Sunday, October 23, 2011

This week: Etsy and Harry Potter

Yup, it's Sunday night and I'm up choosing just the right photos to post in my etsy shop and then I'm off to put the finishing touches on my son's Harry Potter robe.  All you sewers out there (you know, people who sew, not the contraption that collects waste),  you rock!  I was foolish enough to think that slippery costume satin would be easy to sew. Doh!  Boy was I wrong.  I was also wrong in thinking that making a robe with lining would be easy. Wrong again!  Oh well, I was just reminiscing about all the time I spent last year setting up my Etsy site and about how much easier it is this year.  It's still very time consuming, but I'm just not stressed about.  The whole jewelry making/promoting process has become so much more streamlined and I can finally say, "Aaaaaah...this is rewarding and relaxing!"  By the way, what do you think of those glass snowflake flower earrings?  Cute, huh? :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Here I am, one year later

It's hard to believe that it was about one year ago that I quit my day job and plunged into the world of crafting and handmade work. Last winter  I did my first crafts fair, learned how to market my product, decided what my "product" actually was, made business cards, put up my etsy site, and actually sold a fair amount of my hats and jewelry (thanks to a lot of very supportive and amazing friends). I sold my hats and jewelry in the local studio and even made my first international sale.  I donated a pair of antique button cufflinks to a local non-profit's auction and started my year-long yoga teacher training program.  This fall I used all of my "crafty" connections to help pull together a local community festival.  Thankfully, it was a success and I even sold a few things:).  My company has undergone some changes though.  I love making my hats, but I think I may be delving more into the button jewelry this year instead of the crochet hats (although I will be taking special orders this winter).  Fortunately, my jewelry sold very well at the fair, which only reconfirmed my decision to take my business in the button direction.  I've always known that I love the hunt of  finding unique, quality buttons, setting them as jewelry, and researching the history of the buttons, yet I just didn't realize how much I loved the interaction I have with the customer!  I had a blast telling people about the buttons and sharing my interest in history and buttons.  People seemed to be genuinely  interested in the jewelry and very happy with their purchases. It was such a rush. This year I plan on participating in two fairs and have just sent in my application to do a pretty huge crafts fair in the area.  The fair  will happen in mid-December and I'm really looking forward to it.  In the meantime, I bought 3 books on button collecting and I'm busy creating new pieces. I'm busy, but very happy! Thanks for reading and I'll keep you updated on any more fairs in the future.

Monday, February 28, 2011

In-store sales= S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

Electric Blue 100% Alpaca with Vintage Rhinestone pin.

Chocolate Brown 100% virgin wool with hand-dyed beet juice flower.

Grey 100% eco-wool cap with hand-dyed beet juice flower.
After only a week and a half being displayed at the local yoga studio, THREE of my hats have sold! Whoo hoo!  I am so happy to hear that they have been so well received.  Since the weather is slowly warming up, I don't think I'll be making any more winter hats (unless I get a special order soon), but am presently looking into some spring hats/jewelry ideas.  Please, if you have any ideas, drop me an email.  I was thinking about trying my luck at making a sassy 1920's-ish flapper cloche.  I just need to find a nice pattern.  This past week I've been making some necklaces using large brass buttons as pendants on chains.  I am also doing my share of research on spring craft fairs.  I had a such a positive experience at an Indie Crafts Fair last November that I am looking forward to the next show.

This is the hat I sold to a really nice mom at the Tae Kwon Do studio.  It look great on her.

Oh yeah, I also sold a hat today at my kids' Tae Kwon Do Studio.  A mom overheard me talking about my etsy shop and asked me about my hats.   I told her about my shop and she told me that she was in the market for a new hat.  As she was talking I was thinking about a hat that would be perfect for her.  I was going to drop it off at the Yoga Studio, but instead brought it in to show her today. She loved in and paid for it on the spot.  I am slowly, but surely learning to "move and shake".  Nice.

And don't forget, if you like what you see, special orders are always welcome.  Just email me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thinking Global, Acting Local

Viking Ship cuff links made from Antique Pewter Buttons
View from back
 Necklace made from Antique Sunflower Button on 14K gold chain with magnetic clasp (circa 1860-1880).
 Earrings made from Antique Glass Buttons on 14K gold posts.
 Vintage snowflake earrings made from rhinestone buttons (circa early 1900's-1950's).

Ring made from Antique Cherry button (circa 186-1880).
Below is the set up for display at the yoga studio.

Well, as the title of this post has alluded, I was thinking globally when I opened up my  esty shop in October and now I am acting uber-globally by making my pieces available at the local yoga studio.  I am so excited about this move. I'm saying, "Yes friends and neighbors, this is me.  Your local artisan.  Support me if you and can, and hey, I take special orders, too."  Those of you who know me, know very well that I am not shy at all.  I love meeting new people and love being the center of attention.  Yet, since starting this new business, I realized that I could  be shy when it came to promoting myself.  I just didn't want to be seen as a salesman  (my apologies to all of those salesmen out there).  Thankfully, those days are over.  I confidently showed the owner of the yoga studio my pieces and very skillfully came up with an organized inventory sheet that tastefully described, labeled, and priced my pieces. She loved my work and we came up with a business plan that we both found positive.  After leaving the studio that day with a deal sealed  I felt like a legitimate small business owner..  Yes!

Next week I plan on checking in a the studio to see how my pieces are selling.  I will keep you posted.  Until then, get out and enjoy the meltdown (in New England at least).