Saturday, December 28, 2013

Looking Ahead to 2014

Like so many at this time of year, I am looking back on the year while simultaneously looking forward to the next one.  I can certainly say 2013 was not a bad year at all, but of course I'd love for 2014 to be even better!  I have a list of things to do over the next week or so and one of them I've been thinking most about is goals for my business for 2014.  At this point, I only have one specific goal so far; a modest one of that.  I plan to gain a wholesale account every month, as well as increase my general retail online presence.  SEO is so complicated, and Google seems to change things up as soon as my rankings improve.  This is also at the same time as Facebook decreasing the organic views of business pages posts in hopes to push business to "boost" their ads for more views, which for a small business is tough.  So obviously I need to come up with some more ways to increase online visibility.  I do think that Pinterest is going to be the way to go in 2014, and now that I am improving my product pictures, it only makes sense to increase my business use of Pinterest.  The picture with this post is my latest edit.  I think I will have to re-photograph my products (ugh....) to finalize this current edit to get the lighting very even, but I think this current version is the way to go.

Latest edit of my American Moose New Baby Bib at Bourgeois Baby.  You can find it via my website link above or to the right.

On a personal note, I don't typically do the traditional resolutions.  But I do aim for more positive actions that are realistic to my day to day life.  For instance, I hope to read more.  I love reading, have always loved reading, so much that it was my source of calming anxiety when I was dealing with a troublesome husband and struggling with postpartum depression.  But as those things improved (thankfully), I let the reading every night for a minimum of 30 minutes before bed slip.  Combine that with night time being my only work time now that Vera doesn't nap anymore (I still am not over this transition- it sucks!!), and I think I may have read 2 books this whole year.  Before, I was 2 books a month!  I have so many excellent books on my shelf, not to mention a growing list on my notes app on my phone, that I need to pick it up quickly.

Is there anything special you are doing?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Well, I'm Wrong! (Something my husband doesn't hear often)

My last post went on and on about license character infringement and how it relates to the handcrafted small business person.  If you haven't read it, go and do that now.

This past weekend I was doing a local event with Bourgeois Baby and had the pleasure of meeting Stacey of Three Monkeys Cloth Diapers (check out her stuff....SO CUTE!) and we chatted about licensed character products.  Her understanding of using licensed characters in clothing, cloth diapers, etc, was completely different than mine.  She said that so long as you don't name the product the licensed name, then you are fine.  I really wasn't buying it, although I had seen items on Etsy like "Cat in the Hat Inspired Shirt" or whatever. I needed to research this more myself.

Tonight I was digging around the internet and found this page about the use of licensed fabric.  So it seems that it is totally fine to sell items made from licensed fabric.  I found the Tabberone website every interesting on various topics, and got a chuckle of their comments on the Uninformed Mavens of Etsy.

And I will say it again- I was wrong.  At least as far as it goes with fabrics.  As much as I like Hello Kitty, don't expect her to show up on my business website.  But it does open up possibilities for other things in the future.