Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Changes

The impending new year has made me start thinking about changes. Change is inevitable. Just ask anyone in corporate America, and they'll tell you that change is one of the most talked-about subjects in the workplace. We're told to embrace it, even when it doesn't seem like it's the best thing for us.

Personally, I have a year of big changes ahead of me. Well, that's the plan anyway. Our new house should be finished within the next few months, so we'll get to move from this dark, cramped, non air conditioned, 60+ year old house we've been renting. And I can finally unpack boxes that have been packed for more than two years. It'll be like opening a bunch of Christmas and birthday presents, as I honestly can't remember all the things that are packed away (oh, I know what's in the boxes, thanks to my spreadsheet, but that doesn't mean I'm not anxious to see them in person again). I can hardly wait for that change to happen.

On the business side of things, I think it's also time for some changes. My approach to selling my handmade items, whether they be my beaded creations or the art supplies and paper goods in my other Etsy shop is, admittedly, somewhat chaotic...

  • My main focus has been on my Etsy shops, but there's an Artfire shop out there that's just costing me money every month. Sadly, Artfire doesn't pull in enough traffic to make it a worthwhile selling venue, even though their fees are so much less expensive than Etsy's. Time to close up the Artfire shop.
  • I don't focus enough on taking pictures and getting new pieces listed. I can never seem to make/take the time to photograph the pieces I've made. I need to change that practice (moving into the new house will help, because I'll actually have windows with natural light coming in instead of having to search for just the right light in this dark house).
  • I make waaaaaay too many UFOs (UnFinishedObjects). Piles of them. I need to pull them out of the UFO box and finish them. Yep, gonna work on that.
  • My poor, neglected website, another venue for which I pay a monthly fee, needs to be finished. I think I finally have a plan for it. Now I just have to execute the plan, which involves actually sitting down and working on it for predetermined amounts of time every week until it's done.
  • I have a collection of patterns for beadwoven designs that need to be finished and published. I am somewhat organized in my computer file structure, so I'm happy to report that I have a list of the designs that need to be worked on. I'm not so happy to report that the list is more than 40 items long...
  • Did you know I have a newsletter? Probably not, even though you may have signed up to receive it. That's one of the things I never got around to doing in 2011. No newsletters, even when I was running special sales or was really excited about some new thing. I'm planning to change that and publish a newsletter at least three or four times next year.
  • Facebook. Ah, the joys and frustrations of Facebook. My posting on my biz page there could be referred to as "scattergun." That needs to change, too, as Facebook seems to be a really good way to connect with both customers and fellow beadweavers.
  • I need to continue making progress (just started last week) in sorting and organizing all my beads and other supplies. I had come up with a system for my delicas, and although the concept is good, I need to redo some things to make the system more efficient and usable. My other beads and findings were a nightmare! Some still are, but I've begun making progress, sorting the bead by color into containers that are large enough to actually hold my somewhat massive collection. Naively, I had chosen those plastic shoebox sized containers for my seed beads, not realizing until it was too late that there was no possible way for me to fit all my red beads into just one shoebox. I'm in the process of moving and sorting them into larger containers.
  • And those other supplies? Cardstock, paper, envelopes, scrapbooking paper, glue sticks, tape... piles and piles of all kinds of things that need to be sorted, cut, taped, glued, photographed, and listed. I've also begun working on that, but it's a tough undertaking in this tiny space with no designated location for all of it.
  • Blogging. That would be this blog that you're reading. I don't spend nearly enough time on it, and that's another thing that needs to change. Why?
    Well, even with my sporadic posting habits, this blog still directs quite a number of people to my Etsy shop. So updating it is a worthwhile endeavor. My plan is to change from my infrequent, unscheduled posting to a weekly blog post. At least.

I'm sure there are more things I could add to this list, but I don't want to overwhelm myself before I even get started. Maybe I'll continue the list somewhere else, so I can cross things off as I accomplish them. Don't you feel nice when you can cross something off your to-do list?

Now I can cross off updating my blog for this week. :-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Progressive Sale

It's time for a holiday sale!

Other than the discounts I've offered through the Bead Art Originals blog and discounts offered to repeat customers, I really haven't had any sales in quite a while. So it's time. :-)

I thought I'd try something a little different... a Progressive Sale. This is the best sale I've ever offered, so if you've been ogling something in my shop, this is your chance to save some money!

Here's how it works:
  • Purchase one item from my Etsy shop and receive a 10% discount.
  • Purchase two items from my Etsy shop and receive a 20% discount.
  • Purchase three or more items from my Etsy shop and receive a 30% discount on your entire order!

*** PLEASE NOTE the following important information ***

Patterns are excluded from this special sale.

In order to receive the discount, you MUST include "Progressive Sale" in the Message to Seller when you check out.

The applicable discount will be refunded to you via PayPal.

May not be combined with any other sale or coupon code.

This sale will run from now (Monday, December 12) through the end of the year!

*** Merry Christmas! ***