So, I was sitting in my Weight Watchers meeting recently, patiently embroidering a Christmas ornament while I waited for the meeting to start, when the older lady sitting next to me starting asking me the standard caught crafting in public questions, "What are you making? What else do you know how to do? How long have you been doing it?" which is always followed up with "I wish I knew how to do that." She was sweet, telling me how embroidery was a lost art, so of course, I told her about my store. After hearing I was actually planning on churning out these little beauties for profit, she asked, "What are you going to do if you get a rush of orders?" I laughed and said, "Sew faster I guess." By the end of the meeting, my little dove was ready to take flight, so I showed her the progress I made in the course of a half and hour, and she was impressed. She asked where she might buy one. Damn, I thought. I don't have any business cards. After writing down my store's address on a random piece of paper for her and her friend, I decided I was going to have to come up with some business cards. The problem- business cards start at $3.95 and would take days to ship. Clearly I needed these business cards yesterday. So I set about that night to make my own. My craft philosophy is "Craft with what you got," so after I pondered what I wanted my cards to look like, along with a mental inventory of what I had available on hand, I set about my task. I gathered up: Two printer pages of my temporary logo columned into business card size One sheet of 12x12 navy card stock stick glue light blue embroidery floss pencil ruler Scissors ruffle edge scissors Thumb tack The Collected Works of Jane Austin First, I draw a grid of 3.5"x2" business cards on the navy cardstock. Then I cut out the cards and printer pages of logos. I trimmed the printer page logos with ruffle edged scissors to add some flair. Then I glued the logos on the card stock. This would have been plenty, but of course, I had to take it further. I wanted to embroider on the cards. Because a card that says bluegirl designs could mean anything. I wanted them to look quickly at the card and remember, "Oh yeah, that's the girl that does the embroidered thingies." But embroidering on cardstock is not at easy as it looks. I knew I was going to have to punch little holes in the cardstock for the needle to go through. Kind of like drilling holes in a wall before installing the screws. I also knew if I started punching holes in the cards on my kitchen table, I would have little holes in my tabletop as well. So, I grabbed something large, and heavy that could handle a few tiny holes without losing the integrity of the piece, that is where the Collected Works of Jane Austin came in. I knew the holes would not obscure any of the work, and Jane would walk away from the experience with a little more character. After I pressed in the holes, I lazy daisied a stitch on two corners of the card and Voila - unique business cards for a unique business venture. I like these way more than the standard template cards that were available on the Internet. Unfortunately, just to whip up 20 cards took all night, and my hand cramped from thumbtacking. What do you think?
So this weekend I took step two to establishing my craft business, photographing my inventory. This was actually pretty exciting. I wanted to take some really good photos of my ornaments, but they are small and the felt reflects the flash light like a mirror, so I knew I was going to have to put in a little extra work. While hubby rushed to the laundromat and my son hunkered down to watch SpongeBob in his room, I took to the task of building a light box. If only I had paid more attention to the directions, the whole process might not have taken me all afternoon. You see I cut the holes in the side of the box for the light to enter- no problem. Then I rushed it all into the bedroom with my husband's IKEA desk lamp to make my little top models look super fierce. I set up my little Christmas tree and started shooting. Then I realized I was getting photos with an ornament, a lovely green tree and nasty brown cardboard in the background. Fine, so I went back in and lined the box with white printer paper, but no matter how much I lined, it seemed like I was still getting a little cardboard in the shot. After about 100 shots and very very sore knees because my Hello Kitty blanket did not provide the cushion I required, I closed down the photo studio. You be the judge. I have another photo shoot for my latest pretties set up for this weekend so wish me luck.
Yeah, it has been masked for the most part under a frenzy of preparation and a touch of excitement, but now it is actually happening and the panic is starting to set it. I have started a craft business. It really didn't sink in until I set up my own Pay Pal account. I think that is what makes it official. Setting up a database where people can easily and securely use their credit cards to purchase your goods means you have finally taken the plunge. I have wanted to do this for so long. After several false starts I think I have a handle on what it is going to take to make this adventure a success. Maybe. Did I mention the panic?
I've been toying with the idea of starting a craft business for a long time, but never had the guts to do it. Now armed with research, innovation and a little bit of start-up cash, I'm ready to get this baby off the ground.