Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crafting ? Selling ? Promoting ? What makes you who you are ?

Today I came across some very good questions in a crafting forum. All of them put together would bring one more question : What Makes You Who You Are ? The questions were :

1. What makes you stand out in the world of handmade?
2. How and why do you choose your materials/content?
3. How do you advertise outside of artfire? What are your future business plans?
4. Why did you choose artfire as the marketplace for your products?
5. How did you come upon your craft?
6. What else would you like people to know? (about yourself, your process, your craft, your inspiration, whatever!)
And maybe the answers will help us  improve our studio, sales, service or advertising. Please share your thoughts and expectations with me, and help us all knowing each other better !

To start with the first question, I think that each and every artisan is absolutely unique, and his/her creations stand out no matter what the craft is or how many are doing the same thing. We can all make jewelry, for example, and we may use the same supplies ( buying from the same suppliers is very probable to happen ) but the final product is just a matter of inspiration and creativity of each and every one of us.

Materials are very important to me : I have to like the color first and the texture. Sometimes I just find something that I love at the first look and then I decide what to make with them, but sometimes I already have in mind my design and then I look for supplies. I love mainly the gemstones and the crystals, but as long as the final product is beautiful, then the materials are irrelevant ( for me, at least ).

Promoting  requires a lot of time and dedication, because networking is the main channel to get views and customers. My favorite sites are Facebook, Twitter, my blog and StumbleUpon.  Another great way to advertise is a giveaway - I love organizing giveaways.

I had stores on several other websites, but I found ArtFire to be the best from all points of view : easy to list, easy to import, easy to promote directly from the store, included blog, widgets to insert, cheap advertising spots and no listing or selling fees. I love the Global Editor and the coupons feature ! Basic stats are included too, so for me, is the perfect website.

Well, I came upon jewelry making when as a stay at home mom I almost drove nuts doing nothing else than changing diapers and cleaning after all my boys. I had to do something else to relax and wash my brain, and all of a sudden an old hobby took over. I remember, as a little girl, trying to modify my mother's jewelry to make them looking better. Now, you have to understand, I grew up in a communist country ( 40 years ago ) where we never heard about crafting supplies or specialized stores. So those were just timid attempts , not knowing that 40 years later I will have my own store.

What I would like people to know about me ? that I craft all my jewelry with lots of love and passion, that I don't list an item unless is perfect, that I love to keep my customers happy and that what I create is coming deep from my soul and is representing me !

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