"An intricate, delicate, or fanciful ornamentation."
(The Free Dictionary)

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          --Chinese Proverb

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Modish Monthly Goal Meetup - May

Last month I decided to participate in Modish Biz Tips Monthly Goal Meetup. As part of this community effort to stay motivated in business ventures, I agreed to publicly post a list of goals each month, then follow up with a note on how well I met those goals. I started in April with this list, posted on my blog. It's now May and time to review how I did.

My April agenda:

1. Review all remaining items in The Filigree Garden's Etsy shop and decide which ones no longer fit in with my current creative vision (however murky that is at the moment). Renew those items that still feel like they belong, move some items to 1000 Markets, and mark some for either storage or to be taken apart and redesigned.

Yay! I actually did this early in the month. I was forced to make quick decisions because all of my Etsy items were expiring mid-April.

2. Decide what to do with my Rescued Beauty Etsy shop, which is temporarily on hiatus.

Well, the shop is still on hiatus. I decided it was not worth my time to sell supplies or destash at this time. I might revive it later, who knows? For now, it remains closed.

3. Complete consignment order which is due mid-April (eek!). This involves choosing which items to offer, making a few new designs, and packing it all up for May 1 delivery.

I received a reprieve on this one since the consignment event was moved to June. So this goal will resurface in May. I did narrow down which pieces I want to send and I decided on a couple of new pieces to make.

4. Complete the jewelry that is in process on my work table.

Um, well, I did complete the few pieces I started to make, but while I was playing with beads, new designs appeared and are now half-made on the table. So I am striking this one for April in honor of the work I did complete.

5. Design two coordinating pieces of jewelry for wholesale customer.

Since this wholesale arrangement seemed to slow down considerably, I decided to wait until asked to provide new designs. I haven't heard anything more, so on to more pressing things.

6. Photograph and list new items that have been completed. Try to improve lighting in light box for a slightly softer, more romantic look.

I decided to try taking photographs with natural light and on wood to give a more soft and inviting look. Here's an example of a necklace presented in this format. The reaction on Twitter and amongst friends was mixed. Some liked the wood and some thought the grain distracted the eye from the jewelry design. What do you think? I think I might go back to the light box since natural light is so unreliable, and I am going to retry using fabric and other back drops that would be soft yet not too visually overpowering. Stay tuned...

So here we are, May 4, and it's time to think about goals for this month. I admit that I have been thoroughly distracted from jewelry-making by weaving and gardening, as you can see from my last blog post. In fact, I find myself thinking about yarn and textiles much more than about beads and wire. So, one of the items on my May agenda must reflect this change in mindset and what it means for my business path.

Goals for May:

1. Complete consignment order which is due to ship at the end of May. (Plain and simple!)

2. Decide which non-consignment projects, now on my work table, that I want to complete. Put away materials not in use and clear the decks so I can feel mentally and physically uncluttered.

3. Blog once a week at least, more if possible.

4. Last month I had a flash of inspiration in the form of another shop/brand name idea. Trouble is, I have no idea what the brand should represent or what the shop should have in it. I just really liked the name and by chance, the domain, Etsy shop name, and blog ID were all available. So I snapped it up in all those places in a "go-with-the-flow" moment. Thus, goal number four is to think about (or maybe to be open to ideas for) this new name and what it will come to be. (And no, I am not telling the name online just yet!)

5. Review materials for packaging jewelry to make them more memorable and attractive.

6. Consider remaking banner on Etsy shop page. (I think it needs a fresh look.) Coordinate with packing materials for a complete "branded" look.

7. This last goal is more of an ongoing thread for pondering, and I expect it will be on my list for many months. Reflect on the nature of my business in light of my recently renewed, long-standing obsession with textiles. (Did I mention I am a lifelong fabric-aholic? I sewed well before I started making jewelry.) Can fabric and beads peacefully co-exist? Do I have the energy and interest to do both? Where does my heart really dwell? Where is my business heading?

These last questions may be too metaphysical for business goals, but they certainly affect the amount of effort I put into my business activities. I've always struggled with staying enthusiastic about something once it becomes a profit-making enterprise. Somehow an activity loses its luster once money comes into the picture. This mindset becomes even more prominent when a craft is involved because, for me, art and creativity live on a different plane than jobs and work. I always prefer just making things to satisfy an inner need to do so over focusing on selling them. Plus, let's face it, I am a bit shy (and somewhat lazy) when it comes to marketing and promotion. The idea of spending a lot of time on social networking and hawking my wares makes me want to run and hide! So...maybe number 8 should read, make peace with the difference between crafts for money and crafts for fun, or learn to blend the lines that mark this difference in my mind.

Good luck to all my fellow Meetup followers! I hope May is kind to your goals and that you get a lot accomplished this month.

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Blogger Melanie said...

You've got some serious goals for this month! Good luck. And regarding your photography. I agree that the wood is a bit distracting, but I LOVE the natural lighting. Maybe try fabric with the natural lighting? Good luck!

May 4, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger The Filigree Garden said...

Thank you for reading. I don't anticipate that I will accomplish everything but this sets a direction anyway.

May 4, 2009 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger said...

These are great! And I love that one is about self-reflecting.

May 4, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Laura. said...

yes, good direction! and i totally get the self reflection, it's good to do. i like your ambitious list! good luck!
oh, and i like the wood background. it definitely gives a different feel than the other dark background (i'm not sure what that is? leather? vinyl?) and i like it.

May 4, 2009 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger The Filigree Garden said...

Thanks for the feedback! The solid dark background is just scrapbook paper. :-)

May 5, 2009 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger On a Whimsey said...

You are seriously busy!! Awesome goals and you are getting through them, well done!

It might do all of us good to have a goal list or to do list because it is so satisfying to tick off the boxes!!

May 5, 2009 at 3:08 AM  
Blogger Judy Nolan said...

I think it's terrific that you're even taking the time to analyze where you have been, and where you are going!

May 5, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger The Filigree Garden said...

Judy, part of my problem is that I analyze too much and don't take enough action! ;-)

May 5, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

This sounds like a good idea. Post goals for the month and then review them. Hmmmmmmmmmmm!

May 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM  

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