Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning curve

Well that was less than successful. There were only three responses to the poll I posted last week concerning online purchasing. Guess I have to take partial responsibility for the lack of results -- anyone who's part of the "blog feed" process only sees the latest posting, not the full blog. To get access to the survey, they would have had to go to the url. Live and learn.

Bottom line, I think I'll have to keep researching. If you have any suggestions, I'd welcome your feedback. Feel free to email me directly if you don't want to post a comment on the blog. BTW, I've completed a few projects using a new tool I picked up several weeks ago. Should be able to post some new pics within the next few days. Enjoy the warmer weather.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feedback time

I'm looking at different ways to make it easier for everyone to buy my accessories. To help with the research process, I've added a simple survey --- please scroll to the bottom of the page. Would love to get the feedback of the people who have been visiting my blog. Response is anonymous so don't worry that participating in the survey means you've made a purchasing commitment. The survey will be up for a week until May 22 and I'll definately share the results with you. The questions are pretty basic but if you have additional remarks you'd like to make, please feel free to either to comment on this posting or email me privately.

Thanks in advance for your help. Look forward to hearing your views. Enjoy the Victoria Day holiday weekend if you're in Canada.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lessons learned

Haven't done any posts for more than a week since I've been busy a) writing an exam, b) finishing 2008 tax prep, and c) on the Bead Bop tour. The last activity was definately the most interesting: five local (Ottawa Valley) independent bead shops worked together for a nine-day event to generate new traffic for their businesses. For a nominal fee, partipants each got a "passport" a map, various free gifts, and the chance to participate in door prize draws as they visited each location. Most of the shops had "make & take" activities or special visiting artisans as an attraction. The two pics I've included today are what I made from the bags of beads each location gave to this year's boppers. My Bead Bop bracelet has about 100 grams of beads -- and I only got to four out of five locations.

This was a great idea, actually, and as a hobbyist, I hope they plan to repeat the exercise next year. Not only was it a good opportunity for exposure to some new ideas, it was also a learning tool about smart ways to do business -- or not. While price is a consideration, it's not the only factor that determines where someone shops. Treat a customer with respect and they'll likely be back. Treat them with contempt -- what do you think?

What impressed me most was how one shop used the opportunity to earn my business. I've already been back once after the initial visit and will continue to do so in future. On the flip side, I'll probably avoid the location where staff was cold and the bead giveaway was "inappropriate". (Tip for the organizers: It's better to give nothing at all than something that leaves an negative impression. Filling a bag with wire scrap, broken beads and other trash says something about your attitude to potential customers.)

That's all for now. Happy Mother's Day to all.

You have to start somewhere

Q. When does a hobby stop being a hobby?
A. When you no longer continue the activity for pure enjoyment.

That being said, I’m a hobbyist who enjoys creating. My current interest is mostly jewellery – glass beads, metal, natural stone and minerals. I get a kick learning a technique or working with a medium I haven’t tried before. The problem is what do I do with all the items I’ve made. My solution is this blog.

I’d rather see the bracelets, necklaces et al find a home with someone who will enjoy wearing them as much as I did making them. If I can cover my costs as well, then I can afford to keep trying new projects without going broke. Sounds good in theory. Hope it works.

Look forward to hearing from you by email if you see something you like or have questions.