All posts by Miss Mary Margaret

Finding Your Niche and Ideal Client

Last week I attended my first Tuesdays Together event in Louisville. The topic was Finding Your Niche & Ideal Client.

These are issues that I have struggled with over the years. I’ve only recently figured out my ideal client/customer and developed an idea for what I want my brand to represent.

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Some questions were brought up in the discussion that I resonated with.

  • What is my Niche?
  • What is my story? Do I have a mission statement?
  • What sets me apart? What makes my business different from others?

What is my niche? I guess I would say the fact that I use vintage fabric. I don’t work exclusively with vintage material, but most of my products incorporate vintage fabrics.  I’ve become known for using vintage material around town to the point that I’ve been contacted by a number of people (some friends, some acquaintances) about free vintage fabric because they know that I use it in my business. It’s like Christmas for me when I get trash bags full of vintage fabric dropped off at my doorstep!

What is my story? Do I have a mission statement? My story is that I want to be resourceful and eco-friendly as much as possible in my business.  I didn’t grow up wealthy and my parents set a great example about being resourceful and making the best of what you have.  Many of my products are born from having extra material and wanting to use that instead of throwing it away. For example,  I started saving all of my scrap knit fabric pieces from turbans. I loved the patterns and colors and didn’t want to throw them away because I figured I could find a use for them. A year later, I’ve finally had the time to sit down and turn those scraps into beautiful baby headbands!

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I find most of my fabric at thrift stores and peddler malls, places where the fabric is discarded and not wanted anymore. I love taking this fabric and incorporating it into something beautiful! By using these fabrics, I’m also reducing my carbon footprint.

I initially started making headbands because I’ve struggled with my appearance for years and sometimes wearing a pretty headband or scarf helped me feel a little better about myself. I want to help other women and girls feel empowered and beautiful when they wear my accessories.

My mission statement: This is still a work in progress but here is what I have so far. To have an environmentally friendly business that brings new life to vintage fabrics and empowers women through the creation of handmade accessories.

What sets me apart? What makes my business different from others? I have done extensive research online to find artists and crafters similar to myself. Headbands are everywhere! Headbands similar to mine are everywhere. However, I believe that my use of material and how I pair different fabrics together sets me apart. I have a unique aesthetic with an eye for mix and matching different patterns and fabrics together.

It was so encouraging to listen and learn from other small business owners! I was the quiet girl taking notes because I didn’t have much to contribute to the discussion. Learning from other women creatives really got me thinking about how I want to build my brand and create a more specific business identity. If you’re interested in attending Tuesdays Together, I highly encourage you to! The events are free and the topics change monthly.

 

 

 

 

Spring Giveaway!

Today is the day! It’s the official first day of Spring and I’ve teamed up with some lovely ladies for an Instagram giveaway. Just follow me (@miss_marymargaret) on Instagram and find this photo below. Like and comment on it for a chance to win this fun and colorful purple turban headband with navy blue birds.

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Then you can follow along in the loop to the next person in line who I’ve linked to in my post. There are five of us total and you can enter to win all five items if you want. It’s super easy and the ladies I’ve teamed up with are so talented. You definitely want to check us all out and enter to win some beautiful handmade and vintage items!

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Loop Giveaway

This Friday is the official first day of Spring. I am so excited! I’ll be walking outside, gardening and enjoying the warmer weather. In honor of Spring, I am teaming up with some lovely ladies for an Instagram Loop Giveaway. This is a great chance for you to win some beautiful handmade and vintage goodies! Follow me on Instagram (@miss_marymargaret) so you can join in the giveaway!

Here are the lovely ladies I’ll be teaming up with:

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Scarlet Hope

scarlet hope logoScarlet Hope is a Louisville-based organization that ministers to women in the sex industry. This is a wonderful organization that I’ve been blessed to be involved with over the years. I currently serve in their Hope 4 Kids program, working with children ages 1-10.  We serve the kids dinner, do a Bible lesson, help them with homework, play games and sing songs. I lead music and it’s such a blessing to see the kids learn and memorize the songs we sing each week.

Scarlet Hope also does outreach every week where they go out into the strip clubs in Louisville. Trained volunteers serve these women dinner and build relationships with them. Scarlet Hope also provides resources such as transitional-living, career counseling, housing, mentoring, transportation, and drug rehabilitation. Their mission is to share the gospel of Jesus with each dancer, bouncer, prostitute, and club owner that God puts in their path.

Our hearts desire is to meet each woman right where they are at in their life and point them continually to Jesus, who is our only Hope. We are dedicated to teaching women from the industry to obey the Lord’s loving commands and making disciples that make disciples. (Matt 27:28)

Volunteering with Scarlet Hope has changed me for the better and I’ve seen God work in my own heart and life. If you’re a Christian in Louisville and looking for a way to serve your community you should check out this amazing organization. God is truly changing lives through this ministry.

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If you’re interested in learning more and volunteering you can attend their next training in March – click here

They also constantly need different items like disposable dinnerware, office supplies, etc. – click here

I donate proceeds from Miss Mary Margaret every month to Scarlet Hope. You can donate too! – click here

Holiday Craft Fairs

Big craft fairs start taking applications early for their big holiday shows. I went to a workshop and one of the things I learned was that you have to know who your customer is. I’ve sold at a lot of different art fairs and it took me awhile to figure out why I sold well at some and not others. These are some great craft fairs in my region that fit my type of customer. I’ve applied to some of these and I encourage you to check out these great shows and consider applying yourselves!

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Bloomington Handmade Market – This craft fair takes place in Bloomington, Indiana on November 8. Applications are currently being accepted through September 6.

 

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Crafty Supermarket – This craft fair takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 29. Applications are being accepted through September 1.

 

 

 

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Craftin’ Outlaws – This craft fair takes place in Columbus, Ohio on November 15. Applications are being accepted through September 3.

 

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City Flea – this is a juried flea market in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their holiday market will be on December 13 and they will start taking applications in October.

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Renegade Craft Fair – these craft fairs take place all over the US in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. They also have a fair in London, England! Applications for the Chicago December 6-7 show are open from September 15-26.

 

 

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Flea Off Market – this is a juried flea market in Louisville, KY. Sign ups are usually sent out the month before the next market. They post applications on their Facebook page and can email it to you.

Gritty Pearl Photography

I recently had a photo shoot with Gritty Pearl Photography.  I have tried for years to do my own photographs but wasn’t satisfied with how they turned out.  I met Amber Estes Thieneman, the talent behind Gritty Pearl, through Block Party Handmade Boutique.

I wanted to get good photographs of my new products so I met with Amber, found some models and we scheduled a time for the photo shoot.  Many thanks to my beautiful models Zane and Lucy! Check out some of Amber’s photographs below.

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If you need professional photographs taken of your work, I would highly recommend Gritty Pearl Photography. Whether you’re applying to art fairs, submitting work to stores, or selling on Etsy you need high quality product photos.

 

Gift Baskets

I’ve been attending a lot of baby showers lately. Tis the season I guess! I love to go above and beyond and be crafty so I decided to make items for all of my friends and their babies! I love making special handmade items because I think they are more personal.

Through this process I’ve made my own burp cloths, baby tag blankets, bibs, onesies and pacifier clips. I like to find online tutorials and then change them up to fit my style and aesthetic. Here is a handmade gift basket I made for my pastor’s wife’s baby shower this past Sunday.  Little baby Booker is joining the world soon so I wanted to make sure his mom Allison had some essentials! I chose fabrics in blue and gray but mixed up the patterns to add a little more visual interest.

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Healthy Smoothie Recipe

I love smoothies and have started making them almost everyday. I’ve had a low energy level for awhile and am constantly tired due to a Vitamin D deficiency.  In my smoothies, I combine raw fruit, raw vegetables and protein for a big punch of natural energy that leaves me feeling great afterwards.

I was randomly adding flavors into the blender and came up with this amazing treat! This smoothie tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It sounds weird but trust me, it is truly delicious.

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Our Local Box

I recently won a free July subscription box from Our Local Box on a Facebook giveaway.    Our Local Box is all about showcasing the best that Kentucky has to offer.  Each month, customers can order a box filled with goodies including everything from food to clothes.   The goal of Our Local Box is to bring locally handcrafted items to the community.

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Division Street School

My friend Rachel and I attended a vintage bicycle parade in downtown New Albany a few weeks ago.  The last stop on the parade was the Division Street School where the community held an ice cream social.  The school was primarily an elementary school for black children the operated from 1885-1946. The school is set up like a museum with a functional classroom still used by New Albany Floyd County Schools.  I had never heard of the Division Street School before and as a lover of history, I enjoyed learning more about it. See some of my photographs below.

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