Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I won!

A few weeks ago I entered a contest at Cicada Daydream to win a bundle of fat quarters of her new line of fabric.

Imagine my surprise when I won! About 3 days later they arrived on my doorstep.

They are even prettier in person than in these pictures. I think the top middle one is my favorite... can you see the little snails?

So now I'm faced with the inevitable question- what to make with them??

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Friday, September 11, 2009

One for me

I decided that the best way to show off my work was to carry it with me.

I had been using a great bag, but it was a bag I bought, not something I made myself. I thought I'd try to replicate it. I had this piece of Joel Dewberry's Aviary fabric that I had been hoarding, waiting for the perfect thing.

This isn't exactly like the model. The fabric is a little less slouchy and the straps are attached a little differently. Inside there is a zipper pocket and a couple open pockets.
Why yes, I do carry all that around with me. Often more! The bottom is round, with a few little pleats to give body to the bag. It's a great weight and very roomy.

As always, there are a few things I'd do differently- like make actual bias tape, cut on the bias- but overall I'm very happy with it.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Craft, Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco

(Some of you have already seen this, but there are a couple people who only read this blog who might be interested in the book.)

As you are all fully aware, given how much I talk about it, I have a shop on Etsy. I'd love to turn it into something that will generate a little extra income for my family so that I could one day be debt free. (Yes, "one day" is a long long long long LONG time in the future. Do not crush my dreams.) To that end I bought (yes, bought!) this book- Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business. It's a short little book, only 160 pages, and while not everything in it will really apply to me, there was a lot of inspiration to be found.

Ilasco breaks the book down into chapters about marketing, inspiration, sales, and pricing, among others. The book covers in very general terms all the different aspects of owning your own shop AND creating your own brand. She's very clear that you have to brand yourself fully, you can't have a bunch of random stuff throw together and expect to be a rousing success. I think this is possibly the most useful thing I took out of the book and I expect it'll cause me to think more about my own shop and how I can pull it together more cohesively. One thing I took the time to do already was to create a Facebook fan page for the shop, please go become a fan!

Throughout the book there are short interview from various people who have managed to turn their hobbies into very successful brands. Each one was about two pages long, just long enough to keep me interested, without too many details. Some of them were very inspiring and make me think that this IS possible for me.

The one aspect of the book that wasn't so helpful for me was that a lot of the book does focus on things that can be mass produced. For example- pottery pots, or lip balm, or even knitted hats. Most of what I make tends to be one of the kind- custom team banners, messenger bags, and tote bags from t-shirts. It's a little harder to market something that is so unique- just how many sample banners do I need anyway, if the Twins fans don't bite?

Overall, a useful book, one that I'll add to my shelves. It certainly does inspire me to work harder at my goal. If you're interesting in starting a creative business of your own, I think you could get a lot out of this book, otherwise probably not for you.

If you could turn any hobby into a business, what would it be? What do you love to do? You don't have to be great at it, I'm just interested in what your passion is... and don't say "I'd love to make a living reading books!" cause DUH.

Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco

Chronicle Books


160 pages

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Facebook fan page!

Hey, Look over there in the sidebar -->

I added a link to the Made by Lisah Facebook fan page- become a fan and don't miss any shop updates!