Monday, June 23, 2014

Meet Featured Artist Donna Anthony of Donna's Delights!

What is your business’ name?  Donna’s Delights and I'm Donna Anthony!

What sort of items do you make? I make handmade Soaps, Lotions, Balms, Scrubs, Deodorant, Laundry Soap and various knitted items.  Last year I started a line called Twisted Tees.  Hand knitted bags, rugs and such made from repurposed t-shirts.  I also reserve the right to learn something new that may end up in my booth.

Some of Donna's soaps displayed.
When and how did you learn your craft?   While on vacation at my parents, we learned how to make soap.  When that soap ran out my daughter kept asking when I was going to make some more.  After doing a lot of research online I finally started to make soap and immediately went into business.

Donna's Delights at Eclectic Calico
in Madison, NC

Where do you get your inspiration from?  I get a lot of my inspirations from the grocery store.  Many of my ideas come from the baking section.  I get my colors from nature so I am always looking at spices, roots, clays and such to come up with different colors. Nature has given us many gifts and I take it as a challenge to use them to make a great product that is healthy for our bodies. I also pay attention to my customers and if there is enough interest in something I will do my best to make it and have it available.

Handbag made from re-purposed
t-shirts and leather belt

Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out?  I have met many people just starting out.  I do my best to pass on the lessons that I have learned over the years and do my best to lend a hand.  I also tell them to not get discouraged in the beginning.  It takes time to build up a business and use every show as a lesson.  After over 5 years I am still learning. Also to be prepared for anything.   

Want to see more of Donna's Delights?  Visit her website at:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tent Weights – Who Needs Them?

By Elizabeth L’Eplattenier of EBL Designs
Photos courtesy of Donna Anthony of Donna's Delights

With the Summer markets  just around the corner, I wanted to remind everyone of the importance of proper tent weights.  The First Friday Indie Market clearly states on its application: “Tent weights are a MUST. You can purchase them at any sporting goods store or make your own. A good weight for EACH LEG is about 20 lbs.”  As you can see in the photos throughout this article, the Market had good reason to make tent weights a requirement.

My very first outdoor craft show required tent weights; in fact, they wouldn't even let you set up your tent without inspecting them first.  I thought that was a little harsh until the first big gust of wind came.  It doesn't take a lot of wind to lift your tent off the ground – it’s basically a 100 square feet of a kite! 

As I signed up for more and more shows, I just assumed it was required to have tent weights.  Then I was at a show in May 2013.  I think I was one of the only vendors with tent weights, and I was definitely the only tent that didn't take off!  Throughout the day, I watched people frantically hold down their tents in order to keep them from flying away.  Then the unspeakable happen.  A tent literally flipped over and through the space taking out tables, merchandise and even a couple of people.  Luckily, no one was hurt, but a lot of damage was done to that seller’s stock.  I know I can’t afford to lose everything in my tent, can you?

If you’re planning on making your own tent weights, just know, milk/water jugs with sand or gravel will not give you enough weight, nor will cinder blocks that are not attached to the tent.  You need to have at least 20 lbs per leg with the weight tied to the canopy in order to significantly secure your tent.  I personally like to use at least 25 lbs per leg.  Just resting the weights on the feet of your tent will not work - it needs to be tied down.  All legs must be tied down and not just one or two - in fact, all legs should have 20-25 lbs on each and tying the rope just around the legs will not properly secure them either.  The weight needs to be attached either through the frame of the tent or to the canopy.

The First Friday Indie Market has a new rule in regards to tent weights.  If they do not consider your weights to be enough to hold the tent, then you will be asked to remove the canopy to your tent.  This rule is in place to not only protect you and your merchandise, but other vendors, market guest and the public.  Just think - a fly-away tent could be the least of your problems with it happens.  It could damage other vendors merchandise, customers, cars, windows to building, and I could go on, but I hope you get the point.

For more information on how to make your own tent weights or where to buy: