Tuesday, February 22, 2011

St. Vincent De Paul Society Fundraiser

Last Weekend (wow was it really that long ago!) I was given the privilege of being asked to be a vendor at a "Valentines Extravaganza" put on at a local parish. The whole point of the event was to raise money for the St. Vincent De Paul Society to help feed the hungry. The day didn't amount to much profit for me personally, but I was glad to give my contribution to helping feed those less fortunate.

I always am redoing my displays for craft shows, and I think it changes just about every show. This is what it is at right now, and I must admit I think it looks pretty good. The table was a weird shape and it would have looked better had the table not been so deep, and rather longer.

One thing that I have used several times are my homemade necklace busts. They are created from bowls that have been flipped over with velvet attached to them. I will have to create a tutorial for how to make them soon. I think they only cost me something like $.75 a bust, and they look amazing!

A few other photos of my display:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I contacted a fabulous Etsy artist, Corrie, of PuppyDogsNPolkaDots, to see if she would be open to an interview that I could pass on to all of you. She was!  Corrie is a  friendly person, and it was a pleasure talking to her. I have my sights set on buying this Camera Case. It is adorable!

Q #1: When did you start your handmade business and what inspired you to do so?

PuppyDogsNPolkaDots was started in August 2008. I was still attending school (University of Central Florida in Orlando) and was looking for a creative way to earn money while in college. I grew up around my mom sewing clothes, purses, etc. She showed me a website for making key fobs and told me if I wanted to give it a try she would buy me a starter set. So she bought about 15 dollars worth of supplies for me and sent me home with a few scraps of her fabric and then I got to work! 

Q #2: Do you have to balance your business with work, children, both? How do you do it?

I graduated from UCF December 2010, so until then I was balancing school and work on my etsy website, PuppyDogsNPolkaDots. I worked really hard to keep a good schedule and work on school work first thing in the morning and business work in the afternoons. Now that I have graduated I try to keep normal shop hours. My hours are similar to those of a normal office job, 9-5. At this point, we have no children, just a 90 pound loveable yellow lab Riley! 

Q #3: What is your usual work day like?

I wake up quite early and get everything organized for the day. I work until lunch and then make myself take a short break to keep some sanity! I continue to work after lunch and before the post office closes I usually stop by and drop all my orders off to be shipped out. And of course on the way back I stop by Sonic Drive In for the usual…a Diet Coke. 

One of her Key Fobs and her dog Riley. 

Q #4: What is your favorite thing about running your business?

I love having the independence of being able to set my own hours and love being at home to take care of my dog.

Q #5: What is your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is keeping on track. I have a pretty set schedule but there is always the temptation to run out and shop during the middle of the day! 

Q #6: How do you market your business?

When I first started I created a blog and participated actively in other blog activities from others. I would host giveaways on my blog as well as others in order to get the word out about my business. Word of mouth was fantastic. Good customer service was also a priority of mine, after all having good customer service will create repeat customers. 

Q #7: What is one mistake you've made in your business that you've learned from?

I cannot think of a huge mistake but one issue would be photos. When I look back at photos of my products from when I started to now, I see a huge difference with the quality and look. I had to research and figure out how to make them “Pop”.

Q #8: What has been your biggest success and why do you think it's been so successful?

Happy repeat customers. I love to try to accommodate my customer needs. If they want an extra pocket on their case, a certain fabric or custom size that it what I will make. After all, custom orders are quite fun to make!

Q #9: What is the one thing you'd most like to tell someone just getting started?

I would like to tell them to take it seriously just as you would a normal job outside the house. If you only put half effort into the handmade business, it will be very difficult to be successful. It is hard at first, but eventually it will be routine for you. 

Q #10: What goals do you have for the future of your business?

My mom and I are trying to find the time to incorporate all of our business together. We currently help each other with each business, PuppyDogsNPolkaDots, KeetaCollection and we are trying to fill a new store, HouseAcrossTheStreet with home goods. Right now we work together on the Kindle/iPad sleeves and phone cases. When she has quite a few orders for purses from KeetaCollection, I help make those and when I have quite a few key fob orders she helps me make those. 

An Ipad Case

Q #11: Anything else you would like to tell the readers

Just a quick thank you to any readers and customers! I appreciate you all. 

Corrie has generously offered a coupon code you! To receive 20% off any item use the code: ETSYSTREASURES 

Thanks again Corrie!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday!

Yeah! It is that time of year.... Super-Bowl Sunday! My whole house is in chaos in preparation for the game. My little sister and brother are fighting over who gets to wear which steelers jersey... And every one is deciding who is going where, and which place will have a bigger screen.

I personally don't care who actually wins. Yes call me a poor steelers fan, but I actually believe they will lose to green bay. They just can't follow through and finish a game strong. I think I will be eaten alive at a super-bowl party I am attending for this belief...

Who are you rooting for today?
Steelers Bracelets.

Packers headband.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Giveaways Galore!

Don't you just love a good giveaway. The perfect way to get those lovely etsy goodies 
 without paying a thing. 

One thing I love to do is scour the etsysgiveaways blog in hopes of finding some fun giveaways. I'm never disappointed :) Here are some of my finds from today. 

Orglamix Organic Mineral Makeup Giveaway! 

Click Here to enter to win! 

Win Polka Dot Donut Push-pins!

Win an adorable as can be owl softie of their choice from Haley By Hand!  
This Giveaway has ended.

If you would like to host a giveaway on my blog please leave a comment with your contact information, or contact me through my etsy shop

Friday, February 4, 2011

Alchemy Has Passed On

Yesterday was the last day of etsy's Alchemy feature for a while. It is being taken down so that the admin can remake it without dealing with trying to keep the old one open.
As the Etsy admin put it:
"We love what Alchemy represents, and we want to do it even better. While we're working on that, we're going to close down the current Alchemy. Helping shoppers to request custom items and having our community bid on the opportunity to fulfill those wishes is the tip of the iceberg."
 I am myself very upset about this. I rely heavily on custom work as I know other Etsians do. In order to help those etsians along I have decided to place there shop information here so that if you would like to order custom work all you have to do is send them a convo.

To start off we have Empwr.

A bit about: My name is Kellie aka Empwr/EllieK. I am a graphic artist/spray paint artist, and mother of twins! I have a very supportive husband that absolutely loves my work. I found my passion for art with graffiti. I love to apply graffiti techniques onto canvas using the different lettering styles and stenciling techniques. Painting is my chance to let it all go. I love new challenges and doing custom work for people. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!:)

Nanda is a mom of 3 and living in Spain. She has two shops on Etsy: Lilmisspolkadot and Misspolkadotdesigns

Lilmisspolkadot sells all kinds of products for babies through brides.

Onesies with a bowtie or necktie and shabby chic onesies with lace and flowers.... bibs, pouches, toys, flower brooches, flower hairclips, flower headbands, kids art and lots more...

In my other shop MissPolkadotDesigns i sell graphic designs like logos, banners, headers, shopsets, flyers, illustrations, business cards, invitations, announcements and more.

Her style is very versatile, but what she loves making most is whimsical, elegant, retro, romantic, sweet, chic, classy.

Dolly Rocker Candles creates custom Candles!

A Bit AboutDolly Rocker Candles are an earth-friendly alternative to traditional paraffin wax candles. All natural, sustainable harvest palm wax burns slower and cleaner so you can enjoy the candles longer. Palm wax also holds more scent. Each handmade candle is formulated from my personal recipe to maximize the fragrance.

Now carrying a selection of soy wax tarts! The realistic looking tarts are scented with twice the fragrance that goes into my candles.

Currently, they offer 48 hand-picked premium fragrances. They are tested true to life and include fruity, floral, earthy and bakery scents.

Custom Stamps by typeStyles You know we all need them!

A little bit about: 19 years printing experience - both business and social. Creating business cards, brochures, postcards, labels, invitations, announcement, signs & banners. Looking for something not on my list? ask me! I love antique typewriters, however I realize that the type they produce needs some style . . . and typeStyles was born. Run my own business and love it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentines Day

Oh don't you just love Valentines day. Especially on etsy :)

Everyone is posting items in beautiful arrays of lace, red, hearts, and roses.

I love the Rosette!

Yummy Cookies.

So Romantic and Whimsical

A locket to hold the photo of your love....

What have you bought for Valentine's Day? I would love to see links!