6) Or skip cooking all together and go straight for the chocolate. And you know what’s better than chocolate? Chocolate with beer. Theo has an awesome beer and chocolate pairing kit. Or combine the two with achocolate beer! Yes. Chocolate beer. The world doesn’t seem so bad now.
I have a really bad habit of trying to do everything myself. So asking for help testing my Plush Krampus Pattern and Tutorial was kind of a big deal for me. I was scared it would be a waste of time, that no one would want to do it, that it would be all wrong, that I wouldn’t have time to wait for feedback, etc. I have no idea why I would think these things. I’m pretty sure it was just my brain trying to find an excuse to procrastinate. It’s good at that.
But you know what? I received excellent feedback and it made the pattern at least 10X’s better.
And as an unexpected bonus I met some new amazing business owners. BIG THANKS AND HUGS TO:
• Sewing extraordinaire Addie of AddieK • Alma (brave new sewing adventurer)
• Talented graphic designer Kristin of Blue Beagle Design
• Leigh of The Kitchen Table Revolution (warning – if you visit her site be prepared to drool)
• Miranda (elementary school knowledge dropper and crafty gal)
The story of Alpine Europe’s Krampus tradition was told to me many years ago, by my friend Gretchen, over one of our bacchanalian Thanksgiving dinners (which I pine for every year). Gretchen is a true story teller, you can’t help but be captivated by her travel tales. Her description of Krampus fascinated me. I kept thinking, “Why don’t we have this here?” It kind of worked out perfectly because at that point I had no idea what to do for my yearly Christmas card and Krampus was the perfect idea. I immediately went home, drew him up and printed the 3-color illustration on my Gocco printer.
I made the cards again the next year. People seemed to love him and the idea of Krampus has seemed to spread into pop culture over past few years. I still loved the cards but what I really wanted was to make him 3D, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.
Finally, I got my stuffed Krampus idea out of my head and into real life. I loved him. Everyone loved him. Isold him for a below minimum wage price to my newsletter subscribers and friends. And I gave one away in a contest.
But last year I didn’t make plush Krampus even though he was one of my favorite things I’ve made. Why? Well, realistically, I can’t afford to spend time making him. And even if I paid a friend to do the sewing he’s just a little too expensive for my average customer. Some people might argue that I just need to sell him to the right people or market him to the right people. But I have so many other things to work on too. Plus, even though I enjoy the zen like feeling that comes along with hand sewing I don’t want to be making 100s of these every holiday season.
Then I was left with the idea that my stuffed Krampus will never be around again, and that kind of bummed me out. Maybe this sounds a little weird but I really like the idea of stuffed Krampus(es?) out in the world forpeople to enjoy. He’s such a cute addition to mix up with the traditional Christmas decor. (At one point I had 7 of them made in my apartment. They were SO CUTE sitting all together. I really wish I had a photo.)
So what should I do?
Quit making him or charge the price he’s worth? Maybe make him just as a promo item? I tried making a pre-printed fabric version of him, which is pretty cute. But not quite the same.
And then…. Eureka!
One day a friend said he would come over and help me make them if I would show him how. He thought it would be cool to learn how to make a stuffed animal. And then it hit me: I NEED TO MAKE A DIY KRAMPUS. Then people can still enjoy him (maybe even more since they are making it themselves, there’s something magical about watching something transform into 3D) at a price they can afford. And it’s perfect timing because everyone needs some kind of indoor activity to do during November and December.
In the works
So, I started. First, beginning with the template I used for myself and then writing out step by step instructions (which is always harder than I think). Thankfully, I’m already an Illustrator pro, so I don’t have to teach myself a new skill in that area.
But now what?
Should I give it people to test for free at first? Maybe ask newsletter subscribers? Friends?
Where do I sell it? I know Etsy now has a digital download option. But what if I want to sell it from my own site? Is there an automatic download option that’s easy or do I have to manually send it to them?
Who proofs it and how many rounds? Do you hire a professional copy editor? If so, where is the best place to find one?
Are there any copyright things I should put on the pattern? Like, it’s okay to make, but not to sell?
And how the heck do you price something like this?
My Krampus printed fabric from Spoonflower arrived a couple of weeks ago and I got right to work and made my Krampus holiday ornament for 2013. I’ve been waiting since last holiday season to make this lil’ guy. I wanted to make something more durable than the hanging holiday cards I had made in the past and also something smaller, less time intensive and more affordable than my Plush Krampus (also for sale this season).BONUS: If you pre-order by November 15th you’ll save some $$$ for eggnog.
P.S. If you’re looking for Krampus holiday cards they will be available at the beginning of November. I might even have some wrapping paper for sale by then too. I had some made at Spoonflower and it looks great!