Archive | January 2016

2016 Planner Reviews and DIY Paper Clips

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I have FINALLY completed my 2016 planner review and DIY paper clip tutorial! This is my first vlog on this topic. I must admit to being a stationery addict, so planner and do it yourself (DIY) planner/ office supplies are favorites of mine. I missed Lilly’s August agenda notifications, so I’m once again only using mine Jan-Dec and missing those first few months of the academic year. It’s all good though.

This year, in addition to a new Lilly Pulitzer Wild Confetti Jumbo Agenda, I also snagged a copy of the Lisa Jacobs planner. 2016 Your Best Year is really more of a workbook for creative artisans and entrepreneurs looking to motivate yourself and accelerate your craft business. There have been some great inspirational tips so far in the workbook. I am already putting some of those planning strategies to good use as I re-vamp my handmade jewelry hobby into a full time business.

I’ve seen so many peeps making cute little paper clips for their planners and such. Since I make hair bows and also have a ton of ribbons and buttons for scrapbooking and jewelry making, I decided to include a few paper clip options that I made. Using glue and wire to attach lovely sparkles to the clips, I also tied lovely ribbon pieces and scraps to make those cute tails that will wave at me each day I open my planners.

Enjoy the stationery nerdfest by watching my video review and tutorial. Please remember to like and comment directly on my YouTube channel so I get correct stats in Google! Also, if you know anyone that might enjoy planning and paper clips, please feel free to share my video. Have a sparkle-riffic year, everyone!

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Ten Things You Shouldn’t Say When Pricing Handmade Items| Re-blogged & Expanded

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I loved this article about handmade pricing issues. I make handmade jewelry and know that I have under priced many items. I began making jewelry for some party favors that quickly turned into a new hobby, which has now developed into a full time job and beading obsession!

Because I have mainly sold on Etsy until recently, my low pricing was a necessity because there is too much competition and dilution regarding jewelry items. For instance when I began, there were a gazillion Twilight charm bracelets. Today’s search only yields 223, of which only 1 of my designs shows on page 5 of 6. This is because I removed “Twilight” from my tags and titles to avoid trademark violations with that term (a topic for another blog post). Therefore a person searching for “Twilight charm bracelet” won’t see me in the search results because mine are tagged “vampire charm bracelets” or some other derivative.

Now that I’m transitioning from a hobby to a full time business and putting eCommerce directly onto my website, I am adjusting the pricing at my site. My new price formula will more accurately reflect a desirable hourly pay rate when factoring in my time. I will keep the same pricing of previously listed items at Etsy, but it will be the fresh pricing model for brand new items and collections directly on my site.

I think those of us that make handmade items get suckered into the feeling of offering “friends and family” pricing. We keep a hobbyist mentality, instead of using our business sense the same way that we do regarding regular hourly employment. This is either because of our own uncertainty due to inexperience and confidence or because customers complain about our items being too expensive. (This much chagrined statement comes to mind: “I can get this for $5 at Wal-Mart” – admit it…you’ve heard this one before). 

If you work for a business for more than a year, you generally expect some sort of raise in salary. In the handmade realm, however, you are responsible for pricing to include increases for cost of living, supplies, shipping, packaging, breakage, liability, overhead (if you sell at craft fairs or have a store front), etc. Too often we try to be the nice guy or maybe we’re just assuming a value (you know what they say about that)…and we undercut ourselves to the point of not making a genuine income. 

Research your industry, be vigilant about your SEO keywords, join handmade groups and communities to see what your peers are doing, read trade magazines and invest in training to increase your skills. By making yourself more skillful and knowledgeable, you can build your confidence to more accurately price your products, which in turn validates your authority to create a respectable income for yourself.

Have a sparkle-riffic day, everyone!

Source: Ten things you shouldn’t say when pricing handmade items | Life’s Big Canvas

The Greatness Within ► Motivational Video & Sparkly Pep Talk

Last year did not quite yield what I had hoped in the way of my opening a small bead store. We faced multiple challenges after our relocation from Arizona to Texas, several of them forcing us quite close to a few nervous breakdowns.

These obstacles included unpacking delays while working on several remodeling projects, my finishing a bachelors degree in business, my unemployment after the move,  major storm damage, unexpected roofing and window replacements, sudden health issues and surgeries, the death of 3 family members and other highly stressful events.

As we enter 2016, the house issues are slowly resolving. There are just a few major projects which are currently on hold until we recover. Overhead expenses with leasing and taxes are simply too risky for my bead store dream. So my plans have changed to further evolve my website with a new eCommerce function and incorporate increased content revenue streams with blogging and craft tutorials via my YouTube channel. I continue to expand my jewelry teaching opportunities and plan to expand into jewelry parties, community events and placing my product in local boutiques. Our health is going to become more of a priority to include emotional, spiritual and physical improvements.  The ultimate goal is to derail the stress train from taking further toll on us by having better coping mechanisms in place for those unpleasant experiences.

As I reflect on these internal and external factors of perceived failures this past year, I am also reminded to accept that there were slight improvements and successes. We must strive to acknowledge the good with the bad in order to understand how to achieve our goals and maintain our sanity while remaining thankful.

As long as we have breath in our bodies, we still have opportunities for success which means the impossible is still possible. I was forwarded this little video to help motivate me in the new year, so I wanted to share it with you all.

Have a sparkle-riffic 2016, y’all!