This going into business for yourself is hard!

Well, I guess I should NOT use the term “business” as the evil state Commonwealth of “Vir. gin. ia” may take issue with that and gouge me for their share.

Perhaps I should say, selling my homemade “crafts” online…  IS HARD!

{ WARNING:  Click only if you have time to read a long and rambling post. }

It has taken me, literally, one hour to print shipping labels.  ONE HOUR!  I’d forgotten how to do it.  Then I made a (horror of horror) horrible discovery.  People are NOT clicking the appropriate selection from the selector list on my store page.  I put “carefully select from the drop down menu” in the description, yet a lot of people are not looking beyond that first selection.

I got my clue when one of my customers picked Poster 1, but wrote in the ordering notes: “I want the “Kenilworth” Poster.  The Kenilworth poster is Poster 2. Oh nos!!!!! I hope everyone noticed this (I’m looking at you, P, cuz you are getting Poster 1, girlfriend) 🙂 (just email me if you want it changed)

So, you know what that means: Worse fears realized:  ANGRY CUSTOMERS!!!!

(Ed. Naturally, I’m blaming you for this, K)  “Kenilworth-Smenilworth!” 😉

I have since made it clearer on my webpage.  I so hope I get this stuff right because I do want to do my best.

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One other thing I’ve noticed since I started “making crafts”: I have no time for myself (I haven’t eaten dinner in three days).  Writing this blog post is on borrowed time as it is.

Right now, I NEED to be somewhere else.  I need to be at Printer One.  Just got back from Printer Two.  Printer Two does my custom design work… custom design work is only done at special request and is ONLY printed on heavyweight paper (more about that in a second).

Printer One prints the regular posters.  The problem, Printer One is super swamped right now.  Last week I could walk in and pretty much get instant service.  Last night when I walked in it was all about, “Can you just leave your thumbdrive and come in tomorrow to pick up?”

Pick up?  PICK UP? That would entail me leaving the store with nothing in my hands.  And when one has nothing in ones hands, that means that one is not getting their inner-control-freak fed and inner-control-freaks are not usually happy when they are hungry.

Printer Two… oh, I just LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! them!  Great service, recognition when you walk in, everybody happy, happy (Hello, it’s a Mom & Pop operation, that’s why!)  Unfortunately, Printer Two’s printing process for my regular posters don’t provide the deep, dark, black coverage that I require. (they tried, they really did, but way too many speckles… and speckles equal angry customers… and as you know, I am scared of angry customers)

Printer One prints beautiful black on regular bond, and their premium printing on heavyweight bond is great as well.  However, their premium printer is way too expensive (I’m talking tres expensivo… I’m talking selling an organ expensive… even to print my custom prints… which brings me to what I’ve been waiting to share with you… I have a new poster!!!

Wait for it, wait for it…

The Northanger Abbey poster!

Here’s a sneek peek!

That’s all I’m showing for now.  This “custom” Limited-Edition (very, very limited) version is already spoken for (there will eventually be a regular, but different NA version for my store) and it is going to a certain Northanger Abbey lover (who we all know and love).  However, I print all my posters 2-UP (printer speak for printing two items in one printing pass)  So, there is another poster… just sitting here… collecting dust.

I’m going to do something very, very special with it.  So stay tuned! 😀

Well, got to run.  V. hungry!

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5 thoughts on “This going into business for yourself is hard!

  1. God you are soooo right about this! I occasionally sell art and photography and its a pain in the @*&$#!! I have friends who have their own online stores and its time consuming stuff. I sympathize big time. But keep it up!

  2. Oh, I am enjoying it, but I was really, really, REALLY naive about going into the art business. My main concern this week was getting the shipping tubes on time, (that was the least of my worries)

    I never knew how wrong the proofing process can go. Here I am relying on my printer to give me consistent quality, and he was, for about two days. This batch of posters I picked up tonight had streaks in them. (And guess which one, THE KENILWORTH POSTER!!!!) I had to reject a crap load of them. I never figured that into the equation. Perhaps I need a mentor, a person “in the art business, who I can call on to help get me over the initial shock (and awe) of going into business for myself.

    But here’s the really FUN & INTERESTING part. Since I haven’t eaten dinner in three days, I made myself sit down and eat. I had to wait for the call from the printer anyway to pick-up, so I went down the street to my favorite Sushi place.

    Turns out, I met a great woman WHO IS IN THE PUBLISHING BUSINESS… (she was dining at the sushi bar alone, too) and we got to talking about publishing and graphic art, and Jane Austen and I decribed the poster to her, but I didn’t have a sample on hand to show her. (Note to self: ALWAYS CARRY SAMPLES)

    We exchanged business cards and twitter handles. She was just beginning her meal and I was ending mine, so I went back to the printer to pick up. I had a couple of “KENILWORTH” rejects, so I took them back to the restaurant and gave her one. Turns out, the owner of the restaurant needed some signs designed and a menu redesign… so you see, networking pays baby!

  3. Teresa’s Inner Control Freak: “DON’T MAKE ME ANGRY. YOU WOULDN’T LIKE ME WHEN I’M ANGRY.” tee-hee!

    The menu etc.? Gift from Jane. She blesses us Janeites who truly love her regularly. I believe that.

    • Oh yes! I like to think of her smiling down on us all, giving her approbation to the deserving (hopefully I am deserving) Perhaps it is Jane helping me now – I haven’t had a boost of creativity like this IN YEARS! It’s almost like I was living in Bath and then moved to the country “and walked into the cottage…” and was reawakened!

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