(image: Modish Biz Tips)
Happy November, everyone! I had an awesome October. I apologize upfront that this post is not only rather lengthy, but rather boastful as well. But hopefully not in a bad way; I just want to really celebrate my successes this month after a summer spent feeling kind of down about my business.
So, here's how I fared on my October goals:
- Organize my fabric shelves. Status: Almost complete.
I have only one shelf to go. Sadly, I saved the worst for last. But: one shelf! I can do it!
1B. When done, photograph my room in pristine condition and share online. Status: Incomplete.
For obvious reasons.
- Make at least 6 plushies. Status: Doubly complete!
I made 12 plushies this month. 12 (and 3 more are cut out)! That's probably a record for a month in which I wasn't preparing for No Coast (still sad/angry. Deep breaths, move on). Two of these plushies have landed in my Etsy shop, two more will be added this weekend. Where did the rest go? Read on. . . .
- Approach 2 new shops about carrying my work. Status: Doubly complete!
I sent 4 inquiry emails. Within 24 hours, one of the shops replied with a definite yes! (Still waiting to hear from the others.) That pretty much made my month. Wholly Craft in Columbus, Ohio, is now carrying some of my frogs, owls, wee imps, and unicorns. I actually just sent the package today (pic below). So, many of the new plushies I made went to Wholly Craft, while the rest (aside from the 4 that will be in my shop) went to I Like You here in Minneapolis to freshen up the inventory I already had there.
- Complete at least half of my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show (due November 20). Status: Incomplete.
But, the deadline was extended. Not that that should be an excuse, but I still have a little over three weeks before I need to ship my pieces, so I'm not sweating. Yet.
Total Accomplished: 2.75 / 4.5. (Though I'm tempted to count my double completes as 2 each. . . .)
(We're on our way to Wholly Craft! Yippee!)
"But Jessica," you say, "you only really completed half of your goals. How can you say October was so awesome?" Well first, Plushroom Soup received AMAZING blog love in October, which further made my month. I am so thankful to all the lovely bloggers who took the time to write about my critters—even if it was just one sentence—or post a few pictures and a link. You guys are awesome!
Second, I received my first international sale! I sent my zombie giraffe to a really sweet woman in the UK, who gave me this feedback:
Just got this and it is FANTASTIC! The arm
magnet is really strong and the detailing and
finishing are wonderful. Real value for
money. I am SO pleased with it. You should
be making a fortune with these. My daughter
loves geekery (her Twitter name is Zombie
Giraffes) and says there is nothing to match
this in UK stores like Forbidden Planet.
And third, on the nitty-gritty side of things, I also finally accomplished some really basic things that should've been done (eep!) a year ago.
- I registered my assumed name with the state (I did things backward and got my tax ID when I first started selling) and tomorrow will place the legal notice in a local paper that makes that certificate super official. I'm proud (and relieved!) that I finally accomplished that. Now I'll be able to open a business account at my bank, which will make Plushroom Soup super uber official.
- I created an account on MNartists.org. I don't know if that will drive much traffic my way or open up any opportunities, but at least I've finally declared myself an artist in Minnesota and put my name out there as part of that community.
And, on top of everything I did for Plushroom Soup, I also made a million bajillion baby gifts for expectant friends. My sewing machine could probably use a tune-up after everything I put it through in October!
Though, as mentioned, I'm still sad/angry about being wait-listed for No Coast, it appears it was rather a blessing in disguise, being the kick in the pants that spurred me to finally contact other stores, put my name out there more, and treat my business like an actual business. And those activities in turn spurred a major productive streak for me, one I hope to continue in November. So, on to November goals, shall we?
- Finish and ship my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show.
- Send out at least 2 more inquiry emails to retail stores/art gallery boutiques. (If any of you know of an awesome store/gallery in your city that I should contact, please let me know!)
- Finish organizing my fabric shelves, take pictures of the craft room, and blog about the process.
I'm going to leave it at that for the month, because the most important thing is completing my Go Ask Alice pieces. I'd like to think that I can still make some plushies for the Etsy shop this month too, but I don't want to commit to that given the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of the month that will eat more days (no pun intended) than I usually realize.
Hope you all had an amazing October as well, and here's to an amazing November!