Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Market prep = craziness at L*K

I've been designing needlework for 18 YEARS now, and going to market every year! Logic tells me that this should get easier every year. Hmmm....really?

Thankfully, I have learned to keep really GOOD records about market. Not just what we sold and how many, but how much inventory I toted to (and fro) Nashville. The tricky part is to haul enough inventory to sell to the enthusiastic shopowners, and not put up those pesky SOLD OUT signs early in the day...but not bring too much stuff that makes the return trip home.

So here I am this week...poring over inventory and sales lists from the past few years, looking for that missing crystal ball, trying to "predict" what is going to sell, and making the 2013 inventory list.

We just released new titles a few weeks ago, so we won't have new chartpaks, Snippets or Flip-its. What we will have are 4 NEW KITS...and they're FUN!!!!! I'll tell you about the 3 Flora McSample Limited Editions kits today.

I'm fondly calling these "grab bag" kits because I am kitting them with bits of this and that...fabric, that is!  Since we do lots of kitting, and lots of model stitching, we have lots of fabric hanging around. When the drawers and cabinets and sneaky hiding places are bursting at the seams, it's time for some grab bag kits. I designed 3 small kits with my sampler friend, Flora McSample. Flora likes to design in a vintage-style, so these little gems look sampler-ish.

Here are some of my beautiful assorted fabrics...before folding, ironing and kitting. I've been gradually cutting small pieces of fabric for the last month or so, and I'm still working on it.  If you looks closely, there are all sorts of lovely colors, some overdyes, pastels, neutrals...it's a real grab bag!  This is kinda like the "ghosts of kits past"...you can spot leftovers from lots of discontinued kits, and just pieces that were too small for most kits, but I  couldn't throw them out!. 

Above is my main fabric storage cabinet. WOW...it's still a mess, but it's much less full than before Flora got to work on her 3 little market kits. I can shut the door with ease!

Since these are here today/gone tomorrow Limited Edition kits, I am doing the photography and graphic design myself. I enlisted my good friend, Bob Bishop, to help me with photography since 1) he has a much nicer camera than I, and 2) he has tons more equipment and 3) he has actually studied photography and 4) he was willing and available on a Ssturday afternoon!

We were quite a pair, doing our official L*K photo shoot in their big living room. If you look closely, you can see the little kit on the table, nestled among the Easter-y props. Did I tell you these kits are LITTLE??? That's me, holding the reflective white paper in all sorts of crazy positions, aiming for the perfect lighting.

I brought all sorts of goodies to Bob's house for our shoot. Each kit had it's own little box of props, as I had pre-planned each shot in advance at my house. I rounded up lots of old stuff from my house and threw in a couple houseplants.

Another perk to doing a photo shoot at Bob's house...while we're working, Connie is in the kitchen whipping up some yummy oatmeal cookies.  Thanks, Connie!

After I got the edited photos from Bob, I got to work on the graphic design for the projects. Making pretty covers is one of my favorite things, and I had so much fun doing the finishing touches on these kits.

I'm still working on folding and ironing the kit fabric. While we were watching a basketball game last night, I pulled the ironing board into the family room and got to work. Our friends who came to watch got a chuckle as I ironed through the game, pausing to yell and cheer on our favorite team, Kansas State Wildcats!

No, we're not previewing photos yet...gotta keep some mystery or else why shlep all this stuff half way across the country to market?  However, as soon as our showroom door opens at market on Saturday. March 2, I'm sure photos of the new kits will be emailing, blogging and Facebooking their way to you!  The intrepid shopowners who come to market will get the word out!

Stay tuned for more market previews!!!


  1. Linda, I love it! I have only been doing markets for about 8 years but I'm the same...check the last three shows, notebooks full of sales and who bought what. That way shipping doesn't go through the roof. The warehouse has a list of things not to forget...return address labels for the boxes that carry the booth props, shipping tape, order forms, etc...craziness!

    See you soon, I'll bet Flora is going to be darling. She always is! Sharond

  2. Wow Linda, looks like you are very organized and always have fun coming up w/new photo shoots, etc. It's been a blast seeing how all of it comes together!