New Patterned Sterling Bangle We are having a huge snow storm here in Maryland today with blizzard warnings, so I finally have time to update my blog and think about what I will do next to keep my shop fun and interesting. I have to say I had a lot of fun and met a lot of really great people on the forums this year. I got lots of great advice on promoting my new shop and how tos for great customer service. All this helped my a lot to prepare for the big "holiday rush" which was supposed to start Black Friday weekend. I must say I was extremely disappointed that all my special offers and incentives seemed to go unnoticed on Arfire, but did seem to make an impact on sales at my Etsy shop http://www.ppennee.etsy.com/
I truly hope Artfire spends some of it's promotional efforts getting it's name out to the people on the morning TV shows and gets some mention in the handcrafted community news. There are some terrific artisans on Artfire. Artfire seems to be trying to do all the right things to make it easy for us to run an "on line" shop, but if no one knows you're there, all those perks don't make for sales. I have to say, Etsy was a very good venue for me this year and I learned an awful lot there too. Keeping both shops may seem silly, but as I am new to the on line market, I guess I was just looking for the right spot. Giving it a few more months to see what shakes out.
A bit of shop news. I have started making some new pattern design bangles with some really nice pattern wire I ordered. I love fusing fine silver, but thought adding patterns to the mix for stacking those bangles would be fun. So far I have been pleased with the effort. Soldering still isn't as much fun as fusing, but practicing all the techniques is a must to keep you sharp and keep customers interested in your newest projects- at least I sure hope so! Check out my newest patterned bangle and feel free to leave a comment- should I add more? Different patterns? There seem to be endless choices of patterns for sale.
Look for some new items with moonstone and mystic topaz and some gorgeous pearls- I hit the gem show yesterday and found some beautiful lovlies to add to my collection.
I do believe that any type of Christmas rush is over now since the post office told me December 21 was about the last day I could expect a package to arrive before Christmas. I'm hearing from the forums that now is the time everyone starts hitting the "big box" stores and malls for those last minute gifts they need in lieu of hoping they'll get them on time for wrapping and gift giving. So, what to do now? I think it's time to work on my office and get organized for next year. Work on a business plan, get a real budget set up for advertising and purchases of supplies. Best of all, I have a whole week between Christmas and New Years to work on putting designs in my head onto paper, then try them out on copper or craft wire before taking the plunge into precious metals.
Wishing everyone safe and happy holidays. Hope to see you back to browse in my shop if you didn't get everything on your Christmas list or just have a wild urge to buy yourself something to stave off the winter doldrums.