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21  Re: Adventures in starting a craft business in Crafty Business Discussion by Artisan82 on: September 27, 2012 09:28:37 AM
Business Cards!

After a small delay caused by my printer crapping out, I finally have business cards.  I just kept it simple and put my logo and contact info on the front.  I used my hand-carved logo stamps to make a background (stamped them on a sheet of paper, scanned that, then used my computer to re-colour and re-size).

I used business card sheets by Avery that I bought at Staples.  I would recommend them.  They worked really easily and they have perfectly clean edges.

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22  Re: Adventures in starting a craft business in Crafty Business Discussion by Artisan82 on: September 19, 2012 06:29:10 AM
I've rejiggered my logo and started a facebook, etsy, and blog under my Artisan 82 business name.  There's no content on any of these pages, but at least I have them all locked down so I can put the urls on my business cards.

In the mean time, I wanted a little project to do A) to get me away from the computer, B) to give me a some material to start populating my blog C) I was thinking about the craft show and I really wanted to use brown paper bags as the 'shopping bags' for my customer, but I thought it would be really cool to if they had my logo printed on them.  I looked about ordering a custom logo stamp online, and the prices were ridiculous! So,  as any self-respecting crafter would do, I did some research, got myself a coupon, and headed to Michael's to grab some materials to make my own.

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23  Adventures in starting a craft business in Crafty Business Discussion by Artisan82 on: September 05, 2012 07:54:20 AM
I really, really want to start selling things I make.  I've started reading some books regarding how to sell crafts, and how to start craft businesses.  I haven't really found anything that's a step-by-step idiot-proof, here's how you get started.  So, I'm giving myself some assignments, and posting them here. Hopefully someone else who is struggling with taking the first steps towards making money from crafting will learn from my mistakes.  Hopefully people who have taken this journey already will comment here and help me struggle through this.

So... here goes:

Assignment 1:  Sign up for a craft show.  This will give me a hard deadline (motivation) to at least get some things done business-wise and make enough stock items to sell that I won't embarrass myself the day of.

I e-mailed the lady who runs the "Nick of Time" Christmas craft show at the Buckhorn community centre.  The fee is only $60,  so I figure it's a small cost, even if I don't sell anything.  At least I can say I have done a craft show.

Assignment 2: Pick a name for my business.

A while ago, before my second baby was born, I started an etsy shop called The Turnip Truck Co.  My husband calls me Turnip Truck sometimes, so that's where that idea came from.  I think it was a decent name, but I don't want to use that name going forward.  I think the name suggests a certain sense of humour, which I like, but I think it also pigeon-holes me into making items with a sense of humour.  If one was looking for a goofy monster brooch, then they might look in a shop called "The Turnip Truck Co"... but the name doesn't really lend itself to handpainted fine home furnishings.  Since I make many different things and I haven't really done any market research yet, I need a name that will work no matter what the shop contains.

I came up with two options I like "Jennifer LaBelle Handmade" (origin self-evident) and "Artisan 82" (being that I'm an artisan and I was born in 1982.)  I really like the word artisan and like calling myself an artisan (rather than artist or craftsperson) because I think it most accurately describes me.  I took a quick e-mail poll of a few friends whose opinions I respect in this regard, and the majority liked "Artisan 82".

So... officially the name of my new craft business is "Artisan 82".  Yippi!

Assignment 3:  Make a logo.

Realizing that I will need to make a sign for my craft booth and probably some sort of facebook and/or blog page, I will need a logo.  I really wanted a logo that said: crafty, handmade, stylish, professional.  I started by scribbling my company name in a sketchbook:

I thought I could manipulate my own handwriting on the computer to make something that I liked.  I traced around the letters in autoCAD, and struggled for hours playing with the image in a free image manipulation program called GIMP http://www.gimp.org/ that I didn't really know how to use.  Here are various versions of what I came up with.

After sleeping on it, I looked on the above with fresh eyes, and determined that I needed to try a completely different approach.  And so down the tube goes two hours of struggling frustration

Well, an education is never free... and in my struggles, I noticed that this nifty GIMP program I was using had a 'create logo' function (did I mention that this software is free!).  So I messed around with that for a while and came up with this (using a free, scribbly looking font I had.)

Although I don't love this, I was getting close.

I took a similar approach with a different font, and I think I found my winner:

The flourishes make it look artistic and stylish, but I like how there's some gouges and splashes... it gives it a hand made look.  I think I'm sticking with this one.

My next goals:
Get a facebook, blog, and etsy account.
Make business cards with the above information on them.  This way at least I'll have some form of marketing material to hand out at the craft fair.
Oh yeah, and stock.  I need to produce stock to sell.  That should happen too.

I'm going to keep this post going, even if nobody reads or comments as a way to be accountable to myself.  I do hope that somebody does read it...  Oh, and if anybody reading this thinks that my final logo stinks, please tell me!  I'd like to know before I start printing business cards.  Undecided

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24  Jackalope in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: August 30, 2012 05:40:16 PM
About 3 years ago, my husband and I were in Colorado and we stopped at a pub that had a jackalope on the wall.  I pointed towards it, and my husband looked up at it and said: "Wow... I've never seen one of those before!"   After the requisite amount of teasing, I explained to him that it wasn't real.  It has been a running joke between us ever since.
Hence, we needed a jackalope trophy of our own!

The armature were papier mache (I found out they were actually filled with foam and not hollow) lemon and pear that I got for 50c at Michael's.  Used some floral wire for the antlers. I took advantage of the fact that they were actually foam and carved them up a bit.

I used air dry clay to sculpt and added the furry texture with wood filler.  This is about half way through painting, I used a dry-brush technique I learned from a lady who paints ceramic nic-nacs. (It's glued to a scrap block of wood to hold it while I sculpted/ painted)

After it was painted and sealed, I removed it from the scrap block of wood and glued it to a wooden oval plaque-thingy I scored at the thrift store.

Finally we have a trophy for all the jackalope hunting we did in the rocky mountains!

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25  Monster LOVE gift basket in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: June 02, 2011 12:41:57 PM
I made this stuff to donate to the "Relay for Life" silent auction fundraiser.  It's been so humid, my air dry clay was taking forever to dry and the resin on the eyeballs was still tacky when I dropped them off.  (My car also smells like epoxy, but all for a great cause!)

Here's a poorly-lit shot of the entire basket:

And the monsterrific items inside include:
switch plate cover and magnets (constructed of polymer clay, then painted and resined)

a very goofy monster pin / brooch (also polymer clay)

perhaps my favourite, a poly-clay nightlight (wish I got a pic of him lit up, but light shines through his eyes and mouth and from behind his head.)

And a mixed-media hanging wall sculpture.  (This is the air-dry clay that was giving me so much trouble.)

Hopefully some quirky person will bid on these guys (and raise lots of money for cancer research!)

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26  Re: Sweat Shoppe Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Artisan82 on: April 15, 2011 09:31:35 AM
I've got all my stuff in the last few days, so here's one great big post:

First, here's my daughter chowing down on some crackers out of one of the (2) snack bags we got from Rlynn!  So handy!  I love the velcro closure (definitely won't pop open in my purse) and the fact that they are not plastic!  Rlynn even stitched around the velco, so it won't come loose, no matter how much you rip the suckers open.

Next we got some gorgeous carnation clips from Avesthel.  I think my daughter and I will both get some use of these. (Her hair is a little thin for clips as of right now).  Love the shade of blue, and the brassy colour clips blend in with my hair, so all you see is cute flowers!

From our very own swap organizer, GatorWrangler, a super-cute curious chipmunk necklace. I've admired this photo from afar for a long time, and it makes a very cute necklace for our little girl.  The kid was very proud to be wearing it.

Sweetyetevil sent an awesome owl pendant & chain.  I love how the glass feels, and the owl is just so cute.  The orange is very summery, and I'll be rockin' it as soon as it gets warmer here.

All the way from Germany, a set of flowers from RubyCopperhead.  The colour scheme was forget-me-not inspired, so I took a picture of them with my forget-me-not tattoo.  I'm planning to spray two of these with shoe protector and stitch them to a pair of sandals.  The third... well it may just get framed and hung in my bedroom... or perhaps I put it on the side of a summer hat.

I love my loot!  This swap went so smoothly.  Many thanks to all who swapped, and to GatorWrangler for steering the ship!

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27  Re: Sweat Shoppe Swap Round 25 (signups closed) (send by April 11) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Artisan82 on: March 10, 2011 07:49:49 AM
Okay, here is are pics of the actual monsters I'm offering for this swap.  There's 10 pictured, but I'm only sending out 5.  I made 5 each of magnets and pins.

(I also changed to these pictures in the post that is linked on Page 1.)


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28  Re: Sweat Shoppe Swap Round 25 (signups til March 16) (send by April 11) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Artisan82 on: March 01, 2011 02:25:10 PM
I've always kinda watched these swaps.  The offering so far this round are tempting enough to finally join!
Would anybody be interested in these? (Magnets or pins.)
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29  Rotton Zombie vs Fresh Zombie Tic Tac Toe in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: February 02, 2011 09:53:17 AM
I got this idea to make a crazy zombie tic tac toe game.  Instead of Xs and Os, its fresh zombies and rotten zombies.  I mixed some transparent and fleshy polymer clay together with a touch of green to give that rotted flesh look.  I black-washed after backing, then used resin to make the eyes and guts all wet and freshly rotted looking.  One of my pet peves with display board games is that one bump of the table, and the pieces are all over. So put magnets in the bottom of each zombie, and metal tacks on the game board so that the pieces stay put.

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30  Goofy, silly, toothy little monsters in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by Artisan82 on: February 02, 2011 09:36:18 AM
I've been working like a mad-woman the past few weeks mass producing monsters.  I don't usually mass produce things, but I'm on maternity leave right now, and hoped I might sell a few crafts to make some petty cash.

Like many folks on Craftster, I fancy myself a Jill-of-All-Trades - so it was hard to think of one specific thing (or specific category of things) to make for sale.  I did a lot of research, and came to the conclusion that I needed to find something to make that would meet the requirements:
1) be something that I could make better than other people (since things often get replicated if they sell well)
2) be something that I could make in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable cost of supplies
3) be something so unique that people would have to get it from me

I tried a few ideas, but nothing really clicked until I was talking to my Grandma.  She said; "Remember when you used to make those weird things and sell them to your teachers?" -Ah, yes Grandma!

The "weird things" she was referring to were these goofy monster brooches I used to make in grade-8.  Admittedly, they are maybe not Grandma-friendly, but they seemed to be just the right idea!

So I made a bunch of brooches (30 in total, I think), then started thinking of other things that I could stick monsters to.  These are the results of these adventures....

a couple more brooches

Tic Tac Toe!

This one might be my fav... a monster night light to scare away the monster under your bed!

Magnets (okay... this idea isn't such a leap from the brooches, but I still like them)

...and a switch plate cover.

I black-washed each monster after baking.  I also put resin on the eyes and mouths to make them look wet and alive.  Ahhhh!

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