Tag Archives: Ni-Chern Designs

Where You Can Find Hang Ups in KC This Fall

Fall is fast approaching.  The kids are back to school, vacations have been taken and Hang Ups is in full swing again.  This fall will be a little different from past years’ for us.  This year we are only doing one show where, in the past, we’ve done several.  We have stepped back from the fall show circuit to celebrate some big birthdays (that happened to fall on show weekends) with our families.

If you’d like to come out and see our Hang Ups in person we’d love to see you at the Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Show in Leawood, Kansas.  Click here for directions.

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This show takes place Saturday September 12 (10am-8pm) & Sunday September 13th (11am-4pm).  Tickets are $5 per day or $8 for a weekend pass.  Children 12 and under are free.

Some of our favorite makers will be there:

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Dog collars by Ni-Chern Designs

The Little Wing & Stik A Pin In It

“Hi” Hoop Art and Nellie The Friend Doll by The Little Wing and “Thread Licker” Hoop Art and Cat Stitch Art By Stik A Pin In It

We are also looking forward to seeing our friends from A Perfect Treasure, FLiP KC and The Tulle Box.   For a complete list of vendors click here.

If you can’t make it out to the Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Show you can always find us online.  We currently have almost 200 of our creations available on our website.  We have many new items that have not made it to our website yet.  We will be working hard to add these new designs in the weeks following the Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Show.

Happy almost-fall friends!

Carolyn & Kristi

 

 

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

The winner of our Summer Fun Contest is…..

Drum-roll please……NICOLE WALL of www.nicherndesigns.com.  Congratulations Nicole!!!  Nicole liked, followed and shared her way to winning this beautiful book:

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Thank you to everyone who entered!  Have a wonderful summer friends!

Carolyn & Kristi

Taking Flight: Financial Management Discussion

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We thought this post from Pinterest was appropriate for this time of year.  The dreaded tax-time.  Being an entrepreneur means that you get to do what you love but there’s always the back end of the business that needs to taken care of too.  That end of the business can eat up hours and hours of non-revenue producing time and be frustration inducing.

Our accountant recently brought it to our attention that we need to keep more detailed records of what supplies have been purchased, how they’ve been used and what inventory has sold and what is currently on hand.  We currently track all expenses and have detailed spreadsheets of inventory and where the jewelry is (ie. consignment in stores vs. what we have in stock for shows), what has sold, etc.  To our dismay, apparently our current system needs to be improved.

On the advice of our friend Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs, Kristi is exploring the inventory management system called Crafty Base.  Keeping track of supplies, inventory and sales is an extremely complicated matter.  We would love to hear what do you do to keep the financial end of your business running smoothly.  Please share your tips and tricks in the comments section of this post so that we can learn from each others mistakes and best practices.  One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is having an amazing community that shares isn’t it?

Taking Flight with Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs

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When planning this blog series on the entrepreneurial journey of small business owners we immediately knew that we wanted to feature Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs.  Nicole is smart, collaborative and giving…everything that a successful entrepreneur needs to be.  She understands the need for community in the handmade entrepreneurial world and when she couldn’t find a community that fit her she created her own!  How is that for initiative?  Check out this community of talented artists (including Hang Ups in KC) at:  http://handmadeinkc.wix.com/home.

If you are wondering what her company name means, Ni-Chern (Nee-Churn) is Nicole’s Chinese name, meaning little girl.  Nicole does some of the finest work we’ve seen and has an eye for fun, vibrant fabrics.  Her creations have been featured several magazines including This is KC, The Pitch, Vintage KC Magazine and the Better Homes and Gardens Do It Yourself Magazine.

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Check out Ni-Chern’s website at www.nicherndesigns.com.  Here is a peek at a few of her creations:

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Ni-Chern Designs is a part of the Made In Kansas City Initiative (www.localstart.org) and donates 10% of her profits to the non-profit organization Kids TLC (www.kidstlc.org).  We could go on and on about this dynamo handmade entrepreneur but thought it would be more fun quiz her about how she got started, what drives her and what celebrity she would love to see using her products.

Q:  When did you start your sewing business and why?

A:  I started my business back in 2005. At first it was the lack of handmade items out there and I needed to pay off my student loans. As we all know when we starting out with handmade business, there is no income in any of this!  So I refocused and went with my desire to help out by donating 10% of my proceeds to preventcancer.org for the first few years.

Q:  What has been the single best thing you’ve done for your business?

A:  Connecting with fellow handmakers. I think a lot of times when we start out, all we can think about is how to make money, but the best thing that I’ve done for my business is to make friends and connect with other people. There is a difference between connecting professionally and just making friends. I always hope that the connections made will turn into a lasting friendships!

Q:  What is your favorite business book or blog that inspires you?

A:  The business blog that has caught my eye recently is Create and Thrive.

Q:  If you could have a celebrity use your products who would it be?

A:  Oh man, I really like Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams. So, I guess any of those ladies would be great!

We would like to thank Nicole for participating in this blog series and for including us in her circle of handmade friend-preneurs!  Find Ni-Chern Designs on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nicherndesigns, follow her on Twitter @nicherndesigns and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ni_chern.

We are always looking for tips, tricks and feedback.  If you have a fabulous entrepreneurial story please share it with us in the comments section!

Best wishes to all of you!

Kristi & Carolyn

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!

 

 

Taking Flight – A “Handmade” Entrepreneurial Advice Series

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Kristi & I are very excited to announce our new blog series – Taking Flight.  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.

Here is our call to action:  send us your questions, your fears and any advice you have to Carolyn@hangupsinkc.com.  If you want us to keep your questions/ feedback anonymous just let us know.

Our goal is to share knowledge and strength as well as to inspire small business owners and people who are thinking about starting their own business.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, geographically, as entrepreneurs we are all travelling a similar path.

Starting next week and continuing for the next several weeks we will feature a small business owner on a weekly basis.  Send us your questions and we will ask our entrepreneurial friends to share their wisdom.

 “Breathe in inspiration and trust yourself.  The answer is YES you can.”

Hang Ups in KC Joins Made In Kansas City Initiative

We have all heard of the Shop Small initiative.  There are frequent reminders on Facebook and other social media to shop at small businesses.  The creation of Small Business Saturday in November of every year was a brilliant move in the right direction to remind us to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.  A group in Kansas City is taking this idea a few steps further.

Hang Ups in KC is excited and proud to join the Made In Kansas City initiative.  The Made in Kansas City initiators are Local Start.org,  a not for profit organization focused on strengthening the local economy of the greater Kansas City and surrounding areas.   In the words of the folks at Local Start.org “This marks a deeper step on our part to strengthen the local economy by creating an environment where KC products are the first choice, where they are displayed with pride in our establishments and where you can find those products quickly and easily. We know that by providing people with the tools to choose local products, we empower them to build a smarter and stronger Kansas City.”

Keep an eye out online and in local establishments for this logo to know that you are buying products produced in Kansas City:

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For more information or to get involved visit www.localstart.org, email questions@localstart.org or call them at 913-730-0164.  Please check out the list participants by clicking on meet the locals on the main page of www.localstart.org.  The next time you are shopping please consider purchasing from a business who features products made in Kansas City.

Kristi & I are grateful for this amazing journey we are on and for your continued support!  If you haven’t had a chance to check out our recent presentation at 1 Million Cups you can find it at: http://kansascity.sites.1millioncups.com/~/link.aspx?_id=A54B3D9609EA4DD28512233AD2A82A21&_z=z.  Have a wonderful day!

Our First “Creativity Is Contagious, Pass It On” Share

Meet Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs:

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We met Nicole a few years ago when she was our neighbor at the Zeleny Arts & Craft Fair.  We immediately struck up a friendship and are always excited when we are exhibitors at the same show like this past weekend at the Overland Park Fall Festival.  Nicole has been sewing for almost 20 years and clearly loves her craft!  Her sewing is high quality and she has GORGEOUS fabrics.  Trust us, her faithful customers, Ni-Chern is definitely worth checking out.  Visit her new website to take a peek at her fabrics, products and upcoming sales:  www.nicherndesigns.com.  If you like what you see go ahead and share her site with your friends and family.  Shopping small business rocks!

Exciting News From Hang Ups in KC!

We are very excited to announce that our vintage and upcycled line of jewelry can now be found at a fun and unique store called Ugly Glass & Company.  Isn’t that the greatest name?  Ugly Glass & Company have just moved to a larger location and are now located at 206 North Liberty St., Independence, MO 64050, which is right on the historic Independence Square.

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Ugly Glass & Company features handmade products from over 45 artists from all over the USA.  The owners, Jenny & Skip Alexander, create their own line of glass and metal jewelry in the store studio.   You can see Skip with his safety glasses on, firing up his torch in the photo of the front window above and in the photo below.  If you are interested in taking a class on glass work go to their website at www.uglyglass.com.   Check out Skip’s fun eyeball glass!  The glass comes in several forms including rings and pendants.

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There are so many top quality handmade treasures to choose from including furniture, jewelry, glassware, soaps, bags, photography, art prints, scarves, notecards and much more.

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The first time I visited Ugly Glass I fell in love with and had to have a leather bound journal by Evertesh Creations.  I also love my spiced mug mat and tea from Alice’s Cottage.  Kristi and I are both big fans of Ni-Chern Designs bags as well.  Nicole from Ni-Chern has a knack for finding the greatest fabrics.

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We have a variety of jewelry at Ugly Glass including silverware, keys and stamped necklaces.

Hang Ups at Ugly Glass

Whether you are looking for a unique gift for yourself or someone you care about Ugly Glass & Company is a great one stop shop.  We are very excited to be featured artists with Ugly Glass.

If you are interested in checking out Ugly Glass & Company and don’t live in the Independence Missouri area you can find them on Facebook or at the website www.uglyglass.com.

Thanks for visiting our blog and letting us share our excitement with you!