Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Do Your Creations Tell a Story?








 Hello friends, thanks for visiting. I have a question for you, especially those of you who love to create or craft little treasures. Here's the question: Do you think it makes a difference if an item you are considering purchasing has a story attached? Are you more likely to part with your hard earned money if the item has some history? Lately I have been conjuring up little vignettes about my couture aprons. I look at the color, fabric and embellishments and stories come to me. Since I have been doing that, my sales have increased noticeably. I think I might be on to something...you be the judge.......

***Dorothy's Couture Apron***

Once Dorothy clicked her heels and finally returned to the farm, she found this lovely apron that her Auntie Emm had made her as a welcome home gift. You all know how much Dorothy loves blue gingham and ruffles. Auntie Emm searched her antique linen chest and found a wonderful vintage pillowcase and a beautiful table runner her mother had made for her. It was embroidered with pretty blue flowers and a center blossom of strawberry pink and red. She trimmed the runners edge with some dainty crocheted lace her sister Heather gave her many years ago. For some extra texture and fun, Auntie Emm added white ball fringe to the blue toile waistband. As a surprise she fashioned a secret pocket trimmed in more antique lace as a place for Dorothy to keep little treats for Toto. Dorothy loved her new apron and promised Auntie Emm she would never take it off. 
 
      *** The Queen's Tea Party Couture Apron***
I listed this apron Monday after noon and 15 minutes later it was sold! Do you think the story helped?
Oh my goodness! Miss Emma has been invited to one of Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth's, annual tea parties. But alas..she has nothing appropriate to wear. What to do...what to do. If only she had one of The Empty Nest's beautiful couture aprons. Wearing one of Janet's creations, she would be proud to mingle among the distinguished guests. The blooming gardens at Buckingham Palace would be no competition for her gorgeous floral hostess apron. The pretty upcycled pillowcase with it's large pink Parrot tulips and cabbage roses in shades of raspberry, cream and pink. The pastel gossamer antique hankie with it's beautiful embroidered bouquet of pink tulips would flutter gently in the garden breeze. At the waistband is a large camellia fashioned from the palest peach colored antique lace and crocheted doily. Emma would feel so feminine and she would smile knowing as she walked away they would be admiring her beautiful bow. Emma thinks maybe..just maybe, if she acts quickly she can get Miss. Janet to create an apron just for her.

***The Yellow Rose of Texas Couture Apron***
Did you know their is a real woman behind the folk song of that name? Her name was Emily West Morgan, a slave and she was known to be a thing of beauty and sophistication. Rumor has it Emily helped the Texas Army win the battle of San Jacinto by keeping General Santa Anna busy in the bedroom while the northern troops surprised him. Emily was spotted serving Santa Anna breakfast while wearing a lovely apron much like mine. No wonder he was in love! Upon hearing of her bravery, Colonel James Morgan granted Emily her freedom. 
I sold this apron the same day I listed also...Hmmmmmm


      ***The Girl Back Home Couture Apron***
This is my newest apron and I must admit I am smitten. You should feel the lovely softness of this vintage material..heavenly! This story came easy............
He takes the dog eared photo from his uniform pocket. The image is that of a beautiful young brunette in a tiny kitchen. She is holding a pie that she just took out of her oven and the proud smile on her face says.."I baked this just for you my soldier boy..my very first pie". He remembers that send off day and the memory shoots a dart of pain into his heart. He loves and misses her so, but he knows he will someday be in that kitchen again. He will watch her tie that big beautiful bow of her lovely apron and he will be happy to be back home with her. Until that day comes, he will be content with the photo of his girl back home in her pretty apron.
As I created this apron using a vintage 1940's/50's table cloth, I kept imagining what it's story might have been. I kept coming back to visions of a soldier, his girl, America and old fashioned domestic happiness. Maybe it was the red, white and blue in the tablecloth or the folksy red rikrak..not sure. Everything about this creation says vintage Americana! The tablecloth is so well aged that it has the feel of a delicate handkerchief..not stiff at all but soft and cloud like. I embellished the waistband with handmade Yo-Yo's and a pretty green satin bow to compliment the fabulously feminine green diamond patterned bow. Double tiered with an edging of antique hankie triangles makes my apron unique. Absolutely a wearable piece of art to cherish for many years.
So what do you think...do you vote Yes or No on the story telling? Of course it is frustrating when I take 2 hours to think of a cute story and the apron sells in 20 minutes...no one even got to read it ! Hmmmmm.....wonder if anyone would notice if I recycled those stories ;-)  Hey, recycling is in right?? 
Until next time..be kind and stay creative.
PS...be sure to come back on Friday for Pieday! I promise a fabulous puckery refreshing sensation....I'm hinting ;-)

18 comments:

The Little Fox said...

These are exquisite! As is my tote..:) Thank you so much, it is finally here and I love it!
xoxo

Erica said...

I like stories attatched to items :)

Atelier Conti said...

Janet you are so clever and creative! What a great idea to tell a story about your gorgeous creations. I definitely respond to stories and have been thinking along the same lines myself for my own work. I do think that adding a story line to an item makes it even more attractive and personal to buyers, as your experience seems to verify. I don't think recycling stories is any problem at all. BTW, congratulations on being featured on the Storque. That's tremendously exciting!

Tweed Delights said...

I think this is a brilliant idea Janet - and it works!! You have such a talent for writing, you should put it to good use :)

It's lovely to read a story about your creations, it shows you've put real thought into what you make - what's not to love!! Congrats on the sales :D

T @ Poppy Place said...

Stories are wonderful, I love vintage and I am a the family story keeper :) T.

Kelly Ann said...

Keep the stories coming...they are fun...btw the red ric rak is so stinkin' cute on the "Back Home" apron...

Michelle Palmer said...

LOVE your aprons! ADORE your stories! Do you print out the little story and send it with the apron? ~ like a signature tag? ~ fancy business card? I know buyers would save them :)
Such beautiful pieces...
Thank you for sharing your fun~
Michelle

janet said...

Michelle..so funny you should suggest that, as I was thinking about that very thing today.

Wanda said...

I certainly enjoyed the stories about the aprons...just naming them alone makes it so easy for someone to identify with them.
Thoug...they are works of art anyway!

Heather said...

love everything you do and share...
agreed- naming the aprons and coming up with a story enhances the excitement of purchasing one i think, kinda like a puppy.
i have done fund raisers for schools with my aprons in the past and honestly think much of the success was due to the names i gave the aprons, all unique and interesting.
you will certainly be successful with your abilities in this endeavor, Janet!

Sarah Knight said...

lovely, & interesting anecdotes : )

Jennifer Juniper said...

I also like to write about my inspiration or a comment about what I was thinking when I painted it. I think it makes my shop more personal and people also develop an emotional reaction to a piece that leads them to buy. You are certainly on the right track!

Samantha said...

Your work is so beautiful...it sells itself but, I'm sure the stories are a big contributing factor to your success. I know for sure the stories are part of what keep bringing customers (and Fans) back for more!
I predict that you are going to do VERY well at sales for Mother's Day!!!

Samantha said...

P.S. LOVE the idea from Michelle of printing out the story of each apron!( Maybe putting it in the special pocket you always add to your aprons)!

Linda Higgins said...

I can't believe you can part with any of your beautiful aprons. I love aprons, I ALWAYS put one on every time I cook because I am such a messy cooker and I splatter all the time! But these are soooo pretty I would be afraid to wear them....do they wash up nicely?
lindalusbtdt.blogspot.com

Susan - said...

Beautiful aprons! Yes, I do like the idea of a story going along with your creations. Very clever and fun!

The Lady Bugs Garden said...

I am a Apron owner of three of the beauties. I love them and the stories. But recycling the stories is a great idea! We and you are all about recycling items why not stories!
Stephanie

My Life Under the Bus said...

These are adorable and yes people love a good story ! You've hit on some marketing genius : )