New Year—New Start

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2015 ended on a rather good and solid note for me, though 2016 was rung in quietly and with ample amounts of sleep! I do hope, for anyone reading, that you’re new year began happily, with an abundance of hope and prosperity for the coming days.

I turn 39 this year and to me, age is indeed just a number. But there is something to be said for those ‘milestones’ – you know, aged 5, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 25, 30, etc. It’s rather funny, actually, how we start to spread them out into 5-year increments starting in our 20’s, isn’t it? As my proverbial 30’s are coming to what is socially and chronologically considered their close, I have endeavored to make improvements for myself. Nothing major, and indeed I’ve already started with drastically decreasing my caffeine in-take, greatly increasing my water consumption and attempting to make better dietary choices without denying myself sweet, delicious junk food. I haven’t been able to run – physical limitations have been halting the forward progresses I had made there – but I have already established appointments to look into the causes of said issues and hopefully resolve them so that I can continue with the momentum I have building up.

Each weekend this year I want to DO something beneficial – this month it will be literally cleaning out some closets, purging what is no longer useful, needed or retain-able for sentimental value, and reorganizing my work space to accommodate a few things that are being developed – expanding my work with Chrysalis Creation and it’s Etsy shop which I LOVE and expanding my social networking there in through both its Twitter and Instagram feeds. My partner has started to home brew mead and I have to say that has piqued my interests too – something I can create, set aside to develop on it’s own through nature, and then enjoy afterwards with others. Exercise is taking a forefront again – especially weight training. I’ve mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with running, but I LOVE weight training. There is something tangible about seeing your gains and lifting heavier weights, or easily doing more reps that I just enjoy. Gains with running I’ve noticed are very subtle, and subtlety and I have always had a rough relationship.

I had to defer the 10k I was supposed to run this week due to the aforementioned physical limitations I’ve been experiencing. I’m not certain if it’s due to plantar fascittis, shin splints, or even an IT band issue. But I know I can get it looked and and any of those can be worked out. I’ve already started to brainstorm possibilities for running costumes for the 10k I WILL be completing in April with the runDisney Star Wars – The Dark Side challenges.

So to all, on this first post of 2016 – don’t make resolutions. They fail. Simply decide what you want to DO this year and get after doing it. The rest will all fall into place.

 

 

 

To Expand or Not To Expand?

In addition to my dolls and bottles, I have been considering expansion again with some other crafts that I enjoy partaking in from time to time. Mostly this has to do with wires and gears and various other finding that I have throughout my house including polymer clay. I used to make clay horns that could be worn for a few differing occasions (cause having worked in Renaissance Festivals when I was younger, I always thought that the horns they offered there weren’t very creative, or even somewhat realistic for that matter, and that consumers may want something more naturally based in appearance.) I may consider relisting those as well and reactivating those items.

The idea of having more items in my shop is certainly appealing, especially considering that my items are rather niche and unless you collect dolls or Monster High (or horror/sci-fi related things) you aren’t horribly likely to purchase anything from me.

Something I have been considering are sets of prepainted/fabricated false nail tips. I am a licensed nail technician and my specialty was indeed nail art. I think it would be a great lower-priced point item to offer.

There is rumors that having more listings would be a benefit towards increasing traffic to my shop – and of course increased traffic improves the chance for purchases.

Even more things to consider!

Loose Odds and Ends

So working on my dolls and selling them nude means I have a lot of odds and ends laying about that I don’t really need. (I’ll write up another post next about why my dolls aren’t sold with clothes…yet. 😉 ) For the most part, I will put those doll parts, accessories, clothes etc onto my eBay shop. Why? Because even though I don’t need them, I know that there are plenty of collectors and/or parents out there looking for that piece to finish up the Sweet 1600 series doll they have or else replace a piece of their child’s favorite doll that the dog accidentally swallowed. It makes absolutely no sense to me to hold onto  a plethora of pieces I may not need when others may have more valid and immediate use for them and thankfully eBay provides a conduit for that.

I also try to hunt good deals on dolls when they go on sale and try to purchase two – particularly of the boys that are harder to find since I don’t repaint them and offer on my eBay. I don’t mark them up too horribly over retail for their buy it now pricing and start their bidding at below retail usually so that shipping isn’t too horrendous. Always be on the look out for good deals!

So if you ever want to see what dolls, loose pieces, odds and ends I have available, take a gander over at Chrysalis Creation on eBay!

Newly Listed – One New Doll and One New Product!

As I teased last night, I decided to not only list a new doll for sale today on my Etsy shop, but also a brand new product idea that I had been debating tackling and was QUITE happy with the final outcome. I had dabbled around with decoupage in the past, but hadnt really thought about doing it for the purchase of creating something to sell. Then I was out wandering around my local craft store and found some materials that had, indeed, inspired me. So without further ado I present to you, my adoring public, my new doll offering as well as my new product line that I will hopefully be doing more of as well as a means to expand Chrysalis Creation. 🙂 Both are for sale now in my Etsy store and dont forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

 

The doll was a Monster High Abbey Bomidable doll that was of course repainted with watercolor pencils and soft chalk pastels, and sealed with Mr. Super Clear UV Matte Sealant (multiple times – from start to finish!) as well as Liquitex Gloss Varnish on her lips and eyes (which was added after photos were taken!) Her hair was washed, conditioned and then restyled in something influenced by the 80s. (I was channeling JEM and the Holograms!) then her nails were pained in “Lacey Lilac” from Sally Hansen and topped with Seche Vite topcoat.

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The Victorian inspired Decoupage Floral Arrangement centerpiece was made by covering an old wine bottle with two different types of textured craft paper in shades of beige, and decorating it with pink printed Washi tape, two different sized pearl cabochons – (which were hand laid individually!), lace appliques and victorian styled die cuts in whimsical sorts of designs with butterlies and three dimensional white roses. The floral arranagement is faux Ranunculus and faux White Amaranth branches.

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Branching Out….And A New Doll!

I have some ideas of things I wanted to do to add to my store. My dolls are, as Ive mentioned before, a rather niche market. I dont expect or anticipate a slew of sales though Im going to work my proverbial backside off trying to get them – but I would like more traffic to my pages and have other crafty type things I enjoy.

Today I went out and got some more supplies and got to work. After about two hours and what I figure is roughly $12 in supplies, I have a new listing to put up tomorrow as well as a new doll for the offering! Really hoping that everyone enjoys the new offering and that the new doll will be a hit. Here is a sneak peak for tomorrow…

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This Social Network Thing…

When you start to look up ways in which to promote your shop, you’ll find a TON of advice on linking everything to social media and networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, InstagramTumblr, etc. Pinterest in particular seems to have the foot hold in being the most useful in marketing your little space in the Etsy universe and is indeed a wonderful tool. I am relatively partial to Instagram for what I’m doing – mainly because since it deals primarily with Monster High Doll Repaints, the format for Instagram reaches more of the age level that would be interested.

That being said, you simply can not run any sort of business in this world without having a social media presence AND staying up with it. I have to wager that currently I spend a couple of hours a day going through various Facebook groups, promoting, cross promoting and doing what I can to get my Etsy views and favorites up so that when those collectors DO want to purchase, my listings are closer to the top of the SEO (search engine optimization) food chain for view. Even large corporations have to have some sort of social media outlet at the ready and steadily paid attention to in order to remain relevant and connected to their target audiences.

Now, I know I have a rather niche shop at the moment – repainted dolls are, after all, still a relatively new phenomena. besides that, they are art dolls, which have their own unique audience. Thankfully, the audiences that I would be trying to reach (either art doll collectors, Monster High collectors both adult and non, or those that appreciate custom ball-jointed dolls) generally are very active on all forms of social media. The doll themselves are wonderful, but I also have been considering ways to expand – like making clothes and/or jewelry for them as well. Those would also give me a range of price points and might help to steer traffic towards the dolls. 🙂

I have also been considering offering other arts that I dabble in, like decoupage bottles with and without floral arrangements. (thought that may become it’s own separate store).

Then there is always the battle with whether to build a separate website to help promote OR upgrade this here WordPress blog to premium.

The hard part, however, is increasing interaction once you have someone on your page(s). Pretty much every single page mention gives priority to those pages in which there is solid and regular interaction. You can have the best tags and SEO placement imaginable, but without traffic and continued involvement, the links will grow stale in this ever-evolving and super-lightning-paced marketing world that we live in. As someone growing a business, I have to not only put time and effort into what I create, and REGULARLY update those items by adding inventory and cycling them through my promotions, BUT I also have to be involved with my shop, my pages, and those of other shop owners. I’m a big proponent of cross promotion and have been loving the Etsy treasury feature to be allow me to do just that. Then with others social media pages I make the attempt at leaving comments, likes and keeping dialogue moving when and where I can. People tend to forget that it flows both ways and you get what you give!

Regardless what my final decision ends up being, I first want to thank each and every one of you who not only follow this blog, but have also liked any and all of my pages. My success is not only based on what I put into it, but also the support of those around me and with social media, even though I might be a niche market, I’m able to expand that beyond my wildest dreams!