Saturday, May 31, 2008

Monthly Jolt

Like morning coffee is my daily goals, the monthly jolt is what I am planning to do this month. You can think of it
as a simple to-do list or a list of my monthly goals. I feel like by putting them 'out there' where others can read them, I am more likely to stick to them and not procrastinate.

1) Make 10 sales on Etsy.
2)Participate in one fair.
3) Get one wholesale order.
4)Approach 4 brick and mortar stores with my items.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Organization- Or how to have your cake and eat it, too

Every time I visit the Etsy forums, or any small business forum for that matter, I see the same question being rephrased over and over again- How does everyone do it? There needs to be more hours in the day!

I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do know what does and doesn't work for me. I have been managing my home and my husbands graphic design for several years now, and I am using the tricks I learned to now add more to my plate, my own craft business.

1)You are not going to get everything done this week, this month, or even this year.

Realize this as soon as possible. A business is an ever evolving entity. For as long as you own your business you are never 'done'. A better tactic is to decide what you will get done, and don't think about all those things you are not getting done. A little bit of zen here- live in this moment. Only this moment exists. If you spend too much time worrying about the next moment, you will lose this one forever.

2)That brings us to our second point- goals. Goals are fluid as well, and never carved in stone.

Set aside some time this weekend to write down your goals. Plan your goals for this month, this year, the next five years, the next ten years. Review your goals often, and make notes of what you are doing to achieve them.

3) Do the right thing, at the right moment.

This is one that many people miss. It comes down to what your priorities are, and what they should be. Would you spend thousands of dollars on a TV commercial for your restaurant if you didn't have a name yet? Of course not! If you have no products in your store, get out of the forums, don't worry about advertising- go create or post items! If your photo's look like crap, don't make business cards, start researching photography tricks and retake the photo's !
I will admit, this is the one I break the most. When everything is going wrong, it is easy to push aside what you should be doing and do what you want to do or what is easy to do. To fight that urge, read on...

4)This is now your job, act like it.

It is a wonderful thing to work for yourself. You may think you no longer have a boss. I hate to burst your bubble, but that just isn't true. You now work for every existing and potential customer you may have. Don't offer more than you can give. Don't say you can ship daily if you can't. Instead say you ship within two business days. Then you only have to worry about shipping twice a week. Beware the TV, the social calls from friends, and your own family. If you need to work, then work. Set yourself up to succeed by letting everyone, including yourself, know that this is a job and you are working.

5)Punching the clock.

There are only so many hours in a day, and no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that. Make the most of your hours. Sure it's pretty awesome that you never have to miss little Timmy's piano recital or a night out with the girls again, but you still have work to do. Working out a schedule is different for everyone, so I'll share mine as an example.

On Sunday evening, after the kids are in bed, I sit down and write out all my Morning Coffee entries for the next five days. When I wake up Monday morning, after I get some caffeine but before I get ready for the day , I review that days morning coffee and hit publish post. Then I mosey on over to my email and handle anything I need to do there. After that, I open up a folder under my bookmarks titled "ongoing marketing". This is where all the links for any social networking sites or ads I have to keep updated reside. I update each as needed then spend a few minutes in the Etsy forums (I consider this more play time than work time, maybe because I enjoy it). The rest of the day is dedicated to getting my goals done. There is no time limit, so if I want to do something other than work I can, but I still have to get the goal done before bedtime. Some days it may take 12 hours, other days 5. If I find myself failing to get things done for several days, I revise my Morning Coffee plan and take a day or two to catch up instead of adding old goals onto new ones. To avoid procrastination, catching up can take no longer than two days.

6)Take time off!

This is the final and most important one in my mind. No one can last long working 24/7. Unless I have a show, I don't work weekends, bank holidays, or vacations. Sure, I check my email, pop into the forums, or post an item or two. I do not goal for it though, so if I don't do it I won't sweat it. It is vital to schedule time off to avoid burnout. Having time to devote to yourself or others also puts to rest any fears your friends or family may have that your business is going to make you avoid them.

Good luck to all of you, and may your business be exactly want you want it to be!

Morning Coffee 5-30

You may have noticed a small change to morning coffee yesterday. I am now adding where I am doing my marketing. This helps me to keep track of where my eggs are, and it helps you, the reader, find places to market.

1. List two new items.
2. Finish editing the photo's from my last batch.

3. Two Etsy forum comments. Done
4. Two new marketing. Myspace account and Nifty account
5. A blog post :) Done

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My new addiction

I've been addicted to onigiri since I was first introduced to them. Onigiri is a rice ball, the delectable Japanese equivalent of a sandwich. You can fill them with whatever you choose, wrap in nori, and enjoy!

the other day this addiction went a step further. I am no addicted to cute, inedible onigiri!
I was playing with my resin, and these little guys were begging to be born. I made myself one, and a few more so that you can have your own little pet onigiri. Check them out here!

Morning Coffee 5-29

One thing I must do today is rig up a way to take good photo's indoors. This Northwest weather is ruining my photo chances. No photos = no listings.

1)Rig up indoor photo tent. Done
2)Post new items! Done
3)Two new marketing. Done one on Bust and one on Indypublic
4)Two comments in the Etsy forums. Done

Now off to work with me, photo's don't take themselves!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Morning Coffee 5-28

I got everything done yesterday :) (we won't mention in was a really short list!) On to todays to-do!

1)Finish the pieces from yesterday. done
2)List two items. not done
3)Make two Etsy forum comments.done
4)Find two new marketing venues.done

let's see how well I do!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Morning Coffee 5-27

I hope everyone had a good Memorial weekend! I kind of took it off. I pretty much ignored my computer and my craft room this weekend! My to-do list for today-

1)Get a whole lot of casting done. Done!
2)Read and post in the Etsy forums. Done!

That's it. I have to take the boy to the dentist this afternoon, so I know that is going to eat a ton of my time.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My new workspace

Here are the promised pictures from yesterday. Mr. Kioko did a wonderful job! This is a view gong into the office. It is this itsy bitsy room with no closets and one tiny window.

Here is the window! He gave it to me :) My sewing machine, obviously . I have a pair of thread snips attached to the table, an idea I got from the sewing tips thread on Etsy.
The other half of my work table with computer and postage scale. The table is extra long, though not very wide. He made it by placing two left over wood planks from when we made our garden beds on top of my plastic drawers. I then covered it with a dollar store vinyl shower curtain. The blue tub sitting on the floor has completed items in it. It is numbered and I keep a list with what is in it in my file. Once full it will be moved into our garage and another will take it's place. It works well and everything is already packed for a craft fair.

Storage shelves. The bottom shelf is all Mr. Kioko's stuff. The middle shelf has a cardboard box full of his stuff and a gray tote that has my works in progress in it. Next to the cardboard box is an accordion file with all my patterns in it. The next shelf up has three totes full of my son's card making stuff and my craft books and notebooks. Top has printer paper, Mr. Kioko's concertina, son's funky paper scissors, and Mr. Kioko's lap harp.

Mr. Kioko's workspace. This room is tiny but it will work for now. Much better than the kitchen table! There is no room for all my fabric so that is still on the shelves in our storage room/pantry. (We have this giant closet off the kitchen.) I will also still have to cut fabric on the kitchen table, but since I only have one or two cutting days a week that's not so bad. Now I just need to find a chair so I can take this lawn chair back to the patio ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Morning Coffee 5-23

Today I will Really get everything done. Mr. Kioko is home to help with the sick little one!
Editing this!!! Not going to get any of this done today! Mr. Kioko couldn't sleep last night, so he decided to clean out his office. He made room for me, no more kitchen table sewing, wheeeeee! He even made me a work table! I am helping him finish clean it out and then going to organize all my things. I'll post pictures once we are done. Whoo-hoo

So all I'm doing today is: SETTING UP MY CRAFT SPACE :D

1)List two new items to Etsy.
2)Two new marketing places.
3)Sew together everything I cut out yesterday.
4)Read and post to two new etsy forum threads.
5)Write a blog post!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Morning Coffee 5-22

This will be picking up from what was not done yesterday.

1)Post two new listings. Not Done...again.
2)Find two new advertising outlets. One done
3)Browse and post to two Etsy forum threads. Done
4)Cut out 4 bags and 4 buddies. Done
5)Write a blog post. Not done.

More would have been done, but I had a sick kid, and we all know how that can screw with our plans...sigh.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morning Coffee 5-21

Every morning I wake up before everyone else in the house, usually around 5:30. Even the dog, Lacy, is still asleep at my husbands feet. I have about two hours to myself in these cool early dawn hours. Eventually, my oldest son will emerge from his room, and the morning rush of breakfast and getting ready for school will commence.

In my ongoing effort to be organized, I have decided to draw up a to-do list for my craft business while I am enjoying my coffee in the dawn hours. I am going to share it here in the hopes that having others read it will keep me motivated.

Browse the Etsy forums a bit, possibly post Done
Take and edit photo's Done
Post two new listings Not done, oops!
Call and request application packet for local farmers market Done
Find two new advertising outlets online Done
Make mock-up of a pattern I drafted this weekend Done, and I only had to alter one thing to make it work, wheee!

I'll update this list tomorrow with what I achieved!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm open, stop on by!

My Go Go Kioko! shop is now open ^.^
It's been a wild few weeks, from lurking, to signing up, to finally posting my first item.

So far, the hardest thing for me has been photography. My first few photo's left a lot to be desired. Inspiration finally struck, and I made a light tent out of my patio set. Crazy, I know, but the improvement is insane! I am still no expert, but I am not ashamed of my photographs anymore. I'll post a mini walk through of how I did it in the next few days to help out anyone else that this would be a good solution for. I see it as a temporary solution until I get around to making a more permanent light box.

Pears and Apples Go Go Play! Bag

One more thing before I call it a night. I would like to feature an Etsy seller every week. If you would like to be featured, please send me a convo via Etsy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The countdown begins...

In just a few short hours the official Go Go! Kioko store will be launched. It will be the first time I have offered my play bags online, and the first time in over a year that I have sold them, eep!

My main goal in creating this blog is not just to introduce the world to my designs, but to become a clearing house for fab ideas and news for kids and those of us who are kids at heart. So keep checking back, it's bound to be fun!

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