Showing posts with label 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2012. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 Lessons Learned.....

Santa Hawaii Style
Who knew that 6 years ago I would be blogging about pottery.  6 years ago I was far from where I am now, but I am so thankful for the wonderful opportunities pottery has brought into my life, and for the whole range of new people it has also brought to me.  You know who you are out there, and I sincerely appreciate you, thank you for all you do!

2012 has been a year of expansion and learning here at Big Dog Pots.  I entered into several new retail venues, and am in discussions with a few more to come online in early 2013.  As a result of my new found brick and mortar locations, I have cut back on the number of shows that I attend.  2013 will see even further pairing down of my show schedule to 3 shows total, perhaps even less.

Being able to leave the show circuit has been a learning experience.  It is wonderful to interact with customers in the show setting to get their feedback and ideas on my pieces, and also to receive new ideas from people who stop by my booth and ask "have you ever seen one of those....." or "my grandmother had a ...." and the ever present "can you make me.....".

In exchange for this valuable feedback, I have been able to save wear and tear on Me!  Shows are exhausting to participate in.  Crafters arrive at 0-dark-hundred, spend about an hour and a half setting up, sit throughout the entire day, (or two, or three), then carefully pack out making sure they are ready to set up the next time, and are able to inventory what they need to create what has been depleted. Also saved is working on someone else's schedule of when you have to arrive, leave, and how to participate.  Most of those are not really issues for me, but occasionally you are placed next to the noisy vendor, the vendor with the wafting perfume, or the vendor who thinks they are a superhero and sets up their booth with such a flurry you are terrified that they will take out half of your display in the process.  For the most part, I have met lovely vendors, and have been lucky enough to be situated near some very nice people.  Many of whom have now become good friends.

What I have learned this year also extended in to the "World of ETSY".  I had tried to create a shop on ETSY about 3 years ago and found the programming not user friendly.  I always say "I am mud savvy, not computer literate".  So after being encouraged by many, many customers that "you really need to be on ETSY", I took the plunge again.  I found this time around that the minds behind ETSY had taken numerous steps to make it more user friendly.  I still have problems figuring out the details of some aspects of how it really works, but I have a shop, I have made sales, I have made custom orders, and I now have an ETSY presence.  The down side to ETSY is that it is time deceptively time consuming.  Photographing, editing, posting, monitoring, communicating, shipping, all take time away from not only making pottery, but living an everyday life.  For now, I will continue my efforts on ETSY, but am reconsidering they types of things I offer and will continue to alter various types of items available.


Something I have avoided.
I do see the value of making multiples.  Time saving, work saving, money saving.  I will begin to make multiples, but in a "Big Dog Pots" way.  My multiples will be unique.


Something I must do for next Christmas.
As the stars aligned, I was entering into various retail venues in late October.  The pieces I had made all year for the Holiday Season were all downloaded into brick and mortar stores.  So, come Christmas, I was really depleted and did not have enough items that were ready to ship.  Next year will be different, and hopefully as a result more successful.


As I am expanding, I have found that it is becoming more difficult to donate 100% of my proceeds to my favorite animal rescue groups.  While my level of giving to these groups will remain constant, or in some instances will increase, I now find that I do need some funds to maintain my equipment, pay electricity for the increased number of kiln runs, purchase basic materials, and the gas needed to drive the hour each way to the nearest pottery supplier.  As a result, my website, ETSY site, and everywhere else now says that I "donate a portion of my proceeds to animal rescue groups in my hometown."  I wanted to be honest, the past 6 years I was able to donate 100%.  From this point forward, that percentage will have to fluctuate.

So, as I enter into my 6th year in this endeavor, I continue to learn, continue to be inspired, continue to create and be passionate about making pottery.  All in all, it has been a very good year!

Happy Holidays 2012

Elf Daisy

Santa Max
Happy Holidays From Big Dog Pots!
Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season and in the coming New Year.
We give thanks as we end enter our 6th year
for the friends and family who have graciously supported our efforts.  We give thanks to all who give their time, energy and spirit
to the protection, care and love of animals everywhere.
Consider adopting your next pet, 
change a life forever.