July 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
I found out a little after the fact that I had indeed made it to the Etsy Front Page for the first time…hallowed ground for sure. *moment of silence* I didn’t know for a while as there really wasn’t an uptick in views or sales. I randomly checked the comments on one of the treasuries I had been featured in and noticed a bunch of people congratulating all of us on our Front Page status. I sat there for a moment…“wait, which front page? THE Front Page??” And indeed, after some investigating, I discovered it ran at midnight on Sunday, July 15th. Well…at least it happened! Though, I was sleeping, and you, and anyone else that probably you or I know. It’s a Wes Anderson themed treasury; I thought very clever…and here it is!
July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
July 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
I am loving Spoonflower hard! Recently I opened up shop with my first design, Hootie Cutie. He’s based off of my silk-screened T-shirt design, which is a clever nod to my local football team’s, the New Orleans Saints, catch phrase, “Who Dat”. Here it is:
It’s been wildly popular locally, and with Spoonflower’s help I can now reach a new audience. I’ve designed six colorways…two of which are true to the original black and gold design, Geaux Gold and the reverse, Geaux Black. Also, there is a fun Halloween design in an orange and black colorway called Bibbity Boo. Two in pink and blue with chocolate for a nursery or kid’s room: Pink Brownie and Bloo Berry. Lastly, there is Sprout, grey blue birds on a green field. You can check out my actual samples of these colorways on my Flickr page or if you’re local, pop in the shop and I’ll show them to you in person!
July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s been a busy couple weeks ever since we returned from our Summer Staycation. Usually, Summer is slow for me at the shop; this year, not so much. I haven’t even been able to return to some of my personal projects like my review of the Creative Entrepreneur book and my Sky Scarf (I think I left off in May…gah!) This past weekend was a very busy Christmas in July event in town.
Which was funny because we had placed orders of a lot of holiday craft supplies so early and only a couple things arrived in time. My vendors are nearly driving me batty as nearly EVERY order of Fall and Christmas merchandise is back-ordered. I guess its a sign of the times but manufacturers are not stocking extras of anything and this is causing everything to arrive way later (and the big box stores already have those items on their shelves). I know a lot of people remark how they hate seeing holiday merchandise early, but you have to understand my customer may visit my shop once in the entire year…I have to show them everything I’ve got and hope they take advantage of it. In fact, it usually takes a person up to seven times seeing something to make a decision about it. Big Box stores get this as you pass those Christmas trees in August on your way to get the milk and bread. So, I’m glad once again that I work with local artisans as I’ve already started to get some Fall merchandise in from them.
I’ve also spent this year collecting some really amazing vintage Christmas items – including linens, which I will debut in August. And in the midst of all this insanity, I agreed to create a follow up pattern to my Downton Abbey pattern. I seriously never do custom work; I totally use the cancer card when anyone asks but a very sweet person inquired and it gave me a really good idea to explore…so it’s in the works! Also, I’m late to the Spoonflower party, but oh my goodness…what amazing things you can do with this service. I received my first samples back (more on this later) and they are just lovely!
July 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
Sometimes the weirdest things pop up in my Raverly searches. Yesterday I was researching beanie hat patterns to crochet and this crazy stuff pops up:
I’ve seen these sold on Etsy before but here is where you can get your free pattern.
And ladies, for your other end, may I introduce this functional little piece:
Oh No you didn’t!
is anyone else noticing all their cabinets and pantry door is open? Guess not – but that drives me crazy. Anywho, here’s your free pattern!
July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
My shop is located in a small town; well a city…but we must have just qualified with a mere 6,000 in population. Last week, one of our veteran news reporters, and old Santa Claus-y figure minus the beard but double on the belly, came in the shop to find out what had happened to the donut shop across the street from us. Honestly, I didn’t really know the scoop other than after breakfast one morning the owner took every lick of furniture and equipment out of the shop and left. Some people had said the building was in foreclosure, a note on the door says closed for renovations, and the reporter had heard that someone wanted to buy the property from the neighboring town. He just kept lamenting “I can’t believe we don’t have a donut shop in this town!” Honestly, they were the worst donuts I’d every eaten. I never bought any as there was always ceiling tiles hanging out of place over the counter and it was dirty. Those donuts were something you politely ate when someone brought you one but they had a weird almost chemical taste. So, yes, somehow our little town is making do over the loss of our only donut institution. Far from me to criticize, I kept my opinions to myself and then he started to get into the real meat of his investigation…or maybe circling in on the hole of his donut. “It seems like this town has really taken a hit, business after business closing.” He names three, including our stellar donut shop, the other two: one is retiring and the other is defaulting on a risky loan. I name four new stores that have opened in town in the last three months. I told him it’s not unusual to see stores close in the summer (you see this right after Christmas too). I told him what’s good news is that someone is coming within a month or two to fill their vacancies. I told him that at my shop, we’re still struggling but I could see a marked improvement from last year. I guess that wasn’t sensational enough; he waved thanks as he walked away and said he was going to go make a few more calls to find out the donut shop story. After he left, I realized he never asked me who I was, anything about my business, or even my name! I don’t talk a lot about it but I almost closed my business nearly 2 years ago because I was diagnosed with a rare form of head and neck cancer. All your life you grow up wanting to be different and then you get something fairly rare and you just want to go back to being ordinary. So, it’s not a big deal to me now as I’ve gone on business as usual. But moments or encounters like this sort of surprise me. Maybe I should have said something; it feels funny to me as I always think we all have troubles…why would mine be any different. And really, the cancer is not the story; it’s what came after the cancer. No one really wanted me to give up (though there were days where I was at peace with letting this dream go). But my partner, family, and even customers fought for the shop and me. I suppose I might have told him if he’d asked just one question about me.
July 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
2 weeks ago (sorry I took a week off with the holiday) I finished off Chapter 2 of The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real by Lisa Sonora Beam. This week gets a little meatier with The next Chapter 3.
Chapter Three, is vast, messy and I feel like it’s going to take time to really digest it all. I’ve broken it up in pieces with part one as the largest. This chapter begins by sorting out Right Brain function from Left Brain and really delving into your strengths and weaknesses of each. Beam still has this hippy-dippy language she writes in but its grounded enough to make you want to stay a part of the process of self-evaluation. I found the exercises really helpfully; especially as I always thought of myself as left brained…after this, I realize, I couldn’t be farther from it. Probably I just tried to live in a left brain life for too long until a few years ago. So, in that sense, things about myself I saw as deficiencies, now I can see more honestly and appreciate their benefit…the same is true for the left brain quirks that hold me back.
Another truth that Beam kept hitting on was the idea of forcing ourselves to do the things we find weakness in; i.e. you like to write all day and you stink at math. Apparently, there is a good bit of study and thought that delving into those weak areas not only strengthens our weaknesses but doubly strengthens our gifts! This past week I did take on a bit more detailed business work (stuff I loathe!) and I’m not sure if it gave me a push creatively in my other areas…but it did feel like it cleared away a lot of the minutia in my head and allowed myself to create without distraction.
Also, this week, by a happy accident, I watched the documentary, The Woodmans on Netflix. I was somewhat surprised to have never heard of this family of artists back in school; though it seems the daughter, Francesca, gained the most notoriety with her hauntingly beautiful photographs. The thing that really got me though was their work ethic. They just don’t wait for inspiration; creating art is a job. George Woodman, the father, makes a comment somewhere in the film that “if you don’t have any ideas you go into your studio and sharpen pencils…eventually you might just get an idea!” If you find yourself reading along with this book; now’s the time to watch this film to enhance this chapter.
Next week, I’ll focus just on pages 60-61, Mapping Your Remedies…so check back next week to find my progress.