Monday, November 15, 2010

November Post-poned

Just to let everyone know that our evening for November has been post-poned due to way too much sickness in both our households!

Thanks to everyone that RSVP'd, well put something up when we will be doing another one, hopefully before Christmas.

Thanks! xx

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Evening

Hi All,

As you're aware our evening for November (and the last one for the year!) is fast approaching, and we mentioned on facebook that we had decided to give all our brains a rest this month; it's so close to Christmas and we all have a schedule jam-packed with Christmas markets that we thought, why not just have a little get together that is to celebrate the year that was and have some chats!

So bring-a-plate of something nibbly, come along to the Ponsonby Community Centre on the 18th of November from 7.30pm for a sort of throw together Christmas do for all of us that work alone, making beautiful things.

RSVP to Jessica: info {at} foxes dot co dot nz if you would like to come along

See you there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September Evening: Registrations Open!

Registrations for our September evening (on the 23rd of September this month) are now open. COme along and hear from our expert guest speakers about creating an On-line Presense. They will be talking about their own experienced and give you a few tips that you can try yourself.

Guest speakers are Hayden Raw and Maddie from the L'il Magoolie Blog.

We will be discussing Twitter, Blogging a little about Facebook. You don't necessarily need to have used all of these things before, but some knowledge would be helpful.

Head over to the website to register!

First Thursdays Craft Market....

You may have heard of First Thursdays before, if not it's a really awesome event being put together by the K'rd Business Association to support the arts in the area. It will be a fun, regular event (4 times a year) that combines music, dance, art and craft all in the one place.

Part of the event is a craft market, I'm helping organise this and the
applications are open right now! Past markets have been really successful, so if you feel like something a little different to the usual markets, you should give this one a try!

The market is held in the evening from 6 to 9pm and is inside the beautiful St Kevins Arcade, this first one will be Thursday 2nd December — perfect for a spot of Christmas shopping!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Thursday's Call For Artists!

First Thursdays is back and teaming up with some great local collectives to be bigger and better than ever!  

This fantastic event is relaunching as a quarterly event and the first one will be on Thursday 2 December 2010. K Road will come alive on a Thursday night with a craft market hosted by Foxes, poetry readings, live musical and dance performances, and DJs from George FM. And the highlight will be some of NZ’s most exciting emerging artists who will be exhibiting in a ten-day gallery show at Te Karanga Gallery.

St.Kevin’s arcade and neighbouring shops will also be opening late with special treats and discounts on the night. First Thursdays is all about fostering a tighter-knit arts community, connecting people and spreading new ideas. 

The organisers are currently looking for talented artists, dancers, musicians, djs & poets!
The application deadline is Friday 1 October 2010. See for more details!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Auckland Craft Store!

I've been sitting on this little gem of information for a while now, and now it's all going ahead we can announce it to the world! The Little Craft Store is opening at 201 Pt Chevalier Road, and will be open Monday through Saturday. They will be stocking lots of New Zealand yarns (including Knitsch), Felt, Buttons, Threads and Haberdashery — not to mention Belinda's amazing sock knitting book, Blendy Knits Socks!

The shop opens on the 28th of August — this Saturday!
Hours are 10 to 4pm on a Saturday and 10am to 3pm weekdays.
201 Pt Chevalier Road, Pt Chevalier, Auckland

 The shop is going to be run by the lovely Helen, who also happens to be a neighbour of mine (until I move house this week!) she is passionate about all things handmade and has been cooking this idea for ages, fine tuning and making sure it goes well. It's going to be so fantastic to have a store that is locally run and is an alternative to some of the bigger chains.

Go Helen! Can't wait to swing by and have a look once you're open.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blendy’s Beginners Sock Knitting Class

By popular request, Belinda Too will be running a knitting class!

Blendy’s Beginners Sock Knitting Class

Wednesday Aug 18 & 25

Cost: $20 (includes needles & pattern)

You will learn to knit a miniature sock so that once you have the techniques mastered, you can go home and knit your own big sock!

Also available to buy in the first session is limited edition Needle Food sock yarn at a discounted price, and also Serenknitty sock yarn.

Classes will be held in Meadowbank. (address to be confirmed)

Please register by emailing

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Evening for July

Hey All,

As you know, Kylie and I are in the throws of organising the first Auckland Art & Craft Fair, happening on the 24th of July (not long to go!) and we have decided that we will not be having an evening in July. It's just going to be too much to organise, we know we didn't have one last month either, but we will ensure that our August evening will be a really great one to attempt to make up for it.

Thanks everyone for your continued support! We hope that you will come along and check out the Auckland Art & Craft Fair and meet our lovely makers.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kraftbomb Tomorrow!

If you're in Auckland tomorrow and looking for something awesome to do, come along and check out Kraftbomb! Both Kylie and I will be there selling our wares along with loads of other great Auckland sellers — if you want to fin something unique and original, this is the place!

Grey Lynn Community Centre
510 Richmond Road (up by Savour & Devour)
Grey Lynn

From 11am until 2pm

See you there!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Registrations Open - Social Networking

Wow, it's the beginning of June already! Where on earth did the last month disappear to? Applications for our June evening - Social Networking - opened yesterday. I have been busy compiling together information and neat little tips & instructions on wonderful things like Facebook, Twitter and Blogging.
It's going to be a great evening and it would be fabulous to see you there.

We'll be at our regular home, the Ponsonby Community Centre on Thursday the 17th June from 7.30-9.30pm.

Head over to the website to register now :)


The Art of Pricing - 10 Top Tips

The May evening, The Art of Pricing was a fantastic night and as always, was filled with lots of great information. The discussion based format of the night allowed everyone to share their ideas and experiences and it was discovered that on the whole, people don't put enough self worth on their creations.

So to help you in deciding on pricing for your wares, we have put together the following top ten tips for you all.

Tip 1
Your brand is important - the better your brand image, the higher the perceived value of your products. Work on building this all the time and it will pay off in the long run.

Tip 2
Where you sell your products contributes to the perceived value of your products. If you want to sell high end products, only sell in high end places. 

Tip 3
Friends and family are great people to ask for honest feedback on what you should/could be charging for your products. Ask them what they would be prepared to pay for your items and ask them to be honest. Often asking people that don't make things, can provide a surprising answer.

Tip 4
Don't forget to consider your target market - Consider tailoring your products to suit them while finding the artistic balance

Tip 5 
If you intend on retailing, remember that most retailers will mark up your products 100%. Expect to sell your products for half what you are retailing them for.

Tip 6
Your wholesale price needs to cover ALL of your expenses. If it's cheaper to make more of your product at one time, then having a minimum order quantity for retailers is a good idea. Effectively they are buying in bulk, so they expect to have to buy a minimum quantity.

Tip 7
There are lots more costs involved in making your products than you may even think about.  Here is a list of things to remember when working out your costings:
  • Components used to make the products - not just the main materials, but things like thread, glue, buttons etc.
  • Tools (Assets) - Scissors, Sewing Machine, Craft Knives, Computer
  • Labour - your time is valuable
  • Packaging - tags, labels, bags, postage supplies
  • Selling Costs - market stall fees, travel costs, online success fees
  • Overheads - rent, internet, phone, electricity
Tip 8
Your skill is your most valuable asset. Remember that not everyone can do what you do, and the ones that can will still do it differently - your style is unique. Think about all the time, money and effort you spent on trial and error perfecting your product. Others will experience these same costs!

Tip 9 
Sometimes you will make products and then discover that it isn't viable - that is okay. You need to be able to recognise this and it's okay if you still want to make them, just so long as you aware.

Tip 10
There is always going to be products that customers aren't willing to pay big bucks for. Remember to have both high profit and low profit margin products.

Pricing is such a broad and difficult topic, that the above tips only just touch the tip of the iceberg! If you have any other useful tips or any helpful links please feel free to share them. Us crafters have to help each other out, so together we can raise the profile and perception of handmade in New Zealand :)

Kylie & Jess

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kraftbomb tomorrow!

Hi all, just a reminder that Kraftbomb is happening tomorrow — and it's going to be their 21st! Hooray! Make sure you come along for some crafty good times....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New talent on our Showcase!

Jess and I have been super busy recently with all the preparations for the upcoming Auckland Art & Craft Fair and with the applications starting to flow in it reminded us of how many talented people there are around Auckland (and New Zealand wide aswell). So as we approach our third Auckland Craft Collective evening, we thought it would be a good time to update our showcase of talented crafters and artisans on the website. As always, it was really tough to choose just 12 but we took solace in knowing we can add some more wonderful people next time around :)

Head along to the website to check them out, and while you are there don't forget to register for our next evening 'The Art of Pricing'. It is going to be a fabulous discussion on the always difficult topic of pricing your creations.

Kylie and Jess

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Registrations Open!

Hi All,

Just to quickly let you know that registrations are now open for 'The Art of Pricing' it's filling up fast, so to make sure you don't miss out head over here to secure your space.

Hope you had a great weekend!
Jess & Kylie xx

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's all in the art of pricing...

As you may already know, our May evening is set to tackle the tricky issue of pricing. We are busy gathering lots of information to provide you with as much guidance, help and support as we can in assisting you in getting your pricing right!

As modest, often self critical or doubtful Crafters we often get stuck in the trap of undervaluing ourselves. We tend to not realise the full value of our work — not only from a level of skill point of view, but with all the extra costs involved in making our wares that we tend not to think about.

The May evening is going to be more of a discussion based evening, lead by Jess and myself and will cover a wide variety of issues and questions when it comes to pricing including;
  • Time is a valuable resource
  • The costs involved in your business
  • Realistic Pricing
  • Are you working for free... or worse still, losing money when you sell your work?
  • Pricing to suit both wholesale and retail
  • Making your business a success!

We decided to have this evening with a lot more discussion ability because we know there will be a lot of questions and ideas that you may like to share with everyone.

And if all of the above isn't enough to make you want to come along... in true Auckland Craft Collective style there will be yummy food to eat — homemade pumpkin soup with fresh bread. Mmmm.

Registrations open this Saturday (1st of May). Check out the website to register.

Kylie and Jess

Friday, April 23, 2010

Introducing... The Auckland Art & Craft Fair

The Auckland Craft Collective is really (really) proud to introduce the Auckland Art & Craft Fair! It's been a long time in the making and now we are finally ready to tell you all about it.

The Auckland Art & Craft Fair isn't like any other market available in Auckland or even the rest of New Zealand. It's the first of it's kind and will have a regular home at the prestigious Auckland Art Gallery. With a focus on each Fair having a selection of New Zealands best contemporary and independent Designers, Artists and Crafters available, selling their wares direct to the public for one day only.

This is a fair with a difference — focusing on the best that each vendor has to offer, highlighting the quality, craftsmanship and ingenuity of each piece. For the customer it's shopping with soul, purchasing direct from the artist, designer and maker in one go and helping support our growing industry.

Available on the day for customers will be EftPos facilities along with everything that the Auckland Art Gallery has to offer including Reuben Cafe and the amazing Parsons bookshop, not to mention all the exhibitions at the gallery — so something for everyone. Saturday $4 parking is available for vendors and visitors that use the Victoria Street Car Park with a special discount voucher from the gallery and with the Fair being held inside, it will be lovely and cosy for our guests.

A natural progression for the Craft Collective — we wanted to not only help behind the scenes (by our evenings) but to also help put together a selling platform that happens only twice a year, is marketed and advertised professionally and helps you present yourself and your business in a unique way to potential customers, clients and suppliers.

We are aiming to have vendors selling Art, Photography, Jewellery, Accessories, Fashion, Illustrations, Knitting, Sewn Goods, Homewares and more. If you think you would like to be involved in this (really exciting and super awesome) event, then download the application form and get it into us to ensure you are part of it all. Spaces are very limited so applications must close 4pm Friday 14th of May.

Check back here for progress on our event!

Jess & Kylie

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April Book Keeping...

So, last night was the second of our evenings — Book Keeping! We had special guest speakers; Vaj from IRD and Alida from Jelly Bones who is in her final year of an Accounting degree and runs her own successful craft business. After that we should all be experts, right? It was an awesome evening (by awesome, I mean our minds were like sponges and were painfully full at the end of it...) with a full house — poor Kylie had to sit on the floor! The best part for me was the question and answer session with Alida — so many good questions and discussion points were raised.

I have compiled a list of our Top Ten tips below — it was really hard to do as there was so much information that you really did have to be there for this one! Also a few pictures of the night — I tried to get a photo of the plate that was full of the shortbread I made, but it was all gone so fast! It really was yummy....

  1. Keep all your receipts, even if it's only a few $ but it all ads up and is good practice to get into 
  2. Your craft changes from a hobby to a business when your intention changes, usually when you start to sell your goods
  3. The tax year is from 1st April to 31st March
  4. An IR3 is what you need to fill out to begin your tax return
  5. Your IR3 is due by the 7th of July 
  6. You only have to be GST registered if your turnover is more than $60k but you can be GST registered if your turnover is less if you want — there are pros and cons for doing this
  7. Organise bank statements, bills, receipts etc. as you go, this makes it easier to enter your accounts each month
  8. Don't forget about ACC levies.... check out their website for calculators etc.
  9. Your salary, wages etc. combined with your business income is your total taxable income for the year and needs to be declared
  10. If in doubt, call the IRD or make an appointment with an accountant!
See you next month! Details of the next evening to come soon...

 Alida talking us through her amazing spreadsheet

Listening and plenty of notes...

The last piece of shortbread! Polished off promptly by Olivia and Myself

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Registrations Now Closed!

Hi All, just to let you know that registrations for this months evening are now full up (they were full up on Monday, but you know how it is with getting to the blog...). Watch this space for a post shortly after the evening with a brief run-down and of course our usual 'Top-Tips' plus with this one I'm sire we'll have some links to come great resources.

If you'd like to get a handy little reminder the day before registrations open for next month, sign up to our mailing list (just there, on the right) and we'll send you a nice little e-mail.

Chat soon!
Jess x

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Devonport Craft Market time tomorrow...

... and Jess and I think it would be fabulous if you came and said hello.

 We'll be at the Devonport Community House from 10am to 3pm. 
Hope to see you there

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Online Marketing - 10 Top Tips

We know, we know... this is well overdue. Things have been very busy on the Auckland Craft Collective (and in the lives of Jess and myself!) front so we do apologise for the delay. We know that all the people that missed out on coming along have been hanging out for some more information on our first evening.

Here are the long awaited 10 Top Tips that were shared by our fabulous guest speakers, Esther from and Elliot from

Tip 1
It’s important to know who your target market is. Ask yourself questions like:
*How old are they?
*Are they male or female?
*Are they a student, working full time or a stay at home parent?
*What do they do for fun?
Ultimately it comes down to – Who is your perfect customer?
(Tip: It’s NOT other crafters. You don’t need to preach to the converted!)

Tip 2
Selling online isn’t easy. It takes time and effort — so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s FREE!

Tip 3
When selling online, remember that you’re selling your products to people that can’t touch/see your product so it’s very important to have crisp clear pictures that give the shoppers a true idea of what the product looks like in the flesh. Try to take a few different photos of the same product that emphasise various aspects. For example if you are selling a handbag you might take a full photo so  you can see the whole bag, a photo showing the inside of the bag, one of someone holding the bag (so you can gauge its size) and perhaps a close up to show the fabric or some detailing. But most importantly your photos must be FABULOUS — Clear, in focus, and without a busy background. You want your item to be the absolute main focus in the image.

Tip 4
When social networking it is not about quantity, it’s about quality. You don’t need to be tweeting and blogging all the time, it’s more important to be consistent (ie blog at the same time each week) and interesting — people don’t necessarily want to know what you had for breakfast!

Tip 5
Treat your blog as a visual diary and remember that pictures speak a thousand words. People love to get a sense of who you are and what you love, but don’t want to be drowned in big long paragraphs of text. Liven up your posts with photos and images.

Tip 6
Spending hours on Facebook, Twitter and Blogging may be fun, but is it actually helping you reach your goal? Think about how much time you are spending on each and decide whether or not that time is converting to sales. Keep a clear focus on your goal of turning your craft into a sustainable business and don’t waste too much time on things that aren’t going to help your business. If you update your Facebook page once every 3 days, as opposed to once a day, you will have more time  to focus on your craft while still letting your Facebook fans know you are still alive and crafting!

Tip 7
DON’T be afraid to re-brand! Sometimes an image overhaul is the best thing for your business, so think about whether or not your current “look” fits with your products and if it suits your target market. While you may lose some immediate brand recognition, don’t be discouraged because if you re-brand well then you will be bringing in lots more interest and potential customers.

Tip 8
Brand Identity is a HUGE part of a craft business, as people aren’t just buying a product, they are buying into the story behind the product. Make sure your brand represents YOU as well as your products. It’s a nice idea to create a personality for your business. As Esther pointed out, Trixie Delicious and Ferrit are excellent examples of this.

Tip 9
Fine tuning your products is really important and it’s a good idea to work on this first and foremost. A wonderful brand isn’t going to help average products! Focus on getting things right before trying to build up a brand. You don’t want your brand to be associated with products that you aren’t 100% happy with.

Tip 10
And last but definitely not least – If something isn’t working, stop doing it! Whilst building a brand and image does take time, you will know straight away if something just isn’t working. Don’t be afraid to change things or even stop them all together. There is no point wasting time, energy and money! Often moving on and starting again is the best solution.

We hope this tips help guide you in your own crafty business — they sure have helped me make some decisions.

Here are a few pics from the evening that we promised we'd put up (yes, the cake was so yummy it deserves to be posted first ;) )

Our next evening is Book-Keeping and we have a representative from the IRD and an accounting/book keeping specialist to help you work out what you need to be doing for your business.
Check out our website for more info and to register :)

Kylie and Jess

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kraftbomb this weekend!

If you're at a loose end this weekend, hoping to fill your days with something crafty, come along to Kraftbomb! It's an awesome market that's always a lot of fun with many of Auckland's top crafters selling their wares. Kylie (Skipapple) and myself (Bam Bam Creative) will be there, along with a host of others such as Miss Ellie May, Mermaids Purse, Ran With Scissors, Ruby In The Dust, Cheeky Pinchy and Trixie Delicious... just to name a few off the top of my head!

from 11am until 2pm,
Grey Lynn Community Centre
Richmond Road, Grey Lynn

Jess xx

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First evening, already over!

Thought that we should give you a little run-down for those that didn't make it along — what an awesome evening! We had a full house full of people eager to pick up some tips from our lovely guest speakers — Esther from and Elliot from

Elliot had the technical side of on-line marketing covered and reminded us to have small, daily goals to not get overwhelmed. He mentioned some great websites to help us out and of course reminded us that even though social networking (blogging, twitter, facebook etc.) is free to use — it costs us in time, and time is still a valuable resource that needs to be paid for in some way or another.

Esther had some great insights into stores and blogs that she likes and why, and made the excellent point that as crafters — we're not just marketing or selling our products, but we're selling ourselves too! We are part of the product so it can be fun to have a persona or character behind you.

The other top-tip I picked up from the night was: Don't be afraid to drop something if it doesn't work. If it's not working, it's just not working. Stop putting time into that product/image, move on and starting again can often be the best solution.

We took some photo's on the night so will post them soon too!

Don't forget to sign up to our newsletter (form to fill out in the left menu on our blog) to receive our lovely updates and news direct to your inbox!

Keep tuned for our next evening — Book-keeping! New poster up soon....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Registrations Open and Filling Fast!

You may have noticed that registrations for our first evening opened on Monday. If you didn't you had better get along to the website to register before you miss out. Spots are limited and they are going very quickly!
It's set to be a fabulous evening with our wonderful guest speakers Esther from and Elliot from talking to us about their experiences and what they have learnt about Online Marketing.
There will be an opportunity to ask them some questions, and to take notes that could help you in your own business.

Plus the extra exciting part... yummy tea and cake to enjoy whilst getting to have a chit chat with fellow crafters. What better way to exchange ideas, talk business and craft and have a nice social night out!

So head along to the website to register now!

K & J

Friday, February 12, 2010

Devonport Craft Market tomorrow!

What better was to spoil your Valentine than to lavish them with handmade goodies! Head along and make a day of it with brunch at one of the local cafes, maybe even head over on the ferry from the city.

There will of course be all the usual quality vendors, so the hardest part will be what to choose! Check out their blog for more details.

Jess xx (and Kylie!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And we're online!

It's been a long time coming but we are FINALLY online! Our amazing new website is up and running so pop along and check it out here. We are pretty chuffed with how it has all come together, and are excited to be nearing the registration open date for our first evening. All the information about the first evening is up on our website here and registrations will be open on the 1st March. In the meantime you can sign up to our mailing list and have a nosey at the showcase of Auckland Crafters we are currently featuring on our homepage.

We'd love to have your feedback on the website, so feel free to send us an email via the contact us form, or leave us a comment below.

We're currently working on some resources to add to the resources page and will let you all know once they're up on the website.

Kylie and Jess

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We have a home!

Just a quick post with some GREAT news — we now have a regular home for the Auckland Craft Collective!

We are booked for the rest of the year at the Ponsonby Community Centre — there is plenty of parking for our evenings, and it's close to the motorway for those that have to travel. We're both really happy with it, we even did a small celebratory dance.

When: Third Thursday of the month beginning at 7.30pm
Where: Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Tce

We also, just quietly — have our first guest speakers booked for the very first evening! It's all go around here... we'll be advertising these in the next few weeks and registrations will open on our website on the 1st of March.

Chat soon!
Jess & Kylie

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crafternoon Tea this weekend!

That's right, it's this Saturday and back at it's regular haunt in Kingsland! Both Kylie (of Skipapple) and I (Jess of Bam Bam Creative) will be there with loads of gorgeous new items for sale, not to mention the other talented Aucklanders who will be vendors.

Kylie has been busy making some more of her gorgeous hand bags and I've been making more wall art and some new baby blankets — plenty of eye candy to see!

So come along, have a coffee or lunch in Kingsland and do some retail therapy for yourself now Christmas is over.

Crafternoon Tea Craft Market Holy Trinity Church, Cnr New North & Sandringham Rds (Bond St end of Kingsland) 10am til 3pm

See you there!
Jess xx