Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Week

Enjoyed a play-doh meal.
Our first big snowstorm :)
Created some cute things with a few friends at my house.
Worked on flowers for the shop.
My 13 year old spruced up her bedroom wall with paperbag flowers seen on Nate Berkus.
Made an infinity scarf out of an old sweater.
Made a new personalized pillow for the shop.

What did you do this week?  I'd love to visit you! 





Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I Have Learned

I'm taking a moment from making flowers to write this post that just came to me. Sometimes this is how blog posts work! This will be my second full year on Etsy. When I started out, I only knew two things. I loved the Etsy site and I wanted to become a seller on this site. Did I really know what I wanted to sell? No, really no clue. I thought at first it would be baby blankets. I love fabrics and matching up prints. The market is flooded with these items though. I wanted to stand out. One day I bought some vintage bias tape. I loved the feel of it. I tried to make a flower out of it. I probably spent a whole day getting it to where I wanted it at that time. I have since improved my design. After making over one thousand flowers, that's what happens. One day a lovely customer requested a pillow made into a ring bearer pillow. It got me thinking of a design that could be personalized. It has become my bestseller today. If someone would have told me that I would be selling mostly wedding items on etsy, I wouldn't have believed them. I have to say though, I am honored every time I get a request from a bride to make something for her wedding. Such a meaningful day and my little item is included. Truly gets me emotional. When I was growing up my family had a Sears Catalogue Store. My grandfather had an Antique shop in the same building. I spent hours each day working with both shops. I never knew that what I was doing then would benefit my shop today. Here's how they relate to my etsy shop jadiecakes.

1)Customer service is number ONE. Be pleasant, helpful, and respond to their request in a timely manner. If not, you may lose a sale. When a package came in the morning off the Sears truck, we had to hurry and unload it and then call the customer. If you do offer excellent customer service there is a possibility of the customer coming back again.

2)Window displays were an important part of my grandfather's business. He would let me choose what items would catch customers' eyes. It was fun at the time but I didn't realize at the time that this was what was drawing people into his antique store. Just like my etsy shop. My storefront (photos) have to be clear and crisp. I need them to draw my customers in.

3)The slow down of sales is frustrating. I admit I had a great year last year but December was slower. I was starting to get down on myself. Questioning what I might have done. With our Sears store we had times when sales weren't as high. Summer was slower. November and December were like Christmas every day.  For my shop  January hit and I've had the most sales that my shop has had ever in one month and February is looking like it might be a record too!

  4)When sales slow down work on improvements. We painted and cleaned our store when times were slow. We made extra room for the busy times. In the Antique shop we polished silver and cleaned out the clutter. I have taken this and applied it to my own shop. I take stock of my supplies. Cut fabric ribbon ahead of time. Make flowers upon flowers. I take a look at my listings and change tags and rewrite descriptions. If you have a handmade shop you know that this is just the tip of what happens on a daily basis. These thought motivate me. Don't give up on yourself. It is HARD, but it gives me an amazing feeling to know that all this hard work is paying off.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Instagram Love







I've been on instagram for awhile now.  I love taking pictures with this app.  If you would care to follow me, I'm "jadiecakes". 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Balance

I have a hard time finding balance.  Having a shop that depends on me and spending time with my family can get overwhelming.  I love both so much in different ways.  How do you find balance in your life?  I have a few new items that I will be adding in the shop over the next couple of weeks.  Items that I have been thinking about making for weeks!  I'm also cleaning up my shop listings and clearing out a few items.   I'm adding a coupon code for my facebook followers.  I would love to have you follow me ;)    

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Day in My Life

I've been wanting to post a 10 on 10 post (one picture each hour for ten hours) for many months.  I usually forget and remember halfway through the day and then it's too late.  Today I took some pictures as I went about my day.  Here is a glimpse:


Enjoyed coffee out of my new mug!  Thanks friend - Katyloves.com
 

Our icy driveway!

Brought some fresh water to the girls.
Put together an easy supper in the crock pot!
Put together some of my favorite prints! 
Made Valentine's Day cards with the girls.

Made a trip to the post office with some orders.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Finish line




I feel like I am running a race. Once the kids get off to school I rush home and get laundry started and throw a meal in the crock pot. I almost forgot to start the spaghetti sauce  today! It was a productive morning ( at least in the shop). My house needs to be cleaned and the little ones will be home soon. Yes, they aren't so little anymore... So here's what I finished up this morning and just listed. How did I do?

Friday, February 3, 2012

On the Sewing Table

I have new spring wristlets coming to the shop.  I'm hoping to get them listed by Monday.  Here is a peek.....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Shop Items

One of my business goals this year is to introduce new items in the shop. So far I have two new items: the burlap bag and the set of burlap napkin rings. I'm truly happy how each has been received. I've been asked if I had something for the flower girl to carry down the aisle. I wanted it to match the ring bearer pillows that I already have in the shop. Drafting out an idea sometimes takes many hours. I obsess about details. Sometimes so much that I don't ever put it in the shop! Thankfully, I found a unique rustic looking basket that matches my ring bearer pillow.  I'm pleased how this basket looks with one of my flowers. Now I can finally offer flower girl/ring bearer sets.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gift Exchange

A few weeks ago, I was enjoying one of my favorite blogs, www.crowleyparty.blogspot.com . My heart starting beating a bit faster when I saw that a gift exchange was taking place amongst interested bloggers. It brought me back to my teen years of writing to my pen pals all over the world! Before I knew it, I was given sweet Katy's email. Katy's gift to me is this amazing mug! She knew me enough to know how much I LOVE coffee. It is absolutely adorable and I can't wait to use it! Her blog www.katyloves.com is a delight to read. I especially like her series "Weekend Cravings". If you get a chance please take a moment and say "hi" to my new friend.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine's Day Tutorial

Every morning I reach for a k-cup.  Sometimes, I reach for two!  I love my keurig coffee maker, however I do not like that I'm throwing away a sweet little box each time.  So today I'm going to show you a super easy way to reuse one of them.  It's perfect for storing many different items or using it to put all those valentine goodies in :)

Supplies needed:

one box
fabric
mod podge
a foam brush
paper
pen or fabric marker
scissors

First of all, this is very easy and takes little time.  I probably would have been done in less than 20 minutes if I didn't have to stop  a couple different times.  The puppy was chasing the cat and my  coffee had to be reheated.

Supplies
Trace out each side onto paper and then trace onto fabric.  Cut out.



Brush mod podge onto one side, then quickly place on fabric.
I then placed a light layer of mod podge on top of the fabric to make it all neat.
I added a chalk cloth strip and wrote my daughter's name and attached it with some hot glue.  Then I filled it with some treats.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

7 Pretty Things

Just Be You!
Coffee.
A miniature antique teacup.
Colorful blanket made by my mom years ago.
My favorite potholder.  Too pretty to use :)

A Christmas gift from a special girl.  I love that she repainted her dollar store find for me!
Bright school artwork above our kitchen doorway.  Love oil pastels!
I'm linking up with www.gussysews.com for a blog party!  Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thirteen Years

Thirteen years ago, I became a mother. Little did I know that two more daughters would follow. I never thought I'd be a mom to three girls.  Today, we celebrate that life changing moment.  The moment when I saw my husband become a dad.  I was amazed at his patience and willingness to help out in any way possible.  He changed diapers and got her dressed and even helped give the first bath.  Nothing phased him.  He has played a huge part in the girl, now teenager she has become.  We will celebrate tonight with handmade Snoopy garland and some vintage party favors.  Most of all we will celebrate the beginning of our family.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Favorite Things

My birthday was in December. I usually like to get something extra special with any money I receive. I've been wanting a Jo Totes camera bag since I first purchased my dslr camera over the summer. It was a happy day when it came in the mail. I love that the dividers are removable when I don't need to take my camera with me. I also purchased my favorite planner to date!  I had read about this amazing item on a few different blogs.  I happened to get it for only $20.  It was definitely worth every penny.  It's heavy duty, personal, has inspirational quotes, lists for goals and to dos for the week.  Really I could go on and on.  The website is www.erincondren.com.   So there you have it.  A little peek into my favorite things.  What are some of yours?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012

Happy New Year!  We rang in the new year with wonderful friends and all the kiddos made it until the ball dropped.  Actually, we didn't get to bed until almost 2:00.  That's what happens when you are having so much fun!

I have been busy sewing up ring bearer pillows.  I sold five in two days. Did lots of people get engaged over the holiday?!  I love making these.  I thought I'd share with you all how they turned out.  The other picture is how it looks when it leaves my little shop.  I enclose a business card and then wrap it all up in tissue and ribbon.  On top I place a reusable chalk cloth tag and of course, a piece of chalk.  Many times, I get caught up dreaming about what each of the weddings might be like!  I'm honored that the bride chose something that I created for her wedding!


Now, I'm off to check the mailbox.  I'm really hoping that it will be stuffed full of fabric!