Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to Effectively Sell: Part IV - Marketing for Specific Holidays

Hi All,
While it's always good to be tailored to the upcoming and current events with re: to your shop, there is some dispute in my mind about the effectiveness of marketing per holidays. What I mean to say is that if you spend your money buying tools and supplies, not to mention investing your time and effort, to buld a specific project centered around a specific holiday and u get it all finished, and then...it doesn't sell. What then?

From a manager's or buyer for a company's perspective, if you purchase items for your store and they don't sell, you're stuck with storing it for another year, then possibly discounting is as "last year's items" because you'll be wanting to create new items by the time the holiday rolls around again. So why should this be any different from our stores, as crafters? Yes, you want to be current with what's happening in the season, but I do not feel that it is imperative to be specific with creating your items that it may be "too seasonal" and may or may not sell.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Magnolia SummerFest

Hi All,

I am proud to announce that Rachael's Handmade Designs will be hosting a booth at this year's Magnolia SummerFest in Seattle, Washington! I invite you to join us at the fair for hotdogs, a sno cone, music and of course, great shopping. Rachael's Handmade Designs will be debuting fab new designs just in time for the "Back to School" rush, as well as sharing some *awesome* deals on other great products! Don't forget! When you follow Rachael's Handmade Designs on facebook, you can collect your 10% off! Follow here!!

The Magnolia Summerfest and Art Show has been a part of our community, in one form or another, for over 55 years. The parade has had a run of over 30 consecutive years. It's basically a community get together attended by many of the 20,000 + Magnolia residents, an many more from the surrounding communities. The festival includes:

Juried Art Show
Children's Art Show
Affordable Art
Fine Art Vendors
Craft Vendors
An Outdoor Movie
Food Vendors
Beer Garden
Information Booths
Main Stage Entertainment
Children's Entertainment Stage
"Race Your Baby" competition
Parade
Kid's Parade
Pet Parade
Various Children's Activities
Youth Activities; and
a Sidewalk Sale

When: Friday August 6th and Saturday August 7th, 2010
Where: At Magnolia Play field and West Smith Street, Magnolia, Seattle, Washington.

See you there!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Olivine Necklace

New listing! Check it out! :D


Hooray for Copic Markers!

Hi All,
Well for everyone who *knows* how great Copic Markers are, you can go ahead and say the dreaded "I told you so!" cuz, yes, after I bought my first Copic Markers and used them recently, I fell in love!!! They are truly *wonderful*. A bit on the expensive side, however. But I suppose, when you're purchasing pro items, you pay for the quality. 

My art shop doesn't offer sets of these Copic Markers (Sketch) so instead, I just purchased individually. Below are the colors I picked up.


And here was my first simple project.


I'm still trying to figure out how they work. I've got the monocolor blending down (see the "Dad" banner, the red star behind it and the green behind that) but I'm still challenged with how to blend two close colors together. Any suggestions?

Business 101: Part 2 - Bundles and Sets (Marketing)

Hi All,

Like many of you, my shop has been hurting lately. :(Summer is a hard time to weather for small business owners of some trades. It's important to understand that there are seasons for shopping - or at least, I keep telling myself this! 

I have been doing research on how to compensate for the challenging summer months; indeed, how to turn it into something useful to further my shop and encourage growth.  I don't usually read the Etsy blog, but I'm kind of feeling blocked, so I decided to. I came across an article that helped me to understand more merchandising approaches.

BUNDLES!

We all agree that having varied price points in your shop helps to appeal to a wider range of buyers, right?

In the retail culture, I was often taught that it's the number of transactions you have in a day, and the size of those transactions. The magic number was three! So, think about it. By offering a bundle, you not only offer the buyer the items that they were looking for in the first place, but you offer it at a discounted price, thereby gaining trust through value. Studies have shown that customers won't by without both *trust* and *value*.

Also, it's nice to offer a set of items. More choice. So this is what I think my next project for my shop will be.

Here's the article I read: Bundles

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How To Effectively Sell: Part III - FABG!

Hello All,

Let me preface this post by saying that the FABG selling technique is not my original idea. When I was in commission sales I read a selling book that saved my life (and my paycheck) by Harry J. Friedman called "No Thanks, I'm Just Looking". While not the most well written book, Friedman does a great job of explaining how his years in the industry have helped him to form his professional retail sales techniques and turn shoppers into buyers. I recommend you pick this book up! It has saved my bacon many many times!!

So, What *is* FABG?
FABG stands for Feature, Advantage, Benefit, Grabber.
Any item can be FABG'ed.

Features - features are parts of the piece. Either a part of the piece or a characteristic of the piece. Often times this is the size, color, texture, materials used, etc.

Advantages - this is tied directly to the features of the item. An advantage is what the customer will gain from the feature. Friedman uses the phrase "which means" between stating the feature and advantage so that you, as a sales person, can specifically draw out the advantages for your customer. Sort of a "see spot run" type set up. Often times there is more than one advantage to any one feature!

Benefit - The benefit is the benefit of the advantage to your customer.

Grabber - This rounds out the sales pitch. The grabber restates the benefits in question form to get a positive response from the customer. This works mostly for in-person sales since, as an online shop owner, you probably won't have the one-on-one contact with your customer unless they message you for something. THEN you can talk up your piece. :) The grabber is an attempt to gain agreement from your customer. This agreement re-affirms in the buyer's mind that they are making the right choice to purchase. A sense of safety and security and trust is essential. Be honest and open with your client...Also this can come in particularly handy to see or control confirmation and validation from the bossy or controlled "know it all" friend a shopper or buyer may bring with them.

So, the sales pitch often goes something like this:

This is __________. It has [feature] which means [advantage] which means [benefit]for you, and [grabber].

How Does it Work?
By using this style of salesmanship, you add value and trust to the transaction. BOTH value and trust must be present in a sale before a shopper will buy. You also get to organize your thoughts before presenting them to the customer, which makes for a smoother transaction, online or in person.

***Recap***
1.  Approach with a unique or funny comment.
2.  Ask questions to determine what your client is looking for. Size, color, etc. Remember to listen closely - often times people tell you what they THINK they're looking for when their needs or preferences may indicate something else. It is your job to determine the best items in your shop to fit your client's needs.
3.  Introduce the produce. "This is _______. It has __________, which means ___________, which means that you get ___________. Having ___________, would make yourlife *SO* much easier, don't you agree?
4. Start another feature, advantage, benefit, grabber and just keep going! When you run out of features, jump to another item that matches or goes with the first. This is how you close a sale with an "add-on". You don't stop until the customer says "no" three times. You will be surprised, often times the high spenders won't say no!
KEEP ON GOING! :D

***

Signs Your Customer Has Committed to Buy
Body language, speech and touch.

Excitement about the product.

Holding the item. Men and women both do this, but specifically for men, if they are holding the item in the palm of their hand, they have already purchased this item in their mind. For women, often times they will hold it, try it on, feel the weight, touch it, or keep coming back to it. (It's your job to point out the features and benefits of the item!)

If they're talking, they're buying! In sales, one of the most important tools is open communication with your client. Get them involved!! Ask an unusual question or make an insightful comment about their attire, their child's attire, their handbag, shoes, accessories  or a unique piece of jewelry they have. Crack the ice and catch them off-guard to open the flood gates of conversation. (People don't respond to - "Hi there! Can I help you find anything?" Because they hear it all the time-and it's easy to say "no" to and just get rid of the sales clerk. I know. I do it all the time! =)

Make 'em laugh and they're yours!

Particularly on handmade websites such as Etsy, buyers want to connect more with the handmade story and person behind the art piece. Give people what they want! Encourage inquiries and comments - again, if they're talking, they're buying.


Using Ownership Language When a customer begins to say things like my, mine, my new, etc etc they have bought. To help establish the idea of ownership, refer to the piece you're trying to sell as if it is already the customer's property. Also, if they start to match the item they're holding to the items they already own, they have already bought in their mind. "This will go great with my blouse" or "This will really set off my new skirt".

A great example of this concept is buying a new car or house. When you've been looking and looking and looking for what seems like AGES, you WANT to buy, it's just finding the right fit. And when you see and drive that new car, or see that beautiful house, you begin to picture your items in the glove compartment or the back seat, and which room of the house will suit what best, and where you're sofa would look best. It's the same for all items a person buys.

Closing a Sale  A simple question of "Shall I wrap it up?" will get your clients talking. Also, take the items from your customer and set them at a register. Start a pile and keep bringing everything you can think of to your customer to try on (once you've got them in the dressing room.)

If you missed Part II, you can find it here: How to Effecitvely Sell - Part II: Creating Desire Through Descriptions
Hope this helped everyone. Let me know if you want to me review something. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Show Recap

Hi All,
Well, the Father's Day show was pretty slow. I don't think it helped that the weather was overcast, but people just were not out-and-about, either. I also forgot a large chunk of my jewelry, which is just as well because for the size of my table, and merchandizing until I get another, the amount of piece I had were perfect. I also made some changes from last show. I made an obnoxiously colored card sign, and brought the cards out to the corner of the table where people have to look at them. They *did* get more views, and a lot of compliments. :D


I've also made some changes in my merchanidizing; I got the ideas from some vendors I saw when I did the UW Street Fair. If you've read my post about the street fair I did in May, you know how I feel about large street fairs now. (Probably one of the only bonuses of doing a large street fair is seeing how other people market and merchandize their items - it really helped me!) Anyways, I was able to find some wire stands at a local thrift shop and use them for merchandizing my jewelry!

A customer i have sold to online came by too! It's always nice to meet your customers in person, if you sell online. It was a pleasure to see you, Julie Lopez, if you're reading this! I'm glad you're loving your ring! :D
Made a few sales, but I think in general June is a tough month for sales. July should pick up, and August/September is going to be insane with the "Back to School" rush.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sale

If you're in Seattle today I'm having an event located at Magnolia's CoCoa & Cream Ice Cream Parlor, from 6-9pm. Please come by if you are able! The address is: 3210 1/2 W. McGraw Street, Seattle, WA 98199
See you there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Business 101: Part 1 - Shopping Seasons

Hi All,
In reviewing my last post, I neglected to mention one very important thing: shopping seasons! Understanding the seasons and holidays are very important in sales, perhaps more so when you're running your own shop. Although this can be very discouraging for small business owners, often times the summer months are the hardest to weather (ha ha, no pun intended) because most shopping centers around large holidays, such as Christmas and Black Friday. In the retail culture, Christmas and Black Friday shopping can make it or break it for the ENTIRE year. A close second is the Back To School season in August/September. Take this into consideration when you're running your own business.

What can you do to compensate for this?
Stay positive! I know it's difficult, because as a shop owner I face the same challenges and sometimes upsetting defeats. We are our own worst enemies when it comes to this. The sales will come, but the most important thing is staying positive and being consistent with your listing and advertising.

In slow times for internet sales you can also refocus your efforts.
1. Try working on different parts of your business, for example drumming up business with family and friends. It's pretty easy to print up fliers or have post cards made - vista print will often do them for free. All you have to do is provide shipping payment, which is usually around $5.

2. Work on your listings. Sometimes revisiting an old listing can give it new life.  Rewrite the description. Reshoot the photographs. Retag it.

3. Follow up with your favorites. Look to see who loves your items. Message the people who love that item and let them know the piece they love has gone on sale, if it has.

4.  Make sure your business cards are *perfect*, and if they're not (like mine) make sure you add the correct contact information before handing them out or stuffing them in a customer's bag. (I've found that if you do this before-hand, a stack at a time, it saves you time when talking to your client!)

5.  Get localized. You can also do small craft fairs and street fairs for minimal costs. These types of fairs are usually juried, which means your application is required to be submitted to a panel. The panel decides to accept or reject your booth. These types of fairs are popular in the summer. (Bazaars and holiday events can keep your local off-line business booming in the winter!) These have two-fold bonuses: they get your name out there; and your items are seen. Even if you don't make a sale, you can give out cards and make an impression on shoppers. They may become a return shopper!

6. Work on new projects! I like to keep a sketch journal for ideas. I try to take it with me, wherever I go. You never know when inspiration will strike!

7.  View Other's Work - get ideas! Get inspired!

Remember, the lull in sales is only temporary!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to Effectively Sell: Part II - Creating Desire Through Descriptions

Hi All,

Welcome to Part II of my "How to Effectively Sell" series. A lot of people are clueless when it comes to selling. They've got the pictures down, they know what they want to *say*, but I'm going to teach you that, as always, it's not what you say, but *how* you say it.

Let's begin with the most persuasive words in the English language. From a marketing standpoint, just using these words alone can influence and turn a shopper into a buyer. I know this because as a former sales consultant - on commission - my livelihood largely depended on the price of items and the number of items that I sold. Working these words into your sales pitch, in-store or online, will help you to organize your thoughts and present them to your buyer, convey features and advantages about a piece, and essentially close a deal.

They are the following:

1. Easy
2. Save
3. Love
4. Health
5. You
6. Your
7. Discovery
8. Free
9. New
10. Money
11. Results
12. Proven
13. Safety
14. Guarantee

DISCOVER how SAFE and EASY it is to use these NEW, FREE and GUARANTEED words that are PROVEN to get YOU the positive RESULTS that YOU are going to LOVE.

You will also start noticing companies who use these words to market their products to the mass
public on commercials, in adds, on billboards and in magazines.

Expect a Sale/Attitude
Let me be frank: your personal preferences about a piece are irrelevant. The moment that you can sell a piece that you personally detest, you can call yourself a professional.
So, when people are out shopping, your goal is to form a relationship with the customer. Gain their trust! You do this by being open, honest, and informative - yet handling your client firmly. You know, after all, that they are going to buy. You must go into a presentation EXPECTING a sale and keeping the excitement high. Make them laugh! When a customer laughs, they are yours. The excitement is passed on to the customer, who will get excited about their new piece. The customer wants to buy; and you want to sell. It's up to you to persuade your client that the piece he or she is looking at can bring your client benefits that he or she cannot live without. Use ownership words. In the handmade world, using a term along the lines of "I made this..." can go a long way. People want to connect with the artist. They want a story behind their piece. Give them what they want.

Presentation
Often times, during an in-person sale, the demonstration is the make or break point in a sales pitch. Unfortunately, this gets a little tricky for online sales. Stunning photos that draw the viewer in and create a sense of depth are absolutely necessary.
Paint a picture for your client with your words. Don't be overly detailed, but convey the feeling of the piece with the words that you choose. Get as much information into your sales pitch as possible. Your customer wants to know all about the piece, so tell them all the features that your piece has, and why those features are advantages to your client! Features never sell, ADVANTAGES do.
Cover all your bases-knowledge is power! Use a little industry jargon to establish trust and value. When value is established, people buy.

Pricing
The right price speaks volumes to your buyers, particularly online, when one's senses are diminished and they cannot touch an item. Know your competition and know them well. Comparison shop online for your goods. What is the typical price? Keep your shipping charges relevant to your piece. Are your prices representative of the cost of making your piece? What about photographing, editing, listing and shipping? From a business perspective, you should be making at least 50% on the cost of a piece. If you don't feel that you can sell your item for that, what is the closets amount that you can make a sale at? For online jewelry, buyers are more inclined to purchase if the total value is somewhere around $20 give or take a few, including shipping.

Closing the Sale
You have stated all the advatages and benefits to your client, you have amazing photos, including packaging of the piece, your price is right, you have kept the energy and enthusiasm high throughout your listing and you are just about running out of things to say. In an in-person sale, you would just keep going, assume your client is going to purchase this item, put it at the register, and add an add-on to go with the piece, or a completely different piece to wear either WITH their new item or to wear as an alternate. In-person sales, you do not stop until the client says "no" three times. With online sales, it is important to link your piece to the other items in your shop. You may include a statement suggesting the piece match other items in your shop, or a phrase instructing the buyer to click to your shop for more incredible deals. If you have done your job, the client will add this to their basket and click to your shop to view your other items.

Following up with your Clients
In-person sales offer a one-on-one atmosphere. Right after your client leaves, write down EVERYTHING - and I mean EVERYTHING - that you can remember about the customer. Family, friends, sizing preferences, favorite colors, contact information,sense of humor, etc.

When you're selling online, it's a little more tricky. Often times you won't have that personal one-on-one connection with your buyer. If you have a conversation going with the client, print out the e-mails and file them in a binder with a copy of the receipt once they buy.

Even if you can't make a personal statement, you should offer your heartfelt thanks by sending a Thank You card with a business card - 3 reasons! 1. It's just common courtesy. 2. It makes a lasting impression. By including your business card (colorful logo, peoples!) you keep your business/shop at the forefront of your customer's brain. They will be more likely to return to your store because of...#3. It's good customer service AND business practice! Also, drop them a note a few weeks later to see how they are enjoying their piece.

Questions? Comments? Want me to elaborate more on a topic? Leave me a note!
~*~*~

Next up: How to Effectively Sell: Part III - FABG!

Friday, June 11, 2010

SALE!

Hi All,

Check out my shop! SALE SALE SALE!! Click the link to the right of the blog! :)

Remember, if you're a fan of my fb page, you ALSO get and additional %10 percent off! Paste into search bar: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seattle-WA/Rachaels-Handmade-Designs/272954166006?ref=ts

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to Effectively Sell: Part I - Etsy Shop Critiques

Hi All,

This is Part I of a new topic. It's an in-depth look at your store and what you should be doing to make your shop work for you, not the other way around. I use this as my personal functioning list on Etsy and its what I offer as critiques for other small business owners on Etsy; although some of these apply to just about any business, online or otherwise. Some items I've taken from their critique list and other items I've added from my own experience.


So follow this list for a more complete shop and to get the sales you want on Etsy!

1. Are you using ALL possible features? This includes the exorbitant following list:

a. Profile - fill out your profile completely for a more rounded-out shop. If your customer views your profile, they want to get to know you.

b. Location (City/Town, State/Province, Country) - customers want to know where you are located and where their shipping will come from. (*most buyers on Etsy are from outside of the continental United States. Buyers in the USA however, don't want to think that they're paying the same for shipping as someone in another hemisphere. Take this into consideration when setting up your shipping prices.)

c. Current Bio (effectively this is your "artist statement") - For tips on how to write your Artist Statement, check out this webstie: http://www.mollygordon.com/resources/marketingresources/artstatemt/

d. Display Favorite Items - This shows that you support your fellow Etsians.

e. Account Info - Make sure your account info is correct (update as needed).

Banner - having an EFFECTIVE banner (a banner that is representative of your shop and the items in it) that shows the range of your product. The banner should state your name and slogan.

e. Announcement - use your Announcement, but keep it short and concise. Make sure it's only two or three lines so that your shopper can still see your featured items.

f. Web Search Result  -Try the using the web search result to see how your shop looks to a possible customer online. Can you see the titles and tell what the items are? How do your descriptions look in Google Search results?

g. Star Lineups - Use your star lineups. Some people like to change this up every couple of days to keep things fresh. Doing this may also help sales as big retailers do this as well. "An active shop is a happy shop."

h. Custom Order Information - do you provide custom orders?

i.  Message to Buyers - It's nice to tell people what happens next. People need to know how long it will take to process and ship the item.

j.  Rearrange Your Shop every so often - it keeps things fresh and helps buyers to see the range of your shop. Also try different views (gallery and list) to see what you need to change to have the most effective views of your products in each view.

k. Shop Policies - Exchanges? Returns? When is payment due? Buyers want to know this! When and how often do you send shipments? Every day? Once a week? Also, is payment due on purchase?

l.  Sections - Do you have about five sections that are FILLED? You don't want to drive your customers to areas of your shop that don't have anything in them. So break your items down into a couple of categories and fill the categories.

m.  Shipping Options-what are they? Keep in mind that most Etsy buyers are outside of the states. Are you using your shipping profile? When and how often do you send shipments? Every day? Once a week? Also, are you offering discounted rates for multiple purchases from the same buyer? Some people do this to encourage the buyer to stay in their shop and purchase more than one item. It's a nice option, but it's not a requirement. Keep shipping reasonable in relation to the piece.

n.  Payment Methods - what do you take? People on Etsy take paypal, but are you willing to take a money order? Also, is payment due on purchase?

o.  Titles - unique and descriptive - Eye catching and interesting! Some people like to list the size in the title.

p.  Tags- use relevant key words! Use size of piece as a tag. Use all 14. Color, texture, size, etc.

q.  Descriptions - The whole idea behind the Etsy listing is to create a feeling; the listing should provide a story that is both descriptive and informative. Dimension, size and measurement information should be included the description. Also please refer to the second part of this series for more information on descriptions and listings: http://rachaelshandmadedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-to-effectively-sell-part-ii.html

r. Photos - Probably the most important thing on the ENTIRE website. Photos should be clear, crisp, and bright.  Show packaging. What does the back look like? Use all five spots. Photos shouldn't have distracting backgrounds. Keep it simple, bright and clean. The first photo should draw your viewer in and create space within the photo. I don't like to use a photo of a model in the first picture, just the piece itself. I like to do a close-up (one or two), a full size photo, a photo showing the piece on someone (brings it to life and adds to scale) and a packaging photo. Another idea is showing the back of the piece. Shoot from all angles. Get creative with it! Use some straight on "regular" shots to. Shoot outside in bright or overcast lighting. Shoot in the same spot for most of your photos. This will show consistancy throughout your shop and will go a long ways in creating a feeling for your shop. Have a "WOW" first sentence to go with a "WOW" first photo. ATTENTION-grabbing - this will spark interest and encourage views. Also, make sure to use LARGE images so customers and click and get a big photo.

s.  Pricing - Price points should be varied to offer the most range to customers who want to spend a lot, a fair amount, or just a small treat. There are certain price points that work the best on Etsy. Look around on Etsy and figure out what price points work best for you and your shop. Does your price reflect material, packaging, photographing, describing, editing and shipping? Also, are you offering discounted rates for multiple purchases from the same buyer? Some people do this to encourage the buyer to stay in their shop and purchase more than one item. It's a nice option, but it's not a requirement. Keep shipping reasonable in relation to the piece.

t.  DO YOU OFTEN REVIEW, EDIT AND UPDATE YOUR SHOP? An active shop is a happy shop.

u. List - do something every day. List, relist, renew.

v. Participate - Etsy is a community. Join the chat or post in the forums or on the blog. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the chat, but some people prefer the forums, or both. I'm not really a forum gal, but I have heard of people generating sales by posting in the forums.

2. Learn a little: A word about PHOTOS. They are so so so important - I can't stress this enough.

First please understand that it's not the camera, it's the photographer. It's up to YOU to make your photos interesting, and you don't have to be a photoshop genius to do it! Decide on a simple, non-cluttered, non distracting background that is well lit in natural light - outside is best. (The camera picks up with the human eye does not - indoor lights can change the feeling of a photo, as can using a flash.) Lighten and crop the photos, if you need to. There are some very good free programs out there for such a thing. (The one I use is called IrfanView. It is simple and straightforward and lets you do basic photo editing.)

2a. Angles - Have fun with it-shoot a LOT of shots, and all from different angles. If it's movable, move it! If you can do something with the chain of a piece, then do it.

2b. GET CLOSE and be descriptive. I, as a shopper, want to be able to pick up the piece, feel the weight of it, touch it's texture and judge how it feels in my hand. I also want to inspect the quality of the piece and the detail. Therefore, when shopping online it is impossible to do this. You must CREATE desire and the "need to buy" through your photos, as well as your creative descriptions. Keep your photos simple, but make sure you use the most effictive ones with the most effective angle that will "draw the viewer in".

Stay tuned!
Part II: Creating Desire Through Descriptions
Part III:  FABG!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Upcoming Show

Hi All,
I just wanted to let you know about my new upcoming show. I will be debuting new designs and enjoying ice cream while I do it! :P If you're in Seattle, stop by Cocoa and Cream in Magnolia on June 17 at 6pm. The show lasts through 9pm.

You can view their web page here: http://www.cocoaandcream.net/

~Rach

Friday, June 4, 2010

Copic Markers

Hi All,
In the last few weeks I have been noticing more and more people using a wonderful little thing called Copic Markers. For those of you who don't know, Copic Markers are pretty much the top-of-the-line markers for the art world. They are alcohol-based, refillable and blendable. They won't tear up the paper you work with, and you can shade and blend without leaving streaks a normal marker would leave.

Well, over the last couple of weeks I have been debating if, as a crafter, these are really a necessity for me, personally. I already have a pentel set and a case of colored pencils that I can and do use quite frequently. Do I really need to spend the money on *another* marker set?
After debating and comparison shopping, I think I've come to the conclusion that I'll probably end up purchasing some copic markers. Perhaps not in a set (they are sold either by the set or individually) but I think that they would be beneficial to any artist to have because of their blending ability (layering with color and adding as much or as little you want to create texture and definition) and the wide range of colors they come in. They are, however, quite pricey.

Eventually I may end up purchasing a set, or collecting enough markers to make my own set! I'm really excited about this! If you use copic markers, please let me know where you purchased yours and how much you are loving them and how long you've been using them? Where is a good place to buy them?

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