Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Want One!

Every year, my day job participates in the United Way Day of Caring. (I just now realized that if you go to their site and watch the video, at the 46-second mark you can see me shelving books at an elementary school library!)

Today at work we were looking at the various volunteer opportunities to sign up for this year, and one that I really wanted to do (because I'm a sucker for anything that involves animals) was at Gress Mountain Ranch. It was a bit too far away from where I work, so despite my enthusiasm that idea got shot down. But of course, I got sidetracked checking out their website, and now I've decided I want one of these:

photo: NMDA website


Seriously, how cute are they??

And speaking of odd pets, just because I feel like sharing, here's a photo of Holly, the sweet little hedgehog I had as a pet all through college:

Here she is playing under a dish towel on the kitchen floor during my junior year of college. (I think it must have been the burrowing instinct, this was one of her favorite games. That and running around with her head jammed into a toilet paper tube.)

I didn't realize this until Glen and I had already had Elvis for awhile, but Holly died on April 29, 2006 - the exact same day Elvis was born. Coincidence? I think not. :-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

End of the Weekend

If there's one thing I'm awful at, it's relaxing. I always feel guilty if I'm not doing something.

Today began, and I'm hoping will end, with some relaxation though. I slept in today til 11:00. Given the opportunity, I can and will sleep in, but that's crazy late for me. It was amazing though, and I managed to not feel guilty about it. Mostly because I spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon cleaning, doing yard work, taking pictures of jewelry, even posted two new pieces in my shop today.

Also went to the grocery store, then Glen and I made turkey burgers with baked potatoes and corn for dinner.

This evening I'm back in relaxation mode. Just got back from taking Elvis for a walk, now he's terrified because there are fireworks within earshot. Silly puppy.

Now it's time for the season premiere of Mad Men. :-)

Mad Men + tea sounds awesome right about now. My ex-brother-in-law works for Celestial Seasonings and keeps us well-stocked by sending a big box of it each Christmas. Here's what our cabinet looked like last January:

I think I'll have the Country Peach Passion tonight. :-)

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


After a somewhat ill-advised trip to a Chinese buffet for lunch today (my stomach hates me now!) with my husband and a couple of friends, I got this fortune in my fortune cookie:

I'm normally not much of a risk taker, either in business or my personal life. Once in awhile I venture out of my comfort zone, like the time I chose to go to a college where I didn't know ANY of the other students. I came away from that experience with lots of wonderful friends who I probably wouldn't have bothered to meet if I'd gone somewhere with people I already knew. But too often, I find myself sticking with what's safe, not really taking any chances because I feel comfortable where I am, and I'm worried that if I fail the risk won't seem worth it.

So for once I decided to hold on to my fortune to remind me to get out of the proverbial harbor once in awhile, whether it's with my business or in my personal life.

See? I said I'd have this one posted within the week! I still can't promise I won't make one for myself though!

By the way, I'm participating in Etsy's Christmas in July sale. Everything in my shop is buy one, get one half off, plus I'm offering free shipping on any order of $20 or more! I've added and handful of new items and am hoping to add a few more during the course of the week! :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Identity Crisis

Lately I've felt like my little company has had a bit of an identity crisis.

I think I took a step in the right direction in terms of the product, with my idea of utilizing more recycled jewelry parts. (Speaking of which, a lot of my recycled jewelry sold last week, so I may have an excuse to start scavenging antique and thrift stores for old jewelry soon!)

The other bit of my identity crisis doesn't deal with the product itself, but with the packaging.

The original bags I had for craft shows and jewelry parties were actually party favor bags from Party City that I ran through my printer. They're essentially purple, glossy versions of a brown lunch bag.

This weekend I found white kraft paper bags with handles at Michaels, and with a coupon they were about 30 cents each. Then I took 2" x 4" mailing labels, printed my logo on them in purple and stuck them on the bags. Much nicer, I think!

I also decided I needed to do something about the packaging I use when I mail orders. Originally I used these shiny, textured, silver boxes. Those work fine for craft shows and parties, where I need to have my jewelry out and able to be handled by customers.

But using a jewelry box inside a bubble mailer really isn't ideal for my online sales. First of all, it adds unnecessary weight. I really don't want to charge too much for shipping, and as of right now adding delivery confirmation would force me to increase my shipping charges by 50%. I'm hoping that by lowering the weight (and therefore, postage) of each package, I can regularly use delivery confirmation without increasing my shipping costs.

After agonizing over whether to order pre-made retail packaging, which just didn't fit in with my idea of my brand identity, I went with my own solution: I went to Michaels again, bought a bunch of card stock in purple and textured silver, and started experimenting.

Ok, first of all, I kind of want to keep this necklace for myself. But more realistically I'll have it listed on Etsy within the week.

These earrings match the packaging! They're actually a custom order from the party this past Tuesday, so I'm going to test run the new packaging with them. It's just a first effort, so hopefully once I get the hang of it they'll start to look more polished and professional.

All in all, I think I'm on my way to establishing a stronger brand identity, but any thoughts/feedback on the new packaging is much appreciated!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Storage Problem Solved! (Sort of)

Remember when I said I was hesitant to make more jewelry until I got rid of some of my inventory and/or found a better storage method?

Well, a better storage method is still a goal to be achieved, but my wonderful mother who I love dearly decided to host a jewelry party for some friends and family. We figured there'd be maybe 10 people, tops. It was definitely more than that (not sure exactly how much more though, I was so busy I didn't have a chance to count!), and now 1/3 of my inventory is gone!

I've only done a handful of jewelry parties so far, and usually there weren't more than 5 or 6 guests. With those, it was a lot easier to take my time and chat with everyone. It was easy to make adjustments to existing pieces, or even whip up entirely new pieces, right there on the spot. I was able to do a bit of that tonight, but it definitely hampered my ability to spend time talking to folks, not to mention it left me feeling more than a little flustered. Lesson learned for next time: handle regular sales first, take custom orders or requests for modifications, but don't feel obligated to do them on the spot if I'm too busy.

Also, a TV table is not nearly big enough to handle a cash box AND a bead board.

Now I have no excuse not to make more jewelry. And take pictures for Etsy listings, since 14 of my 34 listings sold tonight. ;-)

I'd hoped to take a few pictures at the party tonight to share here, but needless to say that didn't happen. My husband suggested I take a picture of Elvis wearing jewelry. We have these red, white and blue beads that are very much in the spirit of this past weekend's festivities, and for some inexplicable reason, Elvis loves wearing them. He'll prance around in them with a swagger in his step, then look pathetically sad when we take them off.

However, in this picture he looks about as tired as I feel. It is time for both my puppy and me to go to sleep!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...