Thursday, July 14, 2011

My New Marketing Job

Holy cow! It's been 5 weeks since I've touched my blog, thanks in part to my amazing new job in marketing and social media for Corner Bakery Cafe. I couldn't be happier here. I also could eat an Anaheim Panini every. single. day.

Not much has been going on in the world of tefi. I've made several beaded necklaces for myself, took part in the Etsy Dallas Supplies Me! sale, and have started working my tookus off planning this year's 4th Annual Jingle Bash. Other than that, it's my real job, my awesome kid, and just livin' life in general.

The good news for you guys? I'M HAVING A BIG SUMMER SALE!! Any purchase in my Etsy shop through the end of summer comes with a freebie - either a magnet set (of 2), a bookmark or a mirror. You choose! Visit my shop today and start getting free stuff:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sneak Peek!

Why yes, I can do delicate. Check out my latest collection of simple chained necklaces made of top-quality Czech glass and artisan lampwork beads. I'll be offering them up for sale at the Lotus Yoga Pop-Up Shop community event on June 18th in Lakewood (Dallas TX). Lovely!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Designs In My Shop!

What didn't sell at the recent Spring Bash and Renegade Austin last month, I listed in my Etsy shop. Every design is my own creation, totally one-of-a-kind and original, and made by me with needle and thread! Hope you likey.

Big Triangle Design

Little Triangle Design

Totem Style Design

Stacked Design

Fabric Beads on Ribbon

and more of the clustered art sculpture pendants

Visit my Etsy shop today (or click here to see all my fabric necklaces)!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Job = New Clothes + New Shoes

Now that's my kind of math.

On my lunch hour today I went on a mini shopping spree. With a brand new job on the horizon (Marketing Coordinator for Corner Bakery Cafe), I wanted to update some old staples, replace some cheap and worn pieces, and just splurge a little to celebrate my accomplishment (and my birthday, which was this past Sunday). Living within my means on a daily basis makes an occasional splurge like this possible! Check out my booty:





Forts, Crafts and Cocktails: Austin Recap

My birthday weekend was a beautiful mess of toys, hotel fun, crafty sales and cocktails. We hit the road Friday morning - me in my Element loaded with my handmade goods and displays; my mom, Grandy and Ian in their car loaded with 182 toys:

Saturday morning was a whirlwind of setting up my booth, drinking lots of coffee, and preparing for a day of charming customers and making sales. After nearly six years of doing craft shows, I've got my set-up nailed down and had over an hour to kill before the doors opened:

Saturday night Ellen and John (good friends and owners of Holy Cacao) took me and Jason to Haddington's on 6th. We had copious amounts of tiny chi-chi cocktails with names like Devil's Moustache (mescal, a flaming orange slice + a whole bunch of other stuff). We also had tiny portions of fancy food that cost more than my weekly Tom Thumb bill. Everything was incredible.

Sunday was day 2 of Renegade sales. In the meantime, Ian and the family made forts, went swimming and basically had fun in Austin. I didn't get a chance to do any site-seeing or shopping while I was there - maybe next time!

Oh, and then there's this:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's on like Donkey Kong, y'all.

This weekend! Austin, Texas! My birthday and Renegade Craft Fair!! Boom:

Come find me in Booth #40 next to my friends Dowdy Studio and Cut Out and Collect! We'll be the ones making all the dang noise in the back left corner. Don't be surprised if you see me dancing to Kool + the Gang while I sell all my handmade stuff. That's how I roll.

Here's a sneak peak into my display set-up. If no one buys anything from me, I can just hold a "Necklace a Day" contest for the next year and a half.

Oh. Hello there, Beethoven.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is my son, and he's awesome.

Ian came home from school last week with the most awesome child craft ever. In case there's any doubt about Ian being my spawn, I present Exhibit A:

and Exhibit B:

Marketing Your Craft: Give It Value!

Okay you guys.

I'm getting real tired of seeing under-priced items riddling the aisles of craft shows and covering the pages of Etsy. While overpricing may hurt the individual seller, underpricing hurts us all.

You don't have to be a marketing genius to understand that if your price is too low, the buyer is going to think your products are cheap. And "cheap" is the last thing we want people to associate with our handiwork.

When the general shopping public is exposed to an abundance of under-priced handmade work, they are going to start believing that handmade work is tantamount to bulk generic diapers at the Shop & Save. We have got to banish this Wal-Mart mentality when it comes to the art and craft we work so hard to produce.

Keep in mind, you still want to price your items fairly, and not alienate your potential customer base. Here are the things I consider when pricing my items:

+ How much do the materials cost? Include the gas it took you to drive to the place where you bought them, the postage you paid to have them shipped to you, and any other costs associated with acquiring the raw materials.

+ How much is the design worth? If you're working off a tutorial or pattern, this price point should be lower than if you designed the item yourself.

+ How long did it take you to complete the item from start (design) to finish (completion)? At a bare minimum, you should charge yourself no less than $10/hour. Making an item by hand is worth more than flipping burgers - give yourself a proper wage.

+ How are you selling your product? So you have your finished product, but you aren't anywhere near done. Build into the price the cost of maintaining a web site, creating good product photography, and selling at craft shows.

+ What about all that other stuff? Yes, long-term overhead costs should be built into your pricing. Think: business cards, office/studio space, gas/travel, paper, ink toner, computer, internet service, utilities. In other words - all the things you expense in order to create and promote your handmade product.

+ Finally, as a person who appreciates and understands handmade art/craft, I ask myself: What would I pay for this?

If you still feel uncomfortable paying yourself a fair wage for your handmade work and (gasp!) actually pricing it so you make a profit, do these three things:

(1) Say this out loud, "My art/craft has value. If I believe it's cheap, everyone else will, too." Repeat this to yourself until you get it.

(2) Tell the world your story. It's time to get comfortable talking to strangers, y'all. Do craft shows, work on your web copy - tell your story so everyone knows exactly why they should pay $35 for this handmade, originally-designed t-shirt.

(3) Pick up a book at the library on shopper psychology and read it. You'll soon learn why the same shoppers who shell out $98 for a mass-produced necklace at Anthropologie balk at your better-crafted $30 handmade necklace. It's the perception of value. Make people believe your stuff is worth buying, and they will buy it.

I'm not writing this to help you. Really, I'm not. I want all the sales for myself. Okay, that's not entirely true, but I'm not going to lie to you and say I did this altruistically. I want the handmade market to improve, and the only way to do that is for us all to collectively improve the way we sell our items and the story we tell the public.

So get to it! You have a lot of homework to do and the clock started ticking 2 minutes ago.