I know, I know! I'm a terrible blogger! I'm learning to live with though and although I will endeavour to blog a little more, I can't guarantee anything :-) Anywho, this is where I'll be on the weekend, hope to see some of you there!
Hi everyone! So I'm trialling Rafflecopter for a little giveaway! In the next few weeks I'm going to be setting up a newsletter! So leave me your email if you want to be part of it on the Mailing List tab and like my Facebook page! Too easy! My newsletter will have special deals and probably go out once a month or so - would hate to clog up your inboxes!
I’m very excited to be featured on ‘Creating My Way To Success’! About 6 months ago my husband asked me, “If you could run your own business, what would it be?” I didn’t really say anything much and kept doing whatever it was I was doing. After quietly pondering it, I realized I wanted to make something my I would enjoy, that my friends might like and that I could share with others. And so Bespoke Buttons was born!
My main creations are fabric covered button earrings. I like to find interesting fabrics from all over the world for my products, which also include hair ties, hair pins/clips and bookmarks. More recently I have been creating headbands and Coffee Cozies.
I started off selling my creations on Etsy, however have recently been venturing out to markets as well as opening a Luulla store. I also find a lot of sales simply come from my Facebook page. Markets really do generate the most sales for me, however they are also the most time consuming – I always managed to have a good time though!
I wouldn’t say I have made too many mistakes in running my business. Everything is a lesson and I try not to be too hard on myself when it seems like sales are a bit lower than what I’d like. My biggest lesson is that there is a huge handmade market out there, but if you make interesting things that people like and are genuine you’ll get good customers. I also use plenty of social media, but try to be the type of business I like to like from my own personal profile – lets me know what’s happening, but isn’t constantly saying ‘buy, buy, buy.’
I think success in business is very much an individual idea and is something that needs to be balanced with everything else in life. Success for me isn’t about having the most sales ever, it’s enjoying what I’m doing and being able to run a business around the other aspects of my life – which are also really important to me.
So what’s next for me? Many more buttons of course! I’m looking at more markets for the next few months to see where I best fit and bettering my sewing skills so I can expand my range.
Just a quick blog about some markets I went to last weekend. Brisbane has a few different markets and I'm slowly trying some of them out. The Kerbside Lane Markets are located in the laneway behind the Kerbside Bar and Fringe Bar. I think there were about a dozen or so stalls and we marketed from 12 until about 530ish in the afternoon. It started off a little slow, but as the day went on the traffic built up and I ended up having a successful day . I've done better at other markets, but I think the slightly out of the way nature of the markets mean that people who come have sought it out and are really keen to see what's there, as opposed to those who might've stumbled upon it by chance (don't get me wrong, love those people too!). Here are some pics from the day (not taken by me, courtesy of the folks at Kerbside Lane Markets :-)
I got my first ever sewing machine about 2 weeks ago. Yep 28 years old and decided that sewing looked like something I might like. I used to like it as a kid but honestly I though if I can buy it, why bother sewing it? Things have changed now that I've started making headbands and I realised how much easier it would be to just run a few stitches through things. Then after seeing what other people make I figured that I may not be great, but if I practice maybe one day I'll be able to make a few things myself.
I got an Elna Sew Fun - apparently it's the same model as the Janome lower end model. It was nice and easy to get started after a quick lesson from the shop on how to thread it.
I decided to start with something I thought would be nice and easy - little zip purses! I've made two so far and my second effort was way better than my first which gives me some hope!
Hey wow look at me actually remembering to blog!
Something I've also been remembering to do is to create treasuries to promote my teammates on the Australian Wandarrah Etsy team! So here are a few of the treasuries I've made - I have actually found it really tricky to make nice looking treasuries with items that reflect the theme I'm going for, but here are some examples of what I've done!
This was my first one for the now defunct Social Media Promotion team called Summer Garden, very original I know!
My next one was a lot more fun to make!
Anyway, you can find my other treasuries here. I'm going to try and be a lot more proactive in making them - now I've got my head around it it's a bit more fun! And a great way to see what other amazing items are out there on the Etsy World!
In some very exciting news I'm happy to announce you can now purchase my products at Handmade Highstreet! The idea of the shop is simple - pay a small monthly fee for an agreed upon space in the shop, drop off your products and they take care of the rest including the selling! Easy! I had heard about a few shops like this, but wasn't really sure how well my products would go. A friend of mine suggested I check it out, so last week I went for a look. There were only a few spaces to rent left, so was going to wait another month to see what spaces opened up.
By the time I got home I had decided that, what the heck, I'll give it a try! My space is a little cube on the bottom shelf of a display case. I was initially worried that it wouldn't be a great space, but once I walked in there I realised I was still paying attention to the items of those shelves (although obviously you get what you pay for - I'm paying the least amount possible for my space. At only $20 per month for a 3 month minimum term I'm hoping I'll get a good return. I only need to sell 2 items a month to make my money back and the way I see it anything extra will just be a bonus! I have put in a range of earrings, bookmarks, headbands and Button Art
If you're located in Brisbane go an check Handmade Highstreet out - there are some amazing products in there and I have found about 50 things I want to buy! Search around for the Bespoke Buttons cube while you're there and let me know what you think :-)
....blogging business! But on the upside, I've been nice and busy over the past few week coming up with new products and marketing my wares.
Firstly I went to another Suitcase Rummage last month. It was a special one to celebrate the second birthday of The Edge - a multimedia space at the Queensland State Library. We were set up in a walkway and heaps of people walked past. The day started off pretty slow, although started picking up a little later in the day. I really love going to Suitcase Rummages - cheap fees, interesting people and get to talk about Bespoke Buttons all afternoon long! I won't be at tomorrow's one, but I'll be back there for April.
Next up, I've come up with a new range! Introducing Button Art! It's a range of custom made pictures - made out of buttons of course! While I've only made a few to start with, I've got a heap of ideas and will have more in the range shortly. Along with silhouette pictures, I am also able to do letters - either a first initial or a whole name spelt out in button letters!
Ok think that's enough for now - I have a few other things but will save that up for another blog post :-)
So I've been seeing everyone having so much fun with Fat Mum Slims photo a day challenge, I decided I would do the February challenge! Wohoo! I'm going to post the photos I take to my Facebook page so make sure you check it out. I think if you click here this should take you click here this should take you to at least today's pic - I'll try and work out a nice easy way to keep posted here!
Yesterday I packed up my suitcase and headed of to the Suitcase Rummage held at the Laneway Festival. I wasn't really sure how sales would go there since it was a festival and people were mainly there to see the music, but when I used to go to them I know I always had a look through the markets and mostly ended up buying a few bits and pieces.
Since I'm always ridiculously on time, I was the first stall holder to arrive - fabulous! I got to pick where I wanted to set up which was great! I chose a spot near the entrance on the warehouse type space we were in. There was natural light (the other end was a bit dark) and my thoughts were that a lot of people would come through. I didn't think about the rain coming in a bit later (not too bad and since the girl beside me left early I was able to shuffle in a bit anyway) and I didn't think about the groups of people who walk into a doorway and just stand there even though there's heaps of space to walk around in. Oh well, still think I had a pretty good spot and could even see a stage early on which was cool.
Sure enough, plenty of people went through the market section. I think the most popular things seemed to be vintage clothes. I actually did better at this Suitcase Rummage than the regular one at the top of the Queen St Mall which I was surprised about. Throughout the day sales were pretty regular and lots of people stopped and looked. It was hard to chat to people properly with the music being so loud, but that's all just part of the day! From speaking to other stall holders, it seemed to be a mixed-bag sort of day. Some did well, most of the ones I talked to said they made their money we had to pay in stall fees back ($38) and had a bit to take home. I was really happy with my sales for the day and was really excited to sell 2 of my new headbands! They themselves are $15 so I wasn't sure how they'd sell yesterday to people who had already spent $120 on a ticket to the festival
If it's on again next year I would go again - it was fun day out and a way to get my creations out there.