Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Good market, bad market

I first joined Yarraville Markets before I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. I decided not to continue with markets until I have given birth and ready for markets again. When my daughter was 6 months old, I decided to start joining markets again. I try to do markets at least once a month and all the markets I attended were different ones. I did this because I wanted to find out which market would be a good one for my items and so that I can make it regular. I also only do indoor markets as I don't have the equipments for outdoor.

I have to say that Yarraville Markets is a pretty good craft market. It is not as big as other markets that I have joined, but it is held once a month and have regular visitors. They sure have a lot of quality handmade items, which is the right place for my items. Stall holders are very supportive, they bought items from each other and had fun at the market. It was very heavily advertised too. I am planning to join it again but still looking into the best time for it since I am doing only one market once a month. Yarraville Markets happens every month. At the moment, since I am still looking for the right markets, I tend to join more of the once in 2 months markets or quarterly markets, such as The Chevron Market, Werribee and Market on The Green, Sunbury and other once a year markets like school/college fete.

I joined The Chevron Market because I read very good reviews about it and I must say they are so true. It is a huge market (over 75 stalls), and it is a market for mums in business. We were even offered to provide with business cards/advertising materials in their advertising bags for the first 250 customers. This was also for only a small amount of fee, which is good to get your business known out there. Each of us was also provided with a tag to identify us as stall holders. I did not do so well in selling that day though, but the market was very well organised and the fees are pretty low. With such a big number of stalls at the market, it went smoothly. The stall holders were pretty friendly too. I will be joining them again on June 14th for their winter market.

Market on The Green is another good market on the west side. It is a handmade and produced market. The fees are reasonable and it was well organised. The table and chairs were provided with a bottle of water. Traffic was very good, always there and it only got quiet for 10-15 minutes before visitors started coming in again. My stall was at the back of the stage but I still got many people coming to the area. I will not be joining them for their August market since I will be overseas (yes, I will be escaping winter for a month!) but I will be there for their December market. 

Another market which I just recently joined, however is quite a disappointing one. I am not going to name and shame here but I will be sharing the points of why I think it was a bad one. Firstly the fee was quite expensive. I decided to join it as I was told that there will be over 25,000 traffic there and the market is massive. That was not the case. The information email sent to me was without any site/parking plan, nor the information was in detail. And unfortunately for some stall holders, they did not receive the email at all. I arrived there, having to look around for parking, since we were advised to go to Wilsons parking but there was like 3 other Wilsons parking. Some stall holders went to the wrong one and had to bear carrying all their items and travel so far just to get to the market site. Upon my arrival there, there was also another stall holder waiting, the organiser or assistant was not there to welcome us. After a while, someone came and introduced herself as the helper and informed us that the organiser would not be there that day. She then showed us to our sites and advised that she does not know anything about our applications (she was a stall holder there too) but just there to point us to our sites. I was not impressed, the site was not marked, and we were told to arrange our tables accordingly on our own. The were even arguments between the complex shop owner and stall holders as the shop owner did not want the stall holders to be anywhere his shop. It was a nightmare, and to make it worse, the organiser was not there to help us. We did not even have the organiser's phone number to contact. We were left on our own, without any support. Many stall holders were upset, left early and said that they will not be going back. I won't too, for sure.

I should have trusted my instinct from the beginning. I noticed that the organiser were always shouting out for stall holders, even when it was close to the market day. This usually doesn't happen with good markets, unless if there was last minute cancellation. Some markets even have stall holders already waiting next in line just in case if there was any stall holder that pulled out last minute. Good markets are always filled in fast. 

Good markets always provide you with instructions in detail, especially on how to get there and parking sites. Most markets will provide with the route plan on how to get there together with site numbers and plan. The organisers are always there throughout the market day and often will ask how you are doing at the market. They always welcome feedback too. Unlike the market that I attended, under the terms and conditions, it was stated that we must not confront other stall holders or we will not be invited back. That was enough for me to smell something fishy going on. Markets are always a good place for stall holders to interact and socialise with each other. Feedbacks from stall holders should also be welcomed to help the market improve in any area that needs improvement.

Well, I have learnt my lesson and I should always trust my gut in selecting the right market to join. Everyone learns from experience. I hope this entry helps other stall holders who are looking for markets to join. All the best!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day

I I wish all the mothers out there Happy Mothers Day. This is my first time celebrating Mothers Day. I am at Little Sparrow Market, Southgate, Melbourne and will be here until 5pm. I have made some items specially designed for Mother's Day. I have bags with the word "MUM" embroidered on them (only 2 left for this market) and also only a few more personalised rectangular cushions with the word "MUM" appliqué embroidered on them. Enjoy this special day mummies! I hope your loved ones make this day a special one for you. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Nursing Cover & Baby Bibs

I have been very slow with sewing as my pregnancy just put me off the mood to sew. I had to stop my online orders too. However, lately  I am back in the sewing mood and have been sewing quite a number of items. 

I have been taking orders from some colleagues at work too for cushion covers and table runners. But today, I would like to share a couple of items that I have made for my first bub (she is due next week!). One of them is this nursing cover. I just love the colours on it. It has an adjustable strap that can be put around my neck. The nursing cover is perfect for me to have some privacy when breast feeding in the public. If you are interested to order a custom made one for you like this, please do not hesitate to email me at admin@cheekylizzy.com. :)

Besides that, I have also been working on making some baby bibs. I made a couple of patched bibs too. I used flannel fabrics for both front and back for better absorbent. I also added additional light interfacing on the inside and top stitched around the bibs. At first, I tried to use metal snaps on one of the bibs, however, the snaps punched through the flannel fabric when I tried to attach them and ended up tearing the fabric. That wasted one bib! 

Then when I was browsing online, I found these resin snaps that are toxin and chemical free, which are suitable and safe to be used for items made for babies/children. They are from this one specific brand called KAM. After doing my research, I decided to purchase a set of these buttons including the attachment tools. I love these snaps as they are very easy to attach to the bibs and do not tear my flannel fabrics! Here are the bibs that I have made and some of them are available for sale at my madeit.com.au shop.

Oh btw, with the crazy sewing mood that I am having at the moment, I decided to purchase a new sewing machine. This machine is a workhorse and a semi-industrial machine. The machine I got is the Brother PQ1500S. I love it so far and has been using it a lot since I got it. I hope to be back soon to show you the new machine and maybe do a little bit of review on it. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Guide for the new PayPal Here device

I just received my new PayPal Here device today and totally thrilled with it. This device can accept EFT payments from Visa/Mastercard debit/credit cards. I ordered the old device from the U.S before as it was not available for purchase in Australia (correct me if I was wrong). Not long after that I received an email from PayPal to say that they are changing to this new device. Bugger! But lucky enough, since I am an existing user of PayPal here, I got to purchase the new device only for $99 instead of $139 and it could be ordered here in Australia. So this is how the new device look like:

I like the "Accepted here" sticker that comes together with it. It also comes with a USB charging cable. Yep, you have to charge the device and it works by connecting to your iPhone/iPad via bluetooth. You also have to have the PayPal Here app installed on your iPhone/iPad/Android. From the instructions, it shows that it is made for iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPad Mini, iPad (3rd & 4th generation), iPad2 and iPad. I am not sure with Android though.

I have tested the device with my iPhone 5 and will share with you the very basic details on how to work this device. To start, you will need to turn on the PayPal Here device, the start button is on the left side of the device. Then, you will need to turn on the bluetooth device on your iPhone/iPad. You will need to sync the device and your iPhone/iPad together. After that you will need to login into your PayPal Here app on the iPhone/iPad. When the card has been sync and ready, it will show on the PayPal Here app that the card reader is ready. You will need to select the item you would like to charge on the PayPal Here app or you can key in the amount you would like to charge. I have inserted the "test" amount of $1. It will then tell you to insert card when ready.

Note: For cards with chips, you will only be able to insert the card from the bottom part of the device like this:

Only cards without chips can be used to swipe at the top part of the device. Once the card has been inserted, it will prompt you to check and confirm the amount. Click OK when it's all good to go.

For most cards, the device will request for the PIN to be entered to make payment. Only with certain cards (usually cards from overseas) that you will need a signature. You can get your customer to signon the screen of your iPhone or iPad. It will automatically request for the signature if a signature is required. So you will get either one of the screens below after confirming the amount:


You will see when the payment is being processed and when the payment is successful.

After that, remove the card and you will be asked if you would like a receipt. With the new PayPal Here app you get to choose for the receipt to be sent either by email or SMS. The old one only allows for the receipt to be emailed. Select the preferred method, enter the email address or phone number and it will be sent.

If you chose for the receipt to be sent by SMS, the SMS will look like this:

It's all done! Very easy and convenient for both sellers and buyers. Note that this device is only available for use in 4 countries at the moment:

1) Australia
2) United States
3) United Kingdom
4) Japan

If you were to use this device in any of this 4 countries, you will need to register your PayPal Here at that country. Click Learn more about PayPal Here if you would like to get more information and instructions on this device. I hope this post helps you to understand the device better and happy selling! 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Lovely Hand Carry Bags

I had made these lovely hand carry bags for one of my customers. Each bag comes with a matching purse. The bag has a loop button closure with pockets on the inside. The button is custom made from the same fabric to make the bag. The size of each bag is 14inch x 11inch. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Cheeky Lizzy Featured on Malaysian Newspaper

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. I have been busy with sewing, Christmas and had a break for 2 weeks to return to Malaysia to visit my father who had a heart bypass done. I am glad that his surgery went well. While I was in Malaysia, I had a chance to go to Utusan head office, a national newspaper in Malaysia. I was interviewed there and had a photo shoot done for Cheeky Lizzy Handmade Crafts.

Cheeky Lizzy has appeared on the Utusan newspaper today and I am all excited about it. The newspaper article is in Malay and some of you may need Google Translator for English :) Thank you to all of you that has supported Cheeky Lizzy from the beginning until now. It has been an interesting journey for me and definitely a great start for 2014.

Updated (07/05/2014): No wonder I looked a little chubby in this picture. I was in the first trimester with my first child. :)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Coming Market

I haven't been writing anything on this page for so long. I've been busy with preparing for the coming market. Cheeky Lizzy will be participating in the Yarraville Craft Markets on Saturday, December 14th 2013, which will be held from 10.00am until 5.00pm. As this will be my first official market, I'm pretty excited about it and also nervous at the same time. 

Along the way in preparing for the market, I've got a new sewing and embroidery machine - Brother NV1250D. I haven't gotten the chance to explore more on the machine as my schedule is pretty tight. It's really not easy to work full time and doing a business at the same time. The machine is working great so far, I'm loving it. It makes my sewing much easier compared to the old one that kept causing issues with the stitches. 

Among the first things I sew were these Christmas sacks. I love the fabric, perfect for Chrismas, all vibrant and colorful. 

I also made some pencil cases of different colors made from corduroy fabric. I love the little flowers sewn on the them. The flowers make them lovely!  I also made plenty of purses and wristlets. I've combined two different fabric for them and some were even decorated with ribbons. As summer is coming, these purses will be just perfect to be carried with those beautiful summer dresses. 

Apart of that, I've also been busy with planning on my stall setup. As I am only getting a 2m size stall area, I got a folding trestle table with 1.8m length from Bunnings. I got the folding one with a handle which will be convenient and easy for me to carry and load in the car. I also got 2 crates and a tiny table for decoration purposes. Initially, my husband and I planned to make the crates instead of buying but after calculating the cost, it seems like the cost is not much of a difference with buying. Hence, we ended up buying the crates. I've ordered for two bag stands to display the bags I made and a hook stand for the lanyards. This is roughly how my stall will look like:

It still looks a little empty at the moment but I've more stuff to make and some are still waiting for the display stands to arrive. I am definitely counting days to the market and crossing fingers for it to turn out well. If you are nearby on this coming December 14th, drop by at Cheeky Lizzy stall and say hello!