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

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          --Chinese Proverb

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Modish Monthly Goal Meetup - June

Wow, it's June already! Even though my incentive to work on my "business" waxes and wanes lately, I am continuing my participation in the 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. Let's see how I did meeting my May goals.

My May agenda:

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

Done! This required me to stay up late quite a few nights, but I was able to ship off about two dozen pieces of jewelry. I hope they receive a positive response at the show.

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.

In order to work on the consignment items, I had to clear the decks and get organized. I needed to put away materials that were not currently being used, yet I didn't want to lose the designs I had started to formulate. My solution: use a plastic bead box with compartments to sort and separate pending designs. In each compartment I keep the beads and components for designs that are in the idea stage, taking out each set of materials as I am able to work on a project. I keep this box on a corner of my work table so it's still in view and in the back of my mind, but the pieces are contained and not in the way. So far, so good. Let's see if I can keep these future jewelry items from flowing over onto my work table surface again.

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

Well, I sort of did this...except for the last two weeks of May when I worked furiously on the consignment order.

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!)

No news on this one. The idea is still floating in my subconscious and is yet to take shape. I will be carrying this forward for a few months, I am sure.

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

In the process of assembling the consignment order, I made a little progress on this goal, though I still want to work on fine-tuning the look of the packaging. I decided that I still liked the earring hang tag I made but that it needed a little something extra. So I used a pair of decorative scissors to create a scalloped edge on the bottom of the card. I also turned the single layer card into a double, fold-over type that could stand independently for easier display at a show. Having an extra, empty space on the back side of the fold-over part allowed for the addition of longer item descriptions on the clear plastic labels that I add for pricing and stock keeping. I finally redesigned my hang tag for bracelets and necklaces too. However, I really wanted to change my print color on both of these pieces from black to a nice, dark brown, but my printer would not cooperate. I will need to work on fixing this issue.

I did have fun wrapping a special bridal order and this inspired me to be more creative with my ribbons and box look. (See pictures of the updated earring card and the bridal wrap at the end of this post.)

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

I did not work on the all...but I did think about the branding idea when I was working on the hang cards. I am still pondering what my coordinated look should be. This is a work in progress and you'll see this again in my June goals list.

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?

Ah, deep questions like these require a lot of reflection, so I expect I will have this goal on my list for quite some time. Get accustomed to seeing it for months to come! we are at the brink of summer, usually the slowest season for most crafting businesses. What happens to my goals for June, July and August? I think summer lends itself best to sitting outside (preferably by a lake in Maine, but that's another goal on another, more personal list), basking in nature's full-bloom glow, and contemplating one's place in the universe. It's not the best time for getting marketing and business goals accomplished, but I will try to set a few anyway.

Goals for June:

Carrying over some goals from May...

1. Continue to think about and just be open to inspiration for my latest shop name idea.

2. Work on new banner for my Etsy shop. Coordinate with packing materials for a complete "branded" look.

3. Reflect on the nature of my business and how much time and effort I want to, realistically, put into it. Do I have the energy and motivation to market it more seriously? What is my relationship with money with respect to creative activities, and how do I need to readjust my thinking to allow my business to grow naturally? Where does my heart really dwell? Where is my business heading?

And some new ones for June...

4. Continue my quest for the perfect background against which to photograph my jewelry. I have been thwarted in this so far. Nothing seems quite right. I also want to improve the look of my photographs so they are not so glaring and more vintage-soft. My camera takes a decent good lighting, but it is not so proficient at low-light situations, including the filtered natural light that is used in so many Etsy front page shots. I need to continue to experiment until I find something that gives me the feel that I seek.

5a. Make more jewelry and get it listed. This is worth repeating, in bold: Make more jewelry and get it listed. There are all those projects in compartments waiting patiently for their turn in the assembly area. I need to work through them and add more items to my online shops. I've heard it said that you need at least 100 items in an Etsy shop before you start to get noticed. Hmmm...well I have a paltry 14 items as of today, with only four more to list tonight. I guess I'd better get moving on inventory creation! Plus, anything I make during the summer will only serve to build inventory for my big craft show in September.

5b. As part two of the inventory story, I want to focus on using what materials I already have rather than buying anything new. Of course, there will always be components that get used and need to be replaced, but I am trying to resist the temptation of spending money on parts that are not necessary to have right now. I also want to return to one of my original goals of recycling and repurposing old pieces of jewelry, making them into new creations. I feel I have gotten seduced by shiny new things into buying more new elements than I really wanted to incorporate into my jewelry. Yes, I need to have some pieces that can be reproduced from reorderable supplies for a specific vendor, but I have much more room in my Etsy and 1000 Markets shops for one-of-a-kind items.

6. Start working on my own, stand-alone website. I've been thinking about it for some time now and, since I already have plenty of web hosting space, and I do websites for clients, it seems almost embarrassing to have my own domain looking so empty and bleak.

I think I had better stop at 6 goals considering that I won't get a lot done with the garden coming into full blossom and vacation-mind setting in. Good luck on your June goals to all my fellow Modish Meetup participants!

New, self-supporting earring card with scalloped edges

New hang tag for bracelets and earrings

Packaging of bridal custom order

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Blogger Chauncey said...

Liv, congrats on meeting the goals that you set and good luck with the new ones! That Bridal custom order is beautiful.

June 8, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

Great that you met so many of your goals, Liv.. makes me think I need to set some ;p

June 8, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger ZudaGay said...

Liv, you did so well! I am very impressed! It makes my head hurt to just think about the process of making goals. I can't wait to see what you do with your new shop to be.

June 8, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger MagdaleneJewels said...

Thanks for all the helpful tips in helping not only you, but us as well, to achieve some goals. It is so easy to get distracted; but now that summer is upon us we can sit back and relax - have some lemonade and ponder what next year will bring! Beautiful bride bracelet

June 8, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger CrowNology said...

Good Luck with your goals for June.
I really like your earring hang tag.
I am having issues with backgrounds in my photos too. Actually all things "photo" related are issues currently!

June 9, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger glitterysah said...

Best of luck with your June goals, you achieved so much in May! LOVE your packaging, so pretty :) Glitterysah x

June 10, 2009 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Cravings Frocks said...

Just dropping by from the Modish goals list. Finding backdrops for photos is a tough one. I went on an extreme photoshoot today for my products - I've got the photos on today's blog entry!

Your packaging for the bridal order is gorgeous.

June 16, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Watson said...

I've been thinking about it for some time now and, since I already have plenty of web hosting space, and I do websites for clients, it seems almost embarrassing to have my own domain looking so empty and

January 6, 2010 at 12:47 AM  

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