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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Business Name thread - Get opinions and ideas about names for your business! on: December 20, 2011 05:32:51 PM
Always google a prospective name to be sure its not being overused. Especially if you plan on your own website in the future. Many times the .com is already taken. Especially Etsy as there have been a ton of people in fights over who had a name first.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Underpricing by competitors on: December 19, 2011 01:31:48 PM
I so love it when women can do this and stay home with their kids. Over the years it helped me stay home with 4! Best thing I ever did.

There are so many advantages to working from home. Working in jammies is one of my favorites.

I also love the shows but that last 3 day show wore me out I have to say. And I had help. Its so fun to get out and talk to customers and other crafters etc. The jam is a ton of fun because we give out samples so its a lot of fun to hear what people say when they taste it.
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: Crocheting with t-shirt yarn on: December 19, 2011 01:15:32 PM
That bag and bowl are way cool. Love it!

Hey I write for Yahoo too! Although not as much as I used to.

4  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Re: a newbie from maryland on: December 19, 2011 01:04:27 PM
Nice to meet you! Im new here too but not to crafting.

I also love to crochet and right now I am making baby blankets for my first grandchildren due next year. So excited!
5  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Glad to Be Here! on: December 19, 2011 01:03:21 PM
My name is Kay and I have been in the craft industry off and on for 25 years. Or maybe since that first time grandma taught me to crochet at age 10 and I sold bracelets. LOL.

For years I sold tole/decorative painting patterns, taught painting and sold at my own craft store and shows. Got a bit burnt out and stopped for a couple years.

Now I am back at the shows with jam and jelly.

Its so fun to me to think back when I first started in crafts and where the industry is now.

I still love to paint but now I can just paint for myself and family. I also love to draw in charcoals, crochet etc.

Well shoot removed pictures since I havent posted enough to have pictures in a post.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Underpricing by competitors on: December 19, 2011 12:48:51 PM
Hey if its working for you then for sure keep doing it!

Most of the time the crafters I meet say "oh my gosh I am only making 2.00 per hour!" Or like you they say they make 15.00 per hour but cant sell anything. So I say kudos to you if you can make 15.00 an hour and still sell things.

I still think though it would be impossible to really know. Especially if you are at craft shows. Because is your hourly rate including that? Or just the time to make the item? See what I am trying to say? Our last show was 3 days from 8 am to 10 pm. Long long days. I could try to figure an hourly rate which would be a nightmare. Or I could just take what the show cost me, the cost of making the jam sold and subtract sales and then I know what I made.

When it comes to tax time most of us will use this method. Once you do your taxes you will see what you really made or did not make.

For me I am always making several batches of jam at the same time. So I might make 4 batches and then hop on Facebook  Smiley for 30 mins. But thats the beauty of working from home.

Imagine being a retail store owner and trying to figure out your hourly wage. Its much the same concept in crafts because we all do have a retail store especially if you sell online.

I have never lost money on a craft show but see a lot that do. I hate it for them. Especially in this economy when people are trying so hard to make extra money.

It always shocks me when someone asks me to help them price something and they have no idea of what it cost them in materials to make the item.

Anyway this is not meant at all personally. I just love talking about pricing and the business end of crafting.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Underpricing by competitors on: December 19, 2011 09:41:36 AM
Gosh I hope you are not upset by my post as for sure that is not how I meant it.

As to getting paid per hour to do crafts. I have been in this industry 25 years. It doesn't work. You may fool yourself into thinking it does but it really doesn't. What you should be doing is making a profit off materials. Now how much profit does take into consideration how long an item takes or how detailed it is.

But if we all truly set an hourly rate much of our stuff would be so high priced you could never get enough money for it.

Like said above you could never really account for time spent picking up materials, marketing, website work, time to ship a package etc etc.

Crafting will never be an "hourly job" that is why so many of us love it.

I find it is really hard for people new to this to get past the hourly mindset. Once you do though, you will find much more freedom and usually higher sales.

I explain more in depth in my blog. I hope its okay to put a link. If not someone can take it out and let me know.

8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Etsy shop is stealing from me & maybe you too!!! on: December 19, 2011 08:10:06 AM
A little FYI on Copyright Law:  Anything you create is automatically protected by US Copyright Law.  The reason why people "register" is to have a formal document with all the details.  If there is no registration, you are still protected, but it may be more difficult to prove in a court type situation.  You do not need to take extra steps so that you are protected.  A simple notice in your shop is sufficient.  (I am NOT a lawyer, but I just graduated from law school with a focus on Intellectual Property.)

It always shocked me that craft/art people do not know that they automatically have a copyright the instant they produce something. I do have some patterns that have a formal copyright because they always get stolen. But for line drawings etc I just always make sure I put a date on the original to prove when it was created.

9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Apple Peel Jelly on: December 19, 2011 07:37:18 AM
Much of how an apple jelly or jam gels (without using powdered pectin) depends on how ripe the apples are. If they are overripe then they have lost a lot of their natural pectin and you probably need to add pectin.

If they are under ripe they have plenty of pectin.

Also I will say you want that boil to come up as fast as possible. It never takes me an hour  to get jelly to boil so that stumps me on the above post. An hour would be way too long as you would be way overcooking your jam or jelly. Once you get that hard boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down) time it for exactly 60 seconds.

If I have any doubt I do the freezer test to be sure its going to set. It is much easier to fix jam and jelly in the pan before you can it (and you dont waste all those lids and labels)

To make your own pectin you boil apple peels and cores, strain and then put the thick mixture in the fridge. You can use this to make any kind of jam or jelly in place of store bought pectin. But the apples cannot be over ripe!
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Underpricing by competitors on: December 19, 2011 07:22:45 AM
I agree with the above. Smile and move on!

We got some of this at our last show as our biggest competitor is Amish made jam. Some people do not understand that much of the Amish made jam (at least in my area) is not "homemade" it is mass produced. So of course they can sell their jam for half of what I sell mine for.

At the end of the day the budget shopper is not my market and I know that. So I just smile and move on.

I will say though that trying to put an hourly rate on craft items is about impossible and you will drive yourself crazy with that mindset.

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