Blog Carnival: New Year Resolutions! It's that time of year again! Lets discuss our New Year Resolutions and how do we intend to keep them? Any that worked from last year?
Lets start with a Happy New Year!
I don't really make personal new years resolutions. But I do like to set some business goals each year to give me some sense of direction.
I did pretty much reached last years goals to grow my business outside of Etsy and develop some new technical skills. I spend a lot of time working on my website and it paid off big time. I did take an engraving class last may but haven't had much time yet to practice more. I also took a platinum fabrication class at New Approach School which was really helpful in learning a few bench skills related to platinum work.
In 2015 I plan to step out my ring making comfort zone a bit and add earrings and maybe necklaces to my line. I love, love, love making rings. Doesn't matter if statement rings, wedding bands or engagement rings, rings with or without gemstones, adding textures, playing with different metals and so on. But I never particularly liked making earrings or necklaces.
Promotions! This has always been a hot topic in our Etsy Metal group where we discuss what works or doesn't work for certain members. So this blog post is about my own experiences with marketing and promoting my business.
If you have ever run a business you know that constant marketing is the key to retain or grow success. Even in busy times one can never stop promoting. It does take time out of ones day, time that I can't spend making my products. But you just have to do it, even if it's just in short intervals.
There are hundreds of ways to promote a small business these days.
This month's Etsy Metal Blog Carnival is about all out Holiday Preparations. How to get ready for the upcoming holidays?
This year I decided to just ignore the Holiday season all together. Just pretend it does not happen. No Stress, no worries.
This month's theme for Etsymetal's blog carnival is about organization. How we organize our tools, our shop, and our finished work. Where we keep our art and how it's stored? How we inventory it?
You can't run a successful business without organization. Organization is all about efficiency and productivity. It's encompasses all parts of the work flow from time management of online orders, keeping track what needs to be done, where it is in the process and when it has to be finished to the actual making process of those pieces using tools and equipment.
I am really good at making a mess whenever I start working on something. There is usually a pile of half finished work and tools on my bench. But my mess still has some organization patters that are probably only obvious to me.
This month theme for Etsyymetals blog carnival is about tools. Since metals smith are all tool junkies this is our favorite topic to discuss.
I am constantly adding new tools to my collection. Some are just replacements for the used up things like worn out burs, teeth-less files and a constant replenishing of silicone abrasives, polishing compounds etc. Those little tools don't get me excited, they are just a necessity to get my work done.
The most used tools in my studio for sure are hammers, files, saws and a bench pin. A lot of work can get archived by those simple staples.
But then there are the bigger tool splurges that can raise the heart rate of a tool junkie like me. A couple recent tool additions have been:
Valentine's Day is coming and brings a new topic for Etsymetal team bloggers: how does romance figure into your work? What does it mean to you?
I am a pretty unromantic person. I have nothing against real romance, but this commercialized Valentines day I really don't get. This fake romance that is supposed to be shown in form of overpriced flowers, a hard to schedule dinner that leads to one of the worst traffic days of the year in Los Angeles; giving jewelry, chocolates or wine. Ok maybe these last ones are not so bad. Nothing wrong with good chocolate, any time.
So back to jewelry: Since I mostly sell engagement and wedding rings...
This month members of the Etsymetal team share their photography tips and tricks.
What are your photography secrets?! Any tips, tricks, what works best for you, what doesn't? How often do you photograph your work? Do you have an expensive set-up or a homemade one. Your best piece of advice for photographing jewelry. Show us some of your best photos.
The change of the year always comes with some reflections on the past 12 month and what the new year should bring.
I am really happy how 2012 turned out and don't think I need to do any drastic changes with my business. Things are going in the right direction and I will just keep refining them. That might be developing a few new designs and getting rid of some old ones I am tired of making. I also hope to find time to take some professional classes to refine my skills or acquire a few new ones. The first one will be a stone setting class in a few weeks to learn some new tricks and tips from the masters.
November brings a new topic for Etsymetal team bloggers: Why do you make jewelry?
Good question. I certainly did not start out my live thinking I would be a metal artist making jewelry. Even 10 years ago that would have been the farthest away from my mind. I never was much into wearing jewelry, still don't. But somehow when I first started working with precious metals something clicked and I found my happy place.
New month, new topic for Etsymetal team bloggers. March topic is: What are the Pros and Cons of selling your jewelry online?
For me selling online has definitely more advantages than disadvantages. In the beginning of my jewelry selling career I attempted to sell at a couple local craft shows and sale events. They were good as a marketing opportunity to gain local recognition, but I lost money on most of them. It was great to see in person what people liked, the first piece the took from the table, rings they tried on and showed to their friends. Seeing their faces when the start to react to my work or hearing their comments. Priceless!