School House Craft: learning to grow!

The Phinney Neighborhood Center had this cool mural in their stairwell.

The fun part about living in Seattle is that we have a huge community of people who promote handmade goods and help artists of all genres.  Last weekend was the School House Craft Conference in the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood of Seattle. I was lucky enough to go for 1 and a 1/2 days of the 3 day conference!

It was really hard to be away from the kids for that long, but the time really flew by quickly. I was busy learning so much, that I filled their complimentary notebook and started in on one of my own.  The people attending ranged from idea level to successfully selling their work already but wanting to learn more about the business side of things. I found myself somewhere in the middle: I’m in business, but need to grow my Etsy Shop and show my work beyond West Seattle.

Notes and cards and name tag, oh my!

The highlight for me was getting an Etsy Shop Critique with Steph Cortez. She was nice, but frank about what I was missing and needed to do. I came away with a check list (which got organized a few days later) and a boost of encouragement to keep at it!  She’s an Etsy Superstar and if you love geek gamer stuff, check out her wonderful shop: nerd Jerk – it’s like old school hand-made goods meets geeky kid (seriously, cross-stitched calculator necklace is awesome)!

I also learned a ton about two key aspects of getting your work out there:

–  Craft Show Vending A – Z {bonus: they included a downloadable PDF of notes that even you can use!}

– The Dos and Don’ts of Approaching Shops & Galleries

Even though I haven’t approached a shop or Gallery to show my work yet, I have some helpful notes so I can start off on the right foot when I’m ready. I’m already thinking about where my work would fit – what Galleries in Seattle I should approach. It’s hard because I used to go out to art openings all the time, but it’s literally been 4 or 5 years since that phase of our lives. So, if you know of a place in Seattle or beyond, pretty please let me know!

The Etsy Shop Is Sparkling!

Since getting my notes in order last week, I have added, edited and make the Etsy Shop sparkle a bit more than usual. Here is what I am now going to do differently to keep it shining:

  • Added Facebook Page Button – I already had one but didn’t link it to my Etsy Shop!
  • Increased quanitity to 10 – I am going to sell up to 10 prints of each image, no reason for my to list them one at a time.
  • Added Shipping to everywhere – I was lazy on this one and only set to shipping in the US because I didn’t want to look up International Shipping. I was lame. Now I am not anymore.
  • Link the same images in different formats – for example, I now have postcards. So, I posted them and included a link to Print version in the description.
  • Removed Occasion – I thought that since this was an option I should choose one. What I was doing was limiting the search results!
  • Removed Gender – I was choosing a gender for each image because that’s an option. The reality is that anyone can love them, and there is no need for me to hinder the search results. This is another case of me thinking I must choose something because the choice was there.

All these changes are behind the scenes, but I also added some more eye-candy – note the addition of Postcards:

and more Wooden Prints:

Thanks for letting me share! There is so much more, and many inspiring people, but not directly applicable for my current endeavors. Next year, meet me there:)

p.s. Photos taken with my non-iPhone and cropped by Instagram (I am becoming an Instagram addict!).


About Holli

A "cooking from scratch" geek, Mom, Wife, Seattle Native, Photographer and serial volunteer.
This entry was posted in Community, Inspiration, Photography, Review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to School House Craft: learning to grow!

  1. kaarisa says:

    Everyone can and should learn something or they are not living.

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