Friday, January 30, 2009

Needle Felting Classes with Moxie

I'll be teaching two felting fundamentals classes at Beadworld this weekend. We'll focus on bead-making with lots of variation in style, shape, and embellishment techniques. Saturday, Jan 31 in Seattle, 1-4pm and Sunday, Feb 1 in Kirkland, 1-4pm. I think there are a few spots left, but move swiftly to snag 'em.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Do's and Dont's: How to approach and create strong business partnerships

I am part of a panel tomorrow night for Grassroots Business Association on the Do's and Dont's of approaching stores and creating good relationships with store/gallery owners. We compiled a list of the Do's and Dont's which I figured I would put here as well.

The do’s and don’ts

The Approach:
DO your research! Really work on figuring out a store, and the other art carried there. Does the store/gallery already have work that resembles yours? Does your price point seem reasonable compared to what else is in the store?
DON’T just show up, pull all of your merchandise out of a bag and assume that the owner has time at that particular moment. Best to make an appointment
DO be on time for your appointment!
(If you) DO have a web site or portfolio, make sure it has your most up to date work. Owners DONT want to see old work, they want to see the work they would actually be selling.

Once you are in:
DO be sure your work is well packaged/ready to hang/ in general ready for the shelves or walls.
DO check in *regularly* to see if new products are needed, which items are selling the best, and get any other important feedback from the owner/buyer.
DO create new pieces to occasionally freshen your line
DO be on time with shipments or drop offs.
DO be lenient. Owners will find you very “hard work” if you need constant updating and attention.

The price is right:
DON’T show up without pricing your work. Have your prices figured out BEFORE you go to the store.
DO have integrity with your prices. Keep them consistent at every place you sell, as well as your personal website or at fairs.

Keeping it all straight:
DO keep track of all your inventory.
DONT assume that the store is going to keep perfect records, with lots of artists and inventories to keep track of, it has to be up to YOU, the artist, to keep meticulous records.
DO know your own policies regarding your business and your work: Will you do special, last minute orders for the store? If so, is there an added fee for your work? What about theft/damage? Do you require that a store take responsibility for this? Be clear on the stores policies, and make sure there are no discrepancies between the two.

Taxes and other fun stuff:
DO have a city of Seattle business license
DO file federal taxes for any sales from your business over $600.00 annually.

It’s not you, it’s me...
DO accept rejection graciously. Know that you’re work has it’s place, it just may not be where you think, or where you would like it. Consider that by being told “NO”, it may be doing you a favor in the end.

We will obviously be talking about this more in depth, if you would like to attend please rsvp here

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Do's and Dont's: How to approach and create strong business partnersh

Do you have a great product or fabulous art, but aren't sure about how to go about getting into stores? Have questions about how to approach store owners? Wonder about presentation? What makes owners choose to carry one artist's work and not another's? How to follow up without seeming pushy? If you're interested in getting some basic tips on the "do's" and "dont's" of working with store/boutique/gallery owners then...

Come to Vermillion on Thursday January 28th! Get great advice from local store/gallery owners (and other artists) for getting your work out there, and creating strong and lasting business partnerships that will help you take your business to the next level. This will be an open discussion format, please come ready to throw out your questions!
When: Wednesday, January 28th at 7 p.m.

Where: Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98144 (map) Vermillion has food and drinks.

Cost: Free

Andrea Porter of Bluebottle Art Gallery
Kristen Rask of Schmancy
Cheryl Robinson of Twilight Artist Collective
Annie Huntly of Dotted Line

Please RSVP so we can be sure we have enough room for everyone to attend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What We Do Is Also Secret

I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak of the new show going up at Vain titled, 'What We Do Is Also Secret'. The show opens this Saturday from 4:00 to 9:00pm. This show is a collaboration by the super talented Coco Howard and Spencer Moody. I saw it going up in November so it was really exciting to see how much it has come along since then. I have put up a few more pictures here. I hope to see some of you there!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Call to Action: Fight the CPSIA

What is the CPSIA? (from the Santa Maria Sun)

"A broadly written law requiring lead and phthalate testing on all children’s products is set to go into effect on Feb. 10. The text of the law has prompted much confusion and threatens the livelihood of mom-and-pop shops. The law, meant to regulate large manufacturers that outsource overseas, also applies to the little guy. Some crafters and small-scale manufacturers are particularly hurt by the wording and possible enforcement, because many such home-based business owners pride themselves on using all-natural, child-safe materials."

Marlo and the EtsyRain team have put together a list of actions you can take:
An easy way to participate and make a difference: Place your online vote for the following list of action items on's "Citizen's Briefing Book" - from their site:
"Share your ideas on any issue facing the new administration, then rate or comment on other ideas. The best rated ideas will be gathered into a Citizen's Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama after he is sworn in. "

Please click on this link to get to the complete list of items related to the CPSIA

Vote for as many items as you support. There are about 11 items on the list so far.

If you wish to vote for just one listing, may I suggest: Repeal the CPSIA - it is well written and currently has the most support.

More online petitions to participate in:

Write to your United States Congress Person and Senator to request changes in the CPSIA to save handmade toys. Use our sample letter or write your own-

Join the Handmade Toy Alliance

Join the CPSIA information group (NEW - I have started a "Washington State" group just in case the organizers need to contact people from our state...sign up and sign on, please!)

It is up US make a difference in how we allow our elected government to treat us. Small businesses MUST take a stand and make their voices heard lest we lay down defeated by apathy.

Please vote. Please help. Please blog. Please take action TODAY.
Even if it's not your business you help save today, think about what could happen tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


One of your lovely UCU team members was featured today on Craft

If you are in Portland go check out Yarnia yourself and say hello to Lindsey!

Seattle PI article on Handmade Nation

Big article in Friday's Seattle PI on the upcoming Handmade Nation book and video and the local crafting scene.

Miller, filmed at Urban Craft Uprising, a Seattle craft fair, described the DIY movement as "shunning mass-produced fare in favor of handmade goods."

It's a common mindset among indie crafters, some of whom view the very act of "making" as a political statement -- a rejection of corporate culture and sweatshop labor.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Starting in 2009, this will be the official Urban Craft Uprising blog! Come back often for news and information on Urban Craft Uprising. We promise to have many special surprises for you this year!

Happy New Year!