Yay, I’m back!

First things first: UNICORN HAT! More on that later.

Next things next: I have a shiny, new, exactly the same as the old one laptop! Lol. Well, it’s a newer OS which is always annoying. But it works and I have yet to zap it with static electricity! Every time I’ve done that on my previous computers it made startup take another minute or so. The last one took up to 15 minutes just to get its shit together when I turned it on.

Anyway, I’ve sort of abandoned the old to-make list because I now have a show I’m doing on Valentine’s Day and need to approach inventory a little differently. The lovely thing about online sales is that I can just remake and restock things as they’re sold. This way I have to guess what will go over well and then make a bunch of it so I don’t run out. Basically that means tons and tons of black hats, the grey with pink ears, probably the charcoal grey will go over well, too. Then I have to have enough of other stuff that I can fill a table with different things.

Of course… this is going to be at a bar on V-Day so who knows how much I’ll even actually sell, lol.

My tutus will likely be along for the ride, too. I figure silly hats and tutus are great things to sell at a bar. I’ll probably bring other stuff if I have time to make any. I’ve been thinking about scrunchies, because those have actually been making a little bit of a comeback lately, but I’d have to deal with fabric and all that and I’m not sure I really want to do it.

am planning to do a few paintings. Depending on how well they turn out I may do more than a few. I’ll post photos when/if they get done.

Now, the unicorn hat… I was mostly just making it to see how long it took and if I enjoyed it enough to add them to my regular line up. The short response is too long and not really. But a friend of mine bought this one, I have someone else who’s ordered a custom one, and I have a friend I’m seeing tomorrow night that might be interested in yet another. In a perfect world I’d like to have time to make 5 or so with different manes to take to the show. We’ll see if I can get that done. In the meantime, here‘s the rest of the unicorn photos.

When I have a better idea of what all I want to make for the show, I’ll put up that list and post updates on my progress.

Anyway, it’s a new year! Yay!

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Are things picking up?

The plain black hat is definitely my all-time best-seller.

Only one sale per week? Not ideal but I’m not going to refuse the money.

Being sick for so many days means I’m pretty far behind on my preparations for selling shit on Saturday night.

I’m trying, though. It’s the end of the month at my day job (billing department, whee!) so we’ve been working 10 hour days… well, 9.5 hour days. We keep running out of shit to do so they let us go home. I’m all for the overtime pay but getting to work 2 hours early sucks. Today I’m actually going in three hours early. 5am. Which is a bullshit hour. If I hadn’t seen it from the other side so many times I’d think someone just made it up.

My point is: we will have nothing to do at work and be on time-and-a-half pay so they will send me home early.

And I will work my ass off.

I have everything to make 8 new aprons (with pockets) set out in my work room. The fabric just needs to be trimmed to remove the selvedge edges and have the corners squared up before I can start in. Oh, and the pockets. I have to do the pockets. Pockets are a right pain in the ass.

Took long enough…

V9GlgLl1b8hkahh3J_RsABxDI9F79Sc8Zav_UJY3MrQ Yay! Finally sold another thing! I hate when sales lose momentum. Hope shit picks up.

Next weekend I’m going to be getting booth space to sell at a local roller derby bout. So that’s going to be interesting. I’ve got a lot of friends who play but I’ve only been to watch a couple times. Hopefully they buy shit, lol.

If you’re in the Phoenix area check it out.

Other links to click:

Arizona Roller Girls

Riotous Rags (my buddy Dan/Pat Riot will be selling there as well)

Catching up a little?

I really need to get a little more organized about what I’m doing.

I’m trying to put together a stash of hats for Hissyfits Hullabaloo in November, plus of course Christmas. I’m trying to use as much of the yarn I already have as possible.

I’d also really like to start screen printing. I’m not sure why I haven’t started doing it yet. Maybe I’m just afraid of screwing up the screens? Whatever my holdup is I need to get past it and get some shit done.

A bunch of stuff has been expiring in my shops (wtf? this shit is awesome) and has been relisted. I’m likely to put it on clearance soon.

“Hope is not a strategy.”

The CEO at my job is kind enough to give us updates on the economic climate in the US and state of Arizona as it pertains to our business and therefore our jobs.

And Dave’s right, hope really doesn’t work well as a strategy.

Like I said in my last post, I’m going to be doing a craft show in November. My in-person sales are really really small compared to my online sales, but I’m going with a much more targeted approach to products this time. There are a couple of types of hats that sold really well last time (and online afterward) so that’s where I’m going to be focusing my energies.

Of course… If I was so sold out of products that I couldn’t get enough together to do the show… that would be pretty cool.

Ooooo I get to do a craft show!

I very rarely do craft shows. I take my hats to anime conventions when I can manage to get the time off of work to go, but craft shows are a whole different thing and I’ve found that the mainstream buyer at those things doesn’t find my work as amazing as anime-nerds.

Go figure.

But I’m going to be at Hissyfits Hullabaloo on November 6th because it’s fun. (I hope Nikki set the permissions so people can see those photos…)

Time management is a bitch.

The best advice anyone can give regarding business (or most situations, I suppose) is:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

So why oh why do so many of us only sell our stuff through Etsy?

It’s not just the only online venue I use, it’s usually the only venue. Most years I don’t even hit a single craft show. I used to have a website but it was such a pain to drive traffic there that I abandoned that idea. eBay is no longer friendly to the kind of business I’m trying to run. Consignment is both sort of scary and not really conductive to selling items that need to be displayed just so in order for the concept to come across.

I am aware that this business model is dumb. But Etsy is convenient. There are a lot of people looking at it. I’m pretty good at tagging and my photos don’t usually suck. Even though they keep changing everything around (my cynical side suspects that this is to justify paying the programmers more than anything else) I’m familiar with how things work and can get listings up efficiently. I actually sell almost everything I put up, even if I have to renew the listings a couple times before the right buyer comes along.

Probably I stick with Etsy for the same reason that I don’t have enough merch to stock multiple online venues: there are not enough hours in the day to run my business.

First one must allow for sleep. I know it’s only for the weak but if I don’t do it in my bed it happens while I’m driving and that’s no good. Then there’s the little matter of keeping a job. I’d be perfectly happy to stop going to work but I need the money and health benefits and my boss says she won’t pretend I’m there when I’m not. I am also a single mother of a 13 year old son. And it turns out that he takes more looking after now than he did as a toddler. He is in gifted programs. Reads at a college level. Grasps algebra and geometry. Made me come home from work on Monday morning because he had missed the bus and didn’t know where his shoes were.

I have accounts at Zibbet and Artfire. I actually sell tons of my hats at anime conventions when I get space in the Artists’ Alley. One of my aunts runs a music festival with a well regarded juried show that she’s asked me to participate in since I sell stuff kids would like and pretty much everyone else sells crap for hippies.

But I can barely keep things organized as it is. I know I should try to improve the way I handle scheduling and prioritizing… but somehow I always end up working overtime or running to the supermarket or Google-ing the inventor of the electric clothes iron. Or running home from work to look for shoes.