Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's In a Name? Part 6

Last year, on June 26, I posted part 5 of a series I was working on that journaled my crafting business journey.  That was about the time that I got busy .. no, BUSY with my summer and when I got back to blogging, I didn't realize I had a few loose ends.

I changed my business name last year and outlined the reasons in the post:

Having come to the conclusion that I needed to change my business name, next came the task of finding one.  What kind of name did I want?  What did I want it to say?  How would I ever find anything unique?  I thought about the type of jewelry I make -- it's delicate, petite, elegant, made with crystals, pearls and semi-precious stones.  I make what I like and I'm not a flashy person so most of my work is small.  My name should reflect that.  When someone sees my name and sees my work, they shouldn't be surprised.  I have a word processing program with a thesaurus -- so the hunt began!  First I made a list of words I thought described my work as well as the word "jewelry" -- then I went to the thesaurus and found all the synonyms.  By the time I got done with my list, I must have had nearly 80 words.  I began putting them together in different combinations -- any combinations.  My list got very long -- over 100 possible names.  Now to pare it down.  I began eliminating names that I just didn't like or didn't really make sense or didn't have a good rhythm (I'm musical -- the cadence of a phrase has to be comfortable or melodic to me -- my kids names are the same way).  I got down to about 25 decent possibilities.

I took that list of 25 names and started looking for them on the internet.  I googled the names to see if any businesses came up anywhere.  Then I checked at Etsy.  Then at yahoo and a couple other email providers.  Those efforts eliminated about 20 names.  Of the 5 remaining, I could eliminate 2 because they weren't my favorites.  With only 3 names left, I went to my groups on Cafe Mom and asked for opinions.  I talked to family and friends to see which ones they liked.  Got some interesting feedback.  My 3 names were Gentle Adornments, Baublemania and Lark Song Designs.  I got them all at Etsy -- I'd liked another name earlier but someone else got it just before I tried -- didn't want that to happen again.  There IS a Baublemania, but it's a store in England -- figured I could work around that.  At the time, I was really leaning toward Lark Song, but there is a music group by that name so I would HAVE to add Designs.  In the feedback, someone also made the observation that it sounded Native American.  I don't have  any problem with Native American, but that doesn't really reflect my work

I've known for some time that I was interested in doing more with brides and wedding jewelry and I felt that Gentle Adornments sounded a bit more "bridal".  It's also a bit more flexible than Baublemania -- if I want to add some other type of craft to my Etsy shop, I can do so without sounding out of place.  Lark Song on Etsy actually belongs to my cousin, but she would have let me have it if I'd wanted it.  So I settled on Gentle Adornments, bought some graphics and launched my new shop.  The graphics .. that's another story!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Trove of Treasuries

Well, I feel better now.  Apparently I needed to get that last post off my chest!    On to happier things!

I got a treasury last night:

I'm also IN a treasury!

It was nice to be included!!

Up to Something

The Bridal Open House on Saturday was nice .. but nobody came.  I felt so bad for the gal who organized it -- she'd worked so hard!  But there were some good things that came from it.  I figured out an ordering policy and a plan for payment options.  I developed a couple little brochures that can be handed out -- still want to tweak them but have a really good base to start with now.
 Eventually, I'm going to need to do a catalog but until then, I put together a set of photo cards that should work until the catalog gets done.  There are 7 or 8 of them, each featuring different styles -- and they all look something like the picture on the left.

Thank you Photoshop!  They are actually photos that can be printed at any Walmart or drug store.  When I'm at a show, I can give them out to interested customers.  Sometimes at craft shows, I meet brides who are interested in a design but want to think about it -- they can take the card with their design on it and show it to their friends or family.

So, while the attendance of the show was disappointing, some good things came out of the preparations for it.

On a sadder note, please pardon me while I wallow in a little self-pity.  I found out this week that I don't belong to an Etsy group I thought I belonged to.  My life is a little unique -- we travel around the US and build churches for very small congregations, and usually only live in an area for 6-15 months.  We attend the church we're building for, but we aren't members there, so our involvement is limited -- and as gracious as they are about including us, it's not our church ... we don't really "belong".  We have a  "home church" but aren't really there either .. and don't really "belong".  Because I move so often, I don't really get involved in anything in the community -- it would be one more attachment that would hurt when it was time to leave.  I wanted to join this group on Etsy because it's from the area we call "home".  The places they are from and talk about are familiar.  My drivers license says I live there.  My business cards say I live there.  And actually, when we're done with our current project, we're planning to have some time at home -- so I really will live there.  But because I don't physically live there now, I can't be a member of the team.  I participate in forums and have made treasuries featuring team members -- which is more than most of their "local" members do.  I've lived in several towns the that area, and have even been able to point members to resources that I knew about (and they didn't).  I have felt like a productive member of the team.  But I wasn't.  I'm terribly hurt.  Not because I can't be part of some little Etsy team (well, maybe a little -- I had hoped they would be gracious and accept me), but because I really wanted to "belong".... SOMEWHERE.   I needed that link to "home".  When I do live in that area, I don't think I'll be asking to join the team ... what will they do with me when I move on .. because I will.  I'll have to keep looking for a place to belong -- there's got to be a place for me somewhere.  I'm not quite sure why, but I'm feeling my lack of roots more in this past year than I have in the previous 13 since we started doing this.  Maybe something I need to figure out?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bridal Show

This Saturday, I have the opportunity to display my jewelry.  The event started out as an open house for a church that wants to promote their facility as a wedding venue.   As the organizer has been planning, she has been approached by several vendors who also wanted to display their products, and last week it was opened to vendors.  A local gal who makes wedding cakes will have samples and a florist will do some decorating ... and I will be there with a display of my jewelry.  So my BIG project for this week is to prepare for this open house.

I have no idea what to expect, really.  We have no clue how many brides-to-be may attend.  I do know that I'm not planning to sell "off the rack", but do plan to take orders.  So now I need to figure out what my display should be like -- I don't think my craft show set up it quite the right thing.  And I'm working on developing procedures and policies.   Because everything that I've done before was direct selling, I haven't had to worry about deposits, cancellation policies or payment plans.  I've created a worksheet form for taking orders and I definitely need to remember to take my credit card machine.  I'm working on a brochure -- this will be a bit experimental so I'm not having it professionally printed -- may need tweaking before I do that.  And I still need to decide exactly which pieces (and which colors) of jewelry I should take -- right now, I'm thinking that I'll take one of everything in white/clear to look bridal and take a second of everything in colors to show what things would look like for a bridesmaid.   I'm thinking that the whole display will fit onto one of my little tables (2x4' -- that I use 3 of at craft shows) but I should also take a second table where I can sit with a bride to plan her designs.  I'll bring the fabric samples I have from David's Bridal -- they could come in handy.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed .. and hoping for a successful day.  We'll see what happens!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My late night treasury

I don't know if it was insomnia, or a little too much chocolate, but I was awake in the middle of the night ... and got a treasury on Etsy.  This one is very special to me ... one of my favorite uncles served in the Navy and since, several friends.  While Iwas in High School, my mom's cousin had been in the Navy Band.  When they came to perform in our little town, my younger brother was chosen to perform with them ... and when he died, the Navy hymn was played at his funeral.  On one of our building projects, we built a church about 2 miles from Mayport Naval Station.  We were awed by the JFK and loved seeing the fleet come in!  As a proud American, the Navy has always been near and dear to my heart.

While looking through the shop of fellow Michigander, jpcrossstitch, I came across her design for the Navy Seal (logo).   Suddenly, the words to the Navy hymn, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" popped in to my head ... and I knew I needed to use it as a treasury theme.  In the wee hours this morning, I was able to get my treasury spot.  I give you "Eternal Father, Strong to Save".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

due to technical difficulty ...

Hey!  I was having temporary issues with getting a screen shot of the current treasury ... but we got it figured out today ... so here's the photo.  Enjoy!

On The Hunt

I've been doing a lot of treasuries lately on Etsy.  It's fun.  It helps give exposure to my Etsy friends and some other shops.  It's sort of a "win-win" for all involved.

My current treasury is in shades of green -- and if you look from the upper left corner to the lower right, you might notice that the color get gradually darker.  Most of the sellers featured this time are from my TeamCAC and CASTTeam groups (Team Christian Artists and Crafters and Christian Artists Street Team).   We are getting a snowstorm -- all those fresh greens were a great reminder that spring really will come sometime.

I love the "hunt" for new treasuries.  I have my next treasury already chosen and most of the one after that.  Some treasuries are based on color -- such as the current one in greens or one I did a couple weeks ago in soft grays with a touch of peach.  But other times, they're based on some sort of theme -- like one I did a few weeks ago using images that represented elements of the classic movie "Gaslight".  From time to time, I hope that a treasury will appear on Etsy's front page (as some do) ... but it hasn't happened yet.  But I enjoy the "hunt" ... so it doesn't really matter.  Watch for my next treasury ... I don't think you'll be disappointed... it's quite personal and some of the selections are moving.