Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March is National Craft Month

In celebration of National Craft Month, Fusion Beads is hosting a 30-day Bead Challenge for the month of March to anyone who wants to participate! It gives your beading skills a workout by challenging you to complete as many of their daily beading activities as you can! It's a fun and creative way to grow as a beader and get more involved with the beading community. I'm going to attempt to participate, but I'm not exactly sure if my calendar will cooperate! I'll keep you posted :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Studio Reorganization

I'm currently suffering from what my sister-in-law refers to as “clean closet high”. Since early January I've been trying to re-organize my studio, primarily because it was at the point where I could no longer find anything. I'd spend hours opening containers looking for something, and decided enough was enough. I've spent every spare minute taking apart old pieces of jewelry, sorting piles of beads and findings, labeling boxes, etc. Well I can proudly say that it is finally done! My husband walked in to the room this morning and said “The studio looks really good. Is it functional now?” I think what he was getting at was it was so neat, I wouldn't be able to be creative in there. No worries, the creativity that's been building up inside of me since this began is dying to come out! I figured I'd post pictures to give you a little tour while it's still clean :-)

This is what I refer to as "the wall o' beads", which are wwo heavy-duty shelving units that hold beads and findings.

Small metal shelving unit holding props for taking photos, and wooden bookcase containing reference books, boxes of completed jewelry, and assorted tools.

Photo shooting area, including old hand-made light box.

Office area

Shelf for keeping lanyards sorted, display pieces, and plastic container for etsy listings. The tall black piece is on casters and I take it to craft shows to keep everything organized.

The extremely important entertainment area, plus seating for customers.

Hope it stays this neat !!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sales !!!

I've had a wonderful weekend!! As I wrote last week, I attended a one day conference, The Makers Summit, in Greenville, SC where I had the opportunity to learn how to promote my etsy shop, get more traffic, improve my SEO, etc. I've spent the last week changing all of my listings to incorporate most of what was suggested. (Some of it will have to wait - taking new photos on a model isn't going to be quick or easy.) After tweaking my tags, photos, etc., I had four, yes FOUR, sales in a 24 hour period. For my etsy store, that's phenomenal considering the huge competition on there. Praying it keeps up :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm Going to Pump You Up !

I had the awesome opportunity to attend The Makers Summit in Greenville, SC on Saturday, February 2nd. It was an event to connect with fellow creatives while learning how to start or grow your creative business, hear practical advice from industry experts and participate in collective discussions. What a great time we had! The Keynote Speakers were incredibly inspiring.

Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower, the world’s first Internet-based custom fabric printing service, spoke about the difficulties they had getting their business up and running.

Grace Kang spoke about her background as a buyer for stores such as Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue and how it helped give her the background to fulfill her passion to step out on her own and open her own retail boutique, Pink Olive, in addition to having a site, RetailRecipes, devoted to helping designers and artists make their products consumer ready.

The final speaker, Kimm Alfonso from etsy, spoke about doing business intentionally, setting goals and meeting them. I'm sorry to say I had to miss Kimm's speech because of a variety of issues, the first being it started to snow and we had a three hour drive ahead of us, and the second was our car started overheating (my husband had dropped me off while I attended the conference) and we needed to go find an auto parts store before we got on the road. So I didn't get to hear Kimm's speech, but during the conference I did have the opportunity to have a private consultation with her which was very insightful. She reviewed my etsy shop and gave me some wonderful advice which I can't wait to implement her suggestions!

There were also panel discussions, where I was able to hear Amy Flurry discuss pitching your products to publishers, etc. I bought her book” Recipe for Press” and hope to have some time to delve into it soon.

Needless to say after this weekend, I'm PUMPED UP !