June Update

Greeting and Salutations,

Just a quickish update while I take a break from product prep for Cosplay World Richmond Aug 4-5 in Richmond, Virginia.

So I gave in and ordered business cards with a QR code of to my Linktr.ee since I have more than 4 social media links now.

I also had to make a new Instagram account as the old one is still linked to the original Facebook page. My 100+ messages to Facebook Customer Service have gone unanswered and I really needed to be able to edit the shop section. The old Instagram page will be permanently deleted as of July 11, the new one can be found by looking up OctojellyCrochetStudio.

I also started the paperwork to convert the business into an LLC. As the business’ is currently a sole prop, a lot of the basic paperwork , like a DBA and a License to sell for the Virginia Department of Taxation, is already completed.

As I need to make a few changes to the business, once the LLC process is finished, I will be doing regular social media updates starting late July/early August.

The goal is for this business to be the majority of my income withing the next 2-3 years.

The weekend plan

So I have a rough, and I mean rough, outline of the plan for this weekend.

Friday: I’ll be uploading all new product descriptions.

Saturday: I’ll add new photos for the existing products and new products.

Sunday: I’ll have everything go live in batches about every 45 min starting around 10am.

I’m also planning on figuring out and at least rough drafting all the blogs for the rest of June and all of July.

My next vendor event will be the Cosplay World Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, Aug 4 – 5, 2023

Vending Events : Part 2?

So I’ve had a few people reach out to me about planning for events.

I start planning my vending event calendar in January/February of that year. The Cons and large outdoor events start applications for events that soon.

There’s one event that I try to do every year in January that releases their applications in March for the next year. I’ll find out in roughly 16 days if I’ll be a vendor at the 2024 event.

This is why it’s important to do the research on the events you would like to vend at. Now, there are smaller events that will be looking for vendors right up to the day of the event,and I know people who do really well at those. I’m, personally, not at fan of them, but then most of those events aren’t events where my product does well at.

That’s another thing, don’t feel like you have to do every single vendor event someone says you should do. Try to find events that work for your product.

I make primarily fantasy and ttrpg based amigurumi. The more traditional craft shows don’t work for selling my product.

Does that stop me from recommending the shows to other vendors I know whose product would sell well at them? No.

Also, I made a theme change and had my technical support fix the category links so that they now link where they are supposed to go. There will be a shop update in the next few weeks, and possibly some better videos uploaded on YouTube before the end of the summer.

Why Vetting A Vendor Event Matters

So you’re interested in doing vendor events, or you’ve only done local to you events that have been around forever and you’ve decided to branch out to areas that are out of your comfort zone of doing a vendor event.

You’ve probably seen, in doing your general vendor event research and seen other people mention that you should always vet the event, get visitor numbers and average sales numbers from other vendors who have done the event. If you’re going to an event being set up by an event coordinator, you should research the company, find out what shows they have done, and how successful they were.

This is my second year doing vendor events.

The event I was at on May 20th, is a very good example about why I should have taken my own advice. I have never once properly vetted an event, I always, even when it wasn’t an event where my product would do well at, I always made a few hundred dollars.

This particular event was 2 hours from my house, and had an early enough set up time that I got a hotel room. My break even for this particular show (table fee, hotel, gas) was $200. I made less than $30. I ended up leaving 2 hours early due to really, really poor turn out.

What I found out afterwards, which I would have known ahead of time if I had done the research about the show that I should have done, was that this particular event was in it’s first year, there were 40 plus shows going on in the same town that same weekend and it was graduation weekend there.

The event coordinator (EC here on out) apparently does a car and craft event at the same location in October that always does really well. The consensus among some of the more experienced vendors was that because the location does well in the fall, the EC decided that a show in the same location in Spring would do equally as well.

I have a show, locally, next weekend, it’s also a first year event, but they do events every other weekend and always has a good turn out. After that, I have no events until Cosplay World Richmond in August. There will be a shop update in 2 weeks and probably another blog update too.

The plan that didn’t happen

Leonard Snart of Arrowverse said it best for planning : “Make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plans to go off the rails, throw away the plan.”

I had what I thought was a good,solid plan for the blog after my Bacon’s Castle vendor event. Then I sold out of just about everything. I have another vendor event this weekend in Fredericksburg,Va. I’ve spent every possible moment I could these last 3 weeks making more product.

Did I hit my production goal? Not even close, but it’s a one day, 7 hour event, so I should be ok, product wise.

I have another event 2 weeks from Sunday in Newport News, and then no other events until August. I have product prepped (just needs assembly) for the show.

There will be no shop/product updates until the middle of June. I’m going to try to get a couple of blog posts until over the next few weeks, I just need to find time to do some editing.

Working a Market

As a semi-professional crocheter, my life is filled with colorful yarn, endless patterns, and a
deep passion for the craft. I can create a wide range of handmade items, from stuffed animals and
clothing to home d├ęcor and accessories.

Like most crocheters who sell their craft, I have a niche that I crochet for, it happens to be Gaming/Fantasy. There are a lot of niches to pick from.

One of the biggest challenges of being a semi-professional crocheter is the time and
dedication required to create each piece. Crocheting is a labor of love that requires hours of
careful attention and a steady hand. Each stitch is meticulously crafted to create a beautiful
and high-quality finished product.

As a vendor at local markets and craft fairs, I have the opportunity to connect
with customers and share my passion with others. It’s a wonderful feeling to see someone fall
in love with one of my creations and know that it will be cherished for years to come.
Participating in markets is a wonderful way to showcase my handmade items to a
wider audience.

One of the unique benefits of selling crochet items at farmers markets is the ability to
showcase the handmade nature of each piece. Unlike mass-produced items, my creations are
one-of-a-kind, carefully crafted with love and attention to detail. At markets, customers
can see and feel the quality of my work firsthand, which helps to set my products apart from
the rest.

Another advantage of selling at markets is the sense of community that comes
with it. As vendors, we are all working towards a common goal: to share our handmade
creations with the world. By supporting each other and working together, we can create a
vibrant and thriving market that benefits everyone involved.

Of course, participating in markets also requires a lot of hard work and
dedication. Setting up a booth, transporting and displaying items, and interacting with
customers can all be time-consuming and challenging. However, the rewards are more than
worth it. By participating in markets, I am able to connect with customers and share
my passion for the craft in a way that is both rewarding and fulfilling.

Selling crochet items at markets is a unique and rewarding experience that
requires a lot of hard work and dedication. By showcasing my handmade creations at these
events, I am able to connect with customers and fellow vendors, and share my passion for the
craft with the world. Overall, being a semi-professional crocheter is a rewarding and fulfilling
experience. It’s a craft that requires patience, dedication, and a lot of hard work, but the end
result is always worth it. For those who love the craft as much as I do, there’s nothing quite like
the feeling of creating something beautiful with your own two hands.

Running a business is hard

If someone ever tells you that running a business is easy, they either have a staff who does 99% of the work for them, or they have no idea what they are actually doing, especially if they don’t understand that not all business run into the same cookie cutter set up.

The three most important things that I have learned about running a business : it’s hard, burnout is most definitely a thing, and staying organized in a way that works for you, takes time to figure out.

I’ve had this blog for 4 years now, and it’s only been in the last 2 years that I’ve really done anything with it. Most of the changes took place in the last year. Despite me making multiple blog update schedules, over the last year, I still have yet to follow through with any of them.

My on-line business started on Etsy, before I moved it to this site. I only started doing in-person selling events in the last year. I’m still trying to find time to create YouTube tutorials. Add Facebook/Instagram/TikTok and Twitter to that social media list and I have my hands full.

Not to mention the full-time job I already have and my currently 5.5 year old son, and its a wonder I’m still trying to get this business off the ground.

I do have a plan to make this my main source if income in the next 2-3 years. I also plan on changing this business from a sole-proprietorship business to a LLC business before the end of this year. I need to do a little more research on that though, before I start that process.

In-Person Selling Schedule

So far for 2023 I have 4 in-personal sales events confirmed. There maybe a couple more added to the calendar later in the year. At this time, I try my best to do vendor events near me, as logistically, they are easier for me to attend.

Event 1: Bacon’s Castle Village Faire

Location: Surry, Virginia Date: April 29, 2023 Time: 10am – 4pm

Entrance Fee: $15 for Adults, $10 for Students and Virginia Preservation Members. Children 6 and under are free

www.preservationvirginia.org/events/bacons-castle-village-faire/ if you would like more information

Event 2: Spring MAYkers Market

Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia Date: May 20,2023 Time: 9am – 4pm

Entrance Fee: Free

This will be held at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #4123

Event 3 : 2nd Annual Helping Hands Fall Festival for the Poquoson Museum Restoration Fund

Location: Poquoson Museum, Poquoson, Virginia Date: September 23,2023 Time: 9am-4pm

Entrance Fee: Free

Event 4: Hampton Comicon

Location: Hampton Roads Convention Center, Hampton, Virginia Date: October 7, 2023 Time 10:30am-4:30pm

Entrance Fee: Regular Pass: $15.00 VIP Pass: $25.00

www.hamptoncomicon.com for more details

As stated above, this is my craft event schedule so far for this year. I am hoping to add a couple more to the calendar, but this are the confirmed events.

Quick edit:

Check out this post to find out why vetting a potential show is important

So the blog did a thing.

So I got a notification a few minutes ago.

This blog has officially hit 5,000 all-time views. It’s exciting, I had figured with my sporadic update schedule it would be the end of the year before that happened.

I’ll have another update this weekend. I’ll be announcing my first big crochet project ever and be going over what live shows I have on my calendar for 2023.

Quick update

So, if you follow me on social media, you’ll know that roughly 13 days ago I lost access to Facebook due to being hacked, and then whoever hacked me got my account deactivated.

I’m still fighting with Facebook to get access back, since by loosing my personal account, I also lost access to the business account.

It was only this past weekend that I realized that 95% of my marketing plan is tied up in Facebook. I’m currently in the process of reworking my entire marketing plan. This is not what I had plans to do this early in the year.

Another result of this is that all my posting plans have to be reworked. Starting next Monday (1/23), I will be doing daily updates of crochet patterns. The weekly updates will start in February. I’ll post an update when I figure out what day of the week that will be.

I’ll be posting on Sundays, on TikTok, a short update on what is going on with everything. If you want to follow me there, I can be found on TikTok as octojellycrochet.