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.