Saturday, November 12, 2016

New Name ........New Start

Yes I changed my name .........again.  I just keep trying to find my identity.  Let's see if this time I am on the right track.  Just need to get somthing in the shop to sell.  Maybe a teddy.........

Friday, November 11, 2016

That's the way the cookie crumbles

I understand business.  I understand having a brand, a logo, an identity.  I have done my research about being unique but recognisible.  If you have followed me of late, you will know I have not been productive or even sold anything online.  Basically, I know it is a fear of failure.  My nightmare is I proudly send an item to a buyer, and they scrutinise it and decide to send it back because they see a fault in it that I did not.  But I want to sell online.  And very very slowly I have set up an Etsy shop, started on instagram and am trying to keep my blog alive - Facebook is my downfall - I have 48 friends.  Don't laugh.  I am just a bit agaist everyone knowing personal stuff.  But I know Facebook is an excellent way to promote your business.  I know I need social media, but it take ages and ages to keep it up to date.  Well for me anyway.

So here is my dilemma.  As much as I like this name "Little Me Handmade" and I had a real vision for the brand and identity it is with great sadness that I will have to abandon it.
This year a new doll maker has stepped up and is actively selling on Etsy and regularly posts to instagram.  Thast's how I discovered LittleMeClothdolls.

This is a dollmaker in Australia (East Coast - I am Southern Australia) who has chosen a name so close to mine it is obvious there may be confusion.  I don't want to be mistaken for her, and I am sure she does not want to be mistaken for me.   But surely she did a search before she chose her name to see if it was too similar.  Yes, I did have my name first, on Etsy.  But I have not been active.  She is.
She makes cloth dolls and related stuff.  My name is not registered or copyrighted, I just thought it would be a good name for my handmade items and it related to the things I liked when I was little,

To be honest, when I wanted that name and searched, I found a Little Me business, but it was children's clothing - not dolls.
So I thought I could use my name to make dolls and teddies and stuff.
Now there is another dollmaker with the name Little Me.  If it were not dolls that would have been okay.  If it was not Australia, that would have been okay.

So my only option is to find a new name.  It's not that simple.  I don't want my name - it's too ordinary.   So keep your eye on this space.  There will be some changes made.

Monday, October 24, 2016

To sell or not to sell

 So here is my dilemma.  I have dolls that I did not sell at the markets and I think I will put them on my Etsy site.
They are just calico (muslin) cloth and felt with safety eyes.

 They are quite cute and easy and quick to make now I have worked out the fastest way to put them together.  I just don't know how Etsy will work.  Some people don't have much traffic or sales, and the reality is that I would be very happy to just make and sell dolls online.  But, but, but will this be a successful venture.  I won't know unless I try.  If you have some experience with Etsy and advice, it would be much appreciated.
This little doll is a vinyl OOAK by doll maker Margaret Leonard here in South Australia.  I purchased this dear little elf at the Hahndorf doll show, but despite how cute he is................I don't want him.  Not at all.  So I will have to sell him too.  I may have to put him on Ebay because I did nto make him and he is not anything like I make, so he is not for my Etsy shop.
This mermaid I made in a class with Pam Grose from Western Australia.  She is about 60cm long with a wire armature and collon lycra skin painted in acrylics.  She is also not my knid of doll.  Learning the techniques was a great experience and Pam Grose had to be the most relaxed and friendly dollmaker I had ever met.  She is amazing and talented and so willing to share what she knows.
So now I just need to make the time to list these items and release them to someone else who will appreciate them.  When I have worked out the listings I will share the links

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I may be back .............again .....I think

Hi everyone - anyone who is still watching and waiting.
I have been missing for quite a while.  But life happens and sometimes you have to take a break and regroup and decide what is important and what you need in your life.

I have always tried to keep to subject and always add a photo with my posts.  This time I will just do a "talkie".  Without getting all personal, I will just say that there have been a lot of changes in my life, sort of the rug pulled out from under me stuff.  It was not an illness or an accident, it was just unavoidable change of circumstances which I was unprepared for.

The last 15 years I have happily played around with doll making and working with my husband and having lots of free time to do as I pleased.  Last year our business had to shut down, we sold our house and moved to the country.  Malcolm and I had to find jobs to earn a living and I was miserable.
Well I was miserable but in the midst of all that, I decided I could sell my dolls and teddies at the local market to make some money.  It was my saviour.  Admittedly, I sold my stuff really, really cheap.............really cheap, just to get a sale.  But you have no idea, how wonderful it is for you to make something, put it out for the public to see, and people tell you how clever you are and how beautiful your work is.  Then they give you money for it!!

All the other stall holders are so kind and friendly.  If you are reading this and have ever wondered if you could sell at a market, you must try it. And it is one of those situations where we can all help each other.  My first day it became very windy, and the wind was nearly blowing my tent down.  Wal across from me saw my problem and offered me his side panel to attach to the tent.  He saved the day!  One of the other stall holders fell in love with one of my dolls, and she was the first to buy from me.  That was such a kind gesture for a newbie.

 I have to say, I was so lucky, I just put all my dolls on a display table, put up a few banners and it took me about 10 minutes.  Some of the other stall holders had to arrive and hour earlier to set up because they have so much stuff.  I think because I had a unique item to sell I was accepted very quickly, I was able to work 2 markets if I wanted to, but I kept selling out of stock.  I couldn't make things quick enough, especially the types of dolls I make.  And the teddies I sold were all jointed so it was a lot of work and I really struggled to keep up.  But despite that I loved it.  I would be sewing up teddies or little cardigans while I waited for someone to stop and look.  I never had a day where I did not sell anything, and believe me, it was nerve wracking because I didn't even have the money for the stall site ($20 per day)   - so I had to sell something, and I always did.

I really want to thank each and every person who bought from me, because at that time those purchases literally put bread on the table.  I am truly thankful.

But the reality was that I was not earning enough.  I applied for work locally, but at my age I am starting to be overlooked for the younger ones.  It is not supposed to be like that and many would deny it, but I know my age was a factor.  I did not even get to the interview stage.  So I tried a long shot and found work 2 days a week back in the city.  We were living one and a half hours drive from the city, but I could do that just 2 days a week.  Long story short, I got more days work and I could not do the markets and the travel back and forth became a nightmare - Malcolm also had work in the city.  So we made the decision to come back to Adelaide and start all over again.  I am still working 4 days a week, and no time for dolls or bears or markets ............but I have to nuture the creative side of me, and I am going to start making again.  I have my etsy shop and I will be setting up sales very soon.  My ultimate plan is to get back to making and selling (on line) and then if I am on the right track, give up my day job.  I don't know how long it will take me, but I am going to try.
Wish me luck