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Category Archives: Small Business

My bead out in the world!

This morning when I checked my Etsy stats, I found a link to one of my beads, used in a necklace for a challenge.  I’m so flattered!

Here’s a link: Inspired Adornments necklace with a Shed Beads Focal

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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.

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.