Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Craft Show Etiquette: Buyers Edition

 photo by Treefort Naturals

Summer is the start of the market season, where artisans, makers, farmers, and food vendors make their way out into public spaces to share their goods.  Visiting markets is a great way to spend a day out: the food is good, the sights are different, and there is usually a great community vibe.

However, there are market visitors that can drag the experience down for those who are vending at these events.  Customers' actions and dialogue can be hurtful to a vendor's experience.  Our Nutmeg Collective members and friends have come up with a list of their biggest pet peeves while at events.  (And yes, all of these things really did happen.)

1. Please do not smoke in a vendor's space.  You may unwittingly do damage to the products, plus no one appreciates the smell.

2. Don't make comments about the price.  Keep in mind that the goods you are looking at are likely made or grown by one person or a very small group of people.  There is value in the small, the local, the handmade.  You are not shopping a big box store so don't expect the prices of one.

3. Do not utter the words, "Oh, I can make that."  Maybe you can, but don't insult the person who is standing there that did make that.  It may actually be harder than you think.

4. Don't block a booth while catching up with your long lost friend/neighbor/former teacher.  While it's great that we get to see people we know out in the community, by blocking a display you are stopping potential buyers from buying things.  Step into an aisleway for your conversation.

5. Please watch food and drinks while in a vendor's booth.  One small spill to you may be expensive damage to a vendor's products or display.

6. Repeating the words, "This is so cute!" multiple times then walking out of the booth with nothing.  Consider buying one of the cute items.

7. Touching everything you see is a no-no.  Pick up an item if you'd like to inspect it further or if you plan to purchase it, but otherwise, there is no reason to put your hands on every item on a table.


8. Please keep an eye on your children.  While they don't mean to, children are often the cause of a dropped, dirty product or a busted display.  Also, please keep them from touching everything.

9. Grilling the vendor for information on how they make their product or where they buy their supplies is frowned upon.  This probably has taken them much time and research and they do not want to share it with you.


10. You are not at a tag sale- please do not try to make a deal or ask if you get a discount if you buy more than one.  You would not walk into Macy's and ask them for a discount.  Similarly, the prices will not be reduced at the end of the day; that merchandise is going on to the next show.

11. Please do not photograph items without asking permission.  Many vendors have had people text photos of their products- like greeting cards- to friends in lieu of actually purchasing them.

12. Put things back the way you found them, or at least as best as you can.  It takes a long time for a vendor to set up a nice display.

13. Don't put your shopping bag/pocketbook/food on top of products out for display while you are looking and/or paying.

14. Just because you are outside does not mean you can spit in someone's booth.

Overall, vendors want you to have fun, be courteous, and enjoy their products.  It makes for a more satisfying day for all involved.  Stay tuned for our upcoming etiquette tips for vendors.

What other craft show pet peeves would you like to share?  Tell us in the comments!

Kristen Skelton of Milo and Molly is a self-taught sewist, Kristen who runs her business while staying at home with her two small children.  Fueled by an endless supply of tea, she sews late into the night when the house is quiet, most often accompanied by her faithful poodle, Casey.  Stop by and see her collection of bold modern accessories and home goods.
Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | miloandmollyshop@gmail.com 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Introducing: Workshops

One of our favorite things is the community environment we are building within the Collective as well as with our local small businesses and the maker community.  It is important to us as a group to be able to help each other when questions arise in order to make running our businesses go as smoothly as possible.  We know that being a really small business can be tough and it can be hard to invest in business-related education.  For months we have been working on rolling out a series of workshops based on the needs of the maker community that can also be affordable, and we're excited to announce that our first topic is out!

Instagram Basics for Makers and Small Business is designed for for those looking to use Instagram for their handmade or small business who are just beginning to use the platform or those who are not yet signed up.  We will cover the following topics:
  • Why Instagram is important to use for business
  • Signing up and picking a username
  • What makes a good post
  • What's a hashtag
  • Basic camera suggestions
Even better, this set of workshops will be held at one of our favorite spots - Get Baked in Windsor - and owner Emily will not only be sharing her Instagram expertise - which is HUGE - but some baked goods as well.  We hope that you'll be able to join us and help kickstart your social media presence.  Purchase your ticket below, or visit https://nutmegbasicig.eventbrite.com.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Markets and Events - July 16 and 17

You can visit some of our members at these events this weekend!


4:00 to 7:30 pm
1 River Rd., Cromwell, Connecticut



Pottery Barn Pop-Up Shop
10:00 to 2:00 pm
The Shops at Evergreen Walk, South Windsor, Connecticut


Flatland Alpacas

9:00 am to 12:00 pm
15 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford, Connecticut

South Windsor Farmers Market
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
150 Nevers Road, South Windsor, Conecticut


10:00 am to 4:00 pm
3998 Main Road, Tiverton, Rhode Island


10:00 am
Mill Pond Park, 123 Garfield St, Newington, Connecticut


Hickster Tees

Ellington Farmers Market
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Arbor Park, Main Street



9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Town Green, 97 Hayward Ave., Colchester, Connecticut

Flatland Alpacas
Lyric Hill Farm

Coventry Farmers Market
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
2299 South Street, Coventry, Connecticut


10:00 am to 4:00 pm
345 S. Water Street, Providence, Rhode Island

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Berry Season: Blueberry Muffins and Berry Picking

Here in Connecticut, we are in the middle of berry picking season.  This is a fun activity to do with your kids, or it can just be a nice outing for those who want to take home some super-fresh fruit.  One of my favorite things to make with super fresh berries are blueberry muffins, so I thought I'd share a quick and simple recipe for the best blueberry muffins ever.  Yes, ever.


1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

1 cup fresh blueberries


Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well for even distribution.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients (aka make a bowl-shaped pit in the flour but don't get all the way down to the bottom of the bowl).  In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the flour well and mix until just combined.  Add the blueberries to the batter and fold in carefully as to not break the berries.

In a standard sized 12-muffin tin, fill each well 2/3 of the way with batter.  Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees until the edges start to brown lightly.  Cool for a few minutes and then move the muffins to a wire cooking rack.

(Or, do what we do and take them out of the pan piping hot and eat them.  Either way.  (Just don't get burned!))

On a berry hunt and need to know where can you find berry farms in Connecticut?  Our members and friends have some great suggestions.  Check in with each farm before you go to see what they are currently picking so you don't waste a trip:
Where are some of your favorite local berry farms?  What do you do with the fresh fruit?  Share in the comments below!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Nutmeg Collective Markets and Events for July 8, 9, and 10

You can visit some of our members at these events this weekend!


4:00 to 7:30 pm
1 River Rd., Cromwell, Connecticut



10:00 am to 1:00 pm
465 Route 81, Killingworth, Connecticut


10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Bicentennial Park, opposite the Marion Art Center,
at the corner of Main and Spring Streets, Marion, MA


5:00 to 8:00 pm
1 Jillson Square, Willimantic, Connecticut



Sat. 11:00 am to 10:00pm
Sun. 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Veterans Memorial Park, Shelton, Connecticut



9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Town Green, 97 Hayward Ave., Colchester, Connecticut


Trunk show at Curated
12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
1793 Main Rd., Tiverton, Rhode Island