Getting there…confession time

 

Slowly but surely I feel like this page is coming together. It has been a long haul for sure. I know this page has gone from being just a blog, to being mostly instagram photos and then the slow, very very slow process of being turned into a full eCommerce site with a blog. All of these transformations have taken time, but there is no doubt that making this website into the home of my business has taken the longest and that is where the confession time comes in.

I hate building websites. I really do.

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Excuse the dust…again.

Things as you may have noticed are a little bit all over again. Apologies for that, but on the good news end of that, this should, hopefully be the last time it is needed. I finally feel the right layout has been found to give the site the cohesive feeling I have wanted. That gives us the shop and the blog and let’s them feel together. So if you will just keep with me while everything gets ironed out detail wise, soon we will get things really rolling right. Free patterns and other announcements will be right here, along with everything from the shop you would like to purchase!

Time flys…

Can you believe that it is already almost August? I know I sure can’t. Time has been flying by this year and some of it has been fantastic and some of it has been less than fantastic. That is life, though, isn’t it? Up and down. Obviously my goal of writing more on this blog has not yet been met, but hey the year is not over so that is okay. If I have learned anything this year so far it is that I am ONE person and while I can do fantastic things and complete so much, I simply can’t do it all.

While it might not seem like there has been much going on if you look at this blog, if you look at the shop or talk to me in general you will see of course that there has been much going on. The slime side of this business really took off and I honestly can hardly believe that my slime instagram has over 11,000 followers now. Who knew that so many other people would appreciate what I had to make in slime, something I have been doing just for myself since I was a kid in school. I loved science. I still love science. To put a cherry on top of that slime cake I will be attending Slime Bash 2 in October and really I am still pinching myself a little bit over that one. Me at a slime convention! I am very much looking forward to it and I have a lot of prep to work on but I am happy to be on that path.

I am also slowly but surely working through ideas when it comes to, other things to do with my zen place, my crochet. As a self taught crocheter, I have long thought no one would be interested in anything that I had to design. Heck, for a very long time I thought I couldn’t even design my own patterns. Pick out colors that looked good together for patterns that others wrote, yes of course. Make my own? No way.

I was WRONG.

Lately I have found myself free-handing a lot of projects. Just picking up the yarn and going with it. I have now free-handed blankets, shawls, market bags, socks and more. If I can do that and see people respond well to what they see, why can’t I write the patterns down?

 

Love Wins shawl done by Freehand

So for me this will be my next big step in my little business. Writing down some of my patterns and then from there designing specifically to make yes, but also to sell. I want to be a crochet designer. I can feel my creativity flowing in that direction and telling me that YES YES this is what you need to do. I am a strong believer in food for the soul and doing what you are being told to do by your gut and creative feeling.

I am also going to be giving a large push to a special project close to my heart. It is something that for many years I have done on a small level and quietly. Well, it is time to get a little bigger and louder. Kindness matters in this world and I think we need more of it. The world is a bit of a scary place these days, but we can change it, one small act at a time.

But first…..patterns.

I really do hope you will enjoy this pattern journey with me. I plan on posting free patterns here on the blog and then I will list patterns for sale as well. I am not sure if they will be on Etsy, however, with the fee increase they have enacted recently I really have a bit of a kick in the rear end to really update the shop here and focus on learning how to use woocommerece properly.

Have a fantastic weekend friends!

 

Changes coming to the blog…2018

I know not to many read this blog yet and that is ok, but for those who do. Most of what has been posted on this blog for this year has been pictures that come over direct from instagram. I have turned that feature off for the moment. I would like to do more text base blogging on this blog in the future. I just know the bottom line is that I will not manage to get to that before the end of 2017. Sad I know but that is just the way the cookie crumbles for me.

I am inspired by Jelly Bean Junction, she started a blog recently and she just really seems to know what she wants and where she is going with that. I admire that and I hope to find that sense of direction with this blog again in the future. I used to be very good about knowing where I wanted my blogs to go. In recent years I have lost my direction when it comes to blogging even here.

At any rate I am making a set choice to try and sort things out in 2018. I hope to have some help with that, there has been attempts at that in the past and recent past. So we shall see. Kirk wants to help, he keeps trying to help me type this out, cute little booger that he is. Sadly he is not the best help when it comes to writing and articles. Bless his darling heart, he just doesn’t have thumbs.

Why are your prices x this much it’s only…..

As I took a break from some of the seemingly never ending Admin work I have been doing lately, I stumbled upon a Instagram story talked about something that is a hot button for me and other’s, why are your prices so expensive? Across the realm of those who make handmade goods and crafts this is something that is often run into. Those who knit and crochet really seem to get it HARD (oh, I know I have) but it really is something in the entire community. My few weeks being a full participant of the slime world (I have made it for myself and girl scout groups ect for YEARS ah, I remember Gak) have shown me this is a community that gets it a great deal as well.

In this case the comment usually reads something such as, “Why are your prices so high its literally just glue and borax”.

I have gone to bat for several of the slimers I follow on my personal account about this comment and issue more than once. After listening to the Instagram story of Glitter.Slimes I decided it is time to make a comment about it on the business end of things as this is a big issue for me. I know it is something that is a big issues for others as well, first of all I agree with EVERYTHING that Glitter.Slimes said it was truly BANG ON. So now here comes my two cents worth.

First and foremost, you should know that I myself and all other crafters love and respect those who buy from us. With that said just because we love you and we love what we do doesn’t mean that we do not deserve a fair price for what we do. If you go to a ” regular” job, do you not expect to be paid for the work you do? Even if it is something you enjoy and find it a passion? Of course you do! Items made by hand should be no different and frankly, they are not any different. When you work you deserve to be paid for that work, when you offer a product you deserve to be paid fairly for that product. As a customer if you feel that the product is too highly priced you have a choice, you can not buy. You can choose to shop around and I am sure you will find something cheaper it might even be the same quality, but sometimes the saying you get what you pay for is very true.

Secondly, if it is “only borax and glue” or “only yarn and you like to do it anyway” (ugh, I get that one all the time), then go ahead and buy the tools and ingredients and make it yourself. I have always wondered if those who comment about what a craft only is, or if it is something you enjoy doing, why do you need so much money do this in regular shopping as well. I wonder if they just walk into Brick and Mortar shop and say well it’s only fruit that comes off a tree or well, it’s only some plastic, or it’s only fabric and thread and demand a lower price. Something tells me that in the majority of cases this is not the case, I suspect they pay for their item and go on about their day. So why do this to online small business owners as well?

The bottom line is that you are not only paying for what goes into the slime or the Afghan or anything else that you are buying. I myself (and I know most others) work very hard to price fairly for customers. I know for a fact some of my items are actually a little under priced, but sometimes you find yourself having to do it. I often think of these items as introductory priced items, something that is newer and needs a demand started up about it first ect. I also know that there are some I think have overpriced an item, but I would never complain about it because if that is the price they feel is fair who am I to judge? I don’t know how they came to that price and perhaps they have a harder time getting the items that go into making it than I do. Pricing handmade items is a hard enough think to do with all the variables, there doesn’t need to be judgement on top.

Alas, it seems I have strayed a little from the point of this post. I am sorry for that, I did say it was a passionate topic for me.

When you purchase from a small business, especially a handmade one no matter WHAT they make you are paying for a lot of things. Just a few things you are paying for:

Testing (ensuring product quality and safety!)

Designing

Experience

Knowledge

Packaging

Supplies

Other random overhead

Employee’s (whether it is a one person operation or one with a team)

Every single one of these things (and MORE) has to be taken into account when an item in a shop is listed for sale. Business owners have to make a profit, if they don’t soon enough you won’t be able to buy anything from them at all because they won’t be able to operate. Yes, perhaps someone doing the creating is doing it as a hobby or a young person living at home who doesn’t have as much to worry about so they may have lower prices. Not everyone is like that for MANY it really is THEIR WORK, their source of income to eat, pay rent, support a family all of those FUN things.

Moreover, someone who is focused on quality ingredients in what they are making (high quality fragrance, sterling silver vs plate, higher quality yarn ect) has to have higher prices because they are spending more to give you a top quality product. This is one reason I myself have “graduated” ingredients on some of the things I create such as crochet items. I will use everything from very expensive cashmere to regular ole acrylic and items are priced to reflect that. I still need to be paid for my time though.

The truth is that most craft people (myself often included), don’t ask nearly enough for what they are making. They aren’t getting paid the true worth of the item and all that goes into it. However, if the crafter is able to make a living profit and is happy with it and the market will take it then that will just be how it is.

In short, please think about what you are saying before you comment on a crafters choice in price. There are so many things that go into those items. One important thing with handmade and small business, you are getting a more personal touch. Customer service is generally better and there is a true amount of love and passion that goes into each and every item that is made. That kind of care and love is priceless.

This is a bit more than two cents worth, but it needed to be said. Please remember behind every shop large and small there is a person. That person has feelings and skills and ideas they bring to the table. Then ask yourself if you were the one making these things, how would it make you feel to be told essentially that you and your product aren’t worth the price you’re asking. You likely wouldn’t appreciate the feeling very much. So please be kind.