Final Q & A

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*Wondering what tips you have to take my Etsy shop to the next level.

The best advice I would give to anyone that wants to be successful on Etsy is to take great photos.

That photo is all people have to decide whether they can live without it or not.

There are thousands of items on Etsy.

If you do not re list everyday…your beautiful creations are on page 350 and no one will find them.

  The best time to re list an item is after moms have gotten their children off to school, late afternoon and then after supper. 

I know I do not use Etsy like some do and I am not a part of any forums etc. but I have heard they are amazing and they can really help your business and get your name out there.

*I have always wondered what your creative space looks like.  Do you have a craft room or studio where you create?  Would you be willing to share photos?  I would also love some words of wisdom for someone interested in
starting a creative business-think-business license, copyright stuff
etc.

I recently shared my space on this post.

I am so happy in it and have been so happy to create.

Regarding business license and copyright stuff I really believe that each person should consult an attorney.  There are so many things to think about.

*One thing
I wonder about, is how creative women…who run businesses balance the
financial part of it all. In order to start up something, you need
supplies. Did you collect things over the years and then just start
using those to get yourself out there? Do you think most women use
family money/extra/fun money to start and then go from there and then
try to stick with using the profits of what you sell? I don’t have a
lot to start up with and I find myself dipping in my family fun money
more then I’d like. and then paying us back…and then borrowing again
for more supplies. The goal is to exist on my own. 🙂 I’m just curious
how you started out.

So much of what I made in the beginning was based upon all the supplies I already had and what I already loved to make.  I didn’t HAVE to go out a buy anything to start my business.

As my business grew and my tastes would change there were new things that I have bought and added.

I don’t know about most women and their businesses but my business is self sustaining.  There have been larger purchases that my husband has surprised me with etc. but they were not necessary to run my business.

I have never gone into debt at this point but you have to understand that my business is still small and I couldn’t balance it growing quickly right now. 

*What is your favorite camera lens?

For artsy close ups I love my macro lens but the lens I use the most often is my new lens….a zoom EF 28-105mm (my camera is a Canon Rebel XSi)

*What is your favorite subject to teach?

I really love to teach history.

I was a history major and it is also my favorite subject to read to this day.

I also love all the amazing books the children and I have the opportunity to read together.

  I think it will break my heart if they do not grow up to be adults that adore books.

*What did you do with your straw hat?

Oh…it is still here and it will be given away next week:-)

*Will you come to Kansas City for a weekend of fun and shopping?

That would be so much fun!

*What camera do you use for pics on your blog?

My camera is a Canon Rebel XSi*Best advice for GORGEOUS photos?

Just practice and have fun.

There are amazing editing sites to make the process painless like Picnik and then there is Photoshop.

I am currently learning Photoshop Elements 7 and I love it.

*What are you most grateful for today?

I am grateful that my husband is back from all his traveling this week. I am grateful that he is safe.

*What is your favorite color?

Blue

*What are
the names of the paint colors you have on the walls of your home?  Ooooh, and I also want to know what homeschool curriculum(s) you use
.

Off the top of my head we have used Burlap and Crab Apple by Ralph Lauren, Warm Muffin by Behr, our fireplace wall is from Restoration Hardware (not very helpful), our new library color is Vintage Grey by Eddie Bauer (at Lowes), our dining room color was lost a long time ago and I had to recently take a chunk off the wall to color match it….sorry…I get emails about that color all the time.  It is a gorgeous deep grey/blue.  Email me if you want bedroom colors.

Please look at the other posts for curriculum information. 

These are companies that I love for MY children and their learning styles.

Every child is different but I will try to offer suggestions to anyone that is interested.

*Home school is something I always think about and admire all who do it… do you have a teaching background?

I do not have a teaching degree.  I have a psychology and history degree.

Always remember that you know your children better than anyone.

You would do so well….you would surprise yourself!

I have the utmost respect for teachers….and some of them in my life actually encouraged me to homeschool

*Do you ever make lampshades? I can see your ruffles and rosettes on a lampshade?

I loved this question because I have been working on this. I have a new lampshade I have been working on for our library makeover….that I will show very shortly.

*Does your family live near you to help out when you are working on your business?

Unfortunately, most of our family live far away.  My sister lives 20 minutes away but she is busy with three little ones of her own.

*Are you going to Farm Chicks in June?

You guys will be the first to know.

I have many trips coming up and I am not sure at this point.

*Have you ever ridden a horse? Where, when, why…..and if not, do you have any interest in horseback riding?

I have ridden horse many times but only on trails.  It was probably mostly at camp or with groups of people.

My sister and her husband have two horses and my children have ridden them just around the arena for fun.

It has been a long time for me though.

*Do you have any advice about balancing a full life? what works for you?

Be realistic.

Be true to your biggest responsibilities.

Prioritize.

I am not superwoman and I can’t do it all.

I have to focus or refocus constantly.

I am very easily distracted.

I make lists and they really help me to stay on track.

I am just trying to do the best I can…just like you guys…some days I am a rock star and other days…well…you know:-)

*How did you figure out your niche for your blog?  Did you ever have any fear of being liked, or the things you blog, not being liked?

I guess I just started writing what came naturally.

I have never worried about people liking me or not. 

Lets be honest…I am not talking about hot political issues.

I am not going to be angering moms across the country with my paint colors:-)

My blog is pure joy for me and I hope it is for anyone that visits.

*When did you feel confident enough in your creative/artistic abilities to start calling your space your ‘studio’? 

Within the last year I started calling my space in the basement my studio.

Now I feel like I officially have one. 

If you create you are an artist…call your space a studio….someone has to make a big deal out of you!!!
*Are all the people that comment on your blog your friends? strangers like me? how did you get so much blog traffic…and if you could re-name yourself…what name would you choose and why?

There are very few people that comment that were friends of mine before I started blogging.  Many of you are my friends now though.  Many people that I know read my
blog but do not comment.

Hmmmm….the only thing I would do differently on my blog is to use my name…..Jeanne Oliver.

*Where did you get that cute striped sweater you wore to Brave Girl Camp?

J. Crew (I get so many emails about that sweater…J. Crew should be sending me some free clothes)

*What is the color on your dining room walls? Lovely! and where did you find that beautiful chandelier?

As I mentioned earlier in this post…I don’t even know:-)  If I ever find out I will let you all know.  I promise.

I wish I could tell all of you that have emailed about my chandelier. …I went through two feet high worth of catalogs to find that and I would have no idea where to direct you.  It was eight years ago.

I love that so many of you love it too.

*How is a weblog different from a website?

A weblog is just a log of your writings.  A website can be anything….business, news etc.

*I want to
know if you earn enough money doing a home business to sustain
yourself, or are you able to do this line of work because of your
husbands income? I SOOOOO want to be home, doing something creative,
instead of a reluctant government employee. We have been work on paying
off all debt, but want to have some hope that it could be possible for
me to be at home!

I always encourage people to start small.

Start right now creating in the evenings and weekends and see how it goes. 

See if there is a market for what you are creating.

You can grow from there.

I do not support our family.

I do not want to support our family. 

I am also busy with homeschooling them and being home with them.

If I wanted to run my business differently then the other things in our life would change. 

If you decide to stay home with a business you still need to treat it like a full time job to be successful.

Be prepared…make sure you LOVE what you are doing because it will be more work than anything you have ever done.

If it is the right thing you will be exhausted and having a ball.

 

* How did you get the “word out”, so to speak about your business without having a store front?

Retailers and customers have just found me through my blog and Etsy.

I also always carry my postcards with me with my contact information, blog, Etsy etc. and it also has photos of my items.

Wear your creations if you can.

I get stopped all the time asking where I got my skirt, purse etc.

I hand out my card all the time and that makes a huge difference locally.

I passed out my cards to the staff at Anthro the other day because they all loved my ruffle purse..always be prepared.

*I know my
question is a little late but that is just me…Anyways, I would love
to know how you balance it all. Kids, creating, blogging, housework…
I am trying to find that balance right now without staying up into the
wee hours of the night trying to get it all done & happy for all to
be around! Thanks for opening up. I have come to realize there are so
many of us going through the type of emotions right now. Thank you for
opening up your world to us.I hope that all my posts on the questions have helped with this questions because I think so many women wonder this.

I don’t balance it all.

That is impossible without outside help.

I make a choice each day what is the most important.

For me Monday-Friday our mornings are all about school.  We may take a field trip or on Thursdays my two older children go to an enrichment school.

On Thursdays when the kids are away I decide whether I am going to create, only play with Ben, clean or catch up with friends.

Today I had coffee all morning with friends and Ben played…and it was sooo worth it.

I just try to make the best choices I can each day. 

I wish I could tell you that everything gets done and that I can do it all.

I can’t…and I’m ok with that.

I am a pretty happy girl and luckily my husband is just fine with the way things are.

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Thank you for all your questions.  I hope that everyone’s question were answered.

 

Let me know if I missed one.

 

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Comments

  1. Rachel

    I’m LOVING the Q&A posts. So inspiring! Have a great weekend with your hubby! I’m glad he had a safe trip home. 🙂

  2. Traci

    thanks so much jeanne for being so open and sharing bits and pieces of you. very insightful and inspirational!!

  3. mkg

    Thank you for your honesty, humor and great heart from which flow such practical and creative thoughts and ideas. Have a great weekend!!

  4. Chelsea Merrill

    My favorite line from this post was “If it’s right, you will be exhausted & having a ball”. You were refering to starting a business, but that line spoke to me as a mama of two little ones. So well said. I love reading your blog…so glad I had the chance to meet you! 🙂

  5. shawn

    Jeanne,
    I really enjoyed reading the last couple of post. How fun and rewarding. Have a blessed weekend! We are enjoying being snowed in here in Arkansas;-)
    Shawn

  6. theannadventures.blogspot.com

    I’ve been wanting to open an Etsy shop for some time now. If you relist your items everyday do you have to pay more each time as if it’s a new listing? Is it feasible to relist everyday if you have a whole lot of items for sale?
    You are very talented! I love reading your blog.
    Ann

  7. susan

    hello! i have the same camera as you, i am saving to upgrade a bit, thanks for the lens info 🙂 it’s funny how i can relate to so much of what you write, thank you for visiting! enjoy your weekend!

  8. Elaine Power

    Hi Jeanne, sorry I missed the Q&A I would have asked a few of the questions that were put to you so glad I got to have a read you are truly an amazing lady Elaine 🙂

  9. Laurel@Simply Bay's Place

    This is so fun and I’m so greatful that you shared so much! I’m sad I missed sending you a Q but I loved everyone elses and all your A’s.
    It’s like a little converstation that we all get to sit in on. I hope you do it again and again.

  10. Brandie

    I have really been enjoying these Q&A posts Jeanne! Thanks so much for sharing yourself so freely. I was stopped in my tracks though when you said that “if it is the right thing you will be exhausted but having a ball”. I have been so torn about what I am doing lately when I am working so hard that I am making myslef sick and frustrated. I have been fighting through exhaustion and tears and wondering why I am doing what I am doing. You have really given me some food for thought….

  11. Suzen

    Jeanne, This was a great idea! I learned so much from everyone’s questions and I learned a lot about you. Which, the more I learn, the more amazing and wonderfully warm I find you to be. A treasure. Thank you!

  12. Angie

    I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog. Love all your homeschooling antedotes as we are doing it with our 5 yr old son now so are newbies! 🙂

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