Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"No one knows what's better for your business than you do." Do you think that's true? I sometimes find myself struggling with whether or not I know what I'm doing. Do I know how to brand? Do I know how to advertise correctly? Do I even know how to present my work in a way that appeals to people and speaks to who I am as a crafty crafter?

How hard is it to be yourself? You wouldn't think it would take so much work! But I find myself always changing something, experimenting with this, that or the other.
A light box afficianado from the start (terribly convenient!) I recently found my pictures a little...bleh. So I stepped away from the white box and tilted lamps and tossed a few pieces on a window sill in the morning.

I can't say I'm terribly displeased! It does limit the times you can take those pictures but the result are pretty nice!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New look for a new day!

After some fiddling, some reading, some dithering, and then some Thanksgiving leftovers here is the new look for Prdy! I tweet and FB on a daily basis but I have been neglecting my blog...one of the things I was most excited about! While microblogging is brilliant for its convenience it really feels sort of impersonal, like a little 10 second commercial. Go here! Look at the this! Don't get me wrong I love my twitter! By the way it's http://twitter.com/PrdyThings for my twittery friends! But it doesn't feel, I don't know, serious enough? My shop is one of my loves and I have great plans for improvement to it...that can't be summed up into 140 characters at a time.

So a brief look at what's on my mind tonight!

Etsy Boot camp....I flunked out. Why? I lost interest the minute they required me to socialize. Go onto the thread and find a boot camp buddy! Why should I? Something about being forced to immediately push myself onto someone else for their input intimidated me right out of having fun. It's a shame and something that will (and has already) held me back. Something to work on.

Branding....what is branding and why does it matter? I am having a hard time finding just what exactly it is. In between trying to decide what exactly to type the Encarta English dictionary tells me this:

branding (noun) - the use of advertising, distinctive design, and other means to make consumers associate a specific product with a specific manufacturer

marketing.about.com says that a good branding will:
  • deliver the message clearly  (what message?)
  • confirm your credibility (how exactly?)
  • motivate your buyer (I get that one!)
  • concrete user loyalty (good display, good product, good experience = return customer)
Is it a bad thing to seem uncertain about the hows and whats when you're a tiny business trying to grow? Does that put potential customers off?

I know what I am about and I know how to achieve that in my product.

Prdy is interesting, relevant, and most importantly wearable. Prdy is unique and conversational. Prdy jewelry and accessories are funky, fun, and elegant for any and every occasion.

That is what I know. The issue for the moment is figuring out how to make sure everyone else knows it and knows how to find it!

It seems to me that some more pondering, possibly some dithering, and definitely some pie are in order.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Since this is our first active holiday season on Etsy, I thought it would be lots of fun to join in the Holiday Boot Camp! Hey why not! So let the madness begin! Every Thursday we'll recieve a Boot Camp news letter with some homework and some helpful links and tips, a blog post, and a forum post. The first week was fun! I'm looking forward to more!

Week 1
The boot camp pledge!

I, Prdy of prdgy.etsy.com, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

And our homework for this first week was to get involved with our Google Analytics with some really great links full of information (which I'll post on later) and a mission statement for the holiday season. Why are we doing this? What are we hoping for?
So here is mine.

By January 1st of 2011 I WILL:
Have reached my 500th sale!
Have spent more time creating than questioning myself!
Have made a serious, concentrated effort to improve my analytics stats (bounce rate, page views, key word hits)!
And absolutely will keep in mind that I love what I do with every piece of my being!

Bring on week 2!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting to know you

This is from an interview by a wonderful Etsy blogger AnEclecticSpirit. I will hunt down the blog link sooner or later!

1.Can you start by giving us a run down of what you offer in your Etsy shop?

Prdy Little Things is all about just having a good time (and looking good while doing it!). It's a repository for all of the creations that I dream up from jewelry in earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings to accessories in cell phone charms, zipper pulls, and bobby pins (my personal favorite) to even the occasional paper craft. I decided early on that I wouldn't limit the shop to one certain kind of item but would stick instead to a certain theme...pretty!

2. In your shop you work with many different beads and materials. What is your favorite to work with, and why?

In even just the last few months working with this shop I've discovered so many awesome new materials to experiment with. Some of them I very much love and some of them drive me just a little bit mad. I have always been attracted to an old world, antique sort of feel and to me nothing suggests a rich, evocative history more than a beautiful matte finish, antique brass. I may have gone just a little bit brass crazy!

3.What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations with your Etsy shop?

I think every artist has dreams of achieving rock star status on Etsy. There are some shops that it seems like everyone knows. But that has never been the plan or the ultimate goal. Etsy is wonderful way for me share my creations, explore new ideas, and be a part of a community of brilliant creators. The only hope I have for Prdy Little Things is that it continues to expand and that I continue to grow as an artist.

4. Can you tell us a bit about your life apart from Etsy and Jewelry?

Life, oh life! Life for me is a busy, crazy, wonderful thing. At 24 I am smack in the middle of running a home with two very lively little boys, Skylar and Phoenix, who take every opportunity to get into mischief as well as my chronically messy, but darling, husband. One and three years old means my boys absolutely the center of the universe here at home. It also means that I'm outnumbered three to one! Even though some days are a struggle to fit in all the things that "need" to be done I can't ever imagine being too busy to put aside the dishes or skip that gym time to build a blanket fort or spend the afternoon doing some serious finger painting. Life is meant to be enjoyed and we are all about that!

5. Have you ever had an experience on Etsy, good or bad, that sticks out to you? Would you share it with us?

Etsy is a very interesting place. Where else can you buy, sell, chat, trade, learn, and create the world's longest Christmas list for yourself all from the comfort of your own home? Yes, there have been times when people have not been as pleased as I would hope about my products. There have been times when I was not as pleased as I would like to be about something I have bought. There have been times when I was so under whelmed by a person's attitude and behavior that I had to get up and walk away. But I also realize and acknowledge that though we are sellers and should be as professional as possible, we are also just people. I can only do my very best to please a buyer. Another seller can only do their very best to please me as a customer. And everyone has days when they're just feeling off. As a whole Etsy has been a wonderful experience for me. I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone as a great place both to buy and to sell. And I plan on sticking around for a long time to come!

6. Oh my gosh! A group of us from Etsy are coming down to your town and want to see the very best sites! Where do you take us? Is there a place only the locals know about?

Down home Kentucky IS a place that only the locals know about! Southern hospitality, country cooking, and great opportunities for shopping, exploring historical sites, AND some of the best lake areas to spend the day lounging make for a great way to spend some free time. Etsy road trip! Goodness, I sound a little like a Kentucky tourism commercial.

All I can say is that, "Yes!", we would do some heavy exploring around Land Between the Lakes, some serious antiquing in historic downtown, and some good old fashion catnapping in the sun (margaritas optional).

7. What do you see yourself doing in the future with regards to your jewelry? Do you hope to still be an Etsian, or do you see something lesser/greater?

I certainly hope to still be a part of the Etsy community in the future! Prdy Little Things is a shop that was set up and is operated solely on a love of creating. I do this because I love it with no great expectations or requirements. So long as I love digging through beads I will keep at it! I would like to broaden my horizons, certainly. I think craft shows and possibly consignment are in Prdy's near future but I'll definitely be an Etsy fixture for a good long while!

8. You speak a lot about exploring new ideas with regards to your crafting. Can you tell us a bit about the paths you hope to traverse next?

Oh! Oh! Fun ideas abound! There is always a notebook being scribbled in and supply pages being scoured. The next project that is being perfected is an exploration into upcycling! Keep an eye on Prdy Little Things and you might see some great recycled vinyl jewelry popping up soon! Abused, scratched, and unloved records get a second chance as bangles, earrings, pendants and more! I am so excited about this project, but I don't want to say too much and ruin the surprise!

9. Have you had any training or are you completely self taught?

I am one of those people who learns best by doing, I think. My mother is an amazing artist. She paints, she weaves, she builds, she decorates cakes; a one woman creative machine she is! And she was never stingy with the supplies she'd hand over to her kids. I watched and I learned then I experimented and found out just what things would work for me. Free learning isn't a very impressive technical qualification but there is so much to be said for the creative process that I find it absolutely as acceptable as any sort of training!

10. Do you have any advice for other Etsy artists either starting out or trying to make their way in the internet world?

My personal motto just happens to be, "You cannot defeat me!" And I try very hard to stay true to that. Etsy and the internet world are tough places to compete! There is so much going and so much that makes it a far less personal experience than buying from an artist directly at a show or in a shop. It's daunting to first realize that to have a chance at a successful online shop you need not only to be a good crafter, but also a photographer, an advertiser, and a spokesperson for you product. But I truly believe that if you love what you're doing, if you have a passion for creating then there is no end to the improvements that you can make to the way you market yourself. Practice, experiment, and see what it is that works for you! Take the advice of others with a grain of salt. And most of all...Don't. Give. Up!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The plague abates! Sort of. Still sniffly but feeling much more dry about the nasal area (lord that's pleasant isn't it? =P). I am concerned about my inability to make it from the kitchen to the couch without having to stop and cough for a few raw seconds. The pharmacist says drainage (eewww) so I'm looking forward to that going away! In the mean while I am staying away from my jewelry supplies and my paper scraps. Free germs with every sale? Mmnope! While that is painful in the long run it's probably better! It's given me a lot of time to surf and search for some great ideas about advertising and improving my product, my approach, and my shop in general. This article http://http//cloud9design.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/10-ways-to-promote-yourself-on-etsycom-from-littleput-books/ by this blogger http://www.littleput.blogspot.com/ is one of my favorite finds. There are some wonderful tips in there and some great inspirations. I'm looking forward to trying a few new things myself!

On that note I don't advertise but my shop traffic is picking up to the point that I think it's necessary. Someday Prdy will be a household name! Well maybe just a retail name =P

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Had a lovely evening of sitting and packaging after the kids went down (finally!). I have decided that I'm determined to have a postage scale so that I can just do it all up at home and drop it off without waiting in a long line with two little monkeys. Perhaps I will put it on my birthday list and bat my eye lashes at the big man. =D
So many plans, so little...alright there's no excuse for it! I have plenty of time to pull some of these plans to fruition. And I will! I WILL finish my preparations for a luxe line, I WILL keep working on my upcycled line, and I WILL churn out some ideas, some proposals, and some product for wholesaling!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Search and Intimidate

Crafting withdrawal has hit, or maybe it was crafting ambition overload. Either way, it's not pretty. As my first etsy-versary AND the holiday season approach the hurtles mount, one by one. All fun and spending have come to a screeching halt as Paypal harangues me for for everything from a photo ID to paystubs, utility bills, W2s, and social security cards. I'm not sure if this is something random or is the result of some problematic transaction. I can make money but I cannot move it until the review process is ended...a process that should have been finished this last week. I am...annoyed. I am also afraid of my shops for the moment. Nothing new has gone up and nothing expired has been renewed! Oh my.

Today I was searching around Etsy to ease my...unease about life, ambition, and the pursuit of contentment when I decided I should check out the Teams page again. It seems that everyone I meet is on some sort of team and everyone has great praise for them. I...am jealous. As someone who feels they are always struggling to find that perfect niche the idea of a team that fits just right is so appealing. However, I have to say that I am still extremely intimidated by the four extra long rows of Teams that hang about on the big E. Searching, searching, searching, I will find one yet! The perfect one! But for today I will end my searching at the Bs and continue daydreaming of magazine features and blog reviews. I'm so ambitious this week!