Monday, December 20, 2010

My Christmas Craft show experience

I have two craft shows under my belt now. And a lesson learned.  Winter Craft shows can be very "iffy".  Both shows were internal company shows.  That is, not public, but for company employees.  the first show was not advertized very well.  So not many people knew about it.  
The second show was better.  But the weather didn't cooperate.  Snow and ice shut down the city and the buyers.  So not many sales occurred. I got a lot of "I'll go get my money", or "I'll just look around and come back".  But I don't regret a thing. 
In preparing for the two shows, I got my inventory organized, made a new sign, and got everything packaged.  I'm now ready for any upcoming Craft show.  
And the people..I love the people.  I love talking to the customers and the crafters.  It's such a great thing to have in common...creativity.  I don't care if your craft is simple or silly.  To create something, put it on display for the public to judge, and then hope for sales.  That takes guts.  
I many not want a goofy bottle stopper or a piece of beaded jewelry, but I sure admire what it takes to get it there.  
I'll just say that I'm looking forward to Spring for more than just the sunshine.  People are happier, and the weather is great for craft fairs.  Customers are renewed and ready to shop. 
Spring Craft I come.   

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back in the Craft Show Saddle Again

It's been almost two years since I participated in a craft show. And next week I'll be in two! The opportunity came up and I decided to go for it. First of all I love being in craft shows. The people are the best. And talk about a boost to your's guaranteed to make you feel better.
Having said all that. I'd forgotten how much hard work goes into it. I have in excess of 300 onesies and tees to sell. I've pressed them all, and put them in plastic sleeves. (to keep them clean) Just that has taken me several days.
I wanted some cute baskets lined with fabric to display them in. I was in for a financial surprise when I priced those things. I need at least 8 and they were around $10.00 each. Ouch. So..I found some cute fabric and "cuffed" the clear plastic shoe boxes that I use to store my garments in. Bingo! It's super cute, and cost less than $30.00.
I also needed a sign. I had a piece of foam board the right size. So I covered it in some of the "cute" fabric, got some wooden letters, painted them, glued them down, and Wha La! A sign.
I dug around and found my old tableclothes I used to use to cover my plastic tables. I washed them today and tomorrow I'll iron them.
I'm just about ready. I want to press some extra Christmas designs. I'm selling my inventory from when I was "Twin Sisters Ink".  So most of my garment designs are one of a kind.  Not a lot of multiples.  But, I do want to have several sizes available for some of my more popluar designs.  That will take some time too.

Tuesday was Oliver's (my grandson) first birthday.  And I babysat him today.  So for the next three days I need to put my nose to the grindstone.

The show is on Monday and then I have another one on Thursday.  Maybe my hard work will pay off.  I'll have a little Jingle in my pocket and I won't have so many garments to store.  But mostly I'm looking forward to just being in a craft show again. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Hate it When I Loose a Sale!

I messed up on my Rhoadworks site.  And, as a result...I lost a Sale.  Note to self: When you correct one listing, be sure and correct them all.  
But, I corrected the listing, apologized to my customer (who was very understanding, by the way),  and refunded her money. Lesson learned. 
But as you small business owners know, any lost sale these days really hurts.  Let's hope Cyber Monday ends well. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Doesn't Anyone want to Cyber Shop?

Thanksgiving is over..No more cooking..and maybe your company is gone.  So..isn't it time you got on line and did some Christmas Cyber shopping? 
Since the media was pushing Black Friday and Cyber Monday..I decided to put a Cyber Weekend Sale on my site.  Free Shipping Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  But so far, no takers.  Maybe people are tired of being inside their houses and are out running the malls. 
But I have to feel like in the wee hours of the morning, or evening some  price savy shoppers will realize some savings are to be had on the computer.  Is Free Shipping not a big enough carrot these days??  Maybe we hear it too much.
Or maybe customers are waiting for businesses to dig deeper and really cut prices to the bone. Well, I'm not there yet.  Give me another week or so.

I donated garments and participated in a couple of events this past couple of weeks.  A few lucky people even won free oneses.  Free.  Have I heard from them yet??  No.  Aren't we still in a financial depression?  Are people too lazy to take advantage of a free gift that they could at least donate?  Maybe so.
I'll just have to be patient...
Until then I'll just continue to put new designs on Rhoadworks and hope for the best.  And I'm excited to start participating in Craft Shows.. more about that later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Day to be Thankful

Recently, I was filling out a questionnaire.  Sort of a "who are you and what are your interests" type thing.  It made me stop and really think about why I do some of the things I do and where I get my inspiration from.  In most cases it came down to family.  The family I came from made me who I am today. And my existing family gives me a reason to live and enjoy life.
I know the Thanksgiving Holiday is based on the first Americans being thankful for their freedom.  And they were thankful for the people that helped them set up this country. 
But, personally, I think this is a good time to additionally be thankful for family past and present.  No matter where you are from or what your origin is.  To focus for one day on what family really means isn't a bad thing.
Along with a fair amount of good food, I intend to enjoy tomorrow to the fullest.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All Hail Harry Potter!

I'm loving that the new Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be premiering this Friday.  It has created a lot of sales for me.  I have two Harry Potterish designs available.  At first the Hogwart Alumni design was the best seller.  Now it seems that the Harry Potter outfit with collar and tie has taken first place. 

My question is.. The parents that are ordering these onesies for their little infants.  Are they taking them to the premier?  Are they just showing them off at the premier parties?  I just wonder. 
I would love for one of my Harry Potter babies to be caught by some paparazzi.  And maybe put in a publication.  Now that would be good for business.  And from what I hear, it's not over yet.  The next "Chaper" is coming out next year.  Harry..just keep on flying.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Football Season

It's football season.  I know that because my husband watches it on Monday nights, and I think several other nights. 
Don't get me wrong.  I was born in Dallas and follow by 'Boys'.  One of my sisters is a Saint's fanatic (even tho she didn't go there), and my other sister could care less. 
But I do know that football teams are important to a lot of fans.  They really like showing their team spirit on their clothing.  So..I of course have some designs for the littlest of fans.
Here is my latest Saints creation.  And a little nod to Drew Breese..what a great guy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Customer Pics

It's been a while since I've posted to my blog.  I would love to say "I've been too busy".  But that's not the case.  The month of September hasn't been kind to me.  But with October ahead, business has started to pick up.  What is it about Fall that makes people think about buying.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas?  I sure hope so. 
I recently got the most adorable picture from one of my customers.  This little guy loved his original "My Sister is a Beagle" shirt so much, that his mom ordered another one.  So she could wash the original one! I also attached the first picture a customer ever sent me.  This grandpa, obviously a dyed in the wool Trekky, bought one of my Star Trek onesies for his grand daughter.  Scotty.. beam them both up.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Day, Another Design

I haven't been very loyal to my own blog.  I keep forgetting to post!  I would hate to disappoint the curious public..ha ha. 
It's been several days, maybe weeks since I've written anything.  And in that time I've discovered a new toy.  A computerized drawing tablet.  It has allowed me to draw designs faster and better (I think) than with my little mouse. 
Since Halloween is looming, my thoughts have turned to those type of things.  I've done a Crow that I love.  But my problem little kids wear crows on their tee shirts?  I think it would look great.  But to add to the whimsy, I've created a cat filled with crows.  I love it.  Today I'll add it to my site.

I also added another dog to my  kennel of doggie designs.  A customer ordered a Chihuahua design, but had a picture of a Pug next to her name.  So, a Pug design was born.

Who knows what I'll come up with next.  My problem is that my designs are coming way faster than my sales.  I hope there are Moms and Dads that want their little ones to wear Spiders, and Crows on their onesies and tees this year. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Are Fly's OK to wear?

In looking for "animals" to design, I saw a picture of a common house fly.  I of course added my own twist to it, and I like it.  Right now I have my huge "fly" stuck to my lamp shade.  You'd think it would gross me out..but I think it's cool looking.
Is it cool to wear a Fly? I sure hope so.  I'm hoping there are some kids (or their parents) who'd love to have a big ol fly on their tee shirt. 
Here's my fly checking up on my web site..Cool.
I've been working on a bat for Halloween..and maybe next a spider.  I really do hate bugs and creepy crawly things.  But they sure make good designs!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Animal Designs

My "Animal" line was going to be a controlled group of animals in alphabetical order.  My Armadillo was for A, obviously.  I started looking for a B animal.  I considered a Bee..but nothing worked.  In looking for animals, I ran across a picture of a zebra.  I loved it and immediately did it.  Then I saw a picture of a giraffe, had to do that one too.  So my alphabet is out of order already.  And I've already started on a picture of a chimpanzee.. so who knows what animal will be next.  But I'm loving doing them.  Here's what they look like so far.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Honk Honk..I'm Back!

I guess I'm not a dedicated "blogger" yet.  I came back from vacation and almost forgot to post anything.  I have been busy.  Mostly with getting all the pictures I took out of my camera and on to Shutterfly. 
But, I did start my License Plate sale on Etsy.  So far it's been slow.  I have always thought the license plate idea was cute.  Especially, when it's personalized. 
One picture of my grandson reminded me of a design I did years ago.  I saw this picture and then started hunting down the design.  I want to add it to my web store.  It took me a couple of days to find it and today I did.  I looks like Olivers pajamas.  I think mine is cuter!  We'll see if my customers like it after I add it to Rhoadworks.  Talk to you all later... 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rhoadworks Vacation Time

It's exciting to travel.  At least it is for me.  I'm heading to Mississippi for 5 days to visit my Mom, sister and brother.  So, Rhoadworks will be on a short vacation.  It kills me to put the site in "Vacation Mode".  But I've committed to filling my orders within 3 days.  So, I don't want to disappoint any customers. 
Because I'm traveling, I've decided to have a "License Plate" Sale when I return.  All License Plate designs will be on sale for $7.00 each.  That includes adding Birthdays, Birth Stats, or Names to the designs too.  Not too shabby.
Here are some of my favorite license plates.. of course they're from down South!  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Treasury for Chihuahua Lovers

Just thought I'd brag a bit.  My onesie "My Sisters is a Chihuahua" was featured in an Etsy Treasury.  The Treasury by Joyceiscrafty was all about Chihuahuas.  And some of the items were truly cute.  
Three versions of my Chihuahuas
Check out this link and see for yourself!

New way to draw on Corel

Yesterday was rainy so I spent a lot (more than I should) of time on this computer.  While fooling around with some applications on Corel, I found a new way to "draw". 
Actually I was deleting some files.  You wouldn't believe how many drawings and designs I have saved.  Whenever I have an inkling of an idea, I go to the computer and create something.  I save it, and then sometimes never go back to it.  It was time to unload some wasted space.
Anyway, I ran across a tiger image that I had copied from a photograph.  My Mom needed a tiger face, so I found it and passed it along to her.  Instead of deleting it, I played with it. 

And here's how it turned out. I like what I did with it. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do with it.  I'm thinking of making animal faces to represent the letters of the alphabet.  T for Tiger.  

I guess I'll start looking for animals that start with the letter A.  I'm thinking an ants face wouldn't be too appealing...maybe an Aardvark?  Wish me luck.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Forgive me for being Creative!

Everyone knows it's wrong to steal.  I do.  But apparently, I crossed that fine line between stealing and being creative.  My "Hardley Walking" design was by intent clearly a whimsical nod to the famous Harley-Davidson logo.  I was careful to change the dimensions, and of course the wording.  Personally, I thought it was cute.  
But, the trademark people at Harley-Davidson thought the design was close enough that they deamed it a threat. Initially, I got a stinging email that basically spelled out the copywrite laws and then asked that I stop selling "counterfeit" products.  Counterfeit!?

Surely people don't think that a company like Harley-Davidson could come up with something that silly! And then sell it on Etsy for so little.
Rest assured there is a person in every large company that keeps people from doing just that.  And you know what..that's fine with me.  The law is the law.
Sorry Harley..consider my hand slapped.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nothing like Good Blog Advertisement..and Free!

Check out the blog below..

rhoadworks: Thank you Star Trek

rhoadworks: Thank you Star Trek: "Last week my husband was 'cruising' channels on tv. He landed on an old Star Trek the Next Generation episode. Now mind you, when we were ..."

Thank you Star Trek

Last week my husband was "cruising" channels on tv.  He landed on an old Star Trek the Next Generation episode.  Now mind you, when we were dating, we used to gather round the tv room in his dorm and watch the original Star Trek. So, the "Next Generation" was never quite up to par with us.  But, I have to say, we watched it, and enjoyed it.  How can you not enjoy anything Star Trek!
I make Yellow, Red and Blue versions..even made bibs for a while.
The Red is by far the most popular!
I sold out of the bibs in a week!
Personally, I like the "Glitter" badge the best. I like anything that has glitter on it!
A couple of years ago, my niece wanted me to make a Star Trek themed onesie for a baby shower gift.  It was about that time a new Star Trek movie came out.  I did, and the rest is history, as far as my sales go. Even now, it's one of my best sellers.  I'll try to post some comments..

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What Designs to Keep..I Really Like Them All

How many is too many?  I come up with designs all the time.  I have over 90 on my web site ( right now.  And I still have designs I've never printed yet.  About the time I think "no one has ever bought this's time to remove it", someone ups and buy it!  So, I hate to let any of them go.  But who wants to wade through so many designs? 
Thankfully, Etsy allows my to have "Sections" on my site.  So I can at least group some of my designs together.  For example; Girls, Boys, etc.  I even have a section for personalized license plate, and Animal brother and sisters! 
Some of my cutest designs don't fall into any category.  They're just themselves.  Like "Mama's Milk Shack", or my long tongued "Frog". 
I've been familiar with my designs for years, but I have to remember that to my customers, they're all new.  So, I think I'll keep them all...

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Customer Made My Day

Good news; I a customer bought two of my onesies (see above), Bad News; I forgot to include the shipping and handling fee on the listing.  And, wouldn't you know it, a lucky customer ordered not one of the onesies, but two.  And..the onesies were on sale.  So it was quite a good deal.  I realized the mistake and corrected it, and sent the customer a thank you for your order email. 
This morning I got an email from that customer.  It was a money transfer for $3.00! My normal shipping and handling fee.  I was not only thrilled, but so happy to find that there are people out there that "do the right thing".  I really and truly didn't expect it.  After all, I was the one who left off the postage. 
It is customers like this that make working in my own small business worth it.  It just makes me want to "pay it forward" whenever I can.  And, it makes me feel good too.   

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Inspiration straight from the baby's mouth

You never know where your design ideas will come from.  My grandson Oliver had a cranky last couple of nights.  As it turns out..he was busting out some new teeth.  He already has four sharp ones.  If you're brave enough to stick your finger in his out!  So, I came up with a new design for my baby tee shirts "I'm Teething..You've been warned." I think it's cute..but we'll see how my customers feel.  What do you all think?  Take to everyone tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Hot Day

It was so hot today, that all I got accomplished was a trip to the post office.  Six cute twin onesies are on their way to a gift shop in Michigan that sells my stuff on consignment. 
I did get organized.. see the pic?  Helps me to know what all I have.  But as always, I need more space.  Adding Toddler tee shirts to my line means more sizes and colors. 
Tomorrow I'll be busy with my favorite guy..Oliver. He's the inspiration for several of my designs, I'll show you!  

Great Eco Baby Shower Gift

I think this is the cutest baby shower gift.  Pefect for "new to the world" babies.  I don't know were the graphic came from, but it's very similar to my "Save the Planet for Me" onesie.  I painted mine a while back and didn't know how I'd use the design.  But since the "world" has become endangered these last few years, I decided to make a statement. 
For a worldly design "I'm New Here" by Funkymonkeythreads is perfect.. check it out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Am I ready to Blog?

Well, I've worked on this Blog page off and on all day.  Can anyone tell me if it looks ok?  I will, at some point learn how to insert a slide show.  For some reason the instructions just don't gel in my brain. 
I have two gift shops that I consign my onesies and tees in.  Both of them are in Michigan.  I don't know much about Michigan..but I can tell you that there are some babies that are wearing some really cute custom Rhoadwork onesies and tees!!

Tomorrow is another day.  I will probably work on some new designs... and I'll continue to blog on. 

My first "Blog" Day

I've decided to start a blog. I already send out a daily email to all my family and friends. It's second nature to let them know, every morning, what I've been up to.
So, I thought..why not apply the same principle to my Rhoadworks store? I'd like to know what everyone out there thinks of my designs, ideas, and just the day to day processes of owning my own store. And believe me, I'd welcome any feedback.
And, to be quite frank, I'd like to show off my Rhoadworks store too. I've got some pretty cute stuff that I've designed. And I want everyone to see them and hopefully buy them.
It's important to me to do all I can to promote small businesses. I make a habit of using locally owned businesses, exterminators, electricians, etc., when I can. And maybe when someone needs cute, unique baby clothes, they'll think of Rhoadworks.