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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy dance time!

Today, just now, I hit my “daily sales goal” for the very first time.  I am sooo excited!  I just saw the notification emails, and I’m doing a happy dance with my feet while I type this.  It feels like the path beneath my feet just opened up, and the sun came out and birds started singing.  It wasn’t too dim before, it just feels wide open now.  It is also my first sale to Russia, which also makes me happy.  I’m not quite sure why I find this so entertaining, maybe sending a bunch of beads to Russia is a bit like armchair traveling?  Getting to go there without the freezing cold?

The reasonable business side of me points out that this is just the beginning and that we need to do this every day – but I’m to busy shipping my large order to my new customers to worry too much right now!  😉

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I’m Published!

Really!  I was contacted this fall by an online beading magazine, asking if I would like to do an interview with them. I jumped at the chance, and the results are now online here Beading Times Featured Artist

Treasury time

As I’ve mentioned, treasuries on Etsy can create visibility and community.  I’m currently part of an Etsy that focuses on treasury creation.  I joined because the group has some great treasury makers and the majority of members have really “treasurable” photographs, which makes putting treasuries together fun and easy.

There’s a bit of technique to it – really stunning photographs that work well on Etsy’s white background (particularly the first 4 images) and an inventive title with a bit of a hook to convince people to click — song titles, simple word play, a turn of phrase that makes images jump into people’s heads.  And joining an active team helps.  I enjoy creating treasuries for the feed back – my shop always feels busy when I do.  I guess now I need to look at the actual visitor statistics to see if the impression is supported by the facts.

Today I created this treasury – a bit of a love letter without a destination.

Have you ever noticed…

that when you think about something you see more of it? Red Minis for example – I didn’t see one for ages, then they jumped back into my life and now I’m seeing red Minis everywhere even though they’ve jumped back out.

Actually, the red Mini is a digression. Yesterday I was thinking about what makes a strong treasury, and how using two colors to play off each other can create a synergy and a whole that is “more than the sum of the parts”. This morning a friend sends me a link to this treasury that does exactly that. Additionally, there are a few images that have both colors, and so it pops!

Treasuries and Etsy

Interesting things.  I think of them as a way of promoting an Etsy shop within the Etsy community (which has some limitations but is not a bad place to start, and depending on what’s in one’s shop, may be a great place to start).

Anyway, because of this,  probably look at them with a slightly different eye.  I love it when they come together, with the little 4×4 collection of items makes a pretty picture that is very much larger than the sum of the parts.  This one is particularly nice: Are you my Secret Santa? The alternating color repetition gives all the items very Christmas-y feel, when several would not suggest that at all when standing on their own.

This treasury which included me, has lots of items I like, items with wonderful photos. Isn’t as strong as the first, the rhythm is a bit out of sync, I so want to move things around!

The business of a small business

This year – as in the coming year – will be the year of understanding business.  I’ve worked for myself for a long time, most of my life in fact.  There have been small stints of a year or two where I had a position with a salary, health insurance and vacation, but that’s not the common pattern.

Mostly I worked as a freelancer, often as an animator, which in my case was generally long-ish projects.  Several months, possibly as many as 9 working for the same client, and maybe even working for the same client for several projects in a row.  I say this because while I’ve be a small business person most of my life, I’ve not had to worry about the cost of materials, maintaining stock or tying up money in parts or inventory. Before the only question I had to figure out was “how long is this going to take”, or the even easier “what can I do in the specified time”.  Now I have to estimate what people will want.  Will they want bright summery colors, long or short necklaces, an under $4o price point?  And since what people want in one place is different from another, it is always a bit of an unknown.

What brought this on was another lampworker’s discussion of how long it takes to build up a client base, how many pieces one needs to have for sale.  I’ve hit the first milestone time-wise – I’ve been keeping my shop active the past 6 months, but I am still ramping up the marketing efforts and the social media portion.  However, I am low on the “number of items” criteria.  Evidently there’s a difference if one has over 200 items.  Right now there are 62 items in my Etsy store – I had been around 85, but have happily made some a good number of sales last month.  So I won’t make 200 this year, but my pre new year’s resolution is 100 by the end of the year.  That is very doable, I have quite a few photographed and even more made but not photographed.  And putting this out there will help me actually get it done – ’cause I’ve told you I will.

Hello world!

Are you out there?  And do you care that I’m talking to you?  For the moment, I’d assume not.

But I am hopeful that will change.  And for it to change, I have to start communicating.  Lots of good reasons to start – and so hear I am, joining last information revolution of the last century 😉