Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015...Quite The Year...


How did the time fly by so quickly??? I most definitely was not consistent in posting this past year...lots of health set backs prevented me from doing so, actually from doing quite a bit and from accomplishing all the goals and dreams I had hoped to achieve.  On the road to recovery again and hoping my health will continue to improve as this new year goes on :)

Not everything was bad...I did get myself a new camera and photo light tent which improved my photos A LOT...I also recently got some new backgrounds that give my products a totally different look.

I had the inspiration to make some long feather earrings and was thinking about how to better capture the bright beautiful colors...lots of other sellers (on Etsy) were using natural wood as a background and the feathers just seemed to pop...but my first thought was "That doesn't go with my branding look at all...but if it was grey..." So I went on the hunt and found place mats, yes I did say place mats, that were grey wood texture printed cloth...FABULOUS!!! I have two that I bought since I wasn't sure which I'd like better, turns out I love them both!

So what am I talking about? Let me show you the progression of my photos (I honestly can't believe how bad they were in the beginning...but it was the best I could do with what I had then)
Old photo vs new photo for Feather Earrings
 I had to edit so much to try to get the colors to brighten up so that they might look closer to how they appeared in real life...hours upon hours of they don't need any editing at all! The colors just naturally pop and have more depth against the new background.
Photo quality progression of Peyote Stitch Cuff

 The top row was old camera with white sheet for a background.  Middle row was a huge improvement with new camera, photo light tent and hand display.  Bottom row was adding the new grey background to the new set up and voila!  It's a much softer look, and after constantly trying to "brighten" and "whiten" my photos it sure took some getting used to...I kept thinking they were too dark...but the details and color show so much better on the softer grey.  All the feedback I have been getting assures me I'm now on the right track and "more professional" is the main comment I get now, what do you think?

So that was one of the good things that happened this past year, another, well maybe the most exciting for me was getting accepted to Etsy Wholesale!!!

I had applied the previous year (yes...with those not so great photos...) and I was not accepted.  I thought I would try again, now that my photos looked better and I had the BEST Friday the 13th EVER!!! This was in November, and even though I was fighting yet another virus and feeling terrible I was overjoyed!

Now...wholesale is a totally different mind set than retail.  I never wanted to "mass produce" the same thing over and over again...that gets boring to me...and most of my pieces are one of a there was some figuring to do...

I decided to only offer items that I knew I would ENJOY repeating the process of, or pieces that even though they are the "same" there are variations within each piece.  For example I had wanted to make some Silk Crocheted "Wear-Alls" with gemstone chips for quite some time (because I have a gazillion...) but didn't really like the idea of multiples of the same necklace...but that's what wholesale is all about! So Perfect fit! As well, when working with gemstone chips you find because they are natural, there will be variations in size, shape, color and pattern; resulting in each necklace being unique in its own way...I like that :)

I also had to think about packaging in a whole new little gift box with tissue paper inside to keep items separated and safe... so I decided on clear cello bags that will hold each individual piece, either on a necklace/earring card, hanging tag or with a simple tag attached with string.  Those were another issue...right now I make my own cards but for boutiques I didn't feel that they looked professional enough for the owners to want to display them.  So I found a wonderful lady on Etsy and placed an order with her, enough to get me started and then when I get some orders I will replenish as I need to.  Here is a photo of a few of the different types of cards I ordered:
My new "boutique cards"
I went with my color scheme in my business cards of red, grey and black and I'm so happy with how they turned out!  I also added "Eclectic. Bohemian." to them because I think that best describes my style of creating and the finished pieces.

Now I can't wait to get an order so I can use them!  But first...making at least one of everything I will offer (almost done with that part) then photos, editing photos (cropping & re-sizing are all that is needed now) after that creating listings and putting together my linesheet...lots to do....enjoying every minute of it and looking forward to 2016!  :)


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