Monday, January 30, 2012

The Plague

Well not really, but it sure feels like it.  So far, 2012 has hit this household hard.  Since the start of the year, there have been at least 7 illnesses in our measly 3 person household.  As a result, production has ground to a screeching halt on many of my products that I've been working on of late.  I even have a custom order that is slowly being accomplished in my sewing machine now. 

How have many of your mompestreurs managed to keep going when you get sidelined? 

We are all finally on the mend, I think, so hopefully all will be back to normal soon.  Which means hopefully back to more regular postings.  I hope you can all forgive me!  Now until then, I will be back to doing some interesting research for you all.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

There's Always Plan B

Photo Courtesy of here
Ok I admit it, when I jumped into this whole owning your own business thing I was pretty clueless.  Over the last year I've learned a lot.  I learned about Etsy, I've heard of Artfire (never really looked into it much, but know a lot of people swear by it), but now that I'm here, I'm enjoying the life. 

Here's the issue, while I think there is a lot of great information out there, I'm coming up lacking on other information.  There is a lot of subjective information, but I'm not seeing a lot of hard numbers to help with analysis of information I'm looking for.  Am I the only one feeling like there is to much subjectivity going on or are there others out there that are looking for more details to figure out their best way forward? 

I know my blog posts have been relatively short and not very focused of late.  Today I'm trying to put focus into what has appeared to be a lack of focus.  As I closed out 2011 I looked over how I wanted to plan out 2012.  I have a clear idea of what I want to discuss, but I've been having issues finding data to back up these thoughts.  I really wanted to focus on all aspects of inventory for January and February, but my research has been less than successful, so I'm going to have to take a new tactic.  I'm going to have to start from the ground up on this one. 

But before I do, I want to know from you my readers, is digging into the nitty gritty of all aspects of inventory really worthwhile for you?  Sure I'll learn something from it so that in itself is helpful, but am I the only one interested in the topic? 

Leave your thoughts.  If I get enough responses I will start with plan B of inventories.  But I will warn you, since I'm starting from ground zero on this, my blog posting frequency may dwindle a little while I do enough data gathering to warrant enough writing to post a legitimate article.  Are you game?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Soul Searching

I've been doing a lot of soul searching recently.  My professional life outside of Stitch Silly has taken some unexpected turns recently that has caused me to really re-evaluate my priorities.  It has been interesting to see through this evaluation process what my priorities really are.  You always say your priorities are x, y, and z, but when it comes down to it, are they?  I haven't made any final decisions yet, but it is definitely affecting my writing ability.

While I'm continuing to have writing issues, it seems I'm not the only one:  Little Cutie Cakes sounds like she's been too busy to write herself. 

And it seems that a lot of people are just now learning about PinterestThe Homespun Loft just discovered it as well. 

While I'm breaking free of my writers block, shat new great items have caught your eye recently?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today's Popouri

Photo Credit
My mind has been racing a mile a minute today.  I've been having a hard time sitting down to focus on just one thing.  I'm thinking about knitting projects, sewing projects, my day job, my new phone and it's cool gadgets, the list goes on and on. 

Thinking about all of them is pretty daunting and energy draining, but as I sit here and type about everything floating in my head, I'm suddenly energized.  Maybe part of it from this mornings post on The Mogul Mom, or maybe I just put things into perspective a little more.  To a certain degree, I just want to rush home and start sewing right now.  Unfortunately, I still have my day job to get through first before I can wear the wife, mom, and savy business owner hat. 

That's ok, there is still plenty of energy left in the day.  And if I just pick one or two items on my list, I should be one step closer, right? 

What's on your to do list today that keeping your mind racing like mine?  What techniques do you use to keep yourself in check? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inventory Effects

Photo from here
Today We're continuing our discussions on inventory and sales for your store front.  If you're a regular on the Etsy message boards, you've seen the discussions about the volume of inventory and it's effects on sales, visibility, and numerous other aspects of your online store front.  Being an engineer by education, I'm always curious if this really has some weight to it or if there were other factors at play that allowed these shops to really take off. 

I realize it is hard to see firm numbers on the topic and I've read that anywhere from 20 - 150 listings is your target, but that's a lot of product and that's a large spread, therefore variable to really understand what kind of inventory you need to have in order to be successful. 

I don't expect you my readers to be able to answer this question succinctly, but for those of you who have been around longer than Stitch Silly, at what point did you really start to see an uptick?  Perhaps a poll is in order!  You know I love me a good math analysis problem! 

Bring on the numbers for me people!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lazy Sunday's...sort of

This past Sunday I spent a few wonderful hours knitting a scarf I have been working for what seems like forever.  It's still not done.  Almost, just a few more rows, but not quite, yet.  The whole rare event was surprisingly peaceful, it's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to just sit and knit.

I have been so focused on building my inventory I haven't really sat back to really take it all in.  In our business, we live and die by what we create.  For many intensive purposes, we are judged on our own taste.  As artist, designers, crafts, what ever title you want to give yourself, we tend to create pieces that we would want in our home.  If our tastes don't match our customers taste then quite frankly we're sunk. 

Farm Animal Burp Cloth Set
I'm not sure about other Estian's out there, but I often wonder if what I am creating really worthwhile to others.  Then, I get the random purchase from someone I don't even know and it suddenly makes it all worth it. 
 Unfortunately, right now, those stranger purchases are few and far between for me.  Most of my sales are coming from people I know and custom orders.  For me it is a fine line to walk between a sure sale and a hope for one.  I'm trying to walk both right now.  Hopefully with my inventory build up we will succeed at both.  I will be posting the almost finished scarf soon and I am working on a few burp cloths that coordinate with my current farm animal prints burp cloths.  We should have some of these burp cloths finished this week.  Keep your eyes pealed for some new postings. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Treasury

I'm trying to get in the mood for Valentine's Day.  To do so, I created this LOVE treasury to share with everyone today.  Go ahead, share the love....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free Shipping, is it Worth It?

Image from Market My Shop
As I was skimming through the blogs I follow this week, I came across this article from Market My Shop.  Eric, is a marketing expert that also happens to have an Etsy shop.  I found his concept of pricing your products to include shipping costs an interesting approach.  I'm debating giving it a shot on some products to see how it goes, but am wary of doing is shop wide.

I'm curious if others have tried this type of pricing scheme.  How has it worked for you?  I realize it's not for everyone, but I think for my products, it is something that is feasible.  So give me some evidence to weigh the pros and cons!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Product Listing

This morning, I bitter sweetly I posted my Mod Dots Toddler blanket.  I was speaking with a friend about this blanket last week about it, and he showed some interest in posting it.  I was hoping he wanted to purchase it, but it turns how he didn't so alas I get to post to our inventory. 

I think I will have to edit the photos a little more, but for now they are what they are.  This will catch me up to week 5, in my inventory push.  Now I just need to figure out what I will post for this week's new product.  I have a few ideas in the works, it's just a matter of putting the foot to the sewing machine peddle. 

How are doing in terms of getting new products together?  Have any of you seen any uptick in your shop views when you post new products regularly? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Get in the Mood Treasury

I'm usually the one complaining about how early things hit the stores for each holiday, but now that I own my own shop, I'm just trying to keep up and figure out how I can do something for a specific holiday.  I have yet to have enough fore thought to do that.  We haven't reached out year mark yet, so maybe that can be a goal for next year.

For those of you who seem to have the whole planning for holiday's figured out, care to share you magic sauce?  Do you start you Christmas products in July and work back from there?

In the meantime, here is someone who clearly is already thinking Valentine's Day...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sharing the Love Today

It's been a while since I've shared some link love, so today is all about everyone else!  I hope everyone has a great Friday and wonderful weekend!

Duni's Studio gave me a great idea of something to do with all my extra fabric that I have laying around.

My cousin shared her organization obsession in keeping her son's legos manageable.  (Something I know I will be doing in do time!)

Little Cutie Cakes talks about a great smoothie recipe for the whole family.  I can't wait to give this a try. 

What do you have going around your blogsphere today?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mod Dot Pillow Case

New Mod Dot Toddler Pillow Case
I was feeling very motivated last night and not only completed, but photographed my latest product.  A toddler pillow case!  This goes perfectly with the toddler blanket I previewed for you yesterday.  I have yet to post that one, maybe I'll be motivated to do that today as well.  In the meantime, this is the latest in my goal to continue to increase our inventory.  I know I'm behind a bit, but let's see where we are. 

Week 1:  Knit Pom Hat
Week 2: Receiving Blanket Gift Set
Week 3: Farm Animal Burp Cloth Set of 3
Week 4: Mod Dot Toddler Pillow Case
Week 5: Mod Dot Toddler Blanket - Will be posted soon!

Wow, now that I look at it, I'm not that far behind.  Wahoo.  I do have more burp cloths to post, but I just got in some great coordinated fabric.  Based on some great feedback from when I posted my receiving blanket gift set, I am holding off on posting some of them so I can do a coordinated listing.  That's next on my sewing list.

How are you doing with the inventory challenge?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is it Wednesday Already?

I don't know about you, but these Monday holiday's really throw me off my game.  I took a good chunk of time off to enjoy my family so now I am in trying to get back into my daily routine.  It really is nice to settle back into my routine, albeit slightly changed. 

I'm not sure why, but I've been in a big knitting mood recently so I haven't done a lot of sewing, but have been working on a beautiful scarf.  It's just over half way done so hopefully it will be posted soon.  In the mean time, I'm posting an unprocessed picture of one of my latest products.  It is a toddler blanket that is polka dotted flannel and a rose minky.  I'm also working on a matching pillow case for this.  I just pinned it this morning.  I just need to do some post processing on my images before I post the product.  I need more practice for my Gimp Tutorial anyways!

What is on your plate for this wonderful hump day?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Photo from:
Welcome to 2012!  Wow, I can't believe that I'm writing that year now.  Is it really 2012 already?  It sure doesn't feel like it, considering it was 61 degrees out today when it is normally much colder this time of year in these parts.  I remember two years ago we were still digging out from Snowmaggeden only to be his with Snowpacolipse two months later.

However with the rolling over to a new year, means back to reality for most of us.  As I'm sure many of you have noticed, I took a bit of a break from the blogging world over the past 10 days to spend some time with family and friends.  But now that they have all left and the celebrations are over it's time to get back to work full time, times 2!

I was hoping to get more sewing done after the family left last Wednesday, but alas life happens and our household was hit hard with some serious colds/flu so there was not a lot of time or energy to dedicate to sew, knitting, or crocheting.  It's always something isn't it?

I am continuing my pledge to continue to increase my inventory, so who's with me?  Check back later this week for several postings on Stitch Silly's Shop Section.  Until then, how are the rest of you doing?  Were you able to keep up despite the holidays?
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