Tag Archives: marketing

An Alternative Marketing Approach: The Importance of Intention in Making Our Craft

11 Oct

Intention & Handmade Products

The secret behind a successful handmade jewelry or crafts item, artwork, or design, is a well-perfected intention, and a great amount of curiosity and love. This, I believe, is the reason why some of my work gets sold, and some items stay unsold no matter how I lower the price or re-package the product.

Intention, I believe, is the secret ingredient behind everything in life. Intention, not the one we convince our selves we have, but the actual innermost motivation that makes us nice to people, sociable, active, or none, is what really matters.

I have had around two years to witness and measure the influence of intention on marketing my handmade products and designs.

I will tell you one thing that is a solid truth, discovered during endless hours spent at craft-shows: People buy the items I most love. The products that I made as “replicas” – of pieces I first made with love, curiosity, a sense of adventure, and an open-mind – barely made it into a customer’s handbag!

All my “firsts” got sold, while many unloved replicas, are still stuck with me here in a box, a drawer or a craft-show display unit.

In the middle of noticing how intention affected the way people and customers were attracted to my products, I started realizing all my favorite pieces are getting sold, and I am getting stuck with the “replicas,” the soulless ones, the pieces I made while I was imitating the “mother” piece, the first-born baby, the handmade item I made with great love, and care.

Those first pieces were full of soul because I was shaping them for the very first time, entering the realm of “creativity,” and taking great care in choosing the beads, the colours, the form.

The replicas, however, are pieces that I made with no sense of adventure, with a little bit of boredom looming over my head,  an obvious lack of enthusiasm, and most importantly, were made in a factory-like mode!

What did I do when I realized my favorite pieces are almost gone? I started hiding them; grounding them and not taking them to the first day of the craft show I was participating in. My sales would suffer… so next day I bring some of my favorite pieces and mix them up with other pieces, and lo and behold, they get sold almost instantly!

There is a particular ring I loved so much, but I didn’t think it suited the market I was selling it to. Guess what? It’s gone, although it’s quite eclectic, and the people over here love a uniform, mainstream kind of style. But it got sold, and people started asking for similar eclectic rings; people who didn’t look like they would ever sport a ring that looked absolutely out-of-the norm. And I sold in huge numbers, because each ring was made with a great sense of curiosity, each one was an experiment on its own, no replicas, no boredom, but a heightened sense of curiosity, with a big pinch of love. I have sold all the “good” rings. Each one of them.

Did you know that “factories,” especially those producing accessories and apparel, mobilized machinery for only certain parts of the process, while the rest of the work gets done by people? Which means it’s partly handmade, yet, these products do not carry the glory and the vibe of a handmade item made by an individual, creating his/her products in a factory-less setting.

This means, every-time I entered a factory-like mode, the items I made by hand, did lose part of their soul. They were never attractive to buyers, although, they looked exactly the same as the “mother” item I made, and which got instantly sold.

An Alternative Marketing Approach: Sincerity sells!

Intention, is this covert motive that we hide behind our words, artwork, lifestyle, and even the way we dress. Even when we are vocal about what we think, or want other people to believe, is our intention, still this doesn’t mean that our innermost is necessarily on the same page. An example: A man who acts humble, only his intention is not the true nature of humility, but to impress people and attract flattery.

Another example: An artist who paints with the intention of scoring fame, while using his/her God-given talent for this mere purpose, and not for the higher purpose of actually journeying through the endless realms of art and self-discovery… for art that does not involve self-discovery, and a real search for answers, and a mechanism of change, is probably a form of artistic hypocrisy.

I have fallen into the traps of false intention so many a-times. And have grown to actually hate the very product of my hand that I created with a false intention.

This, people, feel

Customers’ eyes immediately wander towards the “good” items, the loved items… while no matter how hard I try to sell them a truly gorgeous earring, they will not buy the one I’m holding, they will buy the “original” piece or design I created first.

The most important and challenging lesson that I learned ever since I started my crafting journey is how to “perfect” my intention, before actually perfecting the handmade item I was working on.

I started asking myself questions like:

“Why am I working on this?”

“Am I waiting for applause from an audience, or am I working on this out of pure love?”

“Am I motivated? Do I feel like doing this, or am I just ‘finishing’ work like a factory?”

I realized, over the course of time, that handmade work, a painting or a design, are “deeds.” There are “good” deeds, and there are “bad” deeds.

Good deeds come from a place of love.

Bad deeds come from a place polluted with insincerity. When I switch to a factory mode and create pieces just to “finish” the work, I am being insincere. Whereas when I am putting all my attention, enthusiasm, and commitment into my work, I am positively being sincere.

And sincerity sells, exactly because we didn’t have the intention of selling when we made the ring, the painting, the design, or the article.

When we don’t have the intention to impress, to sell, to convince, and concentrate only on the process of creativity, we bring to life a product that stands out, attracts, and can sometimes become legendary.

I have seen many artists who worked so hard at getting famous, wearing certain clothes to accentuate the fact they were artists, wrapping themselves in suffering to deserve the title, artist, yet they never make it past the limited circle of like-minded artists and sufferers. Why? It’s insincerity.

On the other hand, you see artists who become eternal legends. Why? They were busy making art, they had no time cultivating fame. And for that very reason, their work became immortalized.

To work within sincerity, every day, on every item, one needs to cultivate an inner observer that knows when things are getting spoiled by other intentions and thoughts.

I pray that I would reach a level of sincerity in every item I create, and that my deeds, whether as handmade products, paintings or designs, will be “good” deeds, fueled with love, sincerity and commitment.

Get featured on Sweet Living Magazine’s link party… now!

12 Aug

 

Dear friends and lovely fellow bloggers,

I’d like to invite you all to feature your DIY work (anything you like) on Sweet Living Magazine‘s “Featuring You! Craftilicious link party 3″ – that is still open till this moment. The link party started yesterday; I just posted one of my DIYs, and I thought that maybe more crafters, designer/makers, and hobbyists need to check this lovely online magazine out, and join this link party still on offer.

To join the link party, click here. Then go to the bottom of the page where it says: “Click here to enter.” Afterwards you can enter the link to the Craft or DIY page you would like to post in the link party. Then, add all the rest of the information required, which is straight-forward and simple… and takes 5 Minutes max to complete!

Enjoy!

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P.S. I wrote about this lovely online publication earlier here, in a post dubbed “Sweet Living Magazine: E-mag with a cup of tea” –  check it out!

DIY: Karboojeh handmade felt notebooks for inspiration

12 May

Inspiration felt notebooks are so fun to make. All you need is a few ingredients and some imagination. Attention to detail is important, but once you start your first book, experimenting with different materials & ideas makes the project so enjoyable.

Karboojeh handmade felt notebooks: While upcycling old book pages

For this project, you need:

  • Felt
  • A4 paper
  • Old book pages
  • Ribbon (to wrap around and through the felt book).
  • Cork & Pearl-head pins.
  • Sequin & confetti (optional)
  • Dimensional puff paint in the color of your choice (I used gold) – (optional)
  • Tools: stapler, glue gun, scissors, ruler, x-acto knife or paper cutter, pencil, self-healing cutting mat or piece of cardboard.
  • Additional: You can make your own embellishments, like the golden tassel in the first pic.

Packaged handmade felt notebooks – by Karboojeh Handmade

The idea behind these felt books is “inspiration.” They’re supposed to be like an inspiration journal. That’s why they come with goodies, stacked in the back of the package (as seen below). I put some hand-cut stickers, handmade envelopes, clips, confetti, and little things that can turn this little felt book into a fun personal inspiration book.

Felt notebooks packaging comes with goodies for better inspiration

The embellishment and the goodies are all up to you, and to the materials available at hand. You can make plain books or over-the-top books. And you can end up selling them, like I did.

The tutorial that inspired me to make these cute felt sketchbooks is this Felt Lover’s Mini Notebook – by antidotestudioblog.wordpress.com. Thanks for the inspiration :)

O That’s Lovley: 1 day special offer TODAY to promote your crafts

1 May

To all the artisans, handmade jewelry designers & makers, and home decor crafters & companies – Please join me to a 1 day special offer TODAY to promote your handmade products at O That’s Lovely.

I had the great privilege of being approached to promote Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry over at othatslovely.com. I’m so excited about this!

Today (Tuesday- May 1, 2012)  Oh That’s Lovely are doing a Special Offer where companies & artisans alike can upload 1 image for Free instead of the usual 99p.

“If you work within the arts, crafts, jewellery and home decor fields then you are more than welcome” to the offer & the website. To contact othatslovely.com for the offer, you can go here.

This website seems to be quite new, and I love the aesthetics. They have a pretty straightforward interface, and in my opinion, “descent” Terms of Service, which you can view over here.

With the tagline Discover. Promote. Share, Oh That’s Lovely seems to be doing it the right way. They upload an image of your work that takes readers straight to your website, Etsy shop, or blog. You do the talking. This means your image has to be extra inviting to get more hits!

More about othatslovely.com?

There is a straightforward Q&A on this page that answers all your questions about the website.

I’m so looking forward to seeing my jewelry on the website, and I do hope to see your work, too!

Have a great day all,

Karboojeh

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UPDATE: I am now being featured on Oh That’s Lovely in the Jewelery section here. I also included a mention about that on my Featured page.

{Interview} | BOOST your handmade business with Hmade

29 Feb

Vintage jewllery and pretty hair clips from Charming Grace soon to be on Hmade

There are blogs that you keep going back to, like Hmade. Loaded with lots of inspiration, affordable online packages, and advice to help you market your handmade stuff, Hmade is one of Britain’s most interesting blogs.

At least that’s what I think!

Around the time Hmade interviewed Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry a while back, I wanted to interview Kellie, Hmade’s creator, to learn more about why she started her blog, her future plans, and most importantly her handmade marketing program, “BOOST” – designed to help you market your stuff over at Hmade. Artisans, designer-makers, cooks, and crafters, can visit the blog for very reasonable packages to help you with your online marketing experience.

Interview with Kellie, creator of Hmade – People who make, bake & create

Have you seen the new look at Calladoodles? (via Hmade)

  • When did you start Hmade? What inspired you to start a blog/shop that helps promote indie designer-makers?

I started Hmade in May 2011 when i met Clare from Calladoodles. It all began when I noticed Clare’s pretty shop and i fancied having a go at some product and interior photography. So I sent her an email asking her if she would like some photos in return for me practicing in her shop, and she loved the idea. Clare ran part of the shop by renting space out to designer-makers, and nearly every week there was someone or something new happening. I assumed she had a blog and was telling everyone about it all on Facebook but she was just too busy, and that’s where the idea for Hmade came about. We needed a way to tell people about the wonderful designers and their products who were selling in the shop, and what better way than a blog with lots of pictures.

Hmade began with lots of inspirational posts to get a good following and then we interviewed the sellers about themselves and their businesses. We had a really good response to it with viewing numbers being more than we expected. As Clare was busy with the shop i took this on myself and built it up to what it is today with the design, features, and new features to come.

  • What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

The idea behind it is to promote designer-makers and provide information and inspiration. I love blogs which are pretty and full of images, which is how i wanted mine to be. Not everyone wants to read something everyday so to have posts with just images can make things a bit refreshing!

I have a small shopping side to the blog but this will be phased out soon as i felt that it wasn’t quite what i want to achieve with the blog. I want it to be more of a promotional, informational blog rather than a shop. My ‘thing’ is photography so i will be offering more advice and services on that side as well as business advice and ideas.
The original sellers in the shop were the designers from Calladoodles which made things easy for me to take photos of the products and then send out when a sale was made. We may revive it when the time is right.

  • What are your future plans?
 My plans for Hmade are to become a source of information and to have other guest bloggers sharing their own knowledge with everyone. I also want to help people to get their products noticed by getting their images into the press and provide features about them and their products on the blog. It is all about support and promotion. It seems the designer makers are great at what they do but they don’t have enough time for some of the business tasks, which is where we can help.
  • Tell us about BOOST?
We have just rolled out BOOST which is a promotional package and we will be announcing a new photo appraisal service very soon, so keep an eye out for that one :)
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To learn more about BOOST’s latest offers, go here.
To contact Hmade, go here.
To visit Hmade’s Facebook page, click here.
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Interview by Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

2011 Roundup: Starting a handmade life

29 Dec

As the year 2011 comes to a close, I can’t help but think about lessons learnt, especially after switching my life’s career into the beautiful terrain of crafts.

I learned so much from spending hours researching, learning, and applying techniques to make everything from jewelry to a number of other crafts. I can spend hours writing a media plan, or putting together a PR campaign to launch an international brand in the region, but spending the same amount of hours holding a pair of pliers and making jewelry isn’t quite the same.

My crafts and handmade jewelry journey, which transformed my life inside-out, taught me:

Patience

When you make a mistake with the PR plan, you can simply adjust, re-think, delete, and copy-and-paste. But it’s a completely different story when you are twisting wire the wrong way, beads getting scattered all over the place, or pliers refusing to cooperate with you. Going handmade teaches you patience…. a lot of it.

Handmade Integrity

When I started making jewelry, I wanted to please other people’s taste (which is quite tacky – I’m sorry to say! – especially around here!). But now I make pieces I would personally wear, regardless of what the predominating taste is… and I do not use plastic in my jewelry, although around here plastic reigns supreme!

Skeptical Trust

Trust is a good thing, but one should give it away with people who are worthy of it. Yes, I thought craft world was a beautiful, honest, shimmering world of honesty and “greatness.” Until I met a woman who made me realize otherwise. I learned that opportunists are everywhere. And this world of crafts is no exception. But this doesn’t mean one shouldn’t go on… all kinds of experiences are there to teach us something and to make us stronger.

Happy 2012!

Packaging & Paper DIY: Make your own handmade paper envelope

15 Dec

I almost titled this post, “the psychology of crafting.” I wanted to call it this way because I made the envelopes {above} following a tutorial I read on Poppytalk, a fabulous blog that I keep coming back to over & over, & over again.

Poppytalk’s tutorial, posted by Ruth Bleakley, a bookbinder and an Etsy seller, made it feel so easy to make. I’ve read so many paper-crafting tutorials, but non of them made me  jump from my place with enthusiasm the way this one did.

Image via Poppytalk

My DIY: Tiny Envelops for my Handmade Earrings

Poppytalk’s tutorial literally made me run over to make a replica of my favorite envelope. I soaked it in water, but the glue was really sticking to it and I almost ripped it apart. So, what I did is I re-imagined the template Poppytalk posted, got myself a rectangle chalk box, traced it, added margins for the flaps, cut a cardboard template, and then I had myself the nicest, coolest, cutest envelopes in the world!

This (left) is the template at Poppytalk.

And this (below) is what I whipped up using a chalk box to trace around (you can also use a crayon box or any object that has a  rectangular shape).

I used my craft scissors to add a bit of a lace-y feel to my envelopes. I cut the little wavy shapes outside the template lines that I traced unto the paper I used – to be on the safe side.

And I ended up with these two cute handmade envelopes. I am using them for carrying handmade earrings, as well as my new tag/gift-card illustrations… here is a glimpse.

Happy envelope-making!

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Packaging 101: Handmade jewelry getting ready for a British school bazaar

1 Nov

These guys are going on a trip to a school bazaar in the region.

And I’m so excited for them…

These are all Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry creations, and tags.

After much research & brainstorming, and many many trials, I came up with these ideas to brand my handmade jewelry. Economical, personalized & relatively quick to whip up.

I didn’t want the look to sound too “finished,” I wanted something handmade-ish, and reflective of the fact all jewelry items are handcrafted.

I didn’t use my official logo for this bazaar on tags… to “un-complicate” things. I just used straightforward business-card-like tags with the URL of this blog and my email address on them.

And this is the outcome. I’m happy!

I will post more details about the bazaar, and the lovely lady (my aunt) who came up with the idea of selling there, as soon as it starts – inshAllah.

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