Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vacation in Muse Land

Dear Friends,
As you know I've been working my tail off this year preparing my new studio, moving, and really pushing myself to reach new levels in my artistic expression this year.  And while loving every second, I've been running along at break neck speed, I have come to realize that it just isn't leaving time for the other things in my life that really need my attention.

The Secret Grotto by Foxfires

Starting June 1st, I will be de-activating Etsy shop essentially putting it on vacation, and plan to re-open in August.  My goal is to use this 2 month break to not only create a fresh new collection and finish up custom orders, but also to focus on finding more balance to my very full plate.  My Red Bubble site will still be open.  I will still be active on facebook, however just taking time away from Etsy, and spending more of it on health, home and family.  Thank you for your understanding, and if you had your eye on a certain piece in my store, I suggest you snap it up soon!

Thank you for your support,

Friday, May 13, 2011

Do's and Don’ts Part II - Advice from a 2 year old

Two year old Etsy seller that is.  It's my 2 year Etsy-versary!  Hard to believe since it's flown by so quickly.  This blog post is Chapter 2 of my first post last year and is just a tad more brutally honest.  To read Part 1 click here.   I will make an effort to do this every year in hopes you will find this interesting and can learn from my mistakes.

Treasure Trove Necklace by Sora Designs

1. Don’t tell all your secrets. I’ve learned the hard way to not share every little detail of your business, suppliers, marketing techniques, etc.. as what might seem like a good natured question one day can and will become something might come back to haunt you.  

stretched silks in my studio
2. Do share just enough/be selective.  I’ve learned that sharing bits of the creative process of my silk artworks has proven to be quite interesting to others and helps create excitement and a positive buzz about my wearable art scarves.

Grumpy, black faced sheep by Maid of Clay
3. Don’t think you can please everyone.  Some people are just unhappy, period, and nothing you can do or say will be good enough.  One time I spent so much time re-painting a piece for a customer, that I lost an entire 3 days of productivity, not to mention staying up past midnight in the freezing cold (back when my studio was outdoors) in order to make them happy.  It still didn’t work!

At Your Service by FredMorseArt
4. Do work hard and everything in your power to provide excellent customer service without totally overextending yourself.  I would have saved myself a lot of time, energy, and stress had I simply issued a refund in that case and moved on.  However there have been cases when something like an extra rush or extra touch has made all the difference (but it didn't take 3 days). 

The Trail by Painted with Light
5. Don’t blame the world when sales are dry.  It’s not the responsibility of the sun, moon, rain, and/or web site hosting your product to magically bring in traffic and sales just because you put it out there.

Traffic Jam by gckimmitt
6. Do look to yourself to drive traffic and sales to your store.  I’ve noticed a direct impact on my views and marketing efforts when I am highly involved.. with Etsy teams, forums, treasuries, Flickr, blogging, FB, twitter, tagging images correctly.  It’s hard work!  But I just see it as the more you put into something, the more you get out of it.

Kittie Beats by the Barber Shop
7. Don’t ask if you can’t handle the truth!  (lol - I just couldn’t resist the Jack reference).  But really, if you ask for any opinion or critique of your product or shop,  don’t be taken back if someone gives you negative or harsh constructive criticism. After all, you did ask!

"Who Wears it Best? FB Voter
8. Do ask questions that you actually want to hear the answers to.  I ALWAYS love hearing the feedback of the Facebook Musies for example, when pondering color choices of a silk painting and especially love to see which Muse Model will win the “Who Wears it Best” contests.  Do stay open-minded and know that any constructive criticism is usually coming from someone who is genuinely trying to help.

Sad Little One by Irobinson
 9.  Don’t give up.  When the sales are down, a situation goes sour, or you have had it up to here with rude and/or people misbehaving, don’t dwell…  Don’t sink down to the level of immature actions.  You can find negativity and drama anywhere you go, and online too if you want it.  Don’t give in!

Happy Toad by Surly
10. Do be the better person.  Do be kind.  Do focus on your own creativity and work, and improving constantly. The sales will come as your business builds and you continue to rise above and keep moving when there are obstacles in your path.  An energetic and positive spirit is contagious so spread the love!

Cherish is the Word by Pam Utton
Thanks for reading Do's and Don't from a 2 year old, and Thank You to my Friends, Family, Clients, and of course Musies for all your love and support over the past 2 years.  I could not have gotten this far without you!