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Handmade Lives

Craftsperson's Seven Deadly Sins

How many are you guilty of? Take a look here http://handmadelives.wordpress.com/
Nick

That's a good list. Like that.

Welcome aboard.
Chez

Welcome from Somerset wave

Nice blog.
Handmade Lives

Why thank you friendly people Very Happy
Nick

The grumpy bastards you'll upset will be along later. Wink
Went

Hello and welcome from Asturias... Smile
Frazzled_Barbie

Hi there Smile
Midland Spinner

Great list. Welcome & thanks.
Nick

So, come on. Fess up.

Are you guilty?
sally_in_wales

I'll play, give me a moment and I'll go and confess my sins over on the blog page
vegplot

Welcome to the village Smile
Rusticwood

Hi from Devon hello2
Nick

I'll play, give me a moment and I'll go and confess my sins over on the blog page


I look forward to the bit about too much stock/materials... Wink
sally_in_wales

I'll play, give me a moment and I'll go and confess my sins over on the blog page


I look forward to the bit about too much stock/materials... Wink

its all a matter of perspective, honest (and yes, guilty)
Nick

I believe perspective is to do with looking into the distance. Now, if you can't actually see the distance because it's blocked with four tons of wool/yarn/socks/patterns/bits of old antler/etc... T.G

The grumpy bastards you'll upset will be along later. Wink

What is the time limit for roll call?

Hello, from the Peaks, anyway Very Happy
sally_in_wales

I believe perspective is to do with looking into the distance. Now, if you can't actually see the distance because it's blocked with four tons of wool/yarn/socks/patterns/bits of old antler/etc...

I know you like me really Rolling Eyes Anyway, isn't mountaineering a good healthy excercise sort of thing?
Chez

Anyway, isn't mountaineering a good healthy excercise sort of thing?

Not if you are using knitting needles as crampons Smile
Nick

love7 sally_in_wales

so the little brandy barrel I carefully hand crafted for the cat collar so he can come to my aid when I have to make camp far from the summit of the yarn mountain is probably also overkill then Wink Rusticwood

I believe perspective is to do with looking into the distance. Now, if you can't actually see the distance because it's blocked with four tons of wool/yarn/socks/patterns/bits of old antler/etc...

I know you like me really Rolling Eyes Anyway, isn't mountaineering a good healthy excercise sort of thing?

You could also burrow into it when it gets cold Wink Laughing
crofter

I'll play, give me a moment and I'll go and confess my sins over on the blog page

I look forward to the bit about too much stock/materials... Wink

Not sure that is really a sin. As long as it is stock which will sell at some point in the future, you cannot have too much. If you have the time to produce surplus items, do it, because you may not have as much time available next month/year. Also, if an item sells well, you will be glad to have "excess" stock because you will not lose any sales by being short. Same with materials. If you find a bargain, buy it. It does not matter if you will not use it for a while, as long as you can use it at some point and you have storage space, stock up. Inflation proof as much of your inventory as possible.

Of course, there is no point having 37 million things that nobody will ever buy, but if you are confident of your market, go for it.
frewen

Like the list Cool

Hello from Suffolk hello2
Lorrainelovesplants

Hi there...only a part time craftsperson, but guilty of underpricing as is my husband. JB

I look forward to the bit about too much stock/materials... Wink

Not sure that is really a sin. As long as it is stock which will sell at some point in the future, you cannot have too much.

Except that there is a cost in storing it, a cost in not having the money available for something else and the risk that what you make now might not be what people want to buy in the future. It's just a slightly more justifiable version of people paying to store bits of their house in a warehouse.
Rob R

I look forward to the bit about too much stock/materials... Wink

Not sure that is really a sin. As long as it is stock which will sell at some point in the future, you cannot have too much.

Except that there is a cost in storing it, a cost in not having the money available for something else and the risk that what you make now might not be what people want to buy in the future. It's just a slightly more justifiable version of people paying to store bits of their house in a warehouse.

Stock is one of the most expensive cost of business, which is why most big businesses now operate just in time stock control. It's like having staff doing nothing most of the time.
jema

I'll play, give me a moment and I'll go and confess my sins over on the blog page

I look forward to the bit about too much stock/materials... Wink

Not sure that is really a sin. As long as it is stock which will sell at some point in the future, you cannot have too much. If you have the time to produce surplus items, do it, because you may not have as much time available next month/year. Also, if an item sells well, you will be glad to have "excess" stock because you will not lose any sales by being short. Same with materials. If you find a bargain, buy it. It does not matter if you will not use it for a while, as long as you can use it at some point and you have storage space, stock up. Inflation proof as much of your inventory as possible.

Of course, there is no point having 37 million things that nobody will ever buy, but if you are confident of your market, go for it.

I see it as a sin on many levels, not least making stock is the crafty persons natural outlet and panacea for spare time, overstocking is all too probably a way of avoiding tacking the big issues.
sally_in_wales

Interesting viewpoint. How do you propose we have enough stock ready for shows if we aren't supposed to be making stock when there is time in between commissions? Chez

Isn't he saying that it's easier to tootle off and make something rather than doing ones website or writing an advert? (I think) sally_in_wales

Isn't he saying that it's easier to tootle off and make something rather than doing ones website or writing an advert? (I think)

ok, I can see that I think
Rob R

Isn't he saying that it's easier to tootle off and make something rather than doing ones website or writing an advert? (I think)

ok, I can see that I think

I see myself doing it all the time - it's much more fun planning what I'd like to get more of than selling what I already have...
Chez

Yep. Me too. Doesn't apply just to crafts people Embarassed crofter

Stock is one of the most expensive cost of business, which is why most big businesses now operate just in time stock control.

But without stock, you don't have a business. For crafts, there is no sell-by date (although I accept the point JB makes about fashions changing) and if you have time (perhaps a whole winter) it makes sense to build up stock to sell at times when you may be too busy to replace items. JIT deliveries are all well and good but they rely on somebody else holding the stock, or being able to produce it at short notice.

It's like having staff doing nothing most of the time.

How? That is inefficient and wasteful. Building up your stock is increasing the value of your business (provided you are making something for which there is a demand)
jema

Obviously stock IS needed, no one would deny that, which is part of the problem as there is always a justification for making more stock, and you are doing what you enjoy doing.... which is why it can easily become a problem as it acts as a distraction from more important activities. Rob R

In response to crofter: you sell all of your stock in one year then it isn't excessive, it's when you make it quicker than you sell it that I think the OP was referring to.

Making more stock than you sell is a variable cost that adds to the sales price of what you do sell, much the same as unnecessary staff.
Jamanda

Obviously stock IS needed, no one would deny that, which is part of the problem as there is always a justification for making more stock, and you are doing what you enjoy doing.... which is why it can easily become a problem as it acts as a distraction from more important activities.

Maybe "equally important" activites rather than "more important". After all if there is no stock there is nothing to sell.
jema

Well the SIN was overstocking not stocking! Jamanda

Well the SIN was overstocking not stocking!

Fair enough.
crofter

Making more stock than you sell is a variable cost that adds to the sales price of what you do sell, much the same as unnecessary staff.

I don't think so. Any unsold stock is an asset which can be liquidated in the future. (Provided there is market demand. If you have unsold stock because there is no demand for what you are producing then I agree there is a problem)

@jema - I think time management is a separate issue, but yes, excess stock could be a symptom of poor planning!
Chez

Well the SIN was overstocking not stocking!

Laughing

I think it's a valid point. It's so much easier to toddle off and do interesting things rather than an a cash-flow analysis or similar.

Actually, I would like a pat on the back, please, as I have just updated my website with this season's prices and stuff Halo
crofter


Actually, I would like a pat on the back, please, as I have just updated my website with this season's prices and stuff Halo

<Pat>

Us livestock breeders never overstock, eh?

Wink
Chez

Never. Ever Laughing Rob R

Making more stock than you sell is a variable cost that adds to the sales price of what you do sell, much the same as unnecessary staff.

I don't think so. Any unsold stock is an asset which can be liquidated in the future. (Provided there is market demand. If you have unsold stock because there is no demand for what you are producing then I agree there is a problem)

Unless the stock appreciates in value then it will always be an added cost to the business that has to be paid for somehow. Unless you can make stock for nothing and keep it for nothing.
Rusticwood


Actually, I would like a pat on the back, please, as I have just updated my website with this season's prices and stuff Halo

<Pat>

Us livestock breeders never overstock, eh?

Wink

Even if you did you could always eat the evidence Wink Laughing
Rob R


Actually, I would like a pat on the back, please, as I have just updated my website with this season's prices and stuff Halo

<Pat>

Us livestock breeders never overstock, eh?

Wink

Even if you did you could always eat the evidence Wink Laughing

I eat plenty of meat but would struggle to get through even one cow a year... Laughing
Rusticwood

Laughing I could probably manage one, I'm more than part carnivore Laughing starjump

Have just read the sins list with a horrible sinking feeling..... Where can I find absolution?! Handmade Lives

Wonderful you have argued my case exactly thank you! Sally I have said exactly what I think so have a stiff drink before you read it and forgive me. T.G

The crux seems to me to be donít use making more stock as an excuse to avoid doing other less personally attractive elements of your business or at the expense ofÖ

Making more stock is not good as an avoidance tactic - fun but not necessarily business savvy Wink
mochyn

I know I'm guilty of making stuff rather than doing, for example, admin.

It's one of the things I WILL address this year.
Rob R

At various points down the years I've been guilty of six - except for not having a website - not that I am particularly crafty & not everything fits entirely but in essence, all those things are easy to do. Chez

On the other hand, I find it very easy to toddle around updating my website rather than, say, cleaning the hens out in the rain ... sally_in_wales

Sally I have said exactly what I think so have a stiff drink before you read it and forgive me.

nothing to forgive, I'm always open to constructive criticism. The difficulty with trying to be all things to quite a varied business is that its hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes, and you are entirely right that finding a new way to organise the way potential clients find our offerings might be useful. Thats something I've struggled with for a long time, hence the 'spin off' sites, some of which almost certainly now need retiring or re-inventing. Current big problem with hiring someone to do the web side is that there is no money after we've paid the bills each month to send work out to someone decent, until I find a way to resolve that (and it will get better, turnover is increasing every year, but its going to be a few years before we have money to re-invest), I have to keep muddling through as best I can
Handmade Lives

Sally so glad you are okay with so much heaped on you and I know it is all about staying on top of a whole lot of conflicting tasks.

But there is something going on here that you need to break out of. Your comfortable perception of yourself as a muddler has to go. Of course you are right, you are, but you are also an academic and therefore more than capable of analysing information and categorising it. So you are being disingenuous, you can sort it out, by saying I am such a muddler you are evading the task.

It really is worth doing. If you have a clear, user friendly website you will have a better perception of your business and will know if a new activity is going to fit and make sense. Get on top of this and every thing will seem easier and less complicated and the money will come in faster.

Businesses really do not survive muddle for very long.
Vanessa

As one who is intending to launch into creative business this year, this is very timely for me. I have my URLs sorted out, but no websites as yet (need to make more samples before I even try to build websites; a website for a creative business is NOTHING without pictures!)

I don't intend holding MADE stock, but will have quite a stash of materials to work from; I live in a rural area, without decent craft-materials shops within easy distance. So, I order most stuff online. I buy from where the quality stuff is cheapest, and that often means getting a larger pack of something. However, if it's something I know I'll use then I feel that's justifiable outlay.

IF I ever get to the stage where one particular line is especially in demand most of the time, then I'll make stock in my "spare" time ... but that's a big "if" Laughing
Handmade Lives

Hi Vanessa try this quiz Will you make it as a self employed creative? too [http://handmadelives.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/quiz-will-you-make-it-as-a-self-employed-creative/]
Then you be all set! What is your business going to be or is it under wraps?[/url]
Handmade Lives

Okay someone tell me how you do the links that clearly is wrong Handmade Lives

http://handmadelives.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/quiz-will-you-make-it-as-a-self-employed-creative/ Jamanda

Okay someone tell me how you do the links that clearly is wrong

Here you are.
Vanessa

Thank you! I scored virtually all 2s and 3s, one question I could've answered 1 and 2 (the health one); 3s outweighed the 2s by 3. I felt that wasn't TOO bad! Laughing

Lack of sales experience is going to be my biggest problem, I feel. And a smidge of lack of self-belief. I know I'm good at what I do, and others really appreciate my work, but believing it enough to sell, sell, sell is going to be the hard bit. I'm hoping the confidence will come in time; success breeding success and all that jazz.
earthyvirgo

Thank you! I scored virtually all 2s and 3s, one question I could've answered 1 and 2 (the health one); 3s outweighed the 2s by 3. I felt that wasn't TOO bad! Laughing

Lack of sales experience is going to be my biggest problem, I feel. And a smidge of lack of self-belief. I know I'm good at what I do, and others really appreciate my work, but believing it enough to sell, sell, sell is going to be the hard bit. I'm hoping the confidence will come in time; success breeding success and all that jazz.

The confidence will come Vanessa.
My first few sales had me looking over my shoulder checking to see if it was someone else who'd sold their work.

The buzz of seeing a red dot hasn't faded yet Smile
I've seen artists have early success, get over confident and up their prices, then plummet.

Always strive to improve and never let complacency creep into your vocabulary.

EV
Vanessa

Thank you, EV.

Oh, and no secrets; dress making and handicrafts. Covering 2 bases really; dress making will take a LOT longer to get off the ground, and may be quite some time between commissions. Making greetings cards and various "bits and bobs" will (a) fill in time between the bigger jobs, and (b) be easier (in theory at least) to sell.
Jamanda

Are you hitting the prom dress market for this year? Local dress makers here have given us posters with promises of free initial fittings etc to put up in the year 11 form rooms.

(I need to lose a stone, or I'll have to buy a new one too)
Vanessa

Hadn't thought of flyers for prom dresses. Brilliant idea! I've got an insider in one school, too ... my daughter is a secondary school teacher!! Laughing OK, so she's an hour's drive away, but I can combine work with the undeniable pleasure of seeing my "little" girl! Wink Cool Jamanda

Send a few to the head of year 11 at your local schools too. Vanessa

Will do. When. Now, or later? 12Bore

Will do. When. Now, or later?
Soon as poss, think lead times.
Vanessa

Good point! Thanks 12bore.

Trouble is, there weren't fancy prom dresses (in fact, there wasn't even a leaving party!) when I left school, and my daughter's end-of-year-11 do was just a disco; they didn't really dress-up that much ... so I'm out of touch with it all!! Embarassed
Jamanda

Will do. When. Now, or later?

ASAP. They are busy little bunnies, what with exams and things, and it gets worse as the months go by.
Handmade Lives

Quote:


Lack of sales experience is going to be my biggest problem, I feel. And a smidge of lack of self-belief.


Some one wrote this in another forum and I thought it was a really good way of thinking about that face to face moment
Quote:
I try to look at selling differently, I am proud of my work and I "show" it to people more then sell it to them. I talk about what inspired me to make a piece. My booth is my gallery, the people who enter are my clients not customers and I don't hard sell. The key is to relax and enjoy the sharing experience, know everyone is not going to get your work and seek out those who love it because they, more then anything, will keep you inspired to do more and grander things"


I tell you what though when someone opens their purse and takes out money they have worked for and gives it to you, that is the most gob smacking moment in the world.
Vanessa

Thank you! That whole post is so inspiring! Very Happy Nicky Colour it green



I tell you what though when someone opens their purse and takes out money they have worked for and gives it to you, that is the most gob smacking moment in the world.

Definitely! - when it's not someone you know - perhaps being kind - but someone completely unconnected parting with *actual* money for your work. It's ace.


oh and for the record, I'm guilty of not making enough stock.
Handmade Lives

Quote:

oh and for the record, I'm guilty of not making enough stock.



Laughing Laughing Laughing I guess you are a sheep farmer v clever![/quote]
Nicky Colour it green

Quote:

oh and for the record, I'm guilty of not making enough stock.



Laughing Laughing Laughing I guess you are a sheep farmer v clever! [/quote]

I hadn't thought of that side of it Laughing


We made things to sell from our sheep's wool - and I sell it online and in a gallery - the gallery kept running out of things before Christmas, as I had not made enough stock. So the plan is to made lots of stock during quiet times, of the things that I know sell. Also the gallery are keen we expand our range so I need to spend time trying out new ideas too.
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