Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 11th

In about mid-November I had a big surge of Etsy orders from the plan-aheaders who do their Christmas shopping early, and then it quieted down. It quieted down so much that I started worrying about all the supply orders I'd put on the credit card. I had a feeling that there would be another surge from the procrastinators, but I just wasn't sure.

This past week orders have been coming in and I've been so thankful. Then yesterday I went to deliver an order at my hair salon to one of the stylists. It turned out that she left early, but I decided to show my stuff anyway, and I sold two pairs of earrings. Then as I was leaving I remembered that I'd told the owner of the salon that I'd stop by sometime with my new designs. She works across the street at the salon's training center, so I decided to pop in.

If you sell your own creations, then you probably understand how awkward it can be to do something like this. I mean, it can be awkward enough if you're hawking something like Girl Scout Cookies... you don't want to seem pushy, people can be rude and ignore you or give you a dirty look, etc. But when it's your own artwork, your own creations, it can be extra scary! If they turn down Girl Scout Cookies, you can just tell yourself that maybe they're on a diet or they don't like Thin Mints. But if it's your own labors of love that they turn down, well, it can bruise the ego a bit!

I've actually gotten pretty good at it, because I don't take it personally if people don't buy anything. I have a diverse-enough range (in my current stock I have about three times what I have listed on Etsy) that usually people will like something at least. I'm not pushy at all, and I tell people the truth--I love to know what people like the most, because then I know which items are most popular and I can upload those to Etsy first. So just by looking at what I have to offer and telling me what they like, people are helping me and I'm appreciative. And if they don't buy anything, that's fine, and I thank them for helping me out... I appreciate their input, and when I have some new designs can I stop by again for them to look things over? They always say yes, and I think it's because I'm not pushy or guilt-inducing! :) I usually give out a business card or two as well. :)

ANYWAY, that was a tangent! The point is that it can be intimidating to walk in somewhere with a basket of your creations and say, "Hey, would you like to spend some of your hard-earned money on some stuff I've made?" But I'm always glad when I do it, even when I don't sell anything. And I'm really glad that I did it yesterday, because at the training center I sold NINE necklaces! WOO HOO! And five of them were brand-new designs that I haven't listed on Etsy yet, so I need to remake those now! :)

Then I came home and found more orders in my Etsy and on Facebook and in my e-mail inbox! Yesterday was by far my biggest days of sales EVER... and it wouldn't have been if I'd been too scared to put myself and my work out there. My point is... put yourself out there, you'll be glad you did!

Since I spent so much time doing orders and sales yesterday I decided to make it my page for my December Daily album. I wanted to do a photo grid with photos of some of the things I sold... usually this takes me forever because I'm OCD about making everything exactly the same size and spaced properly and etc. But in a couple online classes I've taken I've been using Photoshop templates... and I decided to try to make my own. I know, like, woah. If you know Photoshop you'll say woah because this is so easy; if you don't know Photoshop you'll say woah because you have no idea what I'm talking about. :)

So I dove in and did it and figured out clipping masks and just made myself pleased as punch with this new tool in my arsenal! I added in the "december" and graphics I made before and changed the color (and the number, obviously). Then I printed it out to put in my album, and it didn't look right because the background of the page is cream and the white looked too glaring. Plus when I printed it, my 4x6 photo printer trimmed off a little bit of the outside edge, so it wasn't even all the way around with the white lines in the middle (OCD, I told you).

So I started looking for a "digital paper" that would match my layout. I don't have that much because I don't scrap digitally, so whatever I have has been obtained through free downloads. But I quickly tired of looking through my folders, because I don't have my digital scrapbooking stuff organized well (because I never use it). So instead I took a page from my friend Cynthia's book, and I scanned in the (actual, physical) scrapbooking paper that I'd used in the layout! Then I copied it into the background of my photo grid, and I made the background larger so that when the printer cut down the edges it would still be even.

VoilĂ ! It printed out perfectly so that it matches my page and looks great!

I love learning new things that will make my life easier!

Jason is finally up and around so I can go tackle the things on my To Do list that make a lot of noise. :) Bang-bang-bang, lots of jewelry to work on today! :)

Have a great weekend! :)


jenwcom said...

I am in LOVE! These are gorgeous and thoughtful and just perfect. I have to make up my mind what I want so I can order!!

I'm so glad you put yourself out there. That is my biggest problem: FEAR. You go sistah!

cynthia said...

Oh I love your selling philosphy :) So true about putting yourself out there!!!!!!!!! The sales will come with the beautiful heartfelt creations you make!!! And I so loooove your digital December Daily!!!! page:) Perfect!!!