Friday, October 31, 2008

At The House Of Mouse- Tips for Vacationing

Mousie Goodies by MichellesCharmWorld 5.00-30.00

When I go on vacation, I'm the type of gal that likes to dress up her basic outfits with pieces that go with the vacation type of theme! It's like clothing with a purpse or something! Our next trip is to Disney World! And incase you didn't get it from my being a Disney Bride....well i'm in LOVE with Disney World! hahaha! We go every year and sometimes even twice a year!! Shh...we keep our second trip very top secret because we hear too many complaints from family members about our obsession!! The next trip is in January right now and we can't wait! I've also discovered this awesome new fan site: MickeyFanatic. Alot of good info to be found there!!

I'm a bit obsessive when I go on vacation and have even been known to bring my ENTIRE shop inventory with me to ship out while gone! I did this last on our trip to Mexico, since we were gone a long time! To Disney, since it's just a week or 2 I usually just bring my computer to stay up to date and my drill, pliers and findings so that I can make goodies while on vacation and have them ready to list when I get back!!

Another awesome thing about Disney is that we love our home away from home resort The Pop Century! We always request and are willing to wait for 1st floor near the Classic Hall in the 70s section. We always always decorate our door and window and in the window is a little window ledge that I use to put goodies found on our vacation, but I also put some of my pieces in the window on stuffed animals or statues that we bought :) On our door, I have a little magnetic cup of business cards! I have always, every single year made at least 1 sale back when I got home from my cards down there! One has become one of my best customers AND...since I was always wearing my stuff I have even sold some pieces right off my neck or around my wrist! Amazing what promoting yourself can do!
So even on vacation, remember you can still do a little something to get the word out!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Shops Continued.

Goodies and Treasures from MichellesCharmWorld & TheFunkyBeadNButton

Part 1 is down below if you want to start there :)
Looking at the listings all together in 1 shop just kept telling me, though they were the same parts, they didn't look right selling together.
I knew right away the name I wanted for my supply shop, since my destash usually wasn't the normal silver charm and pretty bead. My stuff at MichellesCharmWorld is known as Funky and Chunky, so I wanted to carry some of that over to the other shop so they would have consistency even though they were 2 different shops. TheFunkyBeadNButton was born! It was amazing how quickly it all came together and within my first few days I had been selling like crazy! I couldn't believe how easy it was. Then...I started to get busier in my other shop and the destash buckets kept filling up. TheFunkyBeadnButton was getting neglected and I just didn't have the time to keep up with checking 2 email accounts, and listing in another shop.
The 2 emails is my biggest problem, I already have too many windows open when I work, I didn't need another one. I wish I wish Etsy would let us put 2 shops under 1 email account, that would work so much better than this.
So it started again. I was putting destash in MichellesCharmWorld and it was getting cluttered and messy. It was time to add on the Destash shop into my daily schedule and try and work with it. I now check in in the morning and renew, relist or list anything I have to bring up. I answer all my convos three times a day in that shop and still ship daily. It's rough keeping up with, but I recently hit 100 sales and haven't looked back. Keeping it fresh and updated seems to be the key. People don't want to buy from stale looking shops :)
Get out there, open those shops, dust the shelves and get a schedule going. It's not easy, but it's a necessary evil~ Also keep in mind another shop brings exposure to your current main shop!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do I Need 2 Shops? The Big Question!

Chunkalicious Plastic Chain by TheFunkyBeadnButton 5.00
I always hear, in the forums, do I need 2 shops? I hear it from everyone, including myself! I was a fan of the 2 shop process for a long time, but just didn't have the time to run 2 shops and my kids and my real life orders and custom orders.So I started adding my destash items into MichellesCharmWorld. The first thing I noticed? It became a cluttered mess and began to look like a giant yard sale! I make and sell button bracelets and necklaces at most of my craft shows, it's pretty much what i'm known for in the area.

Summer Surprises Button Bracelet by MichellesCharmWorld 40.00

So alot of my destash was buttons that I didn't use. I used bold, big and bright buttons, so I was destashing neutrals and golds and color pallettes that just didn't look right in my shop at all. I found I was renewing stuff just to move my destash off the front page. Sales started to slug a bit and I was wondering if it was because of my destash being on my front page or something of that sort. THEN I was starting the long process of getting ready for a big move and had to start destashing some of my very own goodies! So I knew there was a lot more to go. It was time for another shop.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesdays. Better or Worse Than Mondays?

Tea in the morning ring set by MichellesCharmWorld 12.00

I needed almost a whole pot of tea this morning. My eyes just didn't want to open and the poor kids just wanted mommy to play and play! My little alarm clock baby even slept in until 930!

I think my body knew the mountain of custom orders that awaited me in the studio today! I have work to finish up and get mailed out by friday and i'm only halfway through!
My Studio Where All The Plastic Magic Happens!

My storage table as you can see if full of insanity, all the boxes, bins and baskets on the table are custom orders I have going on. I swear my studio looks the same no matter how much work I actually get done that day! hahah!

So off I go to play, craft and maybe join the circus next?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

Mondays... They always remind me of everything I need to do! My scheduled time begins again and it's time to start getting the dust out of the shop that usually accumulates over the weekends. Monday is for hardcore promoting to bring in new people this week and sending out a coupon code to my big regulars to entice them back into the shop.
Change up those featured items and give everyone something new to look at, maybe run a special on the items featured in your shop!

Renew some stuff getting less and less looks at the back of your shop, maybe try and rephotograph them in a different light and different backround.

Lollipop Bracelet by MichellesCharmWorld 14.00

Sometimes a white backround will clean everything up and give it a fresher, brighter look. At other times colored backround gives that knowckout punch you need! I used to be a fan of all the same backrounds for the sake of cohesiveness, but recently have begun to discover how some items truly do look better on a jazzed up backround.

Mondays are a time for me to get ready to start the week with a bang and set new goals to match! This week, I intend to blog daily, read at least 3 blogs a day from fellow bloggers too! I am hoping to close sunday with 14 sales. So off to work I go!

Have a great day Everyone and go out there and make it a great one!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are You Ready For The Holidays?

Holiday shopping season has begun and it's time to start bringing customers into our shops! Let's show them that online shopping is what they want to do this year! No crowds, rude employees and best of all you don't have to spend 7.00 on coffee to keep you energized to go from store to store!

Have you been preparing? Promoting? Getting the word out? My newsletter went out with a special holiday savings code for everyone that gets it. I started giving free earrings with some orders and a little note that says: Don't forget your stocking stuffers! I posted new holiday themed fliers at coffee shops and sandwich places that showcase live talent. (They seem to be geared towards the artsy crowd). I've got 2 Holidays and Hot Chocolate home parties booked!

I started revamping some of my older still unsold stuff in my Etsy Shop and getting my new line in shape for my soon to be open Lollishops Store! I've sent out an email to my friends and family asking for them to support handmade artistst (not just myself) and hopefully they can purchase at least 1 item from someone! All the bills I have paid with snail mail have my business card with a discount code on them too.

It's time to start getting all our ducks in a row! Just this weekend my inboxes have been full of requests for stocking stuffers and holiday gifts! When those words come out it is time for me to get my rear in gear and get the holiday promos going! I am thinking of rethinking my packaging to fit the season a bit more too! What are you doing to prepare?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Colorful World of Plastic

Rainbow Acrylic Rings by 4.00: PenGwynneBeads
I love plastic! I love the way it smells, the colors it comes in, the designs...everything! I'm a plastic fanatic. Sometimes being a plastic worker, I get the disapproving look at craft shows, especially when they come over to my booth and see that some of my work is priced higher than theirs! They key here is to always remain friendly! Even when they tell you it's Kids stuff. I still smile, tell them I like their work and let them know that at many craftshows their are people of all types!
The best part of the day is when my booth is constantly crowded and I am making sales! It makes me feel good and let them know that I know what i'm doing here :) At the end of the show, I usually try and exchange business cards with the other vendors so that they can see that no, what I do is not kids stuff and yes it does sell it was not just a fluke of that one craft show.
Plastic is my childhood, it does look like kids stuff, heck it USED to be! I love giving it a new look, reviving the old and making it funky!! One day plastic will get it's revenge and people will stop looking down on it :) Until then, my love affair with plastics will continue!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crack That Whip

It's time for me to get serious today and get some work done! I've been doing customs for the past 2 weeks and doing a lot of fooling around outside with the kids! When naptime would approach I would hop on the computer! I take a schedule to my daily life and it looks like I have to schedule my work blocks too! A schedule within a schedule sounds so rigid, but if I don't sales start slowing down and before I know it I'm just fooling around on the computer and playing Mahjong or something! hahaha!!

Mahjong Bracelet 15.00 by: MarciaMenedez

So today, I am going to do a little bit more of my gingerbread house for the challenge on lollishops! Then, I have to make a few earrings that I have sketched out and hopefully I can churn out a bracelet and a necklace too!! These are my latest faves in the earring department! I totally fell in love with these little birdhouses when I saw them, so I had to make something with them! I didn't like the whole plain jane look of them, so I added a heart to the front and that helped and now they are sooo fabulous! Alright off to work!

Tiny Birdhouse Earrings 8.00 by: MichellesCharmWorld

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Going WHERE?

So, some of my new CANDY SWEET LINE jewelry is headed to the Playboy Mansion Halloween Party this year! Can you believe it? I just about died when I got the order and the custom requests! How fun and totally cool! Here are some example pieces:

Lollipop Shop Earrings 4.00

Needless to say, I'm super thrilled and hoping that this will be some great advertising!!

Making an Advertisement

So i'm trying to make an ad for my new lollishop and I'm not having ANY luck at all, I have what I want right there ^ but of course no success in actually getting it to the right size or anything like that! Go figure! I also need it in a .jpg and this one is not. Oh why couldn't I be a computer genius??

Any ideas anyone?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gingerbread House Contest

Gingerbread House Challenge

So it's time to get started on the gingerbread house challenge for Lollishops! I'm super excited! I've got the structure going on and we got all our supplies this evening! I just want to dive right in and get started, but of course I don't want to rush it. I'm sketching it out with my husband helping me out with his point of view so I don't go too over the top....but over the top is good in Candyland right???

My Flickr Page has this picture with notes of what all I have going on:

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