Thursday, June 24, 2010

Featured Item of the Week Beaded Eyeglass Holders

Beautiful and practical, new this week in my Etsy and Artfire shops are Beaded Eyeglass Holders.  These lovely spec holders come in a variety of colors and range in sizes from 28" to 31" in length.  The featured selections are fashioned in  Czech Seed Beads and sparking Czech Crystals ranging in size from small, medium to large.  Great for keeping your reading or craft glasses close by as you work on a project and a great gift idea.  

Audrey of Designed by Audrey is a jewelry designer and crafter in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  Check out  my lovely necklaces, earrings, bracelets, key chains, bookmarks and now eyeglass holders at my online shop on Artfire at or on Esty at  Great selection and great prices.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Value of A Money Pen!

This past weekend I had a booth at  the St. Mary's Parish  Flea  and Vendor's Market in support of their Mens' Ministry in Landover Hills, MD.  As the event was supposed to start at 9:00 a.m. we arrived at  7:15 a.m. to find a sea of vendors already set up and selling and a long line for check in. There were over 300 vendors at this event. 

My husband was on hand to help set up, however with all  of the people walking through everywhere and everything, ready to buy, made set up difficult.   I sold three of my Murano Lampwork Rings before I officially opened for business.  The vendor directly behind me whose name is Michelle has a wonderful business called Philly Soul Treasures ( was a wealth of information and help to me during this event.  Michelle is a second generation Flea Market, Yard Sale Specialist who sells used and new items at events and online. We helped her with her tent and quickly closed up the gaps between our booths to keep shoppers from walking into our supply and personal area.  There were so many vendors that wherever there was a gap to get through to the next area, the shoppers took advantage.  During our many discussions, Michelle asked if I had a money pen and of course, I didn't.  She explained that because there is a lot of counterfeit currency being circulated, a pen is imperative for all money transactions $20 and above.  Michele went on to explained that the pens were relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any stationary store like Staples.

It was a hot sunny Saturday and attendance was good  so I sold a lot of earrings, rings and key chains.  It seems that the shoppers at this event did not want to spend over $20.00 for anything.  That was okay because I  had an entire table and two hanging racks with lovely items price at $20.00 and under.  However,  the bargain hunters were drawn to my higher priced items.  My Carmel Aventurine and Golden Honey Jade Necklace and Earring Set  which is featured above was the target of a few haggles.  This wonderful set is totally semi-precious gemstones with soft yellow Caltrite beads rounding out the Carmel Aventurine and Honey Jade.   It is a steal at $35.00.  However, I was willing to drop the price for this particular venue to $30.00, but of course, $20.00 was the price offered.  I offered other lovely sets in my shop that were similar in color at the $20.00 price point  like the featured Champagne Coco and Gold Cracked Glass Necklace and Earring Set, but of course they didn't want that.  

Towards the end of the event about six young men (18-20 years old) showed up and were ready to shop. And they shopped, paying with $50.00 bills.  Michelle was kind enough to let me borrow her money pen.  I usually don't accept anything over $20.00, but was able to because of the money pen!  My Blue Turquoise Teardrop Pendant Necklace and Earring Set was the first item purchased by these young shoppers.

Things learned from this event:  Get up and out earlier to set up.  Networking is a wonderful way to learn and receive and give help. The value of a money pen! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

It Was Hot Hot Hot at the Kid's Festival!

Designed by Audrey was one of two jewelry vendors to be invited to take part in the Kid's Festival at Old Towne Bowie in Maryland, on Saturday, June 12, 2010. It was a clear blue sunny day but it was so hot -- 95 degrees and very humid!  The only redeeming grace was the fact that there was a park directly behind us that offered up a large tree that partially shaded the back of the booth.  By the time I was all set up, I felt like I had put in a full day.  Once I had an ice cold bottle of water and a chance to sit down for a few minutes under my tent fan, I was ready to sell.  

It was an exhausting, but fun day.  There were plenty of activities planned for the little ones -- pony rides, clowns, moon bounce, face painting, temporary tatoos, singing and dance alongs, tours of the firehouse and train museum.  The kids had a blast!  One of the highlights of the afternoon was a live concert.  The band was great singing songs like Brown Eyed Girl, Bright Sun Shinny Day, In the Summer Time When the Weather is Hot,  Good Vibrations, Get Around, Bare Footing and Born to be Wild to name a few.  As my  booth was right outside the park, I  had the pleasure of being able to see the performance as well.

Attendance was down for this event  I believe because of the heat, but I was able to sell 12 items!  Half of the earrings sold alone or part of sets were to customers who needed clip-ons.  I made the sales because I had everything on hand to make the adjustments.  My customers were thrilled to find that I could change any earring in my shop to a clip-on.  

I set up two tables for this event.  As there was plenty of room  in the booth for one more table, in hindsight it would have been wise to set up a third table with a supply of coloring pages and crayons.  The kiddies would have had something fun to do while mom and grandma leisurely looked around my shop!   

My lovely booth banner was created by Cottonwood Whispers Design and Graphics a wonderful Etsy vendor.  The original artwork used  for this banner was taken from the image used for my business cards.  This is also the image created for my on-line shop banner and avatar and was created by a wonderful graphic artist named Verano who is also a very talented Etsy vendor.

Last but not least, I want to thank my wonderful husband who was on hand to help with the set up and take down of my booth and who graciously filled in during breaks.  Thanks babe!

What's next:  The Men's Club of St. Mary's Parish of Landover Hills, MD is hosting a vendor and flea market on Saturday, June 19, 2010 and Designed by Audrey will have a booth at this event.  St. Mary's is located  at  7207 Annapolis Road, Landover Hills, MD.  If you live in the Washington, DC area, come out and support this ministry event.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Setting Up The Booth for A Craft Fair

Last week I talked about the table set up.  This week I will discuss setting up the outdoor space for an event.  When taking part in an outdoor event it is wise to have a tent or a market umbrella on hand.  These types of canopies protect your items for sale and you from the sun, wind and rain which makes for a more pleasant experience.  And, there is a bonus -- if the event is on a hot sunny day, visitors have an inviting place to come in out of the sun.

I have a 10' x 10' Easy Up Tent.  It is relatively simple to put up, however, I still need assistance opening it all the way.  If using a tent that is not staked, make sure you have weights (I use 40 lbs weights) on hand or at lease some bricks to protect the tent from strong breezes. For outdoor events have some insect spray on hand in case there are ants. Once the tent is up, the tables should be set up just as they were during the trial run. Have some clamps on hand to keep your tablecloth in place if necessary.  I set up in a "L" or "U" formation so that visitors can come in and browse.  I place my least expensive items near the front of the booth and my more expensive items towards the middle table.  I also have a couple of  vertical racks that I hang above my side tables which hold an additional 20 items.

Sales supplies to have on hand -- pens, receipt book, inventory check list, business cards and holder, a mirror, gift boxes, bags, scissors, tape, plenty of change ($1s, $5s, $10s and $20s), a money marking pen, a money pouch or cash box and a big smile for each customer.  I also have supplies and tools on hand to make minor adjustments in my pieces.  This gives me the ability to change the earrings from pierced to clip-on.  And for the customer who only wears gold or silver, for an additional fee I can upgrade any item.  Next, a comfortable chair is a must.  I also have on hand a TV Table for my drinks and snacks.  I make earrings while I'm at an event to keep business when thing are slow, so my TV table gets a lot of use.  All supplies not being used, should be placed neatly under the tables out of view.  It is important to keep your table neat and well stocked throughout the event.  And last, have fun!  I hope these hints have been helpful.

My new frontier this week is large hole beads key chains which come in a variety of colors and themes which are available in my Etsy Shop or my Artfire Shop .

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Wow, this week has been one full of highs and lows.  One of the high points of this week is I had my first sale on Artfire!  Yipee!  Firsts are always exciting.  I sold a pair of my Soft Pink and White Marble Earrings. These are truly lovely earrings and I have two additional pairs in stock.  I shared the news of this good fortune with the Artfire Community in a thread entitled  "At LAST My First Sale Has Come Along!"  All of the well wishes were truly appreciated.  A GREAT group for sure!
My second first, I received and accepted a reserved listing on Etsy.  It was for my Black Beaded Gold Hoop Earrings.  What made it so special was that the request was for six pairs of earrings for a bridal party!  Again, firsts can be really exciting and I was very pleased.  I was blessed to have all the supplies in stock because the bride would need them in a few days.  So, I thought I would be busy making, packaging and shipping this order and then it happened.  . .I received a message from the Bride requesting the cancellation of the order.  It seems that her mother-in-law had graciously purchased other earrings for her bridal party.  As I had not purchased any supplies or started work, I refunded all but the $1.20 listing fee. The cancellation of  a sale was another first and it was a low point.  I have updated my policies on both shops as it relates to special orders to set forth and cover what will be refunded or not.    

Other matters.  I am getting ready for a busy month of outdoor events.  I have several set up for this month.  I will have a booth at the The Kid's Festival on 9th Street in Bowie, MD on Saturday, June 12, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  I will also have a booth at a vendors market and craft fair at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Route 450 in Landover Hills, MD.  As I begin the pull things together for these events the following helpful tips come to mind.  I will focus on the table set up today.

First thing -- know your inventory.  Keep an updated list of every item which will be showcased for sale at the event.  It is helpful and important to have pictures, descriptions and prices listed on a printout. This is simple task for those who have on-line shops on websites like Etsy or Artfire because it is just a matter of printing the current listing and checking off which items will be showcased. This will also be key in adjusting inventory after the event is over.  Next tag and price each item.  Do a trial run of how the table(s) will be set up.  How many tables will be used ?  What kind and color tablecloth(s) will work best?  Do you have a banner for your table?  If so, what will be used to attached it to the table?  If items will be displayed at different heights, (which creates more space and interest) what will be used?  Is it sturdy and stable enough for the items which will sit on top. Frugal risers can be made out of postage boxes of various sizes wrapped in white paper or whatever covering you choose. Will the tablecloth fit nicely over these props or will the props be placed on top of the tablecloth? Once satisfied with the set up, take pictures to use as a guide on the day of the event.

Next time I'll talk about the additional items which will be needed for a successful outdoor event.  The colorful bracelet showcased is my Turquoise Rainbow Calsilica and Black Beaded Bracelet and Earring Set.  Here is a link to the listing  on Artfire: