Friday, December 4, 2009


Here are a few of the fun new blankets that I've been making these last few days. They're great for babies and provide them with stimulation because of all of the fun textured ribbons and soft material. My kids love to carry them around as a comfort in the store or to wrap their baby dolls in because they are so small and convenient. They are diffent and definitely a conversation piece!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hissyfits Hullabaloo Weekend Fun

My first official craft fair was a huge success! I had a great time meeting with local men and women who have some amazing talent and incredible drive! Wow, I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated walking up to the place to find my spot and set up. These crafters were so innovative and unique and their workmanship was superb! A girl next to me (Sew Cute) was selling custom carseat covers for infant/toddler seats. They were made with two types of fabric: minky and then a fun patterned fabric. They were so amazing and she was getting orders NON-STOP because she sold them at such a resonable price -- $30!!! I mean, who has ever heard of a carseat cover of that quality being only $30!

My table was packed the entire day, partly because of being located next to carseat cover lady, but also because I put out a bunch of $1 and $2 bins with bows and flower clips for the kids to choose from. It was a hit and brought in the customers!!! Overall, I brought in about $200 at the end of the day.

I think that the success at this craft fair has opened my mind to doing more in the future. I got my cards out there and have already been asked to do a custom watch band for someone who saw me there. I hope this is the kickstart that I needed after feeling so disheartened over the past 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Find of the Week -- My Frugal Lifestyle

Sew Clever Quilts
I absolutely LOVE this website! I met the blog owner S. back in college when I was playing rugby for Idaho State. Never in a million years did I believe that either one of us would be the crafty stay at home mommies that we are today. Not even an exaggeration, really! She liked to party and I despised anything that made me feel too matronly! haha! Well, five years later and she is a successful crafter who sells beautiful Rag Quilts on ebay and runs her own Frugal blog. She is on to something, people, and I have personally used her ideas on how to use leftover lint, newspaper, how to make your own laundry detergent, and so many other cool posts. Check her out!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Find of the Week -- Kyra's Corner

Are you looking for inexpensive, boutique-style flower barrettes for your hair without the boutique price? Look no further than Kyra's Corner. The owner and designer, we'll call her Mrs. Pink, uses this business as a way for her and her 4 year old daughter to connect on an artistic level and to create beautiful things that both a toddler and a woman would love to wear! In fact, you will find many designs that are soley designed by the wee Ms K.

Prices are extremely reasonable and I've bought quite a few for my little P and G and they are even more beautiful up close! Go check her out and find out why Kyra's Corner is this week's Find of the Week!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Block Letter Decor

I have always loved to do projects with Modge Podge. It is quite possibly the funnest crafting essential anyone can have in their closet! There are so many ways to make an ordinary item become a lifetime treasure with just a bottle of Modge Podge and some beautiful paper, magazine cutouts, and even copies of your favorite pictures.

I was turned onto the Block Letters by a friend of mine who owns her own Nail Salon out of her home in Idaho. She has a different set of adorable letters for practically EVERY season and holiday! She started by taking a class at her local scrapbooking shop and from then on she was hooked! Now she just orders the kit with all the papers and embellishments she needs for that specific project... Above is the project she started me on last summer!

I may do my own tutorial at a later time, but for now here is a great one from Pepperblossom Decor. They used it for the Halloween Theme and it couldn't be any cuter!

From their blog:

Here is an awesome Halloween project that is fast and User friendly! Holiday decorations can get so expensive. This project can cost you around ten dollars and you have the satisfaction of making it yourself! So Go for it!

Materials Needed:

Letters B,O,O...(can be found at a Hobby Lobby, Michaels or most craft stores.)
3 Orange and 3 Black pieces of scrapbook paper(Prefferably some cute Halloween prints)

1. Modge Podge
2. Foam Application brushes
3. Black Paint
4. Sand Paper
5. Misc black and Orange ribbons
6. Scissors
7. Box Cutter Blade or Crafters blade(seen in picture for step needed)

Go HERE for the rest of the tutorial...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hissyfits Hullabaloo

If you live in the Phoenix area and are looking for a fun and trendy craft show to check out, then please do go to the Hissyfits Hullabaloo on November 8th! I am going to have a booth there and I have seen a taste of what the other crafters have to offer and you WON'T be disappointed! There are some amazing artists out there with very innovative techniques. Come see for yourself! Look for Phoenix Rose Boutique while you're there!

Hissyfits is a children's consignment shop that sells only the hippest clothing and brands. You'll find everything from Ralph Lauren to True Religion to Janie and Jack. They feature local artists handmade accessories right inside their store and have only the nicest used toys/strollers/cribs/etc. I LURVE this store!

Find it on the NW corner of Glendale/7th Street in Phoenix! Go NOW!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SPOOKY Treats and Tips

Alright, so I've been making yummy treats once a week with Sweet P. as an after-school activity for us to do together and a way to cut back the money that goes toward's Big D.'s daily sweet-tooth expenses. It has actually saved us a LOT of mulah and has been so much fun for us girls to do together. Even Little G. gets in on the fun by being our taste tester! She LURVES her cookies and brownies!

Anyway, I've been using super cheap mixes that are always on sale and the brownie mix is only .79 cents at FRY'S!

Follow the directions on the package of your chosen Cookie or Brownie Mix.

TIP #1: FOR COOKIES: Use room temperature butter, whether it's a stick or from the tub. Let it sit out for a few minutes before using, in order to make mixing your cookie dough a WHOLE lot easier! DO NOT MICROWAVE! Believe me, it messes up your cookies somehow, not sure the true reason why!

TIP#2: FOR COOKIES: Pour in your wet ingredients first, and then slowly add in the dry mix little by little. It will make the dough work so much better!

TIP#3: FOR COOKIES: If doing cutout sugar cookies, after working the dough thoroughly, I would put the cookie dough in a ziplock back and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. This will allow for your dough to roll out very nicely and for your cutouts to come apart with ease.

TIP#4: FOR COOKIES: I like to lay a mixture of flour and powdered sugar on the table where I will be rolling out my cookie dough. I then sprinkle it on top, as well, so that I have no trouble with the dough sticking to my rolling pin, and it gives the cookies a little extra sweetness after baking!

TIP#5: FOR COOKIES: For soft, yummy cookies, you want your cookie dough to be fairly thick after rolling it out. This will keep your baked cookies nice and chewy. If you accidently overbake those darned cookies, NEVER FEAR! I have a GREAT tip for you to get them to soften up even after they've gone crispy... My grandma taught me the trick! Place your cookies in an airtight container like tupperware (make sure if you have iced or frosted your cookies that you have let them sit for at least 4 hours before stacking them) and then place a piece of bread inside with them. Close your lid and after a couple of hours your cookies will already begin to soften and get yummy, chewy, and delicious, even if they were slightly burned. Just throw the bread right in there, THAT's IT!

For decorating those delicious treats, I prefer to use Icing because it has a smooth and professional look. My favorite is this Betty Crocker Cookie Icing. Also, it is great to invest in some Icing Writing tubes like these Make sure that you store the icing at room temperature. In fact, refer to the packaging of your particular icing and I'm sure it will suggest the same thing. You don't want icing to be cooled because then it won't run and spread the way that it is meant to.

NOW, for the BROWNIES!!! I went out and purchased a mini-cupcake tin just for this occasion. They are very handy to have no matter what, so I suggest going out and getting one! Especially if you have little ones around. They make great bite-sized treats, and we love bite-sized brownies!!! We also bought the mini-cupcake paper liners to keep from having burnt spots on our edges.

TIP#6: FOR BROWNIES: If pouring your brownies in a pan, try mixing little balls of sugar cookie dough in with it. I just rolled up little 1 inch round balls of dough and then smooshed it down inside the brownie batter so that it was covered and smooshed out like a flat quarter or disc. (sorry I don't have any pics, I may add some at a later time when I make these again) Although you typically bake cookie dough and brownie batter at different temperatures and different time limits, the dough will not burn when mixed in with the brownies. It makes such an awesome marbled brownie that is absolutely DELICIOUS -- and nutritious, right? ;)

Ice your brownies the same way you would ice your cookies, making sure that they are cooled completely beforehand.

TIP #7: FOR BROWNIES: Another fun thing to try with your brownies is to cut out shapes with cookie cutters after they've been baked. What I did in order to not waste any of the brownie that was leftover after cutting out the shapes, was I made sure that I cooked the brownies until they were ALMOST done. The brownie cake needs to be solid, but still very soft, almost like your cookie dough would feel like when playing with it. I let the pan and brownies cool completely before dropping them out of the pan and onto some parchment paper or aluminum foil. Then, I cut out my shapes, place them on a cookie sheet, and any leftover brownie from the cutouts will be molded into one of the cookie cutters, just like you would do when cutting out cookie dough, only you don't use a rolling pin on brownies. You just mold. Rebake the brownies for about 5 or so minutes or until they look like they are crisping up on the outside and you're one! (wish I had some pics of the process).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Catch Phrase Slogan

I have been so busy trying to get my products perfected, my shop set up, and my business cards ordered that I just realized I forgot something very important. A slogan... something that is going to stick in someone's head and give them a snapshot of what I am all about. I've been racking my brain for days now and have only come up with things like, "incredible handmade accessories" or "fun and unique handmade goods"... LAME! LAME-E-ROONY! LAME-uh-ROOSO! However you state it, it's just lame! So, I need some great ideas from some great thinkers -- like YOU!!! Throw some out there and help me come up with the slogan that is gonna kick all other slogan's butts!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pepperblossom Decor's Holiday "BOO"-tique

If you live in the Phoenix area, or know someone who does, please do come check us out at Pepperblossom Decor's Holiday "BOO"-tique every Saturday this month in Mesa! PRB is being featured this month and we couldn't be happier! I'll have my Halloween Bows and Girly Feather Pens on sale and display! (click on flyer for details)

Pepperblossom Decor is an amazing core of women who scout out local talent and hold boutiques in a beautiful home where they give artists and crafters a platform to sell their amazing stuff! These women are a dream come true for people like me who are just starting out and trying to get their name and work out there for all to see.

Please, spread the word, and check out any upcoming events with Pepperblossom Decor. Remember, support small businesses! BUY LOCAL!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is Etsy?

I've had so many people ask me this question over the last year. I have to admit, until I started selling at craft fairs and buying specialty supplies, I had no clue what ETSY was either! What I have found, though, is an entire underground crafting scene that EVERYONE should hear about!
The one word that I can use to acquaint you with what etsy is all about would have to be "HANDMADE". Etsy is a an online marketplace for crafters to sell all their handmade goods. The exception to that rule is if you are selling vintage items or crafting supplies. Etsy (which rhymes with Betsy) is a booming business that started out as just a few friends who wanted an avenue to sell their handmade furniture to what is now a multi-million dollar company. The uniquenss of etsy is in the way that it is set up. You can search items by categories such as Needlecraft, Books and Zines, Plants and Edibles, and even GEEKERY!
Since becoming a crafter, I have obviously begun to realize the importance of "Buying Local". It is what keeps small business owners open and running and is especially important in giving us unique and individual style. Etsy is an amazing opporutunity for us to buy things that are "Made in the USA" and also give a stay at home mom or other amazing talent a way to showcase their work and make money too. It's almost like a flea market from the comfort of your own home!
I encourage everyone to join in the ETSY phenom. It truly is a local artist's dream come true (especially for THIS stay-at-home mom)!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Facebook Weekly Giveaway

I've always loved Giveaways and am finally in a place where I can do my very own! For now, this giveaway applies only to facebook, but as soon as I get more followers on this blog, I can share love! Just think, if you are my facebook fan and a follower of this website, you can eventually have the chance to win 2 seperate giveaways!

So, here is what YOU have to do!

1. Become a fan of Phoenix Rose Boutique on facebook.

2. Post a comment under your favorite item for the week's giveaway (just write VOTE).

3. BONUS #1: for each day that you link my etsy shop onto your facebook wall, I will add your name an additional time for the giveaway for a maximum of 8 shots at winning the week's giveaway!!! It can be as simple as suggesting my fanpage, shop, or blog to a friend once a day, everyday (for 7 extra chances) or just posting a link to my shop or blog on your wall. Remember, each day you do this you will get one more chance.

NOTE: you must leave me a comment letting me know when you've done it so that I can see for myself! ;)

4. BONUS #2: if you become a FOLLOWER of THIS Phoenix Rose Boutique BLOG then your name will be automatically entered THREE TIMES for each giveaway!!!

That's it! Lots of chances, right???

I will choose a winner each week on Sunday night, so get your votes in before 3pm. After I have randomly selected the winner, then I will post NEW items for the Next week's giveaway!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Consignment vs. Selling Outright

I've found that making money on my crafts is extremely difficult to do unless you are able to tap into resources outside of your own shop. I have been trying and trying to make money at craft fairs and trunk shows over the last year or two, but have found that on my own, I am unable to draw enough customer base to create big sales. I get a mom or a grandma here and there that stop and decide to buy a necklace or a bookmark, but I am unable to attract high sales or traffic at my shop. I was naive enough in the beginning to believe that lots of little sales would add up and make it worth all the work, but I have now realized that things are more complicated than that.

Overhead is one problem to that equation. I never thought to consider how much money goes into paying for gas to go to the craft store usually once a day and to specialty shops across the valley at least 1-2 times per week. Gas is not cheap and I have found that with my busy and most productive weeks, I go through two tanks of gas and a lot of fast food to keep my girls happy in the car. Other overhead to consider is the extra utilities that I use during each day to power all of my equipment and keep me in the light at night. I am using the washer and dryer a lot while constructing my clothing pieces (pre-wash) and have other electronics and appliances running constantly to keep the girls preoccupied and happy while I work. Phoenix is not a cheap place to pay for electricity during the summers!

Keeping a large stock of already made merchandise is also a must when preparing to do craft shows or selling online, but the problem is that if you aren't able to sell any of your stock, then you're left with a bunch of cute items that are worth nothing. You lose all the money that you put into making the products and they are left in the closet collecting dust. The best solution I've found? Finding a store to feature your items. There are a couple of ways to go about this.

One is to consign. A lot of shops out there only allow consignment because they do not want to take the hit if your items don't sell. Consignment works by making an agreement with the shop choosing to feature your items. By allowing you to sell your items in their store, you must share a certain percentage of your sales. Although there is still the pressure of getting your items to sell, the marketing and traffic problem become much less pertinent because you are inside of an established store that has it's own clientele. You are pretty much piggybacking off of the store's advertising and success.

The second option for having a store feature your items is to sit down with the store owner and come up with a way for them to BUY your products from you at a discount and then resell them at a higher price. Although you will not make as much money off of each individual craft item, you are making up for it by moving a bulk of your items and securing a profit no matter what. You don't have to worry about your items not selling, because the owner of the store has bought them from you outright.

I have had the opportunity to sell my products through both consignment and selling up front to the owner. By far, I love selling them up front. I do not have to deal with unsold products lingering in my space and until I get my name out there and my profits pick up, I can't afford to not sell my things! Fortunately I have great friends and family who plug me to all their acquaintances, and through those simple acts, I have been able to find stores that are willing to do business with me.

I have items in a local favorite hotspot called Urban Baby Exchange in central phoenix that I sell on consignment, and have found a renowned shop in Pocatello, Idaho called Dellart Floral that has bought my watches outright. I hope for this to be the beginning to a successful business adventure!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Beginning...

I never thought I'd see the day that this tomboy would pick up a string of beads, let alone a needle and thread! But, as they say, 'Expect the Unexpected'! I picked up a little beading kit about 5 years ago from Costco of all places, not realizing how incredibly fulfilling the art of jewelry design could be for me. I was sick and in and out of hospitals for about a year and during that time I was given the opportunity to express myself through art. I had never been much of an artist as I drowned myself in sports for much of my life. Even when I got married, my husband and I both played for our college rugby teams and played soccer whenever we had the chance. When I was finally home and recovering from the hospital, I found myself trying all sorts of crafting. It started with stringing beads and progressed to wire wrapping, and then card making, which led to paper crafting, and eventually I had the confidence to try SEWING! With each craft conquered, I found that this new love of mine was my drug... my addiction... a far healthier addiction than any I've ever known. I couldn't stop!

After my first daughter was born, my family and friends encouraged me to start selling my crafts. I was excited to give it a try, but found that crafting is not an easy industry to MAKE money on. I had a fellow crafter once say to me, "if someone decides to start crafting as a way to make extra money, then they've got the wrong business!" Crafters generally spend more money on materials than they make. It ends up being a really expensive hobby!

So, many attempts later, and another daughter born, I am giving it one more shot. What makes this time different? Well, a lot of planning and now tapping into the online world. I always did craft fairs and trunk shows before, which gives you only so much exposure and is a lot of work with little to no reward at the end of the day. A handful of fairs where I barely broke even on sales after booth fees, I've decided that an online Etsy shop may just not be a bad idea.

So, here we are in the beginning....