Friday, February 5, 2016

The #1 Question Customers Ask Me (+ the answer!)

Over the last holiday season I set up at a craft/vendor event 5 weekends in a row. I love interacting with those who stop by my display because I like to hear and see their response to my product. This helps me to better my product, my line, and to better design with my customers in mind.

I get asked a lot of different questions while at these events, as well as by those who know me personally. The number one question I get is -

Did you make all this?!

The first couple times I heard it I was a bit stunned. Here I was, sitting at this table covered in yarn goodness while knitting, and I'm asked if I made it all. 

You would think in an age when, I believe, handmade and do-it-yourself is making a comeback that the answer to this question would be a no-brainer. I do, in fact, make everything I sell. I make everything but the yarn itself and other little doodads that I may add to it. 

I think the reason it baffles people is due to the quantity and variety of what I make. They then wonder when I find time to make it all and assume that I do nothing but wrap myself up in yarn all day. [I wish!!] 

I then, kindly, reply by telling them that I do make everything they see on my table and that I have built up my inventory over the course of many weeks and months, while taking care of two children, doing childcare for other children, running my CsqDesigns shop & blog, and now working another job part-time. I'm doing anything but sitting around with my knitting all day, even though many days I would love for nothing more. 

What are some common questions you hear from your customers?

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If I Knew I Could Not Fail...

It's no secret that I've been working on developing some goals and dreams for my blog and CsqDesigns shop. In fact, it's something that has been on my agenda for quite some time now. I even created a whole Live Your Dream series to help motivate myself to change and to help others too.

I am currently working on an editorial calendar to help me organize my business. I WILL get organized!

Back to the prompt: If I Knew I Could Not Fail...

I would -

          * Write & publish a book. I haven't a clue what it would be about, but I wouldn't fail, right?!

          * Have 2-3 big product launches every year.

          * Broadcast regularly on Periscope.
          * Participate in a big arts & crafts festival.

          * Teach a free art class to kids in the community once a month. This has been a dream of mine for awhile now.

          * Earn a sustainable income from my shop and blog.

So there are a few of mine. Basically, it's a picture of what I want for myself and my business. Now to take steps to make those "wishes" a reality.

Now it's your turn: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Do You Chase Perfection?

I don't know about you, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist. The first step to recovery is admitting it, right? The upside is, though, that if we are striving for perfection we may have a few mistakes and boo boos, but, chances are, it will still be pretty amazing.

Tweet: Strive for perfection and catch excellence! @CsqDesigns  Strive for perfection and catch excellence!! 

Coming up this week on CsqDesigns: 

Would you be more daring if you were guaranteed to succeed? Would you push your limits, stretch your imagination, and go further than you ever dreamed you could? "If I Knew I Could Not Fail..." I will be answering this question myself this week and encouraging you to answer it for yourself!

As a creative person, I get asked a LOT of questions, but there is one question that I seem to get asked more than all the others. Find out what that question is (+ the answer!) this week!!

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Friday, January 29, 2016

14 Valentine Gifts for All Your Sweethearts

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and what says 'love' better than a unique, handmade gift? If you've not heard of Etsy by now you are probably not online as much as the rest of us. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade artisans and vintage sellers. You can find all sorts of beautiful, quirky, practical, one-of-a-kind items.

I've done some lookin' for you and have gathered together 14 Etsy artists and their wonderful handiwork. Here you will find a gift for anyone on your list - significant others, siblings, children, coworkers... Just take a look for yourself!

#1 Pink Rose Stud Earrings by Orange Creek - Orange Creek has a super cute and modern shop, with earrings and home decor. These rose earrings are absolutely adorable and are petite enough to fit a little girl's ears.

#2 Gold, Freshwater Pearl Bracelet by Bauble Vine - This is such a classy piece of jewelry. The band is gold-filled with 14k gold. Absolutely stunning. Bauble Vine creates a whole line of gorgeous bracelets and bangles to choose from.

#3 Best Friend or Couple's Keychains by Design Me Jewelry - Design Me Jewelry has a fantastic collection of hand-stamped pieces and also offers custom personalization. This set of keychains include a quote from a movie loved by many. This would be a great gift!

#4 Valentines Spa Gift Set by Good Common Sense - Who doesn't need a little pampering? This gift set includes lip balm, essential oil roller, and hand sanitizer. Get those hands and lips ready and use the essential oil roller for a little couple's massage! The Good Common Sense shop has a variety of other health and beauty items that would make fantastic add-on gifts too.

#5 "Hey Handsome" Mens Toiletry Bag by BOLDbyTina - How great is this? If only all of my belongings came with messages like this! You can even request that your fella's name be in there!!!  BOLDbyTina has great gifts for both men and women. Be sure to check out their shop!

#6 Hand Knit Bumblebee Plush by Mercantile519 - Give your honey this adorable little bee, bee-cause he's so sweet. I can't get over how cute these are! Mercantile 519 also has some other adorable critters in her shop too, like little fuzzy hedgehogs. So cute!

#7 Opal and Tanzanite Earrings by Divyanka Latwal - These earrings are gorgeous!!! Any lady on your list would be thrilled to get these on Valentine's Day! Divyanka Latwal has a lovely assortment of jewelry in her shop to choose from.

We're halfway through! Are you loving these so far? 

#8 Flower Headbands for Baby by AniBabee - These little felt headbands are darling!! AniBabee makes them in a variety of sizes, so you can choose your size at checkout. You can even get one for yourself! The AniBabee shop has a great selection of headbands for girls of all ages.

#9 Polymer Clay Clock Journal by CrystalsASC - What a unique gift! The cover has been hand sculpted! This would make a great gift for a writer or artist. CrystalsASC creates amazing polymer clay pieces and journals for that truly one-of-a-kind gift.

#10 Love You to the Moon & Back framed print by Lady Gray Graphics - I love this sweet saying! Lady Gray Graphics has a shop full of framed prints to choose from. Be sure to check shipping specifications, but for my friends in Ireland, this would be a great gift!

#11 Dinosaur Crayons by KrazyKoolKrayons - How cool are these?! Make your kids' Valentine's Day "dyno-mite"! These would be a great candy alternative to school Valentines too!! KrazyKoolKrayons has a TON of different molds to choose from!

#12 Decorative Lovebird Plate by Vast Vinyl - Customize it with your names and anniversary date! What a great piece for a Valentine's gift or wedding gift!! Vast Vinyl offers a great selection of customized pieces that are sure to be loved for generations.

#13 Valentine-themed Quiet Book by Today I Felt Crafty - A cute & educational gift for the toddlers in your life. This will keep them busy at least long enough for mom to wash dishes! The Today I Felt Crafty shop has other felt mats and quiet books to entertain your toddler too!

#14 A travel mug for coffee lovers by SallyDaisyInk - We all know someone who needs this mug! You can even customize it to include the recipient's name on the other side. Sally Daisy Ink has a mug for everyone, as well as glittery earrings. Who doesn't love a little sparkle?

I hope you enjoyed this list and maybe even found a great gift for your sweethearts. If you loved this list, kindly share it on Facebook or pin it to Pinterest for later. 

Good luck shopping!!

What are you wanting for Valentine's Day?