Feb 3, 2008

Expansion and Marketing...

My craft has brought me lots of joy as I am sure for those who craft it has brought them joy and for those who buy crafted products find joy in its beauty. I've been making handcrafted greeting cards for just about 2 years, but have been drawing since junior high school and worked in the fashion industry before taking my craft to the next level and did I mention that I write poetry...

Well the great thing is, I am here and don't plan on leaving without reaching my desired goal. I have spent about a year building my first website (which is still up and running and starving for attention) http://www.dajahsigreetings.com I dealt with every aspect of the business then, freelance web designers, artist and lawyers. Plus at that time all my cards were hand drawn. Then went through the phase of giving up but found a niche that was already there, handcrafted greeting cards! So as a business person trying to truly make it in the world I did all my research and checked all the trends and etc. with my craft.
I took the plunge and created a 2-fold love/romance card. I thought the card was great with its heart embossed cut-out with the theme,
'Only you have the key to my heart'

Long story short, I put all my efforts into creating more cards as fast I could and taking them to friends and family to get feedback.
At the end of 2007 I created 2 Christmas card designs and had them sold in a local store.
To my surprise they did well and received great feedback. I then I thought, that there are some many places I can not reach, so the internet became my FREE airline to everywhere. I posted my first cards January 10th on Etsy.com and in about a weeks time I received a lot of hearts and praise on my 'style and taste' and that fast I had 5 sales. Though it was not how it went in my dreams, ( laugh) it was a great feeling to know that I was bound to break down doors and make great strides toward fulfilling my dreams. I began to post numerous free and paid ads, post in forum after forum and any/every thing else to be seen.

I created promotions geared more to spreading the word of my shop(s)/website(s) then toward just turning a dollar.

I just opened a new shop at http://www.handcraftedbylamar.ecrater.com
and with this great new blog and the many forums on the internet I've been running back and forth pushing the envelope and promoting my cards. I have also joined many groups all over the place, but the best group thus far I would have to say is Etsy Artist of Color

I have also made my domain name much easier to remember and be found , http://www.handcraftedbylamar.com , which will bring you to my shop at Etsy; where the best in handcraft is sold...

I am trying it all. Soon I will introduce my own teddy bears, tagged with my company name and designed by yours truly which will have greetings/small messages on their garments and will have matching accessories. Look for Handcrafted Bears this year and I will offer custom orders too!
Also this year I will reach out to my fellow Etsy shop owners to combine products for better sales at discounted prices and I will hopefully be introducing the Crafted by Hand magazine, filled with featured items, features on artist from Etsy and more great ways for getting exposure.

The point here is to expand, market and reach for the stars, because I've always been told, 'a closed mouth never gets feed.' and boy am I hungry...

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