Inspiration comes from everywhere, and sometimes when you least expect it. I’ve always believed that as an artist you need to be professional and have the ability to work on a regular basis, not just when inspiration strikes. However, it’s definitely a boost when it does strike. You constantly have to keep your eyes and ears open.
Continue reading “Be On the Lookout: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere”
My SCORE mentor saw a book on Etsy in the library, and suggested I check it out. It’s from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Up Series and it’s called Start Your Own Etsy Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Handmade Success. This book is not authorized, prepared, or sponsored by Etsy, which is great because it contains information from a variety of sources. It was published in 2017, so it’s pretty up-to-date. The only thing I could think of that wasn’t current was the number of listing photos has gone from 5 to 10. I’m sure there’s more, but I didn’t notice any.
This book contains a lot of detailed information on running a business and using Etsy. The main advice I got from this book was be prepared before becoming an Etsy seller, run your shop like a business, and have realistic expectations. I had none of those things when I started, so I really wish I would have found a book like this before I opened my shop in 2015.
Each chapter end with the background of a successful Etsy seller as well as their advice for new sellers. These stories were fascinating and helpful.
This book stresses the importance of professional-quality listing photos, which is something I really want to work on. I use Photoshop to apply my graphics to photos I took of white onesies and shirts, but now I would like to post photos of my best sellers with the graphics physically on the items. One thing that surprized me was the book stressed how helpful using a light box can be, and even gave ideas of where to purchase one of your own. However, the book did not give instructions on how to contruct one of your own and save money. I have seen instructions in other books as well as online.
One clever tip was the book suggested to register and forward your own website URL to your Etsy shop. I had never thought of that. The book also suggests using the keyword tool in Google AdWords. I have used this in the past but it’s definitely worth revisiting.
I found this book extremely helpful even though I’ve had an Etsy shop for just over two years. If you’re just starting out or thinking of becoming an Etsy seller, definitely check it out.
My goal for January is to keep an open mind and just get through the month. I have a couple meetings to prepare for and I am eager yet nervous to hear everyone’s feedback.
I feel my goals are a little more clear now on how I want to expand my business. I want to focus on two areas: designing for adult sizes and finding more writing jobs. I will have to purchase a larger heat press. This of course does not mean I will stop designing for children’s clothing and accessories. These new goals are just ways I would like to expand.
I also plan on focusing my design work (for both children and adults) on niche markets. I am exploring different hobbies and interests to come up with some ideas.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
After several weeks of work, I am excited to present my new portfolio. It consists of three designs I’ve already been selling and nine new ones. I tried different subject matter, and more importantly, tried to make them as cute as possible. I’m pretty happy with the results, and I’m looking forward to sharing my portfolio with my mentors. Hopefully this will help start the new year off right.
Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you happiness and success in 2018.
Here are the 12 designs included in my new portfolio.
I’m still working hard on my portfolio. This is a new design I worked on this past week. I hope to finish my portfolio next Tuesday, and I will post an update at the end of next week.
I really enjoy using Adobe Illustrator. I use it almost everyday, and it’s the program I am strongest in. Vector Graphic Design was my very first commercial art class in college, and I really struggled to learn Illustrator. I would have never guessed that in a few years it would be my favorite design program.
I used Illustrator a lot for school projects, but now I’m on my own. My classes in college gave me a nice overview of the tools in Illustrator, but there’s still so much to learn. I still have my textbook from my Vector Graphic Design class, and I’m sure all the tools are mentioned in there somewhere, but there are so many tools I never used. I didn’t even know how much I didn’t know until I started trying tutorials on YouTube.
I’m happy with all the new tricks I’ve learned, and my design work has improved. There is so much information out there, and I think in some way I will always be a student.
I started thinking about things I’d like to do in the new year. Every year I hope to move closer to having a successful business – to have an income doing the things I’m passionate about. Here are some of the goals I have for 2018.
- I will define what I want to do with my business. I know I want to pursue graphic design and writing projects, but I am not certain about what kinds of services I would like to offer. Should I offer many services or specialize in a few?
- I will buy a larger heat press. I’ve put this off for a while, but if I want to expand my business possibly into adult sizes, I will need one.
- I will start my own e-commerce site. I am hoping to add a shopping cart to my existing website, www.rahmdesignsllc.com.
- I will learn more about SEO. I know this is crucial to online sales, but I feel I don’t put enough time into it.
- I will set aside time each week for new design work, and write (at least a little bit) everday.
I am also looking forward to working with SCORE and the Women’s Business Center to grow my business. Here’s to many sales in 2018!