Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Little Background

Grab a cup of coffee and snuggle under an afghan, here's a bit about my journey so far.  I am pretty new to this business - indie craft.  I have long been a crafter and creator, but turning it into a business is a whole new world.  It's been exciting and daunting at times.  I am constantly amazed at the wealth of information to be found and read on the web.  Most of the time since I first opened my shop on Etsy   has been spent timidly dipping my toes in the water hoping not to take a wrong turn and end up in over my head.  I have taken it slow, and with two rowdy little ones at home, that has worked well for me.  

But this fall as my oldest went to preschool and I have a little more time on my hands, I decided I really wanted to figure out what I was doing with this little handmade business of mine.  I was having computer issues and that makes online business a bit rough!  So I started with creating more inventory.  Sounds easy since this is why I opened a shop in the first place.  But,  do I make totally OOAK (one of a kind) items?  Do I find several items of interest and make many?  I am stuck somewhere in the middle.  I wanted my shop to have a uniform look, and I love to make things over and over - but I want to explore my options as well.  And I have more than one craft that I'd like to share.  I don't really want to manage more than one shop, so I guess it'll all have to go in the same place.  I decided I'll just have to figure out how to make it mesh.  

Photo's are a whole topic of their own.  I knew starting out that I'd need great photos, but I didn't realize how hard that was going to be!  Photographing blankets seems nearly impossible to me.  I will continue to work hard to get better photos of my items.  

Once I had more inventory and had taken pictures I got them all loaded up into my shop and felt like my little corner of Etsy was more of a store than a hole in the wall.  Yay!  Now I needed to get people to it.  Yikes.  I was still intimidated by that idea.  With the weather in Minnesota often being below freezing and even subzero temps, getting out and leaving business cards around isn't something I'm up for!  But I have a few stacks around town at coffee shops from the pre-frozen days.  The idea of craft fairs has crossed my mind more than a few times.  I would really like to get into a few, but am worried that I am not organized enough!

So I started reading.  Reading and reading and more reading.  I would not have believed that there are days and days worth of information out there on running, and promoting your indie online business, but there are!  I swear since Christmas I have spent more time on my new (hooray!) laptop than I have ever spent on a computer before.   Reading about handmade venues, Artfire  and Etsy   and Shophandmade   reading about social networking on Facebook  and Twitter  and reading lots and lots of blogs like TimothyAdamDesigns that I introduced you to earlier.  And I've spent hours looking at Project Wonderful   finding blogs to put cute little ads on.  Ads that I bought from Etsy at ThompsonDesigns.   It's enough to make your head spin around!!  LOL  But as a stay at home mom, I find the head spinning to be exciting.  I normally read things on the Dr. Seuss level - which I love, but reading all of this indie business info is making me feel a part of the world again.  Oh geese, how could I forget trying to read html code and Google Analytics etc...  I swear I can actually FEEL the synapses firing in my brain.  It's like someone plugged my brain in to an electric socket.  

That pretty much catches us up to now.  I had several sales over the holiday season and that was very exciting.  I hope that all my hours of reading and networking online are going to help keep them coming in the new year.  But, as you can see if you've looked at my shops, I am going to need a brainstorming session for products to sell during the warmer months.  So far my things are very, winter related!  I think that'll be my goal after Valentine's Day.  Thanks for coming by and getting to know me a little better.  I'd love to get to know you better too.  Leave a comment!  I hope you enjoyed your coffee and that you'll be back soon.

1 comment:

  1. I gotta say, you're asking all the questions that we all ask ourselves! I love your crocheted cowls - particularly the pretty colors you've listed on artfire! It's a constant, constant learning curve and process, isn't it? :)