I cannot believe that two weeks have passed and I have not blogged! I meant to.... well, you know how it goes. Life gets in the way.
I have been creating, though. I updated my Etsy shop with a bunch of spinner/worry rings.
And I finally took the plunge and made a couple of rings with a copper base and sterling silver satellite ring. The reason I waited SO LONG to use copper as the base for the ring is that when I first started to use solder, I used WAY.TOO.MUCH. The problem with that is the overflow of silver solder onto the copper. I do use copper solder, but it still flows silver. Now that I have gotten used to this process, I have economized on my solder usage! And, most of the overflow (when this happens) is quickly "erased" with the Flex Shaft (still in love with this tool)!!
I also FINALLY bit the bullet and I started a website on Indiemade. (There is a link to my new shop in the top right corner of my blog, or you can click here to view). It took me a full two weeks (few hours here, few hours there) to set it up. The first week was - pardon my language - pure hell as I am so slow on this technology! However, I now have to admit, after I look back on those two weeks, it really was not that difficult and is quite user-friendly. In my world, the glass is always bone-dry - I must work on my pessimism!
I have several reasons for putting myself through this self-imposed technology-hell.
- As I am sure most of you are aware, Etsy has changed and is now chock full of mass produced, not-even-close-to-being-handmade items. I am but a teeny weeny speck of an entrepreneur in this sea of mass production. Indiemade seems to be dedicated to artisans - not mass production. But, I am not getting rid of my Etsy shop - I just want to test the waters "on my own", if you will. I included a link to my Etsy shop on the Indiemade site.
- I am toying with the idea of selling components, at least as time permits. Like these toggle clasps, pictured below. I have actually been asked by a few people, via Facebook, to create and sell components - I even complied and sold a few. On Etsy, the fees really add up in selling lower priced items such as these, so an Indiemade website seemed like a good fit. We'll see...
- I was also approached by the owner of Miracle Horse Rescue to consider creating some jewelry with the initial MHR. I already donate the proceeds from my "regular" jewelry sales to the rescue, but this is more personal. Not sure if there will be a market for this, but I made a few items and loaded these into my new shop.
On a business note, Facebook has imposed massive restrictions on users who are trying to sell their wares via a link to their shops. I started a business page late last year. But, unless one pays for specific ads to be shown in feeds, not many users even see what is posted. I don't blame Facebook - after all - they, too, are a business. However, it is getting harder and harder for small business - especially artisans - to get the word out.
I even recently upgraded my phone to an I-Phone 6 Plus (OMG - I love it!) I actually reactivated my Instagram account. As soon as I figure out the best way to tag things on Instagram (translation: how do I do this????), I may actually start using it!
Making handmade is one thing. The commitment involved to marketing and selling is another, and it is sometimes overwhelming. So, I will continue to just keep trudging along, list more items on the new website, and attempt to break into "The Market".
On a personal note, my mother and I both contracted the nasty flu on Christmas - she was 2 days behind me...I knew she should NOT have brought me that cup of tea! Anyway, I am 100% back to normal, but it has taken its toll on her. Three trips to the doctor - last Friday's may have done the trick, as he prescribed a different antibiotic. Her cough is almost gone, snifflies are almost gone, too. But, her stamina and energy level is taking a looooong time to return. The doctor said it could be another full month before she returns to "pre-flu normal". Today was the first day in weeks that she wanted to go anywhere, so a quick shopping trip it was! I hope no one else comes down with this nasty, nasty bug!
I always seem to end my blog posts with a weather comment...so why change now? MAN, it is cold out there!!!
I would appreciate any constructive criticism on my new site, if you are so inclined! I need all the help I can get!
Thanks for stopping by today - have a wonderful weekend!!