Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Thank You

I don't really discuss my business financials, especially not on social media. But I recently reviewed my numbers, and I am less than $200 away from exceeding last year's total sales. In JULY. I've grown every year since I started, even if it was just in baby steps! I have my customers to thank for that. It's an exciting revelation. I love creating, and it's a privilege to be paid to do it.
I track my growth regularly, but especially when I get frustrated because it feels like my progress is slower than I think it should be, or things still don't match my ultimate vision. I step back and compare where I am now to where I was in my work last year, and the year before. Notice the comparison is with myself. Not other business women. Not other artists (THAT would be DEATH to my creative spirit). But to myself, so I can gauge whether I've made any progress in different areas, and pinpoint places I might be stuck. It helps me help myself.
I'm not saying that I don't ever look at other creative business people and think "why don't I have it together like her!", but I am saying that I know that is not productive. I've trained myself to admire others' work, branding, style, and go back to doing what I do best, improving, tweaking, believing in my own direction.   
All that being said, there's still a lot I need to do to keep pushing my work to closer alignment with my dream. The numbers revelation was the perfect juncture to announce a little celebratory sale to kickstart the next phase of ideas, upgrades and announcements in my work. I would love to make it to last year's total before month's end. So I want to offer something special to show my appreciation, and to clear out some existing stock to make room for new stuff in the works now for fall/holiday. I'm offering a never before 25% off orders in my home website store and my shop on Etsy through July 31st. It's my way of saying thanks, and I hope you stick around as I continue to grow! You can say you "knew me when", lol. The discount does not apply to shipping or to custom orders, but it does include items that are already marked down in both stores! *Be sure to enter the promo code, 25OFFJULY at checkout to receive the discount (see shopping cart examples below for where to enter the code).
Click to Enlarge. Website store cart (left), Etsy cart (right).
Follow the links to start shopping.  And a big, huge, ginormous thank you to those who've supported my work in even the tiniest way. You make this possible!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photo Finish

Ugh. The season I've been avoiding seems to be nearing. Most of the pics seen on this blog, on my website, in my stores, etc. were taken with my trusty little Canon point and shoot (the rest with my cell phone cam). I've enjoyed it because its quick, convenient, and I don't have to concern myself with extra steps or adjustments prior to just snapping pictures.

But I knew the time would come when I would have to bite the bullet and invest in a DSLR camera. Lately I've been finding myself yearning for more from my images (i.e. depth, color range, minute detail). The thing that bugs me most about this is that if I make such an investment, I will need to commit to learning the ins and outs and all the bells and whistles. Otherwise, why waste good money? Why does that bug me? Because it means carving time out to do that learning. Time that I would rather be spending making things, or planning to make things.

While it's not my main focus, I do enjoy taking photos. Photography facilitates a lot of other work I do, so it's a necessity for me. I took photography as one of my elective classes in high school (35mm, enlargers, smelly chemicals and all) and enjoyed that. I love learning new things... but this is a broad, encompassing level, which I don't feel I have the focus to absorb yet. Still, I feel it's important for me to start planning. Luckily, I like to spend plenty of time procrastina- uh researching steps like this so I can make an educated decision and feel like I'm doing the right thing for my work (and my purse).

So I've put it out there. Guess we'll see how this plays out. Hopefully I'll have a plan of action by month's end, and have it executed (new knowledge, equipment, and all) by the end of the year, if not sooner...