It’s been a little over a week since I attended the vinyl cutter boot camp at Stahl’s, and I’ve been very busy experimenting. Using the cutter is getting easier. I’m learning a lot. I bought more vinyl when I went to the boot camp, so I have more colors to play around with. I have some ideas I’m kicking around, and I will list new items in my online store soon. Here are some of my creations so far.
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.
In the 19th Century, early settlers to Northwest Ohio endured a difficult life in a dark, forested swampland. Many suffered from malaria and swamp fever in a region filled with thick mud and swarms of mosquitos. Other regions of Ohio were settled long before this area. The Great Black Swamp, named by the soldiers of 1812, covered Northwest Ohio making travel nearly impossible. It stretched from Lake Erie to Fort Wayne, IN.
It’s hard to imagine these dark, swampy surroundings when Northwest Ohio is now an open patchwork of fertile farmland. Our area has a colorful history and it’s important to remember our hardy ancesters.
Please check out The Great Black Swamp: Historical Tales of 19th-Century Northwest Ohio by Jim Mollenkopf to learn more about our early settlers and the difficult conditions they endured. Our home wouldn’t be what it is today without their struggles and sacrifice.
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 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!
Here are some designs I am currently working on for my new portfolio. I hope to have 10 designs finished by the end of the year.
I am following SCORE’s marketing expert’s advice and creating a new portfolio of super cute graphics. I started with holiday designs since it’s about that time of the year.