Sunday, 26 October 2008

Getting ready for Market

There seems to be a Market happening every time I look around right now! It's still a lot of fun, but it is also a challenge to keep my stock levels replenished and ordering the right amounts from my suppliers.

I have been blessed to be given an order from a lovely lady by the name of Carol. Carol owns and runs an online Gift Hamper business called '' (well worth a look) and she came across my stall at a market a few months ago.

As these things happen, just as I go to fill Carols' order, my suppliers change two of the containers I have been using since last year - and they are two that Carol really likes!!
I also have a few orders coming in from some of my Clients at the Spa I work at and another one from the wonderful Raylee (my hubby's Mum!) for friends and colleagues as well.

So, I have been making batches of soaps, lotions and lip balms the past few weeks and thought I would make an effort to get some photos to show some of the process.

Yes.. this is my kitchen table! These are some of the products I have made up in the past few weeks awaiting labels and wrapping.

The 'tottles' (upside down bottles) are now white instead of clear bodied. I am hoping to be able to get the clear ones back as I think they look better (and I can see which lotion or body polish is which!), but unless I buy 10 000 of them in one go..... the chances are slim!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

red bamboo is created!

It all started with an opportunity to become part of a temporary Artist Store at Portside Wharf on Brisbane's river late last year.
There some wonderful Artists involved, some of whom are great friends, and it seemed a great chance to 'dip my toe in the water' and see if people would like what I created.

We had a fantastic space, rent free courtesy of the kind Portside Wharf Body Corporate, and it became a co-op venture with everyone helping to man the store when they could.

It was called 'Schmik' and the idea was to showcase local talent and handmade items. We had jewelllery from gifted people such as Marisa Molin, Eliza Tee and Pia Robinson, paintings by Simon DeGroot, digital artwork by Janice Kuskowsky (sorry if I have spelt your surname wrong Jan!) and photography by Romy Willing, plus much more. What was originally a 2 month timeframe stretched out to almost 6 and so Artists left and new ones joined.

My original product line included Body Lotions, Soap and Lip Balms in Chocolate & Fig and Vanilla and Red Grape varieties. After consistantly good feedback, this grew to include Body Polishes, Candles and then more varieties of Soaps. Such fun!

We each had a great space to display our works within the store. Mine seemed to keep growing as I added more products.

The biggest trick seemed to be not to let my imagination get away from me and end up creating dozens ot differnet soaps and lotions!

The feedback I received was great, even if it was something a person didn't like. It gave me information to build on.

I started looking out for another way to get my products to the public and began researching different Weekend Markets. I orignially found one that sounded just right over at Everton Park, called Designers Emporium Markets. I just missed out on getting in with them, as they had another lady doing similar products, and so I moved on to the Manly Creative Markets.

Since I am still working and often have different courses on, I needed something that wasn't every weekend and was affordable for someone just starting out. Manly was perfect.

The other stallholders are a great bunch and we have a lot of fun down there. My range grew more and more and continues to be ridicuously fun to create.

I hope I can continue to shape and grow my little business and I look forward to seeing what else I can create in the near future!

Love and light


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

redbamboo @ Designers Emporium

redbamboo has arrived at Designers Emporium!

This is a wonderful Market run by two clever ladies who decided to showcase local, handmade goods. They veto everyone coming on board and ensure a high level of quality and variety. No two stalls sell the same things.

I applied for this Market many months ago, but missed out to another lady who had a similar range of products - I thought at the time I didn't have Insurance to cover me and she did. As it turns out, I had it all along (it's part of my Insurance for Massage Therapy)! Wasn't meant to be.

The lady eventually moved on and Leasl and Rachael got in touch to see if I was still interested. Oh yeah! The Markets run the first Sunday of each month and my first day was last Sunday (5th October). We hold it in a permanent marquee at the Everton Park Hotel and there is a great variety and standard of clever things to buy.

It was a little warm (Summer is speeding towards us), but we had fans and opened up the sides of the marquee. We had music piped through all day and the Hotel supplies the tables! So much less hassle for all us stallholders!

Plus there was a bar just across from us, so no complaints here!

Meeting the other stallholders from this Market and from Manly has definitely been one of the greatest joys about this whole experience. What a wonderful group of people and such a wide range of personalities and backgrounds.

The next step is to make redbamboo a sustainable business (at present there is still more money going out than in!) and to continue to grow and refine my products.

Each batch I make teaches me something a little more (sometimes what not to do ever again!) and I am still loving every minute!