Friday, October 17, 2008
But, I did get all my new designs photographed and wanted to share them all with you. I am so excited about the way they turned out. So, lets have our fantastic Secret Sale and Giveaway to celebrate the launch.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
It is my honest pleasure to introduce Meghan from tsurubride to all of you. I fell in love with her designs and had to show her off but I really wasn’t expecting such a wonderful and interesting tale woven in her interview. I hope it will warm your heart as it did mine.
1. Tell me about yourself (anything from age and education to what you eat).
Hi! I'm Meghan, and I've been sewing for ages! I started by sewing clothes for my Barbie doll (very poorly!), and then my mom taught me to sew with a machine and I never looked back. I went to school for fashion, and I work full time in the industry, but since I was working with clothes every day, I got out of sewing for a while. But then, my step-daughter wanted me to make some clothes for her dolls, and that helped to reignite my interest in sewing. Since I still didn't want to play with grown-up clothes I ended up making some purses for myself, and then my friends wanted some, and I thought, hey maybe some other people might some of these as well!
Sewing, sewing and more sewing! I'm also doing a couple of shows, which I'm super excited about. I'm trying to make sure I have lots of options in stock, and I'll probably need to limit the number of custom orders - at least as it gets closer to Christmas. I just got in some new leather, so supply-wise I should be good to go! Just need to shut myself up in the house, crank up some music and get working! I'd also like to use some of my scraps to make cut leather ornaments, maybe as free gifts with purchase, and also available in the store (I sort of have a Christmas ornament obsession...)
Conveniently enough, this one ties to the holiday season. I've also been a snoop when it comes to birthday or Christmas presents. My husband always searches for gift ideas on his work computer, and gets gifts shipped to work since he knows I'm so nosy. One year, my brother, step-sister and I went snooping for gifts in our parents room when they went out for brunch. We didn't find anything, but we thought we were so clever. However, our parents knew that we were likely to go on the hunt, and had closed the door a specific amount, so that they'd know if we'd gone in their room. When they came home we were totally busted!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Surprise! On Wednesday we will be launching our final set of pendant designs until after Christmas. We have 10 new Silver Spoon pendants and 5 new Reflections in an elegant array of autumn and winter color schemes.
We will, of course, debut them here first and then put them up for sale in our shop. The Autumn/Winter 2008 collection will be accompanied by one of our famous giveaways and a secret sale for the new designs.
Happy Autumn everyone!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Christmas is looming very near as we swing into October. So far we have completed our business plan, perfected our process and packaging, and lined up our vendors (see previous posts for more details). Christmas can get stressful for everyone and to relieve a little stress in both your life and your customers, it is important to stay on top of your shipping and your customer service.
Step 1: Have an ample supply of shipping materials
For a long time I was going to a local store to get my packaging. I was over paying and sometimes they were even out of stock. Here is my little shipping secret for quality inexpensive mailers with FREE shipping--STOCK UP!
Step 2: Update your shop announcements
During Christmas season it is important for your customers to be aware of your shipping deadlines. Include an estimated time it takes to ship out your items. I always over estimate just in case I make a mistake or have to redo an order.
Most shipping companies post shipping date deadlines in order to receive a package by Christmas. This is IMPERATIVE to post in your shop. This protects your reputation and gives your customers an accurate time frame in which they can expect their package to arrive. Be proactive!
Lastly, make sure to offer a faster shipping option in your shop. Many handmade venues do not allow those type of listing by themselves but you can make a note in your shop announcements that you offer faster shipping and to contact you for details.
Step 3: Customer Service
When you are buried in orders it is easy to let your customer service slide with unanswered emails and misplaced requests. There are some very simple things you can do to stay on top. First, decide on one method of communication with your customers. I recommend email because email allows you to organize and send multiple notices at once without muting your account. If someone contacts you through other means I often ask them to email me or I email myself with the information so that I do not forget the request.
Second, send out emails when an order is shipped. You can easily do this by copying each email address as you fill out packages. Copy all the addresses for that days orders and paste them (make sure to blind copy!) into an email. This allows the customer to easily notify you if there is a problem with their purchase or shipping by simply hitting reply. The faster they notify you the faster you can alleviate the issue.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Hi, my name is Eduardo Cervantes, but I also go by eddyizm in this digital world of ours. I am currently falling in love with a girl and have been falling in love with life as of my more recent years. I am 32 and a Capricorn.
2. Tell me about your art and anything that is new and in the "works"!
I just bought my first SLR less than 2 years ago and have been learning and shooting and printing and editing and learning and making lots of mistakes and taking crappy frames and finding wonderful magic since then. Photography has truly become my passion for life, adventure, travel, outdoors as well as the technical aspect and the enjoyment of others reactions. I do what I do because I enjoy it, because it makes my life complete and because I love the chance to share a part of what is inside of me, with someone else.
I just finished wrapping up 2007 and even though September is about to end, I just began posting my 2008 galleries. I have been shooting so much that I have a serious backlog but intend to catch up shortly. Coming up this year are trips to Joshua tree national park, Mt Rainer national park, Olympic national park, Grand Canyon national park, San Diego zoo, sea world, and many many more.
3. What is the best and worst think about owning your own business/working for yourself?
I don't really own my own business, but I sell prints, shoot portraits, weddings and also cover events. The best part is that I love what I do even if I wasn't paid, I would still walk out with my camera and shoot. It’s definitely for the love, not the money.
My brand? Well, I guess my name has been around since 1999 roughly, back when there was no myspace ;-) my website portfolio houses over 1,400 images in over 100+ galleries. As they say, I let my photos do the talking...
5. How are you gearing up for the holiday season?
I have a lot of prints ready to go, lots of custom sizes and great selection of images, from flowers to animals to scenic deserts to lush rain forests and gritty urban decay along with eerie ghost towns. I would be surprised if you could not find something you liked in my shop.
6. Tell about one time you have been "caught RED handed"
I plead the 5th. Let’s just say it involved the police I WAS YOUNG ! ;-)
7. Secret Sale!
"Eddyizm is offering a Secret Sale to all of our blog readers! Include the following message in the note to the seller box during checkout and you will receive 25% off your total purchase(excluding shipping).
CRH Blog reader! Please discount my purchase 25%!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
1. Tell me about yourself (anything from age and education to what you eat).
Well, my name is Susan and I’m the owner, designer & sewer of my very small company. I'm a born & bred western New Yorker who longs to move back east but is sadly stuck living on the west coast at the moment. I have a great love of music & sewing. They are the 2 things that make me the happiest (with Japanese magazines a close third). I also drink too much Pepsi—it is my favorite food!
I love making pillows from some unknown reason it's what I gravitate to making when I'm in my studio. Eventually I'd love to do more art work type pieces, mini quilts, wall art, etc. I've been playing around with that & working with more prints.
3. What is the best and worst think about owning your own business?
The real story is too many years in retail doing visuals & not feeling fulfilled working for others. It's more gratifying being on your own. So I decided when I found etsy to try it out and haven't looked back. I owe so much to etsy.
5. How are you gearing up for the holiday season?
For the holiday season I'm trying to make more to fill the shop & have more pillows that mix & match together. A more cohesive thread that brings them together.
I'm a professional; I’ve never been caught:) And if I did get caught I'd never admit to it.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I am so excited to bring this week's featured artist to you! Cori Dantini is my "partner in crime" and the wonderful designer behind the artwork on all of my pendants. There is so much more to Cori than the CRH pendant designs. Her art is spectacular so enjoy!
1. Tell me about yourself (anything from age, education, to what you eat).
mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, 501's, black t-shirt, strong coffee, seltzer water, japanese pen nibs, walnut ink, small flat pebble collector, free flowin', reader, observer, fragment lover... dependable, scatter brained, forgetful, open hearted and LOYAL. did i mention i love cake.
2.Tell me about your art and anything that is new and in the "works"!
My art (and I am not referring to my day job as an illustrator here) is truly an organic experience. I NEVER have a plan... because when I do things end up looking contrived and overly thought out. There are never any surprises when I plan and I think the creative process (for me) is truly all about the experiment. Just the simple notion of moving forward can take you to many, many surprising places.
As for what is new... I was just recently approached to do paintings for the art poster market... and I am actually COMPLETELY excited about this. It seems like such a fantastic venue to explore my painting, which is something that I never thought I would have the time to do.
3. What is the best and the worst part about working for yourself?
For me, the best thing about working for myself is the freedom. Though, what I am finding is that the more I work, the busier I get (which in theory is good)... but the busier I am, the less free I feel. So the best part and the worst part are really the same thing.
What I’d like to find is a great "life" balance, of work (freelance illustration), family, and time for myself
and my creative endeveaors (etsy/gallery work). So the struggle goes on, and so does the search for how to make it all work.
4. What is the story behind your brand?
The story behind my brand... is laziness. I thought to myself Cori Dantini is my name, so I suppose I will call myself coriD (like in kindergarten). But then I thought to myself, jeeze i'm gonna have to press the shift button to get that capital D and I don't want to have to do that all the time. So I quickly typed in corid, and then I was stuck with it! Promptly I started getting teased by my friends--Horrid Corid. UGH!!! I wish I had thought more about it. Sigh.
At the moment I am pondering snowflakes, glitter, and building silly people/dolls out of paper mache. I suppose I'd like to do another series of handmade ornaments this year, and I am hoping to have time to do another group of original paintings and prints.
Oh, and maybe a calendar (which might be entirely too ambitious) but i am thinking about this hard...1" buttons maybe, and some pocket mirrors and magnets. It all depend on how much free time I get in the next month to do all the ordering and planning.
6. Tell about one time you have been “caught RED handed”
I had to think hard about this... I really thought that I had never been caught red handed, but then I remembered! When I was 7 my baby sister was born. She and I used to bathe together, and once my mom stepped out of the room (I know I know....... not safe but it was the 70's). Anyway, while she was out I shaved the top of my sisters head and of course good old Nancy walked in and caught me (shaver in hand). Oops.
Cori dantini is offering a Secret Sale to all of our blog readers! Include the following message in the note to the seller box during checkout at http://www.corid.etsy.com/ and you will receive a 25 % discount on your entire order:
CRH Blog Reader! Please discount my purchase 25%--thanks CORID!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Preparing for Christmas: Having a Plan
You might be thinking--"It's not even Halloween yet--I should be thinking Christmas" as I am screaming through the computer--YES!!!!
Last Christmas was my first on etsy and I was taken off guard. I was not expecting the volume of customers that came through my shop and I was not prepared. This year I have promised myself it will be different.
I will be doing a series of articles on preparing for Christmas. My Christmas preparation plan hinges on this idea:
- There is a time to grow your business and there is a time to maintain it.
Growing your Business:
From January to September most of my energy goes into growing my business. I spend time developing new designs, introducing new products, and researching less expensive vendors. These months are fantastic because I get to focus my time on designing! Researching and testing new advertising tactics, product presentation, and marketing consumes my life for 9 month out of the year and it has been rewarding. I have had some real success in my endeavors and really enjoyed having time to focus on designing. The actual creating is rewarding and just fun! But, there are 3 other months in the year. . .
Maintaining your Business:
We are fast approaching the "other" 3 months in the year--the months where maintaining your business is a survival tactic! From October through December my focus is solely on maintenance. These 3 months are spent ordering supplies, stocking up on my prep work, completing orders, and customer service. This is not a time to design, research, or introduce new products--this is a time to sell the perfected items you spent the last 9 months developing. These three months, if planned well, can financially support your creating endeavors throughout the rest of the year.
Both parts are equally important to a successful business. You can not survive without growth and you cannot grow without maintenance. Each part of your yearly business plan has a specific focus that can truly accomplish your goals.
So, now that we have a plan--we can start to put it into action in the upcoming months. Each week I will be adding to our Christams Preperation series in an attempt to complete my business plan for the yearso that when December 25th rolls around--I am sipping hot cocoa with Santa and all 8 of his little reindeer!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
A Little Negligence. . .
With the purchase of our first home and the BIG move into that home (I don't think you ever realize how much stuff you really crammed into your tiny apartment until you have to move it!) I have been a little negligent to my blog. Good news--we are settled in and ready to get down to business.
Autumn is in full swing which means we are starting to gear up for Christmas! This week I will be posting my first article on Christmas preparations as well as bringing you a new artist to highlight and, of course, a long overdue Secret Sale.
Thanks to all of you who sent warm wishes and congratulations on our home--they were appreciated and cherished. I love being able to share my life experiences with so many of you. Hugs and Kisses to you all!!!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
- Elegant Whimsy--Definition: Of high grade or quality- the sumptuous elegance of whimsical imaginations. Playful, light hearted, amusing or childlike in it's beauty. Artists who claim speciality in this category will appeal to those who like a bright and cheerful color palate; a love for candy-coated sweetness.
Romantic Inspirations--Definition: Marked by expressions of love or affection; timeless. A particular influence of ephemera; of days gone by--a wistful approach to design that inspires a sense of "beauty with age". Artists who claim speciality in this category will appeal to your emotions through their use of antiques, vintage elements and a Victorian color palate.
Fanciful Creations--Definition: A tendency to indulge the senses in fancy; frivolity. The very example of froufrou and fuss! Delicate, velvety, rich or indulgent in it's design. Artists who claim speciality in this category will appeal to those who enjoy the luster of imagination and the feeling of being lost in another time or place; an emphasis on a soft, feminine color palate.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
We have been brainstorming different ways to GO GREEN here at CRH for some time and are now in the stages of implementing these ideas. Purchasing reclaimed game pieces is just not enough; overall we felt we were not doing enough to protect our planet and to really become a GREEN company.
As we grow and expand on the jewelry and accessory scene, it is important to us to remain true to our ultimate vision and protecting the environment is a huge part of that process. We have a 4 part plan in making CRH a truly GREEN company. If you can think of anything that will help our efforts or that we have neglected to mention--PLEASE post in the comments below!
1). Use reclaimed, recycled, or environmentally safe materials.
2). Reduce energy costs in our studio and overall production
3). Produce less overall waste
4). Promote GREEN living
So far we have found a sealant that is comparable to what we use, that is environmentally safe, while still being sturdy as well as waterproof. We have found a company that uses recycled materials in their packaging products so that we are not being wasteful in our little extras we have become known for here at CRH. We have reworked our schedules to use all natural light in our studio to cut down on energy use and here on our BLOG we are promoting and doing a series on GOING GREEN in your daily life.
This is just a start--just the beginning but we feel it is a good start. We are excited about a few other ideas we are developing but for now we feel we are on our way to becoming a truly GREEN company!