modern businesswoman

…which I am not.

For years I have been steadfast in my use of carbon copy paper receipts. “Oh, I don’t need a receipt,” the customer would say. “Too bad. I’m already writing it,” I replied. In general I have been fairly resistant to change and technology – I’m a spinner for Pete’s sake! How fuddy-duddy can you get? But every now and then I pop my head out of my hovel and see that there are things out there that could make my life a little bit simpler. Quickbooks for accounting! Sort of helpful, sort of a huge a pain in the ass. Smartphone with Square! Allows me to take charge cards. Excel spreadsheets! Keeps track of my fiber inventory and tallies stuff up. Aaaand that’s where it ends. Until last week. I took the plunge and got myself a TABLET! Impressive, I know. I wanted to try switching from handwritten receipts to keeping track of all my sales through Square. I went to a show over the weekend, so I didn’t have to wait long to give it a test run.

Some cool things:

  • Tax included. I already do this, but now all the math has been done for me. Phew!
  • Time stamp. I can see that I had a sale at 9:20, 9:22, 9:26, 9:30, etc. And my suspicions that the last hour is a bust have been confirmed.
  • Sales totaled. After my big day, I get a report from Square complete with charts (yay!) and numbers letting me know how much I grossed and what items sold the best. I love charts.
  • Less “stuff”. Now I don’t have to have a pen, calculator, notebook, receipt book, cash envelope, change purse… blaaaah…
  • Looks fancy. What says “small businesswoman in the 21st century” more than flipping a snazzy new tablet around in people’s faces?

I wish they had a way for you to make multiple inventory lists. For some events I don’t sell certain things and it would be nice to hide them. There is no hiding of items.

Another funny thing that happened on my way to modernity: I forgot my cash box at home. That included all my change, receipt books, pens, markers, notebook, and Square reader. Yep. When I realized this, I asked some other vendors if they had an extra reader, but no. Then I went hunting online to find a Best Buy or Staples. So far away! THEN I went to Square’s website and found out that they are sold at Rite Aid. WHAT?! After dinner my trusty companion, Amber who rocks, and I headed up the street to the closest Rite Aid and they had it! Plus I got some change. I was saved and it was spectacular. Bonus: now I have two working readers. The day went great. I think using the Square went great. It is always amusing to watch as someone smashes your stylus into the screen and asks why it is so sticky. Or they lay their entire hand on the screen and can’t figure out why the stylus isn’t writing. There is a reason I applied a screen protector.

Also, I didn’t have time to buy a case, so I whipped together a little sleeve before leaving the house on Friday. I took a piece of felt and sewed up the sides (as seen above). Blammo! Other than the awesome Square app, I haven’t figured out why my tablet is better than my smartphone or computer. I still prefer to navigate websites and such on the laptop. And the camera on my phone is FAR superior. However, using the tablet in the kitchen to read recipes has been handy. Hopefully I will discover other reasons to justify its purchase. I just wish I could get my email account to work on it.

And here is the obligatory booth shot from Autumn Fiber Festival in Ashland, OH. I love this event because we get a 10×12 space. And it is just one day of fever-pitch shopping!

Just spending the day at Autumn Fiber Festival. #transientvendor #woolmerchant #booth #Ashland #Ohio

another successful event

And just like that, it’s over! Thank you to everyone who attended and helped with the Autumn Fiber Festival on Saturday. It was a rainy day, but the building was full of shoppers. Hooray! And a special thanks to all of you who helped me with my “studio clean-up project” by purchasing any items from the destash table. Having a larger space than usual — 10×12 rather than 10×10 — allows for that extra table, so I think it will become a regular feature. Everyone needs to go through their stash now and then to give it a good scrubbing!

10x10 Booth

Getting to the event on Saturday was a little nutty. Unfortunately I left my house 15 minutes later than I planned and then found out the event was 15 minutes farther away than I thought. That meant we arrived half an hour later than I expected. I only had one hour to unload and set up. It was crazy, but a few other people helped my dad bring in boxes while I started laying things out. In the end we got it done. I used a different configuration than I have in the past. It might not have had the best flow, but it worked well enough.

It was great visiting with so many friends this weekend and talking to several returning customers. Some even brought projects to share! It is so exciting to see what people do with the fibers I dye. I get them started, but you make them into something special. Do you spin them? Felt them? Knit them? Crochet them? Keep bringing your projects to shows – I couldn’t be happier to see them.

customer project

customer project

Autumn Fiber Festival

This weekend I am doing something I have never done before! It is the first time I am attending two events back to back. Last weekend I was in Chautauqua, NY for the Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference. This weekend I am heading to Ashland, OH for the Autumn Fiber Festival.

I am excited about this event. I get a 10×12 foot space, so I have a little extra room. Last year I had a destash table. I intend to do the same this weekend. Books, yarn, fiber, and a few pieces of equipment all at “let’s get this out of here” prices. I hope I can unload these things (hint-hint). It would be nice to have a little bit of extra space in my wool room.

OCTOBER 19, 2013
10 am to 5 pm
Mozelle Hall
2042 Claremont Avenue
Ashland, Ohio

spinning wheel for sale

Currently I have this beautiful Country Craftsman Spinning Wheel sitting in my  living room. It was hand-crafted by Joseph Franzek, Jr. from Littleton, Massachusetts. Despite its alluring charm, I do not have a use for it. I am hoping to help it find a new forever home this weekend at the Autumn Fiber Festival in Ashland, OH. I am asking $325 and it comes with a matching stool and distaff. Stop in my booth to give it a whirl.

Country Craftsman

Detta’s Spindle has a few accessories available.

need to detash

It’s been on my mind lately. My woolroom is overflowing with so much fiber that I’ll never get to all of it. I know that isn’t unusual — stash enhancement beyond life expectancy is rather common among us. But, I just know there are things buried in here that I will never use. I can’t get to it all, and I’d rather have space for things I want! Therefore, I’ve gone through my stash and pulled out all sorts of things that I want to unload. There’s lots of spinning fiber. Bits of fleeces, weird batts, dyed roving, undyed tidbits. And yarn too, but it’s all commercial. Some are brand new balls, others have been used a bit. At least I don’t have very much of that hanging around.

It will first be available at the Autumn Fiber Event (Stashbusters Swap Meet). There will be a table in my booth with all of the DESTASH goodies. I’m planning to sort through the fiber and price it based on size/weight. But there will only be 2 or 3 different prices. And I’m not labeling things. I’ll do the same with the yarn. Used balls will be one price and unused another price. After the event, I’m going to take whatever is left and make grab bags. Those I will have listed in the shop.

Honestly, this represents seven years of collecting. There are a few items in there that I bought when I first started spinning. It’s just not interesting to me anymore. Time to move on. Time to clear it out!

a new fiber show!

Autumn Fiber Event
formerly StashBuster Swap Meet and Fiber Show
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
Ashland County Fairgrounds
2042 Claremont Ave., Ashland, OH 44805

This is the first year for it and I am officially going. Apparently it was cancelled and then reorganized, but I hadn’t gotten my application in the first time around. So, when the new forms were released, I just sent it in like nothing had changed. Luckily I didn’t miss the October 1 deadline.

Rich and I will be getting home from Florida the night before, so it’s going to be another crazy weekend. At least it’s just a one day show. We’ll see how it goes. Be sure to check out the website. If you’ve got a huge stash of your own that you’d like to sell, this would be a good time to do it.