Welcome to My Blog!

A collection of good stuff about my business, life, and things I love!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Off To The Oscars!!

I am so excited!! This past week I completed 100 specially designed coin purses and tote bag, packed them up and shipped them out to California. They are going to be gifted to celebrities at the Oscars festivities in Februrary! How I wish I could go with them to be a fly on the wall at the gifting event!

As a member of The Artisan Group, which is participating in the GBK Gift Lounge the weekend of the Oscars, my coin purses will be included in swag bags given to invited celebrities who will be attending the Academy Awards Ceremony. My Cherry Blossom Tote Bag will be displayed on our table where our representatives meet and greet each celebrity. I am so hoping for a photo opportunity!!

This, by far, is the largest project I have done to date. It took several weeks to complete because there were many family and holiday obstacles along the way, one of which included a 4-day road-trip to Maryland (an 8 hour drive) a couple of weeks ago with my college aged son so he could participate in an externship at NASA. While he did that I sat in the hotel room with my my bolts of fabric and sewing machine and sewed sewed sewed!! This time away actually worked out well because I had no car, disruptions or doggies to attend to and I got a ton done.

So here are some pics of the completed project...

These items will be listed for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as www.nangatesdesigns.com, in the next couple of days. Stop by to take a peek!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Goals

2011 was a wonderful year for nan gates designs.

My primary goal for the year was to "figure out Etsy" as I had put it. I'm glad to say that this goal was very much achieved. I have been selling on Etsy since January 2008, initially with not much success. I was one of the many that thought "my products sell well at shows, put them on Etsy and they'll just sell, no problem". Not true. I had no idea about the need for promoting or how to go about it. Others were selling, why couldn't I. So I was determined that this year would be the year that I figured out how to sell things on the site. As luck would have it, in February 2011, I was asked to join in on a BNR that the Promotional Frenzy Team was having. I had no idea what a BNR was but I checked it out and sold many items that first night. Needless to say, I immediately joined the team! It's been a roller coaster ride from there on out.

For 2010 (the entire year!), I had 18 shop hearts, 40 listing hearts, 14 orders. In contrast, for 2011, I had 431 shop hearts, 2585 listing hearts and 236 orders! Shows what a little promoting will do for you! The PFT has shown me social media that I had no idea about (Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Google+) and others that I knew about but really didn't want to take the time to do before (FB, Blogging, Twitter, Flickr). It's been a huge learning experience and year of growth and I have PFT to thank for it.

As a result of this year's promotion, I gained wholesale accounts as well as was noticed by another wonderful group, The Artisan Group, which primarily gifts celebrities at large award events. I am thrilled to say that my business cards will be in 100 gift bags at the Golden Globe gifting event next week and I will be sending 100 coin purses and a tote bag for the Oscars gifting event to be held next month. What a year!

So now to move on to 2012. My business goals for this year are:

1. Maintain 150 items in my Etsy shop.
2. Utilize Facebook better with more consistent posting.
3. Develop a schedule for blog posting.
4. Develop 3-5 new products.
5. Maintain my own website better and begin promoting that more.
6. Develop a brand logo.
7. Utilize Pinterest, Google+ and Flickr more.
8. Open up 2nd Etsy shop (?).
9. Re-organize my studio.
10. Develop a system and schedule for doing all the above!

My horoscope for 2012 said that I would be a work-a-holic this year. The important thing will be to stay focused on these goals while maintaining balance with family, exercise, tennis team and trying to lose the stubborn weight! Those areas all have their own set of goals. It's going to be a busy year, I can tell...