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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.

My 2 cushions at Ohh Deer’s ‘Pillow Fight’ competition

15 Sep

I have two cushions taking part in a cool competition called Pillow Fight. The authors of this idea are none other than Ohh Deer, an absolutely inspiring & intelligent British online/offline shop that sells quirky illustrated gifts, from pillows to T-shirts, and, in between, gift cards and stationary.

First, I’ll talk about my cushions, then a little bit about Ohh Deer.

A personal cushion story

  • This cushion is called: Nature v.s. Psycho-analysis. You can click here to see the pillow and to read the brief I wrote about it.

Technique-wise, this pillow “carries a photographed image of one of my hand illustrations using watercolor and acrylic,” and I forgot to mention, ink. So… a bit of recycling went into this pillow’s original illustration.

I’m not going to copy-paste the full brief, but I will quote myself  with: “This year, I started making botanical illustrations over yellowed book pages from my large library of New Age books. This is to celebrate the triumph of simplicity, and the return to nature, over complexity…  In other words, this pillow carries an intentional twist, where the botanicals signify the triumph of nature over 21st century melancholy.”

  • This cushion, below, is called: Triumph of Nature over Psycho-analysis. You can click here to see the pillow on Ohh Deer, and to read the brief.

This pillow is basically about: “Return to nature and you’ll find happiness.” Love the way the paper grain is showing around the psychoanalysis type and the watercolor/acrylic/ink illustration.

About Ohh Deer

Ohh Deer is about “Quirky Illustrated Gifts,” illustration and photography that can be so cute at times and outright vulgar, at others. This is basically what stuck in my head from the brief I read on their About Us page.

Here’s a quirky example from their online store, a card dubbed Emotional Baggage by Gemma Correll, followed by 2 Pillow Fight competition entries; the first one is called: Audio Cassette – By Simon Pilkington… and… The pillow called: Huntress – by Sandra Dieckmann:

To view some of my favorite designs and pillows from Pillow Fight & Ohh Deer’s collection, visit my Pinterest boards:
  1. Artisan’s Scrapb◎◎k
  2. Pillows.Cushions

Ohh Deer Blog…  & Pillow Fight

If you visit Ohh Deer’s blog, you will find delightful surprises. My most favorite post, so far, is called “Something a Little Different.” It comes with images from a recent Ohh Deer booklet design that carries their concept, a concept of growing together and being a role model for others once we have matured ourselves. So beautiful!

This is exactly how Ohh Deer runs their endeavor, it takes care of you as an artist, and you take care of them, in the spirit of love. They offer you 25% of purchases from your artwork –  once you have won the competition and became part of their contributing team. But before that they do promote you on their website just by entering their competition.

As for Pillow Fight, the deadline is September 25, so if you are interested, please click here to read the specifications and to enter! Good luck!

I learnt about this competition through fellow WordPress blogger, “London Drawings.” Please visit this lovely illustrator’s post where you can find 4 pillow designs by merchesico. Here’s a lovely example:

Inspiration: British-chic in vintage & contemporary hues

4 Jul

I love it when artists and designers take classical objects and shed new color and light on them. This is the case of these iconic London teapots and phone booths.

The first one up is a beautiful rendition of the British phone booth. Wouldn’t you love to have tea in a teapot that looks so English?

A British phone booth in pink is just so cute;  just by applying an unexpected color hue, you have yourself a beautiful piece of art. And a ceramic teapot with vintage roses, brings a different dimension to the classical British teapot (although I think the said teapot – below –  is from an Australian shop, ehem).

Source: flickr.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

How about a Union Jack pillow; but this time it comes with vintage-romantic colors, like this one here? And the Union Jack floral cozy – by Monsoon – right below it?

Absolutely beautiful!

Source: lnt.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

 

The placemat above is a DIY by the people at Laura Ashley’s Blog, titled: How to make a ‘Union Jack Cutlery Roll’… yet, another Union Jack design, with not-your-usual colors. So cute, isn’t it?

And let’s not forget, British contemporary-chic, found at an online store owned by British stylist Marie Nichols – called  The Shop at Number 57 – with it’s cute contemporary-vintage British art.

Here we have the Queen’s stamp, reinterpreted into a white-and-black cross-stitch design nestling gracefully in a round embroidery hoop. So cute! You also have the Union Jack, and the Royal Crown, also in a black-and-white contemporary rendition of a vintage theme! A beautiful collection!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Luckily, I have a London postcard of a two-level red bus that I bought in my before-last visit; this will keep me London-satisfied for a while! I mean you can’t just see all of this beauty and not want to have it in your craft room!

Inspiration Board: Pom Pom fashion preview

15 Sep

Pom Pom Scarf(via curvissa.co.uk)

I’m cultivating a new interest, and love, for pom poms. They were once reserved for children (at least that’s what I thought), but now they are invading adult fashion, and even decor.

The scarf (above) is a pom pom scarf, although I would consider it a ‘tasseled’ one, since these are not round-shaped like ‘normal’ pom poms are. Let me linger a bit around this scarf. The tribal-inspired print is so beautiful, isn’t it, and the colors are so well together. Very nice, in deed.

(via Sugar Mill)

Back to pom poms.

Here (above) are some more-like-it pom pom scarves from a ‘Sugar Mill by India Hicks’ collection. Absolutely lovely!

(via Graham & Green)

Pouffes, and even curtains, have been seen around decor blogs & sites while parading a nice touch of ‘pom pom’ love. The ones above (Graham & Green) are eclectic, and to an extent bohemian. I love the pom pom piping that comes with each and every one of them. These are what I call pom poms, round-shaped, cute, and light-bulb like!

(via Bright Bazar: Because Beige is boring via Graham & Green)

Cushions with pom pom piping are also making it big on the chic decor scene. Look at these beautiful eclectic & nomadic cushions by Graham and Green – Autumn/Winter Collection 2011.

(via Flickr)

Finding descent pictures of pom pom curtains is next to impossible, but I was finally able to find this one over at Flickr. The pom pom detailing is both playful and fun and it can turn a ‘serious’ curtain into a fashionable piece of decor.

Personal accessorizing has not been left without a touch of pom pom. These two lovely variations from Akong London are so fun looking. They are so beautiful and creative. There’s a fleeting nomadic charm about them.

 (DIY Pom Pom Necklace via Honestly WTF)

And of course, we are always grateful to all those Fashion DIY bloggers who make it possible for us to create a similar pom-pomy look at a fraction the price. Here, Honestly WTF works it’s charm around a few ingredients to whip up a beautiful, colorful and eclectic, pom pom necklace that (almost ) any one can make.

Pom Poms have also been seen on brand bags such as Stella McCartney’s Pom Pom Satin Bag (above). Some one should coin a term like ‘Pom Pom Chic’ for this one, I guess!

Alexander McQueen, on the other hand, presented a pom pom bag within its original nomadic, bohemian atmospheres a few years ago. If I were to choose a pom pom look for my bag, I would go for the one below by McQueen.

(via purseblog)

And if you were wondering (like I was) about how you can transfer your pom pom affection onto your own wardrobe, PS. I made This offers an easy tutorial on turning one of your old bags into a cool & current pom pom accessory. I’d like to quote the blog with some insightful fashion info about the new pom pom fad:

“Peruse your closet and prepare to POM! Currently, we’re seeing the fluffy pom pom detail all around us.  Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney have made a seasonal statement with touches of pom poms on bags, whereas Sonia Rykiel took to the Pom as inspiration for the hair shown at her FW10 show.  We can’t get enough of this puffy and whimsical wonder.”

And finally before I go grab myself a glue gun and a handful of pom poms, here are other brands and blogs carrying the pom pom look:

(via Living with Punks)

(via Anthro)

(via Living with Punks)

Oh, one more thing… if you are looking for a nice tutorial to make your own pom pom flower, go to Domestifluff.

(via Domestifluff)

Ciao

K News: ♥ This blog is update-able

12 Feb

Dear readers, Karboojeh friends… and family :)

This blog is update-able, every day ~ or every few days ~ we will publish new posts on karboojeh.wordpress.com. The posts will include:

♥ New Karboojeh products.

Tutorials & DIY on how to make your own cool bracelet, pencil holder, or fashion item. (SEE icon titled “Tips” on the right-hand-side column for future tutorials.

Links to craft websites that we think might interest you

Quizzes & questions about you so we can learn more about your dreams, likes and dislikes, and artistic talents

Announcements (where to find us, our new partners, etc)

♥ ♥ ♥


♥ Welcome to Karboojeh’s world! ♥

27 Jan

Welcome to Karboojeh’s cute little world!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

أهلا وسهلا بكِ في عالم كربوجة اللطيف و المليء بالقلوب البيضاء

What does “Karboojeh” mean?

Karboojeh is a Syrian slang term used to describe a cute little girl or a darling little thing.

Young girls and women, men, and young ladies in Syria often comment with great fervor by using the expression: “Yee shoo Karboojeh,” when they want to indicate a noticeable doze of cuteness.

Cuteness is exactly what this new entrepreneurial brand is all about.


What does Karboojeh look like?

Karboojeh’s products consist of cute and unique jewelry holders & trees, keepsake boxes,  accessories & jewelry, stationary, and little cute things made especially for young girls and young ladies who enjoy to have pretty collectibles around them to store, display or wear their precious belongings.

♥ Karboojeh’s handmade items are one-of-a-kind?

Each item is an unrepeatable work of art. When you purchase a Karboojeh jewelry tree, bracelet, or pen (or any of Karboojeh’s wide array of products) you know you are getting a unique design that no body else has.

Who started Karboojeh?

Karboojeh is handmade in Damascus. It was started by a young lady entrepreneur who loves to make beautiful things and who believes imagination and creativity can go a long way in handcrafting functional, yet beautiful and modern-looking accessories.

How to contact Karboojeh?

Just drop us a line at Karboojeh.damascus [at] yahoo.com

NOTE:

The images on this website are meant to give an idea about the existing Karboojeh products. Some of the products on this and other pages have already been sold, but they may look like available products in Karboojeh’s handcrafted closet.

♥ ♥ ♥

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