Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 10th: Acorn to Oak Handmade Meeting: Building an Online Presence and Microwaves

  Have a happy July 4th everyone. We are cleaning up the shop and getting ready for next week's Etsy meeting at Roth Brewing. They have been kind enough loan us their taproom for the summer meetings. Mostly because I need a beer to talk about some of the business soup, nuts, and bolts. Last time we talked about Creative Cash and the big picture. Now, we are rolling up our sleeves and getting down to business. BTW, thank you everyone who has drop by their shop to get their own place up and running. I am excited to see some new stores hitting the internet streets. This seems a really nice counterpoint for a long two weeks, I've watched two large design/textile shops go under the past month that I've respected and looked up to for years. The kind with 10 years experience, all the equipment, and clients. It's been both humbling and challenging. A reminder that no one is either without fault or incapable of failing because they are too established, big, well-funded, or smart. It's why I feel so strongly about the Etsy group in that if our group members are to be successful (including myself), we will need to not just to gain the knowledge to fill out forms, but the wisdom necessary to be successful at what we do. That's why I am encouraging everyone to not just read the blog posts or acquire knowledge, but to actually show-up to gain the wisdom. Because, wisdom seems to be the type of thing that is so simple it gets lost in the daily grind unless you take the trouble to really stop and reflect on it. And it's easy to miss the mark if you only listen to yourself all day.

7-8 pm: Setting Up Your Online Presence: Alright, there's a lot good advice on how-to-do this. There's a lot you can do quickly, and a lot that takes time. Like many things, building a web pages are quickly set-up and slowly revised. You can set-up a website with store, blog, and gallery for free to $10/yr. The most popular services are: weebly, ipage, wordpress, and google. Some of the artists around here use Shopify which is a less common knock-off. For your money, Big Cartel or Etsy are considered better for getting started, but eventually you need to grow up and get your own landing. The most popular places to register a domain (online address where you can be reached) are Big Daddy and Dreamhost. There are roughly 2,000 different services you can use in the area as storage space has gone down so much in price many of the old search engine companies have reinvented themselves as hosting sites. You can also set-up one yourself. Feel free to bring a laptop as this is a virtual tour.

8-9 pm: Speed Art with a Microwave: Generally, I use microwaves to reheat soup or last night's dinner. But microwaves can do much more than reheat your dinner. Because they work by exciting the molecules, you can also use them to speed all kids of drying for flowers, salt dough, paper, you name it. It's great for last minute arts and crafts when you have a show the next day to make or a kid's recital. My favorite things to make are paper masks and custom bowls, but I look forward to being surprised and working with the paper arts. To some craft magic.

Have a great day everyone! Can't wait to see you next week.