Thursday, January 7, 2010

Warm Thoughts and Inventory

Okay, I had the great idea of posting this pic of my homemade bunting made for a craft fair last fall, in hopes of sharing warm fuzzy thoughts when it's about 4 degrees outside. Then, I remembered that at said craft fair my sister and I were freezing our booties off every morning because it was around 35 degrees. It was NOT, however, 4 degrees. So, comparatively, it was WARM.

I'm enjoying a little break this month from the constant pressure of making sure I have inventory ready for the next craft show/market/promotion on Etsy... it's allowing me some thinking time to consider how better to brand myself this coming year, and what items I need to focus on making. One of my frustrations with myself is that I have 847 different ideas flying around in my head on any given day. But of course I don't have the time to spend on 847 different ideas. Knowing I don't have the time frustrates me and makes it hard to focus, and then I don't know where to start. So, I have to narrow it down a little.

The branding thing is difficult for me. I'm far too fickle when it comes to my shop's banner designs. And my color favorites change with the seasons. But I am going to get a stamp made based on a screenprinted business card my brother made for me last year. I'll use it with some washable ink to label my items, and scan it into the computer to use on my banner. If the name/font stays consistent, maybe a quarterly color and image tweak will not be a big deal.

I think my 2010 shop inventory will look like this:
Market bags - made from repurposed vintage bed and table linens.
Tote bags - sturdier fabrics like curtains and upholstery remnants, with appliques and other decoration.
Hip bags - for the fall and winter only, made with repurposed sweaters.
Aprons - hobby aprons made from canvas and vintage decorator fabrics with appliques and pockets

I'm cutting out the drink coasters because there are nicer ones on Etsy and they're a pain to make. I may make some lapel pins up and list them to see if they get noticed... they sell well at the fairs, but haven't tried them on Etsy. I'm also going to make some repurposed t-shirt scarves and kids' tunics, but am going to sell them in local boutiques. I made my neice some cute-as-a-button hats for her American Girl dolls out of scrap wool from my repurposed sweaters... but see, that's another project.

Now I'm just rambling...
What are you going to work on this year? Are you focusing on any new items for your shops, or just reworking what you've got?


idyll hands said...

You might want to use permanent ink on the stamps, not washable :)

I think the list of things you want to focus on for your shop is great. Having more of certain items makes it easier for someone to buy. Take your hip bags for example. Each one is so unique that while someone might come and love the style, they want another colors or another flower and you don't have it. HAving 10 or 15 of the bags in different colors and patterns would be very nice to shop through.

And I like the lettering for the stamp - it's recognizable. Do you have that font on your computer to use on cards and such?

casserole said...

What am I actually going to work on this year, or what do I think I will work on this year? I had thought that I would start making baby shoes out of vintage and rescued fabrics, but it seems that I keep having other sewing projects that steal my attention away. So really I think this year I'm just going to explore and then write up tutorials for anything that turns out halfway decent. It's all part of my plan to start contributing to the online sewing community.

Definitely do a new color on your logo for each season! And add the tags to each item you make so you've got a rainbow history of when each item was made.