Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Latest Project: 'Now Hear This' banner

Now Hear This is my go to blog for those times when I'm in need of some new music. There is always a thoughtful review of a band or live show, guiding my myspace search to give a listen.

The blog is written by my good friend Molly, so naturally I offered to create a banner for her blog. She just finished a dual Master's Degree, in musicology and library science, which makes perfect sense. For as long as I have known her, the thing she has been most obsessive about is her Itunes library, full albums with every bit of information.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Enter to win a Magnetic Bottle Opener!

Become a fan of Revel on Facebook and automatically be entered to win this Magnetic Bottle Opener! The winner will be chosen at random on September 29th. Please help spread the word and suggest becoming a fan to your friends!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Reading: The Handmade Marketplace

In trying to learn more about this craft world, which so many people seem to excel in, with their exploding sales and stories of quitting their day jobs, I recently read "The Handmade Marketplace" by Kari Chapin. A quick read, this book is full of useful information and clever tips. Depending on your experience in selling your work, much of the guidance may seem fundamental, but don't skip over any sections you think you have covered, there will probably be a suggestion or two that you have not thought of.

Not only does Kari Chapin share her own innovative ideas, but her "creative collective" does as well. This is a group of her colleagues, other artists who are successful in the field, including the illustrator of the book, Emily Martin. It was refreshing to read about the experiences of other artists every few pages. The many different viewpoints and ideas to consider surrounding each topic, helped to spark my own imagination even more when pondering a given subject.

With topics ranging from coming up with a name for your venture, to hiring help, I enjoyed every page. As I read, I was mentally checking off things I've already done, and making a list of things I should do. I plan to read the book again, with a pen and pad in hand to write down the many ideas I thought were good for my own business.

I would recommend this book to anyone who already sells items they make, or those who wish to do so. The piece of advice that I have been thinking about the most is that you need to bring in revenue from multiple channels, as the market is volatile, and it is risky to rely on one source of income.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gathering of the Vibes

This past weekend I attended Gathering of the Vibes, not as a vendor, but as a barefoot, sparkly, movin' to the grooves hippie, because sometimes you just need a three day party. Don't get me wrong, I would love to vend at this festival. Making sales and getting the word out about your company while rocking out with a great view of the stage sounds great, but Revel is not ready quite yet.

Altough most of the vendors had the same tye-dye, corduroy, generic hippie wears, there were a few worth mentioning. My partner Amanda and I walked up to one booth where we were each greeted with a hand massage. Aaahhhh, the ultimate sales hook, it felt so good. The owner of the company had my full attention in explaining the product, I would have listened for hours as long as that hand massage was still going on. The products are 100% natural candles, which come in many tantalizing aromas, and melt down to not wax, but to hand lotion! With an innovative, all natural, made in the U.S. product, fresh booth and packaging design, and creative and amusing logo and marketing scheme, DR. SOFSKIN'S was by far my favorite vendor.

I took a walk through the gallery of Jerry Garcia's artwork, which is impressive, but I've seen it so many times, I was itching for something new. Larry Carlson Studio was the booth that gave me the eye candy I needed. The layers of pattern and design reminded me of Shepard Fairey, except with a much more digital look. Most pieces were landscapes in beautiful colors, adjusted to help develop a unique environment.

Another designer worth checking out is Nature Girl Designs. Ruthie Lopp makes custom photo belt buckles. The designs are beautiful, but I don't think she creates them herself. Ruthie did however, come up with the process to create the belt buckle with the image, which creates a good looking, high priced product.

The thing I missed the most at this Vibes was the multiple panel canvas in the middle of the concert field. Last year one was set up and roped off to 4 or5 artists each creating their own masterpiece. It was incredible to walk by throughout the weekend and see the progress they were making.

Of course the rest of the festival was an incredible time, fun people, great music and of course good vibes. I'd have to say Zach Deputy won the spot as my favorite performer, with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings coming in second. I look forward to next year.