Thursday, 30 April 2015

In my Sketchbook: 30/04/15

I haven't done as much drawing as I'd like over the last few months. I spent quite a while editing and colouring the designs for my new range of cards, and then spent a few weeks sewing, baking brooches and book-binding in the build up to Renegade.
But over the last 2 weeks I've managed to get back into drawing a bit more often (although my Diary Doodles have been a bit abandoned lately!), mainly as part of a fun new commission. I'm designing a range of party products with a fairytale princess theme, so my sketchbooks have been filled with carriages, butterflies, princess crowns and flowers (many of my favourite things to draw!).
I've also done a bit of doodling in the evenings to try and get some ideas for future card designs.

Here's a few of my favourite pages from the last two weeks.

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Emma Margaret Illustration

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The new newsletter!

I've decided to improve my newsletter a little.
Starting from May, subscribers will now receive a monthly newsletter containing shop updates, exclusive discount codes and downloadable freebies!

If you're not already a subscriber, signing up is easy. Just follow this link and enter your details!
Sign up by 10am on Friday and you'll receive the first newsletter.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Snap Snap: 28/04/15

I'm several weeks behind on my Snap Snap posts so this one is covering the whole of April (which has been a pretty hectic month) instead of just the one week!

- New products in progress. This was for the colouring books which are now up for sale in my Etsy and Folksy shops.
- I treated myself to a lovely new camera.
- Sketchbook doodles.
- Easter cupcakes.

- Packing up cards for Renegade Craft Fair. There's more Renegade prep pictures here.
- Pretty flowers for my stall at the craft fair.
- Beabea helped me pack for the fair, but she wasn't too impressed that she couldn't come with us!
- A fantastic weekend at Renegade. Read my full round-up and craft fair tips here.

- One of the treats I bought myself at Renegade. A peach & almond candle from East Wick.
- The unicorn cards were a big hit at Renegade and sold out over the weekend! They're back in stock now on Etsy and Folksy.
- We spent a weekend down in Portsmouth visiting Jamie's family and had a fun day at in Southsea.
- Designing fairytale palaces for a fun new commission.

- My little helper likes to nap on the job quite a lot.
- Updating my wholesale catalogue (still in progress!)
- Another stack of cards for Crafty Fox Market and stockist Nook & Cranny,
- Folksy held a little giveaway over the weekend to win one of my Purrfect brooches.

- My stall at Crafty Fox Market in Brixton last weekend.
- Bee doodles.
- I had intended to design a new business card for when I re-ordered from the printers last week, but after their popularity at Renegade I decided to keep the unicorns around a little longer!
- A little peek at the project I'm currently working on.

April has been a hectic (but fun, and very creative) month, and I'm now very much looking forward to May which just happens to include a week's holiday to Turkey!

I'll be back soon with an In my Sketchbook post. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Crafty Fox Market

I've been terrible at blogging lately, I know. I promise I'll be back at it more regularly soon!

For now I just wanted to let you know that on Saturday (25th April) I'll be selling at my first Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. If you're coming along please do come and say Hi!
I'll be at booth number 23 with my greetings cards, colouring books, badges and more.

The full details of the fair and trader listings can be found here.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Renegade London Spring 2015

So as you'll have probably noticed (either from reading on here or following me on social media) this past weekend was Renegade Craft Fair. Weeks of manically making things and preparing my display ended with a fantastic weekend in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.

In the few days leading up to the fair, my lovely helper Jamie was having problems with a painful trapped nerve, and with the knowledge that we needed to get all my stock, displays and a shelving unit from our house to central London on public transport, I was getting a bit worried we weren't going to make it!
But we did! We left extra early, with well-packed bags, stayed calm, and made it to the venue with plenty of time to get ready!
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
Setting up is one of my favourite parts about a craft fair, I love choosing where everything is going to go and seeing all my hard work come together. On this occasion I brought one of our shelving units to give some extra height, and bought a new plant and some beautiful flowers to brighten up the stall.
I had planned out the majority of my stall layout on the day before, so I didn't have any stresses trying to find room for everything on the day!
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
My first sale of the day was one of my new colouring books. It had a unicorn on the cover and that pretty much set the tone for the whole weekend. Unicorn themed items were by far my best seller! I ran out of the unicorn greetings cards on the first day, and luckily found some more to bring in for the Sunday, and all but one of those sold out too! The unicorns weren't originally part of my plan for my new range, but I originally designed the card because of a promise to some friends that I would send them something with a unicorn on it. I'm very glad as I did as they've definitely been a hit, and lots of people complimented the business cards too (which are also adorned with a unicorn!)
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
I did manage to fit in a few quick walks around the fair (thanks to my wonderful helper, thank you Jamie!) but I struggled to choose what to spend my money on, everything was so lovely! In the end I bought some pencils from Oh Squirrel, and a Peach & Almond scented candle from East Wick (it was lovely to meet you both!). 
Everyone was really friendly, and we had some great booth neighbours including Kymberly from Fitzygogo and Laura from Goodnight Boutique. I met lots of lovely people when I walked around the fair, and bumped into some friendly faces form past events too. The atmosphere throughout the fair was fantastic, fun and friendly, made even better by the sun shining through the windows all weekend!
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
 I wanted to share a few tips for anyone who might be taking part in a craft fair in the future. I haven't done too many and I'm no expert but I definitely learned a few things over the weekend:

- Plan your time leading up to fair thoroughly.
I made endless to-do lists, sketches and plans for everything I needed to get done. But the main thing I did was to aim to finish a day earlier than I needed to, which allowed me the last day to get everything packed, and relax a little before the fair, so I arrived on the Saturday morning feeling calm and ready for the weekend!

- Also plan your layout.
Even if you end up completely changing everything when you get there. Having a plan can help you to make sure everything is going to fit, and help you to know what display items you need to take (to avoid carrying things you don't need/ being without something you do need) and how to design your signage/price tickets.

- Take plenty of change.
This one is pretty self explanatory, but definitely make sure you do it. I took quite a big float, which was plenty on the first day, but by the end of the Sunday I only had a few £1 coins left and had to ask my booth neighbour Kymberly for some more change!

- Accept card payments, and advertise it.
In the lead up to the fair I couldn't decide whether or not to get a card reader as they can be a bit of an investment, but I definitely didn't want to have to turn away any customers. Luckily, a few weeks before the fair I spotted an advert for a free one form iZettle, so signed up right away! Its quite a basic one, and it has to be connected to the phone via a cable, but it works perfectly well and I didn't have any problems all weekend. You can add products to your account before hand to save you having to type in the amount each time, and it allows you to send a receipt via e-mail if the customer wants one!
I'd definitely recommend getting one, and if you do then make sure you advertise it on your stall! Some people don't like to ask things, so if they can't see that you accept card payments, they may just assume you don't and walk away without buying anything!

- Make a tally chart for your sales.
From what I've seen, a lot of people take a note book and write down the name and price of each item that they sell. This works pretty well but if you have a rush of customers it can be hard to keep track, and writing it all down quickly can end with illegible scrawls all over the page! My alternative to this is to create a tally chart. In the first column I list all the products and their prices (which also serves as a reminder if you forget them at any point!), then a wide column for the tally, and two more columns to fill in at the end with the total number and value (then at the end just add all those together to see what you've made!)
I've done this at past events too and its always worked for me. You can also see at a quick glance at any time during the day which products are selling best, and if you need to move anything around or re-stock something.

- Smile and have a good time!
I smiled and said hello to every customer who stopped to look at my work, and everyone smiled and said hello back! As I mentioned before its a great atmosphere at these events, so make sure you enjoy it!
Emma Margaret Illustration Renegade Craft Fair
Before I end this post I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the fair, said hello, bought something form me or complimented my work. And also another big thank you to Jamie for staying with me all weekend, supplying me with food and drinks (and being in charge of the clipboard and tally chart!) And thanks to mum and dad for the lift home (and saving us from taking the shelving unit on the tube again) and the celebratory meal out on Sunday evening.
I had a fantastic weekend and I'll definitely be applying to do it all again in November (I've already got lots of ideas!!)

PS. I didn't manage to take any pictures of other stalls but there are lots of lovely things to see under the #renegadecraftfair or #renegadelondon hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Renegade: One week to go!

Things have been getting pretty exciting, and very manic around here the last few weeks (hence the lack of posts recently) as the first ever Renegade London Spring Fair is a mere week away!
I've been working hard on lots of new products which will all be launched at the fair next weekend.

I just wanted to do a quick post to share some snaps with you of what I've been up to for the last few weeks:

I've been sewing zips, assembling books, cutting postcards and making bunting.
I've still got some sewing to finish off, and I need to pack all my cards and make some signage for my display, but I'm slowly getting there.
And of course once Renegade is over I'll be adding all the new products to my Etsy and Folksy shops.

If you're thinking of heading to Renegade next weekend you can find all the details here.
And do come and say hello if you see me, I'd love to meet you!