I went to Craftstravaganza (a local indie craft show) yesterday -- all by myself! -- and it was so inspiring. I was nearly giddy, wandering between the 70+ vendors, seeing how many fun, creative things they'd come up with. I looked most at the kids' clothes and greeting cards, but there was also jewelry, hangable art, coffee-cup holders complete with lace-up ties, hair bands, hand-spun yarn (oh, so soft and beautiful), soaps, and all sorts of other things. My favorite vendors were My Friend Jess, who appliqued little felt animals to shirts -- not onesies, Critterbee, who appliqued fabric to shirts and embellished them in addition to making a variety of sewn animal toys, and Michelle Brusegaard, who stamped gorgeous cards. I managed to get out of there spending only $4.50 on 2 cards because we're trying really hard not to spend money these days. I would have spent more on those Mother's Day cards at CVS if I hadn't gotten them there.
My intention was to determine whether I could be a vendor at similar shows in the future. The verdict was maybe -- I'd have to make a whole lot more instock than I usually do and probably find less cloth-diaper-dependent things to knit. It would be a whole different business model. It's becoming clear that my current approach to EweBetcha isn't really working in today's market, but I don't know how hard I want to work to find something that will. If I renew my license two more times, I will have a lifetime license and won't have to pay any additional fees. I'd like to be able to keep making soakers and longies if I have buyers, but I think the online market isn't often willing to pay the amount I charge anymore and it's time to look at local possibilities. I can continue to sell by consignment at the boutique where I offered the dresses, but my limited sales there so far seem to indicate that I can't rely on kids' knitting being big there. I think I'm going to see if a natural home store nearby would like to buy soakers wholesale. I'm trying a much cheaper yarn to see how well it holds up, which would make the cost difference more palatable. There are other boutiques focusing on kids' high-end things that I might look into also.
In the mean time, I'm inspired to get some American Apparel blanks and do some appliqueing for Peter and Leo. And make myself a hairband.