Tag Archives: Jewelry made from vintage and repurposed items

Hang Ups in KC Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday Sale

Help us celebrate Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday!

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It’s our best sale of the year! Save 30% off purchases made Saturday, November 29 – Monday, December 1, 2014. Visit www.hangupsinkc.com and start shopping now. We have unique pieces that make great gifts for eveyone on your holiday list. Check out our Literacy Kansas City Collection to find gifts for the teachers and book lovers on your list. Check out our Band of Angels Kansas City Collection to find gifts for the musicians and music lovers on your lists. These two collections of jewelry help us to share our joy of reading and music, and allow us to give back to our community. See our website for more information on both of these great organizations. Just use the code HUTHANKSU when you are checking out to take advantage of this great offer.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our small business!

Kristi & Carolyn

Online Sale at Select Handmade in KC Shops November 1 – 7th!

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Have you had a chance to check out the talented artisans from the group Handmade in KC (www.handmadeinkc.com)?  This is a cooperative of local artisans who offer quality handmade products.  We are very proud to be a part of this amazing group of local artists!

Several of us from Handmade in KC wanted to help you kick off your holiday shopping with a 20% off coupon code to our shops!

The coupon code will be effective November 1 at midnight and end November 7 at 11:59pm Central Time.
All you need to do is find the products that you’d like from the shops listed below.  You will need to check out from each shop individually (not a collective), and enter the code: HANDMADEKC to receive 20% off of your purchase at that shop!  And then do it again for another shop listed below!  Happy shopping!
Beadery Destash
Creations by M & J
The Costume Wrangler
Handmade by Lolo Z
Hang Ups in KC
Hey Paul Studios
Ni-Chern Designs
Nuggets of Goodness
Only Little Wing
Remnants by RJ
Simply Classic Jewelry
Stik A Pin In It
Thyme2Dream
The Tulle Box
Vintage Wedding Gems
Violet’s Buds

It’s Festival Season at Hang Ups in KC

It’s that time of year again and that means that we need to move from our summer family fun schedule back into serious work mode.  This is what we’ve got booked for the fall so far:

  • September 20th: Hillsboro Arts & Craft Fair, Hillsoboro, Kansas.   9am-4pm.   Visit www.hillsboroartsandcraftsfair.org for more information.
  • September 27th: Overland Park Fall Festival, Overland Park, Kansas. 9am-5pm.  Visit www.opkansas.org/things-to-see-and-do/arts-and-music/overland-park-fall-festival for more information.
  • October 11 & 12th:  Sugar Mound Arts & Crafts Festival, Mound City, Kansas.  Saturday 9am-6pm Sunday 9am-5pm.  Visit www.sugarmoundartscrafts.com for more information.

If you come out to any of these shows please drop by to say HI!

This past weekend we officially kicked off festival season with Festival of the Little Hills in beautiful historic St. Charles, Missouri.  This festival is huge – with over 300 vendors lining the gorgeous Main Street and Frontier Park, on the shores of the Missouri River.   We thought it would be fun to share our photos with you.

Pre-Show Street View  Street View

On the left, Main Street prior to opening.  On the right, our sidewalk view from the back of our booth.  Check out those gorgeous historic buildings and the cobblestone street.

Weather  Crowds

How was the weather?  Well it started raining on Friday at about 5pm and it stopped on Sunday around 3pm.  That didn’t stop the shoppers who wait for this festival all year, though.  Although they may not have reached their expected 200,000 shoppers there were A LOT of people there!

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Here are a couple of shots of our booth.  We had some fun collecting and refinishing props such as tables, a handmade metal sign (top of the back of the booth) and new stands.  We also welcomed a new member of our team – Grace! …that’s her in the front of the booth with the jewelry hanging from her.

Grace Night Booth

This is a better photo of Grace.  We love how vintage-looking she is and the fact that she didn’t complain about the rain at all.  Another issue that we had to deal with this year was lighting since this festival goes to 10pm every night.  With the help of Kristi’s husband Matt and our friends at Handmade in KC (www.handmadeinkc.com) we found some lighting solutions that were very effective as well as pretty.

Despite the weather we had a blast and fell in love with this historic town on the edge of St. Louis.  Next up – Hillsboro Arts & Craft Fair. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Thank you all for letting us share our adventure with you!

It’s Time to Celebrate with 15% Off Hang Ups in KC Jewelry and Cards

April has been a busy month with our annual trip to the fabulous Craftcation Conference in Ventura California and multiple events but we are ready for May and all the celebrations that the month brings.  Whether you choose a handmade piece of jewelry from our website or request a custom piece we are an easy one-stop shop for Mother’s Day, Graduations and Teachers gifts.  Don’t forget that 10% of all proceeds from our Literacy Kansas City Collection go directly to Literacy Kansas City.  Plus we are offering 15% off of all purchases for the month of May.  What’s not to love?  Visit us at www.hangupsinkc.com.

Top 5 Ways to Take Your Handmade Business to the Next Level

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We thought that featuring a Q&A with ourselves as part of our Taking Flight series might be a little odd so we’ve assembled a list of our advice on the Top 5 Ways to Take Your Handmade Business to the Next Level.  None of these tips require significant financial commitment.  What they do require is courage and initiative – something all entrepreneurs have whether we know it or not.

1.  Read books written by the Guru’s of the Handmade World.  Our favorite author is Kari Chapin-Nixon.  Her books The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business are available at www.karichapin.com or www.storey.com.  They helped us immensely in our early days and still act as an excellent reference guide as we continue our journey.

2.  Create an online presence.  Ideally this would be in the form of a website but if you aren’t there yet open an Etsy Shop.  Opening an Etsy Shop is quick, simple and VERY cost effective.  You need a place to display your goods and refer people to when you aren’t out on the Arts & Craft Show circuit.  Think of your Etsy store or website as your portfolio.  Check out our Etsy Shop at www.hangupsinkc.etsy.com for ideas on store policies, shipping costs, etc.   With the help of Kristi’s very computer savvy husband Matt, we were able to build our own website (www.hangupsinkc.com) on the OpenCart platform.  We’ve been live for 6 months now and are thrilled with our increase in visibility and sales.

3.  Start a blog.  This was advice that we received last year at the Craftcation Conference (see point #4) and we grudgingly took the plunge.  We were nervous and had no idea where to start so we asked an expert – Kari Chapin-Nixon (see point #1).  She recommended the book Blogging For Creatives by Robin Houghten (find it on amazon.com).   The book changed our whole outlook on blogging and made the process much less intimidating.  Within a month or so of the conference we launched our brand new blog using the WordPress platform and have worked hard to publish blogs consistently since then.  Here’s the surprising thing – it’s kind of fun.  You should try it!   It has been proven that blogs build traffic to your business and increase the credibility of your expertise and your business.

4.  Network with other Creatives who are willing to share and learn with you.  We attended a conference called Craftcation (www.craftcationconference.com) in Ventura California last April that literally rocked our small business.  We spent 3 intense days attending seminars on how to grow our business.  We networked, took notes, exchanged ideas and then created our plan of action for 2013.  Since Craftcation we have created our blog, our website, newsletter, created Instagram & Twitter accounts, moved into more stores, joined the Made in Kansas City Initiative (www.localstart.org)  and created a wonderful partnership with Literacy Kansas City.   With all of this growth came an increase in credibility and visibility which led to our One Million Cups (www.1millioncups.com) presentation in January.  Craftcation 2014 is less than 6 weeks away – we can’t wait!  If you can’t attend a conference how about checking into local networking groups such as local Etsy teams?

5.  Get organized!  Create an inventory system.  There are systems that you can purchase but Kristi and I find that our system using a shared Excel spreadsheet works for us.  Each piece of jewelry that we make is logged on this spreadsheet and given an identifying number.  The number is written on the price tag and store inventory lists.  We have several hundred pieces of jewelry active at any given time so we need to be able to easily track the price, who made it and where it is located at any given time.  All small business owners should also be tracking expenses in order to effectively manage their business.  We use Quicken but QuickBooks is also a great system.  Finally, one of the greatest tools we used to increase sales this year was to sign up for Intuit’s GoPayment Program (www.intuit.com).  Accepting credit cards while at Arts & Craft Shows or other events dramatically increases sales.  Trust us on this one.  It costs only a small percentage per transaction and it is totally worth it!

Please share this list with anyone who you think will find it helpful.  Having a successful handmade business dependent on being open to new ideas and sharing information.  We wish all handmade businesses the best of luck in 2014!

Kristi & Carolyn (www.hangupsinkc.com)

 

The True Entrepreneur is a Doer, Not a Dreamer

Isn’t this the truth?  Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart.  Kristi & I are getting ready to make another exciting announcement but first comes the hard work!  Stay tuned for the announcement coming in a few weeks….

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Yes, we caught the spelling mistake on this post but it struck a cord with us so we posted anyway.   Have a great week Friends!

Taking Flight with Jenny & Skip from Ugly Glass & Company

Kristi and I are very excited to launch our Taking Flight series by introducing Jenny & Skip, owners of a gorgeous store called Ugly Glass & Company located in Independence Missouri.  This series will focus on the entrepreneurial journey of several small business owners.  If you are thinking about starting your own “handmade” business or own a small business we invite you to become an active participant in this blog series.

That is Jenny (below), we are pretty sure she was excited because we’d just dropped off (check the counter below her) a brand new batch of Hang Ups in KC creations.  Or maybe she was just happy to see us?

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Q.  How long have you been in business?

A. Skip and I started creating jewelry in 2002 and opened our store front in 2012.  We created our store front as way to showcase our work and the works of other creative souls from the USA.  Currently we have over 70 artists and fine crafters on 2 floors from all over the USA, a lot from the Kansas City metro area.  We are much like an eclectic gift show! 

Q. What made you want to start your own business?

A.  I found a love of beads while creating stretchy bracelets with my friend Amie for Family Literacy Centers; “Bracelets for Literacy”.  It was a fundraising project.  After that I was addicted and started making for others.  Amie got me started on doing craft shows too…so it is all Amie’s fault I guess!!!! I think opening our store front came from a need to have a year round selling venue, instead lugging our things from craft show to craft show on the weekends.  We wanted to give that opportunity to other artists and crafters too.

Q. What is a mistake that you’ve made that you would like to share to help others avoid it?

A.  Save lots of money!  We had been looking off and on for an amazing store front for 5 or 6 years, but had not saved a penny. So everything we had on hand when the “right” space became available went into the space and it was used very quickly!  I suggest having enough saved up at home too.  If you are quitting your day job to start your business, you need bill money for a couple of years, because it might take that long or longer before you are making a profit on your business.

Q.  What is the best thing you’ve ever done for your business?

A.  I started it…I dove in and started it.  I am shy so it took a lot to put myself out there and just do it.  If I let my shyness run my life, I would not have started my business nor opened a store front.

Q.   Advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business.

A.  Network…networking is hard for a shy person.  But don’t be shy about sharing with the world that you have a business.  Always have business cards on hand to give to someone as you are telling them about your amazing business!  Create that Facebook page too!  I cannot believe how many come into the shop because they found us on Facebook!  Social media is very important now.

Q.  What is your favorite business book or blog? If you don’t have one – what inspires you?

A.  I don’t read – I like pictures!!!  Many times we are creating what we have been challenged to create.  If a customer says “hey can you make a starfish?”  we shrug and say “we can give it a go.”  Sometimes it is amazing and sometimes it is just plain ugly.  We wake up thinking about color combinations and designs. Our materials inspire us as well. We have huge amounts of beads and glass.  We just start pulling things out and putting things together, sometimes it is everything we dreamed of, others aren’t.  Ya win some and ya lose some!

You can visit Ugly Glass & Company at 206 N Liberty St, Independence, MO.  They are located right on the square in the heart of historic Independence, Missouri.  If you visit Wednesdays between 11am-4pm you can see Skip going live glass demonstrations. You can find Ugly Glass & Company online at www.uglyglass.com or on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/UglyGlassCo.

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If you have any questions for Jenny & Skip or for us you can comment on this blog post and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you Jenny & Skip for sharing your story with us!

 

 

Our Thank You Sale @ www.hangupsinkc.com

To show our love for you we are having a Valentine’s Sale of 15% off all on-line purchases.  The sale runs from today until Valentine’s day.  Thank you all for your support during this incredible journey!

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DIY Christmas Ornament From Repurposed Measuring Stick

I love old wood yard & meter sticks.  They used to be given away free as marketing materials and now they average around $8 each at antique stores.  I decided to make a Christmas ornament out of one of the old folded measuring sticks that has been hanging around my workshop for a while.  You could make this ornament using an old ruler you have hanging around as well.

Before we get started we’d like to thank Tracy Spisak, photographer extraordinaire from Gallery Portaiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!

This is what you’ll need:

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  • Measuring stick or ruler cut to the size you’d like
  • Letters from your local craft store
  • Jump rings
  • Ribbon
  • 2 pairs of pliers
  • E6000 or Tacky Glue
  • Seasonal buttons or decoration

1.  Choose the festive word that you’d like to spell and drill corresponding holes in the bottom of the measuring stick to hang the letters from.  Then drill a hole in the top left hand and right hand corners to string the ribbon through.

2.  Run the jump ring through the hole in the top of the letter and the hole in your measuring stick.  To open and close your jump ring grasp it with a pair of pliers on each side of the split.  Then twist in opposite directions – basically one hand should be going towards you and the other away.  Never pry the jump ring directly apart horizontally.  Attach all of your letters.

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3.  Cut a piece of ribbon about a foot long.  Run one end of the ribbon through the right upper hole and one through the left upper hole on your measuring stick.  Knot the ends of the ribbon and trim the ends.

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4.  I added a silver glittery button to the ornament to give it some sparkle.  You could add anything that catches your eye.  I also tied a knot in the upper part of the ribbon for a little extra flair.

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5.  Show off your crafty skills all your friends!

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If you aren’t up to making your own ornament check out our website (www.hangupsinkc.com) to check out what our creations.  They make great teachers and hostess gifts!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hang Ups Holiday Ornament DIY – Scrabble Tile & Measuring Stick Ornament

Ornaments make great teacher gifts.  Teachers gifts are even more special when students help to create them.  You could have your child help design this ornament adding personal touches for their teacher.

A special thank you to Tracy Spisak from Gallery Portraiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!

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Vintage Measuring Stick Ornament

It is great if you have vintage wood Scrabble tiles for this project but not necessary. Hobby Lobby sells wood letter tiles that work great. Have your child spell our a word that reminds them of their teacher to personalize this gift.

Ingredients:

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  • Wood letter tiles.
  • Wood measuring stick – you could even use a wood ruler that you have hanging around at home.
  • Brown ink.
  • Ribbon.
  • Decorative touches like snowflakes, jingle bells or festive colored beads.
  • Jump Ring.
  • Pliars.
  • Glue.

You can personalize this ornament by adding charms, beads or Christmas findings that your child chooses.

Step 1:

We prepared a piece of inexpensive measuring stick that we found at an antique store by cutting it to the correct size to fit the word we chose, drilling a hole in the center of the top and bottom and sanding off all rough edges.  We wanted the wood letter tiles to have more of a vintage feel so we used a brown ink pad to softly antique the edges of the front and sides of the tile.

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Step 2:

We then used E6000 glue to attach the letter tiles to the measuring stick. You may prefer to stagger your letters left and right, center them or move them to one side as we do.  This is another design aspect your child can help with.

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Step 3:

We glued on snowflakes to give this ornament a festive feel.  This is the hard part…you need to leave this ornament alone for several hours to allow the glue to set.  E6000 takes several hours to bond securely but is very strong.  If you prefer using hot glue go ahead!

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Step 4:

Run a metal jump ring through the bottom hole in the ornament and hang either pretty beads, jingle bells or whatever you think is pretty from the bottom.  We chose a Santa bell.  When opening Jump rings never pull the edges away horizontally, always pull them apart as pictured below so that they go back into a perfect circle.  Next run a pretty ribbon through the top hole and PRESTO you have a beautiful and unique handmade ornament.

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