Sunday, November 11, 2012

Etsy shop review - Spiritually Sewn

Today I'm pleased to introduce to you Spiritually Sewn. Read more about her wonderful work here:

I recently started an Etsy business in which I sell notebooks that I cover with novelty fabrics. I don’t really see myself as being creative but I like to improve on other ideas.

Journal composition notebook journal wih matching Kanzashi flower fountain pen
Spiritually Sewn fabric journal ensembles make great gifts from mom to daughter; teacher to nurse; church to organization; and everyone in between. 

Journal with -Kanzashi- Fabric Flower Fountian pen notebook composition

Spirtually Sewn was my vision in 2011 but due to circumstances I was unable to open my Etsy shop. Disappointed, I packed away my sewing machine and all of my lovely fabrics knowing that next year would be another chance to start. I had almost given up on my vision but with faith on, August 22, 2012 I was able to open my shop.

Fast forward to 2012, I pulled out the yards of fabric that I had packed away the previous year along with my sewing machine and decided to try it again. I have operated a homebased business before and I loved being an entrepreneur. The timing was right and here I am the proprietor of Spiritually Sewn.

Journal notebook covered Fabric journal with -Kanzashi- Fabric Flower Fountian pen

I love to write so crafting journals are more than a craft it's and enjoyment and I use them alot. From jotting down my bills to writing poetry. The journals that I make are simple but chic; utilitarian but ornamental. I think the kanzashi flower and fabric covered foutain pen makes them stand out along with the various type and patterns of fabric

I am most proud of the matching fountain pens as it took much trial and error to produce them.

Kanzashi flower fountain pen

In addition to running my Etsy shop, I work and additional full-time job and I’m earning my first college degree.

You can also find me here:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reflections on selling wholesale

A few months ago I entered into the world of wholesale. And yes, it is a whole new world. It's been a learning experience for me, and as my business continues to grow, I'm sure I'll continue to learn more along the way.

Many artists approach wholesale as if it were a four letter word. Why? They fear losing the integrity of creating a unique piece with every artistic effort. Now, I realize there is a difference between the business of selling jewelry, photography, or ceramics and selling candles, but there is also a strong similarity: the word BUSINESS.

If you're not in business to make money, why are you in business? It's certainly ok to have a hobby and a talent from which you can earn additional revenue. But if your goal is to earn a living from your craft, you need to approach your work as a job, and as a business.

And to do so, all business models should be considered, from online selling, to craft shows, to consignment, and to wholesale.

As each of your items is handmade, each item will be slightly different from the next, even if using the same style and materials. You lose no artistic integrity in the process! In fact, you can gain from quantities of time as you mind becomes trained in repetitive tasks, and more importantly, quantities of scale as you are able to purchase supplies in greater quantities and lower costs.

Another fear artists vocalize is pricing. An elementary formula for your pricing should be Cost x 2 = Wholesale Price, and Cost x 4 = Retail Price. The fear here is that you're only earning twice your costs in wholeselling, versus the perceived "100%" in retailing. But the part that is overlooked is volume. Not only can you buy in larger quantities and reduce the per item cost, but you're able to generate more sales. And more sales begets more sales. And more sales drives people to your website, perhaps to place a custom order. And more sales begets more sales.

And if you're not trying to generate sales, why are you in business? I'm not trying to discourage anyone, but I am trying to suggest we all review why we spend the time doing what we do.

A good friend and mentor asked me, "Are you in business to make candles or to make money?" It's a question I've repeated to myself many times. If my answer, if your answer is, "to make _____", that's ok!!!! If this is the answer, I encourage you to reflect on how you are using your time and what the return on that investment of time is. If my answer, if your answer is, "to make money," then I encourage you to review what you are doing to make money. Ask yourself, what is the return on my time?

Selling wholesale may help answer this question. My next series of blog postings will address my experiences of selling wholesale. While not an expert, I've learned many lessons, which I hope to share with you and help you grow.

Please leave some comments. Please ask some questions. Please share some experiences and lessons you've learned. I truly enjoyed the dialogue we shared in my newsletter series and hope we can have the same with the topic of selling wholesale.

So until next week,

Happy sales!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Treasury Sunday! November 4, 2012

Every other Sunday I give thanks to those curators who have featured my products in their gorgeous treasuries.  I hope you enjoy these wonderful collections, visit the curators and their featured finds!

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