Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CCE Notes From CraftyOrange

Today's post is a guest post from SF Etsy member Miyuki of CraftyOrange who attended this past weekend's Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs. Enjoy!

Hi all,
I cannot tell you how educational it was to go to CCE. I also had a BLAST meeting all the creative people there! There were a lot of interesting panels about everything from monetizing your blog, to how to get into an art gallery. I would definitely recommend going next year if you get a chance. Anyone will learn something whether you've been in business for years, or if you are just thinking about it.

How to Build A Successful Online Business with Ashley Jennings, Steph Cortes, Kelly Jones, Christiana Coop, and Willo O'Brien

Since I went all three days, I thought I would just go over some key ideas that have stuck with me.

- Say yes. This kept popping up in a bunch of panels/seminars. Saying yes to crafting opportunities will lead to other opportunities.

- You're probably underpriced. Grace Dobush and Marlo Miyashiro had a whole discussion on pricing, and how most crafters underprice themselves. The formula they recommend is overhead+cost of materials+your hourly labor X mark-up (which is usually 1.5 or 2)=WHOLESALE PRICE. This was really an eye opener because I didn't even think about wholesaling. To get the retail price, you double the whole sale price. Marlo said that if it's scary, and you don't think you're doing it right, you probably are doing it right.

Grace Dobush, author of Crafty Superstar, giving a lesson on creating customer profiles

- If you're going to email magazines, retailers, etc. about your product, be sure to put an interesting subject line. No one is going to open an email that says "Product for magazine review".

How to Build a Creative Mission with Marlo Miyashiro, Jeff Rudell, Danielle Maveal, and Lisa Congdon

- Be yourself. I think both Danielle Maveal and Jaime Zollars said this. People buy from Etsy because someone made it. They don't want to look at a product description that says "This product…..". They want to hear the story behind why you made it. It's important to be genuine and yourself in person too, like Jaime talked about. Being real and genuine will provide you with a lot more opportunities because people will remember you.

These are only four topics out of a hundred, and I didn't even go to all the sessions. It was a blast meeting all of you folks that were there this weekend, and I definitely hope to run into you all again.

-Miyuki from CraftyOrange

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!


DaughterEarth said...

I attended CCE too. I feel like the "Saying YES" and the "FOCUS" were too conflicting messages I got from the conference. I say yes, or try to do everything, but it makes it harder to focus and do a good job on everything.

Any suggestions on that!

Anonymous said...

Nice takeaways Miyuki. I left with similar messages repeating in my head along with just a ton of inspiration.

Katy (DaughterEarth), My response to your conflict is say yes to the opportunities that fit your mission or focus. That's what I left with. Be true to who you are and what you really want to do, then say yes to the opportunities that fall into that realm and excite you.

One of the quotes I took from Forming a Creative Mission was, "There is always space for the right client if you say no to the wrong ones."

nerd JERK said...

You have a point there: saying YES to everything can create a lack of FOCUS. But I feel the answer possibly lies within the question itself.

Saying YES to different opportunities with a FOCUS in mind has always been the best use of our time. A good example might be volunteer opportunities. We are all pretty busy crafting, so it doesn't leave a ton of free time to devote to other responsibilities. However, if you can volunteer at a local event, you open yourself up to a myriad of opportunities!

I.e. You help out at a workshop and someone starts up a conversation on "What do YOU do?" Suddenly, you're talking about yourself to a stranger and have a potential lead into a whole new network. Maybe they know people who are after something that you're good at. Or maybe you even get asked to help LEAD the workshop next time.

The point being that is you keep yourself open for opportunities (and flexible to the possibility of doing something you hadn't expected to be doing), you're able to magnify your outreach to your community and therefore the world! ;)

A bit of advice? When contemplating on saying YES in these new situations, ask yourself: a) how it benefits you, b) how it benefits your community and c) are you excited about it? If you can find good reasons to do it, go for it!

<3 - Steph from nerd JERK

Kim Franklin said...

Thanks so much for sharing that info... Steph... totally great point, a lot of people forget about using a good variety of ways to get your name out there by working in the community without pay, if you are a part of the community teaching at local libraries, coffee shops etc. you can get the name and work out there!

- Much love, Trashy Crafter Kim

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