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Lysenis

Help in budgeting for a Convention

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Alright, so I got accepted into a convention in December. My issue is that at best I will have roughly $250 for supplies (possibly more but for now, not likely)

What should I get? Do I focus on the 4.0-5 AR or do I do trinkets like Celtic stars? Or do I focus in 1 ring size weaves like Persians, Byzantine, and elfweave?

I have all the scales I should need (just need sm red scales) for flowers. . .

Thoughts?

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Hi Lysenis,

 

 I have been to many convetion (though never as a merchant), and from what I have seen of successful merchants I would recommend having a range for produce from small/inexpensive to large/expensive.

 

Many people who go to cons will have little pocket money, having bugeted most for membership, room, and food (not neccessarily in that order).  Other will have a moderate amount, having been able to set aside for sometingh nice, or a specific type  thing they want for future costuming and the like.

 

I would say 1/4 inexpensive, 1/2 midrange, and 1/4 more costly items.  You never know may become the 'Hot' item for the con, the lastest bit of kitsch everyone just has to have.

 

I make no promised that this will be the perfect solution, but it's a fairly safe bet that you at least cover expenses.

 

I hope this helps!

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That helps a lot actually. Having only been to the most recent Kumoricon (dissapointing AA) I am lacking in overall convention experience.

I am keeping mid range to be between $20-25 high range will likely be a few scale ties or a dragon scale tie.

What about color choices? Do I stick with the safe silver, black and black ice. OR do I try to branch out?

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Try to branch our a bit.  Many poeple will love the plain metals, but others are more likely to buy if it comes in a color they like.The only sugestion I have for what colors to get is look at local fovrite sports teams, state colors, or just some of your own favorite colors.

 

No color will please everyone. I try to provide a range of colors when I sell a product, it give s the customer a wider rang of choice, and if it come in their favorite color.....well you can see the advantage.  Like with this picture Colorbarrettes_zpscabab707.jpg

Can you find a color you like there?

 

It's not a guarenteed sale, but it doesn;t hurt either.

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Try to branch our a bit. Many poeple will love the plain metals, but others are more likely to buy if it comes in a color they like.The only sugestion I have for what colors to get is look at local fovrite sports teams, state colors, or just some of your own favorite colors.

No color will please everyone. I try to provide a range of colors when I sell a product, it give s the customer a wider rang of choice, and if it come in their favorite color.....well you can see the advantage. Like with this picture Colorbarrettes_zpscabab707.jpg

Can you find a color you like there?

It's not a guarenteed sale, but it doesn;t hurt either.

First off do you mind if I use this picture?

Second what weave is that beeznees?

That is a good philosophy. . . Hmmmm now how to balance colors with budget. . .

My favorite range of gauges is 16g - 19g awg. . . Thoughts?

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It's 2 rows of byzantine connected. The rings are 18 gauge 3/16" ID.  I have never seen anyone connect them the way I do, but there are only so many ways of doing it. Here is a close up from a more straight on angle.VioletCloseup_zps633c8f0b.jpg

 

As you can see I connect both the horizontal rings, and the folded back rings.  That can be a little tricky, but it makes a nice patten and give the piece a bit more structure.  The finished chain is then tied onto an 80mm barrette blank with 8lb test fishing line.

 

I have been wearing these for years, and I've never had one break or come apart.  I get many qustions and compliments when people notice them, and have sold several.

 

As for using the picture, what use would it be put to?  I generally don't have a problem with someone else using my pictures, but I do request that proper attribution given, and if it's on line I wouldn't mind a link to my shop.  :biggrin:

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The picture would be used to show off color types.

 That would be just fine the colors  are as follows: Left Column top to bottom:  Copper (real copper not just colored), Gold Tone, Black Ice, Brown, Royal Blue, Light Pink, Pink. Right Column, Top to bottom: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Violet. The central barrette is Black.

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for small sales...dodecahedron balls either alone or as keychains...call them stress balls, fidgets I have sold them as cat toys...do not not be afraid to sell your "balls of steel" , the Celtic stars and wreathes as keychains and backpack charms(with a lobster clasp instead of the keyring)  dice bags, Hacky Sacks and never underestimate the kinkiness of gamers, bikini tops axctually sold well at the last Con I did, lol

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Clothing does take a lot of rings. I did a bra and panty set for a local burlesque performer last year the took over 10,000 3/16" ID rings.  It took me a little over a week to make, the another couple of hours for adjustments after fitting sessions.

 

Of course,  something that presicly fitted is a special order (sha had to be able to do her act in it), and takes some time, but the results were well worth it!

GeeklesqueUnites_1_zps073af0c4.jpg 

She had me build it over a bra and panty she provided, which is why it hang loose at the bottom of the bra. It was a very fun project and I am proud to be able to claim that my work has appeared on stage.  O.K., a burlesque show stage, but still it's a very nice addition to my portfolio.

 

Back to the main point, clothing does take a lot of time and rings, and it's not an inexpensive undertaking.

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I haven't been doing this for very long, but from what I have noticed, it is very hard to get a return on time invested in clothing, but they are the pieces that get the most attention.

I would second the use of colors of sports teams. I wasn't even thinking about it, but I took a sample of full Persian chain to work that I made with black and gold (I like the way that it looks), and a lady asked me to make a bracelet for her with those colors because its the colors that the Pittsburgh Steelers use. I had never thought about it in that way.

Kitten, your work is awesome. I am hoping to do something similar for a performer in my area. I want to do a scale dress. I am guessing that this will take thousands of scales and rings, a few months of work, and a small bit of my sanity. Haha. I find the best works come at the price of sanity.

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I haven't been doing this for very long, but from what I have noticed, it is very hard to get a return on time invested in clothing, but they are the pieces that get the most attention.

I would second the use of colors of sports teams. I wasn't even thinking about it, but I took a sample of full Persian chain to work that I made with black and gold (I like the way that it looks), and a lady asked me to make a bracelet for her with those colors because its the colors that the Pittsburgh Steelers use. I had never thought about it in that way.

Kitten, your work is awesome. I am hoping to do something similar for a performer in my area. I want to do a scale dress. I am guessing that this will take thousands of scales and rings, a few months of work, and a small bit of my sanity. Haha. I find the best works come at the price of sanity.

Thank you fo rthe compliment on my work! I take great pride in the quality of my work, and I've have never had any customer complain about a finished piece.

 

It is almost impossible to get the time invested back as money on large pieces.  However, it is very satisfying to turn out a piece and see the happy customer react to your work.  About the only things I actually get a good return on my work is small pieces of jewelry.  If I actually charged for my time, and I work fast, few people would be able to afford it.

 

My biggest project is a tailcoat and skirt set, that you can find in the gallery, that took over 50,000 rings and about 10 weeks time.  Of course, I was working a phone bank at the time and was only able to knit between calls.

 

As for my sanity...Well, I've been saying since I was about 6 that I was crazy, so I'm not a good judge of what is sane.  However, the number of people who have said that I must have been crazy to make the tailcoat and skirt includes most everyone who has seen it.  Also, if I were to sell or remake said outfit for someone else, I would be charging around $2000.

 

So, as you can see, it can be deemed a little crazy to spend that much time on what is basicly a costuming piece.  On the other hand, $2000 is a semi-decent return for that much effort.

 

I do tend to only do clothing as a custom orders because of these issues.  I have done to only 9 or 10 pieces of clothing in the 15 years I have been mailling, and none of them has taken less than 10,000 rings and at least 2 weeks time.  Not the kind of investment most people want to spend a lot of time on without a gaurenteed sale.

 

Sorry, I tend to ramble a bit don't I? :biggrin:

Edited by Kittensoft_Chainmail

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Aww, how cute... Once you make a riveted hauberk starting from wire, we can talk about it taking a long time  :lol:

 

But yeah, it does seem to take a different type of mailler to do clothes regularly. I far prefer it over jewellery, I guess just because I get a usable, functional result instead of just a small decoration.... Also because making armour does a pretty good job of sating both my historical interest and my costuming hobby

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I know doing riveted or welded takes more time, but I'm not set up or of the inclination to do either of them. 

 

I've only done one shirt, and the customer only wanted butted maille for that, so I have never had the need to look into either seriously.

 

It's not that I'm unwilling to clothing, but I don't have a storefront and as of yet I don't have the resources for event.  I'm basicly working on turning my serious hobby into a regular income source.  I survive on federal disability, so my income is limited.  Right now I'm basicly making enough to replace supplies.  Also, I am a 1 person operation, so I would have to build up stock slowly and see if I had enough stock and have enough cash to pay for a mercant space at an event.

 

I'm not griping about my situation, just explaining the limitations I'm working under. :)

 

I respect anyone with the gumption to do riveted or welded maille. :respect:

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it is possible to do smaller clothing pieces that cost less in time and supplies then a $2000 price tag, I make armor for NERO girls and tops for belly dancers and can usually crank one out in about a day for most simpler designs, it is possible to not only get your money back but to make a profit if you know your market and plan accordingly, so don't get discouraged if you want to try clothing at a future time.  but it depends on the person, some like jewelry better, some like making armor and clothing, I do both but actually like the clothing part better.  I also tend to only make Guys armor by order but always have several Womens styles available for display, it brings people in and attracts a crowd specially at Cons.  you can make a Bikini top for less then $20 in supplies assuming you use TRL.  but you could also make probably 3-4 dice bags with those rings so it is all what you want to make and sell. Most of all do not be afraid of fly your geek flag at the Con, stress the geeky fact that you made all the chain mail yourself and talk gaming to them.  have project to work on, while there, oh yeah chain mailed familiars(stuffed critters) were surprising popular . the hair clips are pretty but hair clips with the scale flowers I have found sell better but not nearly as well as simple flowers on a cord necklace at some places, having a pile/selection of flowers, Celtic star other small chain trinket pieces loose and offering the option of attaching them to a leather  cord(necklace) a hair clip or even a pony tail elastic( the thicker ones that sell in multipacks at the dollar store or even a large split ring for a keychain for the same base price will give more options with less actual individual stock. oh and stretchy bracelets, simple box weave ones, HP3 and ever basic 4:1 cuffs 3-6 rings wide are usually a good impulse seller, :biggrin:

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Good points all Minions. 

 

Having already given my thoughts on why I don't do clothing without a custom order, everyone deos different things for differnt reasons.  What works for me my drive another mailer nuts and vise versa.

 

I have a deal going with a couple of local gaming shops that sell my dice bags, and that's were most of my effort goes.  It gets my name and product out in the local community, abd has driven some of the custom order business my way.  If I ever start event merchanting I will probobly try to keep a few pieces of clothing in stock, but right now it's really worth it for me.

 

Another thing your might think about, is making a sign that says you do repair as well.  It may not make any difference, on the other hand, who knows it may et you some side business after the event.  I always have business card with me, and whether I'm sitting at an event, or ridiing a local bus I usually have some kind of maille I'm working oni my jands.  I gets lots of of questions, give out lots of cards and make the occasional sale later on through my Etsy page.

 

Also, wear your work. be it jewelry, a clip hair, or some piece of clothing like a vest, it attracts more people if you do. I have several piece that are part of my standard wardrobe no matter wher I go.  Anything that will attract attention can be a good idea.:)

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 and ever basic 4:1 cuffs 3-6 rings wide are usually a good impulse seller, :biggrin:

 

Especially if you make a big long roll several feet long out of half EPDM, so you can take off a piece custom fit to the customer's size and stitch it up into a bracelet right there.

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That really is a good idea with long pieces of chain.

 

My problem is that when someone asks me for something, they want specific colors and whatnot.  I suppose it wouldn't be a bad idea to have  a few different color choices.

 

Or maybe my problem is simply giving a choice... haha.

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Giving a choice is never bad, the sticking point would be can you afford,in time & money, to have yards of weave in several colors? If so, go for it!

I got for extra lengths for things like BA Full Persian, Byzantine, etc

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