Category Archives: marketing

Mandala Coloring Books for Adults on Amazon

You can now buy all three of my coloring books for adults, on Amazon. Click any image to follow the direct link and ship directly to any address you choose. At $9.95 each, and they’d make great gifts, especially with the free Prime shipping.

       

As you can imagine, I’m very excited. Thank you to everyone who has offered up encouragement, and even purchased already.

Please post a review on Amazon. It  helps my books have more visibility, and is the best compliment an author can receive.

Was Supposed to be: Why I Miss Marketing.

You know what I miss? Marketing.

I know. Call me crazy, but I really do. If you don’t already know it, good marketing is an art in itself and anything that can be described as an art is interesting to me. I’ve been involved in some pretty clever things, and creative marketing is one of the areas where I have felt most alive. This feeling though, I don’t think I’ve had for about 10 or so years.

Before then my business trajectory was on the rise. Every year at tax time I noted that my income had risen by a good amount. Then it happened. Kids. Well, the kids didn’t happen then…I had already had them. What happened was that they started wanting things at times that I couldn’t plan anymore. How dare they?! You know I say that with a smile. If I really felt like it was other than good I wouldn’t be typing it here. It’s the truth though.

So, at that time I re-prioritized my life, both reluctantly, and willingly. I also went through a few years of angry at those people who say that women can have it all. Maybe they can but if being a mother is included in that all, I will argue with you. I tried it. We hired an in-home nanny that was unbelievable. I got to be with the kids and I had tons of extra help from what I would call an extension of me. She had the same values, was a hard-worker and anticipated and did things for us that I didn’t even know would make my life easier. Things like Rice Krispie Treats and chocolate chip cookies left on the counter on a Friday before she left was always nice too. Love-you-forEVER-Daniella!!

Then that little one, known today as the 11yo seemed ready for pre-school. I pushed it off as long as I could. We started with part-time but full-time was inevitable and Daniella was ready to move on to a ‘real job’ too. I still don’t think I’ve recovered.

But anyway, marketing. During that time I was a marketing fool. I was blogging like a maniac, hosting giveaways and contests, coming up with unique ten-buck sales, putting things together in ways that other people hadn’t been, and working my email list regularly. Like, every week regularly! Beads were flying out of the studio. It didn’t hurt that this was before the Chinese imports flooded the market and lampwork was for sale at Michaels.

It was fun.

I loved the excitement I felt when I would post a sale and everything would sell out that day. I loved the feeling of having regular customers. I loved the flow that I felt when ideas of how to sell in a different way would flood my mind. I loved hearing that people were having fun with it too. It was even kind of fun to watch other people start doing it too.

Since that time I haven’t felt confident enough to commit to my own business success because I knew I couldn’t give it my all. That has been hard. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve made peace with that and you know what they say…when you let go of something…something happens but I forget what it is. Basically, I let go of wanting to get back in the game, of holding on to what I ‘could’ be doing and here I am. Excited again about a new venture.

Sure, over those years I’ve helped market other companies. Cattwalk, Beads of Courage, ISGB, even a couple church and school-related things have gobbled my time and benefitted from my creativity and drive. Those things kept me occupied and my marketing creativity primed, but the focus was different because I didn’t have to handle any work that might result from successful marketing.

This post wasn’t intended to go in this direction…I was supposed to talk about where I am TODAY and why I’m excited about marketing again, and now, I’ve used up my words. The good thing about words though, is that there are always more. I know I always promise that I’ll fill you in on the rest in another post. So that is what I am going to do again here.

Please do stay tuned. I post links to these updates on my Facebook personal page but you know how that goes…easy to miss. Best bet is to subscribe for blog updates, via email, up in the right hand corner.

Talk more soon!

Contemplating lots of sales schemes.

I use the word scheme endearingly. Meaning that with the economy being so sluggish and the world of selling online having changed so much since I was fully in the game, I am contemplating different creative ideas to spark interest. When sales slow, the first reaction can be to lower prices. My prices have always been pretty reasonable because I like designers to be able to buy and resell in their creations. However, I have also always considered that there has to be some mark-up from wholesale for the shops that want to buy and resell, without my prices underselling them. I don’t know why I find it so confusing.

121224a1

One of the things I’m contemplating again is eBay auction. Ninety-nine cent or $9.99 starting prices. The $.99 thing makes me nervous but also can be fun. Another thing I am contemplating is selling full on wholesale at the Tucson Whole Bead Show in February. If you have a business license, no minimums and full wholesale pricing.

And then, I think, all of that sounds like huge incentives to buy from me but really, maybe the market just isn’t there anymore. Or maybe, Tucson just ain’t happenin’ for glass beads anymore. Not on the scale that it used to be. That is pretty obvious…but I still have fun and still turn a profit so I haven’t gone to total doom and gloom mode.

121224a2

That is also causing me to re-think some other things. What do I REALLY need/want to make on a piece? Can I cut back my hourly wage and still be happy with myself? I know that I can because I’m pretty efficient. What is my intention in selling my work? Since I don’t need to sell in order to feed my family at this time, do I want to just make art for me, or do I want to sell it at lower prices just to move it? Do I want to create pieces that take more time to create and sell them for higher prices in shops and galleries?

I just don’t know.  So right now I’m going where my heart leads me. If it tells me to work on a piece that takes a week, that is what I sit down to do that day…hoping that the rest of the week will lead me in that direction so I can finish it! If it tells me to sit down and try something new, that is what I’m doing. If it tells me to clean my office from top to bottom and hang twinkle lights, that’s where you will find me.

I am trying to not think about selling.