Monday, 3 September 2012

My SkyBlueRed Adventure: a tale of selling crafts + eating cake


For the second year in a row, throughout September, I'll be joining in with Shimelle Laine's Learn Something New Every Day project and in the first prompt Shimelle suggested we ease ourselves in gently and begin documenting the new month by answering the question: "What do you define as your last big adventure?" and for once I didn't need to ponder, pause or think about my response ...

Because it only happened the day before!

And this it what it looked like ...

9.30am, Friday 31st August. My Dining Room. Pre-Big Adventure:
 At this point I was feeling a little nervous, but not nervous enough to forget to take a photo before I left the house.

I'm a scrapbooker.

It's what we do.

Then, half an hour later, I was there.

10:00am, SkyBlueRed Studio, Guisborough [N.Yorks], The Big Adventure begins ...
SkyBlueRed Studio is a recently opened gallery, shop and tearoom where I'm renting out some space in which to sell my paper packs, creativity kits, collages and cards for [at least] the next 4 months.

And, as it's the first time I've tried to sell my wares offline ... it really does feel like an adventure!

Here's some of my kits, awaiting price labels in their lovely bright workshop:
 And here's where they'll be going on display, in the shop area:
While I'm hiring out a particular size of retail space, it doesn't mean my products will be all kept together in one spot, rather they're going to be spread out and scattered amongst all of the other lovely handmade items by local artists and makers:
Do I sound excited? That'll be because I am!

I've always believed that my packs are the kind of thing that, once people get them in their hands, their real-life, fleshy, touchy-feely hands, their crafty-makey-stash-collecty hands ... then they'll find them almost irresistible ... and now I guess I'll find out whether I was right about that!

Right now, now that it's done and dusted and the packs are on the shelves, it feels so straightforward. So simple. So do-able.

Yet, doing this, taking the leap, putting my self and my products 'out there' has taken a lot of debating, plucking-up courage and back and forth arguing with myself about what to do and whether I dare do it!

Then I did.

So, if there's a "maybe I could try that" voice in your head somewhere ... whispering even with the tiniest of voices ... and you're shushing it up because you think it's all too scary and that people like you don't do that kind of thing ... then please let my little adventure prove you wrong.

In the nicest possible way!

And just let the voice talk to you some more. For as long as it takes. Then see what adventure it takes you off on.

So, with all the businessy bits out of the way, with my products handed over and my meeting with one of the gallery's directors complete, I ended the beginning of the adventure by doing three familiar things ... to restore some sanity normality ...

  •  1: I bought something! A ceramic heart shaped brooch to be precise.
But not purely from an urge to have something so lovely in my grubby hands, but also because it felt like an appropriately karmic gesture. I'm a big believer that 'What goes around, comes around' and 'you get what you give' ... so it felt right to buy something from a place where I'd like to sell something.

And then ...
  • 2: I had a cup of tea [because that's the British solution to most of life's dramas]
and ...
  • 3: I ate cake! And it was very nice, very large, orange & lemon butter cream cake at that!
Both from the SkyBlueRed tearoom, all served on wonderfully mixed vintage crockery:
I'm pretty sure that all the best adventures end with cake. Wouldn't you say?
So, let me leave you by politely [if not subtly!] suggesting that:
  • if you're ever in the vicinity;
  • or if you ever find yourself in the wider Teesside or North Yorkshire area in general ...
  • and you can spare a mini-detour ...
... then maybe you - and your real-life touchy-feely stash-collecty hands - would care to drop into SkyBlueRed and just try [but not very hard] to resist my packs ... and their cakes!

Julie x
You can find out more about SkyBlueRed Studio via their website and keep up-to-date via their Facebook page.

p.s: in case your hands are simply too far away to reach ... then fear not ... it's business as usual in my online shop.


  1. Yay this is a very exciting adventure! I am in West Yorkshire so you never know I may be passing one time...did you mention cake?

  2. Very best of luck with the latest stage in your adventures - I wish I was closer :D

  3. How exciting for you Julie. I hadn't heard of Guisborough until quite recently, when I had to send a parcel to a lovely customer of mine. The gallery (and its cakes) look wonderful. If only I were nearer!

  4. Wishing you well on your venture, that shop looks absolutely lovely, wish there was one near me like that. Keep us posted, I would love to know how you're getting on!

  5. Good luck in your adventure Julie. I think touchy geeky is definitely the way to go! X

  6. Congratulations! What a wonderful space that is, I hope you are all successful. You are right about karma and I am hoping to set up some crafting classes and my little voice keeps saying, well it will be a disaster. My big voice says get on with it. I am sure you will now inspire me to go further with it!

  7. Congratulations on your new adventure!!

  8. One day I shall visit and say (in a very loud voice) oh aren't those Julie Kirk's? followed in almost as loud a voice - I helped to squeeze her into an Alice in Wonderland dress whilst I was dressed up as a playing card you know ... but that was before she famous of course.
    Good luck my lovely friend xx

  9. That truly is an adventure and a courageous one at that :) It looks as the shop is a great fit for your goods!

  10. I hope it goes brilliantly for you.

  11. So excited and proud of you, for your perseverance and hard work! And, for putting yourself 'out there'. I would delight in stopping by, then enjoying a cup of tea and cake. Unfortunately, I'm a little far away.
    Blessings from across the pond!

  12. Fantastic news Well done for taking that leap into the unknown. I AM in the area and I will definitely be dropping in to see your lovely "stuff" and eat cake.
    Now does anyone have a van for sale we have an idea?

  13. I AM in the area too and I will be having a little pootle down to Guisborough and having a little mooch about. Are you open on the weekends, I work full time? Michelle x

  14. good luck with your off-line selling venture!! It is a big step, and congratulations to you for taking it, whatever happens! And I wish I could pop in for a bit of shopping in such a lovely place, but it's a bit too far, unfortunately. ;)

  15. Good luck I know how it feels so I'll be cheering you on :)

  16. @Michelle - from what I can tell from their FB page!/skybluered/info they're open Mon - Sat 10-4

    I'm not actually involved in the shop itself - I just leave my products and they take it from there.


  17. I think it should be a law that every good adventure ends in cake. What an adventure - best wishes for fabulous success

  18. @Tinkertaylor When I was there the owner was talking about how the 3 friends just had the idea ... and then it turned it into reality. And there I was sitting there thinking about your van!! xx

  19. what a positively charming adventure! keep us posted! x moyra

  20. Well done Julie, good for you, I'm so pleased for you, hope it all goes very very well indeed :D
    C xx

  21. Could a place BE any more perfect for your packs? Does the workshop area mean you'll be doing workshops too?

    Many, many congratulations :D

  22. Very best of luck! looks like a perfect place for a poke around, and a cup of tea of course

  23. Have been meaning to pop in so now I have extra incentive. I figured that was where you meant. Good luck xx

  24. What a wonderful post. It really makes me wish I was in England instead of half a world away in the Pacific Northwest of USA!

  25. Congratulations and best wishes on this new adventure!

  26. Good luck with the new venture Julie - looks very exciting :) I will definitely pop in if I'm ever in the area (although it's doubtful, which is a shame as that cake looks delicious!)

  27. Excellent entry! I'm also in fact I see my signs in photo up there. The ladies there are lovely and it really is a great place to go and have a cup of tea, chat and a spot of shopping!

  28. Congratulations Julie, it sounds and looks like a great opportunity for you to make some new connections :) Good Luck!


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