Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slow... still

I sold a bar of my Hemingway soap last week, but that's it. Still slow.
The worst part is that due to various circumstances I couldn't even sell at the craft show this past weekend. The craft show I help set up, no less. It's a bit depressing, especially since I had to quit my part time job.
I love making things and I've been doing it for myself and my friends for so long, I just really hoped to take it to the next step and be able to make a decent portion of my living off of it eventually. It's been very difficult and after the holiday season I may take a little time off to work on other things, re-evalute what I make and how I market and see if I can or should come back.
At this point I'm not optomistic. I'm a bit exhausted. My sales aren't even equaling the cost of my materials.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoreau Would Probably Approve

My brother and his girlfriend where outside watching the lightening storm on the porch tonight, so I joined them. Gorgeous forked streaks of light were flooding the sky. There was so much electricity in the air, the neighbors' motion sensor light was tripped. While we were sitting there I said, "Thoreau would approve of this I think," we had shut off the tv and computers and were being entertained by nature. "Who's that?" my brother asked. Oh well.
We've been having so much rain lately that suddenly new tomatoes are sprouting from my plants and I fear they'll be killed by the rapidly approaching first frost. In one of my literature classes we've been reading a section of Walden and Thoreau describes watching his area in the woods flood, an eerily familiar sensation lately.
Say what you will about Thoreau (my dad already has), but he was right about one thing: we should take our cues from nature, not contrived social classes and customs. And we should simplify above all else. Everyone wants things to be more and more complicate- a phone that's also a music player/computer/planner/ereader- it's too much for me. (Maybe it will save a couple trees, but I could never use a Kindle or whatever, I like paper books.)
I made and listed new soap and some solid perfume today and then I went to practice at the archery range, not a very eventful day, but one of my few holidays from school, so I tried to enjoy it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Fill in the Gap"

In an effort to use the Etsy Holiday Boot Camp to the fullest I decided to take their advice and "fill in the gap". They recommend customizable gift options so I wondered what I could customize in either of my shops. Then it hit me: customize your own soap. I think it's clever and hope someone will bite on it.
Check it out please!
I'm going camera shopping today, so I can finally photograph all my new soaps and necklaces.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shopping for Supplies and Trolling the Flea Market

This was my first free Sunday afternoon in months so my father and I decided to have some father-daughter bonding. I had to get supplies (the craft show is about two weeks away and I'm out of necklace clasps!) but we thought we'd go to the local flea market on the way. I met some really interesting people- a guy that gave me some great archery advice, a fellow English major (once an English major, always an English major, after all) and a creepy guy who tried to give me a shirt until his girlfriend showed up.
None the less, I found a great bedside table/mini chest of drawers for $5. I also got my findings at the craft store and found something I've been meaning to get for ages: a fake neck. On sale were little velvet stands that have that neckline shape for modeling jewelry. That will keep me from taking any more of those awkward photos of my own neck with the necklaces on. It is a hard angle to photograph correctly and it makes me self conscious about how pasty I am. Unfortunately I have to mooch camera time again before I can photograph my new items, until then I'm trying to renew what I have and get it sold if I can.
I also found out about a website yesterday called "This is Handmade" I heard about it on an Etsy thread and it proves a great point about how difficult and tedious hand making things can be. I would love to make my out video, even if I can't contribute it, I could stick it here on my blog for perspective customers to see. One interesting thing about all the videos of different crafters is how they all set up their respective work environments. It made me chuckle that one woman was listening to a recorded lecture about string theory or something while she worked.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Things You Learn While....

....Trolling Etsy hoping to make a sale so you can pay your shop bills. I had a sale this month, but spent the money on supplies hoping I'd have another sale before the bill came due. Didn't happen. Now my PayPal account is almost empty and I have two bills to pay.

In my desperation, I took to wandering around the community and found two things of interest:

1. The Holiday Boot Camp Mascot has been selected as Lou the Monster:

And he terrifies me. Look into those wild and desperate eyes- eyes that imply weeks of nothing but nicotine and coffee. Eyes that could kill. I think he's supposed to represent Etsy sellers at the end of the holiday season, so probably pretty accurate. I already feel that way, but it's school related.

2. Etsy On Sale- a hack that lets you put certain sections of your shop a particular amount on sale for a designated period of time and sort of promote it. In my desperate Lou the Monster state, I have put all my apparel 15% off starting tonight at midnight through the weekend. Great costume pieces, already reasonably priced and now on sale!

A Bonus Third Lesson from one of my convos:

3. One of the fragrance suppliers I've been in contact with may be able to get me *Gun Powder Fragrance Oil*! Oh the manly bath and body possibilities! Actually stems from a request of my father's he likes to restore and shoot antique firearms.

So, an educational night overall.