Monday, May 21, 2012

The Trick to Authenticity...

Okay, so I've been writing a lot of inspired bits of business advice lately and this one just came and flew into my head like a fly through an open window...the trick to authenticity...

Now as I've said before, I'm no business coach.  I am a real person sharing my real pitfalls and problem-solving based on tons of reading and research to make my business better.  I'm honest and approachable, and since this isn't what I do I'm not booked for weeks and days about it :)

The trick to authenticity is *drumroll* there is no trick.  Alright so yea, you could stop reading right now.  Scoffing to yourself that I just started to sell you some snake oil.  But really wait a tic and hang out with me for a few sentences more.  The reason I say that there is no trick is because you were born to be you.  There is no one in this world who can be you better than you (this is part of a quote and the author I cannot recall, so if you have heard it before please leave me a note in the comment so I can give credit!)  That being said many people don't know the sound of their own voice because in this day and age many of us are emulators.  We seek to be and achieve for other people and the wrong reasons and thereby lose our personal voice early on to a point where many, especially women, get to a point where they couldn't answer what they wanted.

This indecisiveness isn't a lackadaisical attitude, it is a problem though.  A problem that stems from not taking the time to sit and be with the self.  Of always & only putting others first, to the point where you aren't even your list of priorities.  And of when that voice is but a squeak and it tries to pipe up, you silence it with a wave of your hand, "pooh, poohing it" because you have something else more important or pressing.

The reality is that nothing is more important than you.  This doesn't mean shuck your responsibilities or neglect your loved ones.  It means that you need to treat yourself with as much love, devotion, and respect as you do any and everything else.  It means letting go of the fear that you'll be chastised as being "selfish" and just going with that voice, offering it a glass of water, handing it a megaphone and encouraging it to speak up.

My voice giggles and spouts of randomness in the form of funny creative imagery - what does your voice say?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May Featured Artist - Melli of Melli's Trinkets!

*And a big round of applause for our first featured artist!*

Melli's Bio:
I make and sell custom handmade jewelry.  Each piece is handmade by me using a wide variety of beading techniques, beads, and other materials (such as sea glass, polished stones, etc.).  I take custom orders for almost any kind of jewelry imaginable and then some.  I also make other items such as bookmarks, key chains, and other things using beads as well.  I like making customized pieces, and anything seen in my store can be ordered to any specifications or sizes (if ordering rings, necklaces, etc).  I also make hemp jewelry, that can also be custom ordered.

1.  How long have you been making jewelry?

I have been making jewelry since I was about 12.

2.  What inspires you the most?

A lot of things inspire me.  Some days I make jewelry because I can!  It is amazing to look down at a finished piece of mine and think “I love this and should make more!”  I get inspired by jewelry in stores, that other people are wearing, from TV, or things I find online.  I love giving things my own spin!

3.  What is/are your favorite materials/supplies?

Glass beads!  I love how many different kinds of beads there are, and how glass beads can also be handmade!

4.  Do you have a favorite tool?

My round nose pliers would probably be up there...along with all my other pliers and wire cutters!

5.  What is your work space like?

My work space is awesome!  I have a large book case that is FULL of my beading materials.  I have a long table where I can have multiple bead organizers open ready for me to use the contents!

6.  When do you find the most time to work?

I find that I can work whenever I get a chance.  Normally I have to wait for my son to be napping, asleep or if my husband is feeling generous, he will take him downstairs and keep him entertained for a few hours while I get stuff done!

7. How does your work fit into the rest of your life?

Being a stay at home mom offers me the luxury of being able to work whenever I have a chance!  However, I am also going to school full time, so I am still trying to find that balance of school, my awesome jewelry, and being a mom!  It’s a work in progress.

8.  How often a week do you get to work?

I would say a few days!

9.  Do you sell your work?  Directly?  Indirectly?

I sell my work online.  If someone wanted to purchase in person, I would not refuse them!  I try to pass out business cards when possible, and am looking to getting into craft fairs!

10.  Do you have a business (on or offline)? Consign?

I have a business online.

11. Do you have a website?  Blog?  Facebook profile or fan page?  Myspace?  Twitter?  Pinterest?

I sure do!  I have a website, Facebook page, and two blogs:  Melli's Trinkets & Melli's Mish Mash

12. Where do you feel your work fits in your market?  (Do you concentrate on high volume, low volume; do you make multiples or one of a kind only; Walmart or Bergdorf Gelman?)

I think my stuff is fun and pretty.  I try to make my items one of a kind as well.  If someone wants an item that was previously made, I will try to instill changes in it that would make it its own piece rather than an exact duplicate.

13.  What is your favorite part?

My favorite part of all this is being able to make jewelry and offer it at a cost that is affordable for everyone!

14.  How did you get into making jewelry?

I’ve always been crafty!  And jewelry has a calling to me!

Interested in contacting Melli for your own custom piece of jewelry?  Want to see her wares or connect with her?  You can find her and her store online at the various links below!

Thanks for tuning in for our Featured Artist/Crafter of the Month!  We'll see you back in June with our next feature!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May Update!

A lot of things are planned for this month so I'll just jump right into the news.  There will be a lot of revamping done for the store and it's web presences.  We've outlined a blogging calendar to make better use of our time here and have some stellar posts planned for each  month!  Not only do you get to hear about us and what we're doing but we'll be having guest spots, share new techniques, and even add a pattern or two here and there!  We're really looking forward to all the fun things that will be starting and hope you are too!

For projects we've got a custom order to fill - a set of hats with matching armwarmers for a mother and daughter!  We decided on some lovely blue & purples for the little girl and a nice rich purple and black solid for mama.

While this isn't a project we will be working on reworking our portfolio as well.  It's been on our list of things to do for some time but printing digital pictures was something of a conundrum...should we print at home, hire someone out, how big ... etc.  The answer posed itself in the planning of an early Father's Day gift (picture of son and dad in a frame reading "Daddy & Me").  All of our Facebook photos will be watermarked, and then we'll move on to updating our respective stores and site area.  Pictures from older blog posts will be left alone for now.

I'm also happy to say that we have entered all of our receipts for the last few years and it feels great to not have that to do!  More "books" need to be done, but that's one thing down!  Go us!

Our queue still seems to be growing at an exponential rate, what with the, "ooos" and "ahhhs" over gorgeous patterns and the neat ideas they spawn it's hard to say no...even when our queue is nearly over 2,500...

As it stands though everything is going swimmingly!  Stay tuned for next month's updates and the many posts to come in the mean time!