Saturday, February 26, 2011

Opening Shop!

In the past couple of days I have gone from having a vision to making it happen in a matter of 24 hours. I thought the only way to make things improve was to do what I have always done. For me it was the grass is greener someplace else syndrome. These times, a statement I am beginning to dislike, have to make creative artists think outside the box. Once I really looked at my situation and started to see it from a completely different perspective the answers started to unfold. After making a few phone calls, one being the Chamber of Commerce, I found that though in the past the city or town frowned on artists opening up their studios to the public they now realize the great benefit to the community, to tourism and to the region of wine growers. Lets face it if you see 2-3 people a week you are not making any negative impact at all to your neighborhood. Think of a house with teens and there are people always going in and out. Plus the clientele artists attract usually are nice upstanding people. I also made the point that I am building a business and would like to expand eventually to the town center and open an upscale gift gallery of hand painted found items. Right before the economy went plummeting downward the town had wonderful expansion plans but have since been put on hold.

This is the area I am converting to the shop and studio. The back for painting and the front area plus access to my entry hall and side screened porch while the rest of the house is easily shut off to any customers.
My point is to look at your situation and maybe you have the space or layout in your home to set up your studio shop. You can still offer all the things you would online. If you were placing them in shops and galleries you would be paying the commission fees. No one has more at stake than the artist at making a sale and customers love to buy things from the person who actually did the creating. If you are a working artist and already working out of your home than maybe you would be happy doing what I am starting in my little cottage in Elkin, NC. What is the worst thing that could happen you fail? You will anyway if you don't start approaching your business from all angles.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Joined Zibbet

Yesterday I shared some pointers I had discovered in expanding your creative business. Join and add 10 items to sell in an online shop so I did just that and joined Zibbet. Time will show me which shops preform the best and I will certainly share with all of you me results.

What I found with Zibbet was it was easy to set up your shop and profiles and adding your products, though time consuming, was relatively painless. I find once you set up one shop which in my case I started on Etsy it is a matter of copying what you have, tweaking here and there, and bang product added. I opted for the free shop but you can upgrade to a shop with a monthly fee when you want or feel it will benefit you.

I am not trying to sell Zibbet but want to share what I discover may work for my fellow creatives. If you have the time visit my Zibbet shop @ The Painted Cottage Click Here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Improving your creative business.

I found an ebook that wrote about navigating and selling online your arts and crafts. I do wish there was a better way to catagorize what we artist do but that is an ego thing. One thing this ebook was very clear on, you need to think like the owner of a huge company and be diligent in marketing creating and promoting your art. Here are a few good points I thought I could pass on to my fellow entrepreneurs. 
  • Every day check out other blogs that relate to your type of work and make a comment on 10.
  • List 10 new items to one of your online shops.
  • Look at your photos and see if you can make improvemnts.
  • write in your blog one post for each on the new item added.
  • this is my own addition, make a comment on a blog that targets the type of person you think will be interested in your work.
  • work on a schedule and stick with it.
These are just a few points to get you started improving your business and it is not easy but you and me chose this and it takes hard work. Do not sit back and wait for life to give you that break. You will be very old and your life will have disapperared in front of you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring is on it's way...

Cottage Birdhouse

In my part of the world the weather is starting to change and the cold air is becoming sweet and fresh and warm. It is a time I start to think of the garden and what I can add to brighten up the world around me. Maybe it is a wonderful birdhouse for my feathered friends or a home accent that is as fresh as air outside.

In my etsy shop I am starting to add birdhouses and garden themed home accents as shown below. These new items are softer and time worn making them great for any country cottage or beach side abode. Freshen up your office with my message board or perch a pretty plant on the plant stool or decorate a corner of the garden all at affordable prices and hand painted hand crafted and unique.
Tumbled Marble Coasters with Strawberries
Cottage Message Board

I would like to invite you to join me in my shop this spring and let me help freshen your nests inside and out. Please click here to see my new shop at Meylah. Or click on images to purchase in my etsy shop.

Cottage Plant Stool
By the way everyone have a wonderful and loving Valentine's Day and if you are feeling left out because you don't have someone just remember you always have you. You are pretty special and in all this world there is not one person like you. So today celebrate your uniqueness and love yourself. Enjoy everyone.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Business Cards and more.

I just received my order from Moo.com which I found through Etsy. I was intrigued by their mini cards and really liked the fact that you could add your own work to individual cards making up 50 100 or whatever. I designed my mini cards using my Etsy Shop items and some of my paintings. It was easy to put together and fun to work up the cards with sayings and things I wanted to get across. Within 7 days I received my order and Wow these are the best mini cards to date. I highly recommend using Moo.com and Etsy shop owners get a first time business card free offer which I also took advantage of and again Wow! There is a small band on the card that Moo uses to promote their services but it does not take away from your card at all.

The images on the cards are crisp and clean and the card stock is a nice heavy weight. I chose the matte finish. They also have packages of ready made designs that are fun and fit a wide variety of themes. The cards are a little more than some online printing places but the quality far outweighs any additional  costs, which are minimal.

Do yourself a favor and try the promotional business cards especially artist and designer shop owners. You wont be sorry.

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