Oh happy day! At the end of this month we will be celebrating Lazy Owl Boutique’s one year Etsyversary (that’s our Etsy anniversary, just in case you couldn’t figure that out)!
One year ago this month I was going through a lot of changes. I was just beginning a well-deserved vacation at the beach away from my hell job when I got a wonderful offer for a new job. I debated for a few days, scared out of my mind. I had never actually quit a job before. I always just had to leave because I was graduating, leaving to study abroad, etc. I returned from the beach well-rested and at peace with my decision and put in my two week’s notice that Monday morning.
Over the next few weeks I created, created, and created on overdrive, along with taking lots of photos and figuring out how the heck to get started on Etsy. By the end of May, Lazy Owl Boutique officially opened for business! It was definitely slow going at first, but it has been a very rewarding experience and I’m delighted to say that in less than a year we have reached over 100 sales!
We’ve made some mistakes but learned a lot along the way in just one year. Check out this awful product photography for example:
Ay yi yi! Talk about gloomy.
We’ve fine-tuned the creating/photographing/listing process and even begun to sell in person at craft shows! We are even in the process of joining with a handful of other local handmade artisans to open a unique handmade boutique in Houston (stay tuned)!
One year ago I would’ve never thought I’d be capable of doing all that I am now. And I have all of you to thank! So thanks to all my family, friends, fellow artists, and customers who have supported Lazy Owl on this journey.
To celebrate our one year Etsyversary, we are giving away hairpin freebies! Get one freebie hairpin with a purchase of $10 or more, and two hairpins with a purchase of $30 or more! Check out Lazy Owl’s facebook page to pick out your favorite hairpin(s) and include your top four preferences in the note to seller during checkout!
Sniff, sniff….do you smell the holidays coming? Or maybe your nose is just running from the allergies you get during the changing of the seasons? Or maybe that is just me.
Here in southeastern Texas, it is still rather warm (as in mid-70s) even though we are approaching Thanksgiving. Today I think the low is actually in the 40s. Woo! I am ready for colder weather, mostly because I’m ready to wear my many pairs of boots…
I have been really slacking on the updating front lately. It has been a busy couple of months, first the half marathon and Disney trip, then the craft show, then the stray dog issue…Since then I have had a terrible bout of food poisoning and some really busy weeks at work. I have almost hit the 6 month mark at my new job so I’ve had some new responsibilities transition to me.
In the meantime, I have focused all my Lazy Owl energy on listing new items in my shop, hoping to capitalize on that upcoming holiday shopping rush. Take a peek at some of my new items, these beauties are the perfect accessory for upcoming holiday parties:
I also have been working hard on a custom order for a bridal party, which I just shipped off this morning, so that was pretty exciting. It was my first wedding order, and the bride was wonderful to work with. Plus, the earrings she chose for her bridesmaids are one of my favorite pairs:
What have yall been doing to get ready for the holidays? I need to shift focus from my Etsy shop back to getting ready for my next craft fair. I also plan to write a post featuring a few of my stocking stuffer items, along with some promotions for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Next week we are taking some time off for Thanksgiving, so I’m happy for the excuse to relax 🙂
Sorry it has taken me so long to update about my first craft fair experience. Last week (on Halloween), we picked up a stray dog. We could not keep him since we already have 2, one being a newly rescued puppy, so I spent the week desperately trying to find an adoption/foster program that would take him in. EVERY no-kill rescue program in the city of Houston was at max capacity. Just when I thought we were going to have to send him to animal control (and basically sign his death warrant, as he was a big black pit mix), I found a friend in Baton Rouge who would give him a loving home. AMEN!
Moving on to a totally unrelated note, here are pics and a review of my booth from my first craft show on October 29.
I had paid for an outside booth, and luckily the weather was nice, although a bit chilly. It was the first weekend of colder temps in Houston this fall. As you can see, thanks to the suggestions from yall, I did cave in and make a small sign. Obviously it’s nothing special, just paint on a piece of blue poster board, but I figured this sign was better than no sign. I’ve already devised a better banner for my next show, so have no fear.
I made a few last minute changes to my set up, and put my printer’s tray of crystal earrings on the taller table rather than the small card table as planned. The sun was shining into one corner of my area, and I wanted to try to put the crystal earrings in the sun where they could really sparkle!
Necklaces and stud earrings were displayed on my card table…That’s a mannequin from Pottery Barn, a Goodwill frame with hooks and fabric, and another Goodwill frame with twine strung across the back and mini clothes pins to hold up my earring cards. If you want to read more about the making of my earring displays, check out this post.
Here’s my booth as a whole. As far as my experience went, my day was SLOW. I was really excited to be there and excited about my booth display, since I worked so hard on it…but I quickly realized that this show did NOT have the right audience for me. It was the 40th year of this show at an established Episcopal church in a suburb of Houston. The crowd was about 80% ages 60+ ladies. Nothing against the older crowd, they just weren’t into my stuff. The tupperware ladies were the booth next to me and they were selling like hotcakes (however I did overhear their total revenue at the end of the show, and they didn’t make much more than me, mostly because everything they sold was from their $1-$3 bins).
It was at least a learning experience. I made back about three times the booth fee, but that still wasn’t much. Most everyone that bought something from me was one of the few young moms there, buying something for themselves or for their daughters. My rosette stud earrings were popular for the daughters and I sold mostly those. Much to my surprise, people were most interested in the rosette studs and my button rings. People just love buttons. Unfortunately, I didn’t make many of my button wire rings large enough to fit the fingers of the older ladies (I generally make them sizes 5-7 to aim for the more youthful Etsy crowd who for some reason seem to have smaller fingers haha). I didn’t even list any of the stud earrings in my Etsy shop until after the show, so I was surprised at that. I had assumed that my old hollywood crystal jeweled earrings would be the biggest crowd pleaser, particularly in my white printer’s tray display, but not very many people looked at them. I am thinking it’s a little early to build a hypothesis though based on this one show, but it’s definitely important to see how customers actually interacted with my products in person.
I also got some experience using Square, which went very smoothly. About half my transactions were via credit card, and Square deposited the money in my account within a couple days. No problems there!
Finally, I got an opportunity to just step out of my shell for a day, which I’m sure I really needed.
Stud earrings display above.
Pictured below are my old hollywood style earrings displayed on an antique printer’s tray, a shutter from re-Habitat, and a wire file folder holder from Hobby Lobby.
I’m really looking forward to my next show. Since I created SO much inventory for this past one, I won’t have to bust my butt over the next few weeks making things. This one will be December 3 & 4, two whole days, and I’m thinking the demographic will be more my speed, at least I’m hoping!
Please let me know what you think of my booth display and if you have any suggestions for me!
Sigh of relief! Sorry I have been MIA for the entire month of October. Things have been busy, busy, busy since I returned from my Disney trip. One thing at a time!
I survived my very first half marathon! It feels like it happened so long ago, it feels like it maybe didn’t even happen. That boost of adrenaline I was expecting to get whilst running through the Disney parks definitely did NOT happen. And I really could’ve used it haha.
It was a long, tiresome journey. We tried to take a nap that day since the race started at 10pm, but I was too anxious to fall asleep. When the race finally started, I was just amazed at how many PEOPLE there were everywhere. I’ve never run around that many people before, and it was tough navigating and winding and dodging everyone, especially since I was run-walking. I don’t think things cleared up for me until mile 5 or so. I plodded along at my slow and steady pace til about mile 11…at this point I felt like I wanted to die. Miles 11 to 13 seemed to take a lifetime and a half. By the time I reached the finish line (at exactly 3 hours flat) I had tears in my eyes! They weren’t really happy tears haha, I just seemed to be overwhelmed with emotion at finally finishing. And being slightly annoyed that I had made myself do something so painful.
As soon as I finished and stopped moving I suddenly could no longer move. I was meeting the rest of my party in Canada (the race finished outside Epcot), and I think it took me 45 minutes to hobble over there! Needless to say, we all passed out after that!
Since returning to Houston, I’ve been consumed by getting my shop ready for my very first craft fair. I feel like a little Christmas elf. I think I have just about TRIPLED my inventory in the past 2 weeks…not to mention creating all sorts of various displays and jewelry holders for all my items (with the help of my gracious husband of course).
I hope to have a full post about my preparation for the craft show soon, that should be exciting to share.
Just inputing all the new items in my inventory spreadsheet system has been overwhelming, so I am way behind on taking photos and listing new items…but I will show you a few new necklaces I’ve been able to add to my bunting necklaces line recently:
Waaaaaahhhhhhh! I’m sort of trying to swallow down a nervous breakdown right now. A week from yesterday, I leave for my happy place, Walt Disney World resort in Florida. A week from tomorrow, I am going to attempt the impossible — running (jogging? walking? limping? crawling?) 13.1 miles as part of Disney’s Food & Wine Half-Marathon.
I know I had made some promises a while back to keep you all posted on my training progress, and maybe you are wondering where all those promised updates are…well, I have barely been training! Ahhhhhhhh. The longest I’ve gone in preparation for this is 9 miles. And I’ve done that twice. And the last time was like 3 weeks ago. I have only run once this week (4 measly miles). I’m promising myself that I will do 9 miles again this weekend since it’s my last chance to squeeze in another long run…but….we’ll see.
Anyway, running-related freakage aside, I’ve been slowly building up some anxiety related to my Etsy shop and this holiday season. Two issues — I want my shop to be in tip-top shape for the upcoming holiday rush (assuming there is a rush for me), and I’ve signed up for two craft shows in Houston where I will attempt to sell my wares in person for the first time EVAR.
There are many, MANY things I need to do to prep for a for-reals craft fair. Hopefully preparing for the craft shows will help get my Etsy shop into gear as well. Yesterday, I received week 1’s issue of Etsy Success’ Holiday Bootcamp, and I really need to follow some of the advice the blog article suggests. So, in an attempt to get my butt in gear, I’m going to start listing some goals for myself. Maybe you can follow along too!
Craft show supplies? — another table, table coverings, risers, receipts, vendor apron, earring cards, merchandise bags, stickers, etc. etc..
Prepare/create displays for craft shows– ring boxes, earring frames, doorknob necklace holders, earring/necklace trees, price signs, shop name banner, etc. etc.
Update inventory catalog and pricing — I’ve gotten really lazy about entering my supplies and costs into my inventory spreadsheet, how will I know where to price my items if my supply costs are not accurate?
Photograph and list, list, list on Etsy all these new items I’m making!!
*Sigh*…I basically just need to set aside more time…more time to create items, but also to update my inventory/pricing spreadsheets, take photos, and list items. I feel like all that admin stuff takes more time than actually creating, but I guess that’s the way it is!
Do you have a plan to get ready for the upcoming holiday season? Feel free to share! Or give me advice, I love advice…
So, I decided a few weeks ago to sign up for some local craft fairs (more on that later…) and have been gearing up for increasing my inventory (which is basically something I need to do regardless to get more traffic to my shop and gear up for the *hopeful* holiday rush).
The line I really wanted to focus on first were my wire-wrapped rings. Wire-wrapped rings are delicate and appropriate for everyday wear, but they bring something elegant to your outfit. I have made myself several in all different colors and pretty much wear one everyday since they go with anything. Also, I seem to get a lot of key word searches for wire-wrapped rings, and I think they’ll be fun and easy to sell at craft shows in person. Plus, they are just plain fun and simple to make 🙂
My husband was out of town on business for a week, so I spent a lot of time staring at the new puppy (trying to make sure she didn’t have any accidents, haha), and making wire-wrapped rings while catching up on last season of Boardwalk Empire.
Here are some of my new rings that I’ve posted at the shop, feel free to browse. This time around I focused on making smaller sizes, but I’ve got to make sure everyone is fairly represented, so I’ll be posting some size 7s and 8s soon!
As you can tell, I’m also having a love affair with druk beads. Czech glass druks are round pressed-glass beads made in the Czech Republic. They have a shine and brilliance that is hard to capture with a camera. They can be opaque and extra shiny, like my olive green druk bead above, or slightly transparent with a subtle inner-glow, like the turquoise druk bead I used. I just love their uniqueness!
Please tell me what you think! Do you have a favorite color combo or a suggestion for a new color combo? I’ve got so many different beads and pearls that the possibilities are endless!
I envision this blog to be about many things. Of course, I’ll be using it as a marketing tool for my new etsy shop, Lazy Owl Boutique, but I’d like to make it a little more personal than that. I’ll also talk about my newly rediscovered love of crafting and the challenges I face in that regard.
I’m going through many changes at the moment. I’m an accountant, so part of me is very, very left-brained. I’m a fan of order and routine…but I also feel like I’ve always had a creative spark that I enjoy pursuing. Unfortunately, after years of school and now two years of the real adult world, my creative spark has died down to a mere flicker.
In December, my husband and I bought our very first house. I began devouring decorating books for ideas and inspiration (this is what left-brained people do, we always read books first before taking action). Having a whole house as my new big creative outlet really got the ball rolling for me. I realized how much I missed using my right-brain, being creative, thinking outside the box, working with colors and objects and my hands, and taking chances!
I knew I needed a change, I just didn’t know how to make it. I worked in a very demanding and time-consuming position in public accounting. By the time I came home (usually late) and on the weekends (if I wasn’t working), I didn’t have the energy to devote to any new creative passions. So, after a lot of thinking, I decided I needed to 1) quit my job, and 2) come up with some new hobbies (other than sleeping or complaining).
One thing led to another, and viola! The creation of Lazy Owl Boutique. I have really enjoyed (after lots of book reading, of course) crafting handmade jewelry and launching my shop online. I have always loved Etsy, and now experiencing it from the other side has been an adventure.
My second hobby I came up with is slightly less enjoyable. In an effort to get in shape, I decided to sign up for Disney’s Food & Wine half-marathon on October 1. So, I guess you could say training for that has been my second new hobby.
I also quit my job, yay! I now work as an accountant (still left-braining it!) for one of Houston’s top hospitals. I just finished my first week on the job.
So…you can see I have a lot of new things going on right now. I hope to use this blog to journal all these new experiences and keep you all updated! I hope you enjoy being a part of my new journey!