You've Got Maille is joining with 49 other Etsy Bloggers in a gigantic holiday sale. Check out our shop -- 10% off everything and free shipping on any order over $30.
WYSIWYG Beads, my supplies shop, is a little low on stock right now but I'm working on that. It'll also have 10% off plus free shipping on any order over $20.
Check out our other great bloggers who are saling this weekend, as well! Avoid the crowds and buy handmade... your gift recipients will thank you :)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The question: How are you going to prepare your business for the holiday rush?
The short answer: I'm not. Not really.
The long answer:
So far, I've done four craft shows in the past three months (two of them "holiday" shows), all with moderately pleasing success but nothing to write home about. Sales both online and at fairs have definitely picked up since the onset of the holiday season, which is great because it means I can afford more materials.
On the other hand, it has also meant cranking out massive amounts of the same thing, something I do not particularly enjoy and that turns art into drudgery. The last thing I want. This is still a hobby before it's a business and I'm honestly not sure I want that to change.
I really wanted to do this Dickens of a Christmas Victorian show in "historic Franklin Tennessee" thing, but I'm too late to apply for it. Besides that, the booth fee was $165, it's a drive, and if it decided to have a blizzard on December 14, 2008 in Franklin, Tennessee... well, sorry, no refund.
That's a bit scary.
But I have decided that it's time to prepare myself for bigger shows with bigger advertising, bigger attendance and therefore bigger booth fees, so that is the direction my business has decided to take. I think for the most part, unless one comes up and bites me like it did last week, I'll skip most of the upcoming Christmas craft shows. I also am considering setting my sights on Middle Tennessee Renaissance Faire and will need to work on some themed things for that.
One thing I HAVE done is prepare a custom item catalog where you can pick a design, pick your colors, choose a focal pendant or your beads, and I make your design to specs. More info about that on my website: http://www.youvegotmaille.net The great thing about that is that there's no stress of building up a stock. I love doing custom orders, too.
Reason two: I'm suffering a little burnout. I have wanted very much to try some new techniques, new stuff, new designs, and have had to back burner everything to make sure I had enough stock for craft shows. So the near future holds for me some experiments in macrame, peyote bead weaving, wire wrapping, polymer clay, wire tree making, and a wacky idea I had "Christmas Ornaments for Geeks." I used to paint Warhammer miniatures and I have half a closetful (well not quite) and I thought they might make cute and amusing Christmas tree ornaments if adapted. They will show up on Etsy, maybe even in time for Christmas decorating. A lot of the above may get integrated with my first love, chainmaille. I love the way wire wrapping looks but doing it is stress for me (especially when, as with the pendant above, the results are nothing like the picture in my head), whereas weaving maille is like needlework: mostly mindless and relaxing, once I know the weave well.
But I've decided not to stress about ANYTHING related to the holidays, because that takes the fun out of them for me, so I am going to have a chat with my inner child, sit down at my workbench and play instead of working. The results of that are usually better, anyway.
I just love donut beads and this one looks so native. It's brought to you by Storybeader, and the letters O and W, and the number 0.
Deb (aka Storybeader) is a super nice person and I'm thinking she's visited my Blogger Carnivals more than any other single person. Not only that, but she makes beaded jewelry that isn't your run-of-the mill (there's a lot of mill out there). Best of all, every one comes with a haiku! Here's the one for the item above
Union, the joining
Together of elements
From both earth and sea.
I love this item too.
Colorful disks, side
By side, form a long strand that
Matches all your shirts.
Heehee... and they look like a pack of Necco wafers!
Go check out her shop and her blog.
Please check out Fantasy Artist's of Etsy's latest Exhibition with New Beginnings as it's theme. I thought this one was really interesting to see the way our members interpreted it.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I mostly try to keep politics out of this blog (sometimes unsuccessfully, I know), but on the day after the election I want to say something. I got the following email with the subject line "How this Happened" at 11:18 last night. Before Obama's acceptance speech, and about 20 minutes after Florida pushed him over the 270 electoral votes he needed to win.
I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.
We just made history.
And I don't want you to forget how we did it.
You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.
I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.
We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.
But I want to be very clear about one thing...
All of this happened because of you.
This touched me. Before he went to celebrate his victory, he took a moment to thank the people who campaigned for him and donated to his campaign, and to claim his victory, not for himself, but for them. He did the same in the acceptance speech. "This is your victory," he said. "We didn't start with a lot of money..." And that's true, he didn't have Mitt Romney money to spend on this himself, he didn't have lobbyist money. What he did have, and does have, is an incredible ability to inspire. Two thirds of people under 30 voted for Obama. And -- this is the statistic that is important to me -- 11% of the electorate yesterday was people who have never voted before. Three quarters of those voted for Obama. Even John McCain, in his concession speech, tipped his hat to Barack for his ability to inspire people to come to the polls. That is remarkable.
I said in a myspace bulletin yesterday, urging people to go and vote, that the next president will be the first since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to inherit a country under both financial and foreign policy crises, and that I believe Barack Obama can step into those shoes. And the letter above reinforced that opinion. Roosevelt's famous fireside chats took advantage of the most current media of the day to step into people's homes and make them feel like the president was their friend and concerned about their problems. Barack is taking advantage of email, youtube, and the Internet to do the same. I had the feeling last night as I read that, that I could send him a letter and he would read it. And it would matter. I don't know if that's the case -- and I'm aware that the email could have been pre-written and sent by one of his "people." Still, the feeling is there, and the fact that he inspired it impresses me.
I saw history made last night, and not because the first black man became President of the United States. I truly hope that within my lifetime we can have an election with a woman, or a person of any non-white race, and it's not a big deal. We can look at their personhood and their qualifications and not this periperhal stuff. No, that's not what I mean by making history. Last night, for the first time in my lifetime, I had the feeling that the man we elected is a great man. There have been few enough of those in American history, and fewer still in the oval office, and heaven knows we need one now.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It snows here in Tennessee, but on most days it's gone by noon. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the snow where I grew up in Cleveland. I'm not sure I'd rush back to it -- I don't miss shoveling the driveway or digging the car out in the morning -- but my wish for this season is one good, lasting Tennessee snow.
I have memories of cutting out snowflakes in paper, making beaded ones for Christmas tree ornaments, of snow angels and snowball fights and sled riding... in honor of those memories I present to you these Etsy items.
I'm not sure the blue would match my beloved appletini or cosmopolitan so I'd probably have to go with the pepperberries and pine glasses.... now I'm really looking forward to that New Year's party!
If you live where you get a solid few months of winter, instead of grumbling the next time the snow falls, pause for a moment and enjoy the wonder of it. The way it coats the trees, the way it sparkles as it falls, the pristine perfection of it new fallen. Then take the kids out and do something fun this winter and think of us poor snowless people here in the south :)
Monday, November 3, 2008
I and my bud Rachelle from DeLavande attended the first annual Candy Cane Lane Craft Show this past weekend. Since I put in my application a bit late, I was kind of "out back" and I think I missed out on some traffic, but I also paid a third of what the people in the indoor booths paid, and since the day was gorgeous it wasn't a bad deal. LLORE also put on a little skit with our dances that went fairly well, despite the tininess of the stage. I sold a wire wrapped sterling necklace I'd made just two days before and a keychain and pair of earrings. The fudge was a smash hit (I can't count how many people walked by and went "Ooooohhhh, fudge....") and I sold 5 lbs. of it. The peanut butter fudge was an especially big hit :)
That's me at the booth above in Renaissance garb for the dances, attempting a maille choker that I gave up on because the AR was a little unworkable. I also gave out lots of catalogs. All in all not a bad day.
I've hit a restless phase. I wouldn't say I'm exactly bored with chainmaille, but I have the urge to branch out and do a few new things, maybe some peyote, maybe some macrame, maybe some new forms of wire work. I also am kicking around creating a line of "Christmas for Geeks" ornaments. Stay tuned.