Archive for marketing

EVENTS: June 2 and 3, 2012

Posted in EVENTS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by threeerincadigan

THREE Erin Cadigan has a big weekend coming up. I will be out selling both days this weekend in NYC.

SATURDAY JUNE 2 10am – 8pm

BUSHWICK FIVE POINTS FESTIVALlocated one block off the Jefferson “L” train stop, this is an all day FREE festival in the up and coming neighborhood of Bushwick. Co-incidentally right down the street from where I live and work! This will be the inaugural year of this neighborhood street fest. Theres LIVE MUSIC all day long, FOOD TRUCKS, freshly painted MURALS by artists from all over the world. The Bodega Bar, one of the first in the hood, is located right across from the music and will be serving up food and drinks all day long. Get there early and grab a seat at one of their new outside tables!

I’ll be LIVE PAINTING and selling tees in the garage across the street. There are some other vendors and exhibitors there as well. This event coincides with the Bushwick Open Studios, a weekend long event, I have been participating in for the past 3 years. So many cool events happening out here all weekend long. Come check it out!

Off at Jefferson stop, one block to the five points!

SUNDAY JUNE 3 10am – 6pm

HESTER STREET FAIR Located in Manhattan just south of the Williamsburg Bridge in Chinatown. On the corners of Hester and Essex, it’s easy to access from the J, F, B or D trains. Just going into their second season, this amazing street fair has recently been voted the #5 flea market in the entire country! Vendors rotate weekend to weekend and day to day, so theres always something fresh and new. Food, vintage and art are their main focus! I’ll be there vending all day. Please stop by!


CRAFTY MARKETING: Perfect Your Packaging

Posted in Crafty Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by threeerincadigan
custom packaging

The Total Package

As a small business owner I’m always searching for ways to make my product stand out from the crowd. Extra advertising dollars, well honestly extra dollars in general, are few and far between at this stage of the game. I know this is the case for many young designers. Thankfully as a creative person I have found there are some crafty ways around paying someone else to create your marketing opportunities.

Today I’m going to show how in just a couple of hours you can make a great bag to place your product in for shipping. Having the product in a cute bag makes it almost like opening a gift. It relieves you of the need to buy plastic or tissue paper or any other kind of throw away item for inside your shipping package. The bag also is a carrying case for any other promotional item you may want to include. I add a couple business cards and a nice keeping card with the explanation of what the t-shirt graphic means. By placing these items inside the bag it guarantees they won’t be overlooked. Since my product is t-shirts my bags are large enough for people to use for other things. They are unbleached cotton, printed with water based inks and so are lightweight and non toxic enough to use at farmers markets instead of plastic bags. Or perhaps my customers will use them to roll their socks into when packing for a trip, collect loose change in, throw a pair of flips flops into their purse. No matter what they use it for, being re-useable and marked with my logo, it’s a constant reminder to them of my company and a small walking billboard to anyone else that sees it.

First things first. Before we get to the crafting, make sure you are set up to be properly entertained. My sewing entertainment of choice is our vintage stereo system and a selection of vinyl records. For today’s session I’m thinking a little Booker T and the MGs is in order. Nothing puts you in the mood for sewing like music from before the 1980’s. Sewing is just an old timey feeling activity.

Sewing Entertainment

Booker T and the MGs

STAGE 1: Cutting the fabric.

cutting tools for sewing fabric tools

Items you need for STAGE 1

Supplies needed: Yard or two 90″ wide unbleached cotton muslin, Yard stick straight edge, quilters ruler, tailors chalk, SHARP!! fabric scissors

1) Lay the fabric out on your largest flat surface, folded in half length wise. I use my 1950’s kitchen table but if you are feeling spry you could use the (carpeted) floor. Note my wrinkled fabric. I find it easier to iron the individual squares. You may prefer to iron the yardage.

2) I am going to use the dimensions I use but obviously rework to fit your product. My “squares” are 15″ by 14″. Being 15″ I don’t waste any fabric as six 15 inch sections equal 90″. I also buy my muslin 5 yards at a time because my local craft store Sav*A*Thon runs a special price on 5 yards. Measure 14″ down from the top folded corner of the fabric.  At the 14″ mark use your see through quilters ruler to square to the fold and then place your straight edge along the quilters ruler to get a straight line. Mark out the 14 inches all the way across. Repeat another 14″ down and so on.

3) Starting at the fold on each line mark off your 15″ measurement. Use you rulers to draw squared and straight cross lines.

4) Cut your rows out fold to fabric edges. Then stack 3-4 on top of each other using both the fold and the lines to make sure they are even.

5) Cut the squares out. By stacking the fabric you save time! Make sure your scissors are sharp!

how to cut fabric

Cutting out the squares

6) Iron all the squares. I do not own an ironing board. An ironing board reaches a level of domestic sophistication I have yet to achieve. Instead I use a flat hard surface (the counter between my kitchen and living room is a nice height) and a white towel. Make sure your iron is set to high and steam. Again you can stack about three layers of fabric and iron all at once to save time.

ironing board substitute how to iron

Faking it!

STAGE 2: Branding the Bag

note: I screen print my bags because I’m set up to do that. You could stamp your fabric, paint on your fabric, or send it through your printer at home.

printing pad and tsquare

Eco friendly Screenprinting

entertainment for art studio

Boom Box in Basement Studio

Again first things first. When working in my basement studio I listen to the radio. Generally my station of choice is 93.9 WNYC. It’s amazing programing. SUPPORT PUBLIC RADIO!!!!!

Screenprinting supplies: Though not pictured obviously you’ll need a screen. I get mine made at Standard Screen in Manhattan. They rock! you’ll also need: a squeegee, screen hinges, waterbased ink, foam core printing pad and a t-square. Optional are: Propylene Glycol and Ink catalyst

1) Use your t-square to line up the image or text on your screen in a straight perpendicular to the table.

2) Once straight tighten the screen into the hinges.

3) Place your pre printed foam core pad under the screen and register it with your screen image. Then making sure it doesn’t move, raise your screen and tape in place.

note: I also mark on my pad with a pencil the placement of my fabric square so I never have to think about where they are going. Just place in the square outline and print!

how to set a a screen for screen printing.

Getting the Screen Set Up

4) Once the screen is set up mix up your ink. I use black so theres no color mixing but I add 5-10% Propylene Glycol to prevent my waterbased inks drying in the screen and 1% of an ink catalyst to help the permanence of the ink on the fabric.

5) Add your ink to the top of the screen above the image. Place a fabric square on the pad. Close the screen and pull the ink across the image with the squeegee held at a 45 degree angle applying even pressure. Once you hit the bottom of the screen, lean the squeegee towards the back of the screen and push the ink back across the image to the top starting point.

6) Lift Screen and VOILA! you have a branded fabric square! Remove, replace with blank, and repeat.

branded screenprinted item

VOILA! Branded Square!

STAGE 3: Sewing up the bags

record serger fabric squares scissors

getting ready to sew the bags

overlock machine

My handy dandy overlock machine

Music choice for the upstairs sewing session is Bob Dylan’s New Morning LP. Back to the vinyl for sewing!

Supplies: overlock machine, 3 thread spools, scissors, pre-printed fabric squares

1) Decide which end you want to be your open end. Serge the final 3″ of each side of the open end edge.

2) Double fold the open end (from the side should make the letter N) back on itsself to create a drawstring pull through tunnel. I eye ball it and make the pull through tunnel about .5″ wide.

3) Place beginning of folded end in overlock machine with knife on (so it cuts off the excess) and serge the drawstring pull through tunnel into existence!

4) Fold the fabric square in half length wise making sure to line up the serged line. Lift pressure foot on machine and place underneath starting either at the serged line or, like me, about .5″ below so that you can get the drawstring in easier and pack the bag easier.

5) serge down the side of the bag. Don’t worry if they are a bit uneven at the end.

6)Serge across the bottom of the bag (with knife on!) making sure to even out any unevenness.

7) Cut all threads but leave a small .25″ bit of the braid on the bag corners so they don’t tear.

8) Turn bag right side out!

creating a drawstring bag

Start your Engines

serge the end side and bottom

Create the pouch!

three erin cadigan marketing

leave some extra braid on the corners

packaging for three erin cadigan tshirt line

YAY! Almost Done!

STAGE 4: Adding the string

natural jute string drawstring pull through

Stringing Supplies

Supplies: Thin rope (I use natural jute. It’s inexpensive and gives a “green” look that works with my brand), a drawstring tool (available at any sewing supply store) or you could use a saftey pin to push and pull the rope through

1) Cut a 16″ length of rope and knot both end.

2) Push the tool through the drawstring tunnel until it comes out the other end.

3) Hook the tool below one knot and pull back through the tunnel

4) DONE!!!!!

how to create a drawstring

Pull It Through

unusual packaging ideas

The Finished Product

The best thing about this is  it cost me .50¢ per bag in supplies and 4 hours of my time to make 48 bags! It could take less time but I’m a dawdler. One of you highly efficient crafters out ther could probably knock a bunch of time off the process.

If you found this post informative or helpful please leave a comment!

I’d also love to hear any other cute packaging ideas or cheap marketing tips!

COMMUNITY: Astoria Market, Queens, NY, NY

Posted in Community posts, company with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by threeerincadigan
Astoria market

Early Morning Set Up

I spent my Sunday this weekend working a table at the not-quite-a-year-old Astoria Market in Queens. A small DYI market that has sprung up in a totally cute cultural center on a shady side street in the old Greek neighborhood. Not to confuse you but the cultural center is not Greek, it’s Czechoslovakian and Slovak. What can I say? Astoria, like much of the city, is a traditional melting pot. And like many other out-skirt neighborhoods with easy access to Manhattan, it’s slowly being infiltrated by people like myself; young, educated, artsy types looking for a price break, some trees and still great, city living, amenities.

Astoria Market is the latest in a borough wide rush for crafts, young designers and hand crafted art. I was invited to participate at  the July 10 market by Diane, one of the founders, who linked with me through the THREE Erin Cadigan shop on Etsy. I did a bit of research before plunging in. I found it to be a typical new school flea market sales venture with a mix of handmade, baked and vintage goods. The website was a bit less auspicious then I would have liked but I definitely understand the amount of time and energy getting any kind of business off the ground can require. At best it was easy to navigate, informational and had some great photos. I do think the address (which by the way is 29-19 24th St. Astoria Queens 11102 ) could be a bit more prominently displayed as I had a hard time locating it myself Sunday morning when I tried to mapquest directions. At any rate Diane and staff seemed to have it together enough for me to give it a shot. Again, part of my decision making process was an awareness that this market is not even a year old! I know through word of mouth from close friends that worked it at the beginning, that the amazing Brooklyn Flea, had it’s growth period as well.

When I arrived Sunday on the kind of gorgeous sunny summer morning that spoke of a hot city afternoon, I found the space to be delightfully spacious, organized and cool. Each vendor had their own space complete with table and chair with plenty of over hang should you have a rack, set of shelves or self made ladder contraption like my neighbors. I actually found the lack of welcoming committee or sign in staff a relief and just cruised around the well maintain rows until I found my name clearly marked on a table top. I was thrilled with my spot. A conspicuous table that backed up to a wall, right next to a door that led to the Bohemian Beer Garden the cultural center shares it’s land with. Hmmmm? What? OH! Did I forget to mention the world famous, century old Bohemian Beer Garden that’s part and parcel of this market? Yeah, it’s pretty epic. One of the most visited spots in Queens, it definitely helps the prepubescent market keep a steady flow of customers, especially as the day wears on.

So. How was the market? I found it to be very well curated. There was a perfect mix of jewelry, clothes (both vintage and new), paper goods, knit items and art. Perhaps you could throw in a few more craft food vendors but all in all it was an interesting and balanced mix of items, well placed to not compete with their immediate neighbors. Obviously a lot of attention to detail went into the planning of the space. The space itself was kept comfortably cool and was very well lit. Though it wasn’t ever ridiculously crowded, I more then made my fee back, handed out a nice amount of business cards and really enjoyed the other vendor interactions. It was a bit more then I was expecting in an outer borough on a summer afternoon. Word of mouth from some of the vendors who have been there since the beginning is that they killed it last fall in the holiday market lead up. If Astoria Market has been as well run and well curated since it’s inception, I find that unsurprising and am looking forward to participating more. I say give it another year and this market will be rivaling The Flea as one of the premier crafts spots in the city’s outer boroughs.

7/10/11 astoria market three erin cadigan booth

The Sweet Spot

booth astoria market three erin cadigan

Would you like a business card?

And now a word from our sponsors…….

I made a bunch of great friends and connections at market on Sunday. The vendor camaraderie was high and that always makes for a fun day for vendors and shoppers alike. My two favorite co-conspirators were Roger and Melissa, and not just because Roger gave me free treats and Melissa purchased a shirt. These two shared a booth cadi-corner to mine, they were friendly, outgoing and had great products. Roger produces small quantity batches of haute couture rice crispie treats aptly named Rogers Crispie Treats, with Sunday’s selections being Peanutbutter Blueberry, S’Mores and my fav, Girl Scout cookie Samoa inspired, The Rock. Melissa does beautiful chunky gem stone and link jewelry under the name Lady M Designs.

lady m jewelry jewelry astoria market

Lady M

gourmet rice crispie treats flavored rice crispie treats

Captain Crispie

Some of the other great people and crafts to be found.

M Voli E by native New Yorker, Marijana Sprajic, who hand knits intricate and funky recycled jewelry and bags. She has been with Astoria Market from the get go.

Tella Press by Donatella Madrigal. Dontella makes elegantly simple letter press greeting cards, my favorite of which came with a skeleton key and read “May you find that all doors open”. Indeed.

Pistol Hot Jewels by Ariel Munzer. Adorable, funky, vintage upcycled jewelry with a twist of late 80s rave and punk rock. My husband bought me the most divine green jeweled puppy necklace, hard to describe but AMAZING!

Sue Stitch by new mother Sue Emara. Old school knit items like grandma would have made for you, true comfort art. I wish I had snagged a shot of her son because his brown baby eyes were captivating!

1AEON by Gabe. A really cool t shirt line combining electric colored hand dying with deep black photographic images.

Black Lamb by Rachel. A vintage, handmade and upcycled clothing and accessories brand for men and women.

Sanjules Art by Sandra and Julien. Very afro-centric, brightly colored line of tees and accessories. Their chain drop feathered earring were to die for!

Belle Ami Crochet by Mary Grabenstatter. Quite honestly if there is a better crafted, cuter line of crocheted characters out there, I don’t even want to see them. I’m in love!

Like I said earlier, it’s a melting pot just like the rest of this fabulous city. So drop by the website’ blog to see the upcoming market schedule and participating vendors. I know for sure the next one is July 24, open 2-7pm, swing by, shop, have a drink. Did I mention it’s right next door to an amazing Bohemian Beer garden???

Artist statement and product M Voli E

M voli E

Marijana at M Voli E

letterpress goods paper goods
Donatella and husband Mark

The adorable Ari of Pistol Haute Jewels


Beautiful mom Sue Stitch

Black Lamb hand crafted vintage

great tshirts brooklyn local

Gabe and his outstanding 1AEON tees

awesome crochet dolls cute stuffed animals

Mary and her cast of crochet characters

Sweetie Sandra from Sanjules  

Really. Could you be any cuter????