Our fabrics and other daily use items for the shop were in bins and drawers that sometimes did not make the most sense; since we use these the most, it would make more sense to put them in bins that are more easily accessible.
Admittedly this seems like a "duh" moment, but it is not something that time permitted us to tackle in 2012!
A bunch of little changes like this were made, but all totaled, they have a very nice impact on the space. All of our fabric was taken out, re-folded, and then re-stored too. It was nice to have everything out, to see old and new favorites together.
Finding a new home for the thread spool holder is on the list, too; right now it is on a shelf, but it would be ideal to mount it to the wall a bit closer to the sewing table. Moving it to the wall might also make the space a little more user-friendly.
From that experience, we will definitely focus on stay ahead of upcoming holidays and seasons prior to their arrival, so that our shop has related items well ahead of time. So far so good with that - all the Valentine's Day items are listed, and St. Patrick's Day-inspired items are waiting in the wings to list.
Daily studio time
It's nice to have a set amount of time to work, because it makes us stay focused within that time frame: "Ok, one hour tonight will be spent cutting... drawing up new patterns... ironing... sewing... packaging..." etc. Breaking it down into smaller daily blocks of time is a great tool to use (and we plan to continue to do so!) Now weekends can be the perfect time to spend on taking and editing photos, and listing the items that we've made in any given week.
(Look at all of these tools for making us more efficient by leaps and bounds this year - exciting stuff!)
Strengthening our brand
Things we did in 2012 for branding, and any changes we want to make in 2013:
- 2012: Had a banner made for the shop when it opened / 2013: new and improved banner is in the works, along with matching graphics to use. We feel really good about this update!
- 2012: Had custom fabric labels made (see below) / 2013: continue to use fabric labels, they are a great addition to our items! Need to look into whether the new graphics can be printed as the labels so that those match as well... branding!
Don't spread thin, but remember to trim the fat
Trim the fat; keep the accounts that work best for your shop's needs open and focus on those. By spending more time with fewer accounts, it will allow those accounts to thrive (we're looking at you, trusty Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts)! Our shop now has a very focused set of accounts that raise it up and help it thrive, instead of making us rip our hair out trying to keep up with a million other avenues.
It took a while and a lot of diving in to figure out what different sites are best for the shop and run with those. If there's one important thing we've learned, it's that we always need to keep evolving/changing/growing as our shop does.
Who knows, our set of go-to sites will probably change somewhere down the line as the shop's needs change too. We are ready for the ride!
Active online presence
Elements and key parts to an active online presence to consider as we move into 2013 will be (in no particular order)
- Reach out and find blogs that would like to feature our shop or one of our items
- Find our stride (whether slow or fast) and keep the stream moving! The visual of a stream through the woods is helpful - some areas it runs faster, some slower, but it's always so happy with whatever pace or bend it encounters! And minnows, let's not forget the minnows! (Disclaimer: no minnows will be used in any of our shop's items, it was a metaphor!)
- Try our best not to neglect our blog! It's another great resource to use, and allows people to stay connected to the shop
- Continue to interact with fans and keep them informed of shop happenings (this includes FB, Twitter, and the like).
- Active participation on Etsy teams
We hope you and your kitties are all having a great year so far; we thank you for your continued support & enthusiasm! =^-^=