Friday, November 22, 2013

Fairly Crafty

One down, and two more to go!

Warren Tales made its craft fair debut last weekend, and I am happy to consider Patchwork Long Beach a success. While a flash mob of fans didn't come stampeding through the show to find me, and I didn't have to worry about selling out of stock, I supported a steady string of customers, received invaluable positive feedback from the many browsers, and came away with a profit. I think the only way I could have learned more was if it was a complete disaster.

The best thing about these winter shows—aside from product refinement and developing selling strategies—is that they impose three hard mini-deadlines on Warren Tales, before I attend the National Stationery Show in May. They push me to create and finish new products, which might have otherwise sat waiting in my sketchbook. I debuted EIGHT new cards at the Long Beach show, two of which stormed ahead to became instant best-sellers. And now they've come to a shopping cart near you:

Non-Traditional Holiday Cards

Yes, it's the holidays, but it's also cold outside, and we love a good break from the summer heat as well as time to don our ironic ugly sweaters. Who doesn't. So celebrate hot chocolate, winter coats, and pumpkin/peppermint everything (and if you're on the East Coast, please mail them all to California, care of Warren Tales). It's winter in SoCal too—just last week it was overcast for a few hours...Available in red and white, in singles and sets of six. 

We drink tea, we reminisce, and we catch up—and when we don't, we miss each other. No matter what, we're missing someone on the other side of the kettle, so send them a note and let them know. Available in singles and sets of six.

Have yourself a geometric Christmas; let your cards be bright. From now on, your snail mail will be "out of sight!" Okay, so my cards are more colorful than my spoof-lyrics. Brighten up the shortest days of the year by adding an abstract touch to tradition. Available in singles and sets of six.

Other Occasions

Support with a touch of dark humor, because shit happens. You don't always get the best out of a situation, but it does get better. An instant best-seller, by popular demand.

An interactive card to amuse and appreciate—just connect the dots to reveal a message of thanks!
Available in singles and sets of four.

Happy balloon day to you and yours! These cute doodles are a great way to celebrate any occasion, from a birthday to success. Blank inside, and full of possibility.

Thank you's, well-wishes, or just because: it's not often you find triangles that are so well-rounded (couldn't help myself!) Write what's on your mind, and send a notable note.
Available in singles and sets of four.

Warmth can be read on more than just a thermostat, and even after the snow melts, we're missing you.

Next up: Coronado's Artisan Alley on December 7th!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Festivals, Fatigues, and the Future


So much has happened for Warren Tales in the last two months, that I (clearly) haven't even got around to telling everyone about it.

The biggest news is that—along with the Long Beach Patchwork Show, the Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair, and Coronado's local Artisan's AlleyI have been accepted to exhibit at the 2014 National Stationery Show in May! 

Obviously, at the news of attending the National Stationery Show, I was encouraged, inspired, clear-headed (read: quaking in my unintimidatingly small boots, considering whether I could fit in the gap beneath my bed, and utterly indecisive about whether it was a good idea). I was understandably unsure, but decided I have what it takes to push forward (forgo almost all sleep) and give it my best shot.

As I buckled down into extensive research, designs, and budgets—feeling better about the chance of a looming disaster—I meandered into an announcement for Tradeshow Bootcamp's phenomenal Paper Camp seminar course, and what? A scholarship opportunity. I had heard how invaluable a TSBC course was in preparing to enter the stationery scene, but I had no idea just how perfectly they had crafted their curriculum (no pun intended...) for everything a start-up needed. I applied at once, but went back to my research without thinking much would come of it.

So imagine my surprise on Halloween when I get a treat of an email in response and realize I should have dressed up as a soldier: I had won the Bootcamp scholarship!

In the last few months, I've achieved significant goals in my aim to bring Warren Tales to a legitimate and competitive business level: including (but not limited to) executing necessary licensing and tax law requirements, ongoing development of a successful product line, and creating an all-inclusive e-commerce website (check out the beautiful new site!). I've been accepted into retail fairs, a national tradeshow, and now a program to pull it all together and really give Warren Tales a shot. I'm flummoxed and beyond grateful for all of the support, patience, and encouragement everyone has showed me, and I thank you all so much for sticking through it all with me so far.

To give you an updated idea of where Warren Tales sits in its efforts to legitimize (and to hold myself accountable to all of you), I though I'd share my scholarship application:

Name: Lindsey Warriner
Business Name: Warren Tales

Where can we follow you online (social media handles):
Facebook: WarrenTales // Twitter: @WarrenTalesMail // Instagram: @warrentales // Pinterest: warrentales

Tell us a little about you and your business. Don't be shy!:
Warren Tales is an independent paper craft studio, producing original products from stationery to limited print publications. Over the past two years, Warren Tales has matured from a passion to an enterprise, and continues to grow as it transitions into a wholesale endeavor.

After a lifetime of finding, folding, making, and molding any paper I could get my hands on, I was struck with the cockameme idea of going into business.

My greatest influences can all be accredited to innate dexterity, my Mother's insistence on recycling, and my Father's fabulously (terribly) punny sense of humour; all of which shaped me into the bowler hat-wearing Warriner (etymology: "rabbit keeper" . . . get it) you see today.

What are your business goals for 2013-2014?:
-Bolster product line of greeting cards, invitations, prints, and calendars
-Produce and distribute sales kits to potential clients (include catalog, samples, and marketing materials)
-Build wholesale client list through brick-and-mortar placement opportunities
-Create new and develop connections for business growth

How do you think TSBC can help you reach your goals?:
With an introductory background in marketing and publicity, and previous NSS attendance (as an observer) at the front of my mind, I feel that Tradeshow Bootcamp's Paper Camp is the perfect program to turn research and practice into applicable success. I am looking to learn how to be efficient in production and marketing; effective with design and placement; and sustainable in business growth.

Which store would you love to see your cards in? Why:
While I aspire to secure retail placement in independent gift and book stores, I would consider it a marker of true success to be distributed by Paper Source, as it reflects the interests and spending preferences of a mass market. As a former employee of Paper Source, I am familiar with featured stationers and the exposure (and awards) they have since achieved.

Are we in the stationary or stationery industry?:
I like to design new stationery while exercising on my stationary bicycle.