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October 18th, 2015 at 08:28 am » Comments (0)
The business side of the working Artisan is often a tricky and Lord knows, time consuming – especially when it comes to Sales, Marketing and PR.
So, once again we come back to “Intended purpose” and as often as not, “untended consequences”
Is what you write of any lasting value?
well then right off the bat, 140 characters that will disappear into oblivion pretty much immediately, certainly with a day or two, and then be nearly impossible to find again – never mind “refer back to” especially if you are foolish enough to entrust your content to a platform where you have no control
Do the stats matter?
Maybe, it depends on your purpose or purposes. But for my blog, there are really only 3-4 of the overwhelming amount of raw data that I look at more than very few months for my blog, and weekly for my e-comm site.
Is it a “public diary” – (just beware If you must indulge TMI try not to sound too whining because there is only so much cheese that ships well – okay?)
well that won’t fit into 140 characters now will it.
Then again I am old school, I usually think before writing and favor the point over the person (except for politics) so while I can still usually manage it in “one page” – 140 characters is good for nothing except “atta artist” (don’t need message about atta boy vs atta girl )
Do you use it as a safe place to share your thoughts and opinions without worrying about those who disagree whining to a group admin about how mean and evil you are
yes, that was and continues to be why I have a blog. Although it is also helpful for keeping track of stuff I might need when not at home – like recipes.
Do you use it as a “safe place” to keep bits and pieces of information?
well that raises a bunch of other questions not germane to this discussion
but rather one for if you think your blog is of value to you and your goals.
Is your blog a legacy of sorts?
a place where someone can go back to – because they are fan of your work, or your writing, or you jig saw puzzles.
Are you active in “group help activities” but get tired of writing the same advice over and over (yes another reason for my blog)
then it is a place to keep the info that won’t fit into 140 characters – and those who are interested will go and read it.
If you fells your work, be that completed work or “as a teacher”
Each of these outlets (and others) should have a place in your business plan.
Your website is your public resume and portfolio – for the teacher it is also where you kept general information about classes you are prepared to teach.
this is where our linked in profile should point
Your blog is where you share your “current’ work as an artisan
this is where your 140 character / Social Media posts should point
Quilt Art and similar groups are where you share with more or less trusted peers.
Social Media (Twitter, FB, Ellio, etc) are where you keep up, “be a person” (Robbie Eklow & Melissa Leapman & Kim Guzman are among the best at this on FB)
Both to make us Love them as people and Generate short term interest that leads to sales – books, classes, completed works.
One thing I can tell you after more than 4 decades (back in the days before the Web and the internet was all SIG Lists secreted in government and other institutional servers with text only.
Each of these may or may not have a place in your life – it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what “audience” you to have / build.
Once you have decided which fits your needs – personal and professional, Then, you need to decide if you are willing to put in the work to make each work for you. Because as with all “business” the details matter. And they all require a time commitment.
To paraphrase Smokey the Bear – ONLY YOU – Can decide what fits YOUR Needs.
need to get off this soapbox before vertigo sets in – although given the issues caused by the most recent “stroke of the eye” I might have already gone to far. so might have to repost in a safe place,
Enjoy The Making
P.S. to all my QA FB Friends, thanks for being there – I do love the opportunity to start my day with Eye-Candy so many of your provide.
P.S. Jr – Yes I do FB, but DO NOT HAVE A SMART PHONE – only a very stupid phone that can make phones – can’t even text (well I think it might be able to, but my vision does not allow me to use that effectively)
May 23rd, 2015 at 05:26 am » Comments (0)
Over the years, sometimes for “buy decisions” and particularly for editorial and product development purposes, I have developed “check lists” – I am sure there are medications for this behavior – but I choose not to take mind altering drugs.
Times change and so these lists need to be revisited so items importance can be updated or eliminated.
At the moment, my focus is for a new product that will be offered in several ways –
(A) Tutorial Only,
(B) Tutorial and Supplies,
(C) Tutorial, Supplies and Equipment.
Initially offered “on line” – if real demand develops then distributed to selected “brick” retailers.
There are no wrong answer, and I would much enjoy hearing why the information is important to you.
It may not be feasible to include your requirement in our final concept – still,
If YOU ruled the universe, what information would be needed to help you make a “buy decision”
I will also be posting this question on our Facebook business page at:
Email, Facebook, comments below, all input welcomed –
Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
March 9th, 2015 at 05:53 am » Comments (0)
every time I see the costing advice “2-3 x materials” it makes my teeth hurt.
If you do not respect your talent and expertise – no one else will either –
That means your first decision has to be to clearly define your goal.
Each of us has to make decisions about how we want to perceived. Why any artisan would choose to be comparable to Walmart is not something I will ever understand, but some do.
That means your first decision has to be to clearly define your goal.
The very idea of “what the market will bear” is so demeaning – If the market can’t bear the true value of your work, then you are in the wrong market.
Nothing can squeeze the joy out of creative work faster than turning it into the drudgery of making it a job where you are both under paid and under appreciated.
I know that not everyone has had the advantage of working in product development and so really understanding first the cost of manufacture BEFORE labor, the cost of labor, the overhead (all the business expenses shared over your entire business) and FINALLY the concept of PROFIT that must be added to the COGS (cost of goods sold)
I know it is just repeating what you have read “on the internet” and it seems like gospel. but 2-3 times the cost of materials is NOT what should be used for ANY hand crafted work.
Heck, that is not even the formula used by sweat shop manufacturing –
That might – very rarely – be PART of overall costing factor that is what is used AFTER all “development costs” have been recovered for mass produced items in less than nice places “for the workers”
If your goal is to be a “pin money” crafter, where all you really want is creative outlet and maybe be able to “replace” materials – that is your choice – neither good or bad.
If your goal is to seen as a professional, one who has invested time and money to learn their craft, then you need to rethink your pricing formula.
A large part of my life has been devoted to helping designers with tough love speech –
If you are in the pin money group, happy to recieve no compensation for time and talent and expertise then your costs, at the very least price for the COMPLETE replacement cost as if you had to make them the work again, and had to buy all the materials.
Or simply choose what many do, make for your own enjoyment and hopefully given as gifts to friends and family –
Obviously I have strong feelings about COSTING and how it effect PRICE – and someday I need to finish ‘the book” but if you are interested in considering more than slave labor pricing, – there are some blog articles starting at: http://wheatcarr.com/biz/pricing-pt-00-intangible-costs.php
If nothing else, please unload that gun you have pointed at your foot, respect the decisions of others instead of tearing them down for their business decisions and get past the bad business advice of applying mass production costing to hand crafting and above all – lose the false modesty, block the green eyed monster and decide what is right for you.
January 1st, 2014 at 08:45 am » Comments (1)
click to visit
Sooner or later everything reaches a tipping point.
We are finally launching a “dream project” AllJustString is intended to provide a place for personal development of our skills and knowledge, keep the information accessible and organized in a manner that will allow those who follow to find and benefit in a way not currently possible in other venues.
It is also a founding principle that many of us don’t have craft-tunnel-vision – meaning that we enjoy many forms of craft and there is great diversity in how we each choose to bend our string. We can admire and respect those who practice a technique whether we choose to participate,
Our goal is help each other build on skills and knowledge and derivations – while giving our undying respect and support to those offering the opportunity to expand our knowledge and skill from the quick picture or video tutorials, to (at least in my home) a whole bookcase of others who have “done the research” and codified technique, and in many cases, the history of their chosen craft.
It is our obligation as an artisan (someone who works with their hands and their heart) to acknowledge as much as possible those who made our development possible. It is our ethical obligation to respect their copyrights and never feel we “need” to get attention by sharing that which is not ours to share.
At the end of the day, other than for marketing purposes, the only thing likely to be truly original is how you present it. And that work should be judged on your competence and vision.
Our goal is to help you find the knowledge and information you need, in a manner respectful to you, and to your sources of inspiration.
I hope you will join us and bring along some friends to show and share our love of our crafts and our fiber artistic adventures (remember, beads are lumps string so they count too)
Always Take Time To Enjoy The Making
Wheat Carr, founder
The Forum for Fiber Folk:
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November 24th, 2013 at 12:35 pm » Comments (0)
Although not the only element in COGS (Cost of Good Sold) relates to the cost of your components = the second most common mistake I have observed is not using Replacement Costs when planning your price.
Not unlike insurance, your costing needs to reflect NOT what you paid for each bit and piece, but what it will cost you to REPLACE that item in your inventory.
What does she mean?
Recently I read in a “business” group of someone basing their selling price on the “deal” they got for one of the major components in their work.
Well, what happens when they run out of that, OR someone says, I want 25 of that design but in different colors. Or, you are working a local craft, flea or farmer’s market and up walks the “been looking for weeks but not buying” and want to know why that piece cost $5 last week but this time its $6.
It is always easier to lower your price than it will ever be to raise it, suddenly with no explanation. Nor does it make “sense” to the consumer when something that looks the same has different pricing without obvious – to the consumer walking by your table – differences.
There is often, especially for those who choose to create in an over crowded marketplace stuffed with similar products produced in less than fair trade conditions – can you really afford the “customer satisfaction” issue?
If you must – for some reason of your choice – decide to lower your price, then at least clearly mark it as a “special price” if asked, it is okay to say “I got a really good deal on the threads, but when these are gone, I won’t be able to replace them for the same cost”
Still if you are in this for the long run, especially if you are in the building stage of your business, far better to take advantage of the deal, but price the finished work as if you had to replace it “at full price” next week.