I made sure to write my mushy DUCF reflection when my heart was still warm with crafty amazingness and gleeful tunes on vinyl. Now that I have slept and eaten some toast with raspberry jalapeño jam, I am ready to tackle the display aspect of the event. When my friend Ryan came to help on Sunday he told his girlfriend that the display I had looked WAY different than when he had helped the previous year. He wasn’t lying. Last year’s display wasn’t as large or grand as my current one, but I hadn’t known what to expect on year one. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see how things changed in the past year.
Last year my display looked like this:
I was proud. After all, it was my second show ever, I made that sweet banner from a table runner, and the tilted necklace displays are an improvement from the show before, where they were laying on fancy plates (pictured below).
Over the weekend my display looked like this:
I am certainly pleased with the improvement. I made the display WAY taller on both sides and the hair clip wall made it much easier for customers to find the perfect clip for themselves or a loved one. I found the idea of the IKEA boxes on the left attached with binder clips on pinterest. Someone was using it as a bookshelf. I liked the idea of adding clips to hang necklaces. This addition was added last January when I went to the Rust Belt Market.
The three busts wearing necklaces were suggested by Mitten Made, and really helped ensure people knew what they are looking at.
As far as products go, I offered more variety this year. This meant I HAD to use my space wisely, as there were so many options on the table. Here’s a peak at what changed:
Last year’s product line (6 choices): necklaces on ribbon, pins, headbands (with an elastic headband), a small selection of hair clips, Faygo bottle bouquets, and a few rings
This year’s product line (10 choices): necklaces on chains, pins, hair clips, headbands (on a ribbon covered metal headband), large pin/hairclip cluster combos, ornaments, Faygo bottle bouquets, whisper cluster pins/hair clips and a billion rings.
The Evolution of the Statement Necklace
Aside from adding whisper cluster pins and hair clips to the mix, the biggest change on the table was the statement necklaces. The easiest way to explain this is through pictures.
My felt flower statement necklaces started as a request for something entirely different. I had a request from a former co-worker to make a flower arrangement for a shirt. Here’s the arrangement I came up with:
I was concerned about how she’d wash it, so I created a bib necklace in ribbon. That’d let her choose the length of the necklace to line up with her shirt. I loved how it came out and wanted to make more. I was inspired to make several color combinations and add funky brooches/buttons. Here’s a look at some of the first necklaces I ever made:
After the holidays, I had an urge to create something new. I wanted to put necklaces on chains. I did, and here’s one of the first necklaces I referred to as the “Off the chain, 2012 collection.”
These sold well, but some people thought they were a big statement to make and they would like something a bit smaller. The whisper statement necklace was born! This cluster formation was initially created as a pin for a pharmacist’s lab coat. Since then it became a necklace and pin/hair clip combo. This is a shot I used on facebook as a “whisper preview” picture:
The last part of the handleber statement necklace evolution is the fault of Lady Mary and the rest of Downton Abbey. I became obsessed with the show and the fashion. This sent me on a mission to create pieces with pearls and vintage brooches, which I lovingly named “The Downton Collection.” I love this collection! Most of the pieces were sold over the holiday shows. This makes me happy because it means I can make more! Here’s one of my faves:
The evolution of both my display and necklaces have been a result of conversation and feedback from customers, friends, and family. I am truly appreciative of all of the support and suggestions from everyone. I cannot believe handleber is still so young! The picture of the 2011 DUCF seems like ages ago. It has certainly been a super fun year! Even though my business started in August 2011, I feel it really started when I began doing craft shows. I have enjoyed watching my display and products evolve throughout the year and cannot wait to see what happens next!
Part 3 of my DUCF post will not exist until after everyone receives their gifts.