Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My CreativeLive Classes are Tomorrow!

Hello everyone from CreativeLive land!
Ooh boy. I'm writing this the evening before my big CreativeLive classes. I'm super nervous but excited at the same time! I know it will go well though because I have an amazing community of people all rooting for me...and I am SO grateful!

If you want to check out the classes, if you're reading this on Thursday, March 5, 2015, you can go to the CreativeLive site and watch me streaming live!

9am to 12pm: Etsy 101 - Launching Your Online Shop
12:45pm to 4pm: SEO for Etsy

If you're reading this after March 5th, then you'll see a link to purchase the classes there so you can get all the videos plus all the bonus materials I put together too - including my new e-books
"Handmade Value - a pricing guide for artists and craft makers" with the 101 class
And "Small Object Photography for Online Sellers" with the SEO class!

I am also offering a bonus FREE link list for signing up for my upcoming newsletter over at CreativeArtsConsulting.com - it would be awesome if you'd join me there :)

Okay. I'd better go get some sleep. I'll see you online!

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Community Divided Strengthens None

I did say that I was going to be real with you, right? Okay. Here's a good one:
I just finished reading some seriously saddening rants about an Etsy seller who is reportedly making over 1 million dollars in sales per year and I just have to wonder out loud: What is up with the handmade community constantly turning on itself when someone from the ranks finds success with their business?

Why can't the response to reading an article about such a seller be, "Oh wow! That's awesome! Good for her - and good for US! Her shop is bringing in thousands of buyers to the site and many of them buy more stuff from other sellers too!"

Instead, the news of someone finding a level of success beyond many of our wildest dreams is met with utter scrutiny, judgement, and people accusing her of not being a "true handmade" business.

Wait, what?

Okay, sure...that seller may not be a totally handmade business, but isn't that true of all of us??
Who among us can truly claim to be a PURELY handmade business??

"weaving destiny, maheshwar" by nevilzaveri under cc by

Seriously - when was the last time you've heard of anyone on Etsy milling their own fabric and thread? Mining their own silver? Someone who makes things with only components they themselves made from scratch with their own two hands?

My guess is maybe 1% of all sellers on Etsy can say that they are purely handmade with any certainty. I would also venture to say that if that maker lives in the US, that's about how much of the population could ever afford their work.

Okay okay, I can hear some of you screaming at me, "But what if that seller isn't making ANY of their stuff? What if they are just buying it on some import website and just totally reselling it with no creative addition or embellishment whatsoever? Shouldn't that matter? Etsy is a HANDMADE marketplace and should stay that way!!"

This may surprising - especially coming from me - but in my opinion, even if the seller in question isn't making a darned thing and is just reselling straight-out, I still don't think that's a reason to get all bent out of shape. The idea that Etsy is a handmade marketplace that just supports handmade work is a fantasy.

The harsh truth is that Etsy jumped the "handmade" shark a LONG time ago so I just don't get why anyone feels the need to get all up-in-arms and territorial for something that just isn't reality anymore and will likely never be again.

Here's my point:
We need to concentrate on using Etsy as the sales tool that it is - a place to have a web presence, an easy way to accept payments and showcase our work to people outside of our own circles. Most importantly, a place for our brands to benefit from the amazing SEO power of a larger company who has the resources to make individual items land on the first and second page of any search for a product sold through their site.

Instead of spending so much energy trying to expose "impostors" and tattling on each other (which BTW,  Etsy has conditioned us to do with their divisive flagging system) I think it's time for us as a creative community to come together and support one another as we take our businesses toward higher levels of success. Let's focus on learning how we can help each other improve and find the lessons when we learn that someone has surpassed what we ourselves are currently capable of.

If we can't do that, then we need to take a good, long look in the mirror and ask ourselves why someone else's success is so threatening to our own self worth.

Because really - it's not about them, is it?






PS...I fully recognize that what I have written here is my own opinion and you are more than welcome to disagree wholeheartedly with me. The one thing I would rather you not do is to try to convince me that your opposing opinion is *better* than mine. We can disagree and still be friendly, can't we? :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This Time, It's Personal...


The thing I probably love the most about the internet is how it just keeps going.

I mean, really. I can drop the ball, get busy, focus my energies elsewhere, and any number of other reasons for a year-long absence from blogging - but the absolute and ultimately comforting reality is: the ONLY thing that matters is TODAY.

And I honestly don't mean that in a dismissive way.

What I mean is that LIFE goes on. I've spent the last year feeling badly about not posting and not saying anything about not posting and then at some point feeling ridiculous that I had convinced myself that any of it really mattered.

So now, with expectations erased, I am declaring this space a place for me to post my thoughts and share things I find interesting, important, or just plain silly. I'll also take time to talk about some behind the scenes stuff from my soon-to-be revived business blogs where I'll share business advice and photography tips once again.

In addition to all of that, I also want this space to be about YOU, lovely reader. Yes. You. All one or two of you at this point, but perhaps more sometime in the near future. I want to tell your story and share your creativity with anyone who might happen by. Stories about life and craft and the changes we all go through. I mean, why not? You are interesting, important, and just plain silly sometimes, right?

But that's about it. No real "blogging for success" plan here. Just me writing to you and being as real as I can be.

That's it :)

Until next time...



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