Archive for the 'Business Stuff' Category

The New Patchfolio!

I got my new Patchfolio patterns yesterday – just in time for Market!  Yay!

Patch Cover Shot rgb

I’m so happy with how they turned out – that’s what I get when I hire a professional photographer – great pictures!  I’m so embarrassed by my previous covers that I’m not even going to remind anyone with a picture.  Huge thanks to my photographer Jennifer.  You can find her beautiful work here and her blog here.

views small

Same pattern, but with 2 additional options for the outside.  If you’ve previously purchased the Patchfolio from me, you can get the updates here.

Desk small

I love this shot – the angle, the desk, the hair, the shoes.

Here we come, Houston!

If I had known…

Would I have started a pattern designing business if I had known….

     that I would be storing thousands of patterns in my attic and in my house?

     that my house would feel cramped because of all the boxes?

     that I would spend up to 10 hours a week stuffing envelopes and  packing boxes?

     that the stuffing and packing would take away from the designing?

     that there is precious little time left for the fun part of being a pattern designer?

The answer?  PROBABLY.  Most likey.  But possibly not. 

But for now, I trudge on.  And to make myself feel better, I made myself a Frazzled Blogger button.  Nope, it’s not an award.  Just a button (isn’t that sad?).  And guess what?  You, too can use it, if you’d like.

frazzled blogger

Thus ends this sorry post…

Marketing

I know almost nothing about marketing for my little business.  I mean, really, it all started with the blog, but sometimes I feel like the blog isn’t enough anymore.  Plus, the blog was never meant to be a marketing tool.  It’s always been therapy for me.  Then there’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and UpdateCraze and I wonder if I should be doing more.   Okay, I just made that last one up – but don’t you think it’s a nice name? UpdateCraze.  It could be a place to update your status in 3 words or less (e.g. GOING CRAZY NOW!) or unlimited words as long as they are written in 3 lines of iambic pentameter:

I don’t believe this bag will make it through
Half-turned and stuck it’s going in the trash
I feel so sad but also very hap

 Maybe even 3 second videos of yourself dancing the emotions of the moment (no example here, folks).

So I joined Twitter several months ago. Everybody’s doing it, you know.  Twitter isn’t a great marketing tool for me for a couple of reasons.  First off, I’m a wordy girl and and 140 characters just isn’t enough for me.  Plus, I feel weird constantly linking to my site.  Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bother me when others do it – it just isn’t working for me that way.

 

Joined Facebook, too.  Perfect for keeping up with family, but more than the public would want to know, I’m sure.  So my personal page isn’t a good marketing tool.  Enter the FB business page:

I started a Facebook business page for CraftApple.  It feels good – one place for business stuff only.  Nobody has to fan it if they don’t want to, and those who do become fans aren’t surprised by sales news when they thought they’d get a dose of creativity.

Other advertising venues I’ve tried?

Craftster.  This was a great first place to advertise and I advertised here for about 6 months in 2008.  Sales definitely went up and I stopped after sales seemed to level off.  This took place when individual retail pattern sales were my primary source of revenue.

Sewing Mamas.  I did this for several months at the end of 2008.  It was super affordable.  Sales jumped that first month, then leveled off.  At this point I had 1 distributor, but individual retail continued to be a strong source of revenue.

StitchChatter.  I published with StitchChatter in the Spring of 2009.  This was a great experience for me.  While there are no graphs to see click throughs, the one big advantage to advertising in a print magazine was I go the attention of a 2nd distributor.  This was huge because in the business of pattern writing, distributors are your ticket to making any money. I’m happy to say that distributor sales surpassed individual sales last year. I am a big fan of both my distributors – they have been so helpful to me.

I’m sure there are many other places to advertise – Feel free to list them in the comments.  I’m also curious as to what has worked for you!


Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
© 2006-2014 Craft Apple Creations

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