Figuring Holiday Sale Inventory

2012 Union Square Holiday Market

2012 Union Square Holiday Market

The applications for large holiday fairs come out around this time. Last year Wink and Flip had a booth at the Union Square Holiday Market and what amounted to a holiday season pass at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Williamsburg. Taking on the responsibility of a sizable holiday market can be both terrifying and gratifying.

Big business begins buying inventory for the holidays anytime from now until August. For smaller businesses, such as those that belong to the New York Etsy Team, product is handmade and ramping up for holiday inventory may have already begun. Talking to other designers, it seems the worry about having enough inventory can be a major obstacle to booking big holiday events.

How can you be sure you’ll be able to make all those holiday customers happy? One way to figure the amount of inventory you’ll need for the holidays is to work backwards: Decide – in a dream world – what you would like to make in terms of gross holiday sales. Then look at your best single sales day for 2012: Where was it, what were the conditions? It may very well have occurred during the holidays of the previous year.

Now, work backwards and figure out what that day looked like in terms of product breakdown. In other words, how many pieces of your product (necklaces/sewn animals/candles/soaps) did you sell that day? Then, further break down the day as best you can so you are able to see exactly what comprised the sales in each category within your business. For instance, for a jewelry company, how much of a $2,000 sales day was done in rings, bracelets, and headbands? Divide each of those sales totals into the $2,000 sales figure and you now have a breakdown of percentage of sales for each category. So, you might find that on a $2,000 day, 60% of sales were necklaces ($1200), 20% were bracelets ($400), 10% were rings ($200) and 10% were headbands ($200).

The next step is to choose your sales, apply and cross your fingers that you are admitted. Analyze each show. How many days does it run? Brooklyn Night Bazaar was eight two-day events, or 16 nights. Union Square was about six week, or 42 days.

We took the company’s per day figures and multiplied them by the number of days those markets were held. That would give us a feel for how much inventory we would need. But since not all days are anyone’s most successful day, we would round down, so we didn’t make too much excess inventory. Of course, there is always the problem of not getting into the shows for which you have produced inventory, but most designers running a business at this level will get into some serious holiday shows.

Most people who run handmade businesses are also producing product during the holidays, usually to catch up with sales. But it’s not easy to run and business and produce its inventory at the same time.

While it’s true that we have not yet sunk our teeth into a single cob of 4th of July corn yet, the time for crunching Christmas numbers is upon us. Good luck!



Extend the Holidays!

Did you all have a good Christmas? I had a great time opening presents with my siblings and stuffing my face with a delicious Christmas dinner prepared by my mom! As we were chit chatting, my mom mentioned that she always receives beautiful Christmas cards each year and she would love to display them around the house in some way. That conversation gave me the idea behind this post- what better way to keep up the holiday cheer than to display your cards around the house? Here are a few options that I discovered on pinterest!

Tell me: Do you display your holiday cards at home?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

12 Days of Etsy Christmas

I always thought the Twelve Days of Christmas were the twelve that lead up to Christmas Day; all those pipers pipping. Not. The Twelve Days are the festive days beginning on December 25th. They end 12 days later.

Also known as Christmastide, or Twelvetide (really, who calls it that, elves living in a hollow tree?) it ends on January 5th, the day before the Epiphany, which is always on January 6th. In some cases, gifts are given on Christmas Day, but in other traditions, one gift a day is given. Here is an Etsy Twelve Days of Christmas for each of the 12 nights, beginning December 25th!

MacBook Air 11" cover, $105 from Fritz and Fraulein Vintage Redesign.

Twinings English Breakfast Tea Tin Clock, $18 from New York Clocks.

Handmade Going Bananas Body Bar Soap (with real banana) $7, by Nordea Soaperie.

Unique Lucite Necklace with Oxidized Silver $29 from Wish by Felicity.

Owl on bright pink tissue cozy, $5 from Felt It.

Red Hooded Handprinted Sleeveless Dress, $140, from Better Than Jam.

Chevron ring, $50 from Virginie Millefiori.

Frida Kahlo light switch cover, $12 from Lu Crafts.

Liquor gift bags from K. Batty Design & Stationary Shop.

Unicorn horn hair clip, $22 from Brooklyn Owl.

Celtic Triangle Knotwork Bookmark at beinthemoment, $40.

Labour of Love necklace from AdornmentsNYC $32.

Happy Holidays from  Wink&Flip!

Handmade Holiday Cards

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I love the holidays so very much and this year I decided to get a little creative and make my own Christmas cards. Even if you've already bought your cards, it may be fun to make a few of them for some extra-special people :) Here are a few ideas that I drew inspiration from!

Love the 3-D effect of the accordion Christmas trees.

Simple and sweet.

Revisit your childhood and have fun with finger paints!

Play with products you may already have around the house.

Buy a couple holiday stamps and get creative.

Tell me: Are you sending holiday cards this year?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Holiday Gifts on a Budget

Washington is buzzing with talk about the "fiscal cliff." I am not quite sure what that all means for me, but I do know that I have considerably less money in my bank account compared to ten years ago.

I like giving gifts for the holidays, especially unique, handmade items. Unfortunately, some people in my family, and even some friends do not really appreciate how special handmade can truly be.

I have witnessed friends making lists of all the things they plan to return, and what they plan to get instead....not really embracing the true spirit of gift-giving.

For that reason, I am a fan of giving a bunch of "little" gifts. And by that I mean gifts around $10. I usually pick out 4-5 "little" gifts for each person, hoping that they will like at least a couple of the items. I hate to think of myself plunking down a considerable amount of money for one big gift, that the person may not like.

I often turn to etsy to find those special little items, that cannot be found in target, wal-mart, and other big department stores. Here are some awesome picks from members of the Etsy NY team:

Koto Designs

I hope I have given you a few ideas for some gifts this year, and remember, whatever gifts you may receive this thankful! Until next time, happy crafting (and/or shopping!)

Nordea / nordeasoaperie

What is Your Favorite Holiday Tradition?

In case you didn't already know, the Holiday Handmade Cavalcadeis coming up soon- this weekend to be more specific! As we get closer and closer to this fun event, I've asked a few of the vendors to share their favorite holiday traditions. Without further ado, here they are (click the pictures to visit their shops)!

Tell me: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

By Nnenna of  star-crossed smile

Crafty Inspirations

Before I started crafting, I frequently visited craft shows to marvel at things that I thought I could never create. Fast forward years later, I am actually making and selling handmade soaps in my etsy shop Nordea Soaperie!

I always wonder what drives a person to choose their craft, and what inspires them to create on a daily basis. I know that I am inspired by my love of strange as that sounds. I LOVE food, and I love to cook. Making soap is simply following a recipe, and I am always thinking of different ways to incorporate food and beverages into my soaping projects. Many of my more popular soaps include fruit purees or liquids like aloe juice and beer.

I asked another member of the EtsyNY team what inspired their crafty creations, and Alison from Koto Designs gave me the following answer:

"I would say that I'm inspired by what I encounter in my day-to-day life. I always have an eye out for anything with a simple geometry that would translate well into embroidery. For example, my brother is a huge bike fanatic and for his birthday I made him a card featuring his super customized bike. I made another (more generic) version for my etsy shop for all the bike lovers out there."

To see the beautiful work from many more members of the EtsyNY team, make sure you come to the annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade which will be a two-day event kicking off the Holiday shopping season! This show will feature artisans from all over the tri-state area. Don't forget to mark your calendars, December 1 & 2 in Brooklyn, NY....Hope to see you there!



Look Ma, I Can Sew!

This blog post is not so much a tutorial, but more of an inspirational story. I often have big ideas, but sometimes I don't follow through for fear of failure. This time around...I did it!

I purchased an iPad for my birthday last month. I was a bit nervous spending so much money, but it was my birthday after all! While I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I wanted additional screen protection insurance (or whatever it's called). I thanked her, but declined. She shook her head and clearly expressed her disapproval at my decision. I couldn't shake that feeling of dread as I walked back to the subway.

I immediately went online and purchased a hard magnetic cover, but my iPad still felt "exposed" as I carried it around in my purse, so I decided to make a padded sleeve for additional protection. I did a lot of research and found a tutorial that didn't seem too difficult. I have a sewing machine, but never really made something like an iPad sleeve.

I ordered some fabric, batting, a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, a clear acrylic ruler, and got to work!

I cut out my fabric carefully, measuring everything with precision. I learned about tacking, squaring up fabric, pinning my hems...lots of things!

I did have a few issues with finishing the hem, but worked it out. The velcro tabs didn't stick, so I ended up stitching them by hand. I showed the cover to a friend (an experienced seamstress,) and she was impressed with the work I had done. I won't lie and say it was easy. It took me about 5 hours to do, and there were times of frustration, but I didn't give up!

Now, I take my iPad everywhere! Of course, this doesn't guarantee that an accident won't happen, but I feel a bit more relaxed about taking my iPad on the go. My mom just bought an iPad, and I had her pick out fabric so I can make her a sleeve too!

So, I hope you are inspired to attempt a project of your own....happy crafting!


Good Tidings To You

Bee's Stocking with Pins Made by Her Mother Annie
The holidays are literally on top of us, so to share what we at the {NewNew} are doing at this time, here is a roundup of the different holiday traditions of our team members:

Much Merriment

For Chanukah, Alexa of Roseground used to visit her grandmother to light candles and celebrate. "After candles and before presents, my grandma would put out a big pot full of coins (mostly pennies, but some larger coins), and we would all take a handful of coins and put it in a pot for charity, and another handful of coins and put it in a baggie for ourselves (though I usually lost mine playing dreidl

Kelly of Aperture Agog and her family love to play games so much that her aunt has put together a family jeopardy game for Christmas that includes categories like "family history" and "Christmas Carols."

In true Etsy fashion, Jacqueline, who runs ChelseaRainbow, is busy making all her gifts for her family party that will take place at her cousin's house.

Christmas Mistletoe To-Go by Hook and Matter

Figgy Pudding

As with all celebrations, food is also at the center of our family gatherings: Lauren, a.k.a. LolaFalk begins Christmas Eve by sharing/breaking the Oplatek - a thin, crisp wafer that typically has a nativity scene imprinted on it.  The ritual is that the eldest member of the family starts with the wafer, breaks off a piece and offers it to another family member with a blessing of good wishes for the upcoming year.  It then moves through family member to member with the breaking and the blessing passing through.

Sara of S2 Stationery is becoming the keeper of her family's secret Honduran tamale recipe. She has been making these tamales with the women in her family since she was a small child and the recipe which has never been written down, has now passed from her grandmother to her mother and to her. It includes 2 special corn based mixtures and a filling of capers, raisins, and potatoes.

For Natasha, the proprietress of Wink and Flip, the Carlyle Hotel has always been a special place for important family events and Christmas morning you will find her there with her clan pondering whether to take on the enormous breakfast buffet or order a la carte.

Dreidel Kitty by MyZoetrope

Light the Lights

As the days are getting shorter, we all enjoy the cheerful decorations of the season. Melissa of be in the moment and her family always take in the Christmas decorations on the drive home from Midnight Mass.

Bee was born in 2008 and every Christmas since then her mother Annie of Brooklyn Owl has added a new pin to her stocking. The stocking pins, baking molasses cookies, watching "Home Alone" Christmas morning, and building crazy blanket forts are becoming part of this little girl's holiday memories.

With the arrival of Baby Xander, Jenn of Firelight Jewelry and her family are also making new traditions. They will begin with a reading of the Grinch, and conclude with a gathering via Skype to hang out with her family in Ireland and open presents together.

Amy of Sweet Olive Jewelry grew up with this tradition:
"Growing up, we always had the tradition of waiting until Christmas Eve to put up the Christmas tree. Usually that meant waiting until Christmas Eve to BUY the tree too! Throughout the years we ended up with trees my brother called "Charlie Brown trees" because they were sad, misshapen and usually
heavily discounted. A few times, we were so late that the lots were already closed and we just had to leave the money for our tree."

Hoping that all little trees will get this much love and that Ruby won't have to work too much this weekend, we at the {NewNew} wish you a very Happy Holiday and thank you for hanging out with us this year!


Sending Out Christmas Cards

This time of the year I get that spoof Christmas song in my head based on the 12 Days of Christmas. You know it...the 12 Pains of Christmas. The Fourth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to most people is sending Christmas cards.

What? Why?! Obviously as a stationery maker, I look forward to sending AND receiving holiday cards, but I can's one more thing to do & an easy one to leave to the last minute. So! Here are some quick ways to get them done - all great cards that you can print at home!

Printable Christmas Card - Bird Wreath Greeting with Personalization Option


Last Chance Printable Christmas Cards DIY Digital File Deer Reindeer Antlers Woodland

Custom Printable Christmas Card Design

Sending Smiles :: Holiday Photo Cards

The above screen shot is of THIS treasury I did a few weeks ago. All of the items featured are photo holiday cards that you can print yourself. That's what I'm doing! Well, that's what I'm doing in the sense that I am taking my thumbdrive to CVS up the street & getting 5 x 7 prints made. Want to see??

{design by me, photo by NewNew member Kelley Gudahl}

Now all you need are envelopes! Hope your holidays are Merry & Bright!