Friday, June 26, 2009

So .. Why the Changes? Part 5

Business has been rolling along ok ... not fabulous but ok. I started doing some research on marketing (because I was a serious rookie about this stuff) and I began paying close attention to what people were telling me at craft shows. I came to the realization that my business name, B-Jeweled By Susan, might not have been the best choice.

When I first named my business, I was only thinking of doing craft shows and my contact with customers would be live. “B-Jeweled By Susan” was fine in print (on business cards and flyers) and substituting the “e” with a hyphen looked kinda clever.

But then I got an email address. And I was introduced to Etsy. Neither wanted to take my hyphen or my spaces ... so my online name became “bjeweledbysusan”. It’s not a bad name .... but no one can find it. When you’re in business, that sorta defeats the purpose! Even my friends say they have a hard time remembering the unusual spelling so they got frustrated trying to get through on my email or find me at Etsy. If my friends are having this problem, nobody else is finding me either!

And there was another problem -- to those who haven’t seen my name in print, it looks like I don’t know how to spell .... because the “bjeweled” without the “e” really doesn’t make much sense without the hyphen (b-jeweled).

And, to be honest, when I first started at Etsy, I made some mistakes. Nothing glaring or terrible. Just didn’t get off to a great start. I'm thinking that a fresh start might be a good thing.

So, before I get too much more invested in my name and image and marketing, I want to change my business name. That has turned out to be a bigger project than I expected ... but it’s all working out. On Etsy, that means opening a new shop and it involved quite a bit of research. And choosing the new name? Well ...... more later.......

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My First Farm Market

Life has been crazy busy the past few weeks. Our daughter is dating a young man -- his brother was killed last week in a hit and run -- a tragic situation. We've had a couple volunteer groups helping here on the building project. I'm still TRYING to get some things organized in my life and get into some semblance of a routine. I'm working on some small changes in business ... at least, they seemed like small changes ... getting them made is taking a lot longer than I thought. I am particularly trying to change the way I display necklaces at craft shows -- I like my ovals on the jewelry displays, but I have a lot more necklaces available than that and need to figure out a better way to show them off.

This past Saturday, I did my first farm market show -- it was great! I really had no idea what to expect, so set a sales range with the thought that, if I sold in that range, I'd be happy -- I exceeded my range!!! The market is in Elkhart Lake, which I've been told is a cottage community for Chicago executives. When it was time to sign up for the farm market, I knew my schedule would not allow me to be there every week and I was a bit concerned about "saturating my market" to be there each time, so I carefully chose 4 Saturdays. It seemed to me that if there were a lot of cottages in the area, a lot of people would "go to the cottage" for Fathers Day -- and I had that pegged. What I didn't realize is that it was also a race weekend for Road America -- town was packed! I've also chosen July 4 -- I expect a lot of people at their cottages again. I picked 2 dates in August -- they are more random but should be when produce is really filling the market. We'll see if I made good choices -- so far, so good!

Today I have a "private show" -- I'll be setting up for some new friends who want to see my work. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go!! Wish me luck!!! Oh, and Part 5 of my new business "adventure" series will be posted in the next day or so.