Thursday, October 4, 2018

What's My Niche?

As I continue to write freely here, by no means with any sort of schedule, I'm finding I should follow some of the steps I've been reading about to strengthen my biz. If it IS to become a biz. First and foremost, "who is my buyer?". Well, that's a tough one. I sell clay dishes, that are inexpensive, for the work involved in making them, and one off jewelry pieces. I make what I think looks beautiful. But you know what? That's not enough. I know. So there lies the question. What separates me from the million other jewelry designers out there? What's "my niche"?

Will have to give this some thought. Any suggestions? Are YOU a biz owner?

Thinking Cap is officially on.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Labor Day is Behind Us, Now What?

Ok, so clearly, time is flying by, and I haven't been able to devote as much time to figuring this whole "store thing" out. There are too many tools, suggestions, videos, companies, who will guide you through making more sales. But where to start?!

I haven't even looked deep into this Blogger website to finesse the design details of my blog! Good lord, what kind of designer am I? LOL, to let time pass by with a half thought out blog design. Well, just put that on my List of Things to Look At.

Today I'm reading a little about using Mail Chimp, and what it offers. Through Shopify, one viewer has singed up to receive emails, but guess what...I don't even know how to send out announcements to this willing recipient! Baby steps, i know.

Onwards. I'm going to work on tags and photos of my current stock of goods. I know I'm not supposed to create new items until my older items are all perfected, but there are too many ideas in my head. Another main thing I have to do is work on getting the word out. A never ending process.

How do you work your magic? If you have an online biz? Would love to hear.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Once again, I'm trying my hand with Spotify. "Why?" You may ask? It's 2 fold. One major reason is that you can't gather up emails in Etsy, for sending marketing messages to potential buyers. Spotify will ask if a viewer would like to sign up for a newsletter. And #2 reason, is that I keep reading that you shouldn't rely on etsy 100% for your shop, since Etsy can shut you down at any moment.

Well, I've been signed up for a month now. And still have yet to fully look into what Spotify has to offer. Rrrrr, why did I sign up in the middle of summer? I can barely devote any significant time to my shop daily. Too many chauffeur duties, kids home, etc.

The main bonus I'd say, is the ability to post items for sale through Instagram, which I believe is only available if you have a shopify account. But for $29 a month, I should at least be making double that in sales! I decided to give myself about 6 months to see if it's worth it.

What's your experience with Shopify and having an Etsy store?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What's my Story?

Over the past year and a half, I feel like I've read a lot of advice online and in book form, about how to sell stuff. It doesn't mean I know everything, by any stretch of the imagination, but one little advice nugget, I'm starting to slowly jive to. Which is, "What's your story? How is your shop different than someone else's down the street?" Initially my inner voice would answer, "Nothing, except that I make pretty things". The problem with that answer is that it doesn't help me to get that hook. Something that will drive customers to even want to bother seeing what it is I have to offer. 

It only hit me yesterday, as I was sanding down some new clay bowls, that when I make something, it's not a perfectly manufactured looking product. You can see my finger prints in the clay, the parts where I've pinched down the sides, making it thin. Or on my jewelry, where I've curled gold wire into some funky swirly just to make it secure around a jump ring. 

Could this be what separates my shop from someone elses? Maybe. I'll look into it further and see how it can indeed become my story. Because nobody's perfect, and there is beauty in the imperfect.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 14, 2018

Holy Moly, Domain Mess!!

Where do I begin? My last post here was in March. Yes I know, that is beyond delinquent! But honestly, there's just too many things happening. So while I was living life, somehow, I let my domain expire. And in that time, a bot or someone, scooped up my domain name and is now offering it in an auction?! Sigh, can you imagine all the time and effort it would now take to change everywhere I have used "Vanpinni Designs" if I were to change this brand name? Yes, people do it. And it's not like I have a huge following. "But sweet baby jesus!!" I love that quote, btw.

Apparently, last year, when I signed up to get a domain name, I decided to save money and not automatically renew. After one year, I'd know wether this was a hobby or a new company. cough* cough*, a year goes by quickly.

So now I'm faced with, do I change the name, simply taking off the "s", so it's not a crazy change? Do I pay the auction? I'd say no on principle. or do i do nothing now, till I really deal with maybe getting a stand alone website away from Etsy?

Help me. What would you do?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

And now, mid-March, already?!

Can you hear it? The sigh of "where, oh where on earth, does time go?" Guess what? I still haven't finished my Pinterest Power book I bought at the end of this summer!! But, I am right at the end. The juicy part I probably should have skipped to, instead of reading it cover to cover. I didn't want to miss anything.

What have I learned so far? That Pinterest is definitely one of the best ways to get eye balls to your store or site, indefinitely. Each time a new product is posted to my store, I do try to remember to post it on Pinterest also.

It's a tiny start, to getting your products out there. The Facebook groups I used to look at daily, and comment on, adding my store link and playing the "Follow Game", became tiresome. Did it really help in the long run? I don't know. Didn't feel like it. It all started to feel like a lot of work for little reward. So I stopped.

Now I have some items listed in my Etsy Wholesale page, but each time I see the 50% wholesale price, from the retail price, I feel mildly nauseous. I understand the concept. If it took me a year to sell one item at $50, but I sold 10 items at $25, all in one fall swoop, isn't that a better use of my time? I guess so. Time will tell.

So, I continue to have visions of new products to make, new artwork to produce, like a fever, I can't stop. I just wish the days didn't fly by, the way they do.

Soon, it'll be summer break, and I'll have even less daily "free time". I better make the most out of my school days now.

Oh, and I still haven't approached a few local stores I've had on my radar for the past year!! I kept telling myself I didn't have the right products to offer just yet. I know, I know! "JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!" Ever see that hysterical video with Shia Labeouf actor? Google it, it's cra-zeee! Here's the link, 'cause I'm gonna watch part of it again, just to get my giggle for the day.

Next time I write a post, it will be with some items accomplished towards getting into the retail market. Gosh darn-nit.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mid February Already!?

Ok, what happened? A month went by already since my last blog post. It's hard. I'll say it. There's a million things you should be doing, you want to be doing, and things you actually get to. This past month, I feel like I've learned a few little nuggets of shaping my business. I finished the "Etsy Empire" book, with some good things to try. But I think the most meaningful take away was this:

You need to express what makes your shop/goods so special. 

This makes sense if you think about the materials you're using. For me, I'm seeking out 14k gold filled, sterling silver, and now Argentium silver, which is a higher quality silver that is tarnish resistant. But everyone else under the sun, or so it seems, is designing jewelry using gold and silver. But, not Argentium! So, taking baby steps, since it is a more expensive metal, I bought some materials to make 2 necklaces. Then I started creating Collection names for the shop. Not just "Jewelry" or "Stone Clay Bowls", but named Collections that can be branded and featured when approaching boutiques.

We'll see where this all takes me.

Onwards! and Upwards!

Enjoy your day out there.

What's My Niche?

As I continue to write freely here, by no means with any sort of schedule, I'm finding I should follow some of the steps I've been r...