Monday, February 4, 2013

Cross-training for artists and crafters…

We all know about cross training for sports skills; we remember our gym teachers and coaches lecturing about how doing drills until we can’t breathe will help our stamina, and how running will help us be better at pretty much everything. But have you ever thought about how you can cross-train yourself to be a better artist, crafter, or business person?

For the past few years I have been dreaming about taking a cake decorating course. I love to bake and I have great respect for cake artists and think I would really enjoy learning how to make beautiful decorations for my cakes. This year for my birthday, my amazing husband signed me up for the beginner’s course! As I have been preparing and getting geared up for it (I’m so excited I can barely sit still,) I have begun to wonder this very thing. 

The best example of cross training for me was when I made my first round of business cards and I called on my sewing experience and used my sewing machine to create a decorative stitched border along one side of the cards in my brand colors. People thought it was so interesting and it was a great conversation starter! 

So how can you use your skills and interests to cross-train yourself? Can your interest in painting help you chose better color combos and create new patterns for your hand-dyed scarves? What about the jewelry class you signed up for on a whim, can you use those skills to help add a special touch to your hand-thrown mugs and bowls? Can your weekly trips to the farmer’s market inspire a new line of produce inspired baked goodies? 

So my challenge to you? Take a look at your hobbies and interests, let them inspire you in ways you have never imagined, and share your findings with us in the comments section below! And as I enjoy my wonderful birthday present (thank you honey) I will share how I am inspired to be a better crafter! 

Have Fun,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Do you have a day set aside?

The recent increase in USPS shipping costs has had many people concerned about their operating costs but mainly it has almost everyone in the US updating each and every listing in their shops. Now if you have 12 items in your shop this isn’t such a big problem, but if you have more like 100 or even 200 items (or more) this can seem a daunting task. has many tools that help to make this process easier, but this issue got me thinking about updating listings in general. 

Many times throughout the average month it’s a good plan to update your descriptions, tags, titles, or pictures, even if you are only freshening things up it is still an important part of drawing in business and making the process of selling easier for you and buying easier for your customer. But what is the best way to go about doing this? Sometimes I have weeks where I find something I want to update every day for a week straight! But I can’t very well go through and update all my listings every day because then I’d end up not having time to do anything else and would probably pull all my hair out. 

I was contemplating this very issue a few days ago as I was wrapping up an update of my listings and was about to use Etsy’s shipping updating tool and suddenly realized I would need to go through and update my descriptions all over again to reflect my new shipping policies! This was a very frustrating moment for me to say the least, until an idea popped into my head. Why don’t I start to pick one day a week where I update anything I have to in my listings? I’ll make a list of everything I want to update and not worry about it until the selected day. This way everything is addressed, but I don’t spend endless hours updating and re-updating my listings and wasting lots of time I need to be spending on other tasks. 

Do you have a day set aside? Or do you have another way you deal with this time-consuming yet important task? Please share your tips and tricks in the comment section below! As the Teamwork Team we are here to help each other grow and learn as we strive to reach our shop goals and sharing is an important part of that mission! 

Thanks in advance,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What do you want this Valentine's day?

Feel free to let us know what your perfect Valentine's Day would be.  Do you want roses or dinner and a movie?  If you could would you travel to Paris just for the day?  What would you do there?  Go ahead and post your fairy tail!!

Please go to the Discussion Topics page to give your reply!  Thanks!