Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What brand?

Wow.
I never realized my mind could be blown so frequently.

Has anyone ever had to decide on a new logo and business card design? I had no idea that getting serious about my branding would be so hard. For so many years I have just tossed together what I could manage in paint or whatever program I had on the computer at the time. Once, I won a logo design from a Facebook giveaway. This was YEARS ago when I was building my Facebook page. It was surely better than what I'd had before, but pretty primitive so to speak. Then I decided to make labels for the first time and had to have a logo that was something I was proud of. So I whipped one up. NOT the best looking, but I felt like it was pretty decent.



Later on, I changed my shop name to The Purple Stitch. This is a nod to the color that represents the Alzheimer's fight, mixed with what my shop is about....stitching stuff.

And another modification later on:


I've been listening to Christy Wright's Business Boutique podcasts lately. I've preordered the book. I drank the juice. Now implementing those incredible tidbits of advice bit by bit is a little harder than I expected.  I made myself a list of all the things in life I needed to get done.  Then rewrote that list as things were done and crossed off...and of course, more stuff added to it.  I swear that every podcast I listen to, I pick up something else that I need to look into or think about.  If you're a small business boutique, you should seriously look at her website and listen to the podcasts.  Since that's not really what this post is about, lets get back to it.

Now it's time to get really intentional about the logo.  Something classy, but eye catching.  Simple, yet stunning.  I ordered new labels a few weeks ago from MommieMadeIt on Etsy and fell in love with one of her premade designs.



That really got my gears moving on how I could really make an impression with consistent logos in all the places I have my brand.  Looking back on the evolution of the logos kinda makes me feel like I'm looking at my kids growing up.  Cheesy, I know. 

If you have any suggestions for others on branding, or have a great resource, feel free to share that in the comments!

Monday, March 13, 2017

What a great group!!

As mentioned in a previous post, one night I was searching for a craft group on Facebook.  That seems like such a "no brainer" thing to find on such a huge platform.  NOPE.  I found group after group that just seemed to feature a main seller, or seemed to have SO. MANY. RULES.

So ya know what??  Brace yourself, you'll never believe it....

I started one.  I know, I know...like I needed something else on my plate. Just one more thing to occupy the very limited extra space in my brain. But this group is gonna be so great!  I was searching for a "go to" place for sellers AND shoppers.  I love buying handmade and supporting a mom-prenuer. But it just didn't seem like what I was looking for was out there.  Or at least it wasn't populating in my attempted searches.  Some were geared for selling only sewing or crochet or bows or supplies.  I was looking for a place for ladies (and men, too, if they were out there on FB) to come together to show their many talents and to find others who were also talented in so many ways.  I personally know a LOT of ladies in all different types of crafting, and I was excited to now have a place to see all of their works and creativity in one awesome group.  If you're a crafter, or just love to buy handmade, take a moment to join our group.  It may be small now, but some day it will be the absolute BEST place to find the next gift for a special someone.  Or the next place to showcase your creativity and put your business out there.  Only time will tell how it will grow, but the possibilities are limitless and I just can't wait to see where this leads us!

Check out the group HERE.  Click join and whoever gets to it first will add ya.  Easy peasy.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's gettin' real

I've been making replacement covers for a certain type of booster seat for many years. Probably since about 2012 I'd say. I've sold lots on Etsy and a few at craft fairs. At first I was the only shop that made custom fitted. Now, I see several so it has slowed down a good bit. That's ok, God has His hand on everything even when we don't see it. A sale seemed to come when we needed just a teensie bit more cash to make it to payday.

This summer I put my shop on vacation as we were packing, moving, and settling in to our new home. I hadn't put much effort into trying to boost sales again. A late night decision to start a new online craft sale Facebook group ended up in a conversation with a scrapbook friend about the opportunity to really do more. She informed me that she had a friend that owned a local kids resale shop and had recently told her about the covers I make. I called and set up a time to meet her to see if it was a fit and what she needed. The store owner LOVED them and she placed a starter order of 10 seat sets!!

I can't wait to see what God has in store for my little business and to see how it grows and continues to transform! As of now, not only do I already have a booth space at a local antiques and more shop, I have my creations in 2 local retail stores. I'm also looking into 2 more opportunities. Oh my gosh, I would've NEVER imagined so much possibility a few years ago!

GOD is GOOD!

First 4 of the 10
If you are looking for a group to find the perfect something or showcase your handmade crafts/gifts/etc, please check out the group here, as it will someday be THE best place to find what you're looking for!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My latest project...the "envelope system" wallet

Just a few weeks ago I made myself a radical, tubulartotally awesome, any other 80's or 90's phrase of appreciation, wallet to keep me organized in our journey down the Dave Ramsey baby steps.  If you aren't  familiar with his teachings, it helps all of this make sense to know that he recommends paying cash for pretty much everything.  Paying with cash instead of cards triggers the pain receptors in our brain and causes an emotional response to buying something.  It's a lot harder to let go of cash knowing you won't get it back than handing over a card that will go right back in your pocket.  Obviously some expenses require an auto draft or debit card, but generally speaking cash is used for all the other purchases like gas, groceries, copays, and other feasible expenses.  It can get kinda difficult juggling an envelope for each category and eventually the envelopes get worn out and tattered. Like these that I am still using for the kids' money.  They also doubled as their Christmas list of who they wanted to buy for.


I decided that I needed something that I would be excited to carry...so I went digging through my fabric stash determined to find what I needed without spending any money on it.  I came close to accomplishing that!  I stumbled across the Wonder Woman print at Walmart in the fat quarters bin for $1.47. I was planning on covering it with Super Mario, but that made 2nd place and became the inside print.  I decided a little iron-on vinyl would keep it clean and durable longer and some stiffener would help give it shape and stability.  All in all I spent about $4 on those 3 pieces.  I couldn't resist embroidering the envelope designations just to really make it my own.  You can really tell that I was born in the late 70's by the eclectic combo of 60/70's movies & tv shows, 80's and 90's cartoons, and the overall vibe of it.  I get compliments on it everywhere I pull it out to make payment!  So often, that I am actually working out a few technique issues and will likely be listing them in my Etsy shop!

In a future post, I'll be doing a step by step of how I do the envelopes.  But for this post, I'm just dropping a teaser!

The outer layer is covered with iron-on glossy vinyl.  With as much love this wallet will get, I definitely wanted to boost the durability for the long haul.



I added a little pocket kinda last minute.  I stash any receipts in there until I'm ready to toss them.



Each category represents what we use the most.  Other purchases (like my car inspection) are coming out of the "misc expenses" envelope as needed.






I threw in a blank one because I knew something would come up that I'd wish I had an extra.  For now, I use it for the worn out envelopes with the kids' cash in it.  I plan to make them a legit envelope at some point.



And of course, I needed a coin pocket so I can make exact change when possible.  I used snaps in this one since it pretty much gets folded up snug enough that the coins won't fall out.  I didn't have Velcro handy and didn't want to make a special trip or spend the money on that.  I made due with some coordinating snaps I already had from some other past projects.



Just before closing up the final opening, I added a loop of ribbon for a pen.  I'm glad I did!  It has already come in handy to make notes on receipts or document something I needed to deduct from the budgeting app we use. Even with cash, I keep account of where it all goes.  It's so easy to see where our money goes, and it's freeeee!


A couple of gals at work ooh'd and ahhh'd and not-quite-sublty told me that I needed to make another for them to buy.  It just so happed that one of their birthdays is so close, and I can't justify spending the money on a little something (like I had been doing for the other recent birthdays).  I added a few features to hers that I didn't think of the first time around.  After I'd finished up the wallet I made for my coworker, I decided that I couldn't live with out one of the bonus features!  You'll see all of that in a later post (her birthday is next week, so hang tight!) and it just seems like it is gonna be so dang handy.  I made sure to go ahead and take tons of pictures, partially for the future post and partially for me to kind of create a catalog of sorts of options. 

I really hope you enjoyed the breakdown of the design.  Depending on demand, I can do a step by step of how I made each add-on.  This was loosely based on this great tutorial that I found on Pintrest. I modified the sizing a good bit, and then even more when I made the second wallet.  If you need measurements, just drop a comment.  I've decided that anymore wallets I make will have a wider wallet part.  It was really hard to sew it up with the bulk of the envelopes.  That may have been because I added the stabilizer in each envelope.  I'll find out when I make the next one.

Happy NEW YEAR!!