According to my sun astrology sign, I'm rather good at change and not very good at staying the same - a restless soul, apparently. Think my art therpaist and just about anyone who's known me long enough would agree. It seems I have a deep rooted fear of boredom. Or it could just be that I get so many ideas about stuff that I can't help but put them into action.
These few days of being ill have given my head a break from school and allowed me to think about the 'future'. Namely, this business of me selling my crafty goods. Now, I've rather taken with the tag/alter-ego of 'Woolly Wormhead'. I think it was one of the girls in my old tutor group that coined the phrase, and it seems about right to me. So, somehow, 'Woolly Wormhead's Emporium' sprung into my head.
Now, most will know by now that we'll be working and selling at fairs and festivals across Europe. Think Glastonbury but on a smaller scale. Think fully functional kitted out house-bus with 2 artists arguing over who gets the greater storage space (it's knitting needles & books versus drills at the moment) Got the idea? Now, the word 'emporium' to me conjures up images of eclectic, eccentric, rambling ye-olde-curiosity kinda circus-y things. I think it will work for the stall. I could even applique or print a banner/sign. I know it's not as sleek and sophisticated as some retail outlets but this is me and Tom we're talking about.
Also, I'm building stock as I type. Mainly woolly hats but also felted jewellery, bags and other accessories. Quirky, fun sorta woolly stuff. Don't want to stick to one line, as I'll get bored. My stash may seem out of control at the moment, but it's there for a reason. Ideas for how the stall will look and goods displayed have also entered my head - I need a few more of the polystyrene heads for the hats, may decorate them. And I've asked Tom to think about functional display stands that can store away neatly. He is the metal & junk sculpture man, after all.
So... all this rambling leads me up to a couple of questions I'd like help with.
1) I'm biased about the 'Emporium' - what does it conjure up to you? Does it work or does it sound amateurish?
2) Say I were to specialise in hats, what would be a minimal stock level? 100? 300?
3) Is there a formula for pricing stock, or do folk calculate labour and material costs etc? Or is it gut instinct? I'm notorious for under-charging....
4) I'm building stock now whilst I have the money. Obviously I won't be teaching when I travel so will have more time to make the goodies. Any advice on setting oneselve a production routine? Bear in mind I can be lazy and like my bed rather a lot...
post edit:- another question!
5) I need to seriously reduce my material costs. True, our lifestyle won't be expensive, mainly fuel, food and basic supplies. But I still need to make a profit. Can anyone suggest places cheaper than Texere, perhaps wholesale, for buying decent quality cheap wool? Think weights above aran, probably chunky, would be ideal (quicker to knit, obviously)
Ever since I was young, I've wanted to be self sufficient and live off my own skills. I've hatched many plans for doing this over the years, yet this time everything is coming together and it all seems real. It's going to work.
Meantime, I've finished the beastie fingerless gloves and also made another xmas pressie, which is currently blocking. Not bad for someone who's spent most of the last couple of days sneezing and sleeping. Now I'm going to make another lemsip and start another hat :)