Monday, June 20, 2011

I promised some fans at AMA that I'd update my blog, so here it is!

Tomorrow is my, and my boyfriend's birthday so we're hitting Busch Garden's with all of our friends, it should be a blast. Until then, I've got a mountain of work to do on the business, picked up a few small commissions, tons of new websites to check out from fellow artists who came across my table, and I have to post the Orangutan for sale in the etsy store!

That's right he's done! He'll be posted in a couple of hours today with better pictures probably to come later once my roommate with the fancy camera finds some free time.

When he's posted I'll tell his whole story here. See you all in a bit!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What ever happened to FancifulForm?

It must've been a couple of years ago when I read the "Quit Your Day Job" article on about the artisan FancifulForm. There were a lot of striking parallels between her situation and where I wanted to be business-wise. She was young, about 22 if I recall, she sold polymer clay floral sculptures and jewelry, and the business was supporting her and her schooling.

Being the silly shallow person I was I filled with jealousy, and poured over the article and her store for clues to the magical path of success. I was trying to decipher the qualities that made her products sell themselves at art-appropiate prices, since I find it inethical to outright copy another artist's creations for profit.

Every few weeks I'd hunt down the article and her shop and scour them all over again. I refined a lot about my business because I had that shining example of what it takes to be successful to study. Most of the "Quit Your Day Job" articles don't necessarily apply to my medium because of the differences that come from working with polymer clay.

Then one day, her shining customer service rating took a nose dive, and the 3 most recent pages of feedback were negative, angry comments. "Never delievered", "shipping wrong item", "never responded to convos", etc. It was very shocking.

And not too long after that. The shop and the article disappeared.

They were erased like she never existed. Of course shop owners have the right to end their store at anytime, and maybe she moved on to bigger and brighter things. But a quick search of her company name reveals nothing but a random blogpost from an etsy fan congratulating her and another estian on making it to the front page.

The fact that the article is gone is a little confusing to me. Etsy seems to want to mull over the fact that one of their shining examples metaphorically went down in a ball of flames. I feel like they should follow up and post why it went wrong. Much like their offshoot from the "Quit Your Day Job" articles that focus on artisans still working towards that dream.

I would really like to be able to reference that article now. With my skills finally developing to a level that I'm proud of, I have to spend more time gauging what an appropiate price point is, and the easiest way to determine that is to compare to other items available. (Keep in mind I'm referring to what the market will bear, I have little interest in charging more than the market will bear for my work)

And the untold story of FancifulForm would be an excellent reminder to the rest of us struggling for financial indepedence. It will always take work. Hard work. Long Hours. Relentless application of our best work. What better oppurtunity to be reminded of the very real chance of failure than to examine the causes of a real world case from a seller that seemed so promising and untouchable.

Anyway, I wish I had that article to reference. Even though it displayed the same tried and true advice from all of the other sources on the site. Photography is paramount, have perfect customer service, and a wide variety of pieces. It's still nice to be able to reference how those principals apply to a polymer clay artist like myself trying to make it in this massive marketplace we're a part of.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I just stopped in to tell you there is a new love in my life, I've never met him but he wrote a tutorial on the US Federal Tax code geared at Etsy sellers. He wrote it in plain english, with example formulas, and common sense. Anyone who has come to grips with these forms without help can understand the frustration of it.

If you haven't, go wrestle a grizzly bear with an arm tied behind your back, that's what it's like for someone trying to understand the US tax code for the self employeed crafty small business owner.

So to all my fellow etsians who are so clever to do everything they do but desperately want a cheat sheet. Run over to

I bought the whole tamale package of all of his tutorials and I feel more relaxed and in command than l have since I tackled the forms!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I need to develop cheap and easy earrings to go with my rose pendants, l can't stand making the rose earrings and they're too expensive for casual earrings, and they never match enough to be earrings in my standards.

Would a simple fish hook earring with a large bead of the same clay as the rose interest people? I'd probably let it go for 10-15 bucks a pair, with quality hardware (maybe sterling silver?)

Any other ideas? I hate not offering matching earrings to my customers, and I fear that will hinder my attempts at craft shows.

In other news I've developed more Iris pieces for a fabulous jewelry designer in Alexandria Virginia, I would link her website but she doesn't have one. Take a look at the one of a kind pieces she ordered!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Still stockpiling for my future harrassing of local businesses to carry my roses!

My mother and younger sister geeked out at me when I asked how to tell a spreadsheet program to make a graph for me. They are borderline experts at running the software and the next hour was dedicated to pouring over a giant textbook on the program, and them showing me every isngle trick I would never need to know.

Thanks to that I have several glorious spreadsheets and histograms staring back at me filled with data on the number of roses I have ready to go right now. I have 128 roses ready to ship that are not dedicated to the shop (that number is 30) so just imagine my workspace! I have 128 rose pendants that are not even in my etsy store right now!

I'm tackling a craft show this November 6th, if not sooner. And it feels good to get a deadline set up for me. I'm ordering myself to get in at least one local shop by the end of this month as the holiday season will pick up soon. I always hated how early stores got ready for the holidays until I became a seller. Now I can see why all the fuss, it's almost as if stores are kept open year round just to maintain their name in the public eye, because every ounce of profit comes out of those few months at the end of the year.

Just thinking about it makes me want to run back and keep sculpting more and more roses! Oh question, other sellers have suggested that my wide variety of necklaces will help me in a craft fair when I hadn't even considered bringing the non rose necklaces along. Do you think the nonrose pendants would be a success? SHould I bring them along?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My poor car. I was lucky enough to be given my grandmother's old car when I was still in highschool. A white '93 Mazda 626. She was promptly named Betty Blast after a little old lady in a play that opened a roller skate resturant, but needed a push to get going anywhere in her own skates. You clever readers will notice that Betty is getting on up in years.
She just got back from state inspection. Luckily she passed with minimal repairs, but after borrowing my little sisters much younger car, I've been spoiled. The way Betty throws me around and shakes with every pebble in the road I think I'm going to keep my eyes open for any cars for sale in the next year. Even if she makes it to 18 years, I don't think I could ride in her anymore!

Now to get back to resining. Anyone see the new bird pendant in the shop? I'm very, VERY proud of how this one turned out. And it's one of 3!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cherry Blossom Pendants!

In my latest attempt at developing a new unique pendant, I've created a batch of Cherry Blossom Pendants. The branches themselve are stamped into the clay, which has been marbled to create depth like the sky or forest. Then the blossoms have been painted on by hand. The entire pendant is glazed then posted to the shop. Let me know what you think and any color requests.A small sized pendant.

And now in purple!