Small Biz: Getting Started (and a free printable!)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Do the Best You Can Quote, Free Printable by Vitamini Handmade
I announced this blog series last week and I'm so excited to dive right in! I have lots of ideas for very specific topics but I don't want to get ahead of myself, so let's start at the very beginning!

So you have a great idea for a handmade business/podcast/blog/craft workshop/whatever. Now what?

Just Get Started

Yep, that's it. Just start! If there's one thing we all have in common it's that we all have to start somewhere. Usually that somewhere isn't glamorous or perfect or exciting, but it's somewhere. And that's all that matters.

I'll use my experience as an example: Back in 2007 I taught myself how to screen print and started making greeting cards. I thought, hey, people might want to buy these! Back then my plan back then was never to start a business, it was just to have fun and make a little money to support my new hobby. But either way, hobby or business, I had to get started! I opened an Etsy shop, snapped a couple pictures of my new cards, wrote a little description, guessed at a price, and clicked publish on the listing. And there it was! My creation was out in the world for people to see! So exciting! My first card sold within a couple of days and I was officially hooked, excited and ready to work on more products and designs and get other stuff listed.

Sounds great, right? Well, it wasn't as perfect as it sounded. My photos were bad. Terrible, even. I only had 2 products to choose from. I didn't know what my brand was, at all. I didn't have a logo. My prices were too low. Even though all of these things were "wrong" at the time, it's what got me started and gave me the energy to continue. And guess what? I learned everything else along the way! I learned how to take better photos, effectively price my products, focus my brand, and diversify my product line in these past 7 years of doing business. Honestly if I thought I had to have all of those things nailed down when I wrote my first listing I probably would've been too overwhelmed to ever start.

Do the Best You Can Quote, Free Printable by Vitamini Handmade Here are my do's and don'ts for helping you to just get started with a new creative endeavor.

  • Outline what needs to be done. What are the steps that will get you to your goal? Focus on the necessary ones, only.
  • Give yourself a deadline and stick to it!
  • Enlist a friend to help hold you accountable. Tell someone about your goals and ask them to check in with you about them. It'll be harder to procrastinate if you know someone's expecting you to deliver on your promises.
  • Quit thinking and start doing! Don't get stuck with analysis paralysis.
  • Don't get distracted by the details.
  • Don't feel like everything needs to be perfect.
  • Don't spend hours on end searching Pinterest.
I love this quote by Maya Angelou and think it's so fitting for starting something new, doing your best, and learning from it! I liked it so much I made a hand lettered printable for you! Download it right here if you'd like.

I'll continue this series of blog post with other topics, but please let me know if there's something specific you'd like to see covered here. Just leave a comment or send me an email. :) And have a great weekend!


Friday Finds 4.10.15

Friday, April 10, 2015

We made it to another Friday! How was your week? Mine was jam packed - I've been working on a bunch of new card designs over the past couple of weeks and finished making the final adjustments the other day. I've already made the screens with the designs and now I'm anxious to get them all printed so I can share! I'll be spending some quality time in front of my printing table over the next few days. I'm also planning to take a little road trip to visit a friend this weekend and I'm looking forward to the break since I usually work on the weekends. Anyway, enough of me! I've noticed lots of fun and colorful stuff on the web this week that I thought you would appreciate as well:
Zipper photo from my Instagram feed. Follow me there to see what I'm up to, or to just look at Baci's puppy pics. :) Have a great weekend!


Small Biz: A New Blog Column

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Small Biz Series by Vitamini Handmade

I've had the idea for this in my head for a while and I'm finally ready to make it real. I'm so excited to announce a brand new blog column! For those of you who don't know my background, I started selling my handmade greeting cards and housewares on Etsy in January of 2008. At the time I had no plans of turning that venture into a job, it was just a fun side project to help fund my craft supply shopping. Seven years later and my handmade business, this blog, and freelance gigs make up my career. I've learned so much along the way and have had the pleasure to meet so many inspiring people who are paving their own path and making careers from their creative pursuits. So I introduce my new column, Small Biz. It will have two parts:

Small Biz Tips

After starting my business from scratch 7 years ago (and this blog 4 years ago) I've learned quite a bit and have a few tips and tricks for how I do things. I really want to share those things with you! I'll also be lining up guest posts from other makers, bloggers, and creative business people so they can share their knowledge as well. You won't want to miss this column if you're looking to start, develop, and improve your own small business!

Small Biz Spotlight

I'll be featuring small business owners, sharing their craft, and a little behind the scenes looks at their work spaces. There's so much great stuff being made by really cool people right now. I want to share some of that great stuff and introduce you to the cool people making it!

Come back next week for my first post of the series.


Happy Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter to you, my friends! I've been catching up on work this week and also trying to get over a cold, so I'll be taking it easy and eating lots of candy. :)

If you're looking for a last minute project, I have lots of good ones in the archives! See all of the Easter DIYs from years past right here.

*Photo of Mary Tyler Moore surrounded by bunnies via Mitch O'Connell


DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs With Easter so close to April Fool's Day this year I thought it would be fun to come up with a little practical joke from the Easter Bunny. These eggs will practically disappear in the Easter basket because of their funny Easter grass camouflage. They're cute on their own, too, almost like colorful cocoanut macaroons, in egg form.

I used Easter grass (basket filler) for this project, but you could use real grass clippings instead for outdoor egg hunts. It would be perfect for older kids and adults who are looking for an extra challenge. Hide the best prizes in the camouflaged eggs!

Here's what you'll need:
DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs
  • Easter grass - I used opaque pink, transparent green, and yellow paper grass
  • Plastic eggs in the same colors as the grass
  • Thick glue - I used Tacky Glue but regular white glue would work, too
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
Grab a handful of grass and trim it into a bowl. Cut varying sizes with the largest about 3/4" long.
Open up an egg and brush the glue onto one side. Lay it in the bowl of the grass trimmings and cover all of the exposed glue. Repeat with the other side of the egg, making sure not to get glue on the seam. Let dry.
DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs
That's it! Fill them with prizes and hide them in Easter baskets. I had to take pictures of them on different colored grass because they blended in so well they practically disappeared!
DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs

DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs

DIY Sneaky Easter Eggs

Cute, clever, and so easy! I know my 6 year old niece will get a kick out of these on Easter. I hope you'll make a few! Happy April Fool's Day!

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