Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice and Festive Yule to you!

What I'm working on:

Via Flickr:
Large Tree of Life painting in the works: just pencil on wood for now - not even sure if this is going to be the final image - I might tweak it some more.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Marketing Tidbit: Give Presents Just Because

Every now and then I like to make special items available for free.  From a marketing standpoint, it's good publicity.  From a human standpoint, it's just good.

So for the 2011 holiday season, I'm bringing back the FREE non-denominational Skelekitty gift tags/stickers!

Just click on the image you would like (yep, you can have both - nobody is keeping track).  Then, from my Flickr page, click "Download original size of this photo" to save the full sheet of tags to your computer.  Print them out, cut them and attach them to gifts (handmade, of course)!

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice, Happy Festivus and/or Positive Mid-Winter Celebratory Greetings to you all, however you acknowledge these cold and short days indoors.

Love, Krissi and Skelekitty

See all the Marketing Tidbits
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Marketing Tidbit: That's Not My Name

This was posted in a private group today by one of my colleagues who is also a seller of handmade goods:
Am I wrong for being offended that a seller sent me an email starting with "Dear Customer?" A "Hey there" and no name would be OK, or look at my paypal and use my name. But don't use "customer" as my name.
Short answer, NO.  You are NEVER wrong for being offended by something as impersonal as that.  One of the reasons people shop handmade and small businesses is to get that small-town, everyone-gets-personal-attention feeling.  Part of that feeling comes from the customer service that the vendor offers.

But, just for a minute, let's say you're an individual shop owner who receives HUNDREDS of orders a day.  Maybe one of your suppliers didn't come through and you need to notify a large number of customers.  In this case, you may choose to send out a blanket message.**  There are ways to do this without making your customers feel like they've been hit by a spambot:
  • Instead of saying 'Dear Customers' say something like 'Happy Holidays,' or 'Hi there!'
  • Admit that your message is a blanket e-mail, and of course, bcc all your recipients - never allow
    anyone to see contact information for other customers!
    You could say, "I am sending out a blanket e-mail to  (who you're targeting) everyone who ordered after the 15th because (why you are contacting them) ACME glue factory blew up and it will be a week before I can obtain supplies from another supplier.  (What options they have) All orders will be delayed one week unless I am notified before end of business on the 20th that you wish to cancel.   
NEVER USE BLANKET E-MAILS FOR ANY TYPE OF MARKETING!  If you want to notify your customers of sales or offers, set up a mailing list that they must opt into.  Don't know how?  No worries, luckily there's this handy new gizmo called out there.

However, if you are sending an individual e-mail to a single customer about their order, then for pity's sake, take the time to look at the invoice and the PayPal and find out what their name is.  If you're totally unwilling or unable to do that, or if their contact information is inconsistent, then at least try a "Hi there!"

Little things like this really matter.  What takes 90 seconds for you could end up making your customer feel insignificant.  A feeling which is likely to result in the loss of that customer and perhaps all of his/her friends.

If you're a small business, what do YOU do to give a personal touch to your customer service?  What has a company done well that has stuck with you?  I'd love to have some of you post comments here on the blog so that my Google+ friends and Facebook pals can meet each other - you guys are ALL so cool.  

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Friday, December 9, 2011

The Glitter Bitches didn't disband...

The Glitter-Bitches didn't disband.

But we did RE-BRAND!  

After months of discussion, bandying about of names and then logo ideas, the group known as Glitter-Bitches Handmade is no longer.  LONG LIVE CORPORATE REJECTS!

Come visit ALL of us at our new blog and facebook page.
While you're there, congratulate our former "affiliates" who are now full members,
Kit Cameo, Scott Krichau, Mara Franklin and AmyLynn Field!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Not-Really-A-Tutorial (Glass & Resin Jewelry)

"Inchie" pendant (1" square)
People ask me what procedure and techniques I use to make my glass tile and resin jewelry all the time.  The reason I haven't done a tutorial isn't that I am playing my pendants close to my chest, as it were.  It's just a super, duper involved process and I've never stopped to photograph each step as I go.

However, since this question has popped up again recently, I'll give you the 30-second version (sorry, no bunnies).

* print art and titles for backs (I use an Epson printer and Epson matte 27lb presentation paper)
* spray art with fixative
Seriously, the resin has to be
* cut art and title pieces into itty bitty squares
*  glue art to glass tile (art faces glass tile)
*  glue title to back of art
*  seal title piece AND EDGES with silicone sealant
* wait for dry time
* clean edges of glass
mix resin PERFECTLY
*  run resin around edges
* wait for set/cure time (overnight)
*  apply resin to entire back
If I do the resin all in one step, it "domes" and pulls away from
the edge, leaving a spot where moisture can seep under.
By running a bead of resin around the edge, allowing
it cure and then applying to the back, the art is fully protected
(but I still don't recommend you shower or swim while wearing your jewelry!)
*  stare at pieces for 48 hours to a week, depending on temperature and humidity
* quality check (toss or send back to "resin edges" stage)
* clean and polish
*  glue on bail
*  package in box with chain, care instructions and goodies
*  pack
* mail
*  pray that the USPS comes through


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spammy McSneakerton!

These are the kinds of things that crack me up.  I received a comment today on one of my most popular blog posts, You Stole My Idea! ... Or Did You?  (aka Copyright 101).   At first glance, it seemed nice.

Good post! I was actually doing research online on Intellectual Property Law when I came across your very informative blog.
Of course, as soon as I looked at the link he tucked into "Intellectual Property Law" (by hovering over it), I saw that it was a law firm.  Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

Yeah, I know I could have deleted it permanently, leaving no trace of "Mr. Marti," but this was more fun.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yesterday's Progress - photo blog (is that, like, a "flog?")

Well, first:

This doesn't look like the results of an entire afternoon of printing,
 sealing and trimming, but it is.  Next step,
what I do best: "gluing shit to other shit."
OK.  Now I have glass tiles with little
pictures glued to them.
Here's what they look like dry - these still need the backs glued on
and then have the sides and back sealed with resin

These are all finished - they just need final polishing and bails, then
they'll be going to new homes (or joining me at Art Bazaar & Bizarre Art in
Midtown Sacramento on Saturday night!)

But then:
Hey!  This is new!  1" rings!
So you take your glass tile with awesome art glued to the back...
... and you pop it in (with the help of a little E6000 adhesive).
These little goodies will be premiering on at Art Bazaar & Bizarre Art
on December 10th (5-8pm) in Midtown Sacrament OR you can order
them from my ArtFire shop (contact me for a custom listing for now).

And just because:

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Shipping and Order Status Information

"I'm too pretty to work." ~Skelekitty
Hi everyone!  Things are much busier than usual here in my studio, but as usual, Skelekitty is being a lazy bum, moving from sun spot to sun spot without lifting one bony paw to help!  Darned cat.  I've been so overwhelmed with orders for the Help Hank fund that I'm running a little more behind than usual. Mind you, I am NOT complaining!  My heart is absolutely full to bursting with how people have come together for that dog. 

So.  Updates.  I haz dem:


When I print your mailing label, you will receive a notification e-mail from USPS tracking, however, there is usually some lag time between when I print the label to pack your order and when the package is picked up by my super-awesome mail carrier. When the package actually goes out the door, you will receive an e-mail from ArtFire* saying that your package shipped, and one with your shipping confirmation number again. Oh, and shipping on original art and pendants ALWAYS includes insurance, so if you have any difficulty with your package, we've got it covered. 
* if your order ships in separate packages, you will received the ArtFire "shipped" confirmation only after all items have shipped.


Prints:  All prints in orders placed before December first have been packed & shipped, and USPS Track & Confirm notices have been sent.  These shipments include orders for prints placed with jewelry or original art (prints and jewelry/small art ordered together always ship separately because of the different shapes and sizes).  Print orders placed after 12/1 will ship later this week - probably Thursday, maybe earlier if I stay focused!

Jewelry:  Turnaround time for jewelry orders is usually 7-14 days.  Yep, it takes that long for me to make them since they involve lots of little steps with 12-hour drying times in between.  With the increased number of orders (and my aforementioned alter ego being a bum), I'm estimating a minimum of 14 days for jewelry now, just to be on the safe side.  Anyway, since the prints are out the door, I am spending today working on finishing up earring and pendant orders and making some extras for the show Allyson and I are doing on the 10th in Sacramento.

My sincere apologies for the extra wait time.  All orders already placed WILL be to you well before Christmas!  I promise.  And if anyone has some extra elves they want to send my way, I wouldn't refuse 'em!

Do you have a question that wasn't answered in this post?  The fastest way to get a response is to e-mail  Facebook posts/tags/PMs, ArtFire messages and other contact methods are hit and miss at best.

Thank you again for the awesome response to the Help Hank fund!  I do still have some in-stock and ready to ship pendants, so if you're in a hurry for a gift, check 'em out.  More will be added on December 11th.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Operation Help Hank (he has his own page now)

It was getting confusing with the health updates and the how-to-help posts in so many different places, so I've attempted to gather information an links (including links to all of Allyson's posts on Hank's health) in one spot. 

Please join us over on Hank's page.  And if you like, leave a comment (Al reads all of them to Hank when she visits).

Lots of love,

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