Creative Entrepreneurship

Posts tagged ‘Pinterest’

Branding

New Brand Stamp

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.

The topic of branding keeps popping up for me lately. For one, I’m about to start my 2013 show season and I need to order new business cards very soon, and probably retail bags. I’ve always made my own business cards because there’s a hand stitched element to them – actual stitching with thread. People love them and they are an excellent representation of my business. I freely admit to anyone that my sweet mom has been stitching them for me for ages so I can focus on other things.

But I’ve decided I’m over them, time to buy something far less labor intensive. I’ve known this for a couple of months and here I am a few weeks before my first show and I haven’t made a decision yet.

I was in discussions for a while with a very talented local graphic designer; we were thinking of partnering in creating website packages for artists. We talked about branding a lot.

Today, this blog post by Megan Auman of Designing an MBA, dropped into my mailbox. It resonated with me strongly because this is the year I’m taking a extra hard look at my pricing structure. (I know, we all say that every year, don’t we?)

My work is evolving into far more intricate designs and my prices will reflect that. So Megan’s point about creating a look to elevate the product is well taken.

Everything in my trade show booth is meant to tell you that I am not a bargain brand. The walls, the paint color, the custom display fixtures, the way I display the work itself, what I wear, and how I style myself. Before someone even walks into my booth, they know that Iā€™m not cheap.

I especially like this, “what I wear”. Believe me, I know I’m about as far from being a fashionista as one can get. But with few exceptions I’ve always tried to dress “business casual” for my shows. Outdoor shows were the exception – too dang hot, comfort is key. But from the beginning, I’ve felt that casual dress in a craft show booth (jeans, sneakers, sweatshirt) gives the impression of a hobbyist. So I’ve always tried to dress as a professional artist, as best I can.

What I really want to do is dress like an eccentric artist! But being fashion-challenged, I can barely get the business casual look together. My first steps into eccentricity have been the glasses I’ve chosen. First I had green frames, now my frames are red. Yep, I’m really livin’ on the edge, people.

I hope you’ll take a minute to read Megan’s blog post, keeping in mind her photos are of her trade show booth at wholesale shows. Their intention is quite different than a retail art & craft show, but I know you’ll get her point.

Here’s something I do from time to time, looking for inspiration: Google (images): craft show booth. And for my fellow Pinterest addicts, search craft show booths and repin the ideas you like to one of your own boards for future reference.

Pinning Power

This is the video version of the Pinning Power webinar that 6 of us Rochester Artisans attended online last Tuesday. It was presented by Nicolette Tallmadge of Crafted Webmaster – and she did a wonderful job, I found it very worthwhile. And it’s free!

There were two things I learned and implemented immediately. One is using hashtags in the description, namely #rochesterartisans.

Secondly – I was thrilled to learn one can invite other pinners to pin to a specific board. I’d long wanted to have a Rochester Artisans Pinterest account but found it ridiculously annoying because my smartypants computer kept recognizing me. I couldn’t even send an invitation to join, to myself, not even to another email address. So I had my niece send me an invitation which I used to sign up using my gmail address. But it soon became apparent it was more work than worth it, to remember to log out of one account so I could log into another, blah, blah, blah.

So right after the webinar was over, I immediately went to the Rochester Artisans board I’d started a while back, “edit board” and “add another pinner” – and sent invitations to every follower I knew was a Rochester Artist. Now we can all pin Rochester Artisan work to the board. I’ve glanced through my repin notifications and am super-thrilled to see one of the artists’ pieces has been repinned. Hope it ends up in sales for them!

I’ve already been pretty conscious of pinning from outside sources, not just repinning what’s already in Pinterest. And I like to make sure, as much as possible, that the original resource is credited. But I’ve stepped up my game even more on that.

And here I thought it was impossible for me to love Pinterest more than I already did!

Using Pinterest for Business

In my never ending quest to help Pinterest reach world domination, I give you Pinterest and Blogging :: The Good, The Bad and The Huh? which I found over at Nesting Place. How did I find this? On Pinterest, of course!

If I ever finish any of my new pieces (when, when – it just seems like if!), I can’t wait to pin some of my own pieces and create a Rochester Artisans board of beautiful things created by my friends.

I have things I should/could be doing tonight, but sometimes one just needs to rest and recharge – and pin!

Here are my Pinterest boards to give you an idea of what Pinterest is about.

When you are ready to be sucked into the cult, email me for an invitation if you need one. The more the merrier!

No Eh Zone

Etsy Tools

I mentioned in a previous post that one of my goals for 2012 is to reopen my Etsy shop.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Etsy – not even sure I can explain why. There are pros and cons to it and all online selling platforms. To quote hilarious Rochester Artisan Kevin Schoonover, “Potato/Tomahto”. (See? Told ya!)

The first step was to completely re-design my Pine Tree Designs website, which I’ve done, using some sage advice I learned on the Rochester Artisans email list. I used Weebly.com and am quite happy with the way it turned out.

I discontinued the blog I had on my previous site, originally started as a personal blog, And Another Thing…, on Sept 4, 2001. It had run it’s course, as things do. I found I was far more interested in blogging here because Rochester Artisans is ALL I want to talk about anymore!

After I was satisfied with the website, I started work on the Etsy shop. I’ve adjusted some of the text and was thrilled to find a free banner that I could add my shop name to that suites my product style perfectly. Adorable, yes?

I have to smile every time my page of Etsy Favorites shows up – there’s such a common theme among the things I’ve tagged as favorites. Definitely colorful and more times than not, round and symmetrical. Yep, that’s me!

I’ve also mentioned before how much I am loving Handmadeology these days. I generally glance at the daily email, then save them so I can really read everything that night or over the weekend.

Today, the article on a tool that allows you to easily add an Etsy Treasury to your website or blog instantly caught my eye. (And check out that stunning paper bead necklace in the treasury used as an example.) I spent a ridiculous amount of time a few years ago, trying to do just that – using the free Screen Grab program I’d downloaded. It was kind of a nightmare so I thought it must User Error, even though I consider myself of average computer intelligence. I just read through some comments under the article and apparently it wasn’t just me.

I’ve never created a Treasury or paid a ton of attention to them, but they are definitely a cool thing – and very Stefani – squares of art all lined up in a grid – are you kidding me?? šŸ™‚

An using this new tool – the selections in the treasury are clickable, linked right to the Etsy shop that sells that piece. Genius!

Speaking of squares of art all lined up in a grid, I’ve swooned over Pinterest here before – and my addiction has certainly not decreased one iota. Now I see Etsy has a built in Pin It button on each item listed. That is a dream come true! I’ve been wanting to create a board of my own art, once I get it loaded to Etsy. And I’ve been wanting to create a board called Art Made by Rochester Artisans or something.

Because yeah, I’m pretty sure I need to spend even more time on Pinterest. At least I’ll be able to justify it “for business”. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

29 Ways to Stay Creative

29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE from TO-FU on Vimeo.

I ran across this video on Blue Velvet Chair, a very creative and inspiring blog to which I subscribe. In fact, I have Mike to thank for pointing me to Pinterest. (Yes, the obsession continues.)

Enjoy!
Stefani

Pinterest

I am 100% obsessed with Pinterest!

Pinterest is an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you. Pin your favorite images and videos from anywhere. Discover new things hand-picked by people who share your interests.

I signed up (free, of course, and yes, there’s an app for that) a couple of weeks ago. There are a bunch of boards to get you started but over time, I’ve deleted most of those & created my own. (Oh yeah, you’ll definitely notice my “theme”, to no one’s surprise!)

Paper Love
Paper Cutting
Paper Garlands
Origami
Outside Art
Art that Makes You Say Wow
Recycling at its Finest
Polymer Clay

One of my most favoritest things about the Internet is finding cool art – and my favorite kind of art is “extreme” art – where unusual materials are used to create amazing works. Pinterest has been ideal for saving those images (posting them to Facebook is optional and I’ve been trying not to abuse that, but it’s hard because I want to share everything).

(Here’s a tutorial I stumbled upon a few minutes ago, to get you started.)

I guess it’s a little bit like Flickr, which I also love, but somehow this seems better. There’s a bookmarklet available on the site, that you can drag to your bookmark bar which makes it super easy to add pins to your boards. (If anyone knows how I can do this with Safari on my iPad, please tell me!)

I’ve connected with a bunch of people through my Facebook list, but every day more people are “following me” – and I them, because we have similar interests. The front page shows the most recent postings. Mostly I’m finding all these cool images from the boards of people who are following me

I suppose a large part of the appeal of Pinterest is the neat organization of your pinned images. You know I’m a fanatic over anything that’s lined up nice & neat.

You need an invitation to get started – which you can request from the Pinterest site itself. Mine came via email relatively quickly. I’d be happy to send you an invitation, just shoot me an email.

See you online – start pinning!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: