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Oct 13, 2008

Fall back, for sure!!

I've realized that keeping up with this blog is something I am not very good at. It is difficult and like a full-time job to even post everyday let alone carry enough information to keep the masses busy, informed and amuzed. I just can't do it. Well, I could if I did nothing else and quite frankly I just don't know how others do this while maintaining an etsy shop at the same time. I have all I can do just to keep up with that let alone this too. While online sites such as etsy are great for us crafters and artists, they are merely a vessel. We, the crafters, have to do all of the leg work if we expect to have any success with sales. Because it is an online venture, one of the most important aspects to success, besides the obvious great items and quality, is to take great photographs and provide indepth descriptions. When I say great photos..I mean professional grade photos!!! Buyers expect handmade items but not handmade pictures of those items if you know what I mean! Not to mention that when you do get your items listed you must expect to have to relist those same items if you are expecting to get them seen by potential buyers. Etsy moves quickly and the items listed in it move even quicker. There are thousands upon thousands of listed and relisted items daily on etsy and if you don't keep up with your items then they will get buried on page 1 bazillion and six if you are not quick and careful! So, it is not enough to just create great good are they if no one is seeing them? Once the artistic part of you handcrafted venture is then have to become Ansel Adams with a twist of Maya Angelou to get those great items looking there best over the world wide web. During that process, much consideration also has to be given to purposeful price points and the configuration of shipping's all a guessing game and a gamble that most of us artisans seem to sell ourselves short on...We have to maintain a competitive edge with all of that and try to consider what our time is worth and hope that we have somehow mastered the configuration of the US postal service's 'zone' rates so that we don't lose out on the shipping prices. All of this has to be done just from creating one item..and it is over and over again when we add more..and then don't forget to promote those items..anywhere youcan so it's more time spent on blogs and flickr and the like to get your name and product out there just to be seen. None of this is ever a guarantee either...doing all of this in no way solidifies a sale...all a gamble. So, you could have the greatest, best made and most creative handcrafted item in the world but if you don't impose all of the aforementioned steps for that piece then it won't matter if you're giving it away let alone trying to sell it! I rant about all of this because these steps are what consumes me and my time aside from the crafting portion of my venture. This is a very busy, make or break, time of year for crafters too. The craft show, fair, festival time of year is upon us all and that too is a gamble if you are a newbie to the 'circuit'...There is a laundry list of do's and dont's associated with success at these venues and I have yet to participate in one yet. On October 25th I will be attending my very 1st craft fair..fall festival. The majority of my time has been coming up with and crafting unique items of different price points. My goal for this show is of course to make $ but to also get my name and products out there among the public. Networking and word of mouth are big plusses for future success so if I am fortunate in that area then I am more than happy and will mark the success box!!! I will write again before the show and of course after it as well but I do have much more still to do and only hope that i'll be able to meet my own expectations and visions for this event!! Until then...