Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Creative Space - New Etsy Store

First a new market stall and now a new shop on Etsy! Yes, sometimes my creative space isn't about the actual act of creating/making, but the behind the scenes activities.

When I made the decision to start selling my handmade items, I knew I needed to start slow. The anal retentive in me also required me to have a plan. And so I created a loose business plan, with loose dates, goals and activities/tasks.

I dipped my toe in the water just over a year ago with my Madeit shop. My goal was to open my shop on August 1, 2011. And I did, with one item in it:). On average I sell a couple of items a month. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I am not the speediest of makers and I only list what is ready to ship.

The next goal in my business plan was to attend 4-5 markets over the year. To date I have done four:) I love connecting personally with customers and hearing feedback on what I make.

The final goal in my business plan was to open an Etsy shop by August 1, 2012. Admittedly, I was a little off goal, but I was finally able to hit the "open shop" button earlier this month (September).

And, fortunate enough to celebrate my first sale within 48 hours!

So, now I am done. No more plan. Ok, that's not completely true, I have two markets in November (which means I will actually have done six this year, one more than my goal:) and the anal retentive in me has been thinking about what is next, I just need to put it on paper!

What's happening in your creative space this week (in front of or behind the scenes?) To see what others are up to be sure to visit My Creative Space. Cyndy Pin It

Monday, September 17, 2012

Making Something New

This weekend I made something new, a potholder. Not an earth shattering craft project by any stretch of the imagination, but I had never made one before. I made them because someone asked me to. A friend who is traveling overseas this week called me Thursday and said "I need something for my Aunt, she has an organic bakery, can you make some pot holders from vintage tea towels with Australiana on them?"

I said "yes" and I did. Now, I don't know about you, but whenever I make something specific for someone I am always a tad nervous about whether they will like it. Fortunately, she did, even deciding to give one of them to her mother in law instead:)

It also got me thinking about how I come up with new ideas of things to make. Clearly being asked is one way. I am not sure I would have come up with pot holders on my own accord. Sometimes I am inspired by things that others have made (online, magazines, at markets), like a skirt. Other times I am inspired by necessity, like headbands and hair ties (for my girls). And still other times I am inspired by the raw materials themselves (fabric, children's books) and think what can I make that will best utilize or showcase the materials, like bunting or cushion covers.

Regardless of how I come up with new ideas, one thing is for sure, I have more ideas than I can implement. I don't know about you, but I keep a notebook, where I write down all my ideas, and as I implement them, I fill in the details, like measurements, materials/colours used, costs for me to make etc... Why all the details? That's in case I want to make something more than once. I'm a make by the seat of my pants kinda crafter, so its usually documenting after the fact rather than before:) But documenting none the less.

So, hope you like my newest idea. My friend thinks I should make more of them for markets. I'm not convinced yet, but glad I made them at least once. So what's your newest idea and how did you come up with it? Cyndy Pin It

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Creative Space - A New Market Stall

(picture by Morrissy Photos)

You may not have noticed, but I have been on a bit of a blog break. Last Friday, August 31st I had my second market stall of the year. In addition to getting stock ready, I had committed myself to creating a new stall set up. As we got closer to the market something had to give and my blog and keeping a clean house took the brunt of it. So this post is a bit of a catch about what I have been up to in my creative space:)

After my last market in March I knew I needed to rethink how I displayed my items. I also knew it wasn't my strength. So I asked my friend Tracy of BonVoyage Etoffe for her help and she came through in spades. She came up with a well thought out and detailed design based on her review of my other elements (blog, packaging, products and current market set up).

Now mind you this was a DIY project, so I had to get the supplies, build it and paint it. Tracy also came through in the build phase, when I didn't have all the right tools and started to stress about getting it done. Here's Tracy's original design:

And here is how it looked at the market last week:
(picture by Morrissy Photos)
I can't tell you how helpful it was to have someone else look at what I do objectively and to provide feedback. A couple of times along the way I thought about deviating from the design concept, but Tracy kept telling me stick with the vision, see it to completion. I even had to give up my use of doilies, but I do have to admit Tracy was right. I loved the end result and how it worked at the market, so a big thank you to Tracy:)

I owe another big thank you to friend Christine of Morrissy Photos. I always forget to take pictures when I am at markets, so I asked Christine to take some pics for me. These are just a few of the photos she took. Can't wait to share and use some of the others:)

And so in my creative space this week I am basking in my market aftermath and thankful for my creative friends. Hoping you get a chance to do the same:) To see what other have been up to this week and for more inspiration be sure to visit My Creative Space. Cyndy
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