Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THE BIG SNOOZE-The Aftermath

Ahhhhh.....(long sigh) I seem to finally be getting over the post-first-craft-fair a coma (which I like to refer to as THE BIG SNOOZE) that I have been in since our very first craft fair, THE BIG THAW in Portland, Maine.  I am surprise how long it's taken me to recover from the craft fair frenzy!  I am ashamed to admit that I've been in an unmotivated slump for more than a week now!  But then again, working 24/7 for seven days straight, culminating in a exciting/nerve wracking FIRST CRAFT FAIR EVER can really take it out of you...  My poor sister came over to work the other day and said, "I hate to say it, but I AM BURNT OUT!"  That was her polite way of saying, "Don't make me look at another sliver of sterling silver wire, or I might SNAP!!!"  LOL!  We certainly pushed ourselves to fill out our inventory and prepare for the event.  Hopefully this week we will regain our momentum (perhaps motivated by the stinging guilt of being such slackers) and start being more productive!

So, speaking of THE BIG THAW, a lot of people have been asking how our first craft fair went!  Here are a few pictures of our display!  It came together so well-and the greatest part is that it was so inexpensive... Did I mention my extreme love and affection for the dollar store? :)  All in all I think that we did pretty well.  From a primarily monetary standpoint, I was initially disappointed that we didn't make the millions of dollars that I had planned on.  Of course, this was my first craft fair and I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what to expect.  We more than covered the cost of the our entry fee, and after talking to my metalsmithing teacher who has WAY MORE experience in these type of things, I guess I did pretty well for my first craft show!  Plus I learned a lot about what to expect at a craft fair, who really is Sweet Sincerity's target demographic, which items sell the best in person versus online, and which price ranges seem most popular.  Oh, and we met some fantastic artisans, including the fantastic people behind andraswhismies, edenbody, makingsofshannatice, allsey, bybethany, handmedowndesigns, the incomparable Audrey from littleeyedesigns who organized the event (thanks Aud,you're amazing!), judyb, quenchmetalworks, lindybythesea, and so many more!  Forgive me if I forgot anyone...like I said, still coming out of the coma :)

One of the very important pearls of wisdom that I procured from my very first craft fair is that it is a REALLY BAD IDEA to wear really tall heels there.  Sure, I looked really nice...but there is a reason why no ones else really wears 5 inch heels while trying to lug heavy things and set up their booth.  Why you may ask?  I share the following photo with you to illustrate the frightful consequences of transporting an overloaded armful of craft fair supplies down a hill in ridiculously high heels.  May the Crafter be warned... :)
Support Local Artisans Button by teachergurrl

So now, I've gotta figure out what the next big event will be!  I already applied for two more local Bangor shows in JULY/AUGUST we'll see how those go.   I will certainly let everyone know when/if I am accepted to these craft fairs.  I think it'll be nice to do a local show, especially now that we have our displays and everything already figured out!  Can you say LESS STRESS, PLEASE? :)

Sweet Sincerity
In other news, the Item of the Day event has been postponed till next month, because I'm just so darn tired.  Oh yeah, and because we are running a 20% off offer in our shop ON YOUR ENTIRE ORDER til the end of the month!  Just visit our Facebook page for the coupon code! :)

And last but not least, feast your eyes on the latest fantastical treasury collections that Sweet Sincerity has had the honor of being chosen for!  More updates to come. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't Panic...I have everything under control!

WOW!!!  What a week last week was!  I was so busy with custom orders that I didn't have a chance to blog at all, my FAVORITE activity!! In a nutshell, the weeks activities were mostly limited to completing the 4 wedding related custom orders that I brilliantly decided to take on ALL AT ONCE, while still trying to keep up with my online sales.  LOL!  There's nothing like waiting on pins and needles for your supplies to arrive THE DAY BEFORE the wedding, that you ALSO are supposed to attend!  So, after the mad scramble and only a  few panic attacks, I managed to finish all my orders and finally relax.  Oh, and did I mention that there was a blizzard on the day of the wedding-the time when a few of my friends were supposed to stop by and pick up their jewelry for the wedding that night?  As if things weren't complicated enough!!! :) Anyway, I'm going to stop whining now, because honestly, I survived quite nicely.  In fact, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED doing the custom orders... It was a fantastic experience, and Mateo and I even had a really good time at the wedding, which was GORGEOUS by the way!  It was a real treat see the jewelry that I had made being worn by my friends, and hearing them tell others that I had custom made the jewelry for them!  It was also really fun to TOTALLY FORGET about work and get down on the dance floor with my man! :)

So, even though I did quite a lot of business locally last week, I didn't have many Etsy orders.  That really worked out well, because I don't know how I would have kept up with all of the things I had to do if it was a busy week in MY ETSY SHOP.  It's funny how I always get worried when I don't have an EXCESSIVELY BUSY Etsy week.  I just LOVE to see my Etsy sales tally go up, and if it doesn't move for a few days, I'm all bummed out!  That is pretty much RIDICULOUS because when I sell to locals, I don't have to pay Etsy fees, Paypal fees, or worry about getting the jewelry ready for shipping.  So I actually make more money with less work.  And why am I unsatisfied?  Clearly, I am more than a little nuts. But, there is something so exhilarating about watching the sales tally go up on your Etsy shop... right?  Anyone with me?  No?  Okay, maybe it's just me :)

Pi Math Geek Ladies T-shit by darkcycleclothing
Speaking of irrational obsession with numbers, did I mention that this is my 40th blog post???  Pretty cool right???  I am also uncomfortably teetering on the edge of 80 sales in MY ESTY SHOP!!!  (common! just one more order to go!)  That is super exciting, considering that this is April, we have 8 months left in this year, and my goal for this year was 100 Etsy sales!   I am also obsessively watching my Sweet Sincerity Facebook Page numbers go up! 69 people like my business page! Hooray!  Another way I have been indulging my numbers fanaticism is via the amazing website, Craftopolis, that enables a seller to track monthly sales, page views, product hearts, and page visitors!  Numbers lovers, eat your hearts out!  I have to say I LOVE STATS. I think it is because when I feel like perhaps I am not selling as much as I would like, I simply look at my page views, hearts, etc, and realize that people are still viewing my page and enjoying what I make!  These statistics help me to make informed adjustments in  the time I list products, which items I re-list, etc.  WOW-I am such a GEEK!!!  Geek Chic, baby!  But no... I do not own a pocket protector ( I just horde writing implements in my purse, own lots of rulers, and love doing mental math).

ANYWAY, so now that the wedding is over, it's time to focus on the next hurdle, Sweet Sincerity's first ever craft fair-THE BIG THAW!  My sister and I really have to bulk up on inventory, starting with making a larger selection of jewelry/gift boxes.  I sold a lot of those in the past, and haven't replenished my supply,  My mother also informs me that I need to make a lot more rings!  Very true... I have only one ring listed at the moment! *Sheepish smile*  That's not the only thing that I need to attend to...There is tagging all the items with prices and descriptions, figuring out my 8'x8' booth display, getting new business cards for Alee, and of course, figuring out what to wear (my other favorite pass time).  Thankfully, I'm already way ahead on solving the what-to-wear dilemma, as I received my Sweet Sincerity logo-ed T-shirts in the mail last week! ALSO-Check out a GREAT blog post on THE BIG THAW blog all about Sweet Sincerity Jewelry!  I was so excited when I saw this fantastic article!  Thanks Aud (of littleeyedesigns), for writing such a wonderful article!

Solid 14K gold and Sterling Silver earrings with Gorgeous Citrine gems
In other news, I finally finished my MILLION DOLLAR EARRINGS that I worked on FOREVER in metalsmithing class!!!  I don't know what to do with them now, so much blood, sweat, and tears went into making them.  Selling them would be like selling my first born!  :)  Pretty sure the only way I could part with them was if someone would give me $500 and ASSURE me that they would be going to a nice home! :)

Dishwasher Clean Dirty Flip Sign by TXalteredart
Oh and just one last word of wisdom for the day, for anyone who is interested:

  "Do not put containers that once contained stain, paint thinner, pickle, or liver of sulfur in your dishwasher with your regular dishes...it does NOT turn out well!"  

But then again, you probably already knew that, unlike me. :)

And lastly,  here are some more beautiful treasury collections that Sweet Sincerity had the pleasure of being chosen for, this past week.

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