Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 2

In September I started learning to crochet. After failing miserably at making a scarf, I kind of gave up. All the inspiration on Etsy got me to try again. I still can't start a project myself, I have to get my mom to do the first row, but I'm slowly getting away from the "shrinking" size thing where the rows get shorter and shorter. Once I start crocheting I think, one more row, and then five rows later I'm still saying the same thing.

A good friend asked me to crochet a blanket for her soon-to-arrive baby...I only hope I can do it justice. I may need Mom's help...especially if it's more than one color :)


Tonight (rather last night) I started to crochet again. Don't be misled by that statement, I was never a big crocheter, only made it to the beginning stages, but I decided to give it another try. It's a little late in the season to be making a scarf again, (which I never finished) so I'm making a blanket for my dog, Sophie. She weighs 13 pounds so it's not really big. So far so good, it's looking nice and straight and not shrinking like many crocheter's first projects. Not sure why I chose white yarn as my dog is black and leaves little black hairs all over anything fabric-like...but it's what my mom had lying around so I grabbed it and had her start the first row for me. I still don't know how to start a crochet row...mainly because I suck at tying slipknots. Here is my progress so far:

And yes, my shelves/bed are a mess...I'm putting together resume packets and have lots of different papers strewn about. I can't wait to show you my packets...they're coming together nicely! I need to write my cover letter still, but the resume and samples are all done. Applying for a graphic design position requires a bit more work than some other jobs as it's usually a bright idea to include some samples of your work. I got a little bit creative with my presentation of samples so as to make my resume stand out. I am mailing out 14 resumes right now, and if I get no bites I'll send out more. Hopefully that will not be the case, but God has a plan for me and I will get by as long as I trust him. And listen to him too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 1

So this whole "30 Day Photo Challenge" thing is pretty popular. And it sounds fun. So I'm going to do it. I took this photo early this morning on the 27th of February.

Someone in Etsy chat said I look confused...I wasn't confused but rather looking at my computer screen, watching the posts scroll up my screen. I chose this photo because I spend a lot of time in Etsy chat. When my friends aren't online chatting on Facebook, I go to Etsy for my social fill. It's a great way to learn new things and meet some very friendly people. Yesterday I encountered a not-so-friendly person, but those are few and far between. The papers you see on the right of the photo are all for my resume packet that I will be mailing to 14 different places. I am on the hunt for a design job!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dealing with Troublesome Buyers

My second order with my new store has of course hit a snag. My printer has decided it no longer wishes to work properly. Thankfully my customer doesn't need these until March, so I can wait until pay day to buy a new printer. It makes me wonder if any order is ever easy. There's always something...shipping goes wrong, item goes missing, etc., etc. Then there's the wonder if the customer is happy. When that glowing feedback rolls in all that fear is thrown out the window and success has been had.

But when running a business you have all kinds of troublesome people. Some people are just plain impossible to please, others expect way more for their money than what they're getting is worth, and some only exist to complain. It's so nice to get a decent customer. I have this problem much, much more on eBay. I really wonder why that is. Are eBay buyers more rude than Etsy? I'm inclined to say yes. I think their personalities are different. Etsians are on Etsy for a reason: to find unique things, not a bargain. So when something is slightly wrong on eBay, the customer flips out because they didn't get the great deal they thought they were getting. They may be right, they may be wrong, but either way they want things done their way. So I guess my point is, you can't please everyone, but all you can do is your best.

On Etsy, people are usually pretty reasonable. Note the "usually" in that sentence. There are always exceptions to that statement. And when you find that unreasonable person, all you can do is damage control. Stop trying to make yourself sound "right" and try to keep the buyer under control. Keep the lines of communication wide open, and stay calm. Before sending conversations think carefully about what you've it snotty at all? Does your attitude reflect professionalism? Think about a time when you were on the other side -- the disgruntled buyer. What did the seller or store do right and wrong? Follow that experience and learn from it. Respond as if the buyer isn't steaming mad, never retaliate. If you have to think twice about what you've written, you probably shouldn't send it.

Just remember that all you can do is your best. If you have done your best, you have no reason to feel defeated or down when something goes wrong. Just keep a cool head and take advantage of the fact that you are not dealing with people on the phone or in person -- you have time to compose your messages and edit them before sending. You're not likely to let something slip while typing like you would in person, such as a condescending tone or bad attitude.

If you're ever unsure of what to do, you can do several things. One, contact Etsy. You may or may not get a prompt response, so do not rely on this too heavily unless the issue has escalated past your ability to handle it. Next you can go to the forums and post under Site Help, just be sure to state your situation hypothetically or else your post will be considered "calling out" and your post will be closed. Third, you can go into Etsy chat (under the Communication tab on Etsy) and get some live advice. Lastly (and this can always be your first option!) talk with friends and family. Find out what they think you should do. Get several opinions before making a decision on something you're unsure of.

Lastly, don't get too worked up over troublesome customers. They are few and far between for the most part and you have to focus on the good transactions. That is what will make your business grow!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Reinventing your shop is a scary thing…especially when you’ve enjoyed a small taste of success with another medium. What about your old customers? How do you promote your new image? It’s something unfamiliar and you’re new at selling it. This is my situation at the moment, and to be honest, it’s a bit frightening.

Today I assembled and shipped off my first order from my “new” shop. Sure, it’s the same name but I’ve switched from handcrafted paper products to graphic design. Design has been a passion for several years, and my scrapbooking took off when my computer drowned in diet coke and I lost all my design software. Now that I have it back…scrapbooking and paper crafting has taken a back seat and graphic design, my future career, has flourished. I have filled my shop with banners, shop packages, business cards, invitations, and party kits. It has been more than a blast doing it. I have loved every minute of it!

But back to my first order from my “new” shop…I encountered the problems typical of a newbie. Printing errors, learning what paper to NOT print on, how to adhere the paper to the cardstock correctly, how to not get adhesive all over the invitation, what size to make the invites so I can actually obtain envelopes for them…and this had to be a quick job, too. My customer was in a time crunch and needed things ASAP. So with an ice storm getting in the way, I had to hurry while not sacrificing quality. After not making much money off the deal but having learned a whole lot with just one sale, I feel better about my new shop. I still have reservations about things not working out, but I suppose I will cross that bridge when I come to it…or those bridges and when I come to them. :)