art · Small Business

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition is a great resource for crafters!

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I just finished reading The Handmade Marketplace 2nd Edition by Kari Chapin, another awesome book I found at the library. It was a quick and easy read (I finished reading it during breaks at my day job), but it was a very thorough overview of the craft business. Throughout the book, Chapin adds input from the “Creative Collective”, a group of craft professionals of all different disciplines from around the world.

Chapin starts at the very beginning with setting goals and setting up your workspace in chapter one, and branding in chapter two.

Everyone seems to struggle with pricing, including myself, so I found chapter three extremely helpful. In this chapter Chapin explains pricing and members of the Creative Collective reveal their formulas and strategies. It was like someone turned the light on as these craft professionals demystified pricing.

Chapter four is about marketing, and Chapin emphasizes the importance of good photography. She adds simple instructions on how to make a light box using materials you probably already have at home.

Craft communities and the importance of making connections are highlighted in chapter five.

Chapters six through eight explain ways to promote your work such as blogging, advertising, and using social media.

The last four chapters of the book outline the different ways to sell your work. Craft fairs, e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores, and other creative opportunities are all included.

The Handmade Marketplace is a great resource. It’s so thorough; I can’t think of anything Chapin left out. I highly recommend this book to any crafters ready to take it to the next level.

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Parenting · Toledo, OH

Family-friendly Halloween Events in Toledo

There are some great, family friendly Halloween events coming up in Toledo! The info on these events came from their websites.

 

Oddmall Emporium of the Weird: Hallowondrous Edition

October 14th 10-6

October 15th 10-5

Seagate Center

 

Hallowondrous.oddmall.info

 

Oddmall is part art fair, part craft show, part comic con, part gaming festival, part cosplay extravaganza, part toy show, part antique show, part vintage fashion show, part geeksplosion, part music fest, part magic show, and part various undefinable othernesses. If it’s fun, artsy, geeky, crafty or odd, chances are it can be found at Oddmall. It’s the Emporium of the Weird.

Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird – HALLOWONDROUS returns to the fabulous SeaGate Centre in lovely Toledo, Ohio! Toledo’s SeaGate Centre is a fantastic venue with plenty of room for all our artsy-fartsy, crafty-wafty, geeky-freaky, activities. We’ll have an ENORMOUS vendor hall overflowing with artists, crafters, and purveyors of all things unique, odd, unusual, geeky, and wonderful. There will be cosplayers and a costume contest, trick and/or treating, live entertainment, open gaming, a Kid Cave with games and activities for the chillunz, a Halloween costume party. There will be panels and workshops, special guests, and a veritable overflowing cornucopia of surprises and super fun stuff.

 

And it’s all FREE to the public!!!!! That’s right, it’s all FREE to the public!!!

 

Toledo Zoo

 

Toledozoo.org

 

Little Boo at the Zoo
Thursday, October 19
and Friday, October 20
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 

To help us with our green initiatives, please bring a bag, plastic pumpkin, or other container for trick-or-treating. Little Boo is the pre-school pirates’ and princesses’ chance to delight without the fright! Toddlers and preschool aged children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes to trick or treat throughout the Zoo and enjoy crafts and games sized just for them.

 

Pumpkin Path
Saturday, October 21
and Sunday, October 22
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

To help us with our green initiatives, please bring a bag, plastic pumpkin, or other container for trick-or-treating. Pumpkin Path is when the Halloween fun really comes alive at the Toledo Zoo! In addition to costumed trick or treating for all ages, there will also be games, artistic pumpkin carving demonstration, bounce houses and magic shows to entertain all the ghosts and goblins!

 

Parenting

Fun Pregnancy Stories

Fun blog post today! I’d like to tell you some stories about my pregnancy with Karly. Being pregnant was fascinating even though I felt sick most of the time.

Karly newborn

I thought buying maternity clothes was a lot of fun. I bought a lot of my outfits from swap.com. Many others came from a fun shopping trip with my step mom. I always thought pregnant women were cute so I was happy when I was very noticeably showing at only four months along.

Jason and I said throughout the pregnancy that it would be neat if Karly was born during a thunderstorm. Jason told the nurses that when we arrived at the hospital to be induced. Karly was born in the middle of the night, and it was storming! Everyone’s phones were going off with weather warnings while I was pushing.

Some of the foods I craved while I was pregnant included Hot Head burritos, egg rolls, and banana popsicles. There was a Chinese restaurant next to the office where I worked, and I would often walk over and get a couple egg rolls for an afternoon snack. Karly would kick a lot when I ate them.

I had morning sickness when I was pregnant with Karly. I got sick almost everyday and it lasted throughout the entire pregnancy. It was horrible at the time, but sometimes I laugh about it now. One night before bed I didn’t brush my teeth because I thought if I did I would throw up. However, when I woke up in the morning there was such a terrible taste in my mouth that I threw up anyway. I was pretty lucky at times because we lived so close to the office where I worked. When I felt like I was going to get sick, I would drive home really quickly, get sick, and drive back to work like nothing happened.

Karly’s full name is Karla Gail, and Jason and I had her name picked out since before we were married. Jason and I both lost our mothers, and we had decided if we ever had a daughter we would name her after them. Karla was my mom and Gail was Jason’s mom. We were so excited when the ultrasound revealed we were having a girl.

Being pregnant for the first time was an adventure, and Karly’s birth was amazing.

graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Onesies · Small Business · Toledo, OH

Meeting with Our SCORE Mentor 10-4-17

Wednesday night we met with our SCORE mentor. A marketing expert joined us and it was encouraging to get a new perspective.

I had assumed to make my business successful I would have to branch out and offer lots of different services, but the marketing expert suggested I concentrate on one thing and become really good at it. I’m going to focus on graphics for children’s clothing, newborn to 5T. We are going to brainstorm new design ideas and create a strong portfolio of super cute graphics.

We are also going to make a list of businesses and organizations involved with children and reach out to them. The marketing expert said it is important to have a “leave behind” item when approaching these organizations, and he made some suggestions to improve our tri-fold brochure.

I took lots of notes during the meeting and I’m ready to get to work. I’m nervous about approaching local organizations but excited to work on new designs. I’m willing to give all these new suggestions a fair shot.

Library · Small Business

A Helpful and Enjoyable Read: The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

I recently came across The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging at the library. I always enjoy reading the Huff Post articles that show up in my newsfeed on Facebook, so I was curious and checked the book out. It’s a bit dated as it sometimes mentions MySpace or the 2008 elections, but once you get past that, it can be a pretty helpful resource. This book includes lots of fascinating input from Huff Post bloggers on why the blog, Q and A’s, important posts, and tips.

This book starts at the very beginning explaining the history of blogging, the anatomy of a blog, and even tips for picking a title for your blog. It doesn’t leave anything out as far as the blogosphere is concerned. It even explained blog awards including the Webby Awards, Bloggies, and Blooker Prize. I didn’t even know those existed.

This book has lots of good information, however, I found Chapter 4: Finding Your Voice to be the most helpful. This chapter includes The Huffington Post Rules for Great Blogging as well as a list of sources for inspiration, both of which are going on my office wall.

The final section of this book is for resources. It includes the Huff Post blog roll, a glossary of blogging terms, and – for even more inspiration – the best of Huff Post.

I enjoyed The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging and recommend it to anyone interested in blogging. It’s a quick read and definitely helpful.

Parenting

Kelleys Island 2017

My family had a blast this past weekend at Kelleys Island. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kelleys Island, it is a small island in Lake Erie. It’s about a 20-minute ferry ride from Marblehead, Ohio.) We shopped downtown and visited the winery and beach. My parents rented a house right on the water, and it was wonderful.

Watching Karly’s first time at the beach was amazing. I think I got some pretty good pictures. She loved playing in the sand and even got in the water.

Kelleys Island is beautiful, and I highly recommend everyone to visit. It’s laid back and a great place to relax. Phone reception isn’t very good, but maybe that’s part of the charm.