Tag Archives: culture

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.

Advertisements

Buy my indie pillows at UK-based Ohh Deer’s online shop

9 Oct

I have great news to share with you today…

My pillows are being sold at Ohh Deer up until October 29. So grab your Paypals and come shop for some botanical pillow love!

Check these two links to take you directly to the pillows:

The image on the pillows is originally hand-painted. I used water-colour, acrylic, and ink over old book pages to create the look.

The pillows are Vegan and made with a super soft faux suede and come complete with the fibre insert. They’re completely machine washable at 30°c and hand made In UK. The cushion has a stone coloured back cover – and zip fastening. They measure 43 x 43cm a smashing size! They cost £25 each.

This is my first online sale ever. I have been active in craft shows, but kept on postponing taking the online plunge. So, I’m really excited about this! The pillows are a limited edition and are being sold for a limited time: 3 weeks starting yesterday. So, don’t miss out on this special sale!

Happy shopping, all :)

—————————-

Related articles:

How a parrot and a Tunisian cage taught me to fly

7 Jul

I love birdcages. Probably they are more popular around this time than ever, but I have loved them all my life. When we were kids we had a beautiful white-and-blue cage from Tunisia – like the one above. I learned from this cage that cages were not permanent; that’s how I fell in love with them.

It was decorative. The cage.

Every time we tried to convince our parrot – back then – to consider it home, it managed to use its beak to bend some of the handmade cage wires and get itself out.

It was great fun seeing my parents,  who were usually gloomy and very serious, run around the house while trying to catch the crazy bird. He was very colorful, and he left a good impression on me about birds in general, which I grew to love over the years.

The cage, too, is a staple of my psyche. It’s amazing how we, as children, form  our own imaginative world – our hidden psychological and figurative treasures – from things around us, in ways nobody else seems to notice.

Although I was very little back then, when we had the Tunisian cage,  I actually have a very good memory of it; how could I forget it when its image stayed with me for almost all my life?

Source: wafi.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

The Cage of Freedom

I don’t know how I can explain this, but the cage for me is actually a resemblance of freedom. As a kid, I never saw a caged parrot, I saw a bird succeeding to break free from that cage every single day we had him.

This bird set an example for me.

He taught me an early lesson about hope, that’s why all my life I believed with all of my heart that I could break free from any cage anyone could put me in.

All my life I carried that Tunisian cage with me, with its easy to bend wire frame, and it helped me get out of the worst life scenarios you could ever imagine.

Till this day, I see parrots in a different light than everybody else. I view them with great respect, because one of them was an early mentor of mine, who taught me at the age of 4 that I,  too, can fly.

And I flew.

 

The reason I’m remembering this is that the lady who gave the cage away as a gift to a Queen, yes, a literal Queen, broke my heart today. I had to remember the cage! It was she who gave it away, when  my childhood was still clinging to its white wire skeleton and blue dotted beads. She broke my heart too many times, this woman. She, not once, saw life through my eyes or understood where I came from.

But just so that you would know. I saw the cage again. Back in 2000. I saw it at the Queen’s parlor. I know this sounds unbelievable, but it did happen. I saw it and I said nothing about where it came from.

“That cage used to be mine when I was little,” I could have said.

But I didn’t. I was way too grateful to be in the presence of both, the cage and the Queen.

People who travel through life with a knife in their hand, can never capture a child’s little shining world. They will continue to live through life abruptly, insensitively, and quite selfishly. But they can never ever stop the white wire frame of a Tunisian cage from bending open for a resilient parrot, who will always be free!

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!

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

——————-

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.

Handmade Wire Rings: My first attempt at silver & gemstone jewelry

30 Apr

I have finally arrived to my Silver Stage. When I started making jewelry a little bit more than a year ago, I was mostly training to arrive to the real thing. Here are my first attempts.

All my life I have never been a patient person. My first craft attempts were all so ugly because I did them in haste. I have always dreamt of designing/making silver & antique jewelry rings, necklaces & bracelets, but I knew I wasn’t ready. I was basically waiting to reach a stage where I was patient enough to sit & work.

Early last year I bought these amethyst beads, but I knew I wasn’t ready to put them into use. I was still uncertain about the steps I was taking and my style wasn’t mature enough yet. So, I basically opted to learn so many handmade techniques –  including decoupaging, glittering, stationary-making, and packaging – to basically nurture a good artisan in me.

I nagged my mom to give me a few beads from her collection of all the scattered antique silver beads & gemstones she has collected over the years. I nagged and nagged to no avail (I guess she was worried I would create childish stuff with them – like the rest of my past creations). But then a few months ago when I wasn’t nagging at all, she gave me everything!

But I still didn’t feel I was ready. I felt heavy and confused sitting in front of those beads; hoping to come up with something spectacular but unable to quite imagine it. I lacked the self-confidence, and I’m thankful for that: it was a good hunch, because I knew that I lacked the skill & the vision for undertaking authentic jewelry-making.

Yesterday without thinking, and after finishing a few craft projects that had nothing to do with immediate jewelry-making, I grabbed the silver wire mom gave me, my treasured amethyst beads, a few of her antiqued silver beads, turquoise & coral, and I started working on these rings. I followed a strong urge to start making rings.

One of them gave me a hard time since I was totally unclear about the design. I kept twisting and twisting until I snapped the wire. But then I relaxed, stepped back a bit,  thought about what I wanted to do and created a nice ring. It’s the one in the middle (up).

Handmade bohemian bracelets: Hippie Karboojeh

20 Apr

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hippies, the nature-loving ones (not the self destructive ones), think of themselves as trees, or flower plants. They wear bracelets and accessories that connect them to wood, color and earth. These bracelets are dedicated to all the hippies of the world.

Handmade by Karboojeh, these bracelets are made to celebrate the bohemian spirit. Bohemian is far more expressive than classical trends, although the latter has its beauty spots.

I fluctuate between trends and tastes. I’m sometimes quite boho, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate other styles, like French Romantic, or Shabby Chic. But my starting point, my original love is always boho.

And here’s more color…

With beautiful Italian beads…

Two blue hippie bracelets…

And more navy blue beads…

That’s the hippie post for today,

Have a great day,

Karboojeh

Let’s help revive the golden rule

17 Apr

This is the first time I go off this way and speak about something completely different from handmade crafts and similar stories. A dear friend of mine asked me to watch this video by Karen Armstrong, dubbed “let’s revive the golden rule,” and I thought it was a video to be shared.

I’m not going to say much. I will let Karen Armstrong do the talking.

By the way, she is the author of a book called “A History of God.”

If you like this video, please share it; let’s create a domino effect.

With love,

Karboojeh

Hello beautiful.

Dallas-Fort Worth Wedding Planner & Designer | Couture Events by Lottie

Very Berry Handmade

Sharing sewing, crochet and home cooked inspiration!

Thefrugalcrafter's Weblog

Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.

Illustrated Bites

an illustrated food blog

Dream Green DIY

An indie handmade jewelry & crafts creation house

from Hell to Breakfast

bustin' a 5-year-old crafts hoard, one bloody button at a time

W E S E E R A I N B O W S

//dream in color//

Cheap Sewing Machine

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

English Drawings

An artist's year of independent study and its consequences

eASYbAKED

a collection of recipes

What Katie Made

The best DIY projects. Your wallet will thank me later.

The Importance of Being Quirky

May Your Days be Filled with Love, Good Health, Smiles, and Umbrella Drinks!

Riality Handmade

Creating my own 'Ria'lity, one beautiful thing at a time

thehighnotedotnet

vintage music and the high notes of life

Life.Style.etc

Chic, unique and inspired ideas... as spotted by the team at Livingetc

My So Called Crafty Life

The life and times of a craft addict

The Window Display Blog

Images and words on the best displays around London

If We Took A Holiday

108 days around the world

Craft Schmaft

Making Happy

A n j o u

Vintage & DIY Fashion and Lifestyle

Countrydays

From the Editor of Country Homes and Interiors

Niki Fulton

looking at colour and form

The Unexpected Chic - Interior Design, Decorating, Inspiration for home

Fresh interior design, decorating ideas and inspiration for your home

Custom Art and Design

Neurotic. A Jane-of-all-trades. Genetically diverse. Interior designer. Artist. Upcycler. Volunteer. Dreamer...♥

hovercraftdoggy

A curated glimpse into a world of infinite beauty and creativity.

aboutGoodness.com

Fun no matter what

Parcel Post

An indie handmade jewelry & crafts creation house

Something Turquoise

Celebrating the DIY bride

Lucid Memoirs

. . . . . . . . .as my heart beats

catsmovingkitchen--a FoodBlog

What the heck?! I'm still hungry!

button, button ...

I embroider and knit. A lot.

paper, plate, and plane

A world of crafting, entertaining, and travels.

A Pocketful of Notes

Sharing ideas and thoughts...one note at a time.

Jackie's blog

Sharing with you a little stampin' and scrappin'

Peace, Love & Fabulous Things

Pretty Things, Notes to Self, & A Peace of Love

Re-Creations Project

Upcycling and Craft for All Abilities

buubok

Modern Knits for Interior

%d bloggers like this: