Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 7/20-7/26

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a 23 year old wife (of almost 3 years) and mother to a one year old girl. I am a southern girl from North Carolina, and still live there today. I have been into crafts ever since I could pick up a glue stick and a crayon. As a child I entered many art contests and won some national ones. Now that I'm a mom drawing has since went out the window (because when do I have the time to draw). Now I concentrate on crafts that I can pick up here and there during nap times.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I first learned to crochet at age 7. I quit for a long time and picked it back up at the age of 19. Needless to say, I had a lot of refreshing to do. I didn't have a lot of luck with craft shows so I started on Etsy. I have been an Etsy addict since September 2007. I've since been exploring all sorts of crafts depending on what mood I'm in that day.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
I can find inspiration from anywhere. But, I guess my main inspiration is my daughter. I try to make girly stuff that she will one day enjoy, which is odd because I'm definitely NOT a girly girl.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite item right now is my Blooms and Stripes Blanket. I worked on it off and on for 3 1/2 years so it's been a part of me for a while. I love the felt flower on it. I think it is beautiful yet hip. (See Image Below)

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I would have to say Walt Disney. I just admire his imagination and his courage to follow his dreams. I go to Disney World a good bit, and it just leaves me in awe. To think one man started all that. He started a wonderful place where we all can be kids, where we all can believe in our dreams, and skip down Main Street hand in hand. I just love it.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Harry Potter, just because I know more about him than any Star Wars character, haha.

EBSpider's Shop

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big Business (Part 3)

What's the Plan, Stan?
Business plan, that is.

You've heard how important it is to come up with a business plan in the early stages, right? But why is it so important and what is it?
A business plan is a plan of action. Where you are, where you want to be and how you'll get there. Here are some tips and pointers in writing one...
  1. In once sentence describe what you do. Be as specific as possible so that when you tell someone, they aren't confused. "I sell clothing" isn't near as specific as "I hand paint clothing for adults and children."
  2. In detail, describe what you sell and what makes it special, or sets you apart from your competition. Is it more of a luxury, less expensive, custom, etc? Why buy from you?
  3. Who are your customers? It's important to really think about this one. Be very specific. Everyone can't be your customer, so who are you selling to? Senior citizens? Teenagers? Moms of twins? Where does your ideal customer usually shop/frequent? If you don't know where to find them, how will you market to them?
  4. Realistically look at your start up costs. Do you need a loan or are you fronting all of the money yourself? All of the little things can add up quickly, make sure you know what you're getting into before heading unknowingly into debt.
  5. Make sure to include copies of your Fictitious Name Statement and publication documentation.
Leave room for growth. It's a good idea to revisit your plan in a year to see if you're still on track or if you need to make any adjustments.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 7/13-7/19

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I'm a stay at home mum of two - my six month old Milla and my 7 year old step daughter Felicity; and couldn't think of anything better in the world.
My week is a full one - I have Felicity 4 days of the week running her play-based therapy for her autism and the rest of the week I juggle Milla and Giggleberry. I love to be busy and get in and get things done.
I have a store on Etsy, selling pre made or custom ordered bunting sets for kids room, nurseries, cubbies, play rooms, parties, baby gifts, craft show tents… anything really!
Q: How long have you been doing this?
I have always loved creating things, and love the 'handmade factor' of gifts, so I started Giggleberry Creations in April 2008 and have loved every minute.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
Forever. I have longed to be a mum - a fun mum - just like my mum was, and still is - I hope I've still got the spark for life she manages to ooze day in and day out for her husband, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends - definitely an inspiration.
In regards to my Giggleberry products - anything unique and different has my full attention and I love to create one-of-a-kind items for that very reason!

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite item is a little bit biased. My mum handmade all her grandchildren a cot quilt - unique for them, so when she made one for my daughter I requested the leftover fabric and created a set of pennant strings with the fabric. They hang above the very cot that the quilt is in!

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I'd love to meet Julie Andrews. I LOVED Mary Poppins as a girl and was a nanny for 4 years from that love. I'm sure she would have many amazing stories to tell.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Much to my hubby's amazement, and disappointment, I have never seen any Star Wars movies so I'd have to vote for Harry Potter in this one - fingers crossed - I have heard Luke is pretty clever! LOL.

Giggleberry's Shop

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 7/6-7/12

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Marisa Hopkins and I'm an at home mom who loves to dabble in illustration with the dream of becoming a children's book writer and illustrator. I have a deeply rooted love for colored pencils, which goes back to my childhood packs upon packs of crayolas. While my colored pencils are all grown up, my illustrations remain young and fun, and are filled with bold and bright colors. I'm an Aquarius who loves Italian food (especially pastas slathered in cream sauces), British films and novels, and long walks on the beach.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I have wanted to be a professional illustrator since my mom used to tuck me in bed at night with my favorite children's books. As for selling my work, I began doing that about six years ago, but took a break while I finished college, got married and had two children. I opened my shop on Etsy in mid-January of this year, and I have been having a great time selling ever since.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
The person who inspires me the most is my friend and fantastic watercolor artist, Brian Nishimoto. I had the pleasure of discovering his artwork at a local show several years ago. When he invited me to join him as his painting companion, I was over the moon. We painted together for a year and I learned so much from him. We no longer live in the same state, but we keep in touch through emails and continue to critique and inspire each other. I don't think I would have had the courage to open up Elegant Snobbery if it wasn't for him.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
Every piece I work on is my new favorite. When my current illustration is done, I'll put it in my portfolio and begin my next favorite.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
If I could meet anyone, living or dead, I'd choose Jane Austen. I am a huge Austen fan and a lover of Regency England in general, so meeting her would fulfill several dreams of mine (providing that I travel back in time to meet her, rather than have her pop round my apartment). I wouldn't feel the need to ask her anything or pick her brain... I'd just love to spend an afternoon chatting over tea and finger sandwiches.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
I love stories featuring witches, wizards, and magic. Not a big fan of science fiction or outer space. Naturally, I'll be rooting for young Harry. However, the protection that Harry's mother gave him when she died was supposed to protect him from Lord Voldemort, not Luke Skywalker. With the force on Luke's side, it might be inevitable that he would win. I'd still root for Harry though. I thought Luke had a wimpy personality.

Elegant Snobbery's Shop
Elegant Snobbery's Blog

Big Business (Part 2)

What the heck is a trademark?
and other legalities...

Ah yes, the boring side of business, otherwise known as "the I'll get to it later" stuff. However, the longer you procrastinate, the more likely you'll end up hurting yourself. For instance, did you know that once you come up with your oh-s0-brilliant company name, it's up for grabs to anyone until you file a "Fictitious Name Statement" otherwise known to the government, as a DBA (Doing Business As)? After you've selected your name, you need to head on down to the county clerk's office and search through their list of names on record. Once you're in the clear, go ahead and register the name for $10-$15. Then, you still need to have your dba name published in a recognized periodical. Go with a local newspaper for cost effectiveness.

When do I need the following?...
Trademark: you need one for your logo. This prohibits others from using any likeness to it, including colors, style and verbiage.
Copyright: for use if you're an author of literature, music, drama or other works that can be published.
Patent: for use if you've invented something tangible or a process. These can take YEARS to secure. Once the paperwork is filed, you can label as "patent pending."


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