work, sign up for festivals (other than fiber festivals) for that time of year when people are looking for warm things to wear, or hang on the wall, or use (towels, etc).  I need to work on everything, not just one aspect, because I believe that will have a better outcome.  There is no reason I have to give up being an artist, because I also enjoy the retail side of selling supplies!

Life can be very confusing for someone who lacks confidence.  It doesn't help that my partner is strong in his beliefs and that I have to struggle to stand up for what I believe in (not because of him, but because of my own weakness).  I just have to believe in myself, and not worry about what anyone else thinks!

One day at a time.........................

Take care.
Martha










Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oh, Hello There...

Um, yeah, no excuses.  I don't even know if I have followers anymore.  I don't pay attention.  I don't even pay attention to whether I'm ahead or behind in the scores on Words With Friends.  I don't care, I play because it's a challenge.

Business has been.......interesting this year.  Some really great months, and some that stink!

I have found out I'm in at Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, held the last weekend in September.  It's held in the mountains in Berryville.  Here's a link if you're interested in taking a beautiful drive and spending a day in the mountains in the Fall.  If you like to knit, or crochet, or spin, or weave, come on down.

I'm excited, and nervous.  It's a 2 day festival, which we haven't done before.  It's going to be exhausting. I'm afraid I won't have enough on hand, and then, I'm afraid no one will buy anything!  It's going to be a huge experiment, and that's how I'm looking at it.  I'm going to try not to freak about it being 2 days.  We will have to get a dog sitter, to take care of the dogs in the middle of the day, both days.  We will also have to leave them 2 days in a row, which I haven't done before.  I justify it by saying, if I worked a full time job, out of the house, I'd have to leave the dogs 5 days a week!  But I don't, and they aren't used to being left that long for 2 days.  We'll be home at night, so no worries about that.  We have the horses, the dogs and the cat to worry about and feed and take out, etc.

I've been dyeing fiber and spinning yarn.  I've been washing fleece, and I ordered a lot of long locks that I have plans on dyeing.  I have been blending, making batts, for sale and for spinning. I can't wait to have it all on display, along with the commercially dyed Merino that comes in beautiful colors.

So I hope to see you there!  Come on by and say hello.

Take care,
Martha