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Monday, September 12, 2011

Reality Check

I never stop being busy.  With work stuff, with life stuff, with fun stuff, it's always something.  I did take a break last month for a week-long family vacation at Hilton Head Island, SC.  It was fabulous.  The beach is my favorite place ever, and this was a beautiful one.  We were there to watch Hurricane Irene pass by the SC coast before slamming into the Outer Banks of NC and going on to wreak havoc on the Northeast.

This was taken at about 11:30am, about 30 seconds before the torrential downpour.  Gorgeous to be able to watch it come in like that.

This was about 8:00pm when the rain finally let up.  Love it.

Ahhh, the beach.  Ever-inspiring.  For more photos, visit my photostream.

When we got back, we had no cable or internet for a week.  Thanks, Irene.  But we got it easy... poor Vermont.  Even though it did put me waaaaaaay behind, work-wise.  So I have been playing catch-up ever since.  So busy.

So Mark and I are busy launching a new business - you know, one's not enough... - CopperDog Studio.  It gets its own post soon, I promise.  But I figured I better step up my marketing efforts for both businesses.  We have high hopes for CopperDog, so I gotta get on it.  I have posted a few teasers and sneak peeks on my facebook page, but that's about it for public interaction.  My goal is to get it ready for orders this week.  Whew!

Back to the marketing efforts:  I signed up for an e-course called "Marketing for Makers" by Megan Auman, author of Crafting an MBA.  I highly recommend her blog, and I have a feeling I will highly recommend this e-course, too, when I'm done with it.  I just started with Lesson One this morning, and already it's forced me to really look at my current business statistics and to make goals for six months to a year from now.  (Also, Google Analytics is a must-have if you have any sort of online business.  If you don't have it already, go get it, it's free.)  I have a bad habit of just taking in the sales when they come - I keep a record for taxes, etc, but usually the money goes right back into the business.  So I haven't really taken an in-depth look at statistics and averages, etc, until now.  It's very interesting, but a little depressing to be quite honest, when I compare it to how much I would have been making at my old job - which wasn't that great either, but I could live on it comfortably and even build up a little savings.  Which is a goal I have for my craft business, but I do realize that starting any business you usually don't make any money for the first three years or so.  So this course guides you through setting goals for the immediate future as well as the a little further on down the road.  Plus it's not just about setting goals for sales, it's about setting goals for your marketing efforts.  I'm really excited to get this going, and I'll report more as I learn more. 

Now, I'm off to the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to make some enamel samples for some of the workshops I'll be teaching this fall!  They start this coming weekend, Sept. 17-18, so if you know of anyone who would be interested in Micro Raising or Enameling in the Richmond VA, Winston-Salem NC, or Ridgefield CT areas, have them look us up!  They're all going to be super-fun!  Ok, shameless plug, but seriously it would be a great time, and I need more people to sign up so that all the workshops will make, especially these first few! 

Check back soon for more info and to hear about CopperDog Studio for all you puppy-lovers out there!

Thanks for reading!

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