Friday, January 1, 2010

A Great Start To The New Year

It's funny how karma my last blog entry, I mentioned how 2009 was only a so-so year for my handmade sea glass jewelry business and how I was looking forward to a better year in 2010.

Then Mo showed up and began to turn things around. Mo can mean a great deal to your handmade business... when Mo is positive, great things happen and when Mo is negative, you can't give things away. Who is Mo and how do you get her to show up to your business? Don't worry, Mo is always there.... some call it Karma... my husband Kevin, likes to call it Momentum.

After my last blog entry, I found out I had been featured in another blog. A great full page feature, including several pictures, a little bit of info about me and info on sea glass in general. The next evening, I received a email from a fellow EtsyNJer and she let me know she included one of my items in her treasury (wow, it's been months since I've been included in a treasury!) It looks like Mo has picked up speed....

Today I wake up after a fun night of celebrating the New Year with my hubby and our sons to find that I was on the Front Page of Etsy! Etsy selected one of my items for a front page treasury feature and as most front page treasuries go...the item sold and my shop received several shop hearts, item hearts and item views.

As crazy as it sounds, Mo has always been with my business, I just let her sit idle for too long. It's a new year and Mo wants to party... and my New Year's resolution of trying to do something positive for my life, my family and my handmade business has already begun.

Let the party roll on, let's dance Mo.... Happy 2010 everyone- may Mo party all year long in your lives!

'til next time...

Monday, December 28, 2009

The End Of Another Year In My Hanmdade Business

As 2009 winds down it's last few days, it's always interesting to see how the year has played out for my little handmade business.

The economy certainly played a major factor in spending habits. At times, it seemed I may have made a mistake in moving my business to all sea glass jewelry and away from mixing in some less expensive glass bead creations... but looking back on the decision, I feel it was the correct move to create a niche product for myself.

Handmade craft fairs seemed to be hit & miss once again in 09. When the weather wasn't wreaking havoc, the economy sometimes affected some of my shows. Some shows that were good the previous few years, turned into absolute busts in 2009, while others remained solid events...once again, offering a niche product exclusively may have been a reason for shows that I deemed to be less than successful. Yet shows like AbbieRoad's The Handmade Faire continued to be solid shows and when the weather cooperated, the show was the best show in Central NJ (and perhaps the best show in all of NJ...Abbie and friends do a top-notch job of's a must-do show if you live in the tri-state area)

2009 also found my creations in various brick & mortar shops with varying levels of success. A display on LBI didn't live up to expectations, while a small gallery in Barnegat did better than expected...and considering I wasn't in the gallery for the summer months, I have high hopes for this location in the coming year.

I also have a display in a new shop, JerseyMade, which is run by a fellow Etsy member who I've done many shows with. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to sell my sea glass jewelry in Holly's (LeafPile) shop. The shop is located in Historic Mt Holly, NJ, in the Mill Race Village shopping area.

In looking ahead to 2010, I'm hoping to do fewer shows (but keep those where my product does well) while looking to add a couple more consignment/wholesale accounts with brick & mortar shops. My main focus will be on Long Beach Island and I'd like to add one more shore resort shop to the mix for this coming year. I will also be focusing on doing the North American Sea Glass Festival in 2010 (I really wanted to take the plunge in 09, but wasn't sure I was ready & didn't believe I had enough product)

My CreationsByRobin shop on continues to live up to my expectations. Sales seemed a bit sluggish this holiday season when compared to 2008, but again, the economy may have had a lot to do with the slower sales. As the economy begins to improve, hopefully sales will increase in the coming year.

I am also hoping to open my own website in the coming year. The site will be all sea glass... my sea glass jewelry creations, sea glass decor, and possibly loose pieces of sea glass- for both mosaics and jewelry quality pieces.

2009 had it's ups and downs. But I survived the year and the disastrous economy...and even took a few positive steps forward in the process. I'm looking forward to the new year!

My next entry will introduce a few vendors who stepped forward and offered the handmade community some fantastic product...hopefully I can get the blog posted in the next day or two.

til next time...