Friday, January 2, 2009

Created By Mom (.com)

I am a mom. I make things. I sell things I make. I love doing that.

I think that I have an entrepreneurial spirit. For as long as I can remember, I have been crafting. I remember sitting with my mom, while she sewed on the sewing machine, making little things with the scraps of fabric that she didn't need. I remember Vacation Bible Schools where my favorite part of the day was doing crafts. I remember sitting year after year at schools and churches for craft shows.

I have made and sold everything from baby bibs, to bath and body products, to fudge and peanut brittle, to handmade jewelry, to handmade kid's "boutique style" clothing.

And now, the internet! I started my own website, where I sold my handmade jewelry and kids' clothing. I also sold handmade greeting cards. I even tried my hand in the "custom boutique" craze that is on eBay, and even sold quite a few outfits. But, the website didn't do so well and eBay was getting a little pricey, and I wasn't getting what I needed to get for those outfits.

I was so excited to find out about in October of 2006. I opened up a little jewelry shop called "Ambrosia Delights" , and then promptly proceeded to forget about it. I knew nothing of promoting my shop, or hopping onto the forums to just chat, to get my name out there. I knew nothing of blogging.

Then in April of 2007, I got an email that said I had sold something. I thought, "Wow! Someone saw my website and bought something!" But, no, the sale had come from Etsy. Oh wow! I had totally forgotten about my Etsy shop! But I had just sold two pairs of earrings! Woo Hoo! I decided then and there that it was time to ramp things up. So I started learning about promoting.

I didn't sell MUCH more jewelry or baby blankets, or burp cloths, or kids' clothing, or anything else from that shop. (In fact, now my Ambrosia Delights shop is a destash shop where I sell sewing patterns and fabric. I will be adding jewelry making supplies soon!) I decided to try my hand at Etsy shop banners, because I accidentally found out that I could create banners and such with my photo editing software. I put some banners in my jewelry shop, and they started selling! So I decided to open up a separate shop just for banners. I opened "Rio Oso Designs" in May of 2007, and since then, I have had over 600 sales, and have met some pretty incredible people!

Then in November of 2008, I decided to branch out even further, and so I opened "Photo Greetings" on Etsy. In that shop, I sell photo greeting card designs that you can get printed at your favorite photo processing center. It's a wonderfully easy and convenient process, where you can get as few or as many photos printed as you need. We currently have designs for birthdays, baby showers, birth and adoption announcements, Valentine's Day, holidays, "Save the Date" announcements, and Memorial Cards. We can custom design a card to suit your needs, no matter what the event. I hope you'll check us out.

I said all of that to say this: I am in 100% favor of supporting "mom shops". I am a part of Etsymom, which is an Etsy "street team" full of moms who sell what they make. I think our economy would probably improve quite a bit if more people bought from "little" businesses like these.

On Twitter today, I found out about a great site: Created by Mom. This site has tons of products made by moms. I hope you will visit them, and even buy. They have gifts for everyone in the family! Their website is attractive, with a simple layout, and is easy to get around.

If you are a "mompreneur" and you want a little additional promotion, just drop me a line! I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!
Mama Bear

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