Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Soap






So this is the time when the insanity begins! The Holiday Soap debuts tomorrow at the Concord Farmers Market. Here's a description of each:
Pumpkin Spice, reminds everyone of pumpkin pie, it's positively yummy!
Cinnamon Bun, love this, it's had that fresh baked note to it, scrumptious!
Honey Gingerbread, my favorite, I can't even describe it, it's just amazing.
Winter Dreams (not pictured) the obligatory holiday scent, pine and mint. Each of them is made with creamy Shea Butter!
The funny thing is that I so look forward to making these soaps, I love them as much as my customers do, it's even more special because I only make them now.
I have a couple of other things I will do for the holidays too, even making a limited number of the "Scrub Bars" - the ones with the soft scrub brushes attached. Folks love to gift those.
So that's what I'll be working on til the insanity stops! I'm happy for it, I am so touched that so many people gift our products :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Speaking of Collections...

Here's one that featured me!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Collections

So when you make a Collection on Artfire, the idea is that all who are in the collection will Tweet, Blog and Facebook about it, plus anyone that sees and likes the Collection will as well. If you are in a Guild, it is an amazing way of stepping that up, because they will help promote it as well. Folks ath that aren't specifically featured in the Collection will also see it if yor guild has a Facebook page.
The Collections I have done in connection with my guilds (I belong to 3) will by FAR get the most views, which is the idea! Views lead to sales!
http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=collections&op=details&cid=29259
That was my latest Collection and has a decent amount of views. They are easy to do and fun. I highly recommend putting them together!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Venue Updates

So I know you're dying to know how it's going. Slowly. Artfire is still doing decently, I haven't had much going on with Shopify, Shoply or Bonanza. eBay however I have had some stuff going on, interesting huh?
The thing with eBay is that folks that do Handmade get into this thing "well it's so expensive to list yada yada" but really, if you pay attention it isn't. You can sign up for the newsletter to learn when they have one cent listings or other promotions, like the one going now; 5o free listings. Of course there are requirements to meet/restrictions, you'd expect that.
The thing I really DO like about eBay, is that 1) it's VERY visable, people know what it is and b)they have the most awesome sales reports.
I don't know if you'll decide to go that way, but I do encourage you to at least give it a look. If you're trying to "grow your brand", it's definately worth a look.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Featured in another collection!

Bonanza

I found another on line venue that I'm giving a shot to. It's Bonanza, I like the way it's set up and you can have a basic Plan ($10 month value) for the first 30 days. It seems like a pretty nice friendly community and you can import from eBay Listings as well as Etsy, I like the eBay thing, that's the first one I've noticed. You can click on the widget to the right to check out my shop, have a look around at Bonanza while you're there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Color Psychology and Marketing

This is an interesting article I came across, thought you might enjoy it! You know, I always say "everything is Marketing" and even color plays a part in that, if things hit you in a soothing or harsh manner.
Interesting information, here ya go http://www.precisionintermedia.com/color.html

Sunday, October 23, 2011

mmm Marmalade




I was at the Pleasanton Farmers Market yesterday and picked up some fabulous marmalade from KENSINGTON MARMALADE COMPANY and had to tell you guys about it, it's wonderful! I had to stop and get some English Muffins on the way home, my favorite way to eat marmalade.
Their business is similar to mine in that they use the best ingredients available and also make their product in small batches, and of course the manin thing is that it's made with love. You will be able to taste that! :-)
If you go to their site, you'll learn where to pick some up, do check it out, it's yummy!
http://kensingtonmarmalade.com/home.php

Saturday, October 22, 2011

pictures





It's so easy to just copy and paste or save someone else's pictures on the internet, to repost as you need, however it's theft, unless they give permission to do so. As an artisan, I respect other people "intellectual property" and would never take advantage of that, without their consent.
So when I need a picture of something that I don't have, I go here:
http://publicdomainpictures.net/ There are free pics as well as nice stock photos that you can inexpensively purchase. They are there for our use and have a pretty good selection to choose from. Of course there are other sources, that's where I go though. Have a look!

Friday, October 21, 2011

3D Printer



This has nothing to do with soapmaking or marketing, but I thought it was about the most cool thing I"ve seen in a while! the video is a little over 4 minutes but fascinating, I promise!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

featured in a Collection!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photo Editing

There are all sorts of programs for editing photos to resize, add frames etc. The one that I usually use is this one : http://www.drpic.com/ I have used it a lot when I join a forum or need to resize into certain pixels etc. It's easy and FREE, that's even better. I hope that helps you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out with the old

Sometimes when you've offered a particular product for a long time, the sales start to get a little slow, despite the item being pretty cute. My item like that is the "Fancies" and I have decided to discontinue them at the end of the year. (they are soap done in shapes, in an organza bag)
The thing is you have to be aware of what's selling and what isn't. Can't have it taking up precious table space of it isn't selling! In its place I have the soap in muslin bags with the vintage gift tags. Those make a really nice gift as well.
Good bye Fancies!

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Contactless Transactions"

This actually has nothing to do with business per se, more about your own credit card if it happens to have the "quick pass" or "Blink" logo on the back of it. The deal is that it's there to be convenient, it's so you can basically flash the card in front of a reader, it's quicker plus you don't have to give the card to the employee prcessing the transaction. Alot of people are concerned about Identity theft with these as card readers are readily available. A customer at the Farmers Market yesterday and I were talking about these cards, she was saying how there was a chip in the card to make all of that available, and she was concerned about getting rid of the chip when the card was expired, should it land in the wrong hands. Here's what I learned: There's a chip in there, refered to as RFID which stands for Radio Frequency Identification. The information encoded is your name, card number and expiration. The chip in the card used alone wont really help a thief as the expiration date is embedded in the card.
The thing really is that you have to be careful with your card regardless of if it's RFID equipped or not, is sad that you have to be so careful, but with Identity Theft so rampant, do be cognicent of it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Near and dear...




Here's one of my favorite places on the planet. I don't live there any longer, but will always hold a special place in my heart for this little cottage. My boys grew up here and the company started in that very kitchen. It makes me a little sad to know that no one is living there now, we haven't been there for years, although I do still go by and say hello to the little house now and then. I just thought you'd like to see something very near and dear to me. A part of me will always call it home.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

eBay

There was some talk this morning on one of the forums I frequent, about eBay. I said there's a reason it's called "Fee-Bay"! If you have something that isn't hand-made, one of a kind, I think you can do OK there. It's a buyers paradise. However, selling handmade is a bit trickier, folks are looking for a deal there of course and unless you are willing to give your product away, it doesn't always make sense to go that route.
They do however, have some pretty cool sales reports there. I liked that about it and that they are very visable, who doesn't know what eBay is? For some of the venues I work with, even Artfire, which is getting there, folks have no idea what it is. Hard to make sales if they have no idea where you're selling.
So I guess it's a matter fo where you can be the most active really, saving money in not spending the fees is sort of a waste if you could be getting exposure and sales elsewhere, even if you do have a bit more in fees. I really can see both sides of the fence on this one. What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2011