Things have been nuts lately around the shop. I’ve had several wholesale orders (when it rains, it pours), the last one had me working full out for 3 weeks to get it all prepared. At first I had trouble with wholesale as I end up selling my products at a significant discount, however when you factor in the time saved not having to go to craft sales, it evens out. It’s also nice that you know exactly what and how much of each product to order. I don’t wholesale all my stuff as some of it has such a low profit margin that I can’t really lower the price any further.
Coming up in November, I’m scheduled to sell at the Gowling Christmas Craft Sale. It’s a new sale this year with lots of vendors. Earlier in the month I’ll also be selling on the Saturday of the very popular Handmade Harvest in Almonte. This sale attracts thousands of customers each year from all over the Ottawa Valley.
I’m still applying for a couple other shows before Christmas, but will keep you posted on where you can grab my products! Next week I’ll have all the stores across Canada currently stocking my work.
Been getting some blog love lately. My vegan antler rack (seen above) was recently featured on At Home on the Bay as a fabulous Etsy find! The coat each was inspired by the deer I often see out the window in my studio (as they graze on my apple tree…). I plan on having this one, along with a 3 and 2 antler rack at the upcoming Urban Craft Market in Ottawa in September 2014.
Danslacabine featured my walnut dish as one of the top 10 Etsy finds in my province of Quebec. This item is only available on my Etsy site and I only have one left. The dish proved to be too labour intensive in order to make any more, so it is a one off!
Check out the fantastic blogs mentioned above, lots of great articles!
Just firmed up my craft sale dates for September. Those of you in the National Capital area can see me at both Urban Craft Market as well as Etsy: Made in Canada. They are two very big events so I’d better make this post short and get back to the studio right away!
Mike from BrokenStick.ca stopped by my shop the other day. We commiserated about the lack of available sticks for our projects. I’ve had to turn down far too many orders for hockey stick cutting boards due to lack of wood sticks. We soon also discovered we went to the same school years ago, small world!
Mike was kind enough to give me a couple of his hockey stick bottle openers. I used a similar design last holiday season for bottle openers but used scrap wood from other projects instead of hockey sticks. They were a great seller but a bit mind numbing to produce after a while…
My last round of paddle making got quite the reception on Facebook, so much so that I ended up teaming up with a local kids charity that was running a canoe fundraiser. I decided to make them a custom paddle with their logo on it to be auctioned off. The paddle is made from poplar with walnut strips.
I laminated the the shaft and wrapped the blade in a way that it looks like the walnut runs right down the centre of the glad and shaft. A died epoxy tip was added to protect the end of the blade.
I painted the entire paddle with a thin coat of epoxy for protection, then a coat of poly to protect from the UV rays. The paddle was a huge hit and raise them a bunch of money for their camp programs, it was a great fit for both of us!
A month ago I ordered a custom brand from Heavy Industry. I found them on Etsy where I also have a shop. They were absolutely awesome to work with. I sent them my logo in jpg format, asked about what size would work best for the font, and presto, here’s my awesome new brand. I splurged for the electric branding iron, didn’t want to have to mess around with a propane torch trying to get it to the right temperature. I’m really pleased with the brand, and I think it helps developing an identity, plus it looks pretty cool. I’ve put it on a few items so far, including the business card holder seen above.
Last week I finished off this coffee cart for Patisserie la Toque. They wanted a modern looking coffee cart with a bit of an industrial feel. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at a concrete counter top! The cart is 3/4″ Baltic Birch plywood and a 2″ thick concrete top. I put it all on casters so they can move it around for cleaning purposes. The cart + coffee maker must weigh in at around 200 lbs. so it’s quite sturdy. Already they have had lots of comments from their customers and it might lead to a few outdoor concrete table orders.
I took a great paddle making class a few years ago, but haven’t had the time since to make another one. My 4 year old keeps growing so she was due for another paddle. She is in love with the colour purple so I grabbed a bit of purple heart along with some poplar and walnut and made her a little paddle for our adventures.
The second paddle was a present to my wife, after many years she was still using some junky old paddle lying around the garage. Her’s is also in the picture above, it’s made from walnut and butternut and is very light. Mainly used hand tools to plane down the blades and shape the shafts, worked out great. Both paddles were finished with spar varnish, wasn’t happy with the product and it smelt awful. I’ve read many people say that poly is better as it is harder, and you don’t really need the uv protection for the limited amount of time it is outside, so on the next one I’ll use some poly instead.
Up next I’m making a paddle for a local kids charity to use for their silent auction. Hopefully it brings in some big bucks for the organization, it will be auctioned off at a canoe fundraiser so hopefully it’s a good fit.