Dec 2, 2009
Nov 18, 2009
I thought it better to keep me focused on what I need to and where I am trying to go with business for 2010. After a year at my full time job I have noticed that my Card business has taken a hit to its livelihood. I have always dreamt of starting and running my own business. Well I have done that for a little more then 2 years but the money was sooooo slow. I have found ways to stick with it but I tell its hard.
So anyway I started this journal to help get back on track and hopefully something will come of it all.
What are you doing different?
Nov 13, 2009
Nov 11, 2009
One of the most highly anticipated days for great SALES is BLACK FRIDAY. This year Handcrafted by LaMar wants to share, partake and enjoy this day along with you.
So this November 27, 2009;
visit our main location @ http://www.handcraftedbylamar.com/ for our BUT 1 GET 1 sale. NO NO this year it is really BUY 1 GET 1 FREE... YES FREE! buy any single card, get 1 card FREE! Buy 3 cards YES you get 3 cards FREE (limit is 4) BUY 1 set of cards of 6 or more and get 2 FREE cards from our shop.
*FREE card must be of equal or lesser value then card purchased. Also, PLEASE in message to seller you must state what card you would like for FREE. Shipping fees will apply for all orders of 3 or more cards.
Visit any of my other wonderful shops (find links on the left sidebar) and enjoy our BUY 1 GET 1 HALF OFF SALE...
*Half off card selection can be submitted during checkout of original purchase in message to seller or via email. The card/item price will be re-adjusted with the correct price for you to purchase after the first order or you can purchase the two cards you would like at initial purchase and half of the higher cards price will later be refunded to you. Shipping fees will apply for all orders of 3 or more cards.
Hope to see you soon...
My sister has started a mission to join a team of volunteers that will travel to Ghana, West Africa to mentor and work with the children of B.A.S.I.C.S International, a faith-based, non-governmental organization in Ghana through Nana’s House, a safe-haven for children that takes them off the streets of Chorkor, Ghana.
I think its a grand idea and wanted to share her mission and blog with you today. "Here Am I, Send Me" -Isaiah 6:8
Shes looking for donations to help the people in Ghana. My sister is a religious person working on her second masters in eduction counseling at St Peter's College in New Jersey. She is 28 years of age and a real big hearted gal... Please just take a moment and look at her blog.
Donate a $1 Donate 10... but no matter what you please donate because we can make a difference.
Thank You in advance!
Nov 6, 2009
Nov 5, 2009
Nov 4, 2009
I think its a grand idea and wanted to share her mission and blog with you today.
"Here Am I, Send Me" -Isaiah 6:8
She needs donation to help the people in Ghana. My sister is a religious person working on her second masters in eduction counseling at St Peter's College in New Jersey. She is 28 years of age and a real big hearted gal...
Please take a moment and look at her blog and if you can donate.
Donate a $1 Donate 10... but no matter what you please donate because we can make a difference.
Thank You in advance!
Nov 2, 2009
To finish it off I ordered these great handmade flowers from Meg of fortymeg.
Oct 30, 2009
I first wanted to leave as it was but then I decided to add a lace like bow ribbon at the top...
*You can order this design and more like it at: http://www.handcraftedbylamar.com/
Oct 28, 2009
Oct 22, 2009
Have you begun your shopping? Have you thought out a plan of how you are gonna shop?
Last year Holiday Season online sales were off the charts with many people looking for true, great value and savings. I just wonder what it will be like this year! Anyway not talk a hole in your ear just wanted to throw this question out there and suck up some space on my blog... LOL
Also visit me at http://www.handcraftedbylamar.com/
Oct 21, 2009
**Courtesy of Jay Goltz Fortune Small Business (FSB) Apirl 2009
- Hows your cash flow? Is it dwindling profits or both?
- Has the problem been fixed? Is it fixable? ie: If you marketing idea isn't working, have you dropped it and tried something different? Why not?
- Is your industry going bad, making it hard to make a profit? Or is it your execution/plan, whether its pricing, cost of goods, location or venues where you sell your wares over saturated?
- If this is fixable what will it cost? Will it be worth it to fix? How long would it take to be fixed?
- Is quitting an option? If it is, what are consequences? Do you have loans outstanding? Will you lose your home? Will you have to file for bankruptcy? Will you have tons of raw material that could not be sold to help you see some type of return?
- Would it be better for you to change your craft? What if you started on a new craft and carried the burden of designing 2 different crafts? ie: Maybe you are a jeweler...maybe start doing knit.
- Do you still have the hunger you had when you first started? Do you still have the fight to go on?
- Being strapped for cash and dealing with the obstacles of running a small business can wear you down...
- Can you start all over with a fresh idea to improve what you already started?
- Are you still having fun? Again do you have the passion that you had when you first started your business? In the beginning it wasn't just about the money it was thrill and knowing that you can do this have fun, enjoy yourself and then make money at the same time...
Just a few questions to think about as you restructure, grow and expand...
Again we are Getting Back to the Basics!
Oct 20, 2009
By Curtis Silver
August 11, 2009
There are plenty of smartphones, but only two celebrities. Like other big celebs, they go by one name: Blackberry and iPhone.
Recently, a co-worker wrote an application for his Blackberry that would automatically ignore calls to his phone from a particular mail-order steak company. The application allowed him to command his phone to ignore any number he specified. The call still rang through, but was ignored immediately. I found this to be the most helpful application I’ve ever seen.
That said, I’ve not been impressed by the application selection the Blackberry offers. While there are some free applications, most are second rate at best and the selection of pay applications isn’t nearly as robust as it should be. The Blackberry App Store is like a pawn shop that only sells used 8-track players.
Application development on the iPhone has been one of the highlights of the device since its inception. Even though there are several hundred useless applications, there are hundreds more to make life easier in the palm of your hand. Like the Remote application that turns your iPhone into a stereo remote so you don’t have to leave the comfy confines of your easy chair.
"Do you really need an application to help you decide where to eat, how much to tip, where you parked, and what to wear? I’ve got one of those … they’re called wives."
That’s pretty much my sentiment when it comes to most iPhone applications. That aside, due to the overwhelming availability of applications and the encouragement by Apple to design your own, iPhone takes this category by a wide margin. iPhone +1.
Early on, the iPhone had a bad reputation for being fragile because of the touchscreen face and slick feel. When dropped on the cement too many times, any phone would eventually break, but the iPhone proved that it actually is quite durable. As long as you don’t drop it on its face. Without anything protecting the glass, you are looking at a shattered iPhone.
Since I drop my cellphones a lot, I strolled over to talk to my IT friends about the durability of the Blackberry. They are about split even on which phone they carry. There are either Blackberry phones or iPhones in IT. They are not split on the durability however. Several of them have had to replace their iPhones due to cracked screens. Many of them have dropped their Blackberry over and over with some scratches on the casing. The worst I’ve heard about the damage to a Blackberry is the scratching it gets on the back if you spin it around on the table too many times. Which is just too much fun not to do.
Even if it gets run over by a truck the Blackberry still holds its form, avoids cracks and doesn’t lose a key. The Blackberry, built for business and travel, is a durable and strong phone. Blackberry takes this category. Blackberry + 1
The iPhone makes full use of the motion sensor and touchscreen to bring us dynamic games from flight simulators to action games to simple board games. Playing games on the iPhone is a fantastic and handy experience, especially multiplayer games. Plus, as mentioned before, you can design your own games if you have the know-how.
Blackberry has Brickbreaker.
No contest. iPhone + 1
Personal vs. Business Functionality
Companies run Blackberry server products. From the connectivity to Microsoft Exchange server and the ease of mobile e-mail, the Blackberry is far superior to the iPhone. Blackberry was created with business use in mind. While it may have a slower CPU, the Blackberry makes up for it with its office applications. There is a reason it’s nicknamed “the Crackberry.”
The BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution has been approved for storing and transmitting sensitive data by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as government organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.
The iPhone has more storage, a faster CPU and more RAM. All great attributes for playing games. As I’ve witnessed at work, the iPhone is the anti-productivity phone. Don’t pretend like you are holier than thou and don’t spend countless work hours downloading apps and playing the new Iron Man game or any of the thousand other games.
Recently, the iPhone became compatible with Exchange Server, which was a huge step toward integrating with business. The iPhone has made great strides in favor of business use. Many businesses are making the switch, however, there are still security concerns with the phone. It also doesn’t help the iPhone for business that it’s only available on AT&T in the United States. Companies like to price shop and AT&T’s service isn’t that great in all areas.
As for personal usage, the Blackberry is a sturdy and reliable phone. But due to the wide range of applications and amazing graphical interface and selection of games, the iPhone wins the personal use battle by a wide margin.
So this category is a draw. Blackberry wins for business use and security, iPhone wins for personal use. Blackberry + 1, iPhone + 1
Never forget the Chuck Norris Factor.
The Chuck Norris factor
Really, it all comes down to Chuck Norris, because if he doesn’t like it, he’ll roundhouse kick it out of existence. The Blackberry sports a great game simply called Chuck Norris: Bring on the Pain. Meanwhile, the Apple store rejected a Chuck Norris app, a Chuck Norris joke generator, because they claimed it ridiculed a public figure. Don’t they know that it’s impossible to ridicule Chuck Norris? More importantly, shunning Chuck Norris in whatever format is like challenging Superman to a duel by slapping him with Kyrptonite gloves. Or, it’s like slapping Chuck Norris in the face with your ungloved hand. This round clearly goes to the Blackberry as it’s probably what Chuck Norris is using. Blackberry + 1
The Winner? Final tally: iPhone +3, Blackberry + 3.
Listen, I carry a Blackberry. I’m not going for hip or trendy, I’m going for functionality. I want to be able to check my e-mail at stoplights. I want to be able to picture message without jumping through hoops. When it comes to functioning in the business world and having a practical phone, the Blackberry wins hands down. The iPhone is a fun phone and has a lot of cool features and applications. I really wanted an iPhone, but realized that it was a want. It’s a neat toy, but I can’t see it moving into the business world and becoming what the Blackberry is to business — yet. The best solution I’ve seen so far: Many Blackberry owners I know also have an iPod Touch for all their entertainment and portable gaming needs. So it’s a best of both worlds if you will. I’m sure that waffling answer won’t satisfy the masses.
The bottom line is, we’re geeks. Geeks like awesome tech toys and the iPhone is certainly that. From its gaming to its thousands of unique and specific applications, it’s a device that every geek wants to carry even if they already have a Blackberry. So the iPhone gets a +1 for geek factor and wins this debate.
Disagree? Agree? Feel free to discuss in the comments. Don’t forget to vote!
Oct 19, 2009
I first want to apologize to all my faithful followers, readers, bloggers and friends who have read this blog, supported this blog and was to let me know I have fallen off...But like many of you I need advice and help to keep my Small Business afloat. So I did what I hope many of you do when after you've read one of my post, considered the facts and took some advice.
Yes, I took some of the advice I was preaching (cant wait to share that with you all) and most of all I took it 'BACK TO THE BASICS'...
BACK TO THE BASICS?!Yeah... I needed to go back to the day and time when I first decided to turn making cards into a business. I needed to find that young, fresh off the bench, ready to play game. I needed to re-define my target audience (still a work in progress). I needed to hone in more on my craft instead of just focusing on selling, marketing and showing off my 100 sales (was just doing the same thing over and over).
What I did first?
Like I said I looked deeper into who my audience was. I feel when it comes to handcrafted cards everyone should have one, buy one and/or get one. The truth of the matter was that that wasn't the case. I began to realize that I sold better to those who were throwing parties, doing events, weddings, baby showers, or restaurant owners. I know that sounds like a lot but it really isn't or at least it wasn't. I also took notice that few people bought cards in bulk. Those who did were of what I call my 'higher end' clientele.The next thing to do was to use all resources I could get my hands on. I had my future wife take cards to her job... Did Holiday Cards for her sisters job at a very low price (way low)... My mother took a look book to her job... Even got a few co-workers to buy cards (tons of them too...).The next thing was to redesign the look of the cards. Step outside the box. Use images I would never thought to use before and colors I would never.
What did this do in the long run?
Well I am not at a hundred thousand yet and its still just me at the controls...But it did help with my exposure.It got out there.It got me a few great returns buyers (YAY!).And most of all, it help keep the spirits up when it seemed as the economy was gonna ruin much of everything...Stay tune for the second part of "GETTING BACK TO BASICS"
Oct 14, 2009
I always wanted to run my own business then turn around and help or assist others do the same as I have. For that matter I started a second blog, "Small Biz Talk" I think it took and took off in the right direction. Sadly though it did become bit more then I could handle, especially with my business growing, craft shows and selling on other venues online.
The end result here? Well I have decide to merge two blogs, bringing the business info I have gathered, learned and posted here to share with all of you. I have also decided to not too business consumed but to also share my self and life with you guys as well. I hope you enjoy the new blog and continue to support HANDCRAFTED ART around the world....
Oct 13, 2009
They say when you die you cant take money with you... And no you cant buy all the stuff youu think you will need after you die and take that with you either! For that everyone needs someone to enjoy and share life, love and happiness... Below is my future wife Stephanie and my son ZION.
Oct 12, 2009
Oct 10, 2009
Both cards are blank inside.
Cards do come with white envelopes.
You can find cards on Sale now @ www.lamarlynch.etsy.com or any of my other online boutiques (see left side bar)
Oct 9, 2009
just wanted to share and get some feedback.
So please tell me what you think! Hows the layout? Hows the stamp? Should the bride be done in color or shadowed in black/white? The card is 5x7 inches. Should I use a different flower?
No matter the occasion or person believe for 2009-2010 Handcrafted by LaMar has the card...
visit us now @ www.lamalynch.etsy.com and our many other locations see side bar left).
Sep 12, 2009
I made goals and reached many of them:
last year said I wanted 100 sales and got it. Also said how I wish to get 500 hearts and got close before the end of the year. Now I am at 177 sales (working to get 200) and almost 700 hearts.
I thought I'd share are a few things I have learned and some things that I do that you might want to do too:
1. Ask and you will receive.
One day I asked myself why of all the other great card makers a buyer choose me . So I asked and got back such great info. I ask after the sale or when I informed the buyer the item was being shipped.
2. Start a mailing list.
Did this as well but only on my website and only have about 167 or so. Still working on it, trying to increase my following.
3. Blog, Twitter, Fan Page.
I have a blog... bad thing is I am the worse blogger because I do not always blog when and the way I should.
I tweet...just to keep up with the JONES....
Facebook? of course I do. I keep up with old friends and I do not do the separate personal and business page. I like to let people know I am human and think its ok to show that side. Though I have had a slip up here and there but my purpose is to let ppl know I am normal.
4. Always do your research.
This I found to be a must if this is a business to you. You need to check out your competition and changes in your material and new ideas...
5. Try out other venues.
This is very important. Look in the real world all businesses try new venues or states and or areas. I am apart of at least 5 other venues in which 2 have made me sales. The others keep in sight of the people. I also do craft shows.
6. Jump at your chances!
I have took many chances with consignment deals. I also work with artist in other states as to sending my work there and them sending their work to me. You have to take chances, thats almost the name of the game.
7. Never be satisfied.
Because you can always improve. Work on your techniques, your descriptions, your tags, your profile, and your photos! I'm always working on better ways to make things or how I can make something but be more time efficient.
Not much more to add to that....
8. Take time off.
Make sure you give yourself time away from your business. Take a day off and spend it with family, do something fun, cook up a storm, or whatever you enjoy. All work and no play makes for a dull life.
Couldnt say it better then that
Aug 14, 2009
Aug 12, 2009
Aug 11, 2009
What is Snow in August? Snow in August is our newest promotion to bring the new Holidays a little earlier and easier. Last year we did Christmas in July and had a wonderful turn out that became a new trend for 2009. So this year with the new designs, new concepts and a new attitude we have decided to bring you Sow in August.
How does it work? Well this year we have decided to sweeten your pot. If you purchase any single Holiday Card you will get any additional card, of lesser or equal value, listed in our boutique for FREE. Buy a set of Holiday Cards and get up 3 FREE cards from our boutique. You get to pick the card(s) you want and best of all, the cards ship for 1 cent Nationally and $1 Internationally.
How long will this promo run? This promo will run from August 14 to August 31
How do we notify you which cards we have selected? Before you complete your purchase you can either contact us via the boutiques contact link, or message center. You could also put the name of the card(s) in the message to seller section. You can call us toll free: 1800-974-5203 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Which site/boutique must we shop at to enjoy Snow in August? You can shop any of our boutiques online to enjoy the Snow in August SALE! Shop them all and enjoy the sale at each...
Aug 10, 2009
This design is 4x5 on blue card stock, with print image design of the characters. Gift box embellishment and raised 'You're Invited' insert.
This design has rounded edges and is a flat design with full party detail on the back. You can fill in the party info yourself or we can print it for you.
And also our folded version:This is our traditional 5x7 folded style on red card stock layered with blue and white card stock. Thing 1 & 2 replicas are hand drawn and colored. One is drawn on the white card stock as the secound cut and set as a pop-up.
Jun 25, 2009
Jun 24, 2009
I had my mind set that this was the key. I set up a website and bought a few images from an artist. At this time my cards were only prints. After a few months of trial and error, I realized that the lucrative aspect of this industry was in hand-made cards.
My first card was near and dear to my heart because I made it with the thought of my girlfriend (don't tell her though!). I never sold that card but, hey. My first year actually selling my cards was 2008 on ETSY.com. At the time I was unemployed, collecting unemployment, and trying my best to build this business. I spent hours upon hours on the computer, networking, blogging and chatting with like-minded people. At first, it was actually great, but life moves on, bills won't wait to be paid, and I didn't sell enough to cover my bills and keep going with my dream. So I went back to work.
This time my plan and goal was clear... I wanted to work, get my bills in order, put funds aside to carry the business and a little for myself for life expenses. My goal is to quit my day job within the next year. It's a tough market out there, but I feel many people don't realize how difficult it is to pursue your creative dreams full-time. I hope to create my own niche for marketing, which is making cards for all occasions with a 2 - 3D look, and passionately express the theme of each card."
Jun 23, 2009
I told the buyer exactly what I would do and I think it cam out fab-u-lous. Don't you?