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Showing posts from June, 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 item…

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 Vendo…

Olivine Necklace

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New listing! Check it out! :D

Hooray for Copic Markers!

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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 …

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" betwee…

Show Recap

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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…

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!

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…

New Projects

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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. Guaran…

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

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. B…

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

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 blend…