Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Years Resolution- Business will be FUN!

So yesterday many things hit me about my shop(s). I opened Bubba & Rye in February, right after I left my job, and then Lilac Ave in July, in hopes of padding my family's finances, and hopefully building it enough so I could be self employed versus going back to work. Well by September I was pretty well aware that it was just not going to happen as fast as I needed to, and we really needed me to be working.

Since September that vision, and that ambition hadn't changed much. I was very driven to make a lot of product for holiday craft shows, and have as much inventory as possible, to see what the possibilities of the Christmas sales were. The craft shows did not got fantastic (but were fun), and sales were my best EVER in November and December.

So now the holidays are over. For the past couple of months I had been strategizing to diversify Lilac Ave and close Bubba and Rye (so I could have time to diversify Lilac Ave). I opened another store on 1000Markets. I had a plan to set in motion to grow.

Then yesterday a couple of things in my mind changed:

1. I actually still love making cards, I just can't make them at the pace I was making them, when I wasn't working. This is the main reason I was going to close Bubba & Rye. But then I asked myself, "Who says there needs to be "X" number of items in my store, or that I have to have "X" number of sales? ?Apparently my own ambition and pride. Wouldn't it be better to let those go, than this shop, that I love dearly, and still enjoy making cards for?

I do think the shop will be a little changed when it re-opens. I have some different ideas, and different thoughts on the product being put in there.

2. This should be fun! I've already established that my income issues were changed by going back to work. This isn't to say I am going to price myself as a hobbyist, etc....I still have a busines sense to me....but I have enough stress at work, and these business are for me, and I love them. I don't want to make them so stressful that I hate them. So from here on out, if it isn't fun, if it isn't enjoyable, I am not going to do it. Now this doesn't include listing items, which I find awful and monotonous, LOL! It does include when I am not feeling right about a business choice.

So this is my new business strategy.... "HAVE FUN"! That sounds more fun that "diversify" doesn't it?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

1000 Markets Grand Opening!

So another handmade online market is http://www.1000markets.com/ . This is a fabulous site! Very pretty, very innovative, and a great place to find unusual handmade items.

I have opened a second outlet for Lilac Ave there ( http://www.lilacave.etsy.com/ and www.1000markets.com/users/lilacave ). This site offers rotation to the front page while Etsy depends on treasuries to pick their front page's. This gives me as fair a chance as anyone to get seen. They also offer free listing with a higher transaction fee (5.5% plus 50c) after the sale. I think this could save me money, versus the constant renewal fees (20c) to get my items seen, plus the 20c listing fee, and 3.5% transaction fee on Etsy. So I figured it was worth a shot. Believe it or not I do believe that Etsy is more established than 1000Markets, so that is the big challenge.

The way I see it, it costs nothing to try it, and it's more exposure. I did decide to keep seperate stock between the 2 shops, and I think it will take a lot of effort to promote them equally. But think of it this way. Target sells their items through Target.com and Amazon.com, is this much different...it broadens my customers.

There is a special addition, I will add here! As a grand opening opprotunity! My 1st Sale on http://www.1000markets.com/users/lilacave will receive a FREE glass votive with 2 tealights! So come take a look, and maybe you find something to fall in love with!

Also I will keep you posted on the challenges and successes of creating this new shop. So far it's been open 6 days. I had my first sale on Etsy after 11 days, so I will remain hopeful!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who knew!?!?!?

So who would've thought my 2 shops would be coming up on milestones, right up next to one another??
Bubba and Rye, which has recently changed from a card shop to a destash and supply shop (until all the supplies are gone), is just 4 sales shy of 200 sales! I am running a prize promotion that the 200th sale will get a FREE Card and Candle (a value of $10). Either buy your way there, or watch patiently! http://www.bubbarye.etsy.com/

At the same time, my Soy candle Shop is just at the cusp of 100 sales!!! Not bad, seeing as it opened July 11th of this year, and just passed the 5 month anniversary. In this shop I will be awarding a $10 gift certificate for Lilac Ave to the 100th sale's buyer. http://www.lilacave.etsy.com
These are exciting milestones that should be celebrated. I met my 1st 100 sales in Bubba and Rye after 6 months (store opened February 19th, 2008). I remember being so excited...like it was a sign that I had made it!

If you are wondering. I opened Bubba and Rye when I stopped working to stay hope. While home, I also launched Lilac Ave. Life's circumstances changed, as they do, and I had to go back to work in September. I have been struggling to find the time to make cards, candles, manage both shops, 2 kids, a military husband, etc. Now that the season's craft fairs are over, I had to make some choices and let go. As many card makers know, it can be time consuming, and a workplace and time has to be set aside. So after long thought and heartbreak I decided I needed to close Bubba and Rye. So Bubba, is now in phase 2 of close down, which is to become a destash and supply shop, as I have more than I could ever use in personal card making. So what was that, long story, long?!?!

So keep looking, keep shopping, and try to win something FREE!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hampton Roads Artisans Street Team presents Holiday Handmade Market

Back in July, Mary from JKCreative Designs http://www.jkcreativedesigns.etsy.com/ , decided to create a local team for those of us Etsy obsessed in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia (Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News). I have been part of this team from the beginning. What started out as us, talking about having a home show with our little team, turned into us needing to find a venue for approximately 20 vendors.

Another wonderful team member, Jodie, from Gappy Girl, http://www.gappygirl.etsy.com/ , found us a place, in her church and preschool at Messiah United Methodist Church in Chesapeake. We worked hard to get all the factors to work together. Kristen from Fly Leaf Studios http://www.flyleafbooksstudio.etsy.com/ , was in charge of marketing this event.
I have to say I was so surprised at how beautiful the venue was, and how great the set up was. We had a really good, diverse, set of crafters, Jewelry makers, candle makers, book makers, wood work, quilting, hand bag designers, knitters, jelly makers, artists, even doggy bone wreath makers!

This was the 1st event ever for us, in a venue that had never held a craft show, with a brand new team. Oh yeah, and with only a $50 marketing budget. With that, I can honestly say it was a pretty good show! Now remember I have had 2 craft show experiences. One at a church back in March, where I literally did not sell one thing (and this before the admittal of a recession). The next was the Indian River Craft show a few weeks ago, that although made $220 in sales, was not really worth the 2 days of time, and effort, and $100 booth fee.
This show earned me $48 in sales, and costs $30 to enter into. Considering all the factors above not too bad. I would expect a 50-100% lift at our next event, just due to the experience, lessons learned, return customers, and hopefully a more optimistic economy.
I found most of my sales (like Indian River) veered towards the tarts and tealights that are $1. These are not my best sellers on Etsy, likely because it is so inexepensive, that the shipping overwhelms the sale.
Regardless of any money made, I finished my Christmas shopping, buying a wonderful blanket from Gappy Girl, for my niece (previously purchased a purse and belt for my daughter for Christmas). I also got some Jelly, from the Jelly maker. In addition, got some wonderful items (picture frame and thank you notes) from my friend at The Second Pea, who has not yet opened her Etsy shop, but it is to come!
I also really truly had a good time talking and being with other crafters and teammates. It was really fun, and felt so comfortable to be in a smaller venue with team mates. We are already brainstorming the next show in Spring. I am already excited!
To keep up to date with our team, and to see the members, please visit us at http://www.hamptonroadsartisans.com/

Friday, December 5, 2008

Profit : )

Just the sound of the word profit and margin can make me giddy! Go figure, that I am in my full time career and inventory and financial planner for a large box retailer. I know all about how all the retail metrics work together...sales, markdowns, margin, cost of goods, labor, etc. These are skills I take for granted in knowing that help my Etsy shops to be profitable.
I will say running something like an Etsy shop, which I call my "micro-business", is very different from running a multi-million dollar business. Some of the metrics are different...for instance I have never considered myself over-inventory, or had an inventory plan. However, I look at margin very closely. Gross margin determines profitability. Here are some things to consider:

What are your costs:
-Cost of materials
-Cost of labor
-Cost of fees

What should your pricing be then. Most retail looks at a 50% mark up as bench mark. Mark up is (Retail Price- Cost)/Retail Price. So for instance, look at this example for pricing for profit:

A Greeting Card
- Card stock 10c
- Embellishments 50c
- Craft Paper 5c (Remember, you may only use a quarter of the sheet, so the cost is only 25% of the whole sheet purchased)
- Labor: If you pay yourself $6/hr, and it took you 10minutes to make the card, labor is $1
- Fees, 20c listing fee, transaction fees between Etsy and Paypal 45c
TOTAL COST: $2.30.........................so with 50% markup, your Retail should be $4.60

There are games to this however. Let's say, you know the market will no0t bear a $4.60 card (although technically the average card at Hallmark and American Greetings is between $3.99 and $5.99, and they are not handmade), you can mark it less, but your profitability is less. It is up to you what you want that percentage to be. However, keep in mind the lower your markup, the less room there is to have sales, any kind of blunders (damaged inventory, under charged shipping). I took shorter mark up on my cards, to keep with the average of card sellers on Etsy, which seemed to be between $3.50 and $4.50.

However, this game can change. What about when you get a 40% off coupon for Joann's or for Michael's? That gives you lower cost, and higher markup, which in the end gives you more PROFIT! Another thing that can help is buying in bulk. In my candle business this has helped a ton! I bought 50lbs of soy wax. It was literally 1/8th the price of what I was paying, buying it by pound. I also bought 100 tealight casings for double the price I would pay for a pack of 6 at a local craft store. As a business, this is a survival technique.

You also have to know your limits. For instance. I can love, love, love a container, and know it will sell, but it it costs me $6, and I know the candle could only sell for $10, it is a no go. After you take in the cost of the fragrance, the wax, the wick, the labor, and the fees, I'd maybe make $1
, and that really isn't worthwhile (please note in mark up we haven't talked about marketing, gas for the post office, and shipping materials). The point is, you need to have your boundaries, of what you can afford, and what you can't. Even if you love it, and a customer may too, if the price is too high, it may sit and not sell.

So here is how I get my bottom line. You've seen how I calculate pricing, and what the "mark up" is. Now take all the mark up of items sold, and out of that comes, some of your costs of running a business. This could include a monthly fee for your own website if you have one, marketing fees (I calculate Etsy renewals under this), shipping materials, gas to get to the shops and post office (although sometimes these can be eat up, if you were already going anyway). Now after you take all of that out, you have profit!

Keep in mind for me, I average out the cost of shipping materials and gas. I do set an Etsy renewal budget and grimace if I go over it. See below on tips like twitter, to help for FREE promote your shop.

Here's an example of my Monthly Spreadsheet:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Promo Lessons Learned for a New Etsian

First of all what is an Etsian?
Etsian (et-c-ann): 1) an artisan (crafter) who has located the handmade site Etsy, and has grown obsessed with it. 2) an artisan (crafter) who has become intwined in a community of artisans (crafters) on www.etsy.com. 3) an artisan (crafter) who may at times get frustrated with getting their shop or business noticed on www.etsy.com .

Well, I started my shop Bubba and Rye on Etsy Feb 19th, 2008 (although my stat says earlier, this is when I became active). Bubba and Rye, now is just shy of 200 sales. On July 11th, I officially opened my second shop Lilac Ave, which has 84 sales. It was 100 times easier to get Lilac Ave up and running, knowing what I learned from opening the Bubba and Rye shop. Now I know some people interested in Etsy, and I was going to give my best tips, and figured, why not share what I know. I am not claiming to be an expert, or an Etsy hot seller, but I do ok, and there are things I have found that worked. Here are those tips:

1. Your photos are so hugely important!!!! I went to the critique section in the forums many times over and kept being told my photos were too dark. I tried EVERYTHING!!!! Finally these things ended up being the key for me:
- use the macro setting on your camera if your items are smaller (I use this on my candles and cards). It is the tulip shaped button on your camera.
- take your photos in natural light or in a light box. Do not mean in direct full sun, this will make a glare. My perfect place is on my kitchen table with the window facing north on a sunny day. Try different places around your house until you find your sweet spot. However a light box can do wonders, and I recommend that for jewelry photos. Instructions to make one are available through and online search.
- Picasa is a god send! Go to google and search for picasa. It is a free photo editing program by google and can make a fantastic difference. Maker sure to crop, and give "I'm feeling lucky" a whirl. You'll see a major difference.

2. Scream it from the rooftops! Send out a Grand Opening email to everyone you know! Most will be very supportive, and even if they don't buy from you, they can talk about you to other people. Even their sheer knowledge that Etsy exists, can be a help.
There is not a person, place, animal, rock, that I haven't talked to about Etsy. You'll find as the obsession grows this is a very easy task, and someone may tell you to shut it at some point.

3. Be part of the Etsy Community. Go to www.etsy.com , then go to community, and there are our forums, where so many questions can be answered and info by experienced sellers read. There is also a teams section. There may be a team for you. I am part of the Etsy Homefront Team, which is for military spouses. I am also part of Hampton Roads Artisans Street Team, which is a local group of Etsians in the southeastern Virginia area. Not only are these teams a great support, but also help you attack promotion as a team, rather than by yourself. Together you can create treasuries to get noticed, you can have group promos, or even have a local show like I am with my HRAST group.

4. Get your product seen. This is best done by listing or renewing daily. This helps get your items to the top of the search category and getting new eyes on your product daily. I call it the invitation to your shop.
Recently I've found www.twitter.com. This is a great place to post new or renewed listing to get your views better, and get more attention to your item, and your shop.
You also want to study your views and hearts. The most awesome tool is Majaba...Mah-who-ba? www.majaba.org It is a website to help you track views on items, to see how much your views increased after promoting. Really without this running an Etsy shop can be a blind mission. By the way, you can even advertise on majaba for a small marketing fee.

5. The more the merrier. In both shops business increased after I had more than 30 items in the shop. Why? Because your customers have choices. They feel like they are shopping and are sure about their purchase when they check out. I know this sounds unimportant, but it really does matter, it somehow gives the perception of established, professional business.

You'll see a lot on Etsy about using Flicker, MySpace, Facebook, Blogging. I have to say, if this is not something you do anyway or are savvy with, I am not sure that it increases views or sales. It has to be something you are into doing, and not just doing to gain sales. For instance I m not a myspace or facebook natural (or arguably a blogger). This seemed like a chore, and I wasn't really connected with that community...absence isn't going to bring them to you. All this info is for you to take in and digest, and spit back out the right formula for your shop. These are the things that have helped me, and will hopefully help in your Etsy business as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Etsy Homefront Team

I've been a member of Etsy Homefront since May of this year. This is one of the greatest parts of Etsy. These talented artisans, are full of support, generosity, and spirit. I wanted to highlight this great team and the things they've done for me in a blog entry, that will hopefully spurt some on looker to take a look at their shops, and see their wonderful work...as a reward for their wonderful hearts.
They have given me 2 types of support. They have supported me during this year while my husband was deployed. There were many days I needed some reassurance, some good thoughts, and an ear. The forum, the chats, and our cafemom board was always there. And this filled with women who have been there, done that, as all of Homefront are military spouses.
I was also given a ton of shop support. Ideas for new product, thoughts on pricing, photos, sales, etc. A lot of help was given when I was trying to open my second shop, Lilac Ave, and that helped to make it a smooth opening and a successful business.
I also sent out one request via our yahoo message board for donations for my husband's coomand FRG (family readiness group), for a silent auction, and was overwhelmed with the response of 20 donated items. These items were given, with nothing asked for in return, and at no cost, so that the entire proceeds could go to help pay for our homecoming, and single sailor gifts for those returning home with no family.
These are just a few of the items, I am in love with from our group of fabulous Etsians!

(also, please see the website http://www.etsyhomefront.com/ )

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday- Tell me to Shut Up!

Tell me, what exactly was I expecting? To magically clear all the shelves in my stores with my amazing products, and my fabulous bargain?!?! Insanely, yes! Here I was making a sale or 2, and getting irritated then it all came into perspective.

1st of all, Etsy is filled with a good amount of skilled artisans, those making cards, candles, and many other perfect gift items! Why would I think my bargain or my items would outweigh theirs any more or less than any other day on Etsy?

2nd of all, Between Thursday and Friday, I made 1/3 of the dollars in sales, than my best MONTH ever on Etsy!!!! That is pretty impressive!!!

So realistically, yes Thanksgiving and Black Friday were fabulous for me. Enough to quit my job no...but that would really be unrealistic. I work in retail financial planning. It is considered good for us to see 5% increases over the previous year. I wasn't even open last year. And month to date, there is an increase of 8% on Etsy (113% if you include the Craft Show sales from last weekend) compared to my previous best month ever. So really there is nothing here but good news stories!

Another thing to think about is that many of these customers were new customers, and as much as I adore my loyal customers, new customers are the way to grow a business. These could turn into return customers for larger grossing future months.

So I guess the moral to the story is to keep your goals and expectations real. And appreciate the 'normal' rate of growth.

I also want to say, thanks to ALL my customers, past, present, and future...you truly are a dream come true!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My 1st REAL Craft Show Experience

Okay, okay, so there was that one little Show back in March, but does t count if there was 0 sales? No, this show was a biggie! It is the annual Indian River High School Christmas Craft Show. It is well advertised, well known...and $100 for a table! Now $100 may seem cheap to some, but for me, and amateur, with an average price point of $6...it was daunting. I did all the research, made a ton of inventory, got propay, so I could accept cards. By the time, propay, props, and table costs were spent, we were up to $150. A lot of investment!
The show had a lot of traffic, and I made nearly as much sales on Sunday as Saturday, which was great. I would've been ashamed if I didn't make at least that $150, and I made $221 to be exact....but what did I really make, and what did I find out, and was it worth it?

Here are the good things.
1. There were customers who bought my items. This is not to say that I don't have confidance, but still it is a huge flattery point for me, that things I made with my hands and creativity, someone feels willing to spend their money on.
2. My best month ever on Etsy was $200, so to do that in a weekend is something.
3. I gave out a lot of business cards, and really got to market myself.
4. It was fun.
5. It was experience.

Some of the not so great things.
1. Craft shows are not for me. This show actually made, money, versus the first show that had no sales. The first show was $35 vs this $100. That being said, I didn't make a 'profit' on either when you take into consideration cost of goods, time spent to prepare, time spent there selling (assume min wage for a sales person, and I would've had to pay myself $80, for working this weekend).
2. Of my $221 in sales, $143 was from people I knew, and already knew about my etsy site. People that I invited to this show. So only $78 was new business.
3. For the $150 I invested into presentation, booth fees, and ability to take credit cards, I could've listed or renewed 750 times on Etsy....I can't imagine that that many listings or renewals wouldn't have produced an output of business.

So in conclusion, likely the only fairs I will be at from now on are the ones with my local Etsy group "Hampton Roads Artisans Street Team" (seen at www.hamptonroadsartisans.com). And even that is to participate with the group, and promote Etsy than it is to achieve higher sales in my shop.

P.S. My mom helped at the show, she is the one in the photos. Love you MOM!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Baby Ain't No Baby

So my "baby girl" turns 5 tomorrow. I cannot believe how fast the time goes. For some reason it is so hard for me to look at pictures of her as the sweet baby she was, and know that time is passed. I was talking to a friend at work about this phenomena today. Her daughter turns 17 on Monday. She was discussing how sad she is for her to go to college next year and be away where she won't see her daily. Somehow I know that time is going to pass faster than I can hold on to, and that is terrifying.
So tonight, I laid with her as she fell asleep and I breathed in her as a 4yr old. I will try so hard to be awake and aware through these years and really appreciate her for who she is, the wonders of her age, and not take a moment for granted (same for Ethan). It's so easy to wish they were more dependent, can't wait until they sleep in, and all those fleeting thoughts we have during the hard times. I just really don't ever want to lose my little girl.
So here is my suggestion and thought for tonight...here is my 5 gratitudes for my daughter:
1. She is so naturally benevolent.
2. She is spunky.
3. She loves hugs and kisses and snuggles.
4. She gives the biggest and best hugs!
5. She looks at me in awe.

And lets not forget about Scott...here are his lyrics:
"And I live my life to be with you,
No one can do the things you do,
Anything you want, you got it
Anything you need, you got it,
Anything at all, you got it.....baby"- Roy Orbison

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Submarines, Ahoy!

I'll start his blog post off saying, that instead of dating these blog posts I am going to move to titles...since the blog post is already dated.

Now that is out of the way...let's move on to submarines. My husband is a submariner, and I bought some submarine hats from a fellow Homefront Team Etsian, named Moose Threads. Her yarn is so soft and her hats so well made! I thought these hats would be a perfect way to not only remember Daddy while he is deployed, and showing our pride, but also as a way to dress for him when he has homecoming later this year.
My husband has been gone since May and we still have quite a while to go. We are a Navy family, and there is so much pride in being a submariner. They are just cool!

So things are going good. I just started back to work full time and how to juggle, work, family, Etsy, exercise, housework and my sanity is a mystery. I do not want to let go of my shops, so I am trying to change my habits to make all this work. I plan on only going to the post office every Wednesday and Saturday, doing creation and photos on weekends and listing those new items during the week. This will be hard for me, because I prefer to list immediately. Not sure why, I guess I just get excited to see the reactions. Probably by the time I hit a rhythm, Scott will be home and it will all be screwed!

I am trying to allow myself to take it easy and do as best as I can, and not worry so much about doing everything. I'm just going to try working it, and see what may end up falling out.

So this weekend I got my house in order (literally and figuratively), and we are ready for a new week ahead.

1. Neighbors who this week, mowed my lawn, took my trash back from the curb, took my umbrellas down for the storm, and cleaned up the floors in my house.
2. My new job rocks!
3. I got an email from my husband.
4. The kids liking and doing well in school so far this year.
5. Catching a rhythm to get through this deployment.

Lyrics for Scott:
"Love Rescue Me, Come Forth and Speak to Me,
Raise me up, and Don't Let Me Fall" -U2

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 16th 2008

Yowza...10 days! Like I said before time is passing super fast...which is a good thing with a deployed husband, but there is a lot of things to do daily....no rest for the wicked, right?

Well here I am about to go to TX for my 30th birthday in a couple of weeks. I am so excited to have company, and have a hand with the kids. AND I CANNOT WAIT to see my brothers! If I have never written about them before, I have 2 brothers, Bill and Tom. Bill is 10 years older than me, and Tom is 9 years older than me. Yes, I am the baby and the only girl, and only dropped out of my princess syndrome, when my dad started viewing me as a mom versus a sweetheart. Any way, I love my brother dearly! And because they are men we rarely talk other than when we are visiting.

Also I have some updates on my daughter Ryann. After 2 years of fighting her to get her to poop in the potty and not in her pants, I can safely say, she is COMPLETELY potty trained. No accidents in 6 weeks! She did well at this last summer, when Scott was away, and then reverted when he got back...lets home 6 months is long enough to make it stick! She has also begun to take showers and swings herself on a swing....she is a big girl now. I am so proud. She is such an amazing girl. She is sweet, beautiful, mischievous, and adorable! I am so in love with her. I cross my fingers daily, that as she gets older we continue to stay close.

Ethan is doing pretty good at therapy, and LOVES his teachers there. He gets a ton of attention there, and all the staff seem to be in love with him. This is so important since he is used to always being the one in trouble, or the "bad kid". He has found a place for acceptance.

BIG NEWS! Well Bubba & Rye, now has a subsidiary...Lilac Ave. I opened up a candle shop..full of soy candles with cool containers. It has been 6 days and I have had 2 sales, many hearts, and many views! I had the best critique ever on Etsy, when a poster said, "you are destined for greatness"...lets hope that holds water.

So if you are interested: http://www.lilacave.etsy.com/

1. This upcoming trip to Texas.
2. A great relationship with my family.
3. A truly incredible daughter.
4. Finding a place where Ethan can feel included and loved, and fulfilled in spirit.
5. Loving every minute of my business!

Lyrics for Scott:
"I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me.
I won't leave, I can't hide, I cannot be until you're resting here with me"- Dido

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April 8, 2008

So today was good. After 3 sales in the last week, I am excited and motivated! Also a tip from a fellow Etsian led me to call a local church that is having a bazaar on Saturday. It is $35, and it is being advertised in the newspaper and amongst fellow parishes. AND it's indoors, so I don't have to worry about the pesky weather. I'm excited to get out there and promote and sell, and see what I am capable of.

Also I may have found a place to consign and that is really exciting as well. It is not local, but given the weight, etc of cards, it should be easy to manage and ship from a distance. So Bubba & Rye seems to be advancing!

Otherwise things have been good. The kids are under control, my husband is home from sea for a short while, and I am eating well and exercising. Things are just bright and shiny...even though the weather is not following suit!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April 5, 2008

I hadn't realized it had been so long since I last entered into my blog. I'm sure no one was waiting with baited breath! LOL!

Well, today has been an informative and somewhat disappointing day. I went to the Virginia Beach Farmers Market to check it out, since I wanted to set up a booth there next weekend. They let crafters set up booths in the parking lot for $12/day. There was no one there....no craft vendors, no customers. Today was a somewhat rainy day, so I'm sure that impacted it, but I am growing more and more concerned that this may not be the pot of gold I was hoping for. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place in so many ways. 1) I can't afford the $125-$225 craft show fees...I would have to sell 250 cards to make it worthwhile! And here is a $12 venue, that has no traffic, and is completely weather dependent. 2) When the weather gets better, and the Farmers Market in VA Beach gets more traffic, as well as a Hampton Farmers Market that I was researching, my husband will be deployedand I will have no one to watch my kids.

So then the question becomes how can I get my online business to produce more??? My husband is home now, so I am urginig him to get my website fully up. And I will look into promoting on Majaba, and really trying to advertise with Etsy and iCraft.

Otherwise things are going well. I'm posting one of my new creative experiences....fabric cards! I love it. I feel like I am really advancing artistically. I also came to the realization that I do not like sewing, so I am trying to destash my fabric on Etsy and Ebay, to hopefully gain more money to finance the cards and painting.