Sunday, 30 December 2012

Show me your New Year.... your 2013....

 It is the END of an old year and the beginning of a brand SPANKING New One.
What are you going to do with yours.......?





Hell YES baby!!
I love my job but i love my hobby more...
It is the beauty of my job that allows me to be the person i want to be and live the life i want to live.
I might be fairly cash poor BUT i am body strong and soul RICH.
What will you be doing with your year......?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Closing down the ETSY PaperFish shop...read all about it!

Sooooo What's new? Why am i closing down the sales at 
www.PaperFish.etsy.com? 
The shop will remain static and empty for a while, maybe forever?!
This is all part of my previous post - FOCUS. To pin down and focus on strong elements of my business  Questioning what works on which platforms? making PaperFish a slicker working model so that all the important parts of the machine can run more efficiently.
I do not function well or to my maximum unless i close off ideas and opportunities - that sounds crazy right? But, in my head, i see my mental focus as ME stood in the middle of a circle, surrounded by open doors.
When these doors become toooo many, i have to shut some. I cannot keep too many doors open else i become overwhelmed and un-focused. So that is what i am doing....
So.... until relevant stocks are depleted / moved to different shops / there is:
FREE UK SHIPPING on anything in the ETSY PaperFish shop only
Also INTERNATIONAL shipping is capped at £4 / $6.50 USD approx.
You cannot add items from the other shops. (We will have a huge SALE DAY at the end of February as we do every year!! where i can sell off mistake stock purchases and generally treat you all to some insanely low prices) but until further notice, take advantage for some cute little gifts for yourself or friends.
Then i can shut this shop and make my world smaalllleeerrrrr x
 I have started chatting with a fellow craft business owner and we are going to do some cross-promotion with each other... again, starting to DO the things i said i needed to do. Not waiting for 2013 / for a blue moon / for an 'opportunity'... i make my own opportunities by sharing with other people.
 BigFish Etsy news - these last 2 ribbons are available in the BigFish shop.
(Need to make some time to update the www.LovePaperFish.com shop)
The last ribbons are cute mini-reels 4metres on each. I wish all ribbon could be sold on these reels. Very handy....
Keep Calm and Craft On people!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Run your own small Handmade / Craft Business....?

So, How's things been then... ?
I have found that, certainly the latter half of my last tax year and the beginning of this, have been my toughest in a long while. I have found that people are spending 'less' when they do shop online (with me) although my regular big customers are still shopping the same. I think it is the luxuries and the IMPULSE buys that have been hit hardest. And this makes sense - i have reacted the same as a consumer in this recession, haven't you?
 We had the HIKE in Postage prices, yeh? and that was a tough one. International went through the roof for a small online shop like mine (ours) ETSY shops will know how hard it was to put up those postage prices. But i found the UK parcel much easier to work with and could set an easy and fair lowest postal cost and could then 'reward' bigger shoppers with free postage on bigger orders.... so its been a bit up n down, hey?
WHAT can we do? when business is slower and spending is down? How do we keep going when handmade is being asked, on some levels, to compete with other online bargains? 
The answer is NOT to reduce your prices.... DO NOT undervalue / undersell your own time and design efforts. Think outside the box and make changes to your business that will help YOU make the sales you need.....
 I cannot speak for all of us or help personally, but here are some ideas to help us get through the lowest times and keep our small handmade businesses growing:
 - Define your brand. Spend time getting your product range smaller and tighter and more coherent so you know exactly what you are marketing and who to.
 - Keep up stock levels it is hard to think MAKE when sales have dipped but use this time to us up your stash, and get stock levels to a point that you are ready to SELL when the sales come.
 - Clean & Tidy & Organise your office, your stash, your stock, your book-keeping. Get on top of all the areas you neglect. I WILL be doing this in January!! be sure on that. Untidy business is untidy selling.

 - Blog / Twitter / Flickr / Pinterest...   i am guilty of neglecting online interests. strike the balance between talking about yourself, your passions, your products and ramming U down peoples throats! why not get together with a few other small business people and cross promote each other?.... these people are NOT your business rivals! They are selling different things to the SAME customer base as you. Use each other.

STAY WITH:  Original - Valued - Top Quality - Good Design - Customer Service - Personal Touches - Good Communication - Listening & Working with People.... because...
THE BIG COMPANIES cannot ever compete with that. They have low prices and speedy couriers and glossier websites and telephone (non) help. Your business has YOU!! and that is the power you have.
So use it!
 x x x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Stock update... and apologia....

 Just incase you are bananas LIKE ME! and shop at the last minute, i am delivering you a public service announcement.
3 Packs of Caribou left for this year, plus maybe 1 each of the Limited Edition pink n white babies
*magic*
 2 gingerbread boys and 2 in the girlie colours - this is my absolute favourite range and how i decorate my little home.
 Babushka Dolls are nearly depleted and i am not sewing anymore thiiiisss year but i have plans for 2013....
(if it comes off i will be most awesome)
And lots of wreaths done and shipped.
+++ 2 Lime / 1 Gingerbread / 1 Tomte / 1 aqua n red left - that is ALL! +++
Thankyou AUSTRALIA!!! who seem to love the bright colours and bold buttons.
You win my award for biggest SnowFish shoppers for 2011 and 2012 
I love you and i love that you love my wacky sense of Christmas joy!

ALLLLLL Ribbons and Trims and FELT and Buttons are well stocked - except WHITE Felt Balls are low low low,,,,,, just giving you the info as it happens....

I promise to do better other blogging in 2013 and not just quick shop updates 
(slaps own wrist)