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Topic: A Day in the life ....  (Read 1439 times)
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« on: July 16, 2014 08:15:19 AM »

Hello Everyone,

I know we all make different products and have different goals, except maybe the goal to make a profit at what we do.  However, I am wondering if you can give me a glimpse of a day in the life of ... whatever you make/do.  Or even a glimpse of a week in the life of .... particularly if you do this full time or are close to doing it full time.

Thanks so much!

God Bless,

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014 07:44:02 PM »


God Bless,

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014 05:27:58 PM »

I think a full-timer isn't going to post here since they're probably busy marketing or, better yet, selling. I can guess, though, what the real question is: How do you sell more tiles? So I'm just going to blather on for a bit:

I personally refuse to sell crafts here in Minnesota because I despise the business-unfriendly environment here. Luckily, we're moving to Wyoming early next year and can't wait to get started making stuff again. However, my daughter is pretty much a full-timer. She does a variety of things to sell crochet patterns. This means she's marketing MOST of the time. When she's out in the living room she does a variety of tasks - prototype creation (actual crocheting), looking up blog fodder for updates to... I think she's got 2-3 blogs or Tumblrs to update now. One blog she has almost 10K followers, so she's getting up there. She has an etsy shop where she sells the prototypes and the patterns. She used to have an ebay, but gave that up and twitter and facebook were also a waste of time (although, she still auto-posts to those from her Tumblrs and also Instagram just because it's available to do it, so why not?). She has a newsletter now, she runs giveaways (when we're out shopping she's always looking for little cute dollar-things to give away) and she'll be doing more participatory contests to get folks involved and solidified into her little world.

The blogs/Tumblrs are actually more like affiliate sites where she refers sales and makes commissions. All her stuff is related, though - it's all cute, girly stuff, so everyone who follows a blog is going to be exposed to her shops and her sales grow every month. She also has a Zazzle shop she started a couple years back and she works 3 days a week at a store up the street from our apartment. Basically she's like me except with more discipline and focus. In another 5 years, she's going to be very comfortable without the part-time job.

When she's off in her own room, she's either taking photos, writing crochet patterns or uploading products or scheduling blog fodder to be posted daily. She actually has wigs and other things she puts on to make her photos more fun when she models the crochet prototypes. She's nuts, I love it.

But I have plans to sell stuff in my new state, and there aren't many craft shows so I'll have to concentrate mostly on getting my creations into local stores - I hate traveling so local is it for me. I've had my eye on doing those kinds of tiles for many years - yes, with stamping - but I'm going to design my own stamps and have them made for the size and shape of the tiles (and I'll be making other things like canvas bags and silver clay stuff that will utilize stamps, too); see www.readystamps.com. Basically I want to stamp it once, then the job is done, or very close to it. This is a labor/time consideration as well since my prices will have to be lower for a wholesale deal to work. The most laborious task will be sewing the bags, but they'll be fairly simple affairs. Most of my time will be spent marketing in the first couple years. I'm going to visit every store in town, take notes on what they've got in the front windows, what's on the racks, pass out a lot of homemade cookies, and make new contacts and friends. Then I'll start designing my first set of stamps and start getting to work. I'm not sure I'm even interested in online selling. The whole photo-taking and uploading business just sucks the life out of me and I hate mailing stuff.

So there you have 2 people who are going to sell in totally different ways - no matter what techniques you end up using to sell more stuff, selling is a never-ending practice of flexibility. Just keep asking yourself what more you can do; picture in your mind what - in a perfect world - you would do differently. Maybe you have some fears you can't quite overcome (hey, selling isn't for everyone) and you need to break out of that and just give it a go.

Chris in VT
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014 03:50:08 AM »

Our busy season starts next weekend. I have a two day show just south of Saratoga Springs, NY, the following weekend I'm in Gloucester, Ma for another 2 day show, www.castleberryfairs.com and the following weekend I'm doing a show at an art school here in Vermont. http://fletcherfarm.org/

Labor Day weekend I decided not to do any shows to prepare for the autumn crunch. I'm pretty much booked every weekend from Sept 6th through Thanksgiving weekend. Every show is either two or three days. My last outdoor show is Columbus Day weekend and we have been known to have snow at that show in the past.

A day in the life? Pretty boring when written down, but this is my life until after Thanksgiving weekend.
Monday- Get steel from local warehouse if needed for next weekend.
Tuesday- Shear, sand, and bend the steel.
Wednesday- Paint.
Thursday- Package the product. I make the header with the instructions and website info, and package everything in clear plastic bags.
Friday- Leave for the Friday show setup.
Saturday- Sell, sell, sell! (I hope!)
Sunday- Sell some more, tear down, pack up, and go home. Usually home by 10pm.

I put in a minimum of 8 hours a day in the shop. As the crunch gets worse, the longer the hours spent out there.

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
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