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Archive for December, 2012

Finding Craft Supplies by the Internet

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Can you imagine what the world would be like we were all deprived of art and craft supplies?If you love making crafts, saving money on craft supplies can make your hobby even more enjoyable. This article explores several ways to save money by using the Internet when shopping for craft supplies, materials and tools

The first place to look for bargains is eBay. Depending on your craft, you can either search by keywords like “quilt supplies” or browse through the eBay categories until you find the one that matches your needs. Personally, I would try both searches when seeking the best deals. The reason to search both ways is that not every eBay seller knows to include the keywords you use in their listings, while they may at least place the item in the correct category.

eBay also has a category called “wholesale lots.” Check out the listings there for buying supplies in bulk. Be sure you can either use all the items in these big lots or turn around and sell them yourself.

Craigslist is another place online to shop for crafting materials and tools. I have found many listings for equipment I needed there.

Locate online craft supplies by doing a Google search based on your hobby. For example, if you are a woodworker, search for “woodworking supplies.” This is a great way to identify niche craft supply sites. Sometimes searching for “craft supplies” alone isn’t specific enough. Try including words that describe your craft like “jewelry findings,” “stained glass supplies,” “weaving yarns,” or “doll making supplies” depending on what you make. Many suppliers offer mail order catalogs in addition to their online stores.

Sites that sell finished handmade goods also offer craft supplies. For instance, both Etsy and Artfire allow vendors to list and sell craft materials on their online store fronts.

Other places to shop for bargains online include the websites of major retail craft supply stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Joann’s. Sometimes these sites will run “Internet only” bargains where you can really save some money if you buy online.

If you are a professional crafts person who sell crafts you make, consider bypassing retailers and middlemen by buying supplies direct from the manufacturers. Most manufacturers will require a state sales tax identification number to sell wholesale to you, but those are easy to get. The Thomas Register online lists most of the major manufacturers in the United States by product and by category. When shopping for yarns, I found several mills that would sell to me directly at very low prices. But I had to buy $500 worth at a time. Still, for a production crafts person, this can work out in the long run.

Though the Thomas Register lists U.S. manufacturers, you may be able to find even lower prices by going online to shop overseas. Alibaba is an Internet based clearing house for networking between buyers and sellers internationally. There are however drawbacks in buying craft supplies from other countries. You will probably have to buy in very large quantities. Handling imports may require you to have a trade agent who takes care of the shipment when it arrives. And you won’t have legal recourse if you aren’t happy with what you get.

In summary, start simple by searching online with words specific to your craft. Check out eBay, Etsy and Artfire for supplies listed by vendors there. When you move into production crafting, look towards buying craft supplies wholesale from manufacturers and maybe even from overseas. You can always turn your excess craft supplies into it’s own business.

A Successful Fashion Designer

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

To become very successful in this business is tough as it is considered one of the hardest careers to choose. The industry is considered cut throat and has a vast amount of competition. Many people feel that they have a flair for fashion and often dream of becoming a clothing designer.If you are like me you live and breathe fashion. You are constantly inspired with so many new designs racing through your mind, so many you can’t seem to get them all down quick enough at the pace they arrive. You constantly dream of the day your fashions will be on the fashion runway with the lights beaming brightly overhead, the cameras flashing everywhere and the audience being completely mesmerized by your incredible designs. You can’t stop thinking of the day you will open a magazine or watch the Oscars and see a famous celebrity in one of your breathtaking designs. Your book shelf is stocked with fashion books and magazines, and you absolutely can’t resist visiting textile stores to view all the latest fabrics, decorative beads, rhinestones and trims.

It’s this ever present dream of being a successful fashion designer that has you work day and night on your designs in most cases for many years without pay and working a job to pay the pills which is brutal torture, when all you can think about is living and working in fashion.

Famous fashion designers come from all walks of life there is no one system to follow that will have you become the next famous fashion designer. Some have graduated from elite fashion schools and some have never attended fashion school. Some have undertaken a fashion internship with a fashion house and others have made their own designs in their basement. The only elements all these fashion designers have in common is they had an intense passion for fashion, were able to design fashions highly sought after and connected with someone who gave them the opportunity to break into the fashion industry. It is essential in becoming a successful fashion designer you get you and your designs out there as much as possible, as how will anyone know about your fashions if they can’t see them?

In getting your fashions out there here are a few things you can do:

1. We are not usually good at everything some of us are great at designing clothes but lack the sewing and pattern making skills. It is here you can partner with someone who shares your passion for fashion and has the skills you lack. It is in the bringing together of different skills you can create a real product that can be showcased.
2. In having a fashion line of 14 outfits you can apply to your local fashion week. In the USA: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all have fashion weeks. These fashion weeks attract many editors, journalists and local socialites who will see your fashions and potentially give you the exposure you need to get known.
3. Many city night clubs hold fashion shows, find out what night clubs hold fashion shows and contact them as to how you can be apart of an up and coming show.
4. Locate fashion boutiques that cater to the fashions you design, first make a trip to the stores to look around, if you can see your clothes fitting in well with the store, find out who the owner is and ask if they would be willing to have some of your fashions offered for sale in their store. You will be amazed at how many store owners are willing to work with you. I walked around San Francisco in the Nob Hill district and had my fashions placed after visiting and discussing my product with four boutiques. In having your fashions displayed you will receive valuable insights as to whether or not your designs are in demand and if you need to change your designs to increase sales. It will also give you free exposure to the public. When your fashions do sell you can present this to investors who are more than willing to invest in your line, when you prove the existence of a strong demand for your fashions.

The Shirt and Skirt Markets is the perfect place for emerging fashion designers to showcase their talents and sell their beautiful creations to the general public. At their quality Melbourne outdoor market, you can be assured that your purchases have been lovingly made and/or created by the designers themselves – not mass produced. The Shirt and Skirt Markets welcomes designers and artists in many creative fields to join their collection of boutique studios and exhibit their wares. Stalls vary from month to month.