This blog is meant to be a record of my adventures as a new home-based business owner. Starting my jewellery business was one of the most daunting things I've ever done, next to giving birth. Especially since I was (am?) pretty technically stunted. In this blog I will describe the trials, tribulations and, hopefully, eventual successes I experience while navigating the world of (really, really, really small) business. I also plan to use this blog to talk about all the aspects of jewellery design that fascinate me, keep me addicted, and cause me to spend thousands of dollars (What, honey? No, I didn't say thousands...) on gemstones, beads, findings, etc. I welcome your input, ideas, and stories of similar experiences in beading, jewellery design, or running a handcrafts business.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday Rules

I just got my third Etsy sale. Although this isn't exactly an onslaught of interest, I'm encouraged. It's exciting to think that someone out there, other than my sister and my best friend, thinks my work is worth parting with their hard-earned dough. I stayed up way too late last night changing all my earring listings on Etsy to reflect my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. I've offered free shipping on all my earrings, and on a few other select items. One such item is the necklace that made my third sale. Since shipping through Canada Post can be expensive, this is a good deal, I think. Next week, I'm having a trunk sale at school. After that, I think I'll shift my leftover merchandise by offering a 10 percent off sale on all my stock. Etsy has a cool coupon code app now that allows you to offer whatever percentage discount you want by including a code in the listing that the buyer enters when checking out. The code automatically cuts the price by the designated amount, and you don't have to mess with revised invoices. Revised invoices scare me. They're the reason I haven't had the nerve to try a sale before this.

My giveaway on Facebook isn't exactly changing the world. Nobody has entered! WTF?! It's free, for cryin' out loud! The bracelet's nice, and all you have to do is like the page, like the post, and comment. This is the bracelet I offered.

I don't get it.  I'm gonna go watch TV.  School of Rock is on, and I love that movie.  All teachers love School of Rock.  It's a secret thrill to live vicariously through Dewey Finn, substitute teacher extraordinaire.  My favourite line is when Dewey (Jack Black) tells the kids to back off because he has a hangover, and the runs.  Raise your goblet of rock!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First Giveaway

I'm attempting to run a giveaway on my Bead Planet's Facebook page. I picked a nice bracelet to give away, researched how to do a giveaway, and set about promoting the contest on my business page. I asked people to enter by liking the post, liking Bead Planet's page, and then commenting. That was Saturday. So far, I have one like, and it's my sister. And she didn't comment. I must be doing something wrong, but I don't know what. I need some advice on promoting my business on Facebook, and, more specifically, how to run a giveaway properly. AAAAAAUUUHGHGHGH!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Neat Things I Plan to Buy

Christmas is coming--only 40 shopping days left!  This is not the time of year to be perusing online jewellery supply stores and bead stores for new, nifty goods for me.  Nevertheless, I do it.  Recently, as I trolled the websites and my local bead store, Bead FX (see my link) I found many cool things that I plan on acquiring with all my gift certificates on Boxing Day.  I thought I'd share them with you.

What the hell is this?  It looks like a hideous camping lamp, but it's actually a Speedfire Cone System.  Huh?  It's a propane torch thing for firing Art Clay Silver, which is the next thing that I want to try.  I plan on using my Bead FX gift certificates (this isn't a subtle hint--I've already informed my family where to buy these and what amounts would be suitable) to take a class in Art Clay Silver at my fave local bead hangout.  I'll need this device, apparently, to fire my creations. 

Check out these gorgeous stones!

These are called Dragon's Blood Jasper.  Very fitting name, don't you think?  I love the contrast of these complimentary colours (I'm teaching colour theory in art this year). My favourite red is this blood red. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Frugal Tycoon's Money-Saving Tips

Marketing and promotional materials are an essential part of building a small business and getting your name and product out there.  The costs of these materials can be prohibitive to a budding tycoon, though.  Through research and happy accident, I've found a few ways to save money on these promotional materials. 

1.  Make mini cards.  Buy pretty blank cards from the dollar store, and cut them into 1-inch strips.  Using a nice marker, write a personal note to the buyer on these and slip them into the package before shipping.

2.  Make your own promotional literature.  If you don't have Microsoft Publisher, consider investing in it.  I've used it to design my own business cards, flyers, craft booth signs, and e-invites for beading parties.  I printed my own colour flyers, on my ink-jet printer, on normal office paper.  After looking into the price of printing 50 colour flyers at a print shop, I figured that it was cheaper to buy a new colour cartridge just for this purpose.  I got 50 copies, and there was still lots of ink left.  Of course, this is economical only if your printer's cartridges aren't atrociously expensive (mine, thankfully, aren't.)  The flyers look great, and the whole thing cost about $30.00. If you don't want to buy Microsoft Publisher, you can download a trial version that lasts for about a month. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

First Sale!

I finally got my first Etsy sale!  About a week ago, I was listing my new Trinkets charm bracelets, at about 10:00 or so.  When I was done, I signed out of Etsy and signed on to Facebook to feed my Frontierville addiction.  Just before midnight, as I was about to go to bed, I made a last minute check on  my email, and found an email from Etsy telling me I had a sale ! Hallelujah!  Will wonders never cease?  I was so excited, I was tempted to wake up my husband and tell him.  Then, I came to my senses.  Waking my husband from a dead sleep is, let's just say, ill-advised.  The order was from Ohio, and it was for one of the very Trinkets charm bracelets that I had just listed.  Woo-hoooo!  Of course, I packaged it up and sent it off the very next day.  No feedback yet, so I hope they got it. Maybe I'll email them and ask them if they got it. Would that be stalker-ish?  Let's hope this is the first of many!

This is the bracelet that I sold.  It's called Purple Trinkets Charm Bracelet.