Finding My Niche

Hi Everyone,

 

In trying to understand blogging and where I fit in, I am torn between writing about how to start and run a successful Etsy shop, crocheting or both.  They are really two completely different things.   For me, well they are one and the same because my shop sells crocheted hats and scarves.   But how many other people will be interested in such a specialised blog?  I find myself reading blogs about both topics. Does that make me unique or are there others out there just like me?  Would they like hearing from someone who can relate to both areas of interest?

As I write this, I am thinking about how would this work? Having a blog about my journey to having a successful Etsy shop that sells crocheted items; what does that content look like?

For example, in a previous post, I talked about the marketing book I was reading. Which I finished yet by the way, but I feel like a review of this book by someone who is selling on-line instead of brick and mortar may be helpful to others.  I will say this of the book so far,  It is informative.  I work as a retail manager and see how what I have read will work with the customer in front of you.  The hard part of selling on-line is getting the same connection in a written description that will cause the customer to hit the buy button.  But I will give a full review as soon as I finish it.  The thing is a read it in bed and if I’m tired it will put me right out.  It’s a marketing book, of course, it will put you to sleep.

So, I think I will have content about both.  The ups and downs of an on-line shop and my passion for creating crocheted items.  Hopefully, you will like what you see and come back often to see what I am up to.

 

Best Wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

 

 

3 Things I Learned About Blogging

Today I had the opportunity to take part in an on-line blogging seminar.  This is rare for me.  Since I work, I usually don’t get a chance to.  This seminar was about monetizing your blog.  The seminar was hosted by Helen of Helen In Between and here is what I learned

 

  1.  Take Action!  It takes money to make money.  Of course, this is a phase that we have all heard over and over.  It is true, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it.  So today I took my blog being free to the preminum package.  This will allow me to monetize the blog.  I was under the impression that I needed a lot of views before I did so, but base on what I learned today I decided to go for it.  It’s an investment.

 

    2.  Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail  This is another truth.  In my full-time job, planning is key  to our success.  I didn’t really understand how this related to blogging.  This is       something that I need to learn and implement into my blogging .   Honestly, most of the time I don’t know what I’m going to write about.  So, it will be key that I come up with a plan that works for me.

3.  Never Stop Learning   I am a firm believer in this.  As I wrote in my last post, I have a lot of books that I am currently reading to make the most of my handmade business and this blog.  At the end of this free seminar Helen offered additional training at a cost, but it did offer a lot of useful information, so I am considering signing up.  It is a limited offer so I need to make my mind up soon.  Again, I need to think of it as an investment.

I will let you know if I decide to enroll in Helen’s on-line training.  It is entriging and my husband gave me the go ahead should I decide to do it.

 

Learning More to Earn More

Hi All,

Knowledge is power, they say.  Whoever they are.  But they are right.  The more you know the more you can grow.  Personally and in business.  So in my effort to grow my business, I have downloaded several books from Kindle.  I’m doing all this now because my selling season won’t start until Fall.  I need to get everything on lock down now so everything will be running like clockwork and all I have to do is fill orders.

 

I am currently reading The 1-Page Marketing Plan, by Allan Dib.  This book has some exercises to go through and put into practice.  I have just come to that part of the book so I will let you know what I think.  I will also let you know if I feel the plan was useful for my on- line business.

 

I also have books on social media marketing and  SEO (search engine optimization).  These are very important for me to read as soon as possible.  Mainly because I am HORRIBLE at social media.  Even in my personal life I rarely post anything.  So posting for my business is really difficult for me.  I just never know what to post.  How often do I post?  Plus I work a full-time job, so I just seem not to have the time.  I do know about using timed post, but I haven’t really figured out how to use them to my advantage.  Hopefully, these books will give me the direction I need to get on board with social media.  Once I complete these books I will do a review on each of them and let you know what I think.

 

That’s all for now.  Check back for the book reviews.  I am known for being too honest.  So you can trust that I will give an honest an opinion on the books.

 

Best wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

It’s CROCHET!

I was working on one of my scarves when my husband asked me what I was knitting?  Knitting.  KNITTING!  Really.

 

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This is actually how I felt when he asked that question.   Now in his defense, I do knit, but I haven’t knitted anything in over a year.  It isn’t just him.  I find that when people see something that is made out of yarn they think it is knitted.  I think people are aware of the crocheting.  It’s something their grandmother did.  They simply don’t know the difference.

With that being said, here are some cool facts about crochet.

  1. Crochet comes from the french word croche meaning hook.
  2. All the stitch pattern variations are created by using a combination of five basic stitches.
  3. You can make a circle using a crochet hook.  To knit a circle you need special needles.  Four of them actually.
  4. Crocheted items can’t be machine made.  That’s right.  If someone crochets you something just know you can’t go to Target and buy the exact same thing.  Sure you can find a hat or scarf, but it will be knitted.

I just scrapped the surface of what crochet is.  There will be more in-depth articles in the future, so stay tuned.

Best Wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

Change is Good

Yes,  it’s has been a over a year since I last wrote anything.  Many things have happen over that year.

The biggest was my decision to no longer make bath and body products to sell.  I still make them,  but now it’s for my personal use and for friends and family as I did before.

The other major thing that happened was I dislocated my ankle and broke the fibula the first week of December by slipping on ice.  After surgery I was on medical leave from work for three months.  So,  what do you do for three month when you are stuck on the couch besides watch Netflix?

For me it was crocheting.  I learned to crochet when I was about nine years old and I picked it up again a few years back to make Christmas gifts.  The timing of this accident allowed me to work on a baby blanket for my cousin and a lot of hats and scarves.  To the point that when I finished one my husband would say “Oh, another one”.  Since I couldn’t walk with out the use of crutches or my knee walker (which was AWESOME by the way) I would order from Craftsy.com for more yarn.  I have a very understanding husband.

I  rediscovered how much I love to crochet.  It is to the point now if I’m not working on something while watching TV,  I feel like something is missing.  So, with that being said…my Etsy shop will now sell crocheted hat, scarves ,baby blankets and throws.

I’m very excited about this change in my business.  My background is in apparel, so I look forward to watching fashion trends and how they will relate to my new focus.  This will also change this blog as well.

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Best Wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

 

 

S

Why I Write List

I must say that I have never really been a list maker.  Of course I will use a list for grocery shopping  or for Christmas.  But other than that, it just wasn’t something I did.  I have a pretty good memory, so I would have the list in my mind  of what I needed to do and I would generally get everything done .  But when it comes to starting a business, that’s a whole different game.  So I started writing things down.

This may sound obvious,but for me it is a big deal.  My list are a little random.  Okay, really random.    But, hey it works for me and it my work for you if you generally  don’t use a list.

I have a small notebook that I use for my list.  While drinking my coffee in the morning I will write down what I want to accomplish for the day.  I will also write down anything else I need to take care of, even if I know it may not happen that day.  So you may ask, why write it down if you know it may not get done?  When I write those things down, they usually are not time sensitive.  Also if I don’t write down I may/ will forget.

Here is what’s great about making list.  Crossing things off.  There is a sense of accomplishment when you make a line through an item.  The items that don’t get crossed off  go on the list for the next day.  Don’t feel like you’re not getting any where if you keep putting an item on the list day after day.  I have had an item on the list for a good week before I finally crossed it off.

So that’s what I’ve been doing to stay on track to get my new business opened.  Give it a try if you aren’t a list maker.  You may be surprised what you get done by using that old school, low tech method.

*Update:  I have set up a website for information about my product.   It is still a work in progress.  As soon as it’s ready I will post the link.

 

Best wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

Here We Go Again

I must admit that blogging is not my thing. But I have decided to give it another go. I haven’t written anything in a very long time. I ‘m starting again because I am starting a new business.  My previous business was handmade hair care products that I made with natural ingredients and made for naturally curly hair. I really didn’t intend to sell the products, but at my husband’s suggestion I did. I run the business from 2011 until October 2015.

Even though I wasn’t selling product any more I was still making it for my own use. That’s what I loved about my previous business was making the product. I was already making a body butter, but then I tried lip balm. It came out great. Well I’m not buying lip balm again. I gave some to friends and they loved it. Then I gifted some sugar body scrub, and the was a hit too. Hey…I maybe on to something here 🙂

That was the beginning of my second business, Simply Lux Bath & Body and this blog. So what will I be blogging about? It will be a little bit of everything I think. Right now I’m working on setting up my Etsy shop again. Figuring out how to market the business in a way that will work for me. I still work a full-time job, so the marketing strategy will be key. Packaging, labeling and how many items will I offer? How many scents? Will I venture into a men’s line? So many variables. But I do know one thing, it will be fun.

So that’s it for now. Check back often to see how I am progressing and when I get the shop open.

Best Wishes,

Kimberly