PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

show report!

Reporting back after day two of the show. Sunday was a lot quieter than Saturday, although I still had a lot of interest in my patterns. In the quiet periods, I managed to sneak away to wander around the show for a while, and pick up some new toys – some quilling paper, a bias tape maker, and a new light-up crochet hook, so now I have my three favourite sizes: E, G and H.

new crafty treats

Best of all, the owner of Bears and Bedtime gave me a quick demo in needlefelting, which I’ve been wanting to try for months, and I found that, despite my wool sensitivity, my hands seemed okay with it – yay! So I bought some felting needles and a bag of mixed colours of wool roving (and aren’t these colours perfect for my animals?). Now I just have to find some time to try out all my new craft purchases…

wool roving

To the eagle-eyed commenters on my last post, yes, you’ve spotted my hidden projects:

1) Looks like the cat is out of the bag with my ice cream bear! He is going to appear in the Summer issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine, together with an article about my crocheting. ANPT is a wonderful magazine featuring Canadian designers and artists and it covers the full spectrum of needle arts in every issue, with each artist contributing an article and a project. My ice cream bear is the reason I got to set up my display at their booth and work on my crochet throughout the show – thank you, Carla and John, for sharing your space with me!

2) I chose to finally make a start on my crocheted orang utan (I bought the yarn for it way back last August). As a break from pattern designing, I’m doing this one freeform. This gives me more freedom to experiment and figure out some new techniques, which may then find their way into future pattern designs!

So far, I’ve just made the arms. Each finger is individually wired, so the hands are completely poseable. A lot of people wanted to look at them, although one girl let out a little shriek when she saw the disembodied arm!

orang utan hand

Now on to the subject you’ll be most interested in if you are a crafter thinking about doing a show: the festival itself…

This was my first real offline experience of putting myself out there as a crochet designer, and it was amazing! Watching people’s reactions to my designs, hearing them call their friends over to come and see, and being able to interact face to face with the public are things you really miss out on as an online seller. I think people appreciated being able to actually pick up my work and take a closer look – no matter how good your photography is, it’s never quite the same as letting people actually touch your work. And getting to see small things, like the little girl who picked up and cuddled every animal I’d brought, and then refused to move on until she had kissed every single one goodbye… there’s no way you can get that kind of feedback through e-mail.

Another thing that was interesting was seeing the kind of people who were interested in my work – I never usually get to find out that kind of demographic information. I met people ranging from 8 year olds who were just learning to crochet and teenagers who wanted to know how to get started, right through to 80 year olds with decades of experience, and women of just about every age in between. I met lots of amazing creative people, made some new friends (hi Rose!), and even met a few people who already knew me from the online world or were previous customers, which was surreal but very cool!

I can’t tell you about how the financial side of it worked out, since I didn’t have my own booth, and I wasn’t actually selling anything at the show… I displayed some finished pieces, worked on my orang utan, and answered people’s questions, but I also brought a portfolio with the cover pages of all my patterns for people to flip through, and I gave out over 200 PlanetJune business cards and postcards, so I hope a lot of the people I met will be visiting my site once they get back home.

Oh, and my PlanetJune t-shirt was a hit – several people even asked where I got it printed! Maybe I should start up a side business 😉

Overall, the show experience was fantastic. It’s a bit daunting to jump in without the protection and anonymity of the internet, and by the end of the weekend I was totally exhausted, but I’m so pleased to have had this experience. I would definitely encourage other online-only crafty businesspeople to consider getting out there and introducing people to your craft in person once in a while!

7 Comments »

  1. jenn said

    You are gifted with so many crafty ideas and projects! Thanks for sharing what you create!

  2. Jana said

    Hi, June
    I told you you would be a hit! I am heading next to download the sea turtle pattern! The oranutang’s arm is awesome. I am curious about the “yarn” you have pictured. IS it yarn? It looks like balls of fluff 🙂
    Just a little side note. I have a few kids in my class who are starting to crochet! I am showing most of them, but surprisingly, a couple of them are working on their own, having been shown by maids or mothers. One of my boys, Rayyan, had brought in yarn last Wednesday and bought one of the hooks that I ordered online. Anyway, after school, I started showing him the basics. He got the slip knot after only one or two tries! He caught on super quick on how to hold the yarn and hook, and was making chains before he got picked up. All of this in LESS than 30 minutes! Today, he came in with a pretty multicolored ball of yarn and a chain about 3 feet long! He started a new chain at recess, and you wouldn’t believe how EVEN they were! I then showed him SC, and after the first time putting the hook in the chain already worked, he caught on. You couldn’t tell HIS SC’s from MINE! It is SO amazing. I have tried to teach a few adults, and some older girl students, but not one of them had/has the aptitude for the craft that Rayyan does! I just hope he sticks with it. Boys, as a rule over here, do not do “girl” things! I believe that if he DOES stick with it, he could be whipping up YOUR patterns by September! I think his motivation is that he wants to make a frog like the ones I did! 🙂
    OK, sorry, a bit off the track! I am so glad you enjoyed the show. And you are right that it is a good thing to actually go out and meet people.
    Keep on “hookin”! LOL!

  3. Rosie said

    Sounds like you had a great time! I love the ice cream bear and the orang utan’s hand is amazing, don’t forget the King Charles Cavalier spaniel though.

    Rosie in very wet Sheffield

  4. kris said

    OMG june that hand is amazing! and so real go figure – nah i knew you would make it look real.
    i am surprised that little girl did not go home with one of her own planet june creations!
    i am glad you had a good experience. t shirt was a great idea not surprised you thought of doing another side business i was just wondering how long it would take for that thought to come out.

  5. IdaDown said

    Just couldn’t resist a new hobby eh!? Too funny. I have been resisting, but have been soo tempted to try felting…too many interests, so little time.

    Cant wait to see the funished o’tang. The hand is looking fab!

    It is great that you had such a positive experience. I hope that you get lots of follow on trade.

    🙂

  6. Saralah said

    So, what did it cost you to do a show like that? I’ve heard from some people that craft fair booths are sometimes enough that it’s hard to even make back the cost of the booth with your sales….

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  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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