Saturday, July 28, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
I'm clearing out part of my online shop at etsy, so, I am selling individual handmade cards for a buck each. Can't beat that. Sets are only $3.00. Come help me clear out and achieve a goal of 100 sales. Thanks.
Friday, July 20, 2007
It is hot an muggy where I live, there is no air conditioning in my craft room which is in the second floor of my cape home (attic). Do you see why I may be on the cranky side? Money is tight in the summer because I am a substitute teacher and do not get paid for summer vacation. I was hoping to fill in some income by selling my handmade treasures online but considering summer is a slow time for retail, this plan has not been one of my best. I do have the time to create things for the busier season which is good but getting through the summer when tax bills are do can sometimes make for some nail biters.
I guess we will be eating spaghetti a bit more often until the buyers come back. In the meantime I will be up in my craftroom with my cranky self.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Yesterday I went to one of the very few left fabric stores in my area. They were having a great sale so I got some patterns, fabric and notions. The fabric I choose it a silky brocade with pretty butterflies on it. I thought it would be perfect for pillows but I remember having trouble sewing similar fabric a few years ago. I ask the clerk if she could help me find the proper needles to use. She tells me she doesn't sew. She works in a fabric store but doesn't sew. Ok can anyone else help me? Oh anyone older than me. So when I get to the cashier, I ask her for some guidance. She really doesn't know so has me buy a combination set of needles which set me back almost 5 dollars. Now if this were Walmart, I would think ok maybe they are not trained in this department but this is a FABRIC store. Ok ready to check out; of course these little things add up and 60 bucks later, I am ready to go home and start sewing. Ha! Life gets in the way. I start posting to forums, clean my computer room, do some paperwork. You get the idea, no sewing yesterday.
Today I am ready. I have my serger which takes a good hour to thread just right. Then I get my sewing machine ready. Do you think I can get that to make a nice closed stitch? Nooooooooo. So I figure I would clean it out. I pulled out enough dust to make a small plushie. Now I am ready so I take a scrap of fabric and try about 8 times to get it right. Tension too high, tension too low, rethread, rebobbin. Okay, good enough, not perfect, but noone would know but me. I am making pillows so most of the stitching is on the inside. As long as it is a strong stitch it will be fine.
So now, about 6 hours later the pillows are done. Nothing fancy but nice. The fabric is what makes them special. It is a beautiful asian inspired brocade with images of rainbow colored fancy butterflies.
Now to photograph them. I take several shots on my leather couch only to realize the dark black is coming out grayish and dull. I try adjusting the white balance with no luck. I really want to show how pretty the material is so I take a few photos outside. They are better but now what my eye sees.
Now to list them in my etsy shop. I try to think of 14 tags to use to make up they show up in various searches. This is always tricky because you want to be broad but not so much that you infringe on other's categories. I do my best and list them. They are in my shop priced at 20 dollars each. I am now feeling I have overpriced them. The fabric and form and thread and broken needles. ( Oh I didn't mention I broke 4 needles) come to about 12 dollars and I added 8 dollars for my time. That really isn't much, but are buyers willing to pay. Only time will tell.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Well these hot summer months are what weed out the part time sellers from the professionals. As a professional seller, you know that every year this slowdown is inevitable. Buyers are on vacation, spending time with family, or just getting out of the house. There are no major holidays to shop for, hence, no need to spend disposable income.
This is the time a smart seller uses to get their inventory ready for the busy months, increases their advertising presence, and pretties up their shops. It is not a time to sit around and whine about the decrease in sales, be proactive not reactive.
If you carry lots of summer items in your shops, you may want to have a sale to generate interest. The key is to still turn a profit. Do not undervalue your hard work. Whether it is time you spent creating an object or the time you spent looking for the item to sell. Of course buyers are always looking for bargains but you can make them feel they Need what you have.
Make sure you have professional photos, excellent descriptions, and offer excellent customer service. Packaging is key for return buyers. Make a buyer feel like he/she has just received a gift in the mail. Enclose a few business cards so the buyer can pass them on to friends. Include a hand written note whenever possible. Let the buyer know you are willing to work out any issues with them.
Now go out there and make the best of these slow days, maybe take a day or two off yourself.