Moving on up

Two and a half years ago I was carrying around my crochet hooks in a ziploc bag. It was obvious I needed a better (and prettier solution). I had a bunch of leftover felt from Christmas projects, so I made this

20120906-180316.jpg It has served me well. But the felt was becoming worn and the embroidery thread strangely slimy. I guess it got shoved in one to many of my bags! So after a visit to the remnant clearance section today, I bought some black cotton fabric and made this

20120906-180054.jpg Hopefully the fabric will wear better than the felt. I decided to use some black ribbon I had as a closure. As an added bonus, I won’t think Christmas every time I look at my hook case!


Moving Sale!

Bow Pin

                    Bow Pin, now 25% off!

Big move is coming soon! Be a friendly neighbor and help me out by helping me clear out some inventory.

Need an incentive? How is 25% off your order?

Head over to the shop and use coupon code MOVINGONUP for your discount.

Thanks for helping a friend!

Felted Heart Ornament

Felted Wool Ornament

New heart decoration for sale:

Blog Giveaway!

Ok, it is not my blog giveaway (I would have to breathe some serious life and time into this thing first), but there is a fantastic blog giveaway going on over at Carosello. Check it out:

Shop Success: Priorities

A few months ago I voluntarily inherited the OKetsy team. At first I was sharing the responsibilities with two other people. The three of us very quickly became the two of us. And then, the week before I was getting married and going to Joplin for a month, two became one… me. A wonderful fellow etsy-er agreed to step up and help while I was gone. I cannot begin to describe my relief. She has continued to help me out since then. And then this week, she tells me is closing her shop indefinitely to make her family her priority. While I wholeheartedly support her decision and applaud her for it, I definitely felt the two became one again…

I have thought a lot about priorities over the last few days. Where are my priorities exactly? In what areas do I need to step up in? Do I have too many balls to juggle right now? How can I make sure that everything gets done, and done well? Oh and get sleep! There is always more that I want to do, more that I could do, more that I should to do.  But the question is what do I really need to do?

The more business/shop success articles that you read, the more things you will begin to think are really important for you to do. Soon you can start to feel like a hamster running all day on a wheel but getting no where. And worse still, you might be leaving the most important things untouched.

I challenge you to start thinking about your priorities. What are things in your life that you can’t live without? (Family, friends, pets, food, etc) What are things that you have to do? (Laundry, work, pay bills, etc) What are things that you need to do to stay sane and healthy? (Exercise, read, pray, etc) What are things that you like to do? (Watch movies, paint nails, go for walks, etc) Make a list, and make sure to include things from each category. We can get everything done that we have to do, but still be out of balance if we don’t include some things that we like to do.

Priorities allow us to focus on what is really important in our lives. It is essential to prioritize if you are going to have a successful shop… or life!

Just Being Me

There are a bunch of local bars in the neighborhood where I live. Most of them have a retro or upscale feel to them. The buildings are well maintained and have interesting architecture and design. But this one bar really just looks like a whole in the wall. You know, the kind of bar you would expect to see in a student ghetto? No windows, no decoration, no class. Simply put, it looks out of place. I found myself wondering the other day why this bar doesn’t do something to make itself look more appealing to the eye. Why not renovate so you fit in with the rest of the neighborhood? I started thinking about how their business would bring in wealthier customers, and therefore bring in more money. But then it dawned on me that my assumption may not be correct.

You see, this people who run this bar know who they are as a business. They know that their bar appeals to a certain group of people, and they are not ashamed of that. They fit into an aspect of society. And perhaps if they renovated their bar to appeal to a different group of people, they would no longer succeed. They may fit into the neighborhood better if they renovated, but they would be competing with local bars for the same group of people.

As small businesses (and humans in general), it is too easy to try to fit in to a mold instead of standing out as ourselves. While it is smart business to follow certain consumer trends and fashions, we do not want to change who we are in order to appeal to another group of people. We will just end up competing with other businesses for the same group of people, while leaving our original clientele without a business to serve them. And most importantly we lose sight of ourselves and our originality in the process. We are creators, not copiers. We cannot be afraid to be who we are, because really that is when we will be at our best. At the end of the day, I will succeed by just being me.

What Inspires You?

I seem to have lost my crafting inspiration. I look into my beautiful new craft closet, all nicely organized with yarn on display, and feel nothing. Nada. No desire, no urge, no inspiration. I look at my etsy shop, closing in on the number of items I want to carry, and feel nothing. Nada. No desire, no urge, no inspiration. Just nothing. Same with my beloved to do lists, blog, facebook, twitter… the list goes on.

Well, maybe nothing doesn’t quite describe the feeling since it is not an empty pit feeling. It is more of a lack of inspiration mixed with more than a touch of guilt. Guilt that I should be crafting. Guilt that this is my dream and my goal. Guilt that I have incredible opportunities to grow my business right now and yet I am doing nothing. Not a thing.

I’ve tried taking a break, in hopes that inspiration would return after some healthy distance. I’ve tried forcing myself in hopes that I would enjoy it and the desire would come back. I’ve tried looking at old projects in hopes of having old feelings return. And yet nothing. Not a thing.

I’m at an in-pass here and need to do something to move forward again. Any suggestions? What do you do to get your inspiration back?