Tag Archives: business

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.

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

Featured: Interview with Karboojeh at UK’s Hmade

1 Feb

Follow your heart, that’s what I keep telling myself. And I did, when a few months ago I stumbled upon this fantastic blog called Hmade and instantly fell in love. I was searching the net for display ideas from real-life craft shows. And I found a wealth of ideas and inspiration at this lovely blog. And yesterday, I was featured in an interview over there! How beautiful is that?!

I’m kind of really smitten by the gesture Kellie, co-creator of Hmade, made almost two weeks ago, suggesting we go for an interview. You have no idea what it means when one of your most favorite blogs – that also happens to be British (I love UK) – shows interest in your work. Wow…! Thanks, Kellie!

To read interview click  here.

Hmade: People who bake, make & create

The pictures in the Hmade interview are published for the first time. Here is a re-run of a few of them.

This pair of Karboojeh Handmade Boho Earrings is no longer with me, it belongs to an Italian young lady now, who is somewhere in the world. The smallest beads at the bottom are from Italy, the top ones are from Syria and Jordan.

And here’s a collage I made especially for Hmade comprising different pictures I took from around Damascus. Kellie wanted a picture that told her readers a little something about the city, and so I thought one pic won’t do justice to this fantastic old place. So… I thought I would give viewers a feel of what I see every day on the streets, something that is not too tourist-y, not too promotional, but just plain real. I hope this collage captures what I was looking for.

What a fantastic morning! I wish you all the same!

Love,

Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

Inspiration Board: Cork bulletin boards & display ideas

17 Jan

Showcasing jewelry at a local craft show using cork board as a display stand. The board is supported with a guitar stand from back in my music years ~ by Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

Hello all, It’s been a while since I blogged, I’ve been quite busy, but I’m glad I’m here again to share some inspiration. I just came back from a Pinterest tour, and I would like to share with you all a few new pins celebrating one of my most loved themes: Display ideas – using one of my most favorite materials: Cork.

Before I start I just want to say the daily hits I’m getting on this blog have gone up considerably in the few days I’ve been away. First, I’d like to thank all my readers, and all the people who “like” my posts from around the WordPress community. There is a saying that boils down to the idea that when you don’t watch a kettle, the water boils faster, and I guess it’s true when it comes to most things in life. You need to switch focus every now and then and to leave things take their natural course. Sometimes not pushing things around gets you the best results; we just need to learn not to control everything, I guess.

OK, back to our topic. Here are some lovely cork bulletin boards & display ideas via BHG.

Character

Let’s start with the unconventional one: Bottle corks. These can hold up pins just like flat cork trays, but they have got much more character, don’t you think?

 Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Jewelry Display

 

Using the same bottle corks idea, this beautiful display idea (above) is fascinating for the display of jewelry.

Jewelry Display 2

I have used this idea in displaying my handmade jewelry in craft shows – as shown in the first picture in this post. But what I like about this one is the small detail: using pearl-head pins instead of ordinary push pins, which can add to the overall look.

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Classical Modern

This one is about marrying classical vintage with natural-looking cork. I love the effect.

 Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Functional

This one is a first. I haven’t seen this idea before, and I think it’s brilliant: Using small sealable plastic bags and colorful push pins to store small craft supplies.

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Good looking push pins

I love the way these push pins are embellished with glass pebbles and fabric scraps.

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

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