Monday, October 30, 2006

Rant: Business Cobwebs

And just in time for Halloween, too!

I feel like this move took over my life for 2 months. Frustratingly, I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like working on the parts of my business I really enjoy -- designing, creating, sharing -- and it is starting to wear me down. Even this blog, which I truly enjoy writing, has been showing signs of neglect.

My site is in bad need of an update/clean up. There are so many products that aren't even listed and mostly because my current digital camera is on the fritz... but that's another rant for another blog (right, hon?). I would love to have an individual picure of each belt, clip, bow, headband, keychain, etc. rather than working from a swatch system. With over 90 different ribbon choices and over 60 different products/variations that is way too much for me to handle.
But that's partly because I have a tendency to think BIG and I know I need to reign it in a little. For now, anyway.


OK... now that that is off my chest...

Starting this week, I am going to be sending newsletters on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month. In order to keep up with my plans for this/next year, I'm going to be adding new items to my site twice a month. I'm excited to see what you all think of some of the products coming up in the next few weeks. There is one in particular that I'm incredibly excited about and once I am able to perfect the design you will be the first to know!

So if you are not already, be sure and sign up (link is on the right)!


Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a certain fondness for IKEA. Actually it is a little more like an obsession. Even before I had my own place, I would wander around the model room layouts and be amazed that everything in that entire living room could be mine for less than $1,000. Of course, there are strict rules to be followed when dealing with the beast that is the Sweedish superstore.

#1 - There will be absolutely NO shopping at IKEA on the weekends or any holiday when people have off from work. Even if you get there as the doors open, you still have to fight your way past the 107 other people who woke up early to "beat the crowds" to your Swedish meetballs. Or pressboard dresser. Or wacky do-dad-decoration-thingie.

a - The exception to the holiday rule is Valentine's Day. February 14th is the BEST time to go to IKEA. Ask me how I know this and I will give you insight into Mr. Cupcake's romantic tendencies.

# 2 - You must allow time to enjoy breakfast (yummy eggs, bacon, potatoes for 99 cents!) or lunch/dinner/snack with some of the freshest tasting gravlox this side of Goteborg and some lingonberry cheesecake.

Today I spent the afternoon getting to know my new local IKEA in Frisco and what a fruitful trip it was! Besdies finally finding an inexpensive dresser that would (a) match our bedroom and (b) cost as little as possible until we can save up the money for the one I really want, I got some random stuff for the house, some new organizing drawer units for my studio... I found these:
I came across these STATIST wired tree-like things in the miscellaneous decoration area and knew instantly that I would be taking a small arboretum's worth home with me. While I stood there, coming up with 101 uses for my new forrest of STATISTS and loading them into my cart, I knew what I would ultimately do with them.

As my local customers know, I am constantly changing up my street fair display with different, random things I find that make good (but slightly random) display items. Like the metal minimalist dish racks I turned on their sides to use as keychain racks. That one always gets funny looks, but it works like a charm! These will make great necklace displays (since I never seem to have enough) and I can't wait to use them at the end of the month.

Now I'm off to find my trusty allen wrench and spend the next 17 hours putting everything I bought together!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Howdy y'all!

Well, this is my first official blog post from our new studio/home in Dallas. We have been moved in for almost 2 weeks now, but somehow it still doesn't feel like we've moved halfway across the country.

There are some definite welcome surprises, like Super Target (you mean I can buy oranges, and a bicycle all in one place? How did I live 26 years without this store in my life?!) and having a Crate & Barrel outlet less than 15 minutes away. The sheer amount of resturants and places to shop is mind blowing. And this is coming from a girl who grew up within a stone's throw of what can only be the Mall Capital of America (Paramus, NJ)! But one must truck on and shop, shop, shop.

In actual business news (isn't that what this blog was supposed to be about??)... the store is back up and you can order oodles of bows and necklaces and headbands again. My studio is still in complete disarray and not quite functional yet, but fortunately I was able to locate most of the boxes with my supplies. I may be running a day or so longer than usual to get orders out, but I'm looking forward to getting back to business as usual.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be adding quite a bit of brand new one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces that you are just going to fall in love with. I'll also be able to finish updating the bow photos for each individual size/style/pattern so my customers can better visualize what their custom-made style will look like.

Stay tuned...