This past month, I have decided that I needed a dedicated space to do all my work related to the jewelry line. I was tired of having my beads and stuff all over the house, because it was not real organized or efficient. Plus, lets be honest, it looked cluttered because it was everywhere.
So I have taken one of our guest bedrooms and converted it into my home office. Granted I did this with temporary furniture, other pieces that were in my garage, re-purposed furniture from the guest room and other various places around the house.
First, I got the furniture gathered in the room and got everything nice and organized to the point that I can actually find stuff! Amazing, right? The room is not quite what I have envisioned for the ultimate office, but it works well until I can purchase the furniture that I really want. I have created a board on pinterest with my wishlist of items for the room from motivating artwork to the actual room designs & furniture that go with part of the furniture in the room.
For the re-purposed furniture, I took the bookcase that we had our small tv in, and converted it to work as a storage unit. The part that was re-purposed was the back. We had originally had a hole cut into the backing material to fit our tube tv and so when I wanted to reuse it, there was this huge hole in it! What I ended up doing was taking spare cool looking fabric (that I used in a Halloween costume) and lined the board with it before re-attaching to the frame. I think it turned out pretty good!
So far, it seems like it is working pretty well! For starters, I am in a room in my house that has awesome lighting pretty much all day long, so works great for my product photos, since natural light is key. The rest of my house is super dark and terrible for shooting pics. I really can’t do pics outside, since I live in Arizona and the heat is a killer during the summer months. Some of the other perks, that I did not really expect going in: its on the opposite side of the house as our bedroom, so if I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a new design, the sound of clacking beads is not waking up my better half, and I can keep the items out while I am working on them and its not in a visible part of the house, cluttering everything up.
Right now, I have to live with the color of the room since I can’t invest any money to buy paint, plus I am not sure on the color I would use, since I don’t want to scrap my curtains. I would want to use a light color but something that would be inspiring and fun. Taking this into consideration, I have spiced up the room with my guest room artwork and photos of things that make me happy and inspire me.
Hopefully down the road, I will have the money to invest in making this room awesome, but for now, it works and I am actually able to do everything for the business in there. When I get the look finished I will write another post with all the changes that were made to the room.
So I am sure you are asking, Kris what the heck is the point of this post? Getting organized is inspiring even if you don’t spend a dime! It is hard to get inspired and feel motivated to work on stuff when you don’t have a central spot to contain all of your stuff and its not organized. I am really an anal retentive person and not having that place for everything was driving me nuts! Just by making a few small changes and not spending any money is making things so much easier. If you have a place in your residence to do this, I highly encourage it. Since I made this change, I have been motivated to play with new designs and shapes just from creating that dedicated place that I can work.
Hope this post helps give you ideas for changes you can make to be more efficient in whatever your passion is.
Until I can spend some cash to update the space, here are the before and after photos of the room:
So being a new entrepreneur is a funny thing.
I find exciting and fun, yet sometimes overwhelming about having this fabulous creative outlet, is that I and I alone am Ginger Blossom Jewelry. I have the pleasure of being the sole employee that has to manage all the aspects of the company (if I can call it that). I am the one that does all the accounting and finances for my shop, I come up with the designs, I do all the sourcing and the purchasing for the supplies, I actually make the items, I photograph them (sometimes in various situations), I do all the website and digital, write all the creative copy from titles and body text to doing all the SEO keywording for each item in the store, all the PR including creating digital ads, doing the promotion on various channels of social and all the packaging and shipping too!
I have to give credit where credit is due to the folks that this is their full-time gig, as being a entrepreneur has become mine lately as well. I have such a great appreciation for all the people that have an Etsy store or something similar. There are definitely perks to having this gig, such as it is nice to be your own boss and be able to dictate when and how long you want to work everyday, and while you are working its usually in yoga pants and a messy bun! It is crazy and unnerving not knowing when you are going to sell something or if investing in ads or google buys are worth it. Its totally nerve wracking and rewarding! Kudos to all the entrepreneurs out there running their small business!
Lately I have been making modifications to Ginger Blossom Jewelry’s digital presence. What is a digital presence, you ask? It is the digital footprint of all your online activities across the web, mobile, social media, and even large screen. It includes your advertising and marketing, and e-commerce if you have one. So in my case I have been making changes to a bunch of the different digital platforms in my digital space:
Web: I just changed my website from being hosted on SquareSpace. I already own my domain and so all I had to do was to move the dns backend to my new site that is being hosted on Etsy. Why did I change? Well, the SquareSpace service was fine and not super expensive ($15 bucks a month) and if you run your e-commerce through the site, it would work for you just fine. Since I don’t do that, the SquareSpace site was clumsy and cumbersome. I had to ensure that when I made an update to my Etsy store, then I had to duplicate the changes on the website. When I would have a new listing, I would also have to update it on both places. The site looked fine, but it was just a pain in the neck to update. When Etsy launched its Pattern app, that is when I made the switch. The cost was the same as the previous platform, but now, I only have one place to make the updates since they both are connected. Makes my life so much easier and also contributes to an overall cohesive digital presence.
Now don’t get me wrong the SquareSpace site was relatively easy to build, if you have knowledge of how to do it. Since I worked in Digital Marketing / Web team for 3.5 years I have some intermediate experience in this world. The conversion to pattern was super easy, basically I only had to connect the backend. I do have to say that I love love love the template that I am using in Etsy as it makes the site super clean, with one downfall, sometimes there are missing images at the bottom of the page due to the order of the pictures, so it looks funny. I have not been able to figure out how to fix this yet. Here are images of the before and after on my website:
Photography: I have been playing around with new / different ideas for more fun scenes for my background images of my jewelry. I like that I have a “standard” image process for my store but for stuff like social media I have been playing with different scene layouts and subtle changes to my uniform photo. I am not real sure that I will implement all the updated images on my website, since I do like the consistent look and feel of the current site.
The challenge is that I don’t want to dominate or distract from my jewelry with items that could take away the beauty from my individual pieces, but at the same time, I want my photos to be unique. So it is a slippery slope.
Ads: Creating coupons and digital ads are a little different than taking photos of the items you have for sale. These images are being created for coupons and digital ads that can be posted on social media or on websites. Thinking about these for a minute, you want to elicit an emotion from an individual in about four (4) seconds so they click on the image to get more information and potentially have that turn into a sale. Most people have such a short attention span that you have to literally grab them instantly. If you don’t take that into consideration, you are not going to have any sales, which, lets be honest, it would suck! Here are a few of the ones I created for Mother’s Day:
Social Media: I also have setup a few more profiles on social and have been posting more frequently. I now have a new Flickr account and have written two recent blog posts (including this one). My profile is set up already on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest. In the last week, I have increased my Twitter followers by over 50% (so thanks so much for the follows and retweets!) and additionally on Instagram, I have added about 75 followers. The thing that I am not totally sure of is what is the standard amount of Tweets or Instagram posts a day? I am hoping I am not posting too much or too little! 🙂
Reference information / libraries: One of the great things about selling on Etsy is the amount of support you receive on the forums when you are not sure what is holding back your sales or you have a question about something that you are not sure how to do. They not only have a ton of reference materials, but they have articles and tutorials on the site for the shop owners free of charge, which is really helpful.
The one thing that eludes me is finding information on photography that depicts your items in a good way on your digital profile, because everything is left to the consumer as far as a matter of taste or preference. I find that since there are so many different personalities that it is hard to find that one thing that is going to filter people to your store.
I love that in the new digital world that has the wonderful thing called the internet, is that you are able to virtually find anything you are looking for. Designers and people in the marketing field have great ideas floating around out there and I have found some helpful sites that you can get all kinds of imagery and templates for exactly this. Creative Market & Design Cuts both have bundles that include all kinds of templates and images on different platforms that you can download easily. The nice thing about both sites is they both have free product downloads, credit packages and just straight out purchases. Creative Market does offer coupon codes but it is really confusing on how to apply them to the cost of your items, since this e-commerce website does not have a typical shopping cart. With a little poking around on their site, I did find out how to use them but it does not apply to the “big bundle or credit programs”, which is a total bummer. (I am in no way affiliated with either of the sites mentioned above–Creative Market & Design Cuts).
I hope that this blog helps you out and makes more sense of the things that are either helping or hurting your sales. I am totally open to suggestions on topics for future blogs or your feedback on anything in my digital presence. I look forward to your feedback!
Hi again, I have been thinking a lot lately about where I get inspiration for my jewelry designs. I am usually out and about or online shopping and things just come to me, which is really dangerous when I am in a craft store, since I usually cannot walk out of the store without buying something!
Because I have been acquiring more baubles and findings to make things, I have been making more items and different types of things and have been busy posting them on my site. Since I have been adding items to my shop, it makes sense that I have also been promoting the heck out of my site on all my social media platforms. Considering posting a blog is social too, I thought it might be fun to write another post, as it has been a while. Now I don’t even know for sure that what I am writing is even being read, I figured if I am going to get traction, why the heck not, right?
I have been playing with different colors, shapes and designs lately and they are different from the items that I originally created when the shop opened. I have been reading about the latest trends and whats hot, so some of the newer designs comes from that. It just is so much fun and I love it when the designs just come flooding into my brain!
One of the odd places that I get inspiration from is SyFy’s series Face Off. I know its a special effects show, but for some reason it gets the creative juices flowing. It is a super weird inspiration, but hey it works!
I cannot end this post without promoting my site: http://www.gingerblossomjewelry.com and if you actually made it all the way through this post and visit my site and support that small business owner, be sure to check out my 2nd Anniversary Sale where there are tons of items that have been discounted and some up to 50% off.
Thank you for your support!
My favorite season of the year is upon us, yes Halloween and fall. Halloween has always been my all time favorite holiday even when I was just a kid. The excitement of what you can create and use as a costume along with grabbing up all that awesome candy.
I have very fond memories of being a child and going trick or treating with my dad around the neighborhood. I am now an adult, I guess, but I still have those creative urges to go outside the “normal” box this time of year. Usually we have a costume / cube contest at my job, but this year, my job was eliminated on the day I ordered my fabric for my super awesome costume. Maybe someday I will be working for a company that lets the employees celebrate the most awesome holiday of the year, but until then, I am able to share my creativity and craziness with my jewelry line.
I usually come up with my designs in my head, but this one I sketched out before I actually sat down to build. Here is my very rough sketch:
I ended up working on this necklace for roughly about 15 hours. Why did it take so long? Well, each orange pearl is hand pinned and then attached to the chain. The spiders are also hand attached to the necklace. This one turned out to be a stunner! I am so happy with the final outcome (see pics below).
Be sure to check out my store on etsy or at http://www.gingerblossomjewelry.com and find this Halloween themed piece or one of my other awesome designs. If you purchase anything from my store before the witching hour on October 31, you can save 15% by entering the promo code Boo2you16.
Although I am not new to the concept of blogging, I am new to being an author of my own blog, so please bear with me as I start to get the hang of this!
So here goes… Things have been really busy since I started my jewelry line, Ginger Blossom Jewelry: Handmade jewelry that makes a statement.
I have been making a ton of statement pieces and the creativity has been flowing non-stop. I have made so many pieces, over 100 at this point, that I can hardly keep up with getting pictures taken, getting them posted on my store (www.etsy.com/shop/gingerblossomjewelry) and on my website (www.gingerblossomjewelry.com).
Let me stop for a minute and go back in time… Why Ginger Blossom? Well, I am a natural redhead (which has been the vein of my existence since I was a kid), any other redhead would probably tell you the same thing! Now that I am all grown up (kinda) I have decided to embrace it. I went back and forth on Facebook asking friends and family (thanks to those who assisted!) what the name should be that exuded my personality and was not already a name that was taken not only on the domain side but also on Etsy. Once I came to terms with the difficulty of coming up with a name that was not taken, I thought I would embrace my family and my natural haircolor.
My grandpa on my dad’s side was a clever old codger and he was creative as well (which I guess that is where my and my sister’s creativity come from). He loved to draw and was an electrical engineer for the railroad. My dad was creative as well and he used to doodle and tinker with stuff (particularly cars) and he was one of 4 kids (out of 7) that was a red head, which he got from his mom, my grandma. Funny thing about red heads, there are 40 or so first cousins on that side of the family and out of all the kids, there are only four of us girls who are blessed with the red gene, but all of us are different shades–funny how that works. I am the lucky one that ended up with the most blonde.
Now back to why. So I work in marketing doing websites, graphic design, and all around different things that are creative but not creative enough to satisfy my crazy personality. I decided to start making jewelry again. I have always been the kind of person that has been naturally gifted creatively, with making my own props for Halloween, creating patterns and sewing, painting, drawing, and pretty much anything that I set my mind to. The most logical of those things was to start making jewelry again and share it with the world.
The jewelry right now, is focused on necklaces (primarily) and a few earrings here and there. Down the road, maybe I will have enough willpower to create and sell bracelets (they are my weakness) and extend into some fun and funky blingy hair accessories (which I love too)!
The cool thing about my stuff is that there are no two alike, just like me! Everything I create is unique and original. I do have a few pieces that contain some of the same components, but they have unique takes on them so they are different.
Now, here is my marketing pitch. Please, go to my website and store and check out my stuff for sale. I really hope you enjoy it so much, that you absolutely have to have it!
Here are a few teasers….
I guess that wraps up my first blog post, check back often, as I will try to post regularly.