Friday, February 9, 2007

Conundrums, Opportunities & Ideas

Before I start to bore you with my conundrums, opportunities, and ideas...

These are my newest listings at my Etsy Shop. (See related links).

I call this one Deco Fans
This one, Textured Fans in Purple an Gold
And Textured Fans in Blue and Green

Wow! It has been a whirlwind these past few weeks.

As you know from Beginnings... that I have been making micro macrame jewelry for some years. My step off onto the path of trying to make a living at it happened only a few months ago. I quit my job 1 Oct 2006 to follow my dream.

What I had: One coffee shop in town that consigns my jewelry. Some inventory. Original Designs. Bunch of supplies. Some friends. (One with a seamstress shop in Maryland that consigns my work.) Supportive Soulmate. A few customers. A few pieces of display equipment. Desire.

What to do from here? I did not have enough equipment to do any shows; nor enough inventory. I thought I would have to buy a website and learn how to set one up. That is how little I knew about the internet. (I knew enough to get email, and surf some.)

So I got busy just making a bunch of jewelry, while I thought about it. I needed inventory after all. That coffee shop I mentioned? Well, it is downtown (Seguin - population 20,000 or so). And every 3rd Thursday the downtown shops stay open late, set up tables outside (weather permitting). The coffee shop has live music, and showcases local artists. I began to participate.

Okay, I was doing some stuff, but little money is coming in yet.

Pricing was and remains a conundrum for me. I want to price it to sell, but I want to get paid for my creativity and skill, too. Some pieces can take hours to make. And you don't get paid for time spent sitting at the coffee shop with your display, or any of the other little details of marketing, paperwork, etc. Only if you sell something.

I did manage a few really good sales, and some little ones. Still, I needed to find another outlet.

I thought about arts and crafts malls (brick and mortar stores). So I did a Google on them, hoping to find some in my area. I stumbled across Etsy.

I got so excited; I joined right up, and spent the next few hours setting up and listing some items.

Of Course, now I had a new problem. I had a good digital camera, but I was not yet proficient at using it. I had lighting problems. I bought a light tent, and some daylight bulbs. That helped a lot.

And I had to learn about networking - Joining and participating on forums; Finding places to list my shop and my items. I had to learn how to insert links and images. I had to learn so many things. I started this Blog, and had to learn how to do that. (still learning).

Then I needed business cards. I spent time surfing to find a site where you design your own card, pay for it, and they print them up and send them to you.
Find them at: www.overnightprints.com

Things are starting to come together. I have made a few sales, and have received some positive feedback (find it in my Etsy Shop). I've decided my introductory prices will last until February 15th. So I will be busy changing prices after that and doing a little renovation in my shop.

I recently received a special request for a bracelet, that I decided to accept. Well, I had so much fun doing it, I went on to make a couple of sets for my upcoming Spring Fever Collection...Keep checking back to see it showcased here.

Also mentioned in Beginnings..., I want to produce patterns/instructions of my designs, and to write a book...I have what I think is a great idea for this...

So until next time...

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Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood