Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Nearly half of my 2009 sales came from selling in person at shows, fairs, markets, etc.
This was not something that I anticipated, and I never thought that I was "the type." I figured that I would quietly sit at the glow of the computer monitor for most of my selling experience, tweeting, friending, contacting, flickring, ninging and whatever else it took to eke out a few sales per month in a saturated category in the handmade movement.
Not only have I enjoyed my experiences selling in person, but in some ways it's easier than selling online. I didn't have to spend countless hours promoting or advertising the shows myself. And all the time spent packaging and shipping! At the same time, the show vendor is at the mercy of the entity running the show; fortunately my 2009 shows were primarily at a popular area farmers' market and an established show sponsored by the local art league.
The instant gratification of selling in-person is a wonderful thing also. Like anyone else, I love hearing compliments, I really dig being told by someone that they've never seen anything like my items, and I truly appreciate constructive comments and suggestions - they are windows into what people really want and I take their ideas under serious consideration when planning Lonesome Road Studio's new lines.
More shows in 2010 is not just any old New Year's resolution this time. It's a real plan of action and now is the time to implement it.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
One of the ways that Lonesome Road Studio has evolved over time is in regard to jewelry components. I've always used sterling silver, gold-filled, copper. But recently I've developed a love for the beauty of handcrafted artisan earwires.
Picture the three pairs of earrings above with typical earwires purchased from a craft store or other similar source. While they would still be three lovely pairs of earrings (of course, I created them hehe), the handcrafted artisan earwires add so much more to the finished piece.
At this time I am still purchasing the earwires from the artisans (sterling silver earwires by Aunali in photos one and three; oxidized sterling silver earwires by Rocki's Artisan Supplies in photo two). Yet, in my quest to learn more techniques related to my craft and to provide a unique and beautiful item with my own creative touch (and that is still affordable), I am going to try my own hand at artisan earwires. To begin with, I have found this basic earwire tutorial, but I am always willing to learn from others. Feel free to post your links to your own tutorials, or add some helpful tips for the earwire newbies out there!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Here on the Lonesome Road, the big buzz this year is "Staying Focused." I joke about having the attention span of a flea, but the time has come to quit using that as an excuse for not getting things done, for not staying organized, for not staying focused, and for not keeping my eye on the prize. This will be the decade of determination, and even harder work to achieve my creative and business goals.
How do I plan to accomplish this?
- De-clutter! I've already begun de-stashing unneeded supplies and it feels great in two ways. 1. - I get rid of something I don't need and 2. it's a good feeling to know that it will be used by someone who wants it.
- Don't jump on bandwagons. I've experimented with other online selling venues and ended up feeling scattered and spread thin. What works for others doesn't necessarily work for me, and I've eliminated all but one online venue. Yes, at some point I will actively create my own website but for now, owning my own dotcom domain name re-directed to this venue is a start while I forge ahead creating my branding, relationships and own successes.
- Focus on your talents and improve on them. Sure, I'd love to learn lampworking, basket-weaving, soap-making, and much more (actually I do know how to make soap but don't). But I simply just don't have time and I'm already too easily distracted. I don't need to invite the things that undermine my focus.
- Throw away one thing every day. This isn't as easy as it sounds, but I've been good so far. Yesterday's throwaway was a gimme: my 2009 day planner.
- Learn to say no. Also not as easy as it sounds.