Sunday, 30 November 2008

Jingle Jingle

It's soooo Christmassy today I have decided to knit an advent calender, come back each day for a new surprise.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Bright Lights, River City

Some girls and I from the Wee Green Market had a mini fair at the studios of River City today which proved quite profitable for all of us.

I confess to having watched it on the telly last night for the first time and I was still none the wiser as to who most of the actors were, although I did recognise a lady that used to be in Take The High Road (much more my scene during my student years).

It was lovely meeting new people of a creative persuasion - and lots more positive feed back.

As usual I spent most of my time chatting with Caireen about potential ways to develop business and how to stay true to your dream/ goal. It's a balance I think, and the clever thing is creating new products and ideas that I love and that people want. As the saying goes you can please most of the people all of the time, etc...

I always thought when practicing architecture that selling ideas to clients was an art. I do think that the way to a good design is to understand the client fully, from how they open a door to how they sit and drink their coffee. Little details that make up their whole, and a very intimate exercise.

So how can I use those skills when designing new products and developing my business when I don't really know who my 'client' (customer) is yet?

The feedback I've had over the past month has been amazing - I must be doing something right, however I'm sure there are lots of things I need to improve on. Blogs are a great way of getting feedback, so please keep reading and leaving your comments (all constructive criticism welcome)

Also having the opportunity to spend time with like minded and talented people helps - not many of the builders I worked with were too interested in knitting!

So today was a good day, relatively simple and understated, I've also managed to knit some more tea cosies tonight - look out for my sheep ones on the web site soon, maybe I know my customers better than I think!

Monday, 24 November 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Well, that's it over for this year. I've managed to survive my first big show without too many battle scars so here is how it went.....

(apologies for not very good pictures!)

The Good What can I say, not so much good, more like fantastic. Obviously the icing on the cake was winning the Best Stand Award out of all those amazing exhibitors, but even better were all the lovely comments I got from visitors, exhibitors and customers.

Giving up being an architect to concentrate on My Baboo was a bit of a leap into the unknown for me, this weekend has just confirmed that I have done the right thing. The hard work starts now though as next year will really be make or break. I wont be doing a show like Country Living every month so I really have to start making the pennies to see me through the year, as I cant rely on Christmas trade alone.

I received lots of trade enquiries, although I am still unsure how to develop this. I would love the time to dedicate to building up my own customer base, and being flooded with wholesale orders may not allow me the time to do so. I'm being a bit cautious just now, but watch this space.

The Bad
Not much was bad about the show, the only real glitch being the power failure on Saturday morning which meant exhibitors and visitor had to wait in the cold till the doors opened at 11am. We stayed open for an hour longer to compensate. Well done to the organisers who managed to pacify thousands of women, tickets in hand who had been queuing since 9.30am - it's not a job I would have liked!

I also learned very quickly on Thursday that any shoes with the slightest heel were a bad idea, especially as I almost had to crawl out of the car when I got home on Thursday night as my feet were so sore.

The Ugly.... The ugly is simply the people who stole a clutch bag, bunny and reindeer from me. The reindeer was stolen from the press office, and the green bunny and red bow clutch bag are the only ones of their kind out there in the big bad world, so if you have them or receive them as a present then I hope you are shamed into never being able to use them. Thanks, you made my day - not.
(please don't get confused by all of you lovely people who did buy reindeer's from me!)

Ah well, you learn by your mistakes as they say. Next year is flat shoes all the way, and a keen eye for those who prefer not to pay. My mind is nearly functioning again and I'm already thinking of new designs , I'm off to get my PA to organise a press release...OK I'm really off to tidy up the garage and sort out my stock - reality bites.

Last but not least the biggest thanks goes to my mum, dad and big sis for all the help they gave me before/ during and after the show - I couldn't have done it without them!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

A Happy Bunny

Just a quick post to say Country Living is going well and today................

...............I WON BEST STAND AT THE COUNTRY LIVING FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks to all who took the time to visit me and for all the wonderful comments I have received.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Country Living... go!

Just about organised for the set up tomorrow. Really looking forward to meeting you all, please come by and say hello.

I'm off to fold some tissue paper - all those little jobs mount up!

Lynne x

Friday, 14 November 2008

Quality not Quantity

The hours are ticking away and I'm feeling quietly confident that I'll be sorted for Country Living next Thursday. I have a Christmas Fair at the BBC in Glasgow on Tuesday (sorry not open to the public) so I need to be organised for that, then its set up day at the SECC on Wednesday.

Vans are booked and I have enlisted the help of my mum, dad and sister to help me set up and man the stall. For those of you that stop by my stand I'm sure you will notice the family resemblance. My mum is already stressing over what to wear and how much shopping time she will have. You just cant get the staff these days.

I've made all that I can and have finished most things bar some bunnies and sheep, I've also lots of empty boxes waiting to be transformed into knitting kits.

I spent yesterday dashing about Central Scotland purchasing receipt books and more card for labels, and managed to fit in a quick coffee with my sis at Perth Theatre (always worth a visit).

Last night I took a few of my things along to a wee soiree at Doyles for the Balfron Nursery mums, a lovely evening, a bit of self promotion and I also managed to get a few orders too.

Which brings me to the real topic of this post. Yesterday I read Janes blog as always with interest. She is also exhibiting at Country Living albeit on a much grander scale
, and has raised the issue of imported goods being sold at big 'craft' events. Have a read of her blog and the comments.

Last night I was asked if My Baboo was a franchise. Those of you who know me will know its not, it's all my own doing. I often get asked where I buy my products from and people can be quite shocked to learn I design and make everything myself.

After reading Janes blog I started to wonder why this is. Do people just assume that work of any quality has to be a massed produced product? Or are we as makers not getting the message across that there is a wealth of top quality designers on your door step, where you are guaranteed originality, attention to detail and importantly when you are handing over your hard earned cash, you are buying an item that has been made with a great deal of thought and care, and let's face it- love.

I love making everything I design, and even after having a few intensive months of knitting and sewing I haven't reached my boredom threshold for making lots of the same item. I always get a thrill and surprise when people buy things I have made and are so complimentary about them, it makes it all worth while.

So above is a picture of most of the bags I have made (minus flowers so they don't get squashed). Laying them out doesn't look like much, but I don't physically have the time to make any more, so that is my 'quality over quantity'. If I sell what I have made I will be a happy Baboo bunny.

I'm looking forward to meeting some of you next week, and feel free to ask me if I have made everything myself even if you know the answer.


Friday, 7 November 2008

So much to do.... little time.

sorry I've not been blogging for a while, I'm burning the candle at both ends trying to get organised for Country Living.

Ive been finishing these...

and these...

and these...
and these...
and these...
and lots more!

In between I have been ordering red paper bags, got my postcards (which look great) and running after the boy.

Don't forget there is still time to order tickets for Country Living
at the SECC 20th-23rd November. Call 0844 848 0136 and quote code CC2 for special discounted rate of £7.50 per adult (normally £11.00 on the door)

I will be at the Wee Green Market in Killearn tomorrow from 10am-1pm, hope to see you there!