A Fellow Etsy Shop

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Signs I made for my sister-in-law’s Etsy shop. She will be at the Nanaimo Etsy Made in Canada pop-up market this weekend.

I have mentioned my sister-in-law before. She has kindly donated her old fence boards to us when my husband replaced her fence. I use them for my signs. She has also kindly donated that fabulous piece of driftwood I made into my current favourite piece, oh, to be by the sea.

Well, my sister-in-law also started an Etsy shop called Sea Salt Company and she is going to be at the Nanaimo Etsy Made in Canada pop-up shop market on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be her first market so she is madly getting everything together and trying to come up with her display. I feel her pain because I have been contemplating setting up shop at a market for some time. The complexity of getting it all together is dizzying: a new display (including tables and whatever else you might need depending if it is indoors or outdoors), enough product (how do you know if you even have enough?), ways to accept payment, and is there anything else? Oh, yes, a sign with your shop name on it.

She had two new pieces of driftwood for me and I couldn’t help but think they would be perfect to make a sign with her shop name on it. With a little discussion and a look at her banner on her Etsy shop I set to work to make her a sign for her display. After all isn’t driftwood the perfect sign for a beach themed shop? With two pieces I was able to use the first one for her shop name and the second one for her byline.

And now I will have somebody who has market experience to go to for guidance when it is my turn to set up shop at a market. (Hopefully soon). I can’t wait to hear how it goes for her.

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I Finally Updated My Shop Policies on Etsy

I know, I know. This is one of the first things I should have done. Now procrastination runs in my family so I come by it honestly. However, because of that I have been trying to battle it and for the most part I do a pretty good job. Not in this case though. It’s one of those things that I haven’t really known where to start so I easily just left it for later.

The shop policies are one of those things that I like to read when I am buying from someone else’s shop. It gives me comfort to read about where they stand on such things as shipping, refunds, problem solving etc. So, because of that I really did want to add my own information as soon as possible so my future customers would also have a certain comfort level shopping from me. However, I find when I am overwhelmed by a big blank page it is very, very difficult to start. Tonight I finally did that and you know what? It really wasn’t that hard (like most things I procrastinate about). I simply searched out a few other shops that were similar to mine in my country and looked at what they had to say. And then I made up my own. Done. It only took me 4 months to start and about 1 hour to finish.

Having said that, if anyone looks at my policies and sees anything they think I may have missed or that just causes more questions (rather than answers) please let me know!

Links to Our Etsy Shops

I have been stamping the back of my signs with babayaya.ca rather than my Etsy shop simply because the Etsy URL (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/BabayayasCreations) is too long. I also think babayaya.ca is more memorable. This way people who have bought my signs (or, hopefully, their friends who look at the signs and say “where did you get that?!”) can find me easily again should they want to.

Babayaya.ca points to my blog though and I wanted a way for people to click through to my Etsy shop easily. Originally, I set up a menu item that has both my and my husband’s Etsy shops linked to it (it is still there) but it felt like it wasn’t obvious. So, I just figured out how to put links with pictures of our Etsy banners on the top right side of my blog, too.

It ended up being pretty easy and I feel like they jump out at you which is just what I wanted. Now anyone on my blog can link through to our Etsy shops without having to look very hard! Perfect.

New Signs in the Shop!

There are some new signs in my Etsy shop! The laundry sign and the toilette sign I have been meaning to do since I did my first sign. They were both ideas that came from my sister but it took me a little time to find the right wood for them. And now I have.

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I have always loved old laundry signs.

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I have a toilette sign that I bought years ago. I have always loved it and have it above my door outside the bathroom. This is my version.

As somebody who doesn’t let go of things soon enough I try to stay inspired by the famous Joseph Campbell quote: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” I wholeheartedly believe it but it still a scary thing to let go of safety to follow what you love. So I made a sign. I think I am going to have to make one for myself, too. My husband was playing with his router so this one got some great edging.

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Words to live by.

I have always loved farm animal things. Years ago I collected everything cow but had to stop when it got a bit out of control and everyone was giving me cow themed presents. Looking around my kitchen I realized that somewhere along the way I started to collect chicken and rooster things, too. I have a huge framed rooster print as well as a fake chicken that looks real. As I mentioned, we now have 3 chickens in our backyard. They are such funny, delightful creatures. So you can see where these signs came from. As soon as I get some more wood I  want to do a pig and a sheep, too. I think they make great additions to a kitchen, don’t you?

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A rustic cow.

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A rustic chicken.

 

A Music Shop’s Request. Custom Orders. Landscaping and Tax Season. Oh My!

It has been very busy over at our house. Exciting things are happening. When you set up shop you never know what is going to happen. It is exciting when things do start to happen but at the same time it causes you to have to readjust your schedules daily and think fast on your feet.

I had placed ads on Craigslist for my husband’s guitar stands so that there was a way for local people to find us without necessarily paying the shipping through Etsy. Two connections happened from this.

First of all, Jonny, my husband, has been contacted by a music shop. They are interested in his guitar stands and want to have them in their shop …to display their instruments and to sell! They are the Kouri Flute Academy in South Burnaby and they actually just opened a second shop, Play Music Inc., on Kingsway in Vancouver. They are wanting to carry stock from locals in their shop …our kind of people! And, they are having a Grand Opening this weekend.  You can find their website here and their Facebook page here . (If you are looking for a sale go see them Sunday and Monday). Jonny is working on getting some guitar stands made for them as I write this. I have to admit we were pretty excited when a local shop contacted Jonny to carry his stands. I had thought about approaching some independent music shops but hadn’t gotten that far yet. Even better when they come to you!

Secondly, Jonny received a custom order for a ukulele stand. The fellow’s ukulele was a little bigger than mine so he needed to make a new one up. We completely underestimated how long it would take to have it done. This was mostly because Jonny’s schedule was too full and we had a sick bug hit our household so he just couldn’t get to it. It doesn’t help that he works night shift because he can’t really be cutting wood and drilling in the middle of the night when he gets home. He finally finished it and lucky for us the person wasn’t in a hurry and seemingly still wants it. (They plan to come pick it up when they are in the area next week).

Jonny also loves to do landscaping and odd jobs so we put an ad up on Craigslist for that as well. He has also been helping out his sister and brother-in-law with fence building and what not at their house. Between the two Jonny hasn’t had a day off in over a month. He likes to keep busy but I don’t think he was expecting this! The goal is hopefully to become busy enough that he can give up his regular job which causes him all sorts of misery (except it helps pay the bills).

I, too, have been a little busy. I put an ad up on Craigslist for simple income tax returns. I have the experience and I have 15 returns that I am not using in the program I buy to do our taxes so I thought why not. We can certainly use the extra cash. I have had a couple of people bring their taxes. I must say it is a bit challenging to schedule the time in to complete them when you have a 3 year old and a husband who is working all the time. This is why I have had to say no to doing returns with self employment income. I just don’t have the time.

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Custom British Columbia flag.

I also received a couple of custom orders. Yay, me! The first was someone from Craigslist (yes, I put ads up locally for my Etsy shop, too) looking for me to do a British Columbia flag just like my big British Flag. Yes, the big one! It was a challenge right from having Jonny track down the wood to use to designing and painting it but I finished it tonight, finally. I am pretty happy with it. I hope he is, too, when he sees it.

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Custom tea and coffee sign set.

The second was someone from Texas who had seen my tea sign in my Etsy shop. She wanted to know if I could make a set of both tea and coffee. Another challenge. Jonny had done the edging on the original tea sign some time ago before we moved. He, of course, is super busy so we don’t get to talk often. I did manage to put my request in and with the help of the neighbour’s friend they got me pieces of wood of suitable length to make the signs and did the edging for me. I had a bit of a hard time in that I kept looking at the wood meant for the coffee sign and imagining that it would be perfect to put Jonny’s guitar stand shop name, JD original, on it. I guess it is true that the material speaks to the artist. In the end I made the coffee sign but only because I didn’t have another piece of wood I could use instead. I am pretty happy with how they turned out, too.

So, it’s been pretty crazy around here but fun, too. We have also been learning those lessons of a new business that you can only really learn once you jump into something with both feet. The important ones like how to not over schedule yourself and how to not under charge and how to not under estimate your time requirements. I am sure it will all become clear(er) with time and experience.

 

 

New Paintings in My Shop!

It seems like it has been a while since I have been able to work on my actual paintings. I have been spending so much time working on the behind the scenes work of getting my shop up and running. Today I was finally able to complete some more paintings. Yay!

My british flag and my scooter canvases are getting a lot of views so I decided that they would look fabulous on pieces of wood, too.

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The very first thing my daughter says to me each and every morning regardless of the weather is “It’s a Beautiful Day, Mom!” It is such a great way to wake up it inspired me to paint a sign. I am not a morning person but she sure knows how to cheer a person up. The next sign was inspired by our 3 chickens just by seeing fresh eggs come into the kitchen everyday.

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And for the last two I had pieces of wood already painted white and the words just jumped into my head. I love beach signs (which you probably would have figured out soon enough) and who doesn’t love a rustic looking welcome sign?

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I have been having fun getting my shop together but I love the painting and creating part most of all.

 

I Sold My First Item! (and My Husband is Being Creative Again)

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My first sale!

 

Yesterday I sold my first item. It was the Flower Shop sign …my favourite one. I am a little sad to see it go but I am super excited to make my first sale. There is something so exciting about somebody wanting to buy something that I made.

Of course, the sale sent me into a flurry of activity over getting it shipped. New challenges came up as I figured out how best to prepare it for shipping. In the end, because it is an odd sized rectangle, I just wrapped it in paper and a whole lot of packing tape. I also included a handmade thank you card simply because I love when I receive nice touches like that with things I order online.

Jonny sold his first guitar stand last week so I had been through this already and was already a little prepared with some ideas in my head of what I wanted to do. I was probably in a bigger flap when we had to ship the guitar stand just because it was the first time and it was a little more of a tricky shape.

In other news, Jonny made this awesome table for his Mom for her birthday. Isn’t it great?

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