Etsy, Amazon handmade, are they worth it?

The short answer is probably not if you are just selling handmade items. With handmade items the rule of thumb is material cost plus fees x 3 = sales price. If you offer free shipping you woukdbthen minus that from the sales price. So if it cost you $5.00 to create the items – 15% of $15.00 =$2.25 (Amazon’s fee) – shipping normally 7.95 that leaves you with 0.2%. There are also sales taxes. Etsy has a more ebay style pricing structure. .20 cents per listing plus a 5 % fee, you also have store fees and square or PayPal fees.

Obviously it’s working for some, or they just enjoy doing it. Selling supplies like beads, fabric, notions has always done well on etsy but any real money would need to come from large sales and loyal costumers.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Approaching it as a business is recommended. Keeping costs down, learning merchandising to increase your chances of multiple quantity sales, and social networking utilizing free outlets like Pinterest may be beneficial. I absolutely encourage you to become a creative, but again to do so thoughtfully and efficiently.

Happy crafting and remember time is money pimpin.

Loyalty between Business Peers

If you are an entrepreneur, or promote a brand then you network. There isn’t anyway around it because we all depend on word of mouth referrals. In today’s world of social marketing and the increasing demand for visual content it’s even more important to find networking partners who still hold traditional values. I’m talking about loyalty.

Here’s an example; you spend time and money building a following. You network with others. Sale is exchanged. Your product or service for theirs. You are now peers. You are expected to share the brand awesomeness with your people, when asked. You build a mutual relationship. Let’s say you are a photographer and your peer sells a direct sales product. You buy hers, she hires you. Then you notice that she’s promoting another photographer. How do you feel?

Years ago that person would have been frowned on by peers, but in the world of social networking loyalty is the missing link that is taken for granted. Loyality builds partnerships and businesses. Perhaps we should start practising more of that.

Women who side hustle and why they do it.

It’s relatively a new cliche’ “side hustle”. What is it, and why are women embracing it. Men also side hustle but I’m writing this with women in mind. Generally most women will fall under one of these;

  1. Boredom
  2. Extra income
  3. Gal pals
  4. A friend or family member sucked you in.
  5. You hate the 9-5 and dream of being a full time soleprenuer
  6. Discounts on products

So let’s talk about the different side hustle.

  1. Service- offering a service such as photography, dog grooming, babysitting, real estate etc.
  2. Product sales- involves selling a product either as retailer, auction style, or direct sales, or etsy sales.
  3. Digital products- selling digital products via etsy, amazon, or your own online site.

So let’s scroll back up to the first list. Boredom– if you are looking for something to fill in time but don’t want a commitment or to further a dream then volunteer work may be more suitable.

Extra income- the best way to achieve extra income would be to offer a service or digital product. The initial investment is usually zero to minimal.

A friend or family member sucked you in- more than likely this was not about you but about achieving their dreams not yours. If you joined a direct sales company there are things to consider. You can achieve your goals if you do the research first. Generally you will work your rear off for someone else’s goals and despite what you may have been told, joining doesn’t make you a business owner. The company can cancel its rep program or change the rules at anytime. Clever container did just that this year.

Dreams- If you are dreaming of being your own boss and ditching the 9-5 then make sure that your side hustle is inline with your goals. By starting out small you may be able to develop a sound customer base which will result in word of mouth referrals. Which are the best kind. You can also get a feel for your planned business and develop a niche.

Discounts- Not really a great reason to side hustle. You will likely spend more than you save.

Happy Planners to Travel Notebooks what’s the scoop?

I loved my planner organizer. Every year it was nothing less than joy when I bought a new year of refills, and a pretty pen. Sometime around 2008 paper planners took a back seat to digital calendars. Just like any good organized person, I went with the current trend. The excitement just wasn’t there so I eventually went back to a paper organizer. I was planning when planning wasn’t cool. 😁

There must have been a quiet explosion because suddenly there are planners everywhere.🤷 There are people selling planners EVERYWHERE. Just go to DIY on Instagram. 🤦

Last year after much research and one heck of a hobby lobby sale I became the proud owner of two new organizers and ALL of the accessories. It was incredible. It was short lived. I realized that it was overwhelming and they were just too thick to really be handy. So I split them up. One for household one for personal goals. They became a weekly planning event, but not daily. I really needed daily. However I refused to spend much on my next planners.

So after much research I ended up at Wal-Mart (insert gasps from all of the planner snobs). I found two that would work perfectly. First I needed a travel notebook for notes, coupons, receipts, random doodles etc. I found this need little notebook. It’s A5 size, leather, and it’s pink.. $7.85 All things must match. But I thought it was plain and uninspiring. So I purchased some puffy stickers. See the results below. Before and after.

Next I needed a daily calendar. So I picked up a happy planner mini. Perfect for appointments, and for others to add to my schedule. $15.00 I ordered a mini cover from amazon (pink) and I’ll be all set. It will be handy to have it with me.

While it’s fine to enjoy personalizing your planners it’s important for them to have a usable purpose. The majority of planner related things that you run across are just people trying to sell you planner stuff. So set a budget and think about why you want one, then do your research.

I love them!

When too much is too much.

There are so many options when it comes to connecting. So many! The truth is, we don’t need to be everywhere. Just like in our real time lives you can speed yourself too thin in your virtual presence. So let’s break things down.

For personal use

Let’s say that you just want to reconnect with friends and family. Facebook is your best bet.

If you just want to stay updated with current events, your favorite stars, or local announcements then you may want to consider Twitter.

Instagram is visual. It’s more about sharing visually. You can follow a ton of topics on Instagram and you won’t feel pressured to like a damn thing.

Pinterest is a huge huge huge bookmark.

If you want more specific options I’m sure there’s an app for that. There are apps for dating, headlines, crafts. You name it. The idea is to keep things pleasant, simple, enjoyable.

For marketing

Facebook is not for cold marketing. It’s for connecting. Genuinely connecting.

Twitter is for announcements.

Instagram is for visual content. Building a brand.

Pinterest frowns on cold marketing. You can add your links but within reason. Generally it’s a funnel that leads to somewhere else.

LinkedIn is for business to business connections.

Those are your main ones. If you spread yourself out too much then your quality will suffer so just focus on a couple. There are no magic formulas. I’ve seen follow loops on Instagram, tag threads on Facebook, and shared boards on Pinterest. All of which are fine but useless if you are not genuinely connecting.

Beautifying a Boring Bulletin Board

After closing my brick and mortar office I really struggled with the transition of having a home office. The space was not inspiring, and boring. So I decided to make it my own, but it was challenging. I needed to find ways to add art, color, and inspiration all with limited wall space. Everything had to be functional.

There was a plain, ugly, boring bulletin board hanging in front if me. So I started there.

The first thing is to find a fabric that really fits with what you want. I found my piece at hobby lobby. The shipping was painstakingly long.

While I was waiting for the fabric to arrive I painted the wood edges with a nice glossy white. Then when the fabric arrived I was ready.

I cut the fabric to fit. Make sure that it is measured to cover edge to edge and overlaps the frame.

Next you will need a butter knife. Yes, old school tools are sometimes the best tools. Begin by pushing the fabric under the edge if the frame.

You will need to rotate the board several times until you get a nice stretch, and a snug fit. You can hot glue piping around the edges, and don’t forget a few stylish fun push puns.

That’s it, you’re done! How easy was that 🙂