Category Archives: craft fair

Exciting Times We Live In

Last week Ruth sent her usual reminder that I am scheduled to publish a post on the Felting and Fibre Studio Forum, a reminder that I am always grateful for as life often gets in the way and activities like writing blog posts always seem to be the first to fall through the cracks. I can safely say the last month or two definitely qualify as “busy”!

There are so many exciting things happening at them moment, where do I start…?

The New Studio

This one has been an emotional roller-coaster, flip-flopping between ecstatic excitement at the thought of having my own light, bright area where I can work and teach to feeling overwhelmed by living in a topsy turvy mess, never being able to find anything because it was moved to make space for builders to work or because the cupboards where it normally lives have been ripped out…

I have been working out of our double garage since we moved to New Zealand 3 years ago and while the space is (just about) big enough, it has almost no natural light (its still quite dark, even with the lights on), it’s drafty and very cold in the winter. A purpose-built, insulated studio is long overdue 🙂

I’m not convinced ensuite paddling pools will ever catch on…. The builders have had to remove some of the weatherboard cladding to pour the concrete floors, leaving us with 2 walls that are no longer waterproof, so every time it rains we end up mopping the bedroom floors… It rains a lot in Auckland!

Just after the concrete slab was poured

I have plans to install large cupboards with sliding doors along the wall nearest the camera, there will be two large laundry sinks on the right hand wall with drying racks over them and electrical sockets (with retractable leads if I can find some) in the middle of the ceiling.

As it looks this week

What is the one thing in your studio that you wish you had or couldn’t live without?

Auckland Felters Group Exhibition at the Franklin Arts Centre

We have hired a gallery space at the Franklin Arts Centre in Pukekohe for 3 weeks. The exhibition will actually open on Tuesday June 18th but our main opening event will be on Saturday 22nd June.

Lynn Hefkey

We will have traders selling various fibres, felting equipment and finished felted items, felting demonstrations and free “have a go sessions” as well as live music all in a beautiful centre with a lovely cafe.

Teri Berry

Places on the “have a go” workshops will be limited so please arrive early to book your place and avoid disappointment. The event will be open from 10 am.

Sarah Ritchie

Everyone exhibiting has very different styles, you will get to see an eclectic mix of wet felting and needle felting, 2D and 3D art works, textural pieces, homewares and wearables.

Lots of Teaching and Fairs!

When I started teaching face to face again (after the lockdowns ended) I pictured maybe one or two classes per month but I have been blown away by the number of requests I received from groups and individuals to host extra sessions this year. Most of them are open to everyone but places are limited, so please drop me a line if you would like to join any of the classes.

Here are some photos from a few of the most recent classes (I keep forgetting to take photos):

Exploring different techniques and materials through samples, these ladies had never made felt before!
Felted Flowers at the new Textile Hub located on the Corban Estate in Henderson in collaboration with the Wool Revolution
A few of the name badges made by the lovely Waiuku Spinners
Envelope Hat workshop in Pukekohe

Two of the students from the hat class made a short video too, you can view it here.

I have several big fibre fairs coming up too:

This Thursday (9th May) is the Cambridge Fibre Fair:

And Saturday May 25th is Woolfest’s 10 year anniversary – if you can only get to one fibre fair this year – I highly recommend this one! There will be about 80 traders selling everything from raw fleeces to yarns and knitwear and everything in between, along with crafting equipment, demonstrations of a wide range of fibre crafts and of course the eternally popular pre-loved equipment stand. Entry is free.

Southern Hemisphere Felters Convergence 2025

Is coming to Auckland!!

I am so excited to be attending my first SHF Convergence I could burst! But confess I never expected to be organising the first one I would get to attend!! At least I have some awesome partners in mischief, Christine Roxburgh and Jenny Forrester along with the amazing Auckland Felters.

We have booked The Parnell Hotel and Conference Centre and Hotel and we’re confident we will be able to secure the school across the road for wet felting activities too. This combination of venues proved to be a hit at the 2015 Convergence. We have been talking with some incredible international tutors about what they could share with us, I so want to tell you who they are and what they plan to teach but until we have contracts in place I really can’t…. but I am sure you will be impressed!

One of the most wonderful things about Convergence is the generous sharing of ideas and techniques, while the headline tutors are certainly a key part of that, we also have a small army of volunteer tutors who give up an hour of their time to share an idea or demonstrate a technique. I have to say, I am just as excited to attend some of the volunteer sessions as I am the headline tutors! We have already received some really intriguing offers but are looking for more to fill all of the time slots, if you plan to attend Convergence and have and idea you’d like to share or a technique you can demonstrate in under an hour we would love to hear from you! Please contact us here

If you’d like to be among the first to hear who our fantastic tutors will be, you can sign up for email alerts about Convergence here.

Dates for your diary: Thursday (registration will open in the afternoon) 25th September to Monday evening 29th September 2025.

Hope to see you there!

EFTPOS and Card Payments at Craft Fairs in New Zealand

This post is really for my fellow makers and artists who are trying to sell their work in New Zealand. I hope you find it useful but if you have any questions please ask in the comments I will do my best to answer, but please remember I am just a felt-maker, not an accountant or any flavour of financial whizz-kid 🙂

Before moving to NZ in 2021 I had a wonderful little card reader from iZettle, the reader cost me £20 ($40NZ) to buy (no monthly rental fee) and they charged 2.5% of each sale to use it (they even included American Express cards at the same rate). When we moved, I brought my trusty little card reader with us but soon discovered it and almost all similar card readers [Square, Paypal etc] are not supported in NZ.

I started looking into what options are available and was horrified to discover the only offering was those hefty card readers with an internal printer that you see in physical / permanent shops. They are not only hefty in size and weight but also price….. $35NZ per month for rental (plus shipping) and an eye-watering 4-6.5% fee for each sale. That might be acceptable if you have a monthly turnover in the thousands, but like most micro businesses, I don’t. The rental alone would be a substantial percentage of my monthly income. I initially wondered if I could just rent one for 2 months to get through the crazy run up to Christmas but no, they either lock you into a contract for at least 12 months or charge eye-watering amounts in the hundreds of $$ for shorter rental terms.

Curiously all the banks offer these readers at an identical monthly fee, a case of price fixing? I will let you decide.

I have spent the last 18 months continuing to search for a practical and cost-effective alternative and like buses, 2 came along at once….

The Portable Card Reader Option

I was overjoyed to discover Stripe have extended their portable card reader offerings to include NZ, as far as I can tell, they are the first international player to do this. At $137 NZ (including delivery) the reader was substantially more expensive that my iZettle reader but compared to the monthly rental on the chunky EFTPOS machines offered by the banks, I would be saving money by the end of my fourth month of trading.

I ordered the Wisepad 3, the smallest and most affordable reader they offer, it accepts PayWave and chip and pin transactions:

Before you can order a card reader you will need to set up an account with Stripe, this is pretty straight-forward but you will need your NZBN number and a screenshot of your NZBN certificate that includes your address.

You will probably notice that Stripe is geared towards software developers and their main market is online sales, that freaked me out a little at the start but I soon found an app for the iPhone (I assume there are similar apps available for Android phones but have not looked into that). If you search the App Store for, “payment for stripe” and look for this symbol you will find the app I have been using:

They will charge 1% on top of Stripe’s 3% fee but it is a very easy app to set up and use, and even allows you to automatically add a percentage to each payment to cover the service fees, mine is set up to automatically add 4%:

Order a Stripe Card Reader

How to set up the Wisepad 3

Taking card payments without a card reader

While trying to find software to work with my new card reader I discovered you don’t actually need a card reader to take card payments!

There are apps available that will allow you to point your phone’s camera at the customer’s card and it processes the information to take the payment. You still need a Stripe account and both Stripe and the app developer will charge you a percentage of each sale but this option avoids the need to purchase a card reader. You just need a smart phone.

PayNow for Stripe was the least expensive I found (0.5% plus Stripe fees) but there may be others with lower fees, please post a comment if you find another app with a better deal. I’m not sure if the Stripe fees will still be 3%, they may be higher if they deem these payments to be “customer not present” but this could still be a viable option if you want to dip your toes in card payment market without the commitment of purchasing a card reader.

I had already received my card reader before I found these apps so didn’t seriously consider using this payment method but I have to wonder how many people would be happy to have a stranger point a phone camera at their credit card and type in the CVV number? I’m not sure I would feel comfortable doing that at a pop-up market.

Credit Cards

How is it going? Any downsides?

I have had my reader for nearly a month now and taken around 10 payments with it. The first payment from Stripe to my bank account took about 10 days but the more recent payments have taken 5-6 days.

A few customers have been disappointed by the 4% surcharge (unfortunately Stripe does not differentiate between credit cards and EFTPOS / debit card sales, I am charged 4% on all card payments) but most people understand that to make card payments free I would have to increase all of my prices to cover the costs and that would not be fair to my customers who are happy to pay with cash or bank transfer.

Please post a comment if you have any questions or suggestions the other artists and crafts-people may find helpful.

Disclaimer: Other than a business account, I have no affiliation with Stripe. I do not receive any commission or payments from them or the apps mentioned above. The options described are my personal experience of trying to find an affordable way to take card payments at markets and fairs, Stripe and the apps mentioned above may not be the best option for you or your business, I strongly recommend you carry out your own research before committing to any of them but I hope this blog post will be a useful starting point.

Prices and links correct as of 28 Nov 2022.