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Archive for February, 2011

Adventures in Advertising

My husband and I sat down last night to try to figure out my advertising budget for the year. We pulled up not only this year’s records so far, but my fiscal spreadsheets for the past four years, to see what I’ve historically spent. *  What we saw was a sort of exponential growth — in 2007, I spent almost nothing on advertising — less than $100.  And every year since then, I’ve spent more and more. In 2009, I started advertising with Renaissance Magazine, and my expenses sky rocketed. This year, I’ve already spent considerably more than I spent all of last year. Eek!

So, I made a decision, which is this. I cannot afford to spend any more money on advertising this year.  Instead, I must find new and creative ways to get the word out there about Storied Threads. It means making good use of Facebook and Twitter, keeping this blog regularly updated, passing out business cards at every opportunity, and networking like crazy at the shows I’ll be at. And it means I must make sure that my ads in Ren Mag stay fresh and eye catching — which means changing them up as often as possible, so that people who subscribe to the magazine never just gloss over it as something they’ve already seen.

For the last year or so, I’ve been running the same ad. Today, that changes!  I have two new ads prepped and ready to go, and two more half-prepped. (By which I mean that I did an initial layout process, and will now send them to my amazing graphic artist Tricia Lupien to really make them pop.) Here is a little sneak peak of a few of the ads I’ve got coming up.

 

*Here is one of the ways I am a terrible businesswoman. I just spend the money, without an actual budget. This, I suspect, must change….

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Newsboy Caps

A potential customer contacted me, asking about having some newsboy caps made. I told her that I would do a little research, and get back to her with a price, and then — because I LOVE making hats — I spent some time in my studio perfecting the pattern.

It actually took me several tries to get the shape just right — it turns out, there is some really finicky shaping that needs to be done to the pieces of this hat, or else it just comes out a little wonky.

Floopy Newsboy Cap

My first attempt, with a super-full, floopy crown.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my first attempt.  It’s kind of a cute hat, actually. But it isn’t a proper Newsboy.  The crown is way too full, and quite floopy, falling down in a bit of a puddle around the head.   It reminds me a little bit of the hat Rudy wore in the “Fat Albert” cartoons.

Also, it’s too big for my head — about 2 inches too big — because math is hard.

 

Weird Newsboy cap

Second attempt. Smaller, but with an odd mushroom shape.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the second attempt.  It’s definitely got a smaller crown, and is closer to the proper shape.  But it’s still got a weird kind of fullness that makes it mushroom in a weird way. Also, it’s now too small for my head by about 3/4 of an inch, because I apparently overcompensated for the first too-large hat.

 

 

Newsboy Cap

Third time's the charm!

 

 

 

 

And finally, on my third try — a proper Newsboy cap! The crown is the right size, there’s no weird mushrooming, and it’s actually the size I intended it to be! I very nearly decided to keep this hat for myself…but realized that nothing I own will actually go with a purple wool hat, so I’ll make myself another one later.  This one — along with the previous two — will go up on Etsy to be sold to some happy shopper.

 

 

Newsboy Cap

Final picture of the new hat. And yes, I do sometimes use my dog as a prop.

 

 

 

And finally, a fun picture. Because, look, I got all dressed and put on makeup and everything! And if we’re going to take this many pictures, I might as well take some with some character, right?

Also, yes, I do sometimes use Beatrix as a prop. Because everything is better with a bulldog.

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First, I want to thank everybody who came to see me at Birka a few weeks ago.  It was a really great show for me, and having done it once, I feel even more prepared to do it again next year — I now have a much better idea of what sorts of things people looked at and bought. Some of which surprised me, actually. I thought fur-lined hoods at a medieval event in January would be a sure thing, but it turned out not to be the case. Instead, feathered plumage sold like hotcakes!

My small corner of Birka.

Beatrix and I, featured in a Clip Clocks ad.

 

In more current news — I have an article in this month’s issue of Renaissance Magazine! It’s just a short little thing, a one-page article I wrote about Deanna Hubbard and her amazing Clip Clocks.  I love these clocks so much that I’ve started selling them for Deanna at the shows I vend at, and have two of my own — one medieval, and one pirate. Although I realized that since I’ve lost my pocket watch, I now need a Victorian/Steampunk clock as well. They’re brilliant, and I had a lot of fun writing this article, and interviewing Deanna for it.

In addition, I have my second “Fairely Well Dressed” article coming out in Ren Mag’s March issue, which is very exciting. Those articles take a lot more work on my part to put together, and I’m really excited that people seem to like them.  This one will focus on women’s garb options — specifically, ideas of ways to dress and be sexy that aren’t based in the (in my opinion, overdone) wench.

I’ve been trying to think of what to write my next article about.  The editor at Ren Mag suggested kids’ costumes, and I’ve thought about it a lot…but I don’t think I can write that one.  I don’t have any kids. I’ve never costumed kids. I don’t know what the kids want, and I don’t know what their parents want. So now, I’m back to square one, trying to think of what other category of people and/or garb options need a “Fairely Well Dressed” article.

Up in the studio, things are quite busy.  I’m working on a wedding dress and vest for a couple getting married in mid March. And trying to figure out how to make an awesome newsboy cap. But those, I think, I’ll save for future posts all their own. Like when I have pictures, because I love pictures.

 

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