The Business Chat – Managing yourself

Yes it is Friday night, and yes it is past 10 o’clock and here I sit in my studio. I’m taking a brief break from making jewelry to craft this article then I’ll be back at it for another couple of hours. What, you thought self-employment meant lounging around playing when you felt like it? Here’s one of my reality checks from life in the full-time crafty trenches. Sometimes there are seriously long late hours even though they are colour drenched and fun filled. The biggest difference between where I am right now and a regular “job”, is that I …

The Business Chat – Sell a story

Listing A: First light is around 5 a.m. as we camp overnight in the desert. The sky turns from midnight black to a pale grey. Streaks of purple and pinks appear. There are some touches of blues and greens. Everything is still and quiet as the world waits for the giant ball of orange to appear and a new day to begin. I make my beads to tell stories of my travels and of the world I see. From my beads I spin tales into not jewelry, but wearable art. These earrings are memories of my Australian outback camping trip …

The Business Chat – Just the FAQs please

Mark this down on your calendars people, Friday November 25, 2011. This is Black Friday, the official kick-off to the holiday buying season and combined with Cyber Monday, November 28 this is the busiest weekend for online sales in the year. Are you ready to take advantage of this? When shopping online all a customer has to go on are the photos of an item and the copy. This is a tough thing when you make work that is tactile and personal. Shopping for a book is very different than shopping for a wearable item, customers will have some questions …

The Business Chat – Success is…

Thank you! Thanks for all the well-wishing about the new (soon, very very very soon) small crafty business website I will be launching this fall and thank you for your input about what you would like to learn about. (You can read all about it here.) It was really interesting to read your comments and get your feedback, it took me back to my beginning days. Sometimes I find it amazing that I’ve been running my little crafty endeavour for 9 years now! Where did that time go? I think this is one of the most satisfying parts of running …

The Business Chat – Celebrations! And a question

Hey, guess what people? It’s my anniversary! I’ve been writing the Business Chat for one year and one week now!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! Last week I gave you a challenge – the One Word Challenge. It’s the start to a series (not necessarily every week) on creating your brand, your story and your USP. As I went to write the second installment I thought, hmmmm…. I think I’ve touched on this subject before. Well yes I have in small bits. Here. I want you to read these before I add more to them. The Elevator Speech Sell your storySell me your item …

The Business Chat – Business is like sailing

Whew, I’m back in the land of internet access. For the past while I’ve been living my other side of my split personality, Sailorgirl Jewelry has been just plain Sailorgirl as I floated around Florida and the Bahamas on my wee white sailboat. A thought occurred to me one day as I stared off into the blue horizon, running a business is quite like sailing. When we go sailing we make a plan. We have a starting point and we have a destination. We study charts and we listen to weather forecasts. We plan a route. When we begin a …

The Business Chat – jewelry vocabulary

It’s another slow sales time of year so we’re back to working ON the business rather than IN the business. That combined with having just written our 2011 business plan (you did write a plan didn’t you?) means that it’s time to tackle how to sell our work for the next few posts. Even if you don’t want to quit your job and make this into your full-time occupation you still have to sell your work. Work costs money to make. Do you know how much you have invested in your craft bench? Do you track your expenses? Wouldn’t it …

The Business Chat – Sell me your item online!

Boy do I love shopping online. While I’m not a fan of regular shopping, too many people, my feet hurt and the music in most stores is terrible, sitting down with a good cup of tea and browsing over oodles and oodles of gorgeous creations online sucks up more of my time than I care to admit. It’s not time wasted, oh no, it’s “research”. And there is SO much to be seen online isn’t there? Etsy.com has over 218,000 registered sellers! As a customer this is fantastic! As a seller this is terrible. How can you possibly stand out …

The Business Chat – Do the work.

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a war-wounded veteran. I’ve been in business for 8 years now and I’ve done 150 craft shows. Over these 8 years I’ve seen dozens of people come and go, some last a couple of years, some don’t even make a whole season. I mentioned this at my last business workshop and someone asked me why do so many people not make it? This is a hard business and most people who fail do so because they fail to realize they are running a business. You. The person who is trying to sell just …

The Business Chat – Sell Your Story

A few weeks ago we started a discussion on defining your product. If you don’t know what you sell, you can’t communicate this to a customer and communication is the basis of marketing. “Jewelry” is too broad a term and I challenged you to distill your work into a nice short description. Well guess what, today I’m here to tell you that you don’t sell jewelry. Well, yes you do, however jewelry (or knitting or art) is only a small part of what you sell. If someone wanted to buy a pair of earrings they could go to a mall. …