Friday, November 26, 2010

They say a change is as good as a holiday!

Well this change has given me a few early grey hairs in the last couple of days, but "they" might just be right!

Due to safety issues the Ballarat market will no longer be held at St Patrick's Hall this Sunday. But the very lovely, determined and resourceful Kate from Tea & Jam refused to let me cancel the market outright and tracked down a wonderful alternative location, the gorgeous St Alipius Parish Hall. It is rather lovely isn't it, dare I say even lovelier than the original location?

So just incase you missed those details here they are again in bold!!

Sugar & Spice Ballarat

St Alipius Parish Hall

78 Victoria Street (right next to St Alipius Primary School)

9am - 1pm

Make sure you tell your family, friends & neighbours of the venue change too!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Visual Merchandising tips by Kristine Bryce

Tonight I have a special treat for you. The very lovely Kristine of Adorning Al has very kindly agreed to do a guest blog post with some awesome tips on how to make your retail space beautiful.

Visual merchandising is the art of presentation and an integral part of any business’ marketing plan – no matter how big or small your business! To build long term brand loyalty and maximise sales, projecting the right image is crucial.

As a visual merchandiser for 10 years I have worked on and seen many effective and beautiful displays, and just as many bad ones. Draped satin fabrics and fake flowers are just some of the bad props I’ve encountered on my travels.

This December, I am delighted to be attending Sugar and Spice Market showcasing my brand, Adorning AL. Here are some of the tips I consider when planning a display:

1) Graphics and signage: use attention grabbing, yet clear graphics to communicate your brand. Forget fancy fonts or too much information - get straight to the point. Use computer graphic signage or a designer to help you with signage and price tickets. Do not scrimp here, it is all part of your image and reflects what you’re about.

2) Trends: When you next go shopping at a large retailer, take note of what makes you stop and look at their window, then enter and spend $$. The story the retailer has created has silently led you in and before you know it, a sale is done. So, jot down these steps and review… whether it was a catalogue, poster, price point or display prop, these are the points you need to consider when creating your own display style.

3) Space: Think about the total space you have for display. Use the space above and behind your stand, as well as the space on your trestle table or in front of you. Get creative and practise your display well before market day – it will mean less stress on the day and a quicker set-up time!

4) Synergy: Incorporate visual elements like a colour scheme, material type, use props like flowers, ceramic or glass bowls, build height and create levels by using boxes, use backdrops, the list is only as limited as your imagination! Group similar items to make it easy for the buyer to purchase and make sure there is flow. Group items together by size, colour, or product type. Make sure any props used complement, not distract your product.

5) Think outside the box: With so many stalls at markets, you want to grab the attention of potential buyers. What is so special about you that makes people want to purchase your product instead of those from the stall next to you? It maybe as simple as using lights or a lamp, a coloured table cloth or backdrop that make your items stand out more. It’s the little touches that can make a BIG difference.

You have only have a few seconds to catch a buyer’s eye… so remember you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to view and buy your product. Keep it clean and simple. Create your own style and be passionate about visual merchandising!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A drum roll please!

The dates for next years markets are ..........

Ballarat - St Patricks Hall

13th February
31st July
27th November

Woodend - St Ambrose Hall

6th March
5th June
4th Sept
4th Dec

Mornington - RSL Memorial Hall

20th March
17th July
20th November


Does anybody know how to add a calender to blogger?? Anyhow .....

The online booking form will me modified asap so you can start applying for next years markets if you feel so inclinded : )

The other exciting news for the market is that there will be 100 goodie bags to giveaway at every market and even better, I will not have to pack them YAY!! The Goodie Bag exchange is a new business that offers affordable advertising for mumprenuers. If you are thinking about how to spread the word about your business but your budget is on the modest side, then you should seriously consider The Goodie bag exchange. They distribute goodie bags through out Australia but you also have the option to select which bags your material appears in .... retailers with Sugar & Spice will be able to place material in our bags at a discounted rate.

Did you get a copy of our gorgeous new newsletter yesterday? I have received such positive feedback but I can not take all of the glory for the newsletter, Prue from Gigi & Lulu made it pretty and the contributions from Nat (tiny & Little), Jo (Little Melbourne - or Little Melby as I like to call it now!!), Jem (Little Eats) and Sabrina (Little Kitchen) were so incredibly awesome!! And you will be seeing more of their fabulous work in the future! Make sure you spread the love by forwarding the newsletter to your friends and gain yourselves an entry for our awesome Chrissy giveaway for each person you forward the newsletter to!

How gorgeous is this photo of just some of the chrissy goodies to win by Kim Selby?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have you met .........

Rebekah, the maker of the most lovely upcycled rabbits in the world? Also otherwise known as the creative force behind Dandelion!

Are you more Sugar or Spice?

Definitely more sugar, I'm a lover not a fighter!

How did your business Dandelion come about?

I have always enjoyed sewing & making things for my five children and this led me into starting up a small business from home. I also have a passion for op shopping and vintage fabrics. On a visit to the Creswick Woollen Mills I fell in love with their amazing alpaca blanket offcuts & saw huge creative potential. I wanted to create a toy that combined a variety of recycled materials and that is how my Blanket Bunnies were born. My mum helps out by knitting the girl bunnies gorgeous little cardigans using Australian wool from the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne. I am now making boy pirate bunnies too. Since Dandelion began I have made hundreds of bunnies who have gone off to loving homes all over Australia & the world. Knowing that one of my bunnies is part of someone's life, a part of their childhood, is the best feeling ever!

What is the number one thing you can not leave the house without on market day?

My eldest daughter, Charlotte, who is the best helper in the world!

What has been your best purchase at a market?

It would have to be my super ace sky- blue flowery leather purse that I picked up at Paddington Market this year. It always makes me smile.

Where else can we catch you?

You can visit me at my blog, or via my shop, or at Sugar & Spice in Ballarat & Woodend. Come and say hi!

How could you say no to taking one of these home?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Have you met .........

The very lovely Jane of Janey and Kipp?

With the help of Jenny from the Letterbug we are asking Jane the tough questions that you all want answered!!!

Are you more sugar or spice?

Sugar- what you see is what you get with me-I'm def not spicy!

How did you catch the market bug?

I think I was born with the' market bug' , as a kid I tried to sell lotions and potions I made from my herb garden on the side of the road- not one car stopped? I only have started doing markets though since some fantastic one have come to Ballarat.

What has been your best market purchase and where did you bag it?

My best ever market purchase would be some bamboo pj's for my little boy Kipp at Mathilda's market in melbourne.

What do you think is key to creating an enticing and gorgeous stall display?

I think an exciting display consists of a theme, height and depth and clearly marked prices.

On market day, what is the one thing you can not leave home without?

One thing I couldn't leave home without on market day would be food!

I am super excited that Jane will be retailing at the Ballarat Market on the 28th of this month, there are quite a few of her items that have made it onto my wish list. Take a peak at her gorgeous goodies in her etsy store and also on her blog. But I will leave you with my favourite, the divine bird houses she creates.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I've been naughty!

I get a beautiful new blog thanks to Gigi & Lulu and then I ignore it.

It's a bit rude really.

In my defence I have been busy. 2 kids. 1 husband. 1 part time job as a teacher. Sold 2 properties. Brought my forever home (and it is truely gorgeous). Being ill ........

Busy is actually an understatement but not an excuse! So I promise to try and pay my pretty new blog the attention that it deserves