The best resource for great local shopping!

There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Made By Hand Show, November 5, 2011 at the International Centre

Jacqueline Hunter has been in the craft business since 2007. She is the creative talent behind “Made by Jacqueline” handmade cards and paper crafts. After participating in dozens of shows Jacqueline decided that it was high time to put her years of experience to good use. In May of 2011 “Made by Hand” was launched and by the end of the month a venue was secured and Vendor calls had gone out. Earlier this month the show sold out all its booth spaces.

For Jacqueline it is just as important to her that the artisans participating in the show have as good an experience as the customers do. Jacqueline’s biggest beefs were how poorly many of the shows were advertised and how often once a crafter paid their booth fee, they never heard from the organizers again.

To make sure her vendors didn’t have these same complaints, “Made by Hand Show” is featured in several local newspapers and 10,000 flyers will go out to local residents. She’s even making a TV appearance. Look for her on Monday October 24th on Rogers cable 10 (Mississauga) daytime show. Through Face book and Twitter, the "Made by Hand Show" crew are keeping participating artisans in the loop as to what is happening and when. Now that’s she has her vendors taken care of, it’s time to move onto the customers, ‘cause nobody’s happy if the customer isn’t!

The location: The International Centre is a favourite of shoppers. There is lots of free parking, it’s convenient to get to, and big enough so you can have a great variety of quality vendors without being overwhelmed.
The Date: November 5th, is the perfect time to start your holiday shopping, not too early, not too late!
The Artisans: All the vendors at the show will be there showcasing their own, handmade items, all handcrafted in Canada. Jacqueline went to great care to select a variety of unique artisans from a selection of categories.

Even more reasons to come:
  • The first one hundred customers will receive swag bags.
  • There are door prizes, and 50/50 draws ranging from hotel packages to theatre tickets and fine art & more.
  • There is a bunch of stuff to keep the kiddies busy too. There will be face painting and henna artists on site and crafts for the kids to do!

For Jacqueline it wasn’t enough to just have happy artisans and customers, she wanted to give back too - all the door proceeds will go to Crafting for a Cure a not for profit, registered charity. Crafting for a Cure is a local charity that looks for opportunities to insure children are having a positive experience when a hospital visit is necessary.

It sounds like the "Made By Hand Show" is going to be a great show! Here at 100 mile finds we are thrilled to be one of show sponsors and Details By Donna, & Christine Marie Ford are just a few of the 100 mile finds vendors that are participating in the show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jonathan Dunkelman, Painter

Our newest addition, Jonathan Dunkelman is a painter whose 'paintings hover between landscape and the non-objective. He combines geometric shapes interacting with flat bold plains of colour and spontaneous mark-making. His palette of bright, mainly primary colours combine with line and shape; from this Jonathan’s landscapes begin to emerge. Working without source imagery, paint is applied in thin layers. The result is work that explores the relationship between impulse and preparation, nature and urban development'.
A self taught artist, Jonathan's earliest inspirations came from his parents' love of art, expressed through their gallery, the Dunkelman Gallery. Jonathan continues to be inspired by his long study of martial arts and Zen philosophy.

He is currently (Oct 13-23) exhibiting at 183 Bathurst St, Toronto, and will be on site to discuss his latest work on Saturday Oct. 22 (11-6) and Sunday Oct. 23 (11-4). Weekdays by appointment only.
We hope you can pop in to see his work this weekend and welcome Jonathan to 100 Mile Finds!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Craft show 101 part 2 - How to make the most out of the show

So you've decided to dive in and sell your wares at a craft show. What should you do to make the most of it?
First, I don't care what anyone says, your plan should be to make some money! It's great if you also make connections, use it as a marketing tool, & meet a bunch of great people, but you should make some moula! You deserve it, you've worked hard making whatever you make and people should appreciate that and pay a fair price for it.

What's your break even point?

You need to know how much you need to make to cover costs. The golden standard is to make 3 to 5 times the cost of your booth, whether it's 3 or 5 depends on how much you mark up your product. If the show is far away, you might want to factor in gas too.
Now that you know how much you have to make, you've got to figure out how much stock you should have available for sale in order to make a profit and make sure you've got that, and more available for sale. That's the fun part!

Do your part in spreading the word, yes you!

It always amazes me, that so many artists don't promote the shows they are participating in. I know you want fresh meat, we all do, but if everyone does their part, then more people will find out about the show...

  • Post it on facebook and twitter. Follow other artists and post about their shows and ask for the same in return.
  • if you have a blog, blog about the show,
  • if you have a newsletter, spread the word.
  • If you are part of a collective, ask them to spread the word. Do you belong to, we love posting about our vendors, we even have a shows & sales page!
  • If you have a website, make sure you update the events page to include every single show you are doing.
  • Do you have a customer database? No? Just start leaving a guest book on the table in booth and then you will be ready for the next show.

What do you need for the show?

  • a float. Think about your prices and make sure you've got change for $20's. Decide now whether or not you are accepting cheques. Find out if there is a bank machine near by that you can direct people to.
  • calculator, pens, receipt book, bags, packing tissue, guest book,tape, scissors, pins, clips, extension cords... You are bound to forget something, remember you can always borrow from another vendor.
  • BUSINESS CARDS, pamphlets from upcoming shows.
  • Signage. You should have some sort of sign, it's all about brand recognition. You can make great color copies of your logo, quite inexpensively. String 3 logos across the front of your table on a piece of twine and you are good to go.
  • do you need a table, chair(s), tent? Make sure you know what you need beforehand.
  • How long is the show? Do you need help manning your booth?

Once you are there, make the most of it!

  • If someone is "just looking" ask them if they want a business card.
  • Add a business card in the bag with every purchase.
  • Get them to sign your "guest book", tell them you will let them know about up-coming shows, sales...
  • Think about offering a "show special"
  • Chat up your customers. They want to know about you and what you do, that's why they are there.
  • Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to set up and don't start packing until the show is done.

Above all, life is short, enjoy yourself! A craft show is a great way to get inspired. Check out what everyone else is doing. Meet new people. Try and find out what your customers think about your product. If anyone has anything negative to say, they don't know what they are talking about. Don't let it get you down!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jaqui Michells Studio

Jaqui Michells recently joined 100 Mile Finds - Welcome!  She is a jeweller who works in gold and silver. Her yoga inspired pieces would be a perfect gift for the yoga enthusiast.  One of my favourites is this lotus flower sterling silver pendant.  Jaqui promises a ring and a bracelet to match that will be available soon.
Jaqui is also a painter, working in oil, acrylic, encaustic (which I love) and India ink. There must never be a dull moment!  Besides being one of our fabulous 100 Mile Finds vendors, Jaqui Michells Studio can also be found at the Art Market located at 1114 Queen St. East in Leslieville, Toronto.  We are so pleased to have Jaqui join us - we will enjoy watching for new work as it is posted.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Craft show 101- part 1 - How to pick a show

Craft shows can be an amazing way for artisans and crafts people to meet customers, market their product and sell their wares. How do you pick shows that will give you the best bang for your buck? There are a bunch of things to consider.

One of the best ways to judge a craft show is through word of mouth. If a show has been around for a while and you've heard good things about it that's probably a good sign. But all craft shows aren't for all artisans. If you've ever participated in a season of craft shows the one thing you know for sure is that, you never know, how it's going to turn out. I've been at a show one year where I've sold a ton of cards and no big ticket prints and then the next year the opposite happens. We've all been to shows where there are have almost no customers, or heaven forbid, lots of customers but no one seems to see you and your stuff for sale. Terrible weather can play a huge part in how sucessfull a show is too! For sure if you are thinking about joining the craft show circuit or if you're going to give it another try, you have to be thick skinned, be able to maintain a good attitude and enjoy the company of all the other cool artisans there! Otherwise, it just ain't worth it.

10 things to look for in a good craft show
  1. How long has it been around? Sometimes year 10 is a lot more successful than year one. Don't dismiss new shows though, you just don't want to be their guinea pigs.

  2. Where is it located? Will there be walk-by traffic? Do you have to drive there? Is it linked to another event that could help drive traffic there?

  3. Who's running the show? Is it an organization that will provide traffic through it's members? Another crafter with a history of running shows?

  4. What sort of promotional efforts is the organizer offering. Ask them to tell you what they are doing to promote the show.

  5. How big is the show? Is it going after a certain market?

  6. How much does it cost to participate? A show may be worth $300 if they are spending money on advertising. Sometimes a church basement show for $50 can be well worth it if they get all the parents out to support it.

  7. How many artisans will be participating in the show?

  8. Is the show juried? A juried show will make sure there is a variety of quality artisans participating in the show.

  9. The time of year. Obviously Christmas is a good time, people are thinking about shopping? July in a touristy part of town could be good.

  10. Is it outside? You will need a tent, an added expense. Do they supply the tables? chairs? What are the added costs? Lighting? Power? Sometimes the little things can really add up.

Once you've decided that this show is the show for you, you've really just started on your journey. Tune in next week and I'll talk about how to make the most out of your show experience.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all the best of weekends! Here's a link to our newsletter that went out today, it was a good one!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

lulu and mika

We were delighted to spend some time with Michael of lulu and mika at our Brickworks Culture Days event last Saturday. It is fun for us to spend some time with the real thing after hanging out in the virtual world most of the time.
lulu and mika make some pretty exceptional 'real things' too. This multi-talented duo have an amazing baby line (we want them to post their baby kimonos on the site - so very cute) including ninja booties and bibs. Their sock monkeys need adopting - they are a real cast of characters. Finally, the jewelry for the grown ups is both colourful and sophisticated.
And congratulations are in order for this artistic (and very busy) couple. The new addition to their line-up includes a baby girl born less than 2 weeks ago!! We saw some pics - and I can't wait to see some more with her wearing her own kimono.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Great gift ideas for babies and their mommies

Belly Buttons & Babies™Who wouldn't want to slather this 2 in1 shampoo and body wash all over their adorable toddler or infant? These organic skin care products are developed to use from pregnancy to post pregnancy and for the baby too! They've literally got you covered!

Check out this adorable ninja booties for your 3-6 month old baby by Lulu & Mika Not only do they have these cute as ever booties but they've got a selection of cool baby toys and for the big brother or sister they've got amazing sock monkey kits. They've even make jewellery for Mom.

Glow Baby products are really cool! They offer a "Baby's First Journal" which is a feeding, sleeping and diapering log book for newborns. Other products include a Medicine Pad for tracking medication instructions and doses, a shopping list pad, To Do list pad and Babysitter notes.