Thursday, May 9, 2019

MARKETING: Mark Your Products For More Sales




If you like to add variety and jazziness to your packaging like I do, merchandise tags can be made out of any old thing. Within the junk mail and household packaging that you get everyday are potential creative tags. Though there is a lot to be said about ordering coordinated business tags, labels and seals, I am an eclectic type of person. I like showing a different tag on each of my items. I make them from greeting cards, scrap paper, recycled artwork and other salvaged items. Here are the fronts and backs of some of my one-off tags:
Handmade product tag by Artsy Craftery Studio: made from tissue box design cut out.

 
Artsy Craftery Studio merchandise tag made from a salvaged drawing.


Handmade product tag by Artsy Craftery Studio: a salvaged paper star.

Artsy Craftery Studio handmade merchandise tag made from a greeting card cut out.

While tags are a fun identifying addition to your work, they are made to be discarded. As a result, we have to ensure that potential customers can find us by applying identifying/contact info, if possible, onto every piece of work that we produce. 

I committed to this idea long ago when I was disappointed to find myself at home with a favorite item that I had bought long ago. I wanted to find more of the work and had no idea who created it. Though I searched, there was no identifying info on it anywhere. I had wanted to learn more about the person and order more products, but the opportunity was forever lost to me.

One-off tags made by Artsy Craftery Studio
How do you add non-removable business or personal names, acrynyms, email addresses, etc., to your work? Some ways that I do are:
  • adding my name, logo and/or email to the back of paintings, mixed media, etc.,
  • adding cloth tags with business name and/or email to sewing and needlecrafts,
  • if the craft work is very small, print some type of identifying info on it with an ultra-fine permanent marker,
  • incorporate identifying info into digital designs,
  • add tiny, pre-made, customized ID charms to jewelry designs and other accessories, or use an initial charm to jog your customer's memory, or metal-stamp your own charm tags with a custom metal stamp or one that you create. 
For some items, of course, I simply can't find a way to do it. With an ultrafine marker though, there are few times when I can't. Always try to place it in an inconspicuous place, a corner, at the bottom or along the side. If a customer loves your work they will search every inch to find you.

Anything that you provide on your product may one day convert to several sales. If you could have seen me feverishly searching and examining products that I've had over the years for some minute scrap of identifying info, you would understand how important this is. These products have been anything from paper-crafted pieces to sculpture.

I've bought them at department stores, discount stores and thrift stores. Some of my fav items are from thrift stores, flea markets and bazaars, out-of-the way places to where some creative person's artwork or crafted items ended up. They were someone's discards, but they were new treasures to me.

So, don't forget your identifying info, if you can at all add it. It does take extra time, but it's worth it , because wherever your handmades end up you'll be with them. Don't rely on customers to hold on to packing and shipping info. If your product should end up at a church bring-and-buy, that info would not follow it anyway. Be more proactive in marketing yourself and find creative ways to mark your products.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

NEWS:Shopify Absorbs Tictail



The selling venue, Tictail, was acquired by Shopify in November, 2018.  The platform closed in April this year and the acquisition also closed the b-and-m store in Manhattan. This undated statement, at the website address Tictail.com/en, makes it sound like the site will return with a new metamorphosis:

  • We are looking forward to the amazing things we will now be able to accomplish as a part of Shopify - we’re really just getting started. We want to thank everyone involved in the journey so far; our team, our brands, our customers and our investors - and welcome you on to this next chapter, we can’t wait to continue our journey with you. See you at Shopify!
Founded in Stockholm in 2011 by Carl Waldekranz, Kaj Drobin, Siavash Ghorbani and Birk Nilsson, the platform was popular with creatives in Sweden, Germany and the UK. The marketplace exclusively featured a curated gallery of independent global brands, though anyone could open a shop. The site was billed as a DIY e-commerce platform empowering emerging designers to set up a virtual store in minutes.

Resources:
Wikipedia 
Tictail.com/en

Friday, May 3, 2019

MARKETING: Roberto Blake On Marketing Yourself


"You should be spending your time on what are called revenue-generating opportunities, and marketing and promoting yourself are a big part of that."


Though Roberto's videos focus on the design industry, his business advice is pertinent across many industries. Listen to what he says in this video about,
  • showing up to promote yourself -vs- giving your competitor free reign,
  • why others are getting the business and sales,
  • the opposite of complaining about not getting results,
  • speaking for your work -vs- letting your work speak for itself,
  • how to close the deal,
  • the secret to his success,
  • and his valuable tips for promoting yourself. 
Learn how to become a more dedicated, savvy, smart and ambitious businessperson by listening to Roberto Blake's videos. Allow his experience, confidence and no-nonsense delivery influence you to higher heights of success in your creative disciplines.

Roberto Blake is a professional graphic designer, creative entrepreneur, public speaker and business coach. He always makes the most perfect points as he delivers his marketing wisdom and business knowledge. 


Roberto creates interesting business videos and none of his words are wasted. Just about every phrase that he speaks is a profound and valuable morsel to squirrel away for smart-business sustenance. His videos are usually of a shorter, non-exhausting length, so it is easy to make time for them.  Listen to Roberto and learn.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

CRAFTING: Weave On A Cardboard Loom



A friend explained to me how to hand weave a simple image. We talked about the warp and the weft and tying off for color change.
Willowbrook Art

EtsyOffsAndEnds at Tumblr
She explained about choosing light colored (neutral) threads for the warp (lengthwise threads), which will cause them to almost disappear when the weft (crosswise threads) are woven in.

Art For Housewives

Sjaneloomba at flickr


She talked about cutting off the tied off threads or weaving them in behind.  I discussed keeping them and incorporating them into the design.

Historic Weaving Website
As a mixed media artist, I rarely remove and throw away anything, unless that is essential to the design. I use virtually everything and I would simply creatively weave it in.  I said I would tie beads or found objects onto the fiber ends. 

Isn't this a lovely circular weave by BeesyBeeFiber?
BeesyBeeFiber

Thinking more about the tied-off threads, I thought that I could even glue them up onto the background in an interesting, textural design.
Saved By Love Creations
I really like the mug rug, because it is something that can be made quickly. 

This is a very simple, quick and easy to understand video on hand weaving, from taylli at YouTube.



I really enjoyed the quick discussion lesson from my weaving friend.  I don't think I would have ever figured out on my own the information that she gave me. I have known for some time that I wanted to get into art weaving, but hadn't researched it in depth.

AllFiberArts

As usual, I can hardly wait until I begin my first one.  I plan to keep mine very simple, but we'll see.

Bags To Riches at CraftyStylish


Taylli also shares how to use a hand weaving loom made of cardboard. She features the hands of some of her students. They also show how to make the cardboard loom.



Wouldn't it be exciting to design and make a simple wall hanging?  I'd make an easy landscape to start.  I love nature at lot, including leaves and trees.

Try it and share your experience with pics.

Kato Charles Folk Art

Monday, April 22, 2019

DAILY GREETINGS: Good Monday Morning!

Good Monday Morning from The Creative Seller
GOOD MONDAY MORNING!    

Going to finish a new Fiverr gig banner today. Fiverr is a selling platform where creatives of all types offer services and products. There are a lot of graphic design, coding and writing gigs available there.

Pretty much letting my Positive Words Artwork Etsy shop listings expire out for now and focusing on my printables and graphics shop, Printaphoria. Positive Words Artwork is my general handmades shop. I try to focus on listing handmades and artwork there that features positive-thinking, motivational and uplifting words and designs.

Printaphoria is my newer shop where I design and list printables, digitals, graphics and downloadables.
What changes are YOU making  this summer to your creative life and business?
Retiring this year and lots of changes and reorganization coming!  What changes will YOU be making this summer?





Images Credit: Facebook and Google

Thursday, April 18, 2019

BUSINESS: I Left The Meraki Market Because

Meraki Market craft group at Facebook
I joined The Meraki Market & The Meraki Market Vendor Planning pages at Facebook, two closed crafters' groups where various events, sales and promotions are held. I had learned about them through a post at the Buy Sell Handmade Marketplace , where I asked a few questions after I visited the market's pages. Since I could not glean much info at the pages, I joined.
After I was approved, I commented and asked questions regarding if the listings were ever seen by the public. All members are admins, with a few who manage the groups designated as top/main admins. My comment was pended, to be reviewed by the managers, but my post was never published, nor did anyone ever contact me with answers. Sadly, my moderated comment also disappeared from my pending posts.

I wrote two more pended comments about a week after my first, but that morning when I saw that my first comment had disappeared without ever hearing from anyone, I immediately wrote a third, informing them that I was leaving the group. My new comments were there in the pended record, so I knew that the moderation/pending system was working. Apparently, my first comment, where I asked pertinent questions, was deleted.

I assume that The Meraki Market is a group where advertising is done among the members only and everyone is selling to each other. It's a visually attractive setup with good organization of events, it seems. The graphics are beautifully-designed, but none of this makes the group worth the time, since no listings are seen by the public.

I find the activities, navigation and general interface to be confusing, complicated and frustrating. I saw at least one other comment from a member who expressed similar frustrations. I could have learned how to be active there, but none of my listings would have ever been seen by potential customers on the outside. Therefore, there would not be enough sales to make all of that effort worthwhile.

If you like the friendly, cloistered-type of sales environment where only about 550 or so members get a chance to peruse your wares, The Meraki Market seems like a great place to work with. I did appreciate the well-designed images and banners. I do, however, take issue with the little link in the right-hand sidebar. It states Very Responsive To Messages. Maybe this is true to get crafters in, since this is a Messenger link accessible from the outside, but I think the questions from a new member, via comment, are just as important.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

CRAFTING: Easy Patchwork Bottles Decor

I like working with glass because of its sparkling transparency. Even when covered up, as I've done with these bottles, it's still exciting to feel the heftiness of glass in my hands.
Quick, decorative craft technique for bottles.
I had thrown so many bottles away that I put my foot down and declared I'm going to find a quick, decorative technique so that I can salvage these bottles.
Wire-wrapped, paper patchwork, decoupaged bottles.
Before I tore up my papers, I decided on a color scheme of: 
  • whites/creams/silvers for the 1st bottle,
  • pinks/mauves/fuchsias for the 2nd,
  • and golds/silvers/cremes/whites for the 3rd.
Once I tore up a supply of various papers, it was easy to apply glue to each piece and stick it to the bottle.  I started from the bottom and worked up to the top of each one.  Once finished, I painted each bottle with a matte sealer.  I decided to add another fav medium, craft wire, to the largest bottle.  I chose a golden wire and twisted a design with wire pliers.  Wrapping it around the bottle, I crimped each end back onto the wire, securing it.
Salvage old bottles and cover with paper scraps and wire.
I painted and embellished a wooden ball for the top of one bottle, attaching it securely with tacky glue.
Glitter, wire, paint, bugle beads and tiny Styrofoam ball used to embellish wooden ball topper for patchwork bottles by Artsy Craftery.
I kept the black, plastic, twist-on cap on the silvery bottle, decoupaging it with silver paper. I then formed a sculptural design on top of the cap with another piece of the paper.

White paint and gold metallic pen used to decorate cork bottle stopper.
Salvaged metal ring and beads from costume jewelry attached with wire.
I really like my design for the cork stopper that I used for the gold and silver bottle. I painted it with a spiral design and glued it into the top of the bottle. I created a sculptural topper for the bottle cork out of reclaimed metal, wire and beads. The metal disk had a metal post on it (it was part of an old pierced earring), which I stuck into a glue-filled hole in the cork.

Felt used to pad bottoms of paper patchwork and wire bottles.
The most time-consuming part of this technique is, of course, designing the paper patchwork design. Once you get started it goes very quickly.  I like my work to be finished on all surfaces, so I cut and glued craft felt to the bottom of each bottle.  It helps keep them from sliding off of shelves, and protects surfaces.

Silver metallic paper used in decoupage.
I like looking at these bottles.  They dress up any table or shelf with a pretty flash of creativity. Get busy!

Make your creative flash today!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

DAILY GREETINGS: Happy Crafty Saturday

Have A Nice Day at Pinterest
A New Jersey botanicals-lover bought my Ortho 3-book pk about annuals, shrubs/hedges and trees.
Buy craft and gardening book pks.
Wishing him many lush plantings and gorgeous growth!
Follow my Nature Crafts DIY board at Pinterest

I need to work on some printables today for my Printaphoria shop and add a printable gig at Fiverr. What are YOU working on today?

HAPPY CRAFTY SATURDAY!


Good Morning Image Credit: Life's Cheerleader

Friday, April 12, 2019

NEWS: Bijou Bead Boutique Linkup Party

Michelle's Creative Compulsions Linkup Party

Michelle is hosting her


at her blog

Bijou Bead Boutique.

This is what she says,

The guidelines are simple. The party opens at 4AM PST on Thursday, April 11th, and closes at 11:59 PM, Wednesday, April 17th. You may share as many projects as you like during that time. I would appreciate if you would post a link to the blog party when linking in order to spread the love. Lastly, take a look at what others have shared.

You can share anything on the Internet – blogs (mostly what I will be sharing); Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts; pictures; and YouTube videos. The only requirement is that it be of something you’ve created. 

Hop on! Share what you're doing or have done. See you there!

PRODUCTS: New Easter Egg Hunt Clip Art Pk

Easter clip art for your egg hunt party at Printaphoria

If you want to print out Easter clip art for your egg hunt party or other spring children's event, here is a low cost, economical pack for you to download. It is listed at my Printaphoria shop at Etsy.

49 total printable Easter graphics at Printaphoria
There are 49 total printable Easter eggs, rabbits, baskets and a background element on 11 digital sheets, each sheet is regular-sized 8 1/2 x 11" printout, .jpeg images in a .zip file format, at 300 dpi high resolution for crisp printing.

  Printable Easter graphics by Artsy Craftery Design Studio
What is included in this Easter clip art file:

27 Eggs (various sizes)
9 Rabbits (various sizes)
2 Baskets (1 per 2 8 1/2 x 11" sheets)
10 Words (on 2 pages)
1 Background (on 1 8 1/2 x 11" sheet)

Buy Easter clip art for your bulletin board.
Print, cut out and use for party or egg hunt signs, on bulletin boards and in collage, mixed media, journal designs and all types of papercrafting projects. 

Printable Easter party clip art for your flyers.
Print these high quality .jpeg files on your home/office copier. Save them to your flash drive and take it to your favorite quick copy center or printer to be printed on premium paper. Be sure to take a copy of my included copyright agreement with you in case there are any questions about the copyright.
Printaphoria printables always personal and commercial!
Remember that PRINTAPHORIA Printables are always PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL for anything that can be used in your crafting and art projects, and can be printed as often as you need.  This means that you can use my printables to add to the creation of any of your own handmades that you want to sell. Of course my license does not including selling my files or printed graphics from my files.

No attribution is necessary, but is appreciated whenever you can mention Printaphoria or Artsy Craftery Design Studio.

Thanks for visiting The Creative Seller and Printaphoria!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

NEWS: Craftsy Changes Names

Craftsy.com became Blueprint.com on January 8.
  
The website is a venue where designers and crafters can list their patterns and templates for sale. The site now boasts improved shopping and selling features, a personal library and a streamlined profile.

What Blueprint says about the new site,

The Classes + Supplies You Love Are Still Available

The Craftsy experience you're used to, with affordable supplies and accessible classes, is staying the same - it's all available at Bluprint.


At Bluprint you’ll be able to


• Watch all of your previously purchased classes
• Order project kits + high-quality supplies
 


This is a subscription website at $7.99 monthly or $79.99 yearly. For that fee they claim you get unlimited access to 1,300+ classes, plus thousands of patterns and recipes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

BUSINESS: Making A Successful Business

Small Business Revolution Main Street's 4th Season starts October 19. The winning town is Searcy, AR. The creators started out by producing 100 photo and video stories on various small businesses In the US. They were so impressed by the spirit and success of these American entrepreneurs that they created an acclaimed documentary about the power of small business.

The producers say about the show, We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back. Each season, we search for one lucky town – and six of its small businesses – to win a $500,000 boost from Deluxe, and document the transformations in an original series. Season 1 featured Wabash, Indiana; Season 2 – Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania; Season 3 – Alton, Illinois; and Season 4 – Searcy, Arkansas. 

The show is shown online at the website.

Friday, March 8, 2019

EVENTS: Happy International Women's Day

Honoring the accomplishments of women.
Happy International Women's Day
from
The Creative Seller
&
Artsy Craftery Studio


Image Credit: Me.me

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

CRAFTING: Is It Upcycled, Refashioned, Altered Couture?

Is It Really Altered Couture?

Refashioned, upcycled, reconstructed, embellished, transformed, recycled, re-purposed, wearable art, altered wearables, altered couture.  With any technique there can be many descriptions, names and definitions.

Old Ivy Cottage
The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines alter(ed) as to make or become different in some respect; change; modify.  There can be a little or a lot of change, but I think there can be a significant difference between embellished and altered couture.  Just as with vintage, some listing sites can have strict guidelines on what can be listed as altered couture.

Margot Silk Kidder Shimmery Sandals
At the community forum of a handmade listing site, a member asks just how much does an item need to be upcycled, reconstructed or otherwise changed, in order to be considered altered couture.  She also asks if a newly purchased item, to which one element has been added, can be sold at her venue.  While her questions are site specific, we can learn a lot through the 26 responses to her post.  Etsy Site Help post:


Darcy Fowkes Recycled Silk Shirt Hat
As with the snazzy hat above, altered couture is not only apparel and shoes.  The definition often includes many types of accessories.

Custom belts $135 to $160. — in Los Altos, CA.
Wearable art can be simply practical to elaborately impractical.  How about Caleb Calabro for spectacular and unimaginable wearable art creations?

Caleb Calabro Wearable Art
For many, the ultimate in altered couture is the wedding ensemble.  See how Brenda Abdoyan creates Christine's wedding dress, altered bridal purse and jewelry.  It may be a little ostentatious for some, but imaginative and unique it is.



See Michelle Nance's Clothes-Altered Couture at Pinterest.  Her interesting gallery features:

  • a bleach-pen peacock
  • re-purposing dad's shirt into a little girl's dress
  • a pom-pom scarf
  • old t-shirts into baby clothes
  • a fabulous orange scarf-necklace with silver embellishments
  • cut it, slice it, pull it scarf
  • dollar store knitted stocking hat refashion
  • revamped cardigan
  • little girl's scrap tutu
At her blog, The Brass Paperclip Project, Cindi shares the most beautiful men's necktie recycled items that I've ever seen.  Check out the gallery, at which you'll also find images of bracelets, purses, cell phone cases and others.


Altered Art Images
Ever had questions about using images in your altered creations?  This article,

Altered Art Images ~ How to LEGALLY Use Other People’s Images


helps you navigate important considerations such as:
  1. Altered definition
  2. Rule of thumb for copyright considerations 
  3. Public domain image links
  4. Info about Creative Commons images
  5. Using stock photos in altered work.
LunaGirl-How To: Altered Art Charms

Want more inspiration on designing your own upcycled, refashioned altered couture?  Jill at Jembellish is running a blog hop that features:


Altered couture creations run the gamut from shabby chic  and scrap embellishments on everyday clothing and accessories, to re-tailoring of designer duds.  I prefer wearable crafts, as shared by Linda Jackson Graham at her Pinterest board, Wearable Crafts.  Whatever is your definition and level of altered couture designing, embrace what you do.  Share it with others with enthusiasm and love.
Amanda at Fun Family Crafts

Resources:

Caleb Calabro Wearable Artwork
Wearable Art Blog interviews Caleb Calabro
Altered Couture on Facebook
Artistry In Fashion
Sassy Feet
Diva of Vintage at Pinterest
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