Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Better Than Yesterday

Ha!  I knew it!  Cafe Press isn't exactly user friendly!  It's not just me, my web designer confirmed it.  I feel so much better about it now.  That place was driving me nuts.  And yes, I have to upload pre-set photo dimensions for each…  whatever you call it.  Product.

Jeez, I'm tired today.  Web designer and biz consult meetings today - 2 in one day.  And I had the youngster with me the whole time, but it was good.  I'm glad he's seeing this side of his mom running a business.

So, 3 levels productivity today.  Quality child rearing, web design/cafe press progress, and a refreshed itinerary for the biz in the next 2 weeks.

And I made a sale.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Conquering Cafe dePression

Cafe Press is driving me nuts.  It's so much harder than it looks.  And there are some funny dynamics to it.  Originally I started with the "free" style shop to experiment…  kinda liked it…   then decided to upgrade to a more customizable shop.  The free version doesn't let you edit out items you don't want to sell, but it's easy to size the image on the items available.  But it seems like you have to size an image for each item in each color and each size, waaaaaaay too much work!  Especially if you don't want to sell some of those things in the first place.  So the upgrade seemed like a good idea.  So it seems…  The premium shop upgrade requires you to delete your original shop (and all the work you put into it) if you want the same name, and sizing images is apparently impossible (at this point, as far as I know).  I think I have to pre-size the image then upload it, save it, then designate it to the item I want to sell.  I don't know…  the whole thing is a bitch to deal with and I'm really discouraged.

 I'm NOT happy with it.

Maybe I'll talk to my web designer.  She could probably figure this out for me.

I think I just hit a major epiphany.

Wow, blogging is good!

Okay, I'll update you later on how that works out - this Cafe Press jazz.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I made my 1st sale with my website this week. 4 items. I didn't even realize it was functioning like that.  I know I talked about it with my web designer but I didn't know she had it set up for sales already. The customer was super nice and easy to communicate with and we worked out all the details through email. This is fabulous in 2 ways: 1. I learned that need to revise the shipping charge for multiple purchases in a single order, and 2. I need to get on top of getting my site more user friendly with more items for sale. So exciting!
Basically, I'm super happy about it.

What I'm not super happy about… These dresses.  They take too long to paint, think up the design, composition, color, repeating the pattern for sizes...  and then I don't want to do them. I wind up procrastinating it into a long story, then get freaked out about how long it's taking.  Discouraging.  I'm going to figure something else out with these dresses. Raise the price?  Do I want to reduce the amount of batik I do on them? That would be kinda boring….   I should step back and make new plan for my batik dresses.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Barely Getting Anything Done These Days

A semi-productive day... I'm having trouble painting lately. I can do it but I don't want to. I'll start but then the lines come out wrong and I get discouraged, don't feel like doing it anymore. I have some things needing to be sent soon too. Not cool. I need to get these batiks finished already! What is wrong with me? Oh, I know what it is! Total burnout!! Who wants to paint like a factory? But come on, it's not slave labor. It's painting. It's supposed to be fun.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Working on it. It's slow. It's summer and I don't feel like painting, although it's a lot easier in this beautiful weather. Lists help but only if I follow through. I have a meeting today at 1, hopefully it'll give me a little inspiration. We'll see.

We're going to talk about press releases and stuff like that. It's such an obscure biz I've got going on it's hard to say exactly what direction it's supposed to be going in.

I tend to work well under pressure, deadlines, due dates, etc. But it's summer! Who wants to be pressured in the summer? It's vacation time - time for fun!

Maybe I don't lack motivation after all.

If I could motivate to post this blog we'd be good.

One more thing, I listed a new pair of undies because it made the numbers match up:
365 positive reviews
35 items for sale
575 sales


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mathematically Incorrect?

Wow I can not believe it's been that long since I posted last! It's not that time flies, it's that I'm easily distracted. Very easily! So what's new? Any new theories about business? Indeed, I do have a few. First and foremost I've calculated that most craft fairs and festivals are huge money and energy investments with variable outcomes that aren't exactly predictable. Have I talked about this before with you?

Oops, just interrupted by a delivery person. Okay, back to what I was saying...

Not to mention the stress levels we have to deal with as vendors - physically and emotionally. There are benefits, however, that I think most people overlook when vending at a festival and exceed the gross income at the end of the event.

The original bonus to selling at the type of venues I set up at was the fact that they're a captured audience, fascinated with their environment, in vacation mode and looking for something that can't be found anywhere else. Also, I think an important part of it is the connection the customer develops with their selected merchant/artist/person whatever you call us. It's very basic old school consumerism stuff, just on a more personal level, and shoppers find it waaay more interesting than typical purchasing of mass media corporate products they see in their every day lives. It's exciting and different and associated with fun! (at least in my booth it is - lol!!!)

So that's the plus side.

But there is a down side, kind of like a plateau... I think (in my own experience) it only goes so far - exhibiting at craft fairs and music festivals year after year - the same ones... Not that I'm going to stop entirely. Don't get me wrong! It's the approach to select shows that needs to be dealt with differently, for me, that is. I think those plus sides could be huge gold mines if done right.

Okay, my 3yr old is climbing the furniture. I have to come back later to finish this. Probably I should be writing at night when he's sleeping.