Tag Archives: business

Featured Project: Croc Clutch

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Yeah, that’s right. I’m starting another Featured Project. Something about knowing when to fold ’em and whatnot. Truth is, I’ve put my dress off for way too long, and with Fall right around the corner, I’ve no more reason to pursue any more pretty Summer dresses. For now.

No, now I’m getting on track with this clutch that’s been giving me all sorts of trouble. I’m making it out of some thick polyvinyl-like croc material, and my sewing machine hasn’t taken to it very well. So far I’ve read that I can combat this issue in two ways.

  1. Use a sewing machine needle meant for leather while sewing with the exterior material.
  2. Use interfacing to help the material slide during machine-sewing.

I found these tips on this very helpful post by Christine  of Chris W. Designs, which has helped me learn more about sewing with thick materials such as faux-leather and vinyl.

So this week I’ll be cranking out my croc clutch version 2. This time I’ll be using the same materials from my first draft, but with the newly acquired knowledge from the aforementioned post, and basically make a little crocodile muslin. Also, my machine has been cleaned and oiled very recently, so hopefully version 2 will be a very informative rough draft with version 3 being Shubette Handmade-quality.

Tomorrow, however, my mom is taking Brad and me back to Ohio to pick up our Jeep! I’m glad it’s finally fixed. We had our little accident over a month ago now, and I’m excited to finally get our wings back. Thanks for reading, internet!

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My New Year’s Resolution: A Mid-Year Review

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Hello there! At the beginning of this year, I wrote this post regarding my new year’s resolution. In it, I basically stated these two key points:

  1. Open my creative business. Status: Achieved! (Sort of) I listed my very first item in my etsy shop, therefore declaring Shubette Handmade open for business!
  2. Make and list a new item every week. Status: Abandoned/Failed. Very early on I realized that this exercise would not be a good move to make for my business. I wanted to put quality time and so much thought into my projects, and one week to design and construct a new product didn’t seem like enough.

My main idea was just to put myself out there. The more I make, the more people will see, the more my business will grow…right? Shortly after(I did say somewhere in the previously mentioned post that I’m rather fickle) I decided that I don’t want to make crap. I wanted the items that I would be making and selling to be of the utmost quality. I didn’t think I could provide that kind of quality and I let this keep me from making anything for fear that it would not be good enough.

So here are my Resolution Amendments:

  1. Sew every day. If I want to sell items that I sew, I need to keep my skills sharp. I should be doing some sort of sewing-related activity every day. I certainly have enough projects piled up to work on at least one thing for an hour a day, even if I’m just doing something trivial like pre-washing and ironing my fabric.
  2. Sew better. This goal is inherent to the primer. If I’m putting in the hours and the effort I will get better at what I’m doing.

Looking back, I’m starting to feel like all of my blog posts are about doing it better and making it happen, but none are about me doing and making. I’m realizing that my blog is not as big of a priority to making my business happen as making things and improving my skills before I start my business is. This business is my goal, and I’m not going to mess this up.

Resources for Blogging

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“Countess Nákó blogging, after Friedrich von Amerling” by Mike Licht on flickr

Hey, fellow bloggers! In my effort to make my blog a better place, I’ve been digging up some resources on design, content, productivity, and sponsor information. While I may not be ready to tackle all of these things at once, I thought it would be a great idea to share some of my favorite blogging resources with you and put these out there for my own reference! Since my blog focuses on a few things, such as my lifestyle, crafts, my creative business, fashion, design, and pretty much whatever I can think of, I’ve chosen some articles and videos from blogs that fall into a few different categories and that are written by some bloggers that I really love. Let’s get started!

Two of my favorite bloggers ever, Elycia from Love, Elycia and Chantilly of My Girl Thursday have teamed up to make some very helpful vlogs that address some questions you may have about blogging. A few of my favorite are:

I think the reason I appreciate these videos so much is that you can really tell that these girls are blog-reading-bloggers. At one point, Elycia says that she was blogging for almost a year before reaching out in the blogging community. This really resonates with me as I have a hard time being social, and I hope to be able to use my blog to really branch out someday. While we’re on the subject of Elycia, though, she has another great post on her blog in which she gives you a peek at how she organizes her Blog Planner! I certainly love learning about another’s creative process!

If you’re more interested in blogging about fashion, then you may want to check out the expansive community on heartifb.com. This blog is filled with TONS of information that applies to more than just “Independent Fashion Bloggers.” Here’s a few great posts to get you hooked:

If you’re more of an “I-want-to-promote-my-creative-business-through-my-blog” type of blogger, then Handmadeology.com is for you. Instead of crawling through the Handmadeology archives for a relevant list of links, they already have one prepared for you: Your Blog Promotion Checklist!

Of course, maybe you’re a fan of A Beautiful Mess and would like some tips from someone who has been at this for awhile now. If so, you might be interested in:

I am also a huge fan of Meagan Visser, a very busy creative business entrepreneur and coach, and head of MeaganVisser.com. She has a great post on her site, 5 Ways to Make Your Business Blog Brilliant and has written a wonderful guest post on Oh My! Handmade titled Make Your Blog Bloom With Loyal Readers.

So let’s say you want less jabber and a little more info on how to do-it-yourself? Then maybe you’ll be inspired by The Blog Stylist, with a very extensive list of Blogging Resources.

And last, but certainly not least, I’ve started a new board on Pinterest to quench my neverending thirst for blogging knowledge, Blogging 101. Be sure to check this out and feel free to follow me for more links to some great blogging resources!

Thanks for reading! Are there any resources you’d like to share that are meant to aid and inspire other bloggers?

What’s Next?

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Hey there, internet. I realize it’s been nearly a month since my last post, but it’s summertime and construction work is really picking up. Brad and I are making enough money to put some away, but making time for crafting and maintaining the blog has been a little difficult with most of my supplies being 400 miles away.

Anywho, I have been putting a decent amount of effort into getting organized, so once I get to spend some time at home with a few days off to kill you’ll get to see the results of my scary-closet-corner-to-awesome-crafting-space makeover.

Also, I’ve got tons of ideas lined up for Shubette(this blog as well as my shop-to-be), including some pretty interesting blog features, tips, tidbits, and some really handy products that you’ll someday see in the shop. You’ll most definitely want to stay tuned – especially this coming Winter, when the construction work is out of season.

Aaaand, last but not least, shoot me an email if you feel you’ve got something to contribute. I’m not only looking for advice, but also an additional blogger to help maintain some things around here while I’m away from home and some insight into the business end of…well, my future business. Thanks for sticking around, internet.

Discovering Marketing

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Sorry about the late post, folks! Life’s been fairly hectic over the past two weeks. My boyfriend and I got ourselves a car(that we’re still trying to fix) and relocated to his parents’ house(and aren’t entirely moved in yet), so I’ve been just a little bit caught up in the work we’ve got to get done.

Fortunately, that’s not what I’m here to ramble about today. Rather, I’d like to introduce you, readers, to an awesome little resource that has really opened up new worlds for aspiring small business owners like myself. What I’m referring to are these excellent Free Marketing Courses sent straight to your email from Naomi Dunford, creator of IttyBiz. Don’t worry, guys – there’s no spam in this.

These courses are tailored to your specific marketing needs, whether you’re a blogger, a geek, an artist, a writer, or just anybody looking to learn a thing or two about the basics of marketing. All you have to do is decide what kind of person you are and what you’re looking to achieve, and then provide your email address. Personally, I thought “Marketing for Designers and Other Artsy Fartsy Types” was right for me. I could’ve also selected “Marketing for Bloggers: How to Get More Asses in the Seats”. There are quite a few translations of these texts just waiting to be interpreted by business owners like you and me. I’m sure you’ll find the one that’s made just for you.

After you’ve signed up, you’ll receive an email every other day for ten days, each covering a different aspect of the marketing world. Each email contains some very useful advice, some points to consider, some questions to ask yourself about your own business, and occasionally a task for you to complete for your own good. Not only will you learn a thing or two about marketing, but through these exercises you’ll discover a few things you didn’t know about your own itty business. I won’t go into much more detail than that; you’ll just have to hear what Naomi has to say for yourself. Be sure to check it out, internet!

Oh, and over the past few days I started receiving some more emails from Naomi, a continuation of these awesome lessons. Just saying, if you enjoy them as much as I did, I hope you’re in the mood for some extra credit. Thanks for reading.