Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Search of Opportunities - Crafted Port of LA

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I hope you all enjoyed a fun and creative filled weekend. I began my weekend on an excursion to check out a potential space for selling my creative goods...

Crafted Port of LA
For those of you NOT in the Los Angeles area, there is a space that opened up last summer in July and I've been hearing about it from a few creative buddies. It's called Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles (or Crafted Port LA) and its located near the Long Beach Port, but really in the city of San Pedro.

The logo on the back entrance...

Some of you may remember Kristen, the wonderful journal maker who made my lovely end-of-year journal. We have had a few meet-ups since she made my end-of-year journal and it was Kristen who suggested we make a trip to see Crafted Port LA...and she made sure to mention that the food truck would be The Reuben Truck! How Kristen knew I love a good pastrami sandwich, I'll never know... ;)

This photo shows maybe 1/3 of the space available, and its filled with creative artisans!

Crafted Port LA is run in what once was a warehouse for the ports of Long Beach, so it is a BIG space and there is another building on the property, that the folks running Crafted have big plans for. It felt quite spacious as we walked in and there are wonderful large paper cranes hanging at the front and back entrances...

Beautiful and creative paper cranes decorating the space...

Crafted Port LA is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. We drove out on a Friday and it was rather quiet, but we knew it was due to people who were working, as many of the vendors we met with informed us. There is lots of traffic on Saturdays and Sundays though, and many of the vendors were enthusiastic about the space when we talked with them. There were a few that had actually EXPANDED their space since joining Crafted, which sounded like a good sign.

A Fellow Creative Entrepreneur
While walking around and 'investigating the premises', I ran into a knitting acquaintance who has a space at Crafted!

"KIDTYME" at Crafted Port LA

Her name is Michelle and her craft business is called "KIDTYME". She sells bibs, burp blankets, 'loveys' and a really fun toy she calls "I-Spy Bags". Her space at Crafted looked so fun and colorful...

Bibs, burp blankets, 'loveys' and cute hair adornments for little girls...

Michelle also has an Etsy shop; we had talked about her opening an Etsy shop so I was excited to hear that she had finally done it! 

I-Spy bags that entertain children - I love that it is an interactive toy!

I loved running into Michelle and I loved that she was sharing her business plans with me. As I continue on my path to create a self-sustaining, self-employed creative career, I don't have very many people I can turn to and share about my struggles on this path, so it was refreshing to listen to Michelle talk about what she is up to and to share our stories.

I can say the same for Kristen - it was great to be on the road with a fellow entrepreneur and talk about struggles with pricing our creative goods or trouble-shoot how to deal with difficult online customers.

I have REALLY been feeling the need for a community of creative entrepreneurs so I was thrilled when Kristen suggested the field trip to look at vendor space and doubly thrilled when I ran into Michelle, especially when she said she lives nearby!

Could it be the Universe is leading me to the community I need??!?

The Nitty-Gritty of Crafted Port LA
Many of the vendors we saw were happy to speak with us about their experience being a vendor at Crafted Port LA and they were all positive and enthusiastic. I have to admit that the cost of space is a bit high for me at this time...but I may have some creative solutions for sharing the space with some fellow creatives, and it could allow us to share the responsibility of being on-site during the weekends because being on-site for an entire weekend could be a bit rough!

The only other difficulty I anticipate is the distance. It is nearly 40 miles one-way to get to Crafted Port LA and driving this distance for three days in a row might not be the best thing for my car that now has over 110,000 miles on it. The good part is I would be greeted by the many happy faces that work at and for Crafted Port LA...

Getting some water before heading home - I was sent off with a smile!

If you happen to be visiting the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend checking out Crafted Port of LA during your time here. There are many wonderful artisans from jewelry to furniture to food. There are many food trucks on Saturdays and Sunday and they plan many fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

In Other News
I had posted about my creative workshop for book binding a 2-in-1 Book, but sadly, no one responded to this workshop. I will be hosting one more workshop from my home in May, then taking a hiatus to participate in some vendor events to gain some visibility for my goods and get an audience for my workshops...

However, I am seriously considering creating some online workshops, especially since I do have some overseas readers that are unable to attend my in-person workshops. If you have an idea for a workshop based on one of my projects that you have seen on my blog, let me know! In the meantime, I have one or two ideas for online workshops that have been brewing for awhile...

By the way: Kristen also posted about our field trip to Crafted Port LA and she took way more pictures than I did! She also shared more information about Crafted Port LA in her blog post - check out her post HERE and say hello!

I have other fun things to share so be sure to stay tuned for my next blog post!

1 comment:

Kristen Fairgrieve said...

Great post! It really was a successful artist date. Can't wait for the next adventure :)