Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1000 hearts - 100 hearts!!!

This past weekend I reached an important milestone for me, my DvoraSchleffer store in etsy received its 1000 heart. Almost at the same time my RainbowMetal store, arrived at 100 hearts which is not bad for a store that was only opened 1.5 months ago.
My Dawanda store is also getting more and more fans. Altogether, this makes me very happy. After all this is what every artist wants - to have people love their designs.

Time for me to set new goals for the next couple of months and hopefully I will write a post to say I reached those goals as well.

This cute circle ring seems to be my new best seller item for this week. So I though it deserved a spot here in the blog too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My giraffes inspired a treasury!!

I was very thrilled to discover that someone liked my cute giraffe metal painting so much that it inspired an entire treasury. You can take a look at the list made by RWillisglassartist:
I think it's gorgeous don't you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wire crochet jewelry

I learned to crochet when I was a teenager. A few years later I found myself mixing this technique with traditional metalsmithing and creating my line of wire crochet jewelry. This was one of my favorite lines. When I opened my b&m store people seemed to share my love for this collection and many of the jewelry items from this collection were best sellers.

For some reason I stopped making these crocheted designs. Maybe I got a bit tired and needed to explore a few other techniques for a while. Anyway, enough time has passed and I am now resuming this beautiful technique and making some new jewelry for my stores.

Here are a few examples:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How many items can you make per day?

When I first started making jewelry professionally, I could only make a few items per day. Before going to craft shows I would have to check if I had enough items to fill my table. Building an entire collection seemed to take forever.

Since then I have learned that in order to run a business you need to have enough inventory all the time and for this I needed to make more items per day.

My "secret" for getting more done in the same amount of time is simple: I work on several items simultaneously. I never make one item from start to finish. Instead I do all my wire bending of all the jewelry I am working on, then all the soldering, then the filing etc. When I am done I usually finish a large bunch of items all together. I discovered that this is much more efficient. Making 4 items together takes only a little more time than 1 item alone. So I try to work in series of items at once instead of working one at a time.
You are welcome to share your tips for more efficient work.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My virtual friends

When I tell people that I am a full time crafter and that I work at home, one of the most common questions I get is "isn't it lonely and boring being alone all day long with no one to talk to?"
But lucky for me, now-a-days you don't really need to leave the house to meet people. I have an entire virtual community to keep me company.

Apart from occasional visits to the Etsy forums, I am a member of the Israeli artist team of Etsy. I have met many great artists there, some I met in person when we had a group meeting, others I just know virtually, but they are all my virtual friends. We meet every day, consult one another in different business related issues but also chat about non-related things. Being in this group and having people to talk to, makes this working at home thing much more fun. I get to meet more people than I would ever meet in a "regular" work place, not to mention that the people I meet can be located anywhere in the world. (We have team members located everywhere in Israel, some in the US, Europe etc).

And the best part is that I can control this myself!! When I need advice or just to relax and chat a little, I go in the forum, when I need to focus on my work - no one can disturb me. How great is that?

I would like to give a special thanks to Irith from Riorita, for featuring me on her blog. Her willingness to support other artists, is what inspired me to write this post.
Check out the blog feature she wrote about me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The road from jewelry to home decor

I have been making jewelry ever since I can remember myself. Though I tried and explored many different techniques and art forms, I always somehow channeled everything back to jewelry. Like when I studies stained glass the result was a line of stained glass jewelry, my knowledge in crocheting turned into wire crochet jewelry etc.

Now with my new colorful metal store, Rainbowmetal, I decided to break this path and try something completely new for me. So I started making some small home decor items like magnets for the fridge, metal paintings to hang on the wall and mezuzahs for the door. This is really fun for me. I get to work in larger scales than I am used to which opens up new possibilities. I also get to decorate places instead of people which is a nice change. It's like I'm making jewelry for houses!!

The magnets were the first thing I expanded into. I guess it's logical since they are small and very similar to pendants or brooches. Then I wanted to decorate a plain door I have at home, so I came up with the small decorative tiles. I'll try to make a "before and after" post to let you see how it turned out. A friend who had a baby recently inspired me to start the metal paintings for nursery's and children rooms. I really love the result. And so I go on expanding my artistic horizons. Have any more ideas for me?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My website is back from the ruins

A few months ago I discovered that my website has been hacked and someone inserted all sorts of damaging files into it. It was done very cleverly so that I would not even notice. New pages were "planted" that I could not see or know they were there. This is why it took me a while to find out this was happening. I started seeing that my site's rank was dropping and eventually I could not even enter my site because I got a message warning me this was a "dangerous and harmful site". This was soooo frustrating. I have had the site for years and it took a lot of time and effort to make it go up in rank and appear in searches. All this work was ruined because of this invasion.

I tried to fix this but was not successful so eventually I decided to start over from scratch. I deleted the entire site with all the files, pictures and anything else. I even changed my hosting company to be sure I'll have a clean slate. Then I made an entirely new web page that is now my own website.

Though this was a troubling and upsetting experience, it also gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my site's purpose and goals. Before this happened my site was a selling point for my designs. It displayed my collections and enabled people to buy directly from the site. This was because historically my site was my first online venue. However, since I am now much more focused in other venues like Etsy, Dawanda etc, this seemed to be a waste of time. (Updating a site is so much more complicated than listing items to an existing platform). So I decided that what I need my site to be is a sort of "traffic controller" just pointing visitors to all the places where they can find my designs. This way I can keep a business card with one website address on it and still have people referred to all my stores.

Now my site is up and running again. Only one page for now but the important thing is that it is a legit site again and that it is fulfilling my current needs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm back!! and I have a new store

It's been a long time since I last wrote. I have just been so busy and there are simply not enough hours in the day for all the things that need to be done!!
But I'm back now and hope I'll be able to keep it going this time.

The reason I've been so busy is that I have opened a new store. I have been thinking about it for a while and last month I actually did it. This store is a bit different than my "dvora schleffer" store. The concept of this store is colorful metal. One more new thing in this store is that it's not only about jewelry, I've expanded into small home decor items as well. This is really fun. I have magnets, pictures, mezuzah's and more to come. Finding a name for the store was a bit difficult. My first store was easy, I just went with my name. For the new store I wanted to find a name that will capture the concept of the store which is - colorful metal. Finally I came up with "RainbowMetal", I think it does the job.

Now the difficult part is running both stores. I'll keep updating on how this is going.