My Creative Passion

Fire Twirler by Saperaud
Fire Twirler by Saperaud (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve always been interested in craft for as long as I can remember. Craft class at school was my idea of heaven and I spent most weekends cutting or gluing some thing to another!

I started with paper crafts and made my way through embroidery, cross-stitching, macrame, sewing, a bit of crochet, jewelry making, origami box making, journal making, baking cakes and now I’ve landed back into the world of jewelry making. I don’t know if my “Jill of all crafts, master of none” tendencies will benefit me in the future but I know that I’m probably never going to stick to one thing for too long!

I’ve subscribed to April’s posts over at Blacksburg Belle. One email in particular got me thinking about what really ignites my creativity and what fuels my crafting urges. I wanted to record my answers to some questions that really got me thinking.

What can get me out of bed at 5 a.m even when I’ve had a late night?

New beads can do this 🙂 New rolls of fabric or sheets of paper also have this effect on me! Fortunately, since I feel that sewing is too labor -intensive a hobby- I think it is safe to say that making jewelry or earrings really wakes me up.

What keeps me thinking at night?

My blog keeps me up at night. I have tons to share and many posts in my Drafts folder but I often chicken out from posting them! Apart from this, I love making jewelry at night and I could probably continue till morning if I haven’t exhausted my supplies.

What do I get the most complements on?

The earrings I make are definitely complimented whenever I wear them or when one of my customers (friends) wear them. I’ve also got many requests from friends to make them custom earrings to match their clothes.

When do I get a creative high?

I think I have a ‘Cheshire cat’ grin plastered over my face whenever I’ve just bought more beads or supplies to play with. Just the thought of all the possible outcomes drives me wild with joy and the passion to make something soon!

What are my core values?

-I want to make unique wearable jewelry

-I want to price my products fairly (to my customers and to myself)

-I want to do it well

-I want my customers to love each piece and return to me for more!

Nothing else matters when:

I’ve got an idea or two to chase into finished jewelry- I can think of nothing else!

I am sharing some of the questions and my answers to them – as a record for myself and so that you too can ask yourself the same questions! I am sure the answers will kick your business up a notch or two. Head over to Blacksburg Belle and improve your blogging+ creative business+ a lot more!


It’s Time for My Business

Crafters who are starting out on new business using your creative talents- sit up and take note of April of Blacksburg Belle!

If you work full time (like me) and if you feel that you never have enough time for your creative business – you need to watch this video and this video by April.
April shared some great ideas – these are things I’ve always kind of known but never quite made the connection between theory and practice. Here are the points that I like and what I’m going to do for each:

Wake up early to work on my creative business

April talks about getting up early and tackling creative business tasks in the morning while we’re still fresh. Most often, I plan to make products or list items at night on weekdays but this never ever happens cos I’m either too tired or I’ve reached home very late due to traffic. This point appeals to me as I’m usually up by 6.15 every morning and I have about an hour of time (that I usually dwindle on non-business tasks like reading the paper) before I have to get ready for work.An hour a weekday will give me 5 hours of productive “studio” time or blog time for my business and I am sure that I will be at my freshest at that time.

Go easy on the heavy-duty marketing

I was also struck by what she said about marketing for a new business. Without spending time to make more products that will lead to sales – there IS no business! I keep forgetting this point and I have been busy thinking up business cards, brochures and blog parties to market my business – which technically hasn’t taken off by leaps and bounds yet!Of course, one has to market the business and let people know it is there but for a new business to take off well, it is more important to have products to sell! (Got a nice rhyme to it, aint it?)

Concentrate on high-leverage tasks

In one of my previous posts, I was rambling about trying to finish off this and that in April. Though making products figured right at the top of that list – I have since then realized that I was giving too much importance to other tasks like socializing and networking without actual contact with others (read wasting time on Facebook and lurking around craft blogs without commenting!) Thankfully, I have been creating new pieces consistently during the past month, so my business is not in such a bad shape – but I haven’t made enough items to reach my full potential yet.

As April says, I’m going to concentrate on high-leverage tasks from now on:

    • Make more products – I will try to create products at least 2 to 3 days a week.I’ve joined the Bead Table Wednesdays group on Flickr to jump start my creativity.
    • Write better product descriptions-Geez, I’m a professional writer and that makes me pretty cocksure that I’ve got this down pat…but reading my item descriptions later always makes me cringe! So I’ve got to spend more time writing smart descriptions!
    • Scheduling blog posts – starting today, I’m going to try and write 3 or 4 blog posts before hand so that I’m not running in circles trying to find topics to blog about.
    • Improving my products– I don’t want to keep making the same thing or keep using the same materials. This is why, I’ve started deviating from my usual style and comfort zone while making my recent batch of earrings.

Go offline during creative time and use commuting time to read mails/posts/listen to podcasts

I’ve been reading blogs about improving productivity, I’ve signed up for a lot of emails on creative businesses but reading all that content has left me with no time to make anything. From now on, I’m going to go offline during creative time (mornings) and instead I will use my 45 minute commute to stay up-to-date with the helpful stuff in my inbox. I’m not having any more of this information overload business happening!

The tasks that are not on my high priority list for now are:

  • worrying about my branding and marketing strategies
  • looking for constant inspiration by lurking on blogs
  • subscribing to email courses and services that do not help me create and only contribute to clutter in my inbox.
  • learning new techniques – I will limit my learning time to 1 or days per month so that I don’t waste the time I can spend in creating things in ways that I already know.

How will you make time for your business this month?

What is your creative biz schedule like?