Yesterday was an incredibly good way to start the year. We spent the day doing a variety of ‘busy’ tasks that tied up a lot of loose ends and also allowed us to begin a new chapter for our business.
This year’s theme for Sheila Landry Designs is “Recognition.” As we break away from the big company that we had issues with last autumn, we realize that we need to expand our visibility and presence in the pattern market. With the capabilities of the internet, we know that there are many avenues that we have yet to approach which will not only help get our name out there, but also bring us some new customers to help keep us growing. There are many choices to consider, and we need to evaluate what will bring us the best return without requiring a huge amount of time.
We know that once customers come to us directly for patterns, they will see the many advantages that we have over the print catalog company. Not only will they get the original, full versions of our patterns (NOT the butchered down versions that were being sold previously!) but they will also have the advantage of our personal service to help them with any questions or issues they may have. I think this is an important factor that was missing when our information was stripped off of our patterns, and we think that once people try buying from us directly, they will prefer it and come back again when in need.
In looking at the options, we decided to see how we do with opening an Etsy store. Their fees were among the lowest, and the flexibility of the listings seemed to suit our needs.
Keith spent the majority of the day opening our store – SheilaLandryDesigns – and added a couple of products there. He began with sets of patterns for the most part, as it gave a good variety without having to create a huge amount of product numbers at this point.
We really don’t know how it will do, but we figure it is worth a try and while we certainly don’t intend to have it set up as a second website, it could reach a different audience than we reach now and perhaps bring new business to our site in the future. We figure it is worth a shot.
Hopefully, if people stumble across us there and buy patterns from there, they will decide to stop by the site and do some shopping there too. It will be interesting to see how well we do there.
In other things, I needed to cut a couple of kits that were ordered that need to be mailed out today. I had several orders to be shipped over the weekend and got them prepared to be sent out today. It takes long enough to ship on a good day, let alone on a holiday week and I want to get them into the mail as quickly as possible.
I also worked on the next project for the magazine. Even though the dragonfly tray is finished, I still need to do the accompanying instructions and photographs, as well as an article that I am writing for the May issue. I probably will try to work on that today too, and hopefully get it buttoned up for the most part.
Finally, I changed over my little “all season tree” from Christmas to the Winter Wonderland theme. In my travels this year when we went to Dartmouth and Halifax, I came across these amazing ornaments that I thought would be perfect for January.
I love polar animals in general, and I decided that the theme of my tree for January would be “Winter Wonderland.” I found some incredible aqua colored shiny beads and I thought that the icy blue along with silver would be a lovely color scheme for theme. I also found some small (1.5”) ornament sets in each color which matched perfectly.
But the best thing I came across were these beautiful polar bear and penguin ornaments. They were somewhat like they were ‘flocked’ but instead of being soft material, they were glass based and the covering was a bit more rigid and had somewhat of a shimmer to it. They just looked beautiful. The bears were a bit large (about 4 – 5”) so I only bought one set of four pieces and the penguins were a bit smaller and came in a set of 8. I thought it was just the perfect amount to fill my little tree.
I also came across some beautiful glass icicles that are about 6” long at the store near us. They actually look real and catch the white lights of the tree and look as if they are illuminated. The overall effect of them is stunning.
I took some pictures of the tree this morning to share with you:
I used to be so sad when it was time to remove all the Christmas decorations from the house. Everything seemed so empty. I think that is why I love my little tree so much. As I look at it now in all its beauty, it makes me happy. The first thing I do when I awake is light it up and I spend the first couple of hours here writing and working with its soft glow. Somehow, it brings me peace.
People don’t like winter because they say it is drab and bleak. As with anything, things are what we make them. I choose to look for the beauty in all seasons and focus on that part of them, and somehow the bleakness goes away. This is one of my favorite versions of my tree to date. I don’t know how I will change it come February when I have Valentines to put on it. Maybe I can let a polar bear or penguin stick around for that holiday too. After all – it is my tree. ;)
Have a great day today. I hope you find beauty in whatever you do!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"