As time goes on, I get a little bit better at running my etsy shop and promoting my quilts. It's a constant learning process because I don't think I have the right personality for sales, but I do like to talk about my passions and I do have a fair amount of customer service work in my background, so I'm slowly figuring out how to combine those two things and get stuff done!
I've got next semester off from the ol' RealJob and I've decided to use that time to:
(1) get more of my quilts out in the world.
(2) boost sales at my Etsy store (plexiglass shapes used by dyers)
(3) expand my offerings as a quilt teacher.
I've been gathering up wisdom from various friends, books, and websites, and it seems that I need to start a newsletter! Why? Because its easy for blog posts to go unread in our distracting world! I know that I sometimes don't see blog posts about sales in my favorite shops until after the sale is closed (sad!) Or I don't see notices about classes until after those classes have filled (double sad!)
So, dear blog readers, please consider subscribing to my newsletter! You'll have the option to tell me which topics you're interested in and thus make sure you receive only news that you have deemed relevant. It's super-easy to adjust your subscription or unsubscribe later.
Click here to fill out a simple form and subscribe!
Click here to fill out a simple form and subscribe!
Just a teaser of information to come soon:
(1) I'm teaching an introduction to quilting class in Ann Arbor! This is my sample quilt for the class...soon to be quilted and blogged. This is loosely based on the Lap of Luxe Quilt by Quilt Dad.
(2) The quilt I'm most frequently asked to write a pattern for, The Fraction Quilt from 2009, is going to be in a book that's coming out in January! And I made second version of it which you can see a little bit of on the cover of the book. You'll be shocked to discover that the newer version is mostly made of Kona Curry! This quilt was inspired by Your Parents are Cool by Cheryl Arkison. The Fraction Quilt was made and the pattern written with her permission.
Will I still blog this information?
Yes, sort of. The thing is: I really don't think of this blog as a "press release" type of place, so it is always my inclination to just throw that information at the close of other posts, where it may or may not be read. Some stuff may have it's own post, for example, I imagine that I will talk about the fraction quilt more when the book is released because that's all fun, chatty, processy stuff.
Basically, while I imagine this blog will sometimes contain some of the same information as the newsletter, there will be important differences. For example, deciding what to teach in my "Introduction to Quilting" class has been a pretty interesting process. I'm going to blog about it soon. In the newsletter, I'll announce and promote the class. On the blog, I'll talk about teaching and try to collect some advise on what first-time quilters need to hear. Make sense? Blog = backroom chattiness; Newsletter = quick and simple communication of information.
So please, subscribe to the newsletter so that you don't miss out on information amidst all my bloggy blather.
Not-so-secret secrets to success?
For whatever reason, Ann Arbor, Michigan is a hotbed of craft business activity, so I get to spend time with any number of people who will, in talking about how they are going about their lives, mention random facts or inspirations. Here are some places I've been looking as I get myself organized.
(1) Cheerleading! My friend Jenna told me about Alex Beadon's website. Alex is a photographer, but her blog is about getting small creative business up and running and then humming and then booming. Her weekly videos are fun and energizing and help me think about all the ways I could be helping by business to succeed.
(2) Finding time to create! I've been a regular reader over at 99u for a while now. They have great perspectives on the challenges of a creative business (which mostly revolve around actually finding time to create amidst all the busy work and other demands.)
I also really like their book, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. Its great for thinking about how to organize your time and energy.
(3) Learning about the business environment! I checked this book out from the library and then ended up buying my own copy. ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. The title is beyond cheesy, and a "six-figure income" is not my goal, but there is really good information in there about stuff like why you would set up a newsletter, and what companies are reputable for helping with that, and what laws govern subscriptions etc.
(4) Sharpening some skills! I'm really excited that Craftsy has photography classes now because improving my photos in my etsy shop has been a goal for a while now. I just enrolled in their class on product photography: Shoot It: Product Photography Class. I've suspected that I need a macro lens and some lighting equipment to get what I'm looking for, but I didn't want to lay out the funds without knowing for sure (or knowing what to do with any new equipment if/when I get it!)
That's what new in these parts! What's new with you? Any favorite fonts of small business wisdom you think I should know about?
*Amazon and Craftsy links are affiliate links.