Sunday, August 30, 2009

15 Chapters Seems Like It'll Work

When I begin outlining a novel (this sounds like I've outlined many novels. In fact, I've outlined only two novels, which have gone through various revisions) I begin with the assumption that the average number of chapters for a novel is 15. So I write out the events of my novel...and then group them into 15 chapters.
It's a strange thing to share, but I'm not tired, it's 12:30, and I can sleep in tomorrow. So now you know how I begin a novel. Begin one yourself. It's fun!

Happy writing!
Angie

Friday, August 28, 2009

What We're Doing to Promote (Successfully)


Finally I feel like my hard work is paying off! I fixed up my Etsy shop and started promoting...hardcore. And it worked! I haven't gotten a ton of sales, but I am happy with the few I do have. Here are some ways I promote my Etsy shop (can be applied to other online shops as well):


1. Word-of-mouth- Free, fun, and one of the best ways to get word of your shop out there. Bring up your business when you can and be excited for it! Don't be afraid to talk about what you do :)


2. Bussiness cards- Sometimes these can get surprisingly expensive, but they are SO worth it! Invest in good, professional ones that clearly show what your product or store is about. Then hand them out! Send them to relatives and friends. Check out http://www.moo.com/ or http://www.staples.com/ for places to design and print your cards (we picked Staples, but both places have good prices and make unique, quality cards).


3. Blog- My sister and I have a blog ( http://suavoce.blospot.com/ -obviously!) and it's fun. We talk about our business and our experiences running it while in college. We've gotten a lot of views from it, and even a sale or two. If you don't have time to write your own blog, check out other's blogs and comment. You can get your name out there and maybe learn some important tips too.


4. Twitter- I had no idea what the point of Twitter was until I started applying it to my Etsy shop. I get a lot of views by posting links to my newest items (nearly 20 instantly every time!). But we don't just post links, we comment on other twitter posts, post our business related activities, and continue to follow others. Tweet with us at: www.twitter.com/suavoce


5. Facebook- SuaVoce Designs has a Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=94180108452&ref=ts . It wasn't hard to make, and though sometimes it can be a pain to update (you really do have to update it often for it to be successful), it is certainly worth it. Post new pics often, post links to new items, and start discussions. Having a lot of friends to invite always helps get the initial members, and our group has been constantly growing since we started it! Don't forget, when you post a new item to Etsy, connect to Facebook and post it!


There are always more things to do to promote! Wear your pieces if they are wearable and be passionate about what you do. :) If you have any other suggestions or tips for promoting, post it here in a comment.


Happy (successful) promoting!

Sarah

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Twintuition?

Maybe Sarah and I do have twintution. We just both posted strangly identical blog posts...

Angie

Back To School

Well, Sarah and I are back at college once again! More that 1/2 my luggage was consumed by SuaVoce's jewelry supplies, and now it's sitting on my yet-to-arrive roomate's desk. Organizing everything is our newest objective. That and making tons and tons more hair accessories (keep your eyes open!)

Classes start on Thursday. I'm hoping that my life won't be so crazy that SuaVoce gets pushed to the side. But then, Sarah and I are leading the school's Business Club...so maybe that can be a good excuse to spend more time on our jewelry business. We'll see how it goes!

Angie

Back to College


We're back in Chicago! And back in school. Moving was a hassle, as usual, but it went smoothly. Thanks mostly to the help of our cousin, Nanna, and friend. :) Our jewelry supplies seems to be growing. We came back with more supplies, shipped some out to the college, and opened a box or two filled with them. Thankfully, we have a suite this year! That means space to make jewelry (instead of making it on our beds or clearing off our desks)!

This also means we need to start organizing things right. We are going to set up a space to work and display some pieces (we sell a lot from our dorms to students on campus) with pretty little tags. I'm thinking a trip to Target might be in SuaVoce's future.

Happy creating (or unpacking!),
Sarah

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Faries, Vampires, and Mardi Gras! New Hair Clips...

Today Sarah and I made four new hair pieces! Making hair accessories is so much fun (maybe sometimes more fun than making jewelry!).

1. Vampire Inspired--made from velvety rich purple petals, a striking vintage black cabachon, and three red feathers, this piece just feels like a vampire!

2. Mardi Gras--this hair piece is made from a multitude of black feathers, bright pink petals, a fabulous green star piece, and a dangling Czech glass bead. It is so bright and bold. Perfect for Halloween!

3. Lavander Butterfly--this piece is so sweet. A purple butterfly sits atop a delicate sheer-white bow. It will be our first children's piece.

4. RAINBOW--there is no other way to explain it! This piece is made from blue, green, yellow, and red feathers along with three equaly bright vinage cabachons. Totally Halloween.

Well, that is what we spent our evening creating. Hopefully they will soon be for sale in our Etsy store! In the meantime, check out what hair pieces we already have for sale...

Angie

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cooking, Writing, Jewelry-Making...

I just got back from watching the new movie, Julie and Julia. I thought it was great! And inspiring. Inspiring for a blogger and for an author. Our latest working novel has a cooking theme like the movie. In response, we're going to spend part of tomorrow finishing up the (first) draft. Not a bad way to close off the summer.

We head back to school in less than a week. That means it's time to start packing. Jewelry supplies included. That should be an interesting experience...


Happy creating (and cooking!)

Sarah

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Selling Your Work Wholesale: Tips, Checklist, and Resources


Wholesale Resources


Are you ready to start selling wholesale? We are, so we did some research and we’d like to share! Here are some great blogs, forum posts, and articles that provide valuable information about selling wholesale.

If you’re shy and don’t think you’re up to visiting stores, check out this forum post: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6201294


This great two part blog post provides information about pricing, quantity, and communicating with retailers:
Part I: http://qbranchltd.blogspot.com/2008/02/selling-wholesale-part-i.html
Part II: http://qbranchltd.blogspot.com/2008/02/selling-wholesale-part-ii.html


A thorough article about beginning to sell your artisan work wholesale. Includes a number of helpful links:
http://www.indiepublic.com/profiles/blogs/946391:BlogPost:510081


Our Checklist for Preparing to Sell Wholesale:
*Check out the links above and throughout this post for more information to supplement our checklist (some of the terms were unfamiliar to us until we read the information provided in all these links!)*


1. Prepare Etsy shop (and blog, etc.) for wholesale
-adjust prices to be RETAIL prices (double wholesale price for retail price)
*Tips on pricing wholesale:
http://www.helium.com/items/622909-tips-for-pricing-your-handmade-crafts
-make it known that we are interested in selling wholesale
-make it easy for retailers to contact us
-provide a “request form” in blog and Etsy store


2. Create a linesheet & other “things”
-Make a wholesale linesheet
-Make pamphlet to send to far-away boutiques
-Make email template for far-away boutiques
*Specific tips on creating a linesheet:
http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/jewelry-line-sheets.html
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/what_is_a_line_sheet/


3. Research for retailers
-check out local fashion magazines for label names
-explore local shops (check out the yellow pages!)
-browse online


4. Call to make appointment with boutique owner


5. Be ready with wholesale price sheet and large amount of display-ready merchandise

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Get Inspired!


Today I was is a sort of slump from lack of sales, overwhelming amount of research to do on advertising, and number of other business related activities. I posted a forum post on Etsy's community and recieved a number of good ideas to get inspiration back:


1. Go to the fabric (or bead!) store

2. Design something new

3. Organize and clean

4. Take a break!

5. Flip through magazines

6. Get away for a while

7. Find new marketing techniques


Me? I turned on some good music and got to work on some new designs. :)


Happy creating!

Sarah

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Most Amazing Whale Watching Trip!

My family and I boarded the Prince of Whales yesterday at around 1 pm with the expectation we'd see a few good whales, maybe a couple whale tales in the distance...but we didn't anticipate how amazing the trip would be!

I was the first to spot a whale's blow (a blow is the spout of steam that indicates the whale's breathing), and soon after they were all around us. At first we saw the backs of fin whales...but then we saw two huge humpbacks...and the boat got nearer! We saw our first whale tales.

video

Then we saw our first feeding whales. Their giant mouths errupted from the bubbling green water (when you spot a patch of water that is green and bubbling, you know a whale is feeding below the surface). Two humpbacks swam near the boat and I snapped this picture...


And when we thought things couldn't get any better...we saw a baby whale and it's mother! The baby swam under our boat before returning to its mother. We even got to see the baby's tale, which our guide told us was unusual for a baby!


So all in all, it was a most amazing whale watching trip!

Angie

Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our most recent contest! We are happy to have a winner, noble beeyotch!



The books were...

1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

3. Across The Wall by Garth Nix.



Keep an eye out for some more fun contests!


Sarah
(SuaVoce)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Banner


New banner...I couldn't resist sharing. :)


Take a look at in in our shop too! (http://suavoce.etsy.com/)


Sarah

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Contest! (For Book-Lovers!)

Our small business, La SuaVoce Jewelry Designs, is influenced a bit by our love of writing and reading (our Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice pieces, for example!). We are offering a free pair of earrings to the winner of our newest contest.


How does it work?

Correctly guess two of the three books we photograph our pieces on. Check out the pics below for some hints!

Hint: There are seven books in this series...

Hint: Pyramids and treasure.

Hint: Author's last name means "snow" in Latin.

Don't forget to look at more pieces in our shop!

http//suavoce.etsy.com

Good luck!

Sarah and Angie