Balancing your Own Company and your 9 to 5 Job

Standard

Many people dream of  becoming their own boss and quitting their 9 to 5 job, but it’s not always a reality.  As a new entrepreneur I quickly discovered success doesn’t happen over night in most cases and I will have to remain working at my 9 to 5 job in order to maintain my household. Thank God I love my job, but balancing the two became an issue a few times. For instance; my regular working hours are from 10 am to 7pm  Monday through Thursday and 8 am to 5 pm on Fridays. This gave me enough time during Monday through Thursday to stop by the Post Office and drop off my packages and make it in on time for my job. Well my work hours switched in May to 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday which left only Saturday for me to drop off my packages. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, but I was using my weekends for production not delivery. So now I had to change my production schedule to weekdays which didn’t leave me enough  time to spend with my family or sleep. I end up having to change my shipping time frame from 3 to 5 days to 1 week to 2 weeks for my Etsy shop Cutesy Wootsy Creations in order to keep my production schedule for the weekends. Since I am a newcomer the shipping time frame change didn’t cause any downfalls within my Etsy Shop that I am aware of, but It gives my competitors an advantage if they are able to deliver faster.

This balancing act is not always easy, but very necessary to maintain order in your life. The question you should always ask yourself is “What am I willing to sacrifice?” In the above example I gave showed my family and sleep was becoming my sacrifice and that made me unhappy, so I decided to sacrifice my turnaround time in order to maintain balance and Happiness in my life. My turnaround time is important to me as well, but the extra time gives me a chance to make sure my product is made with perfection and I don’t feel rushed. I wish you much luck in finding the balance between your own company and 9 to 5 job. Happy Crafting and Balancing!

**** Update from my Last Posting Crafts, Etsy Shop, Home Decor Oh My! ****

My New Cupcake Wooden Picture Frame is currently listed in my Etsy Shop Cutesy Wootsy Creations

CupcakeFrame

Crafts, Etsy Shop, Home Decor Oh My!

Standard

This summer is already off to a good start. I started working on new craft ideas that I want to add to my Etsy shop CutesyWootsyCreation.  Also my Etsy shop had the biggest sale of 11 frames from one order in May. And last but not least, this past Saturday I found my new favorite item to base my kitchen decor around.

Houston, Texas summers are always filled with intense heat, usually trapping me inside my home.  But this summer I am taking advantage of my free time and bring new life to my Etsy Shop and Home Decor.  I feel it is always important to evaluate your business and see if you can improve in any way. Even though my sales in my Etsy shop started picking up in May, I knew it was time to refresh my shop and bring new products. I began by doing some research on Etsy website to see what others had in their shops and if they were finding success. Then I search online to see the popular styles and colors this season.  I find that vintage style, the chevron pattern, and cupcakes are here to stay for they’ve been around the past few seasons. So I am currently working on picture frames and a couple of new products that will combine the styles and colors I found.  Please be on the look out for my new products.

I also wanted to finally decorate my kitchen with a new look, but didn’t know where to start. I always envision Shabby Chic with a touch of vintage as my style. This past Saturday (June 14, 2014) I went to Micheal’s and they were having this awesome sale on garden accessories where I fell in love with this pedestal plant stand.  The regular price was $44.99 and I bought it for $13.50. Sure It’s probably meant to be use for plants, but I plan to use it to display my Cutesy Wootsy Creations products.

mynewfavitem I pray you find new ideas or refresh stale old ones this summer. Happy Crafting.

Preparing for your first Etsy Sale

Standard

As mentioned in my last posting Starting a Craft Business on Etsy I made my first sale this past December, but I was not prepared for shipping the item. You might ask yourself why were you not prepared for shipping when you are selling your product online? I am glad you asked.  I have to admit I procrastinated because my product was not selling and I thought I had time to gather all the needed supplies before I made my first sale. WRONG! When I was alerted about my first sale my excitement immediately turned into PANIC because I didn’t know where to start. I knew how to produce the product that was requested of course, but after the product was ready to be shipped I was not prepared. The first item I needed to purchase was a shipping box. I decided to go to the most obvious place in my mind which was  Office Depot. I thought Hey they have other supplies for the office why not boxes too. I found the shipping items aisle and located the corrugated boxes (brown or white shipping boxes) and then realize I didn’t know the size I needed for my product. So I quickly came up with the idea to find a picture frame or similar size item to match my product dimensions. I found an item that was similar and decided to purchase the 11 3/4  X 8 X 4 3/4 corrugated box for 1.49.

2014-01-22 11.56.19

I was shocked that  ONE box cost that much, but I didn’t have a choice I needed a box to ship my product. When I returned home I began getting my product ready to be shipped, to only be confronted with my next problem, I didn’t have bubble wrap or Kraft paper to protect my product within the shipping box. Come on why was my brain and common sense failing me in such desperate times.  This time I decided to go to Walmart  to find these items. After searching all over the store for shipping items I finally found the correct aisle which was near the crafting items. I gather the bubble wrap and Kraft paper, and then noticed the shipping tape and shipping labels that would also be needed for shipping my product. Then I saw that Walmart carried the exact same corrugated boxes that I bought at Office Depot, but for only 64 cents (price might be off a couple of cents). I gathered every box I saw and checked out.  Now I had all my needed shipping supplies and was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

2014-01-22 11.58.06

I followed the easy shipping directions on Etsy and was able to print out my shipping label to apply on my corrugated box. Finally I was ready to take my completed product to the post office. This was a great learning experience that taught me to always be prepared for the unexpected. So for all you newbies on Etsy or just any new business owners always have ALL the needed materials at hand to complete the entire business transaction. Happy Crafting!!

My Etsy Shop CutesyWootsyCreation

Starting a Craft Business on Etsy

Standard

I always wanted to start my own business, but was scared of failure. I always would make the following excuses: I don’t have enough money, I don’t have the right equipment, I don’t have enough time and the list went on and on causing more delay. Well last year I step out on faith and open an Etsy shop named CutesyWootsyCreation. My nerves were still on end while in the process of opening my shop, but I refuse to delay any further. I decided candles would be my first product to sale even though I was a beginner candle maker. This would be mistake number one of many. For those of you who are familiar with making candles, you understand the science of making a good candle is far from being easy. I was under the impression that all you had to do was follow the instructions on “How to make a candle” and produce a good candle. Boy was I wrong. Several candles later, I could only master a few strong scented candles to sale.

cupcakecandle

Even though I only had a small inventory to sale, I was excited that I was finally running my own business. I didn’t expect a rush of orders, but after days, weeks and then months passed by I begin to worry. The following questions ran through my head: Is the price to high?Do I need to advertise more on social media? Do I need more products to sale? I was beginning to doubt myself and my product. But this time I refuse to give up on myself or my business. So like with most businesses you have to regroup and regain new focus. I decided to add a new product, wooden custom frames.

babyshowerframegradframe bridalpartyframeanniversarymarriedframe

Within a month or less I finally made my first sale. They purchased a frame. I could have jumped to the moon and back with joy. Running a business of any kind take time to succeed. But with patience, faith, and an open mind you can make your dreams become your reality. Happy Crafting!

My Etsy Shop Link CutesyWootsyCreation

Happy New Craft Year

Standard

Happy New Craft Year! As with every New Year I always seem to bring along old craft projects from the following year. This year isn’t any different. I start these craft projects with good intentions of finishing them in a timely manner, but when a new craft idea enters my creative brain I begin that new project and never finish the previous one. This cycle never ends.  So I decided this year for my New Year’s Resolution I will finish at least five old craft projects from years prior. The first project I finish so for was my first Infinity Scarf on New Year’s Day.

infinityscarf

Infinity Scarf

I was very please with the results and look forward to completing more scarfs later this year.

The following are unfinished craft projects I pledge to finish in 2014:

notebook

Complete My First Children Book

dolls

Complete My Wooden Dolls

My Christmas Snow Globe

Complete My Snow Globe

Complete My Wooden Trucks

Complete My Wooden Trucks

One down, four more to go. So if you have any unfinished craft projects I dare you to take this same pledge with me and lets get these craft projects finish in 2014. Happy Crafting!

Wrapping Christmas Up

Standard

Christmas was wonderful and I am thankful for everything I received.  Through all the sweat and tears of creating crafts for my own personal use and to hand out as gifts I can say it was all worth it and I can’t wait until next year to do it all over again. One gift I received in particular that made me smile the most would be my brand new craft table.

Craft Table

One of my goals this year is to finally get my craft room together and this craft table will be the first step towards that goal.

craft room

After unwrapping all my gifts I discovered the wrapping from my gifts were presents as well.  I begin to gather all the tissue paper, ribbons, bows and gift bags to include them in my craft stash.

TissuepaperBagsBows

These items can be reused for other gifts or for craft projects such as the DIY candy wrapper ornament in my Christmas on a Budget  posting. Even the most crinkled tissue paper can be used as a stuffing in most craft projects.  You can also collect all the bows from your gifts to create a Bow Wreath for your Christmas decor next year. So before you throw away that wrapping paper think about how you can reuse it in your future crafts. Happy Crafting!

Spray Paint Mania

Standard

Hello, My name is Kenya and I am addicted to Spray Painting Everything! Okay maybe not everything, but I do see everything through my new spray painting eyes. As I mention in my first post “Christmas on a Budget” new Christmas decor can be very expensive, but with a can of spray paint you can give New Life to your Old Christmas Decor. Please be aware that all cans of spray paint are not created equally. Going for a cheaper no name brand might allow your project to look cheap as well and leaving your project with a sticky coating. I found that buying name brands such as Krylon gives my projects a well polished finish with a smooth coating. If you come across a can of spray paint that you dislike, you can still use it as a primer and then use a better can of spray paint to provide the look you are trying to achieve. This will allow you to stretch out your favorite can of spray paint by using less coats of paint. The following are brands that I like and dislike:

Cans of Spray Paint I Like ($3.25 -$4.00):

Image

Cans of Spray Paint I Dislike ($1.00 – $1.97):

Image

 

Below are a few samples of my Spray Painting Projects:

Before: Gold Deer, Blue Christmas Tree, and  Terracotta Pots

Image

After: Silver Deer, Pink Christmas Tree, and Pink Pots

Image

Before: Empty Wine Bottle

Image

After: Empty Wine Bottle

Image

Before: Gold Christmas Jingle Bell Tree

Image

After: Silver Christmas Jingle Bell Tree

Image

After spray painting my Christmas Jingle Bell tree I decided I wanted to add a splash of color, so I found some mini plastic Christmas ornaments at Micheal’s for 59 cents for 3 ornaments with wire (regular 1.99 with 70% off).

Image

After: Adding the Christmas ornaments

Image   Image 

Now you don’t have any excuses for not changing up your Christmas Decor. Just remember, when in doubt pull a can of spray paint out!! Happy Crafting!

Christmas on a Budget

Standard

Every Christmas I am excited to come up with a new Christmas theme besides the traditional red and green. Past Christmas themes has been “80′s going Crazy”, “Dragon Flies gone Wild”, and last year theme was “Birds, Birds, Birds”.  Coming up with each theme is fun, but could have been Very expensive if I was not crafty.  So I thought I would share some of my crafty ideas to save you some money when you want to change-up your Christmas Decor.

First lets start with the Christmas Tree. Last year I wanted something different besides the traditional tree. I thought about buying maybe a different color tree, but they were out of my budget. So I decided to think outside of the box and go outside in my mom’s backyard.  She allowed me to cut (She actually cut it) one of her unwanted branches from her Japanese Plum tree to use as my Christmas Tree.  The process of letting the tree dry out took about a month. Once the tree was completely dried out I took off the leaves and painted the tree white. I fell in love instantly.

Christmas Tree 2012-10-08 13.32.04 2012-10-22 13.29.08 2012-10-22 14.03.42 2012-11-17 13.29.28 2012-11-17 14.27.0420131206_234259

Now it is time to decorate. This year I decided my theme was going to be “Sugar Fairy Winter Wonderland”. I found a bag of various size and various shades of pink Christmas Bulbs at the thrift store for only $6.00. Then I decided to make my own Christmas Sugar Cookie ornaments using a Salt Dough Clay recipe.  The recipe was not the best, but my ornaments turned out beautiful. Then I wanted to add ornaments that looked like wrapped candies, but was running low on supplies so i decided to take some old plastic Christmas bulbs and wrap them with pink tissue paper (I bought mines at Dollar Tree 25 sheets for $1.00 or buy at Walmart 20 sheets for 97 cents)  and ribbons.

20131208_15154020131208_150531

Steps are simple and as followed:

Find a medium size Christmas Bulb:

20131208_15072420131208_150635

Cut the ribbon approximately 8 inches

20131208_151256

Cut the tissue paper approximately 8 X 10 inches

20131208_150427

Next wrap the tissue paper around the Christmas Bulb

20131208_151809

Then gather the ends and twist both ends equally

20131208_15192020131208_152017

Next tie the ribbons on both ends and then curl with scissors

20131208_15215420131208_15240920131208_152605

Then Place finish bulb on tree

20131208_152741

I hope you find these tips helpful and Fun. Please share your creative Christmas Decor tips in the comment area. Merry Christmas and Happy Crafting :-)

20131211_001030 20131211_001325 20131211_001440