When I revamped my blog a little over a month ago, I thought I would tackle the topic of how to start your handmade business. I had my whole first series of posts typed up on how to launch your Facebook page, complete with screenshots and everything. Then Facebook dropped the "timeline" bomb. So I'm back to square one. I can't explain how/why things appear the way they do on the new timeline layout, why certain posts show up in a newsfeed and "reach" so many fans while others don't, and am no more an expert than anyone else out there.
So I'm back to the drawing board. Trying to decide where my blog should go. I don't want it to simply be a "giveaway" blog, though I do want to occasionally feature other vendors and host guest bloggers. But for now, I'm just going to be honest. I think it's good for anyone to know that running a successful handmade business is incredibly difficult and takes the right balance of hard work, dedication, and luck.
I'm having an identity crisis. Twysted Yarn is a little over 2 years old and is wildly successful every fall/winter in helping accessorize the entire family's winter wardrobe. The demand for my products in the fall is amazing, but without fail, that demand falls off every spring as the weather turns nicer. Having Newbie Noggins has helped stabilize my business since I offer items and photography props for newborns, and since babies are born year-round, there's a more consistent demand for those items.
However, for the past few months, I've been trying to break the barrier into couture photography props (like the pixie bonnet featured above). And though I'd compare many of my items to some of the high-end vendors, I haven't fully been able to break through. It's so frustrating to use the same types of materials, to create a similar style of items, and put in just as much time and money as those vendors and not always meet success. But that's where determination comes in. A great deal of patience is required to succeed in this business, so I'll keep marketing myself, creating, and holding my breath that hard work and patience will pay off.
Thank you for being a part of my success and for your continued support! Some of you have been with me since Day 1 of Twysted Yarn, and it's been a crazy trip, but without my loyal fans and customers, I wouldn't be where I am today. I'm excited for you to head into this next leg of my journey with me!
One of my favorite things about the handmade business is networking with and supporting other vendors. I recently "met" Amber of Burlap and Jute through a Facebook group and fell in love with her stuff. My baby girl now sports her beautiful creations. And let me tell you, her work is very high quality, so I'm excited to introduce you to her and her lovely headbands.
TY: Tell us a little bit about yourself
B&J: First and foremost I am a mother of 2 wonderful boys, Brandon & Dylan and a little sweetheart Makayla 6 months. They are the best! I enjoy anything that has to do with art so you will most likely find me creating something when I am not tending to motherly duties or playtimes. I have always been into art of some kind starting at a young age as a violinist in which I was able to play with the Southwest Florida Symphony then moved on to photography where I worked as a school portrait photographer and received an Excellence Award for photographer of the season. My most recent endeavor was completing 3 years at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Interior design. My most current hobby is creating headbands which were inspired by my daughter, after 9 years of boy “stuff” lying around the house I decided we needed some girly things in the mix. For now my business Burlap & Jute offers an array of handmade headbands however I have plans to add home interior accents, as well as some boy “stuff” in the near future. School for me is on hold due to a decline in the demand for designers and I simply thought it was best to spend more time with my little ones while they are just that ;)
TY: What is one thing about you that is unique?
B&J: One unique thing about me is I strive for perfection. I always put 100% or more into the things I am doing and feel like organization is the key to a successful outcome.
TY: Tell us how your business began.
B&J: I started this business because I being the only female in a house of four needed to have some girl time. I had my daughter and now it’s overload with girly things and that makes a good change to an environment where my artistic side was hiding underneath a pile of transformers and trucks!
TY: What is your favorite item in your shop?
B&J: My favorite items in my shop are the Kanzashi style flower headbands for now but considering I have a background in Interior design and will be adding home accessories in the near future that can change in an instant.
TY: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a business of handcrafted items?
B&J: Be sure to stay organized! If you are not organized things can get out of control quickly and you can lose your desire for creativity and also if you have children at home, don’t forget to spend time with them! I make time for my children which slows down my production time but they are only young for so long so it can pass you by if you don’t, so they come first always!
TY: What are you giving away, and how can people qualify to win it?
B&J: I'm giving away this Spring Headband in yellow with white polka dots in winner's choice of custom size. See below to enter!