Friday, January 7, 2011

Year end business recap and looking ahead

I had a great holiday season! I hope you did too. I had fun with friends and family, also I'm grateful to announce that my business did very well during the gift-buying season.

It started with a wonderful Open Studios at my studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, MA. the first Saturday in December. Mom and dad came, kept me company while folks came in and did their holiday shopping.

Then I participated in Bazaar Bizarre for the second year in a row. That was an honor! I loved seeing all my crafty friends at set-up. They are a peer group I mostly socialize with online only.

After that I did SOWA Holiday Market for the third year in a row. That was also a lot of fun, especially since I got to hang out with Kristin Kelley of SkiingWeaver who was in the booth right next to me! We got a kick out of that since the show organizer had no idea we were friends and had studios right down the hall from one another. Kristin made the beautiful scarf I'm wearing in this photo and she took the picture as well! Thanks K :)

I had an item, the pincushion ring, that sold very well online and it kept me hopping through November and December. I was so stressed at some points trying to make a bunch of these items that I started to worry I had priced them too low. Then I realized, no, they are priced accurately, they just weren't intended for mass production. Like all my items, they take time and care to produce. That is just the way it is.

So I soldiered through, making items all day in my studio then bringing home materials to work from dinner time to bed time. I wasn't able to make as many of my best selling items in the most popular colors as I wanted to and that had me down sometimes. But I am only one person and I don't want any outside help, the point is that I make everything myself!

Also, I remembered that I am not really in this solely for the money, though it is my job and it is a business, if it ceases to be fulfilling then what is the point? So I may not have capitalized as fully on the selling season as I would have liked, but it was still a success!

Now it is the new year and I can concentrate on what is next: I was accepted into Craftland year 'round shop again this year which pleases me greatly! I will make them some new inventory and ship it to Providence, RI post-haste.

I was also accepted into the Cabin Fever show on February 13th, this is their second year holding it but my first year participating, it's in the same Cathedral High School gym in Boston's South End where SOWA Holiday show is held.

A group of us at Western Avenue Studios is putting together a Gifts From the heART promotion for February Open Studios on the 5th where you can win a gift certificate to spend with participating artists! More on that as details become finalized.

I hope you enjoyed your holidays and are also excited for the new year. Here we come 2011, ready or not!