Sunday, February 24, 2013

Treasury Sunday, February 24th

Welcome to Treasury Sunday! Now is when I like to show my appreciation to curators who have put together shopping lists, also known as "treasuries", of the unique products available on Etsy.  Please take some time to view these gorgeous collections and to shop the included stores.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Inventory Management

As your business continues to grow, you are going to need to consider an Inventory Management system at some point in time. I can hear your groans now (and trust me, I've groaned a bit myself), but if you're serious about quitting your day job, developing a better understanding of your inventory is going to help you manage the business side of your art.

I can hear you now, "My business is small and I do custom orders only." Well, please consider the following reasons to begin a finished goods inventory system:

  • Craft shows - It can be difficult to track every item sold if you get busy. Knowing your beginning and ending inventory can help you reconcile your sales at the end of the event.
  • Planning for your heavy sales season - Do you prepare a larger amount of product prior to the holiday shopping season? Enough said.
  • Consignment sales - Some consignment stores have formal contracts for items you have delivered, others are extremely informal. You need to be able to identify the amount of product you have placed in a store to be able to reconcile your sales at the end of your month or other time period, as well as an understanding of your cash outlay in product.
  • Wholesale sales - As your business grows and you get additional wholesale orders, you will need a method to track on an ongoing basis how much product to make in consideration of how much finished product you have on hand. You may also need to produce additional items to prepare for imperfect or damaged goods.
  • Costs of goods sold - Dig out your accounting books! If you remember the difference between FIFO and LIFO inventory accounting, you know the costs of goods can vary over time. 
  • Cash flow - Your inventory represents liquid assets - an item to be converted to cash. Granted, this conversion doesn't take place until the product is sold. Conversely, your supply inventory is a sunk cost you cannot do anything with until you make a product (unless you sell supplies, which is a bit different discussion).
  • Taxes - As mentioned, your finished goods represent liquid assets for end of year accounting purposes. Which is why a good accountant will tell you not to replenish your inventory at your fiscal year end if you can help it. 

These are just a few practical applications of inventory management. Our next few weeks will involve a discussion on this topic, specific to your finished goods. While I use Stitchlabs online system to manage my inventory, the principles we discuss will be useful for all systems, even a simple Excel file if necessary. 

So please let me know your questions, thoughts and concerns, as well as your experiences and challenges with managing your inventory! 

Until then, happy sales!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Etsy shop review - Lizbeth's Garden

Today's Etsy shop review features Elizabeth of Lizabeth's Garden.  Please take some time to learn about her and her beautiful work!

I am a writer and an artist. I make and sell handmade beaded tassels, potpourri, engraved and stamped metal, paper goods, art collages, and more. I am inspired by colors and shapes -- I love investigating the way shapes interact with each other, and how colors play off each other. 

Cupid and Hearts Valentine's Beaded Tassel Wristlet Bracelet

I work for justice, and I love to create beautiful objects. Sometimes I take some thread and beads, and turning them into a beautiful beaded tassel. 

Home Decor Beaded Art Tassel with Blue Pearls -- Earth from Space

Sometimes I use a handful of vintage objects, some paper, and a frame to create a collage. And every summer I go out in my garden, picking the fresh flowers, and drying them in a sunny window to make potpourri.

Pink Rose Potpourri

I believe that every home should have beautiful things in it. I started this store after I could not find beautiful, decorative beaded tassels at a reasonable price for my own home. I love sending off my lovely creations for you to cherish.

Brown Bird Tassel Earrings Gold Plate Ear Wires

The product I am most proud of is this blue tassel with white satin ribbon, perfect for tying around your wrist. Tassel could also be tied onto a bouquet or clutch. Ribbon can be cut shorter if you prefer.

Blue Wedding Beaded Tassel Wristlet Bracelet

I read a lot of books, and I blog about my crafts, my writing, my garden, and social justice. I volunteer for social justices issues, and I work with and for children. I also have a large garden, that I am hoping to expand next year, both for cutting flowers for my Etsy shop, and for vegetables -- I want to start gardening year-round (in the northern US).

Customizable Engraved Copper Medallion

I am not in a bricks and mortar store at this time, but I do sell tassels in person to local customers. Local customers can contact me through Etsy to set up an appointment.

Please use the links below to contact and to follow Elizabeth:

Etsy shop:
Handmade beaded tassels, potpourri, engraved metal and more:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Treasury Sunday, February 10th

Every other Sunday I like to show my appreciation to members on Etsy who have featured my products in their treasuries.  Please take some time to view these gorgeous collections and go shopping yourself!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Fragrance of Romance

February is the month of romance, and to celebrate all the sweethearts out there, I have two romantic fragrances for you this month.

Love Spell tea lights
Love Spell has been a staple to my fragrance collection since February last year. Similar to the classic fragrance from Victoria's Secret, Love Spell is a luscious combination of peach, cherry blossoms and jasmine. This is a wonderful fragrance for those who enjoy complex, fruity blends.

Amber Sandalwood tea lights

But I did not want to neglect the guys, many of whom enjoy candles but not always the fruity and floral scents which dominate the market. So, I decided to offer a second fragrance of the month for February: Amber Sandalwood! I introduced this custom blend to you last month, as a luscious, earthy fragrance with deep, musky bottom notes. This is one fragrance he will thank you for bringing into your home!

Both Love Spell and Amber Sandalwood are 10% off all February and are available in all home fragrance products, including candles, tea lights, diffuser oils, and fragrance sprays. 

Here's to you and your Valentine!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Etsy shop review, Aga Farrell

Today's Etsy shop review features the contemporary artwork of Aga Farrell.  Please read more to learn about her unbelievable work!

My name is Aga Farrell. I come from Poland, a beautiful country situated in central Europe. My country is  blessed with having a stunning array of scenery. Snow capped mountains, long white sandy beaches, crystal clear lakes and rolling fields of crops provide plenty of subjects to capture the imagination.
"Niechorze Lighthouse"
Poland is also a country visited by 4 distinct seasons. A warm and sunbathed floral summer, the famous golden and reddish shades of Autumn, the extreme frostiness of a deep Winter and the vibrant colours of life recycling itself in the Spring all contribute to making it a breathtaking place to take some photos.

Years of Solitude
My photography is loosely based on the capture of natural and inanimate objects. I strive to bring out the allure in seemingly commonplace scenes. Photography is a form of meditation for me and it is my hope that others will experience a sense of calm and see the beauty I am trying to reveal when looking at my work.
I have been running a shop on Etsy for a year.  My work is exclusively available to buy there, as I find it offers the best platform to showcase my art. I do however take part in small local craft fairs which brings in a few sales and I have also been blessed enough to be exhibited in some international galleries.
In my free-time I paint oil canvases, read books, watch nature documentaries and enjoy long walks. Also I am a tea addict! There is nothing more refreshing than a good cup of tea! You could even say that tea is a hobby, because I like to collect different blends.

"Blue Boat"

You can find more about me and my bits and pieces on the links below:
Thank you for taking the time to read and many special thanks to Dorene for featuring me on her super fancy blog!
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