Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to Get Your Small Business to Begin?

It's been a crazy week, with car troubles, website dilemnas and figuring out how to do the paypal code for the paypal buttons.  It seems like such a struggle when you don't know how to do something.

In creating my websites over the last year, I kind of had to figure things out all over again more than several times and here I go trying to figure it out again. 

But now I am excited about have my paper dolls for sale on several blogs.  I never thought of selling them on blogs, but it seems like everyone is selling stuff on their blogs, so it seems like a good way to go.

I felt bad for not getting back to writing on my blogs.  My car troubles seemed to get the best of me last week.

But, I am back writing today and hope to continue and keep it up.  Yet, now one of my projects that is going to take over is getting all my paypal buttons for my paper dolls in the right spot on my blogs where I am going to sell them.  Or hoping to sell them.  I have to face the fact that they are a specialized thing and it targets young girls and women. 

I was told quite a few years ago at a craft show, that they are very popular in Europe.  And when I am selling my old vintage and reproduction paper doll sets on Ebay they seem to be very popular.  You never know until you try.

When we want our small business to start up we want to try everything under the sun to make it work.  We look at other people selling their stuff and we wonder how they do it.  We do have to do a lot of research and try to come up with ways that are going to work for us. 

And we sure seem to get doors shut in our face as we try to establish ourselves.  So far I haven't had very good luck with my photography.  I tried a local ad with Seven Days which did nothing for me.  I got business cards and put them in wedding shops, florist shops and any place I thought would attract people.  Nothing seemed to work.  I tried advertising last year.

 In the beginning, I got scammed by some modelling company called Hollywood Auditions.  I paid them $300 for putting an ad for me on their website and they were going to send me 130 to 150 clients to me each month.  All people that needed headshots (actors, actresses, musicians...)  After a week or a little more, they gave me the client list with addresses and phone numbers. 

I started calling them and all of them didn't seem to know what I was talking about and none of them of course needed my services.  And then the modelling company wouldn't give me my money back.  I reported them to the Better Business Bureau.

And I am choosing not to continue my ad with next month.  I did manage to get two to three jobs through them over the summer and fall.  One wedding, one boudoir session and a barmitzfah.  And since fall time all I have been getting is inquiries and then no jobs.  So it seems like I don't want to sink the money into it.

Maybe I just need to set up a blog for my photography services.  That probably would be the way to go and see if anything happens from that.

And I know the Paper Doll project is going to take some time to get it set up right but worth it in the end.

And then, I have been coming up with more projects that are going to take up my time.

I've been selling stuff on Ebay.  I have been discovering that repainted dolls are big on Ebay, and I am going to give it a try.  I'm going to start out with cheapo Barbies and see how things look after I am done.  I think the eyes are going to be the hard part as they are so small and I'm not used to painting on a Barbie.  Have been finding a bunch of the girls barbies that they don't play with anymore.

I'm not going to take all the faces off until I know I can do it and make them look good.  I did figure out how to dye their hair.  That was fun.  I took the acryllic paint, got the hair color I wanted and then combed it through the doll's hair.  And then I had fun cutting a few of the doll's hair to get a new do.  I think when you go to curl their hair, you wrap it around a straw or use a bobby pin and then you boil it.  Different.  It must be because it is doll hair.

For us, we just go buy the hair spray or the hair gel or mousse, but it probably wouldn't work the same way for the dolls.

If you ever go to ebay and look up repaint dolls, some of them are absolutely gorgeous!  Too rich for my pocket.  Some of them are repainting the Gene dolls, Tonner dolls, and the Monster High dolls and maybe pocketing a few hundred dollars or more for their work.  The eye painting is incredible.

One person had a Monster High doll redone with a gorgeous rose in her hair and pretty outfit.

Which brings me to my other projects.  Doll clothing.  I am going to learn how to make some of the dresses and other outfits.  Which not only brings me to creating the sewn ones but the knitted ones.

And then with the knitting, once I get a basic pattern, I should be able to create my own patterns for the dolls.  I used to knit all the time quite a few years ago, and I dabbled in making my own sweater patterns and other patterns.

Friends would often say, "What is that?"  They wouldn't know what it was and I would explain, "It's a bag.  It's a burp cloth.  It's a sweater.  It's a bandana.  It's a headband.  ETC..."

I've always been one to come up with my own creations.  Tried to think of clever things to sell at the craft shows.

And suddenly I have another idea of other things I would like to try selling on Ebay and my blogs.  I'm going to attempt to sew up some aprons on my sewing machine and the doll clothing and my cute little pincushions and then see if I can sell them on Ebay.  Over the last few weekends, I've been making these cute little yo yo pincushions.  If not on Ebay, I will try them at a craft show later this year.  Or maybe on my blog.

That would have to be different than the paper dolls as I would probably only have a certain amount of each thing.  I would probably just have to go in and change the pictures once something is out of stock.

I am hand sewing the pincushions, but I think I will need to machine sew the outfits for the dolls to make them look more professional looking.  And the aprons.

So now I have a bunch of doll patterns for the outfits and even one to make ragdolls.  Good lord, there's another project. I saw another woman's site where she had handsewn the doll (a topsy turvy doll).  She had gessoed it and then painted on her with acryllics and it looked really good.  I got thinking, I could probably paint a good face.

I did a dress once of my paperdoll Julia.  My daughter.  I created the dress, which I never completely finished and I drew the outline of my paperdoll on the fabric.  We still have it kicking around the kids house, but the shoulders of the dress aren't completed.  I did the same thing and made a fabric doll face and drew on it with a black fine tip marker.  It came out neat, but I never did a body for her.

I think as crafters, we all try to come up with a product that people are going to love.  But first of all, I think we have to love what we do first.  That is the important thing.  And then we need to try to find a niche for it and make it work.

We all would love to start up a small business crafting what we love and providing it to an audience of collectors who are going to love our quality products.

It can be very hard and daunting to try to find our outlet for it.  It takes a lot of trial and error and I have also heard a lot of advertising to get it off the ground.

And the hard fact is that many of us don't have the money to put our business where we want it.  Established, growing and profiting.  For some of us it takes years to get something off the ground.  I was told that I have a unique thing with my paper dolls, but getting it off the ground and promoting them is another matter.  And as entreprenuers and business owners and all of us that would ultimately like to be working for ourselves and be our own boss, we realize that it takes alot of time for something to grow and prosper.

It takes a tremendous amount of patience and effort to make it work.  But what we strive for is to grab hold of the moon and let our dreams take root and become something that we can be really proud of.

I've always been a person that tries really hard to make a success of something, yet it has been a hard road to figure out what works and what doesn't work.  It doesn't come easy.

And most people will say that it doesn't happen overnight.

Well, perhaps it does for some people.  Some people just have the luck of coming up with the perfect product that everyone is going to be wanting.

And another thing, it is so much easier for a celebrity to come up with a product and promote their fragrance line, clothing line, handbags, write a book, or anything else.  They are already famous and people flock to the products because they are a celebrity.

It comes a lot harder to the regular average Joe, Dick, Harry, or Jane, Lesley and Rita.

And then there is Tom, Dick and Harry, but that should be a post for all of us women.  I think we have all met our own Tom, Dick or Harry in our lives.  And some of them all seem to be Dick.  Ha ha.

I wonder what the name would be to men.  Dickina?

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted February 15, 2012  Wordpress where I've got to get back to my patiently waiting new chapters to my novels.  Sorry chapters!!!

I guess I have created some very full plates for myself.

My really fun thought with the sewing.  I've drummed up a cute christmas gift for my daughters, neices, two of the little sisters that wait with my girls at the bus stop and my friend's daughter.

I'm going to make a cute yo yo pincushion for each of them, buy some needles, a measuring tape, thimble, stitch ripper and a few other little sewing neccessities.  Then I think I will make a cute fabric bag to put it in, along with some yo yo circles so they can practice making them.  And then I think I will cut one or two American Girl Dress patterns and they can practice sewing them together.  Kids like to make fun little things.

I know I did when I was their age.  It all started with making a Shawn Cassiddy Doll.

These two are my most provocative Paper Dolls.  I think Pretty Kitty (this one on the bottom) has an extra page somewhere that I haven't completed.  I think it is one where she is all tied up!!!

Marla Mermaid paper doll is the one on top.  She was a lot of fun to create too.

I want to do more mermaids in the future.  And then there is my Gothic Girl line that I haven't created yet, and the Bella Swan one that I want to do sometime.

Yup.  More projects.

That's the life of a writer, artist, crafter and any other creative person.  We all have a tremendous amount of projects lined up.

In hopes of finishing and prospering.  So we never have to work for someone else again.

Another thing that always crops up in the back of my mind that my mother said and one of my college teachers.

"You should learn to do one thing and do it well."

Well, I try, but I've always been the girl with many different projects and ideas floating around in this head of mine.

If anyone likes paperdolls or knows someone who likes paper dolls, check out my paperdoll post on each of my blogs where my paper dolls are for sale:  The Official Paper Doll Blog 

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