Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's Happening at stinkRknits

The past month has been one of reflection and retooling at stinkRknits.

I lowered all my mug cozy prices. Madness, you say? No! I did a very thorough search of mug cozies on Etsy. I looked at prices compared to design, embellishment, and quality. My prices were some of the highest, but my products are definitely unique. I work hard to maintain a standard of quality that would attract any buyer. However, if the price is too high, the customer will not buy! So, after my research and soul searching (am I crazy? does the customer value my item as much as I do? what am I truly trying to accomplish here on Etsy?) I lowered the prices by a few dollars. Wouldn't you know it, one sold the very next day! I had another sale a week later! Definitely made the right choice. I feel good about it.

Running a business is such constant revamping and reworking. The market is always changing and so are the trends. You really have to be diligent and up to date when competing for business. I like to search similar products on Etsy once a week now. I want my shop to be competitive.

There can't be an emotional attachment to your products, either! I remember a cute basket weave bag I had in my shop. I was sad the day it sold! I had created this bag from my own ideas and designs. I had brought my creation to life! And then I had to ship it off! My hope is that the buyer enjoys and loves the products of my knitting as much as I do. It's a romantic notion of my shop that I really can't afford to have. I love the design and creative process of each listing. But, once it's listed, that's where my cold, hard business sense must take over.

So, here we are on the cusp of the holiday season. I set a goal to have 100 products listed in my shop by the beginning of November. Only 23 to go! I am making these cute mini bunting banners that I designed. They are so cute!

I'm going to make one for myself to hang at my desk during homeschooling. I'm thinking about a coffee theme. Did you catch that? We are homeschooling again. The year is off to a good start, which you can read about here.

The balancing act has begun. I'm keeping it all moving so far: Etsy, homeschooling, wife, coach. Not in that order, but you get the idea. There's is always a lot going on!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to Business

I took a risk in July by leaving my inventory behind and my shop NOT in vacation mode as I spent a lovely three weeks in Washington state. This is my usual family vacation, but the first one while I've been running my Etsy shop. I knew the risk was small, as my sales have been slow the past couple months. I did get one sale, three days before my return home, in plenty of time for a reasonable ship date. Woo hoo!

I worked while on vacation, not a lot, but who could resist knitting with such a view? I had to indulge my passion and commune with my bamboo needles and soothing yarn while I was there. Also, I had about 10 days without my husband with me and that meant some very late nights knitting and purling with Seinfeld, The Office, and Frasier. Bliss!

 I was working on a baby blanket I planned to leave behind, but I was way to busy having fun to finish it. We went roller skating, bowling, and had lots of coffee. LOTS of coffee! (Starbucks started the Treat Receipt right when we got there! Perfect timing!) I have a few more weeks before my sister's baby is due. I'm a little nervous, but I think it will get done. I'm in the middle (almost) of a Massive Project that must be done before the end of August. It's an afghan for a wedding gift. So that's my priority right now. I think I'd rather be knitting the baby blanket. It's cuter!

I finished a couple new projects on the trip: a cute dachshund mug cozy and a cherub tassel necklace. The lighting was absolutely perfect for these listings, however the Internet was incredibly s-l-o-w. It was more like s---l---o----------w. Seriously. Maybe it was the clouds. Maybe it was the location. I don't know. That dampened my enthusiasm for making listings. But not my creativity! I spent a lot of time with my project notebook sketching and planning projects.

One of our favorite activities on summer vacation is thrift store shopping. There are several awesome shops in the area and there are treasures to be found! Here are just a couple books I picked up for $1 each. I scored a stack of books at a Goodwill, all about knitting and one about cup cozies in particular. Wow! Lots of inspiration in that one. I also scored some needles and my sister gave me her stash of yarn. Bonus!

I loved our vacation. I am refreshed and ready to tackle Back to School and the Holiday prep season for my shop. I have a notebook full of ideas and projects that I am so excited to make happen. Our drive home even provided some inspiration for my latest listing, a sunflower bunting.