Sunday, September 28, 2008

Craft shows means handcrafted by YOU?

That would seem obvious to me, but, judging from my previous experiences and the experiences of quite a few other Etsy sellers here on this forum thread, more and more craft shows are being inhabited by wholesalers who buy wholesale candles/pottery/jewelry etc that is made in China, remove the stickers, and sell them as handmade by THEM in craft shows. I first saw this in at the South End Open Market, and then a Harvard Sq Mayfair market. Some of these sellers claim to have handcrafted these items, but you know it is just not true, when every single candle is layered in perfect symmetrical layers, and it looks every bit like mass produced wholesale crap to you. Sometimes, it's even more obvious, from Mary Kay hawkers to people selling new QUARTZ watches.

Of course, everyone has to make a living. But, to pass off these items as made by you is just downright sad. And the Mary Kay hawkers watch sellers just befuddle me-- did the craft show people just not bother vetting the vendors? Most of all, how do you compete? I can't compete with the prices of wholesale mass produced items, I just can't. Having them there will no doubt hurt the sales of real crafters. And in the sanctity of a craft show, I would think that I will be able to showcase my work, surrounded by all other people who designed and made the items they are selling to. Am I misunderstanding the meaning of the word "craft" in "craft show"?

Do the public care? If I was a candle maker who makes my candles standing next to someone who bought them wholesale and was selling them at half my price, would the public see the value in what I do? Who would they buy from? Could they tell the difference?

Through the years selling my designs, I have come to believe that there are a significant number of people who value handmade. But still, craft shows are for us crafters, and wholesalers should go to their flea markets, and not try to pass off their stuff as handmade and try to infiltrate the handmade market. People do place a higher value on handmade stuff (and perhaps that is why the wholesalers do this, because their is a market for handmade). But I would feel insulted to have my items placed next to mass produced jewelry. Am I just being snobby?

The Bazaar Bizarre in Dec is all handmade though! And there is a bunch of AMAZING vendors. Come visit us then!


pequitobun on Hallmark Magazine Blog!

pequitobun was reviewed in Hallmark Magazine blog last week!

groovy baby!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Sometimes I think about where pequitobun as a business might go. As it grows, gains more press and grows its customer base, can I keep it as small as it has been? Of course, that day is waaaaay far off, but I believe I should know, at least, where I would like it to be headed.

Quite a few people have told me the inevitable direction that it will have to eventually go is to mass produce my designs in China in order to make it available for wholesale. That was the proposal that I turned down from a sales rep scouting for Urban Outfitters about a year ago (I believed she eventually signed on two big indie names that are now selling their jewelry in Urban Outfitters, with their brands on the tags). "Mass produced in China for $0.34 a piece" is just totally in opposite to the spirit of what I wanted when I started pequitobun, and I can't ever see it going that way.

But, is it even feasible to resist?

My niggling doubts about that were a little assuaged by a piece I read in NYT today about Rodarte, the whimsical fashion line of the Mulleavy sisters, who I remember took the fashion world by storm a few seasons back with their detailed, unique, gorgeous couture gowns. The critics' darling apparently only sold all of 500 pieces, including accessories last year, a very nicely manageable number. In response to the commercialization of fashion that almost requires mass production, they say, “You hear these fairy-tale stories about designers who start selling one day and then three years later, they’re making $20 million a year,” Laura adds. “That’s not in our plan. That’s not the kind of clothing we do. We don’t make a product that can be mass-produced.”

(images from

I love it. Really, I need to remind myself that creative design, quality and the work and detail behind creating does matter to people, instead of worrying too much that in order to grow, I need quantity and mass. Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta said a while back, "They (the buyers) don’t want something flashy that everybody else has. They are looking for unique handcrafted things that can’t immediately be reinterpreted at every level of the marketplace."

Although I'm obviously nowhere within sight of the leagues of the above two design houses ={, I design because I love it, I enjoy the creative process and the handmade nature of each piece I put out, and it is great to know that that might be enough in the commercial world, by successful designers who live it everyday.

happy day!

I just found out that my favouritest Japanese food place in Boston, Ittyo, DELIVERS, via!!! Oh heavenly happy day!

(image from Atrebor B. at yelp)

Now, I can eat my favourite dish, saba, even more often than once a week.

(image from


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Jacket hunting for Fall



Yes, I am a big Project Runway fan. Having been a fan of Leanne's work for a long time, I'm thrilled that she has now won 2 in a row!! YAY Leanne!

This latest challenge was a huge one, since the winner got to sell her design through American Express with the brand-power of DVF. I do LOOOOOVE Leanne's outfit, and you can buy her dress here if you are an Amex cardholder. However, I wish that they also produced the jacket, not just the dress. It would have been perfect for Fall, don't you think?

Grrrrrr. It's so cute!!!

Etsy faves

While I wait for my paraffin wax to melt so I can embed my samples, here are a few items I'm thinking, kinda, of getting... (the last time I made a post like this I received a comment that said, simply, "Online shopping is very common nowadays."... I was mystified and deleted the comment, but now I think I should have kept it as it is pretty funny!)

Candelabra, sheriscrystals

peacock decal, shanon1972

Mini dress, TailorMadeVintage

Raggedy Ann dress, Mount Phoenix

tulle dress, lynnsrags

Another love, sarahseven (from Portland, of course!)

she's everywhere! iheartfink

Finally, something I DID get (and probably, as always, least likely to wear), from salvagelife:

i can't help it, i collect unusual vintage clothing!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Craft fair application season is around again, and, for the third year in a row, I dutifully in sent my application to arguably one of the most competitive craft fairs around Boston, the Bazaar Bizarre. I was rejected the past two years, so I didn't have my hopes too high, but THIS year, I GOT IN!!!!!! YAYAYYAYAYAYYAYAY!!!!!

So, folks living around the Boston area, please mark your calendars for Dec 7! The Bazaar will be held at an awesome new venue, The Castle, this year, very accessible and in the heart of downtown Boston at the Arlington T stop.

For more info, visit the Boston Bazaar Bizarre site!

See you in December! =)


Monday, September 01, 2008

New for Fall!

Tons and tons of new Fall designs in the shop! I've been working on these for the past few months, and finally put them all in. ::sparkle and berries:: is inspired by rhinestones, rhinestones, rhinestones, and more rhinestones, deep purple and plum berry shades, a dash of punk rock, some gothic elements, simple nature and of course good old-fashioned pequitobun romance, there is a little something for everyone! I made an update a week ago, and another one today. Do stop by to take a look!

To celebrate, I made the pequitobun girl a new dress, in plum and platinum! =)

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