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Jun 3, 2008

Advice: Preparing for Fall Buying Season

I feel one of the most difficult things about handcrafting is guessing how many of each item to make. As someone who sells mainly during the autumn, I have to "lay in" a stock of items. And of course, it takes a long time to craft each primitive doll I make.

I'm not sure if this will be a lucrative fall season or not. It's hard to predict. The signs say "no," in that people are worried about mortgages, gas prices, and food prices. Then again, I've noticed that my buyers buy what they want for themselves, and don't seem to care too much about the economy. But then again, this is the "worst" fall in terms of finances since I began selling online.

Luckily for me, the materials I use are mainly inexpensive. Muslin, papier-mache, and milk paints are not very expensive. But I have been wanting to place vintage glass eyes into my new pumpkin-headed and cat dolls, but...what if they don't sell? The eyes are not cheap. How many do I order, how many do I make?

I'm going to do something I have resisted. I am going to make my dolls "assembly-line" style. They will still be handcrafted, but, for example, I will form all the heads at once, paint them all at once, stuff the bodies at one go, etc and etc. I can minimize waste in this manner. I like to be thrifty with my materials, no matter if I'm selling something or not. It's just my nature to dislike waste.

I guess this is more "musing" than "advice." My best advice is to love what you make, so that even if it doesn't sell, you feel content that you've made something worthy of your own taste.

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