Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh The Places You'll Go (And The People You Meet)

In addition to making jewelry, I'm also a gamer. I don't always talk about it because, at least for me, gamers have always been portrayed as zit faced teenage boys or 40-year old men living in their mother's basements. I totally don't fit the stereotype on either end of spectrum. I do love video games, though. The Sims 2 and World of Warcraft are my two favorite addictions.

Yesterday, while taking a leveling break, I started going through my "inventory" of charms, all of which were shrink wrapped to card stock. I had to use a thin knife and get them out by sliding it under the charm; time consuming and very annoying.

Now, I absolutely adore my guild. They are the type of people that can strike up odd conversations based on silly one line frustrations. The people that play this game are the reason why I'm addicted to it. They come from all walks of life, in every age, race and religious belief and we all get along. (Now, if our guild could teach this to the rest of the world, we may have something...)

I made a one line frustration of: "Shrink wrapping charms is just not cool people!" I was then asked if I work in a craft store (which would be ridiculously awesome) and when I replied that I design jewelry it struck up three different conversations. The first was general conversations about hobbies in the "guild chat" channel, and the other two were private messages. From that one line, I got to know two guild members a lot better.

One is, from what I understand, a 3D graphics designer trying to build up his portfolio a bit more. We talked about the potential for designing some graphics for me in the future. I'm not quite sure how that will work out, because I just can't see it in my head. I might get a better idea once I've looked at his website (www.joshpurdy.com) and I promised him that I would.

The second person I found out that I have quite a bit in common with. She works for AAFES and she and her husband are expecting to be moving to Germany in May (which there has been talk of my husband being stationed there). She's also got an Etsy shop, but said that she's not touched it for a while. I hope that she does, because from what we talked about that she makes, I would love to see some of it. She didn't come right out and say that she's a knitter, but she mentioned a few times how painful shrink wrap on yarn is. So I'm assuming she's a knitter, but she could do crochet or some other way of making baby blankets and hats that I'm not aware of.

She also said that she enjoys photography, which I do as well (we even like the same camera!). I'm hoping she does decide to get back into this especially, because there's so much potential there for it. Picture frames, puzzles, calendars, mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, wall art... She said that she turned a photo into a blanket once. That I would love to see!

Moral of the story? I am surprised by the people you meet in video games every time. I've been playing World of Warcraft for a few years, and I'm STILL always surprised by the people that play. Perhaps one of these days I will realize that stereotype is nothing more than an outdated and closed minded view of the gaming world (with some basis in fact, which if you ever go to a gaming convention, you will see what I mean).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Month In Review - BEAD SHOW!

I've been meaning to make a post sooner than this, but life outside of making jewelry has been quite hectic.

My daughter was born on Christmas Eve, two days before her brother's birthday. Eek! We had a great Christmas though since we were allowed to go home the very next day.

January 2nd, the three of us moved to Tecumseh, Oklahoma to stay with my mom while my husband finishes out some training with the Army. Since then, the three of us have been adjusting to rural living and learning the baby's sleep patterns, which hasn't been easy. The weather has been fairly mild so far, so my son's gotten some time to play outside with the four dogs and help feed the horses. We're supposed to be smack in the middle of that ice storm that's coming through, so we won't be venturing outside for a bit lol.

This past weekend I went to my very first bead show. It was so much fun! It was crazy, hectic and I don't think I've spent so much money on beads at one time before. I got a lot of great deals though, and tons of ideas for new stuff to go up on Etsy. I will be keeping busy while the baby takes her second nap making new stuff. Hopefully, I can make a batch post in a few days, and if the ideas keep rolling in, I should have something new every week.

I still haven't made any shop goals for this year, and I really should. This being my first year in "business" though, its really hard to judge where I would like to be by the end of the year. Selling consistently is enough for me at this point. I think anything more concrete than that and I may be setting myself up for failure. So we'll leave it at that. =) If I have two sales a month, I will be more than happy.

On a super happy note, I've gotten another commission for "something pink." From this point on though, (ie after this piece is made and any requests after this piece) all commissions are going to go through Etsy. This will make the 5th item that will be off the Etsy site, and I really would like to see my "sales" number rise.

Off to make dinner and get back to finishing another piece for the shop. All my best.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Busy, Busy! First sale and More Custom Orders!

I meant to make a post sooner than this to share the good news, but I got a little caught up with all things pregnancy (like contractions and getting even more baby ready).

Five days ago (December 10th) I made my first non-commissioned sale! The pearl and crystal necklace sold to someone in New York! I really hope they love it, because it was a huge pain to make. A labor of love.

In celebration of my first sale, I'm planning a special After-Christmas deal. I will be mailing out post cards with a unique code written on them. This code will be good for 30% off of a custom design. For those of you who don't already know, custom designs are already cheaper than buying from the Etsy store, and they're also one of a kind. There may be similar items made in the future, but there will be absolutely nothing exactly like what is made for your custom order.

This is my way of letting you or someone you know get what they really wanted for Christmas and letting you get a jump-start on that perfect Valentine's Day gift. The 30% off code will go out in January. If you want one, email me your address: faeowldesigns@gmail.com.

Another really awesome thing has happened recently. I've been asked to make a one of a kind necklace for a Secret Santa gift exchange. The gift is for the pastor's mother in law. I'm really looking forward making this special gift.

I went to my favorite bead store today to pick up some supplies for this necklace. All I know so far is that the color needs to be blue and the length should probably be around her collar bone. I've only met her once, so I have a pretty good idea of her height and body's frame size. The rest I'm kind of like AHHH! I'm hoping to get the chance to talk to either the pastor or his wife to get a better idea of the type of jewelry she likes before it needs to be done. Which, by the way, is Thursday.

Oh wow.

I found some awesome things while at the store. Plenty of blue. I bought two kinds of pearls (robin's egg blue and almost cobalt), lots of rich blue glass, blue shell that looks a bit like cat's eye, but not quite. I bought a few other things too that I plan on making and putting up in the shop come January.

A lot of things that aren't custom orders are going to be put on hold until January. The baby is due any day now, and come January 2nd we will all be moving to Oklahoma! I'm hoping that being so close to Native American culture will really inspire me to get creative. I'm also hoping for some good deals on turquoise! (A little birdie told me that turquoise is going to be the "in" thing for 2010. Let's hope!)

I will be posting pictures (when I find my camera's cord) of the necklace that I make for the pastor's mother in law after the gift is open. I don't want to spoil the surprise!

Time to get busy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Open Shop and a Commission

After my last post, I couldn't contain my excitement anymore. I opened the shop with the few things that I had on hand and ready to be sent to someone who would love wearing them as much as I loved creating them. I haven't sold anything yet, and I don't expect to sell out right away. I am, however, getting quite a few views of my items and that makes me happy.

I still haven't received my shipping supplies, but I did get an email that said they are on their way! GO GO US POSTAL SERVICE! I'm really excited about their arrival. I love the design so much!

Speaking of design, my friend Pamela made a really awesome graphic for my Etsy avatar, my Facebook fan page, and a banner for the shop's page on Etsy.

Pamela was one of the four people that I was waiting to hear back from on the jewelry that I mailed to. Everyone's received their gifts and everyone says that they loved them and think they're gorgeous. +5 to ego boost. =) One of them has even said that they will model the necklace I sent for a photo. So, that should be here soon.

Even though I haven't officially sold anything on Etsy yet, I do have a commissioned project. She's originally said that she wanted a 14" cat's eye necklace. After we talked about a few details, I mentioned how awesome it was that she wants some colors that I do have on hand, just not in cat's eye. So we got to talking about tiger's eye and their differences. She changed her mind about the cat's eye and now wants tiger's eye, which I do already have on hand. So that works out well.

My only challenge now is creating the pendant for it. Yes, it would be easier to buy one and slap it on, but I'd like to make the necklace a little more personal for her. Right now, my idea is to make a 14" necklace using gold, brown and black seed beads with tiger's eye as accent beads and a three inch extender so she can vary the length depending on the neckline of what she's wearing. I have until July, which is a huge amount of time and I will finish long before then. I'll post a picture when its done.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Diving In

After more than a few promptings since I started making jewelry, I've finally decided to take the plunge and throw my designs out there. I've been going back and forth between being super excited and really nervous. Most of the time I'm excited though.

There are a few things that I'm waiting on before I start listing items and "open" the shop:

One, is an order of supplies that will help me stand out from others when customers receive their purchases in the mail.

Two, is reviews from about four people whom I sent jewelry gifts to. I sent them on Thursday, so they should arrive soon. Hopefully, I can coerce them to take some photos of them modeling the jewelry. That would be fun.

Third, and most importantly, I want a few items for people to look at. I have about five right now. I'd like at least ten to start with. It will still feel like I don't have much up, but its a start. After that, I can and probably will, add items as I create them.

So far in this little venture I have discovered that my camera does not like taking close-up photos, I am not very tech-savvy at all, and working out of my in-laws house is a bit of a pain with having to set up and tear down every day.

Someday, I will have my very own room all to myself to design and create in. Until that day, I'm not letting circumstances out of my control bring me down.

Here's hoping for a swift delivery of those packaging supplies and many brilliant design ideas.