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Life, Make, Show

Write a New Story // Etsy Resolution 2017

We are well into January and I’m still thinking about resolutions.

It’s something I kind of do all year really, always striving to do more, do better.

It’s a curse, and I know I’m not suffering alone with it either.

I feel you out there. Making plans, maybe even purchasing a few tools to get them going, and then letting life get in the way of actually setting aside the time it’s going to take to launch.

Generally speaking I’m actually quite good at accomplishing the things I set out to do, but there are still a many many areas of that need some work.

Because I think I am seen to be a bit of a “do-er” however, I get asked often how I get so much done. I get asked questions like “How did you know that would be a good idea?”, or “What made you so confident it would work?”, or “How did you know where to start?”.

I’m going to tell you something right now that would shock a lot of bank managers.

I didn’t. I don’t know. I just started.

Here’s my secret.

I have been blessed with the blind confidence that if I put my mind to something, I can make it happen. I dunno. Maybe I’ve watched Field of Dreams so many times, there’s a whispery little cornfield in my ear repeating “If you build it, they will come”  so often it’s become my mantra.

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I get an idea, I tell myself I can do it, and I. Just. Do. It.

Sometimes I try it on for size by actually telling people about what I AM doing, even before I AM doing it. Then I kinda HAVE to do it, and so I DO.

Is that nuts?

That’s a bit nuts, but by golly Miss Molly that shit works.

And that’s what I mean about “your story”.

Those little things you tell yourself, or others that, good or bad, eventually become reality. Some call it “self fulfilling prophecy”, and I’m here to tell you it’s the real deal. The only problem is, more often than not we are telling ourselves the wrong things to be successful. We start writing the wrong stories.

Stories like “I’m not a morning person”, or “I’m so disorganized”, or (and this is one of the worst) “I can’t do that”.

The key to being a successful person, and reaching your goals is to flip the switch on this crap talk. I can’t make you a morning person (I’m not one either, but I sure can fake it), but I can help you become a “I am really productive between the hours of 1pm and 6pm” person.

“I’m so disorganized”? Flip that sucker on it’s bum and bing bang boom, we’ve got “I use tools like scheduled reminders and label makers for keeping my life in order.”

And “I can’t”? Well there are just SO many ways of dealing with that one.

My personal favourite is to just remove it from my vocabulary, but I know that’s not easy. I believe that everything can be tackled when broken into bite sized bits.

“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time” (Creighton Abrams).

For me, that means research and lists.

When I first began thinking about opening the shop, I got super excited, followed almost instantly by totally overwhelmed. But I knew I wanted to do it so I had to chop that baby up into tiny little nuggets. Location, Funding, Staff, Product.

And then I broke those nuggets into smaller nugettes like store front on Mill Street, Line of Credit/Family Loans, Tamara/Friends, Local Makers I know, and 3 months later I opened the doors to Hello Yellow (now Cheerfully Made Goods + Markets).

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Opening day at Hello Yellow, July 2013

So what do you want to do differently this year?

Write it. Say it. And start making a conscious effort to banish any negative talk from your mind.

You are so powerful.

You’ve just gotta start using that power for good and good will come.

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Me, happier than a pig in sh*t on opening night.

A lot of you seem to have “grow my business” on your list, and some have already begun asking me about upcoming craft shows, specifically Etsy Made in Canada. We WILL be hosting the show again this September (get on our mailing list and stay in the know!) and if this is something you have been dreaming about applying to, I’m going to give you a great tool to DO IT.

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Shopper among the crowds at Etsy Made in Canada / Ottawa

It should be noted that you do NOT have to have an Etsy shop to participate in every one of our shows, but for the Etsy: Made in Canada, you do. If you’re not especially savvy with technology, opening up an Etsy shop can feel overwhelming. Not to worry, you’ve got lots of time.

In an effort to help all of us, Etsy has come up with a series of steps and tutorials to help you launch and/or perfect your Etsy shop. It’s called Etsy Resolution and this is the 2nd year in a row they’ve run it.

All you have to do is visit www.etsy.com/ca/resolution, enter your email address, and beginning January 27th your inbox will start receiving little bite sized steps, tips and tricks to both launching, and killing it on Etsy.

No, I am not being paid to endorse the program.

Yes, I have done it myself and, as a result, can attest that it’s exactly what you need to get off your wee crafty tush and start selling.

So there you go.

This year’s story is going to be different because you’re going to take action one step at a time. Whether it’s growing your business, or spending more time with your family, or making new connections, or ALL of those things. You can DO it.

I’m here if you need me.

xo Em

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Etsy Made in Canada // Ottawa 2016

This will be my third year organizing Etsy Made in Canada here in Ottawa.

I don’t know where the past 3 years have gone, but here we are less than a week out of the biggest show of my year. Again.

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What is Etsy: Made in Canada?

Etsy: Made in Canada is “a national grassroots initiative celebrating the crafters, collectors and artisans in local communities across Canada.” Unlike other shows I organize, every maker who participates in Etsy:MIC is an Etsy seller. This year we’re celebrating in 38 cities from coast to coast (Find the market closest to you at www.etsy.com/madeincanada) and I can’t even begin to express to you how proud I am to be organizing this show for the third year in a row.

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With 150 sellers participating (we had 316 applications for this show!) it’s a huge undertaking, but the experience of watching so many hardworking hand makers in my community be successful doing what they love to do is something that I can hardly put into words.

It’s awesome.

Here in Ottawa, our show will run for TWO DAYS instead of just one. It’s the only way we could see managing the hordes of Ottawa (and area) Etsy enthusiasts, and it gives us even more opportunity to raise funds for our 2016 charity of choice: 13 Muesli. More about them HERE.

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Etsy Made in Canada Ottawa takes place September 24th + 25th from 10am to 4pm at the Bell Sensplex (1565 Maplegrove Road, Kanata MAP IT).

Cost of admission is $5, kids and parking are free and 50% of our door goes to our charity.

(Last year we raised more than $25K for the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre!)

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So who’s going to be in attendance at Etsy Made in Canada?

The Made in Canada editorial team at Etsy has made their Canada wide picks (check them out here!), but I have a few favourites that will be at our Ottawa event. You can search the whole line up by visiting here and clicking on ETSY MADE IN CANADA. Obviously :)

I’ve chosen my faves based not only on talent, but also on the personality, attitude and overall awesomeness of the maker. Cuz that’s super important to me when I host a show. As I think I’ve made clear a few times now, this is about me having fun as much as it is about putting on a great event.

That might sound selfish, but I think we could all stand to surround ourselves with as many awesome people as possible, and when you come to a show hosted by yours truly, you’re only going to meet the best of the best folks.

First up,

ANICK BAUER

The first time I met Anick was at our Spring show here in Almonte. She arrived bright and early for set up, parked right in front of the load in door, and promptly locked her keys in her car.

With all of her stuff still inside.

That’s not what I like most about her though.

What I like most about Anick, is how she handled that situation. There she was, in a strange little town, standing in front of her car packed with all this product she’d just slaved over, and she’d locked her keys right in that darn thing.

But did Anick freak the freak out?

No she did not.

We called CAA, had ourselves a wee coffee break, helped a few other vendors load in, and before you knew it, help had arrived. Anick is my kind of people.

Total bonus: she makes awesome stuff.

And obviously practices what her tea towels preach. V important.

Shop Anick Bauer on Etsy HERE

 

STOUTHEART

Greg and Jennifer Swaine (AKA the nicest couple you will ever meet) are the creators behind STOUTHEART Shave Company. These guys are two of the most cheerful, friendly folks I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They work hard, are super open to feedback (not that they need any) and make every customer they come into contact with feel important.

Sometimes I just walk past their booth just to perk myself up. No kiddin’.

Also, sometimes they send me nice texts late at night when they think I might need one.

They are thoughtful, good people who make a fantastic product and, one day, when they’re millionaires living the dream, I just know they’re not going to forget about any of us.

Shop STOUTHEART on Etsy HERE

 

JBFord Studio

Reasons I like Jeremy Ford:

ONE He makes sweet little pottery homes for otherwise neglected things like air plants and cooking utensils.

TWO He sometimes does things like host a spontaneous neighbourhood cocktail party on an abandoned couch in front of my aunt’s house.

Hanging air plant holder, black and white hanging planter potteryUtensil holder / vase pottery black and white / white clay with black design

Shop JBFord Studio on Etsy

 

LALUCIOLE BLOWN GLASS

Jennifer Bennett of LaLuciole has participated in several of our shows now, and I need to take a minute to give a little shoutout to this woman.

First of all, her stuff is amazing. Let’s just get that out of the way.

Secondly, SHE is amazing.

Jennifer comes to every event I’ve hosted her at, with THE most breakable product ever.

But does she ask for a wall? Or whine about electricity? Or fuss about the fact that her booth neighbour is a hand talker and might just knock down her entire display?

No she doesn’t. She just shows up, and sets up and is as cheerful and easy going as all flipping get out.

She is what I like to call a show organizers dream. (I know, so creative.)

I wish all makers could be a little more like Jennifer Bennett.

Four Blown Glass Stemless Tumblers. Free Ship to Canada. 3" by 2" in greens. Hand made for wine, spirits, scotch, port, juice.

Shop LaLuciolle on Etsy HERE.

 

MISSISSIPPI NORTH

Sarah Jaynes is a high school art teacher who is talented beyond belief (you have to follow her on Instagram and watch her do a time-lapse video of one of her drawings at some point before you die) and is also quite possibly one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever met.

She’s so thoughtful in fact that just a few days ago she put a casserole on my doorstep so that my family won’t starve this week.

And once? Once she hacked a package of Starburst candies so that it would ONLY have pink ones just because I posted this dorky quote about not letting anyone treat you like a yellow Starburst. (What?! Like you’ve never been in a mood.)

That’s not why she’s in the show though.

This is why she’s in the show:

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Shop Mississippi North on Etsy

 

Last but not least, BLONDIE APPAREL.

Oh Blondie, Blondie, Blondie.

Blondie Apparel is owned by Brodie O’Connor and Michelle VandenTillaart. (We’ll just call her Michelle V.)

Brodie owns a little shop across the street from my own called doree’s habit, full of everything I’d ever want in my closet. We’ve been friends for several years now, and she’s one of the reasons I love running a business in Almonte.

In a nutshell, Brodie is the girl who starts the dance floor.

In the good way.

I got to know Michelle a bit better in April of this year when the 3 of us and our husbands took a spontaneous trip to Halifax. (Because Porter). She’s kind of like a tiny comedian who repeats the same joke over and over, but instead of it getting annoying, it gets funnier.

That’s a very unique skill.

I’m not sure there’s another person in my cache of friends who can get away with that brand of lazy humour.

I own literally (but not literally because, who am I, Melania Trump?) seven of every item these girls have ever made. Because they get me and my body and all the things I want to highlight (upper body) and not highlight (buuuuummmm). Every piece makes me feel casual, comfortable, and somehow, like I have my fashion act together.

Ps. I own both of these pieces.

East End Sweater in Salt & Pepper

And this one in a few colours.

Shop Blondie Apparel on Etsy HERE

 

So what’s that? Six?

A mere SIX of 150 truly awesome Ottawa area handmakers who will be participating in the 3rd annual Etsy Made in Canada (#etsy613 yo!) this weekend at the Bell Sensplex.

For more info, to ask questions and to map the event, hit up our Facebook Event page HERE and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and search #etsy613 to see what our makers are up to this week!

Hope to see you this weekend Ottawa!

xo Emily

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Life, Show

An Open Letter from the Organizers

I’ve been organizing Cheerfully Made Markets (formerly the Handmade Harvest Craft Show) for 6 years. I’ve actually lost count of the number of shows under my belt, but it’s somewhere around the 20 mark. At this point I consider myself a professional. I hope the makers who participate in my events would too.

In 2013 I began working closely with Etsy Canada to organize the Etsy Made in Canada show, and it brought the whole thing to a new level. My audience grew, I befriended dozens of new Ottawa makers and I became someone people think of when it comes to handmade goods and craft shows in the area.

As fun as it is to watch my little craft show baby grow these wings, it also comes with a lot of responsibility.

It has become increasingly difficult to put on a show without a great deal stress. I’ve developed sleep issues and anxiety attacks, I’ve gained weight and have developed some seriously awful nail biting habits.

It’s gotten to a point where I’ve had to seek counselling to deal with the juggling of it all.

This probably sounds incredibly dramatic, but it’s something that I’m really struggling with and have decided to “get it out there” in order to move forward. I’ve become great friends with some fellow show organizers through my Etsy partnership. One of those girls is Melissa Lowry, the top-notch organizer behind Makeology. Melissa and I have become sounding boards for one another and have co-written a blog post that, if you are a maker who participates in crafts shows, you might find enlightening. Or enraging.

I hope it’s the former.

You can read it on the Makeology blog here.

 

Emily

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Shop, Show

Reinventing the Brand

When I opened Hello Yellow in the summer of 2013, I couldn’t have anticipated any of what was to come over the course of the following two years. All I had really wanted to do was be part of the evolving downtown Almonte scene again, and create a new vehicle for the hand-makers I’d met over my years organizing the Handmade Harvest Craft Show.

What began as a small little shop filled with handmade items from across North America (mostly local) rapidly grew into something much more. I quickly learned that by purchasing products from actual people instead of faceless importers, I was connecting with individuals who became immediately invested in my success. And bonus! They all had Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Some of them knew how to work with retailers (ie wholesale, package and brand their product), and some of them needed guidance, but despite the obstacles I came across originally, working with them was so rewarding, and improved my brand’s reach tenfold.

But what was my brand? I had Hello Yellow, Handmade Harvest Craft Show and I had recently begun working with Etsy Canada as a brand ambassador here in Ottawa. I had multiple websites and email addresses, and keeping up with all of that communication was becoming an increasingly daunting and confusing chore.

I longed for cohesiveness, and simplicity while still having the flexibility to grow.

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Show

ManMade // The Hangover

This weekend I hosted my very first “ManMade” show. It was a show that I’ve been wanting to put on for a while, but that saw a little controversy in it’s early planning stages due to some folks’ feeling that I was being exclusive by not opening the show to women.

The show was always open to women, I will be first to agree that perhaps I didn’t communicate the “vision” for this show with very much sensitivity in the beginning.

I was excited to be acting on a new concept and I forgot that my audience isn’t just a handful of my closest childhood friends, but rather, a diverse group of individuals who don’t all necessarily share my opinions or sense of humour.

Which can be, occasionally, somewhat, just ever so slightly, inappropriate.

But I can only control my intentions, and they were good.

So I checked myself before I wrecked myself, and surged ahead.

In a nutshell, I thought the show was awesome. It was super chill, and much smaller than a typical HH show, and the location (Mill Street Brew Pub Ottawa) was amazing.

Also, there was more beer than we could actually drink available to us from 11am onward.

That took an edge off the craft show nerves let me tell ya.

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There’s just something fun about a themed show. It gives makers something to go on, and these guys (and a few girls) really stepped up their game in the interest of appealing to folks looking for Father’s Day gifts and dude stuff.

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