Friday, February 13, 2015

Way too long between postings!

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 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!!