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