I knew you learned a lot when you were in school. And then again when you had a good and challenging job. But I never imagined that I would learn so much from a hobby. Yes, I have learned a lot about glass and that has been great.
This time I am talking about Design, Social Media and Marketing! This is mostly due to my choice to try to sell my glass. In order to do this you need propaganda and customers!!! This blog I will focus on Design and later I will tell you all that I have learned about Social Media and Marketing (which will forever be ongoing).
First, I needed a good logo. I bypassed this one initially because a great friend and graphical designer, Sharon Liu, created a wonderful logo for me. And then sent me the instructions on how I could do this on my own in the future (assuming I had the eye for design like she does!)
Success #1: With a great logo, I was now able to create my store on Etsy. There are many fields to fill in such as about me, policies and packaging and shipping, but those are one time things. Believe it or not, the item descriptions are the hardest as it is better if you don’t just literally describe the item, but rather explain what inspired you to make it.
Then I wanted business cards, mailing labels, post cards and so forth, so I decided to learn gimp. My first few weeks were frustrating as I felt totally incompetent. Eventually I read enough tutorials and just started plowing through it enough to feel comfortable using it. I still need to learn how to take better pictures as gimp can only fix things up so much, but I am on the path of discovery here and no longer totally incompetent.
A friend pointed me to a wonderful company for your propaganda, moo.com. They allow you to put a different design on each business card if you are so inclined. I was a little overwhelmed, so for now, I have made 2 designs for my business cards: a red theme with red pieces of glass and a blue theme with blue pieces of glass. At the moment, I have business cards, mailing labels and small stickers all on order. Yeah!! I am starting to feel like a real business.
What is my next big hurdle? My website. My initial site was an easy to throw together site using iWeb on the mac. But it had limitations such as not being able to add an RSS feed to the whole site and adding a feedback form. I then got trial software of 5 different programs for web design on the mac and tried them all. Eventually I decided that programs which are made based on templates just weren’t going to work for me as I couldn’t do enough customizing. So my next big purchase will be Dreamweaver and then I am on the road to creating a new website. But honestly, the tool is the easy part. The hard part is the design because it is not that easy for me to sit back and visualize what looks cool. As I said, my next big hurdle! Stay tuned.