Happy new year everyone!
I am glad to start this new year with a renewed energy and a sense of gratitude for my life. Last year was a difficult time for me as I was struggling with my health (endometriosis), so my resolution this year is to continue exploring ways of healing this condition.
My other resolution is to work better at my little business. It has been more of a hobby than a business up to now as I only work part time in it, but this year I want to be more productive and more organised. So to start the new year, I treated myself to a new shop: handmadewithjoy.bigcartel.com . Yes I alreay have 4 shops so I don’t really need a 5th one as ideally I would rather just have 1 shop but they are each useful in their own way so I keep having them. For example, etsy and folksy are very good for me as it is where editors (books and magazines) usually contact me for various projects that end up being a good exposure for my business. Also most of my big orders ($150 upward) come from etsy, and it is where I get a good percentage of my international sales. Dawanda is also useful for me as it allows me to attract french speaking buyers (as I list my items in french and english there). And as for ebay, I also get a good percentage of custom orders there, and most of those buyers become private clients, so it has its merits.
Most of my private clients are happy being invoiced directly via a paypal invoice but a few of them still like the idea of buying from a shop, so the new shop will be good for that as I will be able to create private listings for them in this shop. Also, bigcartel (that hosts my new shop) works on a monthly shop rental fee without taking any commission for my sales, so it is a good place for high value items like quilts which I want to offer more of in the future. For those of you who sell handmade, do you have any favourite selling platform and if yes why? And for those of you who buy handmade, where do you prefer to buy?
Anyway, I have started listing items in the new shop but still have more to items to upload. I wanted to let you know about it as I am offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING for this month (january 2014) in the new shop. Some of my best sellers are items made with the russian doll fabric above, but I only have less than a yard left of that fabric and am gutted as it is an out of print fabric so I cannot buy more of it. I am currently sourcing some new fabrics to use this year and have found one that I am particularly excited about. As they do well for me, I will continue using liberty fabrics and russian doll fabrics among some japanese ones.
Gardening wise, the weather has been quite mild around here so there are nice surprises in the garden. For example, the alpine strawberries are still flowering and fruiting. And there are still lots of greenery and some flowers here and there, including this borage plant.
Indoor, my african violets are flowering profusely. To make them flower, I put them on the kitchen window shelf (where they get the most light) untill they flower and then I move them to the living room/sewing room. Once the flowers are finished I move them back to the kitchen windowsill.
I am overwintering some plants as usual, and this year the banana plant is in the bathroom (I try a new space for it every winter to see what it likes best), it seems to like it there as it’s getting plenty of light and warmth. I am also overwintering some hardy fuschia cuttings which grow so easily in water (I use old glass spice jars for them), once they have enough roots I will pot them up.
I have been very busy with sewing in december so did not finish planting my tulips and therefore am still planting them now. They may flower a bit late but that’s ok, I can’t wait to see them in all their glory in spring.