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Friday, March 1, 2013

Ten years



My friend Linda and I had lunch last week or the week before.  We went to Doug’s Dinner Bucket, up the street.  It’s where Carol and I go for breakfast.  We sit in the booth for two hours, catching up.  Pam, the owner, doesn’t care.    All the breakfast traffic is gone by eight in the morning.  Much of the lunch business is take out.  The phone just keeps ringing while Carol and I sit in our far corner.  It’s that kind of a diner, open from six in the morning until two in the afternoon.

Linda picked me up for lunch and we hung out in the studio for a bit before we went to Doug’s. Jan was working away on a custom quilt that was taking all week. As our lunch date was a Wednesday, there was a lot of quilting done and plenty of admiring to do before we left.

At lunch Linda told me about the shows she would do this year, and who would help her.  Her schedule is scaled way down; the first show is Broad Ripple in Indianapolis in May.  I helped her there last year and had fun selling rugs and feeding the ducks at the motel.  Her cousin will help set up and tear down.  I’m thinking of getting on the bus, but haven’t told her yet.  It’s fun, but it’s a hard four days for two old ladies.

Suddenly Linda said “It’s the ten years!  Ten years between Janice and us and there she is putting in another concentrated quilting day.”  Linda was absolutely right.  Ten years ago we were sixty.  Still on the road alone, although it was my last year.  We could handle our gear, build and stock our displays, sell with a smile for the two or three days of the show, tear down, pack up, stow it away and drive home.

Linda is still out there, but only selecting shows where she can find the muscle power to unload her van, set up her display; come back in two days and do it in reverse.  She’s out of stamina and I’m out of that and balance.  My cane and I simply stand back while the heavy lifting is occurring.

It’s all about something to do.  Work.  I’m going to talk to Linda about doing more with the internet and her magnificent customer base.  Change is not one of her favorite occurrences, but I’m going to present her with some internet ideas I’ve researched starting with a new, selling friendly web site.  My favorite so far is a platform/template called Shopify.  If any of you know of or use internet selling venues, feel free to hop in.  I would especially like to hear any opinion on Etsy vs. a dedicated internet shop.

Could be the plan for the next ten years.



19 comments:

  1. Shopify seems a lot more civilised, than unloading, setting up, smiling at potential customers and then packing it all up again, on the road and having to unload it all when you got home. I used to have a market stall a couple of decades ago - it's bloomin hard work. One of the other traders often used to remark, particularly after a 'quiet' day that by 12 noon, if she smiled any more her face would crack. I'm feeling my age today too so - internet shopping - bring it on, I say!!

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  2. It's always good to have fruitful things to do. I have an Etsy shop but so far haven't sold anything on there. I'm afraid I haven't learned the tricks and people don't magically come by. I do know some Etsy who have great success. I think it is what you put into it and how you market it. I haven't had the time so far but may have in future. Best wishes on your endeavours.

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  3. You are a 'going concern' my dear!!! Good luck with the on line venture.

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  4. I don't know anything about Etsy but I would think there's an advantage in having a shop set up on Etsy so you and your friends can promote your stuff on blogs, etc. and then have somewhere to direct people to buy. Good luck with this new venture!

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  5. You are one busy gal. If you're not doing something, you're busy thinking up something to do!

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  6. I've heard of both. Never brought anything on them. I've done e-bay which is not all auctions so you might want to include that one in your online options. As you probably learned many lessons ago - nothing is free but some do take a bigger cut.

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  7. It is the way of the future to buy on the internet my children seem to do most of their shopping that way, they buy stuff for me too sometimes but I enjoy going into the shops still and have the time the younger generation seem so busy.
    Merle......

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  8. I wonder if you could hire anyone (like your grandson) to help you with some shows? I'm sure its a lot of work though with setting it up, tear down etc. I remember going to such shows and seeing all that was on display and thinking of the work involved in selling things. I haven't had too much experience with selling things on eTSY or other such sites since I'm not artistic, so can't help there. But it should be interesting where the next 10 years takes you!

    betty

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  9. I think selling online is the way to go. I know for vintage sellers it is responsible for the closing of many many antiques stores here in the south. You can connect her etsy if she went that way to this blog and we could view the items when we visit with you.

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  10. Wish I could offer some wisdom but I know next to nothing about either Etsy or Shopify. Good luck, hope someone here can help.

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  11. I hope (and believe) that you will find the help you need. Setting up and pulling down sounds nearly as exhausting as constantly smiling at the 'always right' customer. Good luck - and I will be interested in exploring an on-line shop when it has been established.

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  12. and I , of course, will be interested in anything you propose..You are my guiding light in my old age. We will have a chance to talk it over..I'm open..

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  13. Oh my, I really, really am in awe of anyone who can produce those beautiful, but highly work-intensive, quilts (I've promised to teach myself via a book or two, it's my my resolution for 2013)! I have an artist friend who sells through etsy, but her profit is much diminished from the costs of selling in there, the cut etsy takes is fierce. I guess it depends upon having a good customer base, and if your friend already has that, perhaps she could set up her own webpage (with help)? If her clients advertise it through word of mouth, it sounds a perfect platform to sell her unique goods.

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  14. I know nothing about the internet shopping sites as none of the things I make really fit in those categories. Anyway, it is important to keep doing. keep making especially as one gets older. once you stop, I think it is very hard to start up again and then it's all downhill. well, it's all downhill from here anyway but keeping the brain and hands active makes it better.

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  15. I can't offer any advice on this but I hope someone can help in this aspect.

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  16. I know one of my bloggers sold earrings on Etsy and seemed to be successful with it but I don't have any personal experience with it. I wish I could help more.

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  17. I know of many Bloggers who sell on Etsy or Folksy with succcess. Good luck. Shows must be exhausting

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  18. I can't sit atill for too long and would enjoy being ont he road to sell some items, although the internet seems to be the place these days. I wouldn't want to mess with the mailings.

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  19. Dear Joanne, I found this posting so interesting because I used to work for a publishing company that went to various educational and book fairs all over the country and I can well remember the putting up and the taking down at each fair. Also, the standing by the tables and being able to talk with anyone who seemed to want to chat and the energy all that took.

    I think from what you said here that you must be 70. I'll be 77 in less than a month and as you say, work is important still. My work now, however, is writing manuscripts that I'm trying to get published. Today I blogged on my writing blog about doing that. And I hope one day to make a memoir out of the postings on my first blog--the one about coming home to myself.

    I like to get to the end of the day and feel that I've accomplished something that day that pleases me. That makes me feel that I'm using the gifts given to me by the Universe. Peace.

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