archive: January, 2010

off to a snowy weekend!

January 29, 2010

Posted by in handmade

hello lovelies!  i’m off to a snowy city this weekend!  i have to leave bright and early this morning to make it to a workshop.   i’m attending a yoga weekend to get certified to teach children’s yoga! i’m so excited!  but, though it’s fair weather right now, they are expecting to receive 10 inches of snow by saturday- eeks! that’s a lot for us southerners, i sure hope to make it back before monday!

heart in the snow

heart in the snow

here are a few ideas and photos i’ve been lovin’ lately!

diy lamp 1 :: diy lamps 2 :: diy clock :: outdoor inspiration 1 :: outdoor inspiration 2 :: indoor inspiration

what have you been swooning over lately?

see you back here on monday, love! bonnie

p.s. don’t’ forget, tonight at 12:00pm est is the deadline to vote for the poppies awards, get your votes in now!

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make your own product labels

January 28, 2010

i’ve been trying to figure out how to tag my products for a while now.  everything online seemed expensive with minimum orders of 1000 or more, and i just wasn’t ready to take the plunge! so, i was really excited when i found this solution.   using printable fabric makes the job easy, affordable and quick- i made these in just a few minutes!

using printable fabric from printed treasures allows you to simply run the fabric, right through your printer.  you could use this technique for any number of personalized projects, but made my task of making tags an easy one.  your local sewing or craft store should carry this, but just in case they don’t…

there’s an alternative method! you can simply iron freezer paper to the back of any fabric you have, cut it to a printer-friendly size and run it right through.  who knew?! the freezer paper easily peels right off and you’re left with the same result.  you could then even iron it on the other side to make double-sided labels.

this is my sheet of 30 labels, and i made sure to leave plenty of room at the top for sewing them in to my seam.

tagging your items are an important step in selling, especially if you’re filling wholesale or consignment orders.  letting the customer know where the product came from and how to find it again is so important.  and, tagging helps keep your business fresh in the mind of your consumers!

i used pinking shears to cut them out so as to prevent the sides from raveling.  you could also stitch around them to prevent fraying.

sewn right into the seam of my aprons, it makes the task of tagging a cinch!

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Posted by in handmade

glitzer jewelry launch

inspired by a recent trip to fuji, glitzer recently launched a brand new collection called paradise. it’s full of lovely & romantic pieces, perfect for valentines day!

moo mini product catalog

in addition to all their new products, the lovely charmaine has created a fab way to promote your business!  do you remember when we talked about moo mini’s?  glitzer created a lookbook collection by binding five moo mini cards together: four key pieces from the new collection plus an introductory image showing the theme behind the collection. it’s a straightforward yet brilliant idea that transforms a simple card into an elegant keepsake.  it’s difficult to have your items with you or even a portfolio at times, so this is a quick, compact, and innovative way to showcase your items! visit glitzer ideas for the tutorial!

elsewhere :: {blog} {ideas blog} {shop} {facebook}

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curry tofu and radish chips recipe

curry tofu & radish chips

hi lovelies!  i made this yummy dish of curried tofu and radish chips last night!  after the mister approved it and confirmed my success by satisfactory ‘mmmmms’ i decided i should share it with you!

here’s the recipe!

p.s. if you’re not the tofu-eating kinda a family, you could easily substitute chicken or any other kind of protein.  also, the same technique for the radish chips works wonders with regular potatoes or sweet potatoes!

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

today we’re going to talk about two subjects not necessarily related (hopefully!): filling custom orders and how to handle unhappy (or rude, wacky or otherwise offensive) customers.

you make it happen

let’s begin with the first subject: filling custom orders.  of course, you can do this right from the comfort of your own shop, but also through a service etsy calls alchemy.  alchemy is a space on etsy where buyers can post requests for custom goods, and sellers then bid on the opportunity to turn that idea into a real item.  personally, i’ve never ventured into the land of alchemy, but i’ve heard good things.  do you have any experience? {for more on alchemy specifically, read this article on building a better alchemy listing}.

follow your bliss

i love doing custom orders. nothing get’s me more excited than to get inspired by someone else, and make something just for them.  regardless on whether you’re using alchemy or making a custom listing in your shop, custom orders do come with a few questions and policies that you should consider before you begin.

let the sunshine in

first, you need to decide on how to charge your customer.  some charge 100% up front and others charge 50% down and 50% after approval of the finished product (before shipping).  if you charge 50% upfront you may want to specify that it is not refundable, in order to cover the costs of materials and your time.  here’s a great forum on what other sellers are charging as well as their how & why for doing it.

success

secondly, you need to decide on your refund policy for custom orders, specifically.  if it’s something you could resale in the future, you may be able to keep your existing refund policy.  however, if it’s something very specific, like a portrait, you need to let the customer know up front that once you begin, it is not refundable.

karma

now let’s talk about the unhappy, inconsiderate or otherwise unreasonable customer.  this could be in regards to a custom listing but applies to any off convo that gets your teeth to grinding!  some customers just aren’t the warm and fuzzy crafter like we all imagine.  as sellers, we must always put forth our best work.  even though difficult customers aren’t the norm, it’s nice to know that there are tons of help available to you from etsy & other great sellers!

etsy shop help

kindness and love

this article outlines how to turn a negative experience into a positive one, and also gives you some suggested responses to common issues.

*first things first, always contact your customer to acknowledge their order, thank them for it and let them know when it will ship.  making the buying experience personal from the beginning will always help put your customer at rest.

*if you do end up getting an upset customer, try to remain calm and ever so professional.  even if they are being uncooperative and unfair, it’s in your best interest to make the outcome a positive one.  so, seek help and take a deep breath (maybe even some yoga?) before you begin typing.  be understanding, kind, and offer as many solutions to the situation as possible.

*try your best to avoid getting defensive. it can be really easy to try to defend your work (or should i say 2nd child?), but placing blame or showing impatience won’t help the unpleasant situation get resolved.  try to avoid any negative, demeaning, or accusatory language like, ‘it’s not my fault’, ‘you must have’ or ‘did you not read my policies’.

random acts of kindness

*make right any mistakes you make.  wether it’s slower than promised shipping or not your tidiest work, leave the customer feeling like you care.  offer upgrades on shipping or shipping refunds, future discounts or in the most extreme cases, refunds for the product. having a clear and thought-out refund policy clearly stated in your policies section can make these difficult situations much easier.

*finally, if you get a real stickler and despite your sweet tones, apologies and suggested solutions, it might be time to thank them and move on.  better to get on with your work then spend much valuable time on someone who is just not willing to cooperate.

going, going

finally, the lovely lucinda has created one of the most useful forums i’ve ever read! there are (currently) 94 pages of incredibly thought out & positive responses to potential buyers unhappy comments and conovs. she must have an incredible background in human resources because her answers to these issues are ever so polite, thoughtful and productive towards a solution.

you can be who ever you want to be

as a few examples, she answers questions such as,

“how will i know your xxx won’t fall apart?”, “did you know xxx sells this for a lot less than you?”, and “can you tell me where you get your resources online?”.

whew! these are sticky questions!  if you can’t find your answer within the forum already, she welcomes you to add your questions- and her response are definitely worthy of your read!

tell people

so that concludes this (kinda lengthy?) shop help post.  we would all love to hear you stories, experiences, thoughts & suggestions.  will you meet us in the comment section?

xoxo, bonnie

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Posted by in handmade

52 weeks of blogging your passion

the incredibly talented tara gentile of scoutie girl has done it again!  i finally got some free time to read her new e-book, 52 weeks of blogging your passion.  whether you’re new to blogging or a seasoned pro, this e-book is full of inspiration, ideas, and ways to fight writer’s block.  it has wonderful suggestions on how to boost your blog traffic, how to craft a mission statement and details endless tips on how to make the most of your posts.  to top it off, it features 52 inspiring prompts and ideas to help you blog your passion, all year long!

if you haven’t had time to check out 52 weeks of blogging your passion, it’s certainly worth your time.  for a very affordable $15.00, it’s a guide that you will be able to refer to time and time again, for years to come!

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Posted by in handmade

make your own photo collage

with photovisi, you can make your own photo collage in just a few minutes.  it’s my latest discovery and could definitely come in handy when you’re in need of a quick collage. they have an online store where you can purchase magnets, postcards, mugs & mousepads- all personalized with your own photos.  i thought you might not only find it helpful to use on your own blog, but also in marketing goodies!  a magnet or postcard is a memorable way to promote your business.

i used these photos i took yesterday of my new aprons- you could do wonders with your own products!

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the poppies awards

January 25, 2010

Posted by in handmade

the poppies awards

have you heard of the poppies?  it’s a way to acknowledge & support the handmade community – and i am very excited to announce that going home to roost has been nominated for both the favourite handmade artist blog and favourite handmade housewares!

this is such an incredible honor to be a part of, and i would love it if you would consider supporting me, as well as your other favorite artists.  you can vote once per IP address (i.e. computer) and voting ends friday, january 29th.  winners will be announced friday, febuary 5th.  keep your fingers crossed!

to vote for going home to roost (the blog) visit favourite handmade artist blog

to vote for going home to roost (the shop) visit favourite handmade housewares

thank you thank you thank you!  xoxo, bonnie

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