Getting Back on Track

Just wanted to pop in for a quick update!

The day job is still stressful but now for a more positive reason. Without going into great detail, there have been some changes in staffing that has really helped to make the work environment so much more positive! It’s sad but I have to say that I actually like my job again! I am still stressed but now more because of all the work we have ahead of us and the energy it takes and not so much because of one person that’s bringing down the whole team. So yay!

As for my “fun” job, I’m getting back on track with Etsy business which is always nice. I’ve realized that I’m sticking to somewhat of a schedule nowadays. Brady is usually in bed by 8:30 p.m. and thank goodness for wireless internet and the baby Mac so I can get some work done upstairs. It’s typically right before our bed time that I go to the shop and do another posting or relisting, check out the blog, and answer emails, etc.

I read one of those “Quit Your Day Job” interviews on Etsy (can’t remember which artist it was) and one thing say said was how important it was to continuously create new items. This really struck me because I’m great at relisting, but not so much with creating new things. I get on a kick some days and get a whole bunch of new things created and then the spurt goes away. I was thinking about my buying habits and I realized that if a place like The Gap (one of my favorite stores!) always had the same thing each time I came to the store, I would probably stop going there after a while. I realized my customers probably feel the same way – stop by the shop, see the same things, and go on to the next who may have listed some new things.

So…I’m determined to list 3-5 new things each month. I started this month and I’ve noticed that my number of hearts have steadily increased since. Not only that, creating new things has me always thinking about the shop in the back of my head and everywhere I look now it seems I see inspiration for a new product.

That’s all for now – hope to post a new “Take 5” interview soon!

New Product – Notebook/Stationery Gift Set

Check out one of the new products in the shop!

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The set includes a medium notebook, 3 blank flat notecards, 3 envelopes, 3 stickers/envelope seals, and last but not least 2 binder clips. All the items have matching patterned paper – this one in Amy Butler.

I loved putting this set together! There is another one in the shop in another pattern but I’m looking forward to putting more sets together.

Get yours here!

A Keepsake Couture Giveaway on iLashGirls.com

Happy Monday!

Leigh Anne and Sherra from iLashGirls.com contacted me through Etsy recently and asked if I would be interested in taking part in a blog giveaway. Their website is “a gathering place for women by women.” One look at their site and I knew I had to do it!

So…check out the post here. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment at the bottom of their blog post for Keepsake Couture by midnight PST, Friday, January 9th. Three (yes, three!) winners will be chosen at random on Saturday, January 10th.

Good luck!

Year End Wrap Up

January 2nd of every year is always the busiest for me as I try to wrap up all book keeping activities for the previous year.

Wrapping up 2007 last year was a little rocky – I has just started KC and still trying to figure out what I needed/wanted to track and how to best do it. It was then that I decided to make a new, all-encompassing worksheet that divied everything up by categories (as selected by me and some by my tax preparer) to track all my spending from craft supplies, shipping supplies, shipping costs, etc. It is one big worksheet!

So today I”ve spend the day wrapping up the numbers for 2008. Some conclusions I’ve come to so far are:

  • I nearly doubled my anticipated expenses for the year. Wow – this is not good. (But there’s a good explanation for this – see below.)
  • Of my total yearly dollars spent, over 55% of it was dedicated to technology type items, i.e. my trusty old Dell had crashed in the spring and I had to get a new computer…and another one…and a new printer. Not to mention the software I needed to get going. (See, I told you I had a good explanation!) This total alone nearly explains why my expense budget nearly doubled.
  • The other larger percentages weren’t all that large – 11.13% on craft supplies (patterned paper, card stock, chipboard, spirals, etc.) The third largest category was shipping costs which came in at 6.38%

I’ve decided that for the upcoming year, I’ll go by the budget I had set for 2008 and I don’t think I’ll have a problem sticking to it, given that I don’t have anymore computer problems.

I’m excited because over the past 1.5 years I’ve acquired so much stuff and I’m looking forward to actually USING those things instead of shopping for more, which should help out tremendously with overall costs!

Happy accounting to all!

A Treasury Feature from Sassa Lynne

I got a nice convo on Etsy from Myfawny to let me know that she’s featured one of the KC planners in her last treasury blog post of 2008! Thanks Myfawny! Check out the blog post here!

Sassa Lynne Blog

I Want to Quit My Day Job!

I’m sure this is every crafter’s dream, is it not?

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love what I do for a living. I’m actually using the degrees I worked hard to attain and I have a job that I like. Also, I get to have a personal life with this job which is not how it’s always been. I used to be on email by 6:30 a.m., in the office by 8:00 a.m., then home about 7:00 p.m. only to get back on the computer about 9:30 p.m. At this job, I actually get to go home at 5:00 p.m. and not have to worry about it until the next morning. Simply put – it is fabulous! I get to go home and spend time with the fam and work on KC stuff.

But that’s simply not good enough. It would be amazing to be able to stay home, do this full time and make a decent living out of it. I stayed home last year for about 3 months before the baby was born and had the opportunity to work on Keepsake full time and I really enjoyed it. The down side was that I hated to spend any money because I felt that I wasn’t bringing enough in.

This has been a good year for KC – my  best to date. I think the fact that I’ve really honed in on what I want the product line to be has helped so much with finances. I’m not going paper-happy and buying everything that I like. Instead, I look at everything twice and make sure that I have a project in mind before splurging. (There is no doubt that paper is my weakness!)

So…with finances is double check, I’m looking forward to someday quitting my day job! Hopefully next year I’ll be able to come out with my own designs adorning some fabulous notebooks and be able to go from there.

First things first – I need to school up on some Photoshop and Illustrator! I would appreciate any tips you would care to share. 🙂

I’m still here!

Oh my goodness (head hanging low). I’m so ashamed of my extremely long absence! All is well but it has just been very busy lately.

As you know, my son came into the world in January and he has kept me and my husband very busy. And any time that we have for ourselves, well, we just end up spending it on lovin’ on the little guyanyway.

So Keepsake Couture and the blog took a weensy break for the late summer and most of the fall. This time last year was when I started the company and shortly thereafter started the blog and what a difference a year can make! Being at home and pregnant last year gave me so much creative time and that is probably what I miss the most. This year, I’m back at a full-time job then home to love on the baby which has really limited my time to spend on crafting.

The season started off with a craft fair at Fishers High School – the only one I do all season and it went really well. It was the right crowd and I felt like my products really fit in well overall. The nice thing was whatever didn’t sell went up on my Etsy shop giving it some new items just in time for the holidays.

Then came (and went) Black Friday and I had our first ever holiday sale which discounted all items by 10%. I was really happy with the number of orders during the sale and will definitely plan on doing it again next year.

So here we are looking at Christmas in just two weeks. Can you believe it?!? I haven’t even sent my Christmas cards yet so that’s the project for the free time that I get here and there.

But I do promise to be back more often on the blog. The only difference will be the number of pictures that I’ll be able to put in the postings – I’m in need of Photoshop for my Mac. Thank you so much for checking back frequently and staying in step with me! I appreciate you!