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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hot Thursday News!

Hot news for sellers and non-sellers: 
DoBatsEatCats is having a major Etsy-versary sale!  Besides being a very supportive Etsy teammate of mine, she designs a variety of gothic, victorian and chainmaille pieces. Visit her shop and use coupon code "anniversary" to receive 20% off!  Here are a few of my favorite items from her shop:

Silver Filigree Flower Earrings OOAK

Gothic Chainmaille Necklace
Upcycled OOAK Vintage Chandelier Necklace

Hot news for sellers:
Another one of my favorite Etsians, Steph from nerdJerk, posted this fantastic article about turning your views into sales.  It's become a hot topic on the Etsy forums; head on over to read and leave your thoughts!  I can't resist showing one of Steph's latest creations, which I absolutely love:

The Classic: Red and White Mix Tape Journal

Have a great Thursday! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

PinkyCrafts Hits the Road!

Low tide at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach!
Oh how I love having days off with my husband!  While at our old jobs in Arizona, we never had the chance to get out of town for the day, or even spend an entire day together, because we worked completely opposite schedules.  Well, no more!  Today we headed out of the Portland heat wave for a day at Cannon Beach, an adorable little town on the Oregon Coast that's only about an hour away. (Side note: I don't think I'll ever live anywhere that is more than 2 hours from the beach ever again!). 

I decided to break out my new PinkyCrafts Tshirt that I ordered from VistaPrint to wear for the day.  I only paid shipping for it, which totaled a little over $3 - an excellent deal for advertisement! I have my website printed on the front and the back, and its super cute.  As we walked down the main street in town looking for a good salt water taffy store, I noticed quite a few folks reading my shirt.  I also took a very long walk down the beach, showcasing my shirt, while my husband passed out in a sugar coma on our picnic blanket. Whether anybody will actually go to my website remains to be seen, but I feel so positive when I'm able to combine advertisement with a non-business activity!

Striking a Top Model pose in the sand with my PinkyCrafts shirt!

If you haven't signed up for VistaPrint's emails, I highly recommend you do, even if you aren't in business.  They send insane deals for free Tshirts, mugs, business cards, return address labels, banners, fliers -  I've already cashed in my fair share of killer steals. Just beware - they send emails almost every single day. I'm even signed up with two different email addresses, and sometimes I get different deals sent to each one.  My Tshirt is pretty comfy, and the quality is excellent.  One of my good friends has already asked me to order her one, and I know my mom is itching to steal mine at the first chance she gets!  I'll have to order one for her too, and spread the PinkyCrafts love around the country.

The husband and I in front of Haystack Rock (post sugar-coma!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Time Flies" - Cliche or Truth? Or Both?

I can't believe today is August 9th.  This year is absolutely flown by for me, but its been one of the best of my life.  I'm going to have one heck of a Year in Review to write in December, so I think I need to reflect on the past eight months to remember where I've been, and also to see where I need to go next.

Its been eight months since the husband and I left Arizona to come to Oregon.  We're still staying in our temporary digs, but we do have a permanent place lined up.  We'll make our final move on September 11, and finally get our stuff out of storage!  I can't wait to sit on my couch again.  Even though we've split the year between staying with family and camping out in this hotel waiting for our place to be ready, I'm so happy! Oregon is where I need to be. 

My Etsy shop is now four and a half months old.  I wish I had been punching a time clock while I was getting the shop off the ground; I'd be interested to see just how many hours I put into this project.  I've just finished a complete re-branding and I'm absolutely thrilled with how the shop (and the brand) looks.  I'm weathering the slow season alongside my Etsy friends, and we're counting the days until the holiday rush season begins.  :)

I started working outside the home about three weeks ago.  As much as I love being a business owner, I got tired of being inside all the time and I was starting to feel disconnected from the community.  I accepted a part-time position at a pet hospital, which is a huge change from my previous life as a clinical administrator in human behavioral health.  I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have a job where taking lunch breaks is encouraged.  I thought it would be hard to step down to a low-responsiblity position, but it is absolutely amazing.  This job allows me to make a difference in the community, but still leaves me time to keep running this business and spend quality time with my family. 

My goals for the rest of the year are to do more marketing to my local area.  I'm planning on selling at my very first craft fair during the first weekend in November.   I need to network with other small business owners in the area to promote and build a support system.  I'm also itching to create a new line of.....something.  I haven't decided what that should be yet, but I'm constantly looking for my next big idea.  I'm playing with some new magnet ideas, and have been given some great party supply ideas.  I keep hearing from folks that they love my shop, but they aren't scrapbookers.  I want to make sure the message is out there that my shop isn't only for scrapbookers; in fact, my items are just as much for non-scrapbookers!  I've recently updated a lot of my listings to point out other uses for scrapbook pages (they look amazing when framed and given as a gift!).  I think I'll sell framed pages at my craft shows for holiday gift ideas, and might start carrying them in my shop, if I can work out shipping kinks.

I can't believe I've weathered the last eight months so well.  I know the next four months will be just amazing, since I'm a total fall/autumn addict, and nothing gets me down during the holiday season. A year ago, I was desperate to find a way out of my corporate life, and even more desperate to find a life outside of the Arizona desert.  I've found what I'm looking for, and I feel so blessed to be where I am today.  Cheers to a fantastic 2010!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New, New, New!

Junior Scrapbook Album for Baby
I've just added a new line of "Junior" scrapbook albums to the shop as an affordable alternative to full-length albums.  Its important to me to have products available at different price points, because everybody deserves to celebrate life regardless of their financial situation, and traditional scrapbooks aren't exactly affordable.  I do make paper scrapbook albums, which are much more affordable, but they're also not true scrapbooks.  The Junior Scrapbook is the answer - an actual scrapbook album containing 10 fully embellished pages! With half the pages of a traditional scrapbook, they also cost half as much. Most of the cost of a handmade scrapbook album comes from the time it takes to create one. I wish I could offer albums at an even lower cost, but then I'd have to compromise quality, and I just can't do that! I'm really excited to bring this new product to my customers in time for the holidays, as they'd make great gifts for aunts, uncles or Grandparents. 

As of this writing, I've only listed the premade album pictured above, but I'm working on more. I can also create a custom Junior Scrapbook album for any celebration or event!  I hope this affordable alternative means more people can bring the joy of scrapbooking into their lives (wow, that was cheesy!).