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Topics - kmarie0218

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1
Jewelry / "He Loves Me" Necklace
« on: February 06, 2014, 10:19:21 PM »
Hey everyone,

This is my newest design, and I'm calling it the "He Loves Me" necklace.  The flower is made from cutting and forming 4 individual petals from 16 gauge copper wire that was soldered, hammer textured, tumble polished, waxed/buffed and coated with a clear coat finish to protect both skin and oxidation on the piece.  I wire wrapped the center bead, and the necklace is finished on leather cord.

I'm currently working on creating a true collection now, after making jewelry for the last 10+ years and being all over the place in my designs.  Finally stepping back a bit and realizing I need to put some real thought into my little biz if I want to make it meaningful.  (Just hard to do that while working a full-time job at the same time.)

What would you expect to pay for this piece?  I have a hard time with pricing and tend to be too low.  I'm making "full" flower pendants as well as statement pieces with 3 full flowers linked together (if you look at my facebook page there's a sample in my banner image https://www.facebook.com/GetABeadOnIt.



Thanks!
Karen

2
General Discussion / Jewelry success! I'm a winner!
« on: November 21, 2012, 12:26:47 AM »
Just tooting my own horn a little, LOL.  ;)

In July I joined the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee (WI).  They have an annual contest/challenge and I decided to join in.   This year we were given a sample of wallpaper and that was to be the inspiration for the piece.  I wasn't sure how I'd even do in this, as I'm a new member, and knowing the talented people that belong to the society I knew competition would be tough.  Not to mention that my brother's mother-in-law has won it twice in a row, and she makes some pretty elaborate stuff.  I think there were 30-some participants.

All of the members present at the October meeting got to vote.  And I was a winner!  I didn't win the grand prize, but that was fine, as what I really was hoping to do was place so I could get my dues paid for next year.  Woot woot!

http://www.loosebeadsociety.org/2012%20challenge.htm - here are pictures of all the finalists.  Mine is Karen Domine.  And by the way, my brothers mother-in-law DID win again this year (that makes 3 times now, but this year she was not first place.  She's Bonnie with the "Secret Garden" piece.  See......pretty elaborate.....

3
Business Tips and Help / Sharing a new free promotion site
« on: October 15, 2012, 10:21:25 PM »
Just thought I would pass this along.  I get the Handmadeology newsletter and just got an email about this free marketplace.  It's not an online shop, but it's a free marketplace listing to link back to your site/store, etc.  (They do have a premium feature for $5 to get a featured listing.  But heck, I'm all about freebies.   ;)  )

Here's the link - http://www.handmadeology.com/market/

4
General Discussion / Just a reminder - The Pinterest Ring has started!
« on: August 26, 2012, 04:22:00 PM »
Just wanted to put a reminder out here that the Pinterest Ring is in motion!  There are 10 of us on the list but it would be awesome if more people wanted to join.  It only takes a few minutes to participate by pinning one item daily.

Here's the link to the details - http://handmadeartists.com/forum/index.php/board,50.0.html

And if you're not interested in being in the ring but happen to be on Pinterest, feel free to follow the board we're using - http://pinterest.com/riverrockarts/it-s-better-handmade/  - and "like" or comment on the pins, etc. anytime!

And while you're at it, you should make sure you follow the HA board too!  :) http://pinterest.com/hafshop/



5
Pinterest Ring / The Official List!
« on: August 26, 2012, 03:36:00 PM »

6
Pinterest Ring / Pinterest Promotion Ring Guidelines
« on: August 26, 2012, 03:28:07 PM »
Thinking of joining the Pinterset Promotion Ring?  We would love to have you!

All you need to do is visit the sign-up post and reply with your name, Pinterest link and a link to the shop you want to promote.  You will be add to the list.  You will also receive an invite to post on our community board, It's Better Handmade (which I'm going to refer to as IBH from here on).

How it works:

This is a daily ring.  The requirement is to pin one item from one person on the list to the IBH board.  Your starting point will be as follows: 

Once you have been added to the list (which I'm going to break off and start in a new topic so it's easier to find) and have accepted the invite to the IBH board, start with the person on the list that is immediately below your name (if you're at the bottom, then start at the top of the list).  Visit that person's shop and post 1 item to the IBH board.  You can also post to your own personal boards on Pinterest, but please be sure to at least post to the IBH board.

The next day, go to the next person on the list and do the same thing.

Note:  this is a daily commitment, however we're all busy and missing a day here and there is to be expected.  When this happens, just catch up.   I'm not going to hound you if you miss, so no worries.  ;)

Here are some pointers to help make this a success:
  • Please make sure you have a well-stocked shop so there's a good variety of things for us to choose from to pin to the board.
  • Having good quality images of your work is very important!  Pinterest is 100% visual.  In order to catch someone's eye you need to have good images of your items so people will be drawn to look at and repin them.
  • Before you pin, please take a look at the IBH board to avoid pinning a duplicate item.  Duplicates will clutter the board.  (I think it will only let the original pinner remove a duplicate, so if you happen to catch this when you're on the board, please remove it if you think of it.)
Thanks and we'd be really happy to have you join in on this ring that offers yet another way to promote you and your handmade!

7
Pinterest Ring / Pinterest Promotion Ring Sign-Up List
« on: August 18, 2012, 01:26:07 PM »
UPDATE - Planned start date - 8/19.  I'll suggest we try a 2 week run at this and evaluate after that? 

If you are interested in setting off on the maiden voyage of the Pinterest Promotion Ring (first check out the "Pinterest Promotion" post for the details) and then come on back here and post a reply.

We'll need your HAF member name, Pinterest link, and a link to the site that you want to promote.

I guess I'll start.  ;)

1.  kmarie0218 (https://pinterest.com/kmarie0218/) - http://meylah.com/mylilcraftshoppe/store
2.  DianeShyJewelry (https://pinterest.com/dianashye/) - http://www.DianaShyeJewelry.etsy.com.
3.  Uniqlets - (https://pinterest.com/uniqlets/) - http://handmadeartists.com/shop/Uniqlets
4.  mkelleyart - (https://pinterest.com/mkelleyart/) http://handmadeartists.com/shop/MarilynKelleyArt
5.  RiverRockARts ( https://pinterest.com/riverrockarts/) - http://handmadeartists.com/shop/RiverRockArts
6.  FormedinFire - (https://pinterest.com/formedinfire/) - http://handmadeartists.com/shop/FormedInFire
7.  ArtbyNancyPace (https://pinterest.com/nancyswildwire/) http://artbynancypace.artistwebsites.com/
8.  Pickleberrylane ( https://pinterest.com/pickleberrylane/) - http://pickleberrylane.etsy.com
9.  Beadthing (https://pinterest.com/beadthing/) - http://handmadeartists.com/shop/beadthing
10.
11.
12.

8
Pinterest Ring / A Pinterest Promotion Ring idea
« on: August 18, 2012, 01:19:25 PM »
Are you on Pinterest?  (Recently they opened it up to everyone so you no longer need an invitation in order to join!)

Pinterest, if you haven't heard of it, is a social bookmarking site.  You create a board, and then “pin” pictures to it.  These can be things you upload yourself, or any image on the web.  Other users can follow your boards, repin your pins (although I recommend clicking through and pinning the original source), “like” them just like on Facebook, and comment on them.  If you've seen an Etsy treasury, it kind of reminds me of that, because basically you are curating a variety of boards with all of the things you like.

I used to think Facebook was a huge timewaster as I get so lost in reading updates, etc., but I've since realized that I waste ridiculous amounts of time on Pinterest.  That sounds like a negative, doesn't it?  (Well, it is if I should have been working on jewelry, which is most often the case.)  But I know if I'm sitting here lost in looking at all the cool stuff posted on Pinterest, there must be tons of other people out there doing the same thing.  And wouldn't it be awesome if what they were looking at and repinning was something made by YOU!?!  I really see potential in Pinterest to get our handmade creations noticed, even moreso than Twitter or Facebook, which really only promote to the people within your network.  Every day on Pinterest there are people liking and repinning my pins (not my handmade either, as I haven't started doing it yet), and there are always new people that do this.  This is probably because you have the option to view your “home” page to see "everything" being pinned, or just the boards you are following.  You can also do searches, so people may be finding things that way as well.

So, that said....on to my proposal. :)

I'd like to keep it simple so it's easy to administer, and quick and easy for people to do.  Instead of putting people in groups, I'm thinking of using a running list.  This way no one would have to wait to be the featured person as everyone on the list would get pinned on a daily basis.  Plus, anyone could jump in at any time without having to reconfigure groups, or wait for a start date, etc.  Eventually everyone on the list would be pinned by everyone else, increasing your exposure to more and more people.  On top of that, you can connect your Pinterest account to both Facebook and Twitter if you like, which means even MORE exposure as your pins get some visibility there as well.

The requirement:
  Pin at least one item daily. (By all means, do more if you feel so inclined! ;)) Wherever you fall on the list, you would start by visiting the site of the person directly below your name.  (If you are the last person on the list, then start at the top of the list.)  Then the next day you would go to the next person on the list, and so on.

(I also realize that people are busy...so the goal here really would be at least once a day, but if you aren't able to do that I'd understand, it's inevitable, and I don't want to be militant about it.   I would say that "catching up" then and pinning some items from the sites you have missed would be acceptable to me.)

Pinning:  Check out the shop, site, blog, etc. and pin at least one item to an appropriate Pinterest board.  (Note:  If you are promoting a blog, it needs to have an image on it in order to be pinned.)  A lot of people have “My Style” type boards.  You could create a special “Handmade Love” type board to pin to or something like that.   Pinterest is all about blabbing to the world what you like, love, gotta have or can't live without.  The idea would be for us to actively promote each other using Pinterest, but in a way that's genuine and doesn't make it obvious that we're doing so.  I want people seeing it to think “wow that's pretty I need to see that” vs. “ok I can totally tell that's an advertisement.”  So, for example, instead of posting something that says “Jane Doe makes really awesome hand-dyed scarves, you really need to check these out!” say “beautiful hand-dyed scarves, love the color – by Jane Doe Accessories”.  I'm sure you get the idea.  It's all about sharing what you like, so just say what you like about it.  (And including the shop's/site's name or .com in the description should also help promote your name/brand, etc.)

UPDATE! (8/19/12) We will have a community board to post to.  It is called "It's Better Handmade".  Those that sign up will be invited to join this board.  It doesn't hurt to post to another board you have (as mentioned above) but please make sure you pin to this community board at least.  This will be a good way of being able to keep track of participation.

If this idea works, hopefully other Pinners will visit the shop, repin the items, and make a purchase!   

Also, if you want to check what from your site has been pinned, there is a way to do that.  I used handmadeartists.com as the source in this example, so to check other sites just put in the .com of the site.  Check this link out and you'll see all the cool handmade stuff that's been pinned from handmadeartists.com.  http://pinterest.com/source/handmadeartists.com/

And if you're new to the world of Pinterest and aren't sure how to pin when there isn't a “pin it” button already on the page, within Pinterest click on “About”, and then click on “Goodies”.  There's an install button that will put a “pin it” link right inside your browser's toolbar.  All you need to do then is click it and it'll bring up all the images it finds on the page, so all you have to do is pick one.  :)  Also, I came across this good article last night about using Pinterest for business, which you may find of interest.   http://www.amyporterfield.com/2012/06/the-10-commandments-of-using-pinterest-for-business/

I also found this site that creates images just for the purpose of being usable on Pinterest...how cool!  https://pinstamatic.com/  So if you have a blog post without images, you could use this to make one about the topic of your post, etc. and have something to pin.

It appears as tho there is some interest in this since another member has already posted a topic about it!  I will set up another thread to get a list started.   Reply to the thread with your user name and the website you want to promote.  I can keep track of a list and update it as necessary, and just post it on the thread.  (And really the list will be created based on the order of responses.)  We can give people time to check out Pinterest or give this some thought, and if there are a few of us who want to try it, maybe we could set a start date in, say, a week or so?

And it'd be great to get feedback from everyone to see if it works and gets someone a sale, or if you at least notice an increase in traffic to your site or product views.   

Karen

9
General Discussion / an outreach idea...
« on: August 04, 2012, 06:37:53 PM »
Hi guys!  I'm here once in a while (I should be/would like to be more active here but I'm already bad at time management and don't get around to logging in too often) and an idea came to mind I thought might be good for this forum.

You have the Facebook ring, the Twitter ring and Blog ring outreach/promotion things going.  What about a Pinterest one?  I'm so addicted to Pinterest now (ya, remember I said I have time management issues, LOL) and I know they have rules about self promotion so you need to be careful posting your own creations.  But if we were to pin other member's items, they'd probably get more visibility on Pinterest...hopefully getting pinned onto other people's boards outside of our own 'network'....and maybe that would lead to some sales?  Now, this isn't to say someone wouldn't repin to their board for their own "inspirational" use - as I this is what I tend to do a lot with my boards - but surely the visibility can't hurt. 

So, I just thought I'd post the idea here!  If this idea has been tossed around already and I've missed it due to being absent....then I apologize!  (and point me to the discussion for it, please!)

Also, I'm obviously on Pinterest...and if someone is not and is interested in an invite, just let me know and I'll send you one.  :)  At first when I saw it before becoming a member I didn't "get" it and was like, what do I want with this, all these pictures, LOL.  But I finally caught on to how awesome it is to do visual bookmarking...and then realized the bigger picture that it could actually be helpful to promote my jewelry....but within their terms of service, of course.  I think a lot of people are looking at it now as the next big social media site and are trying to take advantage of that for business.

10
Business Tips and Help / Managing Your Business...how do you do it!?!
« on: April 22, 2011, 04:07:10 PM »
Hello everyone,

I haven't been on HAF for a while.  Been pretty busy with other things these days, but part of that is because my "beading mojo" came back and I've had lots of ideas lately, and I've had a few selling opportunities come up so I'm definitely spending more of my spare time making jewelry vs. being online.

I would like to pose a question to you all:

I'm looking for advice and suggestions about how you are managing your business.  In particular, how you keep track of inventory, sales, photos, etc.  Right now I use an Access database.  Every piece of jewelry I make is numbered and goes into the database with all the details, including a bmp image of the item.  The problem is, that image can't be used anywhere else (like to create a catalog) it's time consuming to update, and a little cumbersome.

I have a website and an online store, but not a lot of items are on it, since trying to manage that too is also very time consuming and it means managing that same data in 2 places.  I was thinking of  putting everything on the store and using that as my product management tool.  The trouble with that is trying to quickly update it after I've had a show or made some sales....to get the item off the website.  (not that I've got a busy site or am making online sales, because I'm unfortunately not!)  If I got rid of the database and did this I'd have at least one less place to keep track of things...and all my items would be online.   This would only be good for managing the product tho, and I'd still need a way to track sales, costs, etc.  The store system I use does have a way to export to excel.  (It's Storenvy.com).  When I tried it gave me 4 records for every item tho - yeah that's not going to work!

What I'd like to be able to do is have a way of managing the inventory - complete with a photo,  and be able to produce a "catalog" (either print or digital) of what I currently have available (so not only would it be a portfolio or gallery of what I've made, but used as design ideas, etc.)  and to produce a catalog based on a category, like all available earrings, or bracelets, etc.

Managing a database takes time...so does managing photos.  I've been looking at craft/jewelry designer software but there's a lot in the software that I really don't want to use.

What do you all use to manage your inventories and keep track of products?  Do any of you do anything similar to what I'm looking for, even bits and pieces of it?  I'm really trying to avoid having to buy expensive software or pay monthly fees.  I'd love to find a way of doing it web-based or online so I could access it from anywhere.   I've thought about online photo albums, etc. but haven't come across quite what I'm looking for. 

I'm stumped!  Thanks for any advice you have to offer!

11
Just Life / Creepy Halloween Baking
« on: October 26, 2010, 09:38:16 PM »
Just had to share these - Spooky Witch Fingers (a twist on traditional Spritz cookies) LOL - they are so creepy and fun to make!   Made them for a Halloween Food Day I instigated at work tomorrow.  Got a whole ton of people involved (a few are making some gory items as well!) and it should be awesome!

And here is the recipe.  What I did different for mine was to use cherry-strawberry jam and dip the almond in it first.  I didn't want to mess around with the icing nor did I want the "red dye" taste.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spooky-Witches-Fingers/Detail.aspx

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Business Tips and Help / Selling Strategy - One site/store or many?
« on: June 25, 2010, 03:46:57 PM »
Hello,

I'm curious to know how other artists sell online, and how you manage/organize it if you sell in multiple places.  I know many of you sell on your own website or blog, and Artfire, Etsy, HAF, etc. 

One place seems to be the easiest to manage, but I get the concept that you'd may get more traffic and visibility by having shops or listings in other places.  But I wonder, how do you keep it all straight if you have products in different shops, especially if you list the same product (and you only have 1) in multiple locations? 

I just opened a store using Payvments on Facebook, and will be working to get more products there.  However, I'm thinking about also using Artfire or some other sites to put a few items to see if it helps generate business.

Thanks for your thoughts, insights and suggestions!

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