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151  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re:more crafty sites on: December 21, 2003 10:44:38 AM
Oooh!  SheMadeThis.com rocks.  Thanks!   Grin
152  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re:hair sticks on: December 20, 2003 07:04:02 PM
Yay, the pic works now!  Smiley  What did you use for the sticks themselves?
153  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re:ok, so who's making money here? on: December 20, 2003 09:32:42 AM
Hi!  I've just started my own business.  Part of the draw for me, though, is that I am young and have no kids and have parents who can bail me out if necessary.  Wink  I make polymer clay jewelry, and at first I thought it was just a "hobby"...but then friends and relatives started buying, and I started getting customers on my web site, and I realized that maybe I could actually cover my supply costs!  (Which I have in fact been doing!)  

At the moment I'm really at the "just for fun" level, but hopefully things will take off and eventually I can do this as a full-time or most-of-the-time job.  I was a first-year law student until October, when I had to go on medical leave; crafting was one of the few things I could actually do at the time, so I started doing this to keep myself happy even while sick.  Luckily, now I'm feeling a lot better and can do some craft fairs and such.

But I know I am going to have to work at least part-time at something else for a while, as soon as I feel well enough and can actually land a job.  Making a living doing this seems feasible to me, but it'll probably take years to get to the point where it'll pay the rent and the bills as well as the supply costs, so until then I know I'll have to do something else as well.  *sigh*

Ack, sorry for posting my whole story here.  Anyway, I've mainly made money through word of mouth.  I also have an online journal, and often post pictures of what I make in there; and I've received quite a few orders that way.  I have a boyfriend who's a great salesman, and that's helped a lot (I didn't even realize what I was doing was marketable until he started talking my jewelry up to people!).

My suggestions: get business cards, if you haven't already.  I just print my own with those sheets of cards you can get at office supply stores.  Bring up your craft in conversation with people as often as you can, if you can do it without looking too salesperson-ish; and ask if they'd like your card.  Fliers are great, too.  Put up fliers and cards at any place you can find with a bulletin board (cafes sometimes have them).  I know you want to stay home, but there's a lot of legwork involved (if you can get someone to help you with this, all the better).  Craft fairs are excellent, and a web site is a must.  Mine is fairly simple but it gets the word out, and people can place orders directly from the page.

Ebay is not a good place for selling crafts.  I sell there occasionally just for publicity--to draw people to my web site--but be careful there because people don't want to buy things for any decent amount of money.  (I'm sorry--I am a frequent buyer on ebay myself, so I know this is true.)  I can only sell there if I lower my prices, which are already pretty low; selling there regularly wouldn't be profitable enough to make it worth paying the listing fees.  Auction sites without the fees are great, but most of them don't get enough traffic.  Sad

I think that's it...if I think of any other bits of advice, I'll let you know!  Sorry this is so long!  Wink
154  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re:hair sticks on: December 20, 2003 09:08:29 AM
Can't get the picture to show up.  Sad  Guess I'll have to try again later?

I'm a polymer clay enthusiast and I'd love to see your work!  Smiley
155  UNITED STATES / Virginia / Re:northern va (arlington/alexandria area) on: December 20, 2003 09:05:13 AM
That 7 corners location is the Michael's I usually go to, because it's close by for me...but more often I find that I'm at Joann's because Michael's doesn't have what I need.  Wink  Actually, I've had a lot more success on ebay and ordering from other web sites than I have there.  I need to check out the AC Moore at Bailey's Xroads one of these days, but lately I just haven't been up for the drive.   Smiley
156  UNITED STATES / Washington, D.C. / DC metro area crafters on: December 20, 2003 08:55:14 AM
Hi!  I just joined and I am so excited to find this forum.  I'm Alexis (aka Lex).  My main crafty passion is for making things out of polymer clay, especially jewelry.  I live in Arlington, VA.

Do any of you have any suggestions about stores around here that might be willing to carry my products?  (You can take a look at some of the jewelry I've made at my web site, www.lexscreations.com.)  I have a few pieces at Gallery Hana, a cute little boutique in Ballston; but that's it so far.  

Also, I am trying to start my own business, just because I can.   Wink  Have any of you done this?  Any tips?

Do any of you do local craft fairs?  I just started (caught the tail end of the holiday season) and I'm curious about which ones are the best that don't have terribly expensive table costs...though I've heard from quite a few people that it varies year by year.

Anyway...Hello to all of you!  *waves*  Glad I found this place.  Smiley

157  UNITED STATES / Washington, D.C. / Re:washington dc on: December 20, 2003 08:45:52 AM
Also, for any fellow jewelry makers...Beadazzled in Dupont Circle is the best I've found for supplies.  Michael's doesn't have a good selection and what they do have is poor quality; Beadazzled's supplies aren't too expensive and they are SO much nicer.  (And they have all those pretty beads...*sigh*)

Haven't been to AC Moore yet, though (I plan to go soon--it's just that I live so much closer to Michael's!).   Smiley
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