Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Love Handmade is this Saturday

And both Jess and I will be there! It'll be my last market for 2009 (Jess will also be at Kraftbomb on Sunday) so come on down and say hello. We are always happy to chat and answer any questions you have about the Auckland Craft Collective. December has been a very busy month for us with all the markets and Christmas preparations (as I am sure it has been for everyone), but we just wanted to let you all know we haven't forgotten about you and we'll be announcing all the information for the first Evening and launching our website early in the New Year.

We hope that the silly season is treating you all well and hope you can make it along to Love Handmade this Saturday and say hello. You can even do some final Christmas shopping with lots of talented crafters' wares to choose from!

Kylie and Jess

Monday, November 16, 2009

Extra Curricular Activities this Thursday!

Some of you my already be aware, but in case you aren't..... The very Talented Ellie of Miss Ellie May has put together this beautiful and very packed-to-the-brim magazine, full of crafty news and articles about the people behind the crafts. You can read more about it on the Extra Curricular blog that Ellie has put together.

So this Thursday 19th November will be the official launch party of this printed beauty, and YOU'RE invited by Ellie (which is super nice don't you think?), it will be at DOC on K'rd from 7pm and you will be able to get your hot little hands on an issue at the party as they will be for sale. Plus, there's cupcakes so really no excuses not to attend and support this magnificent feat by Ellie.

See you there! Jess x

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Evening Overview: just a taster

Hey Everyone,

Now that the word is out there a little more and we have had a chance to really get stuck into putting together an outline of some of these evenings for you all, we thought that it would be a good time to give you all a sneak peak at what we are planning.

Last weekend we printed a bunch of flyers and handed them out at the Devonport Craft Market. A few stall holders were lovely enough to even keep some on their table for people to take (thank you to all of you who did). By the end of the day, they were almost all gone! Jess had some great conversations with everyone about it all and received some really excellent (and valuable) feedback.

As you may already know, we're kicking off our first evening in March 2010. Below you will find a bit more of an overview of the variety of topics we are going to cover each month. These aren’t in any particular order at this stage, as we will need to finalise our guest speakers for each evening in the New Year so that you know well in advance what will be coming up.

(Please note this is only a brief overview of the topics, further details will be in the online enrolment on our website as evenings become available)

This will cover a variety of aspects from working out who your target market is, online vs offline advertising, give-aways and how to do them effectively and inexpensive marketing idea's.

Book Keeping
It’s a must for any business, so we will shed some light on things like basic book keeping, tax, defining your business, and your obligations. Of course we are in no way experts, so we will have an accountant as our guest speaker.

Intellectual Property
One of the things that often gets forgotten when running a small business, but a very important topic. We’ll discuss issues around copyright, trademarks and protecting yourself. A knowledgeable Intellectual Property expert will be the guest speaker.

Social Networking
An online presence is very important in this day and age, so we will be discussing Blogging, Twitter and Facebook in detail, with a successful blogger along to chat to you all about creating an effective online persona and making a blog that is highly regarded.

A topic that a lot of people will all be well aware of, but perhaps there are some things you may not have thought of? We’ll cover things such as applying for markets, getting ready for your market, displays, advertising materials and more.

Branding is more than just a logo, here we will explore why it is important to have a clear focus when you are creating your brand. We’ll discuss public relations, getting yourself noticed and maintaining a consistent image.

Christmas and Holiday Planning
Pre-Silly season can be a very busy time for crafters with plenty of markets and people doing their Christmas shopping. We will be discussing keeping your head above your orders, interesting packaging idea's and other important tips. We will help you get prepared for the busiest time of year.

Online Selling
Markets are one very effective way of selling your items but selling online is also very popular too. Not to mention it’s easy and cost effective to do. We will have a guest speaker that will give you some top tips of what to do (and what not to do!) when it comes to selling online with places such as Etsy, Felt and Big Cartel.

Customer Service
This is usually a second nature to most people, but it is always great to get some tips and pointers from someone in the know. It’s often a bit more personal and you have your heart on your sleeve when you are selling your own creations, rather than something mass made and generic. We will have a guest speaker helping you turn an unsuspecting browser into a buyer.

Planning your year
New Years are fabulous. It’s a great time to think about your future, not only personally, but for your business too. If you have spent the last year thinking about something you want to try, be it a new product range or perhaps a new craft altogether, then we want to help you get sorted. We will discuss revamping your business and planning for a productive and busy year ahead.

Wholesaling and Consignment
Selling to stores, galleries and retailers is a whole different ball game. We will cover things from pricing, to approaching stores, the pros and cons of selling wholesale and on consignment and how to set yourself up with a wholesale information kit.

Photographing Your Items
It is very important when selling online that your photographs of your products look their best. You need to make sure your customer gets a really accurate idea of what they are purchasing. Plus, the photos need to stand out if you are selling in places like Etsy and Felt. We will discuss different (as well as cheap and free) ways to photograph your items to their full potential by using a regular digital camera.

We''l talk about how to make your items cohesive and professional. Do you need tags, care labels, instructions or protective packaging? Make them yourself vs. outsourcing, mailing your goods and how to make your items stand out.

We want you to get full value for money and plenty of expert advice so will source some awesome guest speakers for each event. Our evenings will be held on the third Thursday evening of each month, with a break during December and January (as we know you will all be busy enough during those months).

We really hope this little taster of what’s to offer has wet your appetite and excited you about our impending evenings. We would really love to hear any suggestions on what you would like to see and learn about — You guys are the ones we want to help, so knowing what you want to learn is very important to us.

Don’t be shy... send us an email. We'd love to hear from you.

Kylie and Jess

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


To the Auckland Craft Collective, and our first post on our blog (watch out for the sparkle and shine in your eyes...). There is always a lot of pressure with the first post, so please bear with us!

Who are we you ask? I am Jessica of Bam Bam Creative and my partner in crafty-crime is Kylie of Skipapple, we have been creating crafts since we were youngins and we both now run fairly new craft based businesses. Since having started our business, there have been many questions that we have had to search the answers for — What do we name our business? How do we brand it? Where is the best place to advertise? How do I get into a market? Tax, huh? Sole trader whaaat? So if you recognise this kind of internal dialogue you will like what we are putting together. As a result, we have come up with some of those answers thanks to the help of members of the Auckland and greater New Zealand craft community, but there is always more to learn. I figured that there must be plenty of other crafters out there wanting to learn the same things as me, or even some who want to learn more now they have been in business for a while, so after a nice long chat to Kylie and a bit of good ol' fashion brainstorming — the Auckland Craft Collective was created!

The Auckland Craft Collective is a new resource in the making for Auckland Crafters and Artisans, and pretty much anyone that makes stuff by hand intended for sale — whether it be at a market, online or to local galleries and shops. If you do this, then you are running a business and undoubtedly you want your business to thrive (or at least tick over nicely). We are in the process of putting together awesome monthly evenings with speciality speakers, plenty of information, cake and tea (or coffee if you prefer — whatever, your choice). With our evenings there will be a chance to talk business with your peers, see what people are up to, forge relationships and create collaborations in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Craft in Auckland isn't about competition and getting one over on the person at the table next to you, which is why I absolutely love having a craft business, it is a real community. I know that when I turn up to a market the stall holder next to me will smile, say hello and have a chat throughout the market and generally help to keep the spirits up. Because we all know we are selling such unique, one-of-a-kind items, our peers can't be our competition and we don't feel threatened by them being there. It really does come down to the fact that if we support one another, we all do well, and in turn our industry does well and paves the way for new people to start making their stuff too! Now, I shall take off my rose tinted glasses for just a moment...

So what are we actually going to do?
Each month, we will host an informative evening which will have a clear focus and feature one or two speciality speakers that will be advertised throughout the craft community. You'll send us a nice e-mail or fill out a form on our (soon to be created) website letting us know you want to attend, pay a small fee, then come along for a couple of hours of valuable learning and networking.

What will you get out of it?
Heaps hopefully! You will have the chance to listen to some knowledgeable people share their tips and tricks, be able to ask them questions specific to your needs and on most of our evenings we will be able to give you valuable resources that you can take home with you to work on and tailor to suit your business right away. After each speaker has finished there will be plenty of tea, coffee and cake to enjoy while you have the opportunity to have a proper talk with your fellow crafty peers. As you will all know too well, this can often be hard to do at markets or when you bump into them in the street!

So what kind of talks will be we doing?
Together, Kylie and I have been nutting out what to offer and so far we have come up with plenty of idea's. They will include interesting (and important) topics such as:
  • Marketing your Business (both on-line and off-line)
  • Book Keeping
  • Intellectual Property
  • Blogging
  • Markets
  • Branding
  • Establishing your Target Market
  • Selling on-line on websites such as Etsy
  • Planning for Christmas and Holidays
  • Photographing your Products
  • How to Wholesale and plenty more...
Needless to say, we would love to hear from you too — what would you like to learn about? Is there perhaps anything that you are struggling with? Or on the flip side, is there something you are amazing at that you could share with the community?

When will this all be happening?
We are aiming to kick off our evenings in March 2010. That way we have all caught our breath back after Christmas markets, school holidays and general Summer enjoyment, and will all be starting to think more about our year and what we hope for our businesses.

So you want to know more?
We will be posting about our progress on here, but you will also be able to register on our website where we can send you detailed evening information as soon as we have it. This whole thing is relatively new and as the Collective develops we will update our website and blog with our progress.

We hope that you will join us! Chat soon...

Jess & Kylie xxx