Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back To Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing



Sounds kinda scary, but not really. This term Guerrilla Marketing was originally meant as an unconventional way of marketing on a low budget, by relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big, expensive, mass marketing campaigns. The term has since entered vocabulary to also describe aggressive, unconventional marketing methods generically and to some people makes it sound some what scary because of that.



In order to get a better idea of this type of marketing there are some main principles used
  • Guerrilla marketing is geared towards small businesses and because of this it relies on gination instead of money.
  • this type of marketing is concentrated on more connections and referrals rather than being in competition with other businesses it focuses on working with them.
  • Guerrilla marketing encourages using other marketing methods in conjunction for a marketing campaign.
  • make use of current technology and human psychology

Guerrilla marketing is nothing to be scared of in fact as a small businesses on a low budget it is probably already incorporated into your marketing plan without you even realizing it.

here are some tactics that you may already be using or should think about using

  • Get involved with your community. Attend functions tell everyone you know about your business.
  • Donate a percentage of sales or items to a charity and then let the media know
  • Joint Marketing with other business
  • Write a tutorial or hold classes
  • Mail Postcards to past customers offering a discount
  • Hold a contest
  • Ask for referrals maybe offer discounts or free product for referrals
  • Host a home party invite all your contacts and ask them to bring friends.
  • Post a flyer on any and all bulletin boards you can
  • Add your tag line and url to all emails send funny jokes, and when someone sends a funny joke to you hit reply to all and let them know you thought it was funny!
  • Join social networking sites on and offline. Join forums where your target market would most likely be.
  • Window decals for your home and car

These are just a handful of ideas some that you are probably already implementing. A good idea to come up with your own guerrilla marketing plan is to sit down and brainstorm. Think about who your target market is, and where they are think of ways you can make your business stand out and be remembered. The more memorable the better you are only limited to your imagination that is one of the great aspects of this type of marketing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Google Base!


Do you want your products to show up in the search engines? Well that was really a rhetorical question, I'm sure you want people to find your wonderful items. Google Base allows you to upload your information either by using a file or by submitting one item at a time. While this may sound time consuming there is some great news for people selling on etsy, it's called letsets just go to this site type in either your username or id and voila it brings up your items which you can then save to your computer to quickly upload in google base. I want to say a big thanks to letsets creator!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sharing Time


I really wanted to share these, this is one of my favorite designs this exact pair has sold but I will be adding similar ones to my shop soon. I love the simplistic design, how the flower wraps around the hoop like a vine. I really don't mean to brag but I really love them!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And The Winner!!!!

I want to thanks all my contributors and participants for making this such a great contest! I had so much fun reading all the comments and this wont be the last one so if you want to be notified of future contest don't forget to sign up for newsletter! OK the winner of all this fabulous etsy merchandise picked completely at random ..... drumroll please.......

rasberryswrlgirl!
and this is her shopping spree!
This is how I would spend my $200
http://hoydendesigns.etsy.com/Be Still My Heart Pendant $8
http://meplusmolly.etsy.com/Dusty Rose Petite Purse $28
http://uniquexpression.etsy.com/ Movement in Blues earrings $23
My Rose has Turquoise bracelet $35
Perfectly Peridot Teardrop earrings $23
http://uniquegarden.etsy.com/Cleo's bath blend $6
http://wyredonwire.etsy.com/Malibu Blue shell earrings $46
Brass garden Flower Earrings $22
Prince Charming $9
Which comes to $200 exactly.

Congratulations!!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

CONTEST ALERT!!!


Alright I have been promising some contests for a real long time now and here it is! I have found some wonderfully amazing contributors for you.... Drumroll please.......

http://hoydendesigns.etsy.com/ A lovely handpainted pendant valued at $13
http://lovepeaceanddye.etsy.com/ A wonderful hemp necklcace valued at $14
http://meplusmolly.etsy.com/ An absolutely stunning day/evening purse valued at $42
http://uniquetreatdogbones.etsy.com/ A gift certificate valued at $10
http://joannagoldman.etsy.com/ A set of 5 fantastic pins valued at $10. Special for this contest if you purchase something from this shop and enter contest001 in notes to seller you will recieve FREE shipping just wait for a revised invoice!
http://weirdbuglady.etsy.com/ An adorable bumble bee pouch valued at $15
http://uniquexpression.etsy.com/ Sassy earrings valued at $20
http://uniquegarden.etsy.com/ massage oil value $16
http://wyredonwire.etsy.com/ A gift certificate valued at 20 dollars as well as a set of hair pins valued at $6. special for this contest if you purchse something from my etsy shop enter wow in notes to seller when checking out you will recieve FREE shipping just wait for a revised invoice!


The winner of this contest recieves all of this A total value of $166! So I bet now your wondering how you can win right...


Here's the Rules

I am giving you $200 WOW cash (wow cash has no real value but lots of fun) with this wow cash you need to visit these stores and pretend to have a shopping spree come back here and in the comments post links to what you would buy if your wow cash was real.


Do Not spend over your 200 dollar limit and try to get as close as possible.


If you are an over achiever and would like chances to enter more than once I have some extra credit projects for you.

If you have a blog tell your readers about this great contest and add us in your links post a comment in the blogs letting me know you did and I will add an extra entry.

Another way to get more entries is to actually purchase (with real money) from these great contributors every time you make a purchase and post a link to what you bought in the comments I will add an extra entry for you in the contest.


I wish everyone the best of luck and Have Fun because that is what this is all about (well fun and getting great free stuff)! This contest will end aug 9th.


P.S if your interested in being a contributor for a future contest please convo me through my etsy shop!

Even More On That Target Market

I told you I would be back sooner this time! Finding your Target market is simply figuring out what type of person is the most likely to buy from you. There are many ways to find this out and most commonly by asking yourself some simple questions about your customers and finding the common denominators. When you have successfully narrowed down your market you can than start to think what do those people read, where do they eat, what do they do for fun, what are their hobbies and by doing so you can target where you need to market and promote to best reach this targeted audience and therefore utilize your resources to the fullest.

Hopefully you all have been following along if not we started off with a simple marketing plan that you can find by scrolling down or maybe your just interested in the Target Market portion which is fine too this is the third part so you may want to perform the activities in the previous posts. For those that have been following along here is your next short assignment.

Finding Your Preferred Customer

Sure we love all of our customers I know I personally cherish everyone that I get but when I say preferred customer I mean that customer who comes to you for all their needs the one who frequently buys but doesn't just buy they refer everyone they know to you and they brag about you everywhere. That is what I mean by the preferred customer I'm sure everyone has had one and if you haven't I'm sure you will. This assignment is focusing on your preferred customer and how to get more of that type of customer. Maybe you are lucky and have a number of this type of customer maybe you only have the one either way what I want you to do is get a pen and paper and start thinking about your preferred customer.
I want you to write everything that you can think of about them their sex, marital status, age, anything and everything.
Think of how often they purchase
The amount they purchase
Do you ask for referrals
What is this relationship with this client and do you like the relationship, if you don't like it there is no point in seeking more customers like this one.
These types of customer are very important to your business not only will they bring you more if you keep them happy they will bring you others. Now that you have gathered information on your Target Market and your Preferred Customer Target Market you should have plenty of facts and information gathered to analyze and help you figure where you can promote and market to these people. If by analyzing this information nothing jumps out at you it's possible you haven't been thinking narrow enough try to go back through the past few post and answering some of the questions with a narrower reply.
Lots more on marketing to come if you are enjoying these post please bookmark me and check back!

Monday, July 7, 2008

More On Finding Your Target Market

First I need to apologize to the many people who have been waiting for this... I had some family issues come up and as much as I love you all my family comes first. All is well now and I am back!

I really want to stress something in regards to finding your target market, When starting out and with limited funds the smaller you can make your target market the better. I could say that my target market is anyone who wears jewelry or knows someone who wears jewelry but really that is very unreasonable sure they could but by finding out all the info that I can on my target market and narrowing it down I can find a specific group to target with a more effective marketing plan.

So with that said if you haven't read the first part of this please take the time to scroll down the page. If you already have we are on to the next step of figuring out your target market.

The next step in this process is all about information analyze your customers and as you get more customers keep these questions and anymore that are relevant handy.

1. Why do your customers buy from you? People choose to purchase things for many different reasons, A person doesn't buy a Ferrari because they need transportation to work they buy a Ferrari because it is a status symbol. Do your customers buy from you because it is something they need, is it something that saves them time, money, is it for a status symbol a treat, think of the benefits they will receive from purchasing your product or service (remember benefits not features). Once you have pinpointed the benefits you can start to look at what type of people are looking for those benefits.

2. Influences? People are often influenced by someone to make a purchase, just the other day I purchased eyeliner I was nearly out and a friend recommended a new brand so although it was a small purchase it was still influenced.Who influences your customers and how? Spouses, mother, father, neighbors, Friends, professional colleagues, children and the media can all affect buying decisions. keep an eye out and think about who or what influences your target market.

3. Buying Preference? Do your customers prefer to shop in person or online? A lot of business may benefit from selling online as some may do better selling in person where people can see the items in person.

4. Competition? Why would your customers want to shop from you and not your competition? What do you offer that they don't? This may seem like a difficult one but go ahead brag yourself up here as long as it's true!

If you can think of some questions to ask add them you can never have to many!

I promise I will be back with more and it won't be near as long next time! If you are enjoying reading these or have anything to add please leave a comment and if you love my blog favorite me or add my link and check back often!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who Is Your Target Market?

Marketing can be as simple as you make it or as complex as you want to make it. I am trying to put things a little simpler but in doing so I think I have over looked an important step here and I am going to back track some here.

Taking the time to find your target market is a really important step to make sure you are using your marketing resources to their fullest potential. Your target market simply put are the people who are most likely to buy your product.

When trying to determine your target market it is important especially for small business with a low start up fund to narrow down their market as much as possible as your business grows than you can broaden your target market. Time to get out your pen paper remember the more specific and narrow you get the better your marketing efforts will be, and not all of these questions will apply to you, and if you have more things you can do it.

Here goes:
1. Gender male or female? You may have both but use the higher percentage here
2. Age? What is the age group of the people most likely to buy from you try to stay within a 20 year limit here.
3.Geographical location
4. What types of position if the workforce do they hold?
5. Salaries what is the approximate salary of your customer base?
6. Lifestyles ie are they people who would be likely to use a computer? Are they fast paced type people, do they have children and if so what does that say about their lifestyle etc as much as you can think of here as this may end up giving you some ideas about where you should market to these people.

These should get you started tomorrow I will discuss some market research questions to ask yourself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!

I promise you there will be more marketing advice soon I have just been super busy trying to stock my shop but I haven't forgotten at all I hope you are implementing some of my advice so far and that you are finding the information helpful.
Alongside of trying to stock my shop I am going to be introducing a new line! Hair Jewels I have started to list a few and have many more to come I hope you love the newest addition! I have had so much fun making these!


I am also planning a big surprise for July a great contest with an amazing prize so stay tuned for more details on that I promise that you will not want to miss it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Few Xtra Tips For Viral Marketing

This is going to be a short post today just a few things I want to add to yesterdays post on viral marketing....
* you can get a free newsletter subscriber for your site through ://bravenet.com
* you can submit articles here or snatch some articles http://www.articlesnatch.com/
* And someone mentioned You Tube this can also be a great source of viral marketing especially if you have some funny or important stuff in your video give people a reason to watch it and to want to show all their friends!
Again I would love any feedback maybe you have tried some of these or maybe you have some more suggestions I would love to see them!

Monday, June 16, 2008

More On Marketing Viral Marketing

OK so I am assuming you have read my first marketing post and you have made a simple marketing plan (or maybe you really got into it and made an in depth one) If you haven't already scroll down and take a few to complete it then come back.

So what is viral marketing? It sounds a bit icky and like you might need some antibiotics after or a vaccination at some point....
Viral marketing simply put is whatever means you use to get people to spread your advertising message for you and using their contacts.
Hot mail is one of the most popular examples and for good reason there viral marketing was one of the best
They offered a free email address
When customers that received said email address sent an email at the bottom of their email it said sign up for your free email @....
So they literally used their customers mailing lists to grow themselves

So right now your probably thinking great for hot mail but how does that apply to me?

*A good way to get started is link exchange encourage people to exchange links with you so that you are putting yourself in their loop of contacts and vise versa

* Write articles for websites to use for free on their site. Everyone knows something that other people want to know make it informative and include links to your site. The more useful your content the better this will work.

* Newsletters If you don't have one its a good idea to start one and when you are having some type of special, contest etc send the newsletter out and always remind people to forward the newsletter on at the end sometimes people just need a reminder.

* FREE this word is one of the most viral words in the dictionary people love something FREE! Have a contest or giveaway (don't forget to email your contacts and tell them to pass it on!) Give away samples of your product whenever possible. If it's not feasible to give away product or service in your business then give FREE information that people want to know.

* Include a tag line and your URL for your signature on all out going emails and on forums that allow signatures. Try sending a funny joke that people will want to pass on with your signature on the bottom.

* Start an affiliate or referral program (this is a pretty in depth subject that I will get into more at a later date)

* Send a press release to local newspapers or send them articles of interest and include your contact info website etc.

These are just some ideas to get you started hopefully they will keep you busy until my next marketing post a ton more great ideas coming keep checking back . I would love to hear more ideas on viral marketing or which one's you try leave me a comment .

While writing this I realized I am in some need of links exchanges if interested let me know

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The little Princess!


I know I know I am teasing... I give you the post about marketing with promises of more (and there will be) and you come here and have to look at the most adorable two year old! This is my baby but she is fast growing up... I really wanted to show off this picture I'm not sure what it is and I am no photographer that's for sure but I really like it a lot. I promise next week I will have another excellent marketing post for you so keep checking for it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marketing Made Easier







Marketing can be a very complex thing especially for a small business owner such as myself really I just want to make jewelry but if I want my business to succeed I have to step out of my safe bead bin. Part of that is marketing and I love sharing what I learn!
So what is marketing anyway?
basically in a nutshell marketing is EVERYTHING you do to get your product or service in the in the hands of the people who want your products. Marketing is your branding, pricing, packaging, placement, advertisement and everything you do to get your product to your customer. Sounds complicated but can be broken down to make more sense of things A good way to do this is to have a marketing plan, you can get really in depth templates for marketing plans but because I like to keep things as simple as possible I am going to layout a simple plan for you so grab a pen and paper and start answering these easy questions:

1. What is your product/service? Pretty self explanatory write a description of what product/service you offer.
2. Pricing? What is your pricing on your product are you offering expensive luxury items or rock bottom bargains. Take a look at your highest priced items and your lowest to figure a rough price point.
3. Distribution? How will you get your products to your customers. Will you sell online in stores, through affiliate programs, through catalogs, home parties etc try to go into detail like what type of stores etc.
5. Target Market? Who is your target market try to be as specific as possible for example Male between the age of 18-40 athletic, middle class+ income
6. Competition? Be realistic here I am talking direct competition I wouldn't say I was in direct competition with a famous jewelry designer when I am not even in that league
9. Strengths and Weaknesses? List your strengths over your competition as well as your weaknesses.
10. Goals? One of my favorites goals are sooo important! What are your goals from your marketing strategies? Try to make these specific and something that you will be able to measure if you are reaching your goals.
11. Budget? What is your yearly budget for your marketing tactics?
12. Tactics? What are some of the marketing tactics you plan to implement ( I will be talking more about tactics in upcoming posts)

Remember as with any plan what you write is not set in stone and can be changed as you see fit. I recommend that you look back on your marketing plan at least every 6months but some people will every few months or every year. In upcoming post I will be talking more about marketing and different marketing tactics I am by no means an expert but hopefully this information will help some.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Who Doesn't Love A Yart Sale!!



As the warm weather starts to nudge it's way in yard sale season kicks off and I do love a good yard sale what could be better.... well how about if it was handcrafted items, and you didn't have to worry about the weather, you could shop all the sales easily and in your p.j's ! When some fellow etsians started talking about a sale like this I was all in! All you have to do is put the word YART in your searches and tons of discounted quality products in all categories will be at your feet well on your screen for viewing and buying pleasure! Here are some examples of items you may see from some fab sellers!

This pin is stunning from duffydesigns


Such a cute baby hat and bootie set from capecodconsignments

Funky necklace by creativeclaydesigns

And of course yours truly Wyred On Wire wouldn't miss out on this. These are just a few of the items that will be available during this sale! The sale last from June 11th-June 20th not everyone is going to be participating all the days so make sure you check in on the sale frequently all you have to do is go to http://etsy.com and put YART in your search! I must go and get my shop ready for tomorrow morning!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bring on The Sun!

There has been no sun here for too long... just clouds, rain and overcast. I needed a little cheery sun in my life so I headed over to etsy here are some of my favs for you to enjoy!


I love love love this fab purse from loveamarie



This lady makes the weirdest and the cutest bugs I've ever seen weirdbuglady





An amazing and cheery artist I love this painting from jenlo262


Well there is a few of my favorites if I showed them all I would be on the until next week! If you still want to see more go check these amazing etsy sellers out there shops are sure to impress you!
























Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day Of Doom...

I love these bowls by bianco might make the soup go down better

Cabbage Soup Diet!

Well the day is here...Today I am starting a diet I'm not usually one to hop on all the diet bandwagons ( I did atkins though) but here I am jumping aboard. So many people have told me this diet is great and works etc etc so I'm diving in. Well actually I'm cooking soup I'm sure most of you have heard of the cabbage soup diet right, just in case you haven't you make this soup from cabbage, carrots, onions, tomatoes etc (there are many different variations) and you are all allowed to eat as much of this soup as you want and each day you are allowed a restricted food groups to go along with your soup....
for example day 1 as many fruits except bananas as you want along with as much of the soup as you want.




I could eat those banana's by berarlymakingit they look yummy!

The diet is only for 7 days so I think I will live.... Just not as happily but if I lose a little weight it will all be worth it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gettin Down To Goals


Goals are important for everything in life, business, personal, family, work long term goals, short term goals they are all important. Setting goals will help keep you on track of where you want to be and how to get there. I suggest having a book specifically for goals in your book write down where you want to be in 5 years or maybe even just next year, write down what you have to do to get you there in the next 6months or 3months. Keep working towards those goals and keep checking back with your book and revising as you need to. I also make daily list (I am a list lover you can find them everywhere here) I incorporate what I need to finish for the day for example here is today's list

laundry

blog

make 10 pieces of jewelry

clean living room

spend some time in the etsy forums

work on my wholesale list

clean and organize desk

I write these list everyday because it helps keep me focused every time I can check something off of the list I feel as though I accomplished something and it gives me drive to finish something else. These list can be as indepth or as short as you like or need what ever works for you they also help to keep your day organized and a little less hectic...well sometimes it's not 100% guaranteed especially if like me you have a couple of little monsters running around no amount of list can 100% prepare you then.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wholesale


I am looking for more boutiques and gift shops to offer my Jewelry to at wholesale. If you are a retailer and are interested in some handcrafted artisan jewelry I am willing and would love to work out an agreement If your interested please email me at agwbabycakes20@yahoo.ca or convo me through my etsy shop http://wyredonwire.etsy.com/ . If you are a customer of mine or a fan of my jewelry and you would like to see wyredonwire in your local area please contact me as well and i will see what I can do or better yet tell your local shops!

Friday, May 30, 2008

What's Your Face?


I absolutely love these faces in amandamoon's shop they look they are keeping a secret... Amanda does amazing work a must see shop http://amandamoon.etsy.com check her shop out you won't be disappointed with her work or the prices!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Branding Your Image


When you own a small craft business you can sometimes overlook branding your products and image, it's easy to overlook with so many other important factors such as making your product photographing, and all the other million and one things involved with selling your wares. So what is branding well if your a cow run... If not no fear branding is simply making people remember your shop branding your image in their minds. OK so now how do we do this "branding". This is something I think of as a work in progress the first thing you should do is think of a big well known business as an example I am going to use Pepsi close your eyes and think what comes to your mind when you say pepsi is it there colors, lettering, packaging, slogans? This is all part of their branding My son can't read but he knows pepsi when he sees it... that is branding at it's best. I am in the process of branding my shop so I will use my steps as examples I originally started out with a name Wyred on Wire whenever I went to craft shows I always had people saying wow you make this? One day I realized that wow is the initials of my business name so my logo was born! Next I realized I needed a Slogan this was a little harder and didn't come to me right away in fact I'm not really sure when it did but here it is Jewelry to Get You Noticed... I also use another Are You Ready to Get Noticed? I wanted all colors associated with my shop to be cohesive I wanted my shop to be feminine as well as edgy so I chose pink and black not to mention I have always loved the two colors together. OK so now I have my logo my slogan I have my colors so now what in the world do I do with them? The answer everything you can! I had business cards made reflecting my logo and slogan these were made by http://smile4katie.etsy.com/ who does an amazing job. I had a banner, advertisements, earring cards and stickers made with my colors, logo and slogan, I had matching stickers made these were all made by another great designer http://wildmagic.etsy.com/ and I had shipping labels made by http://kjpatino.etsy.com/ . I am going to work on listing a picture of my packaging which uses my colors. These are all some ideas to get you started but you can take branding as far as your imagination and budget will allow. So if you haven't started yet get to it!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When I Need A Good Laugh....

I head over to HotTaTasFaktory for a full days worth of naughty laughs. She has some very unique and hilarious adult cards. This is one of my favorites at the moment


You have to go visit her shop to find out the punch line.... http://hottatasfaktory.etsy.com . I'm sure you will get a good laugh and get a few to give out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Love Smidge



Smidge is a wonderful idie site. It gives indie artist a place to get their name and products out their in a variety of ways and it gives lovers of indie products a place to find some great reviews, contests and some of the latest news. If your an artist looking for some exposure you can submit an item for a contest (which I have done so be on the look out for it next month) or you can write an article to have it submitted. Now for my favorite part Smidge is Canadian just like me! This site is still a baby but growing with the numbers to prove it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Improving Pics


Today I am trying to improve my pics.This is something I am always working on... other people make it look so easy. Well I have to say I just don't think it is and If I had the money I would definitely hire a professional. When your selling online it really comes down to does that picture sell it. Unfortunately my answer is still no I keep taking and retaking but I always feel I am still lacking there needs to be something more there. I'm starting to feel I spend more time trying to get a decent picture than it took me to make the piece.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who Knew??


Well I obviously didn't know...

They say it's good to learn something new everyday or umm something like that..

The other day I woke up to a very colorful computer screen, sure it was really pretty looked like a rainbow blew up on my computer...but I knew this could not be a good thing. I know nothing about computers and I did what I usually do in a crisis I head on over to the etsy forums and whine. People started using technical terms and basically telling me that my computer was shot. Before I burst into tears an angel in the forums asked if I had a magnet near my computer. OK I know not something a normal person would have sitting beside their monitor but leave it to me yup I had a huge magnet dish that I use to separate my metals right there. I moved the dish and it actually got much worse not better at all. So I crossed my fingers turned off computer...waited and turned it back on. Boy had I lucked out this time all was fine but it could have been a mini disaster. I know some of you are probably sitting there laughing your butt off and I am happy I could give you that laugh but my real reason for posting this is if I didn't know I'm pretty sure there is at least one other person out there that doesn't know magnets are kryptonite for computers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

BIG BIG SALE!


I made a big big mistake in calculating my finances and now I need money for some much needed supplies so for the first time ever I am having a big big sale! Everything in my shop is 50% OFF! No I'm not crazy I haven't lost my mind I just really need these supplies so for you it's never been a better time to get that perfect gift for yourself or someone else! Sale ends May 3rd so hurry on over to http://wyredonwire.etsy.com!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All Moved


And yet again I have been reminded of how I hate (I don't use that word often) really hate moving! I have way too much junk but can't seem to part with any of it and I feel the need to acquire more junk. I know it's been awhile since I posted but you can blame it on all this junk! I am still not unfinished packing and it has been nearly a month! I have more space here but still cant seem to figure out where to put the junk. I am going to try to post again on a regular basis I have some great ideas of things I want to blog about, and I still want to get a contest going soon and oh so many ideas but I need more hours in a day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh The Joys Of Moving


I am currently in the process of moving not fun at all. I am a hoarder of craft supplies especially jewelry supplies, bath and body supplies and paper supplies. If it could be used for some possible crafting I really don't want to throw it away and if it's for sale I want to buy it. At the present we have been living in a rather small apartment but are moving to a much larger duplex. I'm excited and scared all at the same time thinking of all the extra space I can fill up with supplies. But for now is the tedious task of packing it all that is the part that is really no fun especially with a 2yr old a 4 yr old and 2 cats that might as well be kids. I am ready to pull out my hair or theirs which ever comes first ( no hair follicles were damaged during this move). Luckily we aren't moving very fair it's actually just around the corner and we have a week to do it all hopefully I will retain my sanity.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

From My Favorites


I'm not really feeling well today so I thought I would give you a peek into my favorite sellers. Whimsical Watches creates some really unique watches go have a peek for yourself

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Indiego


Lately I have been on a hunt for inexpensive ways to advertise. If your like me you may not have a lot funds for advertising even though it is a very important part of business so I thought I would share a recent find with you. The indiego this is a place where you can advertise on other artist blogs for free in exchange you put a code on your blog or website that allows for an ads from indiego on your site you can see what it looks like on the right hand side of this blog. This site is new and I just joined last night so I really can't tell you how effective it is but I can say it is free and takes less than 5 min to set up and they instruct you step by step no matter how computer illiterate you can do this to (I did). Indie designers helping other indie designers I love the karma centered around the whole idea. Go over to http://theindiego.com/ to check it out.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A little Surprise

There is nothing better than getting your packages in the mail, opening it up and wait there is something more....A tea blossom hmmm I am not a very big tea drinker but this looks really neat. I open the package and at first glass its an ugly ball of grass
but I follow the instructions and get an amazing flower bloom in my glass. I don't drink tea but I kept it by me side until the wonderful jasmine sent left.
Afterwards I went back to see what else peach had sent me .

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Plan for Tomorrow Today Time Management Part 5


I you haven't seen the other 4 parts pls take the time to read them as they are all very important steps to take. And if you are following along yesterday you figured out where you want your business to be in a year from now. In order to get your business there you need to Manage your time effectively Everyday you need to do something to help your business get to that goal. A good habit to get into is making list. Every month make a list of priorities for that month. Every week make a list of priorities for that week, and everyday before your day ends make a list of priorities for the next day. You can either keep these in a diary, a work journal or maybe a planner that includes all of your life's priorities anywhere except a scrap piece of paper is fine.

Here is an example list

Dr. appointment

make 5 pairs of earrings

message blog feature artist

list 3 items on etsy

search for new ad spaces

ship orders

call a local gallery

write blog

read new article on latest technique

yours will be different this is an example of randoms from the top of my head. Now looking at this list I can immediately see where there is going to be some dead space or wasted time for example whenever I go to my Dr. Appointments I know that I will have at least an hour wait so while waiting I could bring some things to make some earrings (don;t forget business cards because this will definitely get you some interest) I can also bring my article to read. Also you don;'t want to make 2 trips out so don't forget to take your orders to drop off at the PO. Another big one would have to be listing on etsy yes this important but the time it takes pictures to load is wasted time...or I could take this time and contact that local gallery or message the feature artist while my pics are uploading. Now the biggest culprit on here is searching for ad space yes advertising is important but for this it means you are going online and like I have said that can be one of the biggest time killers so schedule this for the end or set kitchen timers and get off when it dings. So your list may not be anything like this but I am sure you get the point now.

Keep a look out for Time Management Part 5

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Look into The Future Time Management Part 4



So maybe you think you have no need for a business plan your not trying to get financial assistance with your business...why bother. A business plan doesn't have to be as structured if it's for your own personal goals but it will help keep you focused on where you are and where you want to be.




So go get a pen and here is an exercise for you


write down where your business stand write now. for example if you have a craft business it may go something like this. I am selling on etsy. I have my items in 1 store . etc etc you can go as much into detail with this as you like.




OK now write down where you would like to see your shop in one year be realistic. Make goals that can actually happen. ie I am selling on etsy making 20 sales a week. I have my items in 5 stores. I am doing 5 shows a year. I have 1 home party a week. etc whatever best suits you and your business.




The next step is to write down what you need to do to get you to that point. the steps within the next year that you need to make to bring you there for example. If I am going to get my items 5 stores I need to contact stores. If I am going to boost my sales I am going to have to promote. and lets not forget if I plan on selling x amount of items per week I need to create more than x amount a week.




you can make this as detailed as you like and this will help you with the part 5 of the Time Management series.






Monday, March 17, 2008

A New Place To Sell Your Crafts



As you all know I have been selling on etsy for awhile now and I am a huge fan of etsy but....I like anybody with a art/craft business just want to get my product seen so when I heard about this offer I had to check it out. http://icraft.ca/ Is a new site where you can list your crafts for sale it's just a baby but as an incentive to join it is offering no registration fees and no listing fees for one year if you join and list at least one item by March 31! Yes you heard me right I did say 1yr free. This may be a baby site now but so was etsy at one time and they look as though they are heading in the right direction. I don't know about you but if it takes off I want to be able to have that free listing for a year! Oh don't worry you will still be able to find me on etsy but I now have another shop http://icraft.ca.wyredonwire/ . I only have a couple of things listed at the moment but that's OK I know I now have a free year.

Get Down To Business Time Management Part 3


Set a time for your business hours whenever that time is most convenient for you and your lifestyle. This is very important even if its 2hrs in the morning and 6hrs at night no matter what those hours are it is important that you set aside 8-12hrs a day depending on your needs and where your business it at. It's also important to not let distractions get in the way of your work schedule. If you had a boss that could fire would you do it is a good rule to live by until you get settled into a routine that works for you.

When you have a home based business, it can be difficult to get friends and family members to respect the fact that you are working and running a business. If you don't have a regular 'day job', you become the one who is called on for favors in the middle of the work day. And Just maybe like myself you find it hard to say NO. Such a small word it only has two letters but I find it hard to spit out. But the fact of the matter is when you are running a business especially in the beginning stages you need that time more than anyone in fact you need more time than anyone. So time to grow a backbone (saying this to myself as well) and say No, explain to friends and family that you may not have to go to a job but you still have lots of work to do let them know your working hours, offer to help them during your "time off" or at the end of your work day. After awhile of you not giving in they will start to respect this.


Like myself you may also have children who need your attention and are continuously distracting you. If they are older children sit them down and explain to them that you have to work during your set hours but after that your attention is there's. If they are younger this will not work and it will be a little harder for you but there are ways around this and that where setting your hours right will come in handy for example maybe you could get one hour in before they wake up, another during nap time and maybe set up an activity that does not require your full attention in the afternoon, If possible have them help you with little things, and finish off the rest your hours after they are in bed only you know what your lifestyle is these are just some tips to get you thinking.

TIP*** During your set business hours do not take personal phone calls they are the number one distracter in my books

Keep an eye out for Time Management Part 4


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Find your Space Time Management part 2


If you are working from home you need to have a work area whether you have an actual office or you have space set up in a spare room, living room or your bedroom. Ideally we would all like to have an office... well sometimes life is not ideal and we need to make the best with what we have. where ever your space is it needs to be set up in a manner that is most productive for you if you have to spend time searching on your desk or through your supplies to get what you need that is valuable time that could have been spent progressing your business. First you need to make sure your space is just that Your space! That means get rid of anything that is not business related kids toys, dog toys, etc gone. Now you need to organize what is related to your busines in a way that will make things easier for you. For example if it is easier for you to create if you can see your supplies then you need to purchase clear containers. This does not have to be expensive first utilize things that you may already have around the house if you have to purchase check out your local dollar stores.

If you have lots of paperwork in your business you may have to purchase a file cabinet (I know I need a couple of them). While you are getting your space organized its time to organize all that paperwork. I have come across a few methods and the one I like the best is

D.R.A.F.T.

DISCARD: Trash it. If it will never be retrieved again, don't file it. Realize that files are an information and resource "holding" place, not a dead storage place

REFER: If someone else needs this information give it up do not hold onto things you don't need.
ACT: Act on it now. Don't procrastinate. Do routine paperwork immediately. If not, the time needed to tackle your paperwork later on can snowball!

FILE: File it in your files. Forget about letting it all sit there. With a proper filing system, important documents can be filed, and found easily

TABLE: Table it. If you need it at some time in the near future, other than today, place it in a simple follow-up system for easy, quick access. You can keep a special basket for paperwork such as this but be careful when coosing what goes into this it can add up quickly.

Organizing your space and keeping your space organized can be one of the most difficult task because chances are it has been out of hand for awhile and become a habit. Getting organized could take all day maybe two but once your space is organized it will only take a little work to keep it that way and it will help make your days much more productive.

Effective time management is a habit, just like brushing your teeth or walking the dog. It’s only when you consistently practice good time management skills that you begin to see positive results. It doesn't happen overnight, especially if you have deep-rooted habits to replace.

If you have any questions or advice I would love to hear them. I think together we can change our habits and make our lifes easier. I hope this has helped you some and be on the look out for part 3 of the time management series. I still have lots more to share with you!


Lu-Ville




Isn't this little guy I mean girl amazing! She was handcrafted by Luanne just for me! Luanne makes these glass bead dragons (yes that's right not only is it a sculpture but it is also a beads)names them and they even have birth certificates. You can have one custom made to your pick of colors and name. Not only does she make dragons (they just happen to be my favorite) but she also makes frogs, cats,dogs, beads and whole assortment of great things. Luanne is on the list to have a liver transplant and has to make many trips to the mayo clinic which is quite a distance from where she lives her sales on etsy help to pay for some of her trips . Here is my short interview with Luanne of sheltie19


Q. What do you love about etsy? I love the fact that everything is homemade. and it is such a great community of people.. I can get things that I would normally not be able to get.. and since I don't have a car.. it is great to be able to have things delivered to my door.


Q. Do you consider this a business or a hobby? Both I guess... the extra money is much needed right now with all my dr. bills and trips up to rochester... doing this has been so great for me.. I finally have something to do with myself everyday.. and I so love to make things.. even my dr.'s say it is really good for me to do this.


Q. What is your favorite meduim to work with? I would have to say glass.. I am totally addicted to my glass. I so love to create my little dragons,, and beads.. when I am out in my studio.. I am in my own little world of peace.. it is so relaxing to me when I am creating with my glass.




Q. What inspires you? I can't put a finger on one thing that inspires me.. there are many things. somedays it my disaase the inspires me.. and others it is things I see or do.. or someone else... my critters inspire me too.. my hubby supports me.. but isn't into it at all.



Q. Tell us a funny story about yourself! Well,... there are way too many to even tell.. but I guess one thing that is pretty funny is.. well with my disease I have times that my brain is totally foggy... I went on a business trip with my hubby.. we were out to eat with another employee. Well there we were in a busy restarant,,, and out of nowhere.. I suddenly and very loudly mind you.. say utnmsetitghwseiweatuia... it was a mess of goobly gosh,,, I was so embarassed... and looked down cause my face was so red.. later I said to my hubby.. He does know I am sick right... and he goes... with a snicker.. well he sure does now.



Q. Where else can we find your work? I have some of my work on http://www.beadartists.org/Gal4392_Sheltie19_s_Gallery.asp

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add? I just wanted to let everyone know how deeply I appreciate all their kindness and support and help... I could of never done a couple of my trips up to rochester without all of you... You guys are a bigger part of the reason I get up everyday and actually do something and not just give up.. there is no words for how grateful I am for all of you.. Such big caring group of people.. and I thank God everyday I have found you all

Not only does Luanne work with glass but she makes candles, lip balm and cards on days that she can't get out to torch So get over there and check out her shop http://sheltie19.etsy.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Time Management Part 1


Time management is a necessary skill to develop in any busy life. And it is especially important in a home based business. The best business people know that time is money. I have done a lot of research on time management and I have gathered some of the best advice and tips I will be making a series of post over the coming weeks on time management I hope these tips and advice will help you.
First why is time management important?
If you are like me and have a job outside of the home and are trying to start a successful business and have children you already know why time management is so important! Everyone chooses to work from home for different reasons but some of the key reasons are flexibility, available for children during the day. However it is still important to find a balance and set boundries to ensure that the time you have is used productively. In the corprate wold you have a boss that is setting deadlines and helping to manage things. It also helps that your job is on the line...As a small business owner you are the boss... NO your customer's are your boss if you have no customers you have no business!
As a small business owner, you will be the only person who is responsible for keeping an eye on the day to day deadlines, like meeting with a customer, shipping items and the longer term deadlines, like getting your product, displays, photographs and paperwork ready in time. I think working online is probably one of the most difficult in terms of distractions. Add the online distractions to those around you at home, and before you know it is bed time and you have wasted hours of the day! I am going to share all the tips and advice that I have aquired so that you can also learn to deal with some of these distractions not all the information will apply to you and your individual circumstances however a great deal can be used by everyone or the concept can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle.Once you find a happy balance you will feel that you have greater control and you can begin to see the positive results that will make your business more productive. I will have your first step in Time management posted soon so keep checking back !
Effective time management is a habit, just like brushing your teeth or walking the dog. It’s only when you consistently practice good time management skills that you begin to see positive results. It doesn't happen overnight, especially if you have deep-rooted habits to replace.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Samily



Samily is a great shop on etsy formed by two good friends sam and emily! I have had the great fortune to be able to do a short interview for your enjoyment.

Q. What do you love about etsy?Beyond getting to sell our stuff to a specific audience, the amazing people we've met! There are so many unique and friendly people on Etsy that we feel so blessed to have met. Also, etsy provides us with an alternate source of supplies - most of the yarn we use in our products is straight from another etsyian, so really it's just one big circle! The yarn we get from etsy is one of a kind, and we love to use it!


Q. Is this a business or a hobby?Both. Crocheting started as a hobby for both of us, but when we realized the potential, it grew into its own. While we both are full-time students and have another job (or three) we consider our etsy store a business that we hope to see grow in the future! But of course, we always remember to keep it a hobby too - if we're not having fun, we won't do it!


Q. What inspired you to start working with your medium?Each of us learned to crochet at a young age, but we really started crocheting a lot more when we became closer friends. We just started crocheting together when each of us found out that the other did it too, and it just grew. We're constantly inspired still, learning more and more!


Q. What is an intersting or funny fact about yourself?Well Emily was once a Disney's Magic Kingdom Jungle Cruise Skipper, and Sam is related to Lizzie Borden! But don't let that scare you... Disney folks are much less annoyingly happy in person!


Q: Where else can your products be found? Currently, we only sell on Etsy, but hope to make a move into craft shows this year! Keep an eye out for us in both th Rochester NY and Wallingford CT area. :D

Your lucky your names combine so nicely can you just imagine what the shop would be called if it were Alicia and emily.....lol alright I know that was cheesy! Get outta here and go check out Samily at http://samily.etsy.com Don't forget to come back and check out all the other great featured shops!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Born Again



This amazing shop was founded by two good friends Allison Brideau and Melissa Mazgaj.They create one of a kind purses that are recycled and felted from woolen sweaters. Not only do they recycle these sweaters into purses but they also try to use every last piece of the sweaters to create other items using the same medium such as mittens , bottle cozies and wool quilts. Here is my short interview with Allison ( who does most of the online work) of Born Again Purses


Q: What do you love about etsy? I love Etsy because it gives us a location to get what we love out there so that other people can see it. I love Etsy to meet new people who love to create like I do.

Q: What inspired you to work with this medium? I saw and idea in a magazine and thought it looked like fun to try but oh boy was it complicated so we changed and adjusted to suit our needs. Since then we have come up with many new designs using the same and sometimes different mediums, most in the realm of recycling.

Q: Is this a business or a hobby for you? Right now it is between a hobby and a buisness as I also have a full time job as does Melissa!

Q: Where else can you be found? We have our items in a local consignment shop called Caseys in Maugerville and we do the Saint John City Market periodically for cruise ship days.


As if the fact that these two recycle wools sweaters as well as other material into these wonder upcycled purses they also offer a wonderful service to people. They do custom orders so if you have a special sweater maybe it was from a departed loved one, maybe it was an old highschool favorite that can no longer be worn these two can turn it into a purse for you (it does have to 80-100 percent wool for it too work) that can once again be treasured and worn! There are so many wonderful items in there shop please go check them out at http://bornagainpurses.etsy.com
p.s did I mention these wonderful people only live about an hour away from me and I never would have known if it wasn't for etsy!
















Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bags n Stuff



Dianna Weaver is the Owner of etsy shop bagsnstuff. In her shop you find a variety of gift like her just ponies in almost any material from skulls to ladybugs! She also makes notecards from pictures she has taken that make perfect thank you notes or gift tags! Here is my short interview with Dianna


Q: What do you love about etsy? I love Etsy for the way it is set up. Etsy has it all fixed so everything to do with setting up your shop is so easy to do. I like the forums because when you have questions, you can post them there and get so many answers from lots of people. Everyone is so helpful for new people coming in to open up a shop and of course us ole timers too. I like the threads too, especially the B N R threads, they are so fun and you get to talk to lots of great people. I get lots of neat gifts from the B n R thread.I just love all of Etsy.


Q: How long have you been crafting? well about 47 years at least. I took all the art classes in high school, now that was many years back. I had a major and minor in art. I did lots of crafty things while in highschool too.


Q: What inspires your crafting? I love taking pictures and I love lots of bright colors. Some times I dream of things and then get up and make whatever was in my dream, guess I sleep and think at the same time . Fabrics sometimes get me going off on another craft adventure.


Q: Tell us a funny or interesting story related to your craft? I crochet on flip flops, I use the fancy yarns, ribbons, lace, beads and what ever else I can find to make them different from any one elses. When at a festival in Illinois, all my flips were on a large wooden stand, there was a group of ladies with their kids. They all had there shoes off and trying on the flip flops, they were saying try these on and passing them to each other, and their kids had there shoes off too doing the same thing. I took pictures of them all having such a good time ...they did not know it. It was just fun watching them pick out their own special pair of flip flops. My flips were all over the ground but I had a tarp on the ground to keep them from getting dirty. These ladies ended up buying 8 pairs of flip flops, they even bought them for their grandkids that were not there. They wanted to know if I would be back there next year and of course I said I sure will be...they said they would see me next year and get more of the flips from me then. so that was pretty exciting for me and fun for them too.

Dianna also makes these wonderful glass marble magnets in a variety of themes. At the moment She is exclusively on etsy so get over there and check out her shop at http://bagsnstuff.etsy.com .

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What A Treasure Chest

This is another etsian friend's shop in her shop you will find an assortment of treasures from chain maille, bath and body to paper products. You never know what sort of treasure you will find in Jennifer's shop! Here is my short interview with Jennifer

Q: What do you love about etsy? I love the fact that its handmade items and that I can find almost anything that I would want on here! Etsy is what my life revolves around. I get up thinking about it and I stay up way to late messing around on it! lol



Q: How did you pick your shop name? This may be silly but I wanted a name that meant that I had very cute items that wont just become trash in a few days and I wanted a name that would get me on the top of alphabetical order lists. This way people found me first. So AbsoluteTreasures was born!



Q: Do you consider this a business or a hobby? This is both for me! I cant work due to health problems so this is my income. It is also my hobby because I love to be creative and I love talking with people. So there for Etsy is a Passion and a way of life for me!



Q: what is your main focus of your business/hobby? To bring top quality low cost items to everyday people like me. You know the kind. The ones that live from pay check to pay check!



Q: Tell us an intersting fact about your self? When im working on something and its not comming out just right I go to my extra room and eaither play my flute,keyboard or drums! It helps me relax and to take a deep breath. Then I go back to working on what I was doing and all comes out well!



Q: Where else can you be found ie blogs, websites, stores etc? My Slice of Etsy and Life! http://absolutetreasuress.blogspot.com/


Get over there and check her out at http://absolutetreasures.etsy.com/ !

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Meet Sarah



Sara is another great person I have met on etsy. She tends to gravitate towards the big, bold and funky. She also loves seasonal wearable art, Valentines, Halloween and Christmas designs are among her favorites themes to work on.

Q: What do you love about etsy?
love the feeling of being part of a big and creative family. How everyone helps everyone out in their time of need and is very supportive. I love the fact that everything on Etsy is handmade - I buy as much as I sell!

Q: How did you come up with your shop name?
Sarahinflorida has been my e-mail ever since I first got an e-mail address. I had just moved from England so I thought it was appropriate.



Q: What inspires you?
I make what I would like to wear, I love bright colors and funky designs. Also I am going to school to become a jeweller so I am inspired everytime I go to class and learn something new.
I love copper and semiprecious stones.I am a chemist so I love to play with chemicals and try cool patina effects.

Q: What is an interesting or funny fact about you ?
Hmmm a funny fact? Well I play the drums and keep my drum set next to my work bench, if I get frustated I can just take it out on the drums!

Q: Where else can you be found?
I can be found on eBay user name sarahinflorida

Sarah also has a great supply of the funkiest charms in her shop so if you are a designer looking for something out of the norm check her out



What are you all still doing here get over there http://sarahinflorida.etsy.com