18 June 2011

i'm grateful for 'thinking outside the square'

Greetings all,
I'm really grateful i can think 'outside the square'.  As a scientist, wife, mother, designer, really-bad-cook - all my different roles in my life so far, i've had to draw on creativity to get results, find answers, problem solving if you will.  I'm going to show off a simple example here . . . how oh how to display my new little paper bags??  Why not in a paper bag 'basket' which looks cool, stays on trend & shows off the durability of just how awesome my new paper bags are & other ways to use them. 
 I wouldn't use such a huge vintage dolly peg in real life but getting a smaller peg would have required walking to the next room.  Today has been very mellow - i took myself to see Water For Elephants.  Reese & Robert did not fail me??  It was beautifully shot, she was exquisite & he so handsome, i cried, it was magic, i loved this movie - not the theme or darkness, but the dream quality.   
Back to paper bags . . . why paper bags anyway??  Well i've been in this handmade craft game full time for over a decade.  Back then, to work from home with small children & an on line shop was almost unheard of, but i did it.  I get asked this question by journalists, customers & fellow small business owners all the time "what do you do when people copy or compete with you??"  As i have zero plans for world domination or keeping an eye on the opposition + those children are approaching teen-age, keeping me busier than ever . . . so how to stay ahead of the game??  Think outside the square, constantly like . . . adding fresh products & offering the best attitude, presentation & service.  Paper bags are something i just love + twine & stickers, it appears you love them too.

 Selling is so much more than just plonking your products on a table - it's visual merchandising with height & creative use of props.  At markets I hang hair clips on tree branches, offer knitting needles in spaghetti jars, fill tool boxes with buttons, display twine in crates, spread badges in vintage suitcases, pile fabric in huge French baskets, sell books from mini book cases & hang bloomers in picnic baskets.  It's makes a difference!!
 Inspiration is everywhere, from a pyjama catalogue to a glossy magazine.  Donna Hay always styles her food with gorgeous, simple accents & i'm a sucker for a timeless country look - baskets with a mix of metal, linen, wood & glass. 
 Some ladies/ sisters at the last Handmade Market who had a gorgeous stall display were Mookah - they rocked.  All the way from country Victoria, they didn't use travel as an excuse to not make their stall look amazing.  Thinking outside the square too - with ladders & planks, shelves, hanging racks & tables.  By the end of the market they had so little stock left, i noticed they kept spreading products to fill the gaps until some shelves were completely empty (like when every single ottoman/ floor cushion had sold out!!)
 I wasn't fast enough to grab an ottoman on the day, so went home to order one on line (my level of thinking outside the square when exhausted).  Better yet, my favourite fabric design was on sale & when it arrived today, they popped in some screen printed Moose samples, yes please!!  Thanks Leisa & Nicole.  Now to think outside the square on how to use these Moose prints, a cushion for my son is a no brainer starter?? 
 So if you love to think outside the square & fancy some of these paper bags in your hot little creative hands too, enter my giveaway at this post.
 The GIVEAWAY is gaining such momentum, i'm throwing in 5 runner up prizes, so hoping the random selector picks you for one of them!!
For more Grateful posts, check out Maxabella Loves - to think i met her only a week ago at Handmade Market - what a big week i've had indeedy.  Love Posie

22 comments:

muminsearch.com said...

Your paper bag basket is a great idea and thinking outside the box can save your day! I've just managed to wrap a present without wrapping paper or sticky tape. I thought I'd have to go shopping in the morning, but a couple of my son's paintings, a few ribbons and the present looks beautiful.

Mareenchen said...

Well, here's to hoping. :)

Sally said...

I love paper bags too.
... and I just can't believe that you're a bad cook.

littlebetty said...

You are funny. Is this three posts on paper bags now? Your husband must think this is all positively nuts!

Cate said...

Mums are so clever at problem solving! and your solution looks so cool!
So glad not to be #1 on your giveaway! (forgot u have comment moderation on!!) - #13 is ok though
have a great weekend Posie!!
xxxCate

Tammy said...

Oh I agree presentation is so very very important! I used to be a retail visual merchandiser in a previous stage of life :)

Leanne said...

Beautiful bags, I've just left a comment on your giveaway. Clever to be able to think outside the square.

bod for tea said...

Love the paper bag bag! Very creative indeed. And I think the vintage peg looks great :D

Mum on the Run said...

You are a talented one, Miss Posie.
:-)

deux chiens et un garcon said...

you may sometimes think you are a square peg in a round hole miss poie but you will always be shining brightly.

xxx

Jennie said...

Loving all thinking outside squares!!

The bags look great displayed like that - really shows how versatile they are!x

Brenda said...

I love your way of thinking, always coming up with super creative and fantastic ideas!

Have a lovely weekend!

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

oh lovely post!!! yes, it's all about the packaging (mind the pun!) and I'm glad you loved Water for Elephants too - i loved and i read the book first, which i thought would mean i didn't love the film, but i did!

i'm off to enter that giveaway!

xx

Maxabella said...

They're lovely, Jen. I feel the same way you do about being able to think outside the square. It's just how I live and it helps me in so many ways. I know what you mean about walking into the next room to get a smaller peg too... x

Lee@mummyissuespart2 said...

Gorgeous bags and blog! I love paper and I love paper bags. I love how you've put the bags in a bag!

Mookah said...

You are too kind....just a couple of country girls making stuff, selling their wares and enjoying the creative process. Glad you love your 'floor cushion', and am excited about October. Bring it on!

Mookah said...

Bugger! Just left a story and blogger kicked me out......cheers.

Kylie said...

You always do a fab job of thinking outside the box Mrs Jennie - that is why you have come so far in the crafty and market world:) Loving those paperbags.

polkadotpeticoat said...

I loved that movie...tear!
it was so sweet to see a happy ending instead of just leaving you disappointed!
Fingers crossed in the giveaway!

Lark said...

Heh heh, you are funny Jen! Yay - I ordered some of these bags too, aren't they ace? Am still waiting for mine to come though. x

Amy said...

Three posts in one week about paper... Does your husband think you have gone mad :-P

Love it Jennie! They look fab. Thinking out side the box is a wonderful thing and something I try to do frequently.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your presentation ideas are lovely! Those paper bags are striking.