Entries Tagged 'Karens Craft NOTICEBOARD' ↓

Starting out on your own….

If you are starting to paint professionally check out this site for basic information:


If you are starting your own craft business, no matter how small check out:


Whether you have decided to make money from your passion, set up a market or fair, sell to the public for the first time or you have not lifted off the ground as you hoped, help is at hand.

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Ten Tips to Surviving 2011

Surviving 2011
With a year of a recession behind us, we are now getting used to the lack of sales from years before, the new amount of customers just looking and the customers you do have trying to get the best their money can buy them.
Below are a few tips to help you survive in your business for 2011

  • 1.       Be flexible, the old ways of doing things will not match the new way people are thinking, so be flexible.  See what works and does not work and suit your product to that situation.  If people want a cheaper version of your product, see how you can use a more efficient technique to make it, or a more cost effective way to package the product without undermining the product itself.  Comparing your business now to a few years ago is wasting your energy….remodel and rethink, give yourself a fresh start and new goals.
  • 2.       Branch out…instead of dropping the price of your product, why not resize it or make a new branch of your product where you can be more flexible on the price!  A small sale is better than no income at all!
  • 3.       Make something for yourself…..when you just love doing something you seem to do it no matter what the cost…instead of having a bad sale make it for yourself and keep in mind that the market can change again so you will have new opportunities to sell in the future.
  • 4.       Learn something new…….if you are out sourcing something for your product that you could learn yourself, then while the market is slow this is a prime opportunity to learn.  There are many night classes in basic computing, web design, photography, graphic design, paper making, crochet, felt making ….the list goes on.  Learn something new today, even if it is not related to your craft, it opens up your creative inspiration.
  • 5.       Safety in numbers…… Working in a group means that you get more people to shoulder the costs, organising and risks.  Instead of organising an exhibition of your work and having just your advertising , finance and style of stock for the event, if you have a couple of other people exhibiting with you, you can attract a wider audience with a collection of styles of work to suit many different types of customers.  Joining your mailing list with those that are in the group means you will get a much bigger group of customers to see your work.  Other people will bring different skills to the event, as everyone cannot be great at everything, so sharing out all the work to be done before you begin means that you can work on your product as well as having input to the event, without the burden of being responsible for everything.
  • 6.       Old Stock recycled or in storage…….if there is an expensive item that has not paid its way and you are about to give up on it, if possible could you dismantle it and make it into something new or many new pieces. If you are attached to something there is nothing wrong with putting it in storage….there may be a time that you know it is right to sell it or when you can cash it in.
  • 7.       Stop selling your gold…….have you ever wondered who is buying all your old gold????? You are selling something that is incredibly valuable.  Do not sell gold, silver or any other metal that is ‘lying’ around…….you are selling your wealth!  When there are shops closing all over the country, how are these shops opening up in the smallest corners in every town….you are under selling your metals and it is the only thing that is not losing its value…..never has and probably never will.  People are not buying shares, property or using the stock market….they are buying gold and silver coins, blocks or whatever they can get their hands on.  If you are not in need of the meagre 50 euro you are getting for you old gold chain then stick your gold and silver in your safe….and leave it there! That’s your retirement fund!
  • 8.       Teach, Share or work in your community….. When selling your product is not enough to earn an income why not spread your skills to help others grow.  People usually know if they are set out to be teachers so it will be easy for them to fall into this roll - whether you approach your local school or community centre and ask them about teaching weekend classes or night courses in your chosen field, or do a one-off workshop where people can come for a day to do a complete project and enjoy lunch with likeminded people while learning a new skill.         There is also the opportunity of working with an active retirement group, children, disabled people or people with learning disabilities.   

  • 9.       Staff is your biggest outgoing cost……Having been an employer and an employee I understand both sides of this story.  All employers want their staff to be happy….happy staff work harder and are more effective and efficient when they are appreciated.  Employers know that staff need to be paid to keep them, but also know that wages are the biggest outgoing  and are the first thing that need to be cut to help a business survive.  Instead of letting your staff go,  by asking them to sub-contract themselves to you, you  are paying them for the work that they do for you, and you are allowing them to be independent if they can get other work too.  It is very hard to let good staff go, but if there is no business left for anyone then cut backs need to be made.
  • 10.   Don’t take it personally……you are only responsible for yourself.  You cannot make decisions for anyone else.   Take advice, criticism and help when you can and most of all listen to yourself.  We have got where we are today by experience and taking chances that feel right for ourselves. Listen to your gut feelings and most of all keep going…!

Karen Harper

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Noticeboard - craft newsletter. Issue 25 now sent!

If you would like to be added to the Noticeboard craft newsletter just email me at karen.noticeboard@gmail.com

Get updates about fairs, exhibitions, suppliers, services and relevant information straight to your email inbox!

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NOTICEBOARD - issue 12

NOTICEBOARD - issue 12

Welcome to issue 12.

This issue will introduce you to the Irish Craft Association.

Also details of Christmas fairs and markets.
Just to let you know the Federation of Jewellery Manufacturers of Ireland have listened to my speech and are having their AGM tomorrow night. They will be bringing forward the idea of having a section for small jewellery businesses….more about this in an exclusive Noticeboard during this week (wed or Thurs)!


The Irish Craft Association is to support, assist, and help artists and craft people move forward in their business.

It is set up for everyone from students to ‘been around for a while’ creative people. It is also interested in having craft/art suppliers and services as members.

FEEDBACK meetings are run by the Irish Craft Association, a casual meeting of like minded people, helped along with refreshments. It is definitely not a lecture or formal affair.
It really works on the individual and their needs.

FEEDBACK meetings can be: meeting others to discuss what is going on for them, to getting pointed in the right direction for a good course or connecting with the mentoring section of their local enterprise board.

When people come together there is always a vast amount of experience that everyone can benefit from.

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This association is set up with the intention of looking after every aspect of the craft industry on a personal level.

Not only is there membership for crafts people and artists, but suppliers and services for crafts and arts are also invited to join.

There will be many data bases compiled out of this.

• A section will be dedicated to fairs, markets, and outlets for crafts.

• A section will be dedicated to suppliers, so they can be available directly to their customers, and the craft person has a list in front of them to access good suppliers that will look after all their needs.

(With your membership card you can get a reduction from the suppliers that display the Irish Craft Association discount sign)

• Services will also be covered, with things like book-keeping, taxes, web building, blogging, setting up on-line shops. Insurance. Mentoring and personal meetings to support and assist you.

• Direct links to the association, guild or society that caters for your craft.

At the FEEDBACK meetings there will always be application forms for the Craft Council of Ireland and help if needed to fill out the form.

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The Irish Craft Association website will be built with the intention of being a one-stop-shop for all craft person and artist needs.

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The launch of the Irish Craft Association will be at the Christmas Party for NOTICEBOARD (in January when the madness dies down! Dates to be confirmed, looking at January 18th upstairs in 4 Dame Lane, Dublin City Centre.)

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To open with a bargain is always appealing and will help the ball rolling, so there is an early bird membership fee.

If you join before the official opening in January then the fee is only 50Euro. You will receive your membership card that will allow you to use the discounts in the listed suppliers.

Insurance through group discount is available to you and the feedback meetings will cost you the price of a cup of coffee and biscuit(s).

NOTICEBOARD has to become a business that pays for itself, and so as a supply or service member, from the opening date you will get 4 Noticeboard adverts a year. Non-members will have to pay 20Euro per ad.

Space on the website is also included; you get your own page, pictures of your product, every detail about you and how to contact you.

The directories of fairs, suppliers and services will be readily available and constantly updated.

After the launch membership goes up to 70Euro to join.

Events will come up that you can avail of like a questions and answers session with an accountant, so you ask exactly what is relevant to you about tax, sole trading etc.


The Irish Craft Association aims to provide a personal service. In order to do this, we need some information about where your business is right now and where you want it to go.  This is put on the application form so I can start providing you with a good service from the beginning.

The meetings are called FEEDBACK, because unless it is meeting all your requirements, then it is not functioning properly. At the meetings you are directing the next topic to be covered, your feedback is vital.
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Application forms will be posted to those interested in availing the early bird membership. Please email you name and address to Karen.noticeboard@gmail.com

Application forms can also be collected at any Feedback meeting.

Completed forms need to be posted back with the completed identification card, and cheque or postal order for 50 Euro.

Further payment arrangements are being organized.



Christmas Arts, Crafts & Antiques Fair
Sat, December 1st
11.00pm - 5.00pm
At: St.David’s Secondary School, Greystones, Co Wicklow (on the seafront)

Places still available contact: Sheena Brennan 087 257 5053 / Veronica Sheehy 086 350 4997

Temple Bar Christmas Market

over two weekends in December 8th, 9th,
15th and 16th

Contact:Tara Doyle at tdoyle@templebar.ie or

contact us for further information on 01 677 2255


For the full list of 15 Christmas Fairs check out the link below:

Christmas Fairs in Ireland



Paintings, Sculpture, photography, prints

Friday 16th – Sun 18th November
Main Hall , RDS, Dublin 4


If you would like tickets to this event visit…


Ed Parkinson has kindly used his blog to distribute tickets to those interested, his stand is R1 if you would like to thank him for this kind gesture!


Blackrock, Co Dublin

Fabrics for every occasion
In house designer
Mail Order
Dress Making and Tailoring
Dance Costumes

We also offer Curtain, blind, loose cover,
door awning, make up service.
Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri: 9am to 6pm
Lunch: 2pm to 3pm
Saturday: 10am to 5pm all day opening.

Tel: 01 2789757
Fax: 01 2108503
Maeve Paterson the owner of Studio 54 has kindly added her name to the list that will be offering 10% discount to all fabrics for Irish Craft Association members!


Gifted - The perfect online wedding list

Gifted is a fresh approach to the traditional
Wedding list. We are looking for artists
And creators from all over Ireland, who
Can expand our range of products. Gifted
Are committed to plat forming as many
Home-grown creations as possible.
So if you think your product or range are
Suitable as wedding gifts, please contact

Cate Sheeran 0044(0)2890 839193
Mobile 0044(0)7870 389040
Email info@gifted-online.com
Web www.gifted-online.com

We really want to source as many of our gifts from
the island of Ireland, as we can. In fact one of our key
commitments here at gifted, is to work towards at least
66% of our total product base being sourced from
Ireland alone.



Mairead deBlaca
15th November 07
Water and Abstraction Exhibition
Mount Pleasant Lawn Tennis Club, Dublin 6.



Sheena Ludlow
15th-19th Nov 10am – 5pm
Paintings and Digital Prints
Glen of the Down Golfclub, Delgany




This weekend I went to the knitting and stitching show in the RDS. (dragging Paul O Mahoney with me..!!)

I made it my business to visit every stall in the show and get your business cards. Understanding that until Christmas is over you will not have the time to reply to this email, I will send you NOTICEBOARD and look forward to your response.



Course 2 was on last Sunday

This course we worked on what reputation our business should have, how people will deal with you because they like, know and trust you…(very relevant if you are a one man band).
What experience every customer should have when they deal with you. Marketing strategies made simple. How to make a website work properly, on googles terms, i.e. The right way!

Yet again it was just what I needed, since I am about to build a website myself, and am building a business. The next course we will be writing juicy advertising to entice our ideal customer.
The third course is on December 2nd if interested email me on harperkaren@eircom.net


So that is all I will be including in issue 12!

Will see some of you at Business Blogging run by Wicklow Enterprise Board with Damien Mulley – a well-known Blogger.
Also the Winter Fair in Dalkey is on the 16th to 18th of November so no doubt I will need to check out local talent and make sure they are on the list.

Enterprising Women’s Day is on the 21st November in Mullingar, to book a place is only 50Euro
Contact Clara Clark at 01 2898533
E-mail: info@nwed.ie
Website: www.nationalwomensenterpriseday.ie or www.nwed.ie

Just to recap the first year with Irish Craft Association the aim is to have:

Website up and running – crafts, artists, suppliers and services
Set up directory of Fairs
Set up directory of Stall holders
Run 3 competitions (more details to follow)
Have Feedback meetings in many locations.

As always your opinion is welcome, just email me on
Or use any other email address you have for me, there are many!

If you do not wish to receive NOTICEBOARD please reply with ‘no thanks’

Thanks for reading!


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NOTICEBOARD - issue 11

NOTICEBOARD - issue 11 –

Welcome to issue 11.

This issue I am going to keep it short!!!!

From now on the blog www.irishcraftupdate.com/blog is going to carry a lot of the past information for me.

If there is something you read about before then it will be on the blog under the appropriate heading and you can then reference it easily.
Plus I can also have a link directly to the things that I mention. So if it is blue on the blog you can press on it and it will bring you straight to the correct area you need.

Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to the Irish craft update blog…the recent post

“Tell me what you want”

Offers you the chance to decide what’s next with NOTICEBOARD.


Any comments can be given, and all are appreciated, if you want them to be kept anonymous then please let me know.

You can email me directly : Karen.noticeboard@gmail.com



The first day of the course went extremely well and instead of me explaining what happened, I will just post the comment that I made after it…

“The first day of the course was exactly what I needed. Firstly it narrowed down my thoughts, which were very scattered and gave me a tunnel vision of my real business aim.

The technique that David gave us was so simple to see if our business was financially viable, and after laughing with the results, I have opted for a better solution than working 520 days a year to reach my financial goal!!

Once my true goal was made clear it just fit into place when I discovered my true passion, or my essence was, and that is what will keep my attention and interest into the next phase of my work.

At no stage did I feel abandoned, even through the “oh, sh*t!” moments, and there were a few. This was a great way to express the moment of realisation, when things become crystal clear and you just sit back and laugh because something so serious before becomes a small, non-problem.

It was a totally different way of thinking and instead of deciding what is needed out there, it is an inspiring way to decide what do I love and how can I make a business out of it. Not only did I finally admit, yes this is my dream, but I also got to follow through to how it can be my career.

After having mentor meetings before, and the work load is heavy afterwards, with this one day workshop I felt that the hard work was all done inside the room, so afterwards I came away exhausted but very satisfied. I have just broken free from the running around and trying to keep a busy schedule that was my job in the past.

On the day I just stepped into my new career, that was very manageable and will work with ease since it is very much part of the person that I am. When you do something you love it cannot be called a job, it is like you are cheating. You get up everyday and are excited about what is ahead. Deep down I feel that it is a shame everyone cannot feel this….although it is a choice!

Even after the first session things have changed dramatically. The day after, Monday, I went to notify the people that I had been supplying that it was not really working for me. And obviously with the right approach that I went with, they were fantastic about it.

On the way home I called into three different places and I have myself booked into teach in these premises. That evening I got an email from someone asking me to teach a class, and things haven’t stopped from there!

When it feels right, then it just falls into place. Once I realised what I really wanted to be doing with my career and as long as I followed my own passion it has been the easiest decision I have made in a long time.

Thanks David….I am still wondering how you know so much, no matter what people spoke about, you knew about it and even had a story to tell to give an example.

It was great to sit back and see other people sort out their passion, then career and then see the change come over them as they play out how they want their career to go and realise that if they thought of it then there is nothing that can stop them.

It was good to learn from others, even though you could see where things were heading, the process that they took was very interesting.

With this different approach I am really looking forward to the next session, already I have started using the techniques from the day and can actually sit back since things are running smoother already. I have even taken two days off this week!!!!”

Karen Harper…after course 1, making money from your passion.



The business course for the creative person.

Each day is a course in its own, they can be done separately.

Day 2 is being held on November 4th

Day 2 will be about
- Working out who your ideal client is
- Putting things in place to begin to attract this client to you
- Streamlining your business and using effective systems

Identifying your ideal client will be the first step, and then organising your business around your ideal client and saving time trying to sell to everyone.

On this day you will come away with written material to entice and attract your client….as if you were writing to them alone.

Streamlining your business can save you money, energy and most importantly time!

To find out more about the course or about David McDermott use the link below:

Booking can be done by emailing me directly at
Or through




The whole reason you go into business for yourself is to enjoy the freedom it gives you and when you are doing the ‘70 hour a week’ self-employed job the fun is kind of taken out of it!

Taking back control, feeling renewed and excited about the move forward, when you can see it clearly, is just a huge weight off your shoulders.

Also having the support behind you as you plough forward alone, is great.

I always say when working on your own the Christmas party is a bit lonely, the advantage is that you can’t get drunk and snog the boss!



Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar
21st November 2007

For further information or to book your place

email : info@nwed.ie
Ph: 01 289 8533

This event is for anyone thinking of starting a business or growing your current business.

It is hosted by County and City Enterprise Boards and will have a host of international and national speakers, one to one mentoring sessions and access to information for all businesses.

If you contact your enterprise Board in you area it is worth seeing if they are having transport to the event, some enterprise boards are actually paying for accommodation for the night before so people can avail of the evening reception the day before Tues 20th Nov.

Participation fee : 50 Euro

To find your nearest enterprise board click on the link below:


If you do go, it would be good to see you among the hundreds of others, but I am sure we will have name badges, so feel free to say hello!



The Knitting and Stitching Show will be staged from
Thursday 1st November - Sunday 4th November.

Opening hours are 10.00am through to 5.30pm

Except Sunday when the Show closes at 5.00pm.
Late Night Opening on Thursday to 8.00pm.

There are a huge amount of workshops available at this show on each day.
For further details visit www.twistedtread.com



If you want to try something different or even get someone trained in so they can help you out with the Christmas rush, there are classes available in Wire-work Jewellery Making.

Starting: Thursday 1st November
Time: 10.30am – 1pm
Place: Dunlaoire
Cost : 135 Euro
Duration : 4 Weeks

Starting: Tuesday 6th November
Time: 9:30am – 12
Place: Johnstown, near Killiney
Cost: 135 Euro
Duration: 4 weeks

All materials supplied and you will finish with at least 8 pieces of silver and gemstone jewellery.

One day workshop:

Place: Dalkey
Time: 10am – 5pm
Date: 8th December07
Cost: 120

Making at least 8 pieces of silver and gemstone jewellery.

During all these classes you will become very familiar with the tools and techniques, even if you have never made a single piece of jewellery before.

After the session you will be able to fix almost any piece of jewellery and will have a skill to start a new venture or help with the one you are already involved in.

If these dates or places do not suit, email your interest and other venues can be arranged.

Call 086 888 5321
Email: harperkaren@eircom.net

A lovely gift for a talented person that needs encouragement



Being creative is all about what mood you are in and what is happening at that time.

Lately I read in two different places the best way to keep the creative juices flowing is to do something completely different. I would quote the ideas but can’t remember where I saw them…it was something like a jewellery designer could make a piece of sculpture, a potter could sew and a painter could…
Anyway you get the drift, it is very liberating!! Especially when you are used to sheets of silver and tools, the playtime of paint is so relaxing and free flowing. (No offence to the wonderful skill that artists have!)


This week in Lidl they are selling Easels, paints, canvas in rolls etc!



K and M Evans
Art suppliers ph: 01 8726855

This wholesaler has got everything for the artist, and the people willing to try!

The ranges and shapes of canvas and the amount of paint and brushes would have anyone itching to give painting a go…check out the blog for my attempt at a quick stress release!

Please remember that I am not an artist, but am willing to expand my creativity, also am up for a laugh with no shame!



I would like your feedback:

• Are you a jewellery designer?
The federation of Jewellery Manufacturers of Ireland has been asked by me to set up a section for the jewellery designers that are not interested ready for international selling but are interested in building their business.

• What would you see as a necessity to help your business grow?

• Would you prefer a newsletter or is using the blog a good idea?

• In the future would you like to see NOTICEBOARD become a magazine?

• Would you like to be featured on a website, that has all types of craft and art, suppliers and courses and links to all associations/guilds and societies?

• How much easier would this make things for you?


Your feedback is really what will make these things happen!

I am asking for a couple of minutes of your time, which will change things, AND save you time in the end!

While things are fresh in your head, please feel free to express how you feel!

Thanks for your opinions!

Karen Harper


Websites of interest:

www.ccoi.ie Call the Craft Council on 056 7761804

www.vai.ie Visual Artists Ireland (full information about VAI on the blog under associations)

www.irishcraftupdate.com/blog information about craft events, suppliers, associations, courses, artists and crafts people.

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