Tag Archives: www.hangupsinkc.com

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!

Booth Booth RHS

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!

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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Hang Ups in KC Partners With Literacy Kansas City

Literacy Sign Blog

Kristi and I are thrilled to announce our brand-new partnership with Literacy Kansas City.

I’ve had a few people ask me what Literacy Kansas City is and it occurred to me that not everyone is aware of the desperate need for literacy programs in all geographical areas.   For example, approximately 225,000 adults in the Kansas City area function at the lowest literacy level.  Literacy Kansas City’s goal is to help raise awareness of our community’s significant literacy needs and provide free one-to-one and small group tutoring programs.  Their volunteers give the gift of self-esteem, new opportunities, and capabilities that literacy brings to virtually every aspect of a student’s life.

Why are Kristi and I so passionate about literacy?  Because we LOVE to read and believe that everyone should have the opportunity to love it as much as we do.  Kristi was a reading volunteer at her kids school in Liberty for years.  She also loves that her children have started to share that passion for reading, they will even recommend books for her to read. I have an English Literature Degree and a background volunteering with the Barrie Literacy Council in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.  I’m also the daughter of a school librarian and I am a school library volunteer.  I LOVE (it’s that big and bold love again) working in the school library.  Who knew?  I guess I really am my mother’s daughter.

So where does Hang Ups in KC come in?  We are in the process of creating a brand new line of jewelry dedicated to the joy of reading in the form of inspirational words and quotes.  The jewelry will be in our usual eclectic style using mostly vintage and repurposed items.  A portion of every sale in this line will be dedicated to Literacy Kansas City.  Our brand new Literacy Kansas City line of jewelry can be found on our website by clicking on the jewelry tab.  To make it super easy, here’s the link:  http://www.hangupsinkc.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=78_80.  Here is a sneak peak of what we have available online right now.

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We would truly appreciate it if you could help us to spread the word about our new jewelry line in support of Literacy Kansas City.  This is the link to our website’s home page  (www.hangupsinkc.com).  We would also love to hear what you think we should create – so many of our friends and followers have brilliantly creative minds.

For more information about Literacy Kansas City and their initiatives please visit www.literacykc.org.

I guarantee that your city has the same needs as Kansas City.  Go ahead and google literacy programs in your area.  They are looking for all kinds of support like tutor volunteers, book donations, sponsors, etc.  If you are as passionate about literacy as we are maybe there is something you can do to make a difference.

 

 

Meatloaf Sandwich from The Brick – a Triple D Featured Restaurant

It’s foodie Friday and we don’t have a recipe for you but we do have a great place eat if you are in Kansas City.  A couple of years ago The Brick was featured on one of my favorite Food Network shows, Diners Drive-In’s & Dives.  I had the meatloaf sandwich with a spicy Chipotle Ketchup (yum!) and Kristi had the Pubby Burger with Bleu cheese crumbles, bacon, and topped with an onion ring…how could there possibly be anything wrong with that combination?  The sweet potato fries with sea salt rocked, service was great…and we were thrilled to be eating in a one-of-a-kind restaurant instead of one of the big box restaurants that seem to have taken over.

The Brick is located in the  Crossroads Arts District downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  You can find them online at:  www.thebrickkcmo.com.  This is First Friday weekend so if you want to find some cool art or vintage finds head on down there and check it out!

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Meatloaf Sandwich: Meatloaf, Pepper Jack cheese, spicy chipotle ketchup on wheatberry bread.

Creativity Is Contagious, Pass It On

Kristi & I love and are inspired by other people’s creativity and thought it would be fun to spend some time sharing YOUR creativity on our blog and Facebook Page.  Please send us a picture of your favorite product that YOU made and a short bio of you personally or your business (if you have a business selling handmade) and we’ll share it with our friends.  If you’ve never met us in person that’s OK – we love to make new friends.   We’d like to start posting next Tuesday so please send your info to Carolyn@hangupsinkc.com by this Sunday.  Let’s have some fun supporting our creative community!

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Mozzarella, Proscuitto, Pesto and Plum Tomato Sandwiches

Since we are following a theme dedicated to our favorite season – Arts & Craft Fair Season – I thought I’d share what we are having for lunch at the Overland Park Fall Festival (http://www.opkansas.org/things-to-see-and-do/arts-and-music/overland-park-fall-festival/) this Saturday.  When planning lunch I knew I wanted great bread, cheese and prosciutto so I went to www.foodnetwork.com to find a recipe. This is the recipe that I am going with:

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Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Pesto and Plum Tomato Sandwiches

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large baguettes
  • Walnut-Parsley Pesto, recipe follows
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Slice baguettes in half and then lengthwise but don’t cut all the way through.

Slather the bottom half of the baguettes with pesto. Top with prosciutto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Placing the mozzarella on top will keep the top of bread from getting soggy from tomatoes.

Wrap sandwiches tightly in parchment and slice in half. Pack away.

Walnut-Parsley Pesto:

To see this recipe on the Food Network site click on this link:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/mozzarella-prosciutto-pesto-and-plum-tomato-sandwiches-recipe/index.html.

We will let you know if this sandwich is as good as it looks!  If you’d like to take a peek at some of our creations that will be available at the Overland Park Fall Festival this Saturday you can visit us online at www.hangupsinkc.com.

Have a wonderful fall weekend!