February and March are always the busiest time of the year in the studio and it’s always at this time that my thoughts turn to the Wonderwool Wales show that is only 8 weeks away (22-23 April 2017). Preparation for this show (and all shows) begin some 3 months before the show with a long “to do list” that I dutiful review every week in my bullet journal, and often feel like I make little real progress on until the pressure begins around now (6-8 weeks before)! With over 2 pages of products to create, I probably should have started a few weeks ago, but hey, who doesn’t work well under pressure! Today’s post is about a day in the bead studio.
As you can see below it’s fairly time consuming to produce each batch of stitch markers, photograph the set and upload to the website.
This will be the 8th Wonderwool Wales that Atomic Knitting has exhibited at, and I feel that the stand together with the whole show has come a long way since those early days. For Atomic Knitting there are usually over 1500 products to get ready/create, package and price up ahead of the show, then all the loose beads, buttons and ‘special items’ that I produce just for the show. In between there’s the stand design to consider as well as the relevant marketing paraphernalia that needs to be ordered around 6 weeks before. This is all in parallel with running the website, writing newsletters, creating new products, making up wholesale orders, photography and social media to name just a few tasks.
I do love it all though and am thankful that I can spend the day in such a creative way.
A day in the life…Leaf Stitch Markers
Here’s how today turned out the studio.
9:00am Coffee & BuJo
I usually start by making a list of what I want to achieve in the day, from creating new products to paying the bills, it all gets written down. I usually end up with about 5 or 6 things I want to accomplish, and I know I might only get 1 or 2 done today…the rest are there just in case!
First on the list today was the creation of new beaded leaf stitch markers. Once ready to begin the first product, I start by gathering together the beads, findings and tools that I need. In this case, leaf beads in multiple colours, Swarovski Xillion crystals in all available colours, seed beads, findings, rings, clasps, ribbon, card and packaging. I’ve had the leaf beads in stock for a little while and last week had a new batch of Swarovski Xillion crystals arrived that were sparkling away on the desk, catching my eye.
It took around an hour to make up one of each of the seven designs that have been released today. Each marker is made using a leaf bead, a Xillion Swarovski crystal and seed beads. There’s a variety of gold and silver plated designs, and the Make Your Mark service is available on all seven designs.
10.30am Nettle Tea Break & Email check
The email check reveals a couple of orders have come in to be processed and dispatched later today.
Now the designs are finalised it’s time to create multiple versions of each one including Make Your Mark sets. Markers to fit 4mm, 7mm, crochet and removable markers are made up.
Each set is ribbon tied on card and packaged ready for immediate dispatch.
Meanwhile the dark rain clouds had rolled in, at the time I wanted to get the photography done. I usually prefer to use natural light where possible in the product photography and that just wasn’t going to work today, so out came the full studio lighting rig and after about an hour, the shots of the seven designs were ready to go on the website. The last of these designs are also packaged up.
Once the photos are uploaded, they are cropped and tidied up ready for the website. The final uploads of each product are now available to purchase here (or at Wonderwool Wales!).
2:30pm Orders & Post Office run
The orders received overnight and so far today are picked, packed and dispatched (this was quick today as all product ordered was available for immediate dispatch!). A quick run to the Post Office then back to the studio.
3:45pm Tea & Teacake
Naughty, I know but it was soooo cold outside and I really fancied something with a cup of tea!
Updates to the front page carousel with a new picture of the leaf stitch markers.
Time to start writing the blog, collating pictures and publishing! Narrowly finished at 6pm ready to publish later. A quick review of the BuJo (not much to tick off today!) then a tidy up, finally closing up the studio at 6.15pm.
Phew – that was a busy day! I’m really pleased with the Leaf Stitch Markers and I always enjoy making them. Now time to head home and publish this blog and flip a pancake or two.