Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Farmer's Market Wrap-Up & Looking Towards Next Year!

Well I thought I was being good about posting regularly…until I realized it has been over a week since my last post!  Sorry about that!

Anyway, the farmer's market up in Hamilton is FINALLY over!  I'm very glad that I ended up trying it this year, but by the end it was a very cold way to spend a Saturday!  Overall sales were pretty good.  My mother-in-law's doll clothes did very well at the beginning, and once it got cold my knit accessories (hats, gloves, scarves, etc.) sold nicely.  Plus I got a TON of spinning in, and got to educate the public.  All in all not a way to spend a few months' worth of Saturdays!

My knit item display.  I love displaying scarves like this, but once I have more inventory I need to adjust it to hold more hats, ear bands, and mittens.

Any ideas how I can make this work for 30-40 hats/mittens/cowls/earbands?

The rest of my display.  There are doll clothes on the table, along with other random things (stitch markers, handspun yarn, insoles, etc.)

Now that my in-person sales are almost over (see below), I've listed most of my remaining inventory on my Etsy site.  I have a great selection of felted bags and rugs, and some gorgeous handspun yarn.  And of course the usual selection of hats, scarves, mittens, and cowls.  There is something for everyone!

A new felted bag my mom made.

I do have one more in-person sale left, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  One of the other vendors at the farmer's market suggested that I try this "Christmas Bazaar" at a school just north of Hamilton, so I thought I would give it a shot.  The entry fee wasn't too expensive, and it is INDOORS!  Hopefully it is a successful day.

Some gorgeous new handspun merino/yak/silk yarn.

Before I start making more inventory for next year, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what items I want to make.

As far as knit items go, I think I just need more inventory.  I had a lot of people asking for hats (which I ran out of), and the fingerless mitts and ear bands sold quite well.  The cowls were a bit slower, but I love making them so they're still on the list.  I'd like to be able to make 10-15 of each type of item, in a variety of sizes and colors.

My favorite cowl of the year!

In terms of handspun yarn, I'm thinking about trying a new approach.  I'm going to try and design 5-6 new knitting patterns (1-2 for a few different yarn weights), and then sell kits with handspun yarn and the pattern.  Advertising the patterns (and yarns) on Ravelry should help drive traffic to my Etsy store, and the kits might be more successful than just selling random skeins of yarn.  I'm planning on designing a hat, cowl, and fingerless mitt pattern at the very least, but hopefully I can come up with a few more small project ideas.  I already have one fingerless mitt pattern that might work for worsted weight yarn.

The fingerless mitt pattern I designed last year.  Eventually I will get organized and publish it!

One big decision I need to make fairly soon is whether or not to try and get into some fiber festivals for next year.  I have quite a bit of roving that I could sell, but I'm not sure I'll have enough handspun yarn inventory by spring to really make it work.  I'll have to keep thinking…

Some of the new roving I got back from the mill.  This is brown llama, teal merino, and green firestar.

Once again I have more ideas and plans than will probably ever get turned into reality, but at least I have something to strive for!  Hopefully next year is a great one for my fiber business!

Kara says "hi"!


Susan said...

Enjoyed your blog this morning. The roving is beautiful, so is Kara!

Emaly said...

Thanks Susan!