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How has the current economy effected your business?

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How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  Mountain Elves on 23/1/2009, 11:52

Now that the Santamakers board seems to be smoothing out, I thought it was about time to start some real discussions!

So, with the current economy in a turmoil, how has this effected you?
More sales? Less sales? No change? Have you found it harder to order the supplies that you need? Is there anything that can be done to help boost sales or make the customer more confident to buy a Santa as a luxury item?

Discuss.
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  cahvah on 23/1/2009, 20:23

Good Question!!! This has not exactly been a banner year for me. I think a lot of it has to do with price point. I don't have any Santas that sell for under $250 in galleries. In this economy that can be pretty steep. I'm glad I haven't had to rely on my Santa sales this year! It's funny, I have a rather large commission for a Maine Coon Cat..life size...but the $250 Santas are a hard sell. go figure.
Marcia
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  psclaus on 24/1/2009, 18:39

Its not so tough to find materials. I go to thrift stores and yard sales to find what I think I might need then I stock pile them. What can I say, I'm a pack rat. Whats been hard is finding the market to sell them. I concentrate on my Santa sculpts starting in July or August and try to make three or four before November. With Ebay being the way it is with all the new rules and regs, its just no longer a viable option for me. I also have a Etsy account. That was laughable. Still I need to fuel my polymer addiction. Around my house polymer clay is evil lol. In years past I have sold just about every thing I have made, so this lull is not good. I have started making smaller things that are more affordable and I am shelving them for a mass sell sometime in the future, when people aren't so afraid of the economy any more.Folks are more concerned about keeping food on the table and their mortgages paid and with the loss of so many jobs, my husband included, we are trying to hang on to every cent. I hope this year is better. Paula

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re; How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  saddiejane on 13/2/2009, 08:24

I basically took the year off. I have health problems, and was in the hospital twice last year, BUT every one I talked to, that set up at the shows I usually set up a, all said the same thing. Sales were way down. Most of the vendors were lucky to make back there table fee. The people who did make money did so by selling small inexpensive things.. So from the sounds of it 2008 was about the same as 2007 here in Michigan anyway. In 2007 I did 8 shows, 2, I made money 3 I broke even and 3 I did not make back my booth fees.
Some of the problems I have noticed were people were not spending.. most were just lookers. money is and has been tight here in Michigan for a long time, so they are hanging on to it.. next is the vendor turn out is down also. when you go to a show and the vendor turn out is way down, there's a problem,, people talk and than they quit coming and when the vendor turn out goes down the people who put on the shows start charging more for the booth space.. so it is to the point where the group putting on the show is the only one making any money.
Another thing .. it is very hard to sell a Santa for 100 buck when they can go and get one at walmart or joanns for 25.
Sarah

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  btinsley785 on 8/4/2009, 13:46

My only problem has been finding the time to do my carving (day job, you know). From October thru Christmas I sold all the Santas I made. I have been most successful with figures and ornaments under 6" tall in the price range of $15 to $50. In January I sold two $20 Santa ornaments through my etsy store. I sell most of my stuff to a local brick & mortar store called Handmade Santas and More. They told me that their best sellers are in the under 8" size. Easy to pack. I haven't talked to them since Christmas, but the tourist season is starting up, so I'll probably go see them in the next week or so. The only materials I use are wood, acrylic paint and wax polish, so I haven't had any supply problems.
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  btinsley785 on 6/9/2009, 18:44

Time to revive this topic.

The brick-and-mortar store, Handcrafted Santas and More, where I sell my carvings did not do well through the first part of the tourist season. I continue to sell 2 or 3 pieces a month in the less-than-$50 range, but my bigger (more expensive) pieces are gathering dust. I don't think the shop owner, Melanie De Shon, has sold more than a couple of her dolls all year.

So, what are the rest of you seeing?

Bob
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  psclaus on 6/9/2009, 19:25

Bob things are pretty much non existent in so far as craft sales. I went to a Sammy show a few months ago on the last day and the consensus with the vendors was the same. They weren't breaking even. Most sold a few small dollar pieces. Many said they were going to drop their craft business because it was costing too much in gas and booth fees. A few said they had previously dropped eBay but were keeping their websites open for sales. As to what they were selling, it was wood cut outs, jewelry, painted signs, spices and then the ones who weren't selling crafts at all.
Texas hasn't been as hard hit as the rest of the country has in so far as job loss, but taxes, that's another animal all together. I think the best time to sell any thing would be during a holiday but if its a frivolous sale during any other time of the year, people just say no and hang on to their money.
I am going to continue making my Santa figures, but I may go into another direction such as sewing. Women are starting to get frugal again sewing clothes and home stuff and can cut out a middle man so to speak.
I hope this lull breaks pretty soon. This country is based on home made quality, not quality made in China.
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  btinsley785 on 6/9/2009, 19:35

psclaus wrote:
I hope this lull breaks pretty soon. This country is based on home made quality, not quality made in China.

I agree completely. At the end of May we had a local tourist-trap holiday called Territory Days. I spent a couple of days sitting out in front of the store working on my carvings. You can see me at Territory Days. I sold one ornament and Melanie made a couple of sales in spite of the place being wall-to-wall people. Most were spending their money at the food stalls. The crafters didn't get much more than a lot of lookie-loos. I'm going to take some more ornaments to the store this week. I hope things are picking up.

Bob
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  psclaus on 6/9/2009, 21:03

Went to your site, Bob you look like the poster person for Santa, but with the blue jeans a 1% renegade! HaHa, you really do look the part. I just bought a Flexcut, and started stropping some of my carving gouges. I think I need to take them to the grinder first, other wise I may be at it a while. Couldn't believe Flexcut blades are razor sharp when you buy them. Feels good in my hand too even with the glove on. As of yet haven't started on any thing, I think I'm afraid to waste good wood, I know I'm gonna botch by first project.
Later tater. Paula
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  btinsley785 on 7/9/2009, 08:12

Paula, a friend of mine says: A would be carver would be a carver if he would carve wood. Flexcut knives are excellent knives, especially for beginners because they do come sharp enough to carve. There is a world of difference between garden-variety sharp and carving sharp. I would suggest that you go to Heinecke Wood and order some of their practice sticks. They have northern basswood, and it is some of the best on the market. A 1"x1"x12" practice stick is $1.00. They are wonderful to deal with. You place an order with them and they immediately ship it off. A couple of days after it arrives you will receive the bill. They ask for payment AFTER you have the wood in your hand! Then go to YouTube and watch some of Arleen's videos or some of Gene Messer's videos paying attention to how they make their cuts. They both have simple projects and are very clear with their techniques. Then take one of the practice sticks and start making shavings, emulating the cuts you've seen on the videos. This will get you familiar with your tools, and "cut" down on your mistakes. And when you do make a mistake, just remember: SUPER GLUE!!

Good luck!

Bob
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  LMPartdolls on 7/9/2009, 09:31

I love super glue...it's my best friend! tongue I ALWAYS have it on my craft table.

As far as sales, I can tell you on my end of the world they are not the best. But, I'm hoping with the holidays coming that there is atleast one buyer to keep my spirits up. We will see.

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  psclaus on 7/9/2009, 16:53

I have seen some of Gene Messer's videos. He is simple and precise and has a no bones techinque that I like alot. My DH collects knives, I may sneek into his stash and grab a pen knife or two. Don't think he would miss one. As long as I don't touch his old timers, I think I am safe. I am waiting for it to cool down some and I will head to the back porch and give it a try. Would love to have some ornaments for my charlie brown tree. If I screw up too bad Ill take the dremel to them and make them something that no one would recognise lol. Going to take at look at Arlenes work tonight. Thanks for the heads up! Paula
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  btinsley785 on 10/9/2009, 16:19

Just talked to Melanie DeShon at Handcrafted Santas & More here in town. She said that her business in August what half what it was in July, and July wasn't anything to brag about. She did sell two of my ornaments, though! Excited She also said that September started off well, but has dropped off to nothing this week.

Oh, well. Guess I'll just keep on keepin' on. Hope things pick up as we get closer to the holiday season.

Bob
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  regiooaksartist on 12/9/2009, 12:11

Times are so hard right now and well I think when it comes to spending for something that can't be used right then well all that is in the change purse is dust!!!! I know since hubby was laid off in May that's about all you will find in mine. (A good note though...he finally found a permanent fulltime job and starts Monday...YEAH!!!! ) I have to believe that all of our selling will turn around. I'm one that sells strictly by word of mouth here in my small hometown and I haven't sold in a good while now. I am going to put some of my ooaks in the musuem gift shop next month so I'm hoping that I will sell some. The curator said that she has customers that come in on a weekly basis to see what's new and a good bit do purchase unique and unusual items. She think some of my ooaks fit that bill just perfect...LOL!! We will see.

As far as supplies....I'm one of those yard sale and flea market junkies myself and tend to see so many wonderful ooaks in pieces I purchase and store away. Drives my hubby completely insane. I have some really wonderful friends that send me care packages from time to time too.

Hugs,
Regi

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  DianeExpress on 12/9/2009, 12:27

Regi,
It's wonderful that your husband has a job! You're so special, and I'm sure that your husband is, too. Please keep us posted on your sales! Here's to expecting more good news!

Hugs...Diane

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  btinsley785 on 12/9/2009, 12:37

Congrats on your husband's new job, Regi! Hope things continue to improve.

Bob
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  regiooaksartist on 12/9/2009, 15:08

YEAH...thank you thank you Diane and Bob. We are so excited about maybe now getting all caught up with the bills...it has really been rough but now things are looking UP!!!!

Hugs,
Regi

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  LMPartdolls on 12/9/2009, 16:10

Congratulations to your hubby, Regi! That is excellent news! I really hope he likes the new job a lot. Good luck to him! And, good luck to your dolls too!

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  regiooaksartist on 13/9/2009, 07:27

Ohhhhh thank you Lori. I think at this point thought after 3 1/2 months he will like it even if he really hates it...LOL!!! Thank you about my ooaks too...I'm excited. Hugs, Regi

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  psclaus on 13/9/2009, 17:32

Woo Hoo, new job means more clay! Things always have a way of working themselves out. I've been in your shoes many times Regi, and somehow we usually manage to pull through. It's the worrying about it that makes it all bad. We all have guardian angels! Lub ya
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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  regiooaksartist on 13/9/2009, 17:53

OMGOSH Paula...you are so right...the worrying is the worse part. We feel very blessed that he got the job. He didn't even apply for it....the company found his resume online and contacted him..... so I do think that his guardian angel was tapping someone on the shoulder. Luv ya too girl!!!!! Regi

Happy Blessing to all for the new coming week!!!!!

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  darel on 13/9/2009, 18:16

Regi,

Congratulations! I know you and your husband are excited. I hope you are talking about Harrison Brothers; where you are going to be putting your work, cause that is a cool place. I wish you the best. If it is, please let me know when you have put them in there, I would love to go by and see them.

Take care,

Darel

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Re: How has the current economy effected your business?

Post  regiooaksartist on 14/9/2009, 07:24

Ohhh Darel of course I will let you know when they are there and yes it's Harrison's. My sister is going up to Huntsville next month and said that she would swing by here on her way up and take some for me. I'm very excited. I'm hoping when things get back to semi normal around here....LOL...that I can make a trip up there. I have family there and want to visit plus take more ooaks to the musuem.

Hugs,
Regi

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