Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Labels: Important Business Tool

A few days ago, a lady won one of my items in a door prize basket. I attach my labels to EVERYTHING I make, and she went to my website to see what else I had to offer. She then emailed me to tell me how much she liked it and then inquired about a custom item. She also took it upon herself to share my website with her friends.

Why is attaching labels a MUST DO?
It's like adding a permanent business card to your item! It gives the owner of your item instant access to your information. If a friend asks them where they got the item, the information is right there. No more, "Oh I have their business card somewhere...". Remember that people love, love, love instant gratification and getting your information into their hands immediately is NEVER a bad thing.

Why not just include a business card or two in my packaging?
The short answer is that people throw business cards away or lose them. Include them anyway, though. Business cards are important to have, but they are pretty much trash.
2011 01 20 Black White Hexagon-1

Where can I get labels?
Etsy has many many options for labels, not just for fabric items like mine. You can get custom sticker labels printed also! The labels I use are woven and look just like something you would find inside clothing and purses in stores. They are professional and people always comment on how cool they are!
Camera Strap Covers

Now, let's go through the scenario with the nice lady from the first paragraph had I not attached a label. ***crickets chirping*** That's right, there is no scenario then. Maybe she loves it and tries to find out where it came from, but eventually she would have lost interest and just enjoyed her item.

Another scenario: Attaching a business card w/ribbon, no permanent label. Since the purchaser of this item was not the end user, there is no guarantee that the end user knows where their item came from. The purchaser could have removed it before giving the item away. With this scenario, it ends with the end user either not knowing or throwing your card away once they've unwrapped it.

The scenario from paragraph one is ideal. This will not happen with every person. You may not know that it happens either. If I spent $80 on 600 custom labels and I get 2 new customers from that, it's worth it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

300th Sale Giveaway! A Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered for the $25 store credit and for those who have made my business a success!

Using random.org, I chose a random winner!
Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 10.37.20 AM
And the winner is #8, who is Brandi W., who also happens to live down the street from me! Congratulations! I emailed Brandi around 10:30 this morning and she already spent her $25! She got the Pink & Black Paisley apron and added her monogram. (She loves monogrammed stuff!) I hope she doesn't mind that I "borrowed" one of her Facebook photos!
Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 12.10.35 PMForshee Designs Apron

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New! Lanyards

I have made a few lanyards in the past, so I thought they would be a good addition to my shop!

120" long, .75" wide
Silver color metal clasp, easily attaches to your keys, work ID, etc.
Price $10.50

I'll be adding more fabric choices soon, I was just so excited to share that I had to get the ones I had done up already!

These are also able to be personalized!

You can find them in my shop or email me to order! (aprilforshee at gmail dot com)

New! LanyardsNew! Lanyards
New! LanyardsNew! Lanyards

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Style Stitches Challenge--January, Complete!

Well, I was right. You can fit a small farm in this bag. My computer fits perfectly! I wish the bag stood up on its own, though, which is my fault. I'm not sure what I was thinking by not adding more stabilizer.

2011 01 11 SS Challenge Cosmo Bag-1

I changed two things about the bag and added a few things. (I hardly ever make something without altering it.)

First, the side pockets were these long, skinny, useless things. So all I did was add a row of stitching to close it up so that it can be used for SOMETHING other than long skinny objects.

2011 01 11 SS Challenge Cosmo Bag-2

Second, the interior needed more pockets. I added pockets for pencils/pens, my wireless mouse, and my handheld GPS (Nerd Alert: I like to geocache. If you don't know what that is, check out the geocaching website: www.geocaching.com.). Third, I stitched up the center on one of the huge pockets to make 2 big pockets.

2011 01 11 SS Challenge Cosmo Bag-32011 01 11 SS Challenge Cosmo Bag-4

What do you think?

Monday, January 10, 2011

300th Sale Giveaway!

Back in October, I was about to hit 200 sales. Well, I hit 200 on November 15. Then...I hit 300 on January 7! I couldn't believe it!

To celebrate, I'm doing another giveaway! I'm giving away a $25 credit to my Etsy shop so that you can pick what you want!

Here's what you have to do. (I'm going to make you work for this one!)

1. Be a fan on my Facebook page OR follow me on Twitter (use the buttons on the right sidebar to get you there)--1 entry
2. Tell a friend to be my fan or follow me. They have to do one of these for you to get credit!--5 entries
3. If you have an Etsy account, heart my shop.--2 entries

Leave a comment for each individual item that you do. If you are already a fan/follower, you still need to leave a comment. If you refer a friend, leave me their name so I can check! If you heart my shop on Etsy, leave another comment with your Etsy username!

That's it! If you have any questions, let me know!

Contest will close on January 25 at 10am EST!

10 Years Old--Where Did the Time Go?

My boy turned 10 on January 3rd! This makes me feel old. In 5 years, he will learn to drive. Holy smokes!

2011 01 10 Kendall Birthday-1-3

Since we're homeschooling now, I decided that he could invite some boys over to play & eat since he misses his friends a lot. Four boys came over and they played games, played outside, had pizza & cake.
2011 01 10 Kendall Birthday-3

2011 01 10 Kendall Birthday-1

They couldn't believe that I made this cake! They loved it! Do people not make cakes these days? I hate the cakes at grocery stores! Gross!

My aunt and uncle came over to lead some indoor games. The best game of all involved a shower cap covered with shaving cream on my uncle's head. The boys were supposed to throw Cheetos at his head to see how many they could get to stick.

2011 01 10 Kendall Birthday-2

When it was almost time to go, I had them open their goody bags because I wanted to see if they really liked the pencil pouches I made them with their first initial embroidered.

2011 01 10 Kendall Birthday-1-2

They were a hit! Again, they could not believe that I sewed these pouches! They even complimented my fabric choice. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction. I'm thinking these would be a good addition to my shop, no?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Style Stitches Challenge--January

For January, we are to make the Cosmo Bag from Chapter 1 of Amy Butler's Style Stitches:
2011 01 01 SS Challenge Cosmo

I think that this bag will be my new computer/carryall bag. I have plans to add some different pockets than what's indicated in the pattern. I have lots of things I must carry, you know. I'd like pockets for my: Mouse, handheld GPS and cord, mouse pad, iPods (yes, I have two), iPod cords, computer charger, pens, notepads, SD cards, etc.. Because I might need all of those things at once and must carry them all at all times, right? Anyway, the bag is big enough to carry a small farm so I shouldn't have an issue. I just have to make sure that the pockets are the right sizes and that I reinforce all the seams. I'd hate for it to break, causing all of my pretties to go crashing to the ground!

I've already traced my pattern onto freezer paper and labeled/marked all the pieces. Now, the most difficult part, I have to choose some fabric. I bought some corduroy from Melanie at Above All Fabric a while back, just for the purpose of making a computer bag. I'm thinking that the lining will be hot pink and want to try to find some matching orange Kona cotton for the handles. If it doesn't match almost exactly, I will go with brown.
2011 01 05 SS Challenge Fabric Choice

Do you have any other ideas about handles? Or what else I should put in my bag? I guess I could carry around my little dog, huh?

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Sewing Machine!

I've been thinking about it for a while and I finally did it! I bought a new sewing machine! I did about 10 minutes of research and figured out that the Janome 3160QDC was the machine for me. I walked right in to my favorite place to buy machines, Ashby Sewing and asked for it and bought it all in about 10 minutes. Normally, this is not the way I make any purchase, much less a big one like this! I like doing things away from the norm sometimes I guess!

So here are my favorite things about this machine:
  • It's quiet enough that I can watch my Netflix shows on the computer and still hear the show!
  • The automatic thread cutter (how did I survive without this?) saves me a lot of time and hassle.
  • It has lots of special stitches, even about 5 different buttonholes and a grommet stitch.
  • The quilting platform (I don't know what else to call this) makes it easy to move the fabric around when sewing aprons.
  • Did I mention that it's quiet?
I am sure that I will find more reasons to love this machine as I sew with it over the years!

Here's a stock photo:
2010 12 30 New Sewing Machine

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Style Stitches Monthly Bag Challenge

2011 01 01 SS Challenge CoverI lack the ability to just sew things for myself. By the time I think I have time, something comes up or I'm tired or (insert your own excuse here). It's never a priority. When I saw that JemJam was hostessing a challenge that goes through the new book (Amy Butler's Style Stitches) I got for my birthday, which was December 1st, that I have yet to even look at because (you know, insert your own excuse here), I signed up immediately. You don't really have to sign up, per se, but I tell myself that I've signed up for something.

You can go over to JemJam's blog to see all the details. There is also a group on Flickr you can join to post photos of your monthly bag/progress. Oh and there are prizes from my virtual Twitter friend Melanie's fabric shop, Above All Fabric.

And last, but not least, here is the button you can grab to post on your blog if you want to join us!
2011 01 01 Style Stitches Button