Labor Day Painting Sale & Life Update

Labor Day Sale!-2

This may be the longest it’s ever been since my last update. I’ve been trying to plan better and be more consistent in my business and in life but, as they often do, unforeseen obstacles have gotten in the way.

I guess it’s finally time to admit that our relocation has been more of a nightmare than an adventure. I tried to be optimistic and make the best of it, and I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed certain aspects of life in this area, but “normal moving stress” and obnoxious neighbors gave way to a series of disappointments, specifically a lack of business and personal connections, and finally what I consider betrayal from our friends/Joe’s business partner who we followed here.

This is probably not the place to go into detail, so suffice it to say that they behaved with incredible selfishness and unprofessionalism and, intentionally or not, did a lot of damage to our lives and the gym. And in the end, they weren’t the ones to stick around and deal with it. It’s hard to explain in such vague terms without sounding like I’m being petty, but I’ don’t want to start drama, I just feel the need to share what’s been going on in order to move forward.

It didn’t help that I was, and still am, trying to manage recurring major depression with basically no support system. I think the hardest part was losing faith in myself and other people, because the red flags were all there. We knew better. But whether out of goodwill or desperation, we gave the benefit of the doubt anyway. Either way, it’s shocking to be treated like nothing more than a means to an end by people who said they cared. At least I’ve learned that my instincts are usually right, if I would just listen to them.

As all of this was coming to an end, Joe found out with about a month’s notice that he’d be deploying for the fourth time. We knew this was a possibility and I was honestly never sold on living here, so my backup plan was – surprise! – temporarily moving to Asheville, where I hope the plentiful art, good food, nice people, and beautiful mountains will remind me what it feels like to enjoy life.

You may remember I’ve tried this before, and maybe I’m being stupid, but logistically it’s more realistic this time. We’re just renting and we want to move closer to town anyway, so in between, I’ll put most of our stuff in storage and find a small place for me and the cats.

My online inventory may change a bit as I try to take advantage of local shows, galleries, and other activities, but I plan to keep my shop running and updated. Maybe I’ll even blog and make YouTube videos again! Either way, I’m sure there will be plenty of inspiration for new projects.

So on that note, I’m participating in Etsy’s Labor Day sale with 30% off all paintings in My Shop, including minis, magnets, and ornaments, to try to reduce some of my larger/more damageable stock before I have to pack it. It runs from the August 30th to September 3rd with a preview today.

If you’ve read this far, I want you to know that even though I’ve fallen behind with certain things, it has meant the world to me to have my business and its growing support network to focus on through these struggles. I may have largely gone without friends or opportunities in person, but at least there’s the Internet, right? So thank you guys and I hope you’ll stick with me and see what’s next in the coming months!

New Sale/Clearance Section

It’s been a busy year so far with steady orders since the holidays and lots of new projects as usual. I’m especially excited to be selling more and more of my brand new designs. But at the same time, I have lots of older ones still sitting in my studio, especially since I have all my local stock back.

So I decided to take advantage of Etsy’s awesome new sales features and start an ongoing clearance section. Currently the discounts range from 30-50% off, depending on the item and how long it’s been in my shop. I plan to update it regularly and might even include some newer items to see what happens.

I’m offering everything from art to jewelry to handmade supplies – including my prototype crochet hooks, which will be discounted on an ongoing basis based on availability – and I hope you’ll take a look from time to time! It’s a great way to get a rare deal on a unique item for yourself or a gift!

Click the shop link in the menu or go to the Sale Section right here!

Florals: Sale Items & New Designs 

It’s been a busy month (yikes!) since my last post, mostly spent preparing for a local event, which I will talk about later. I haven’t been able to spend as much time creating new designs, but I do have a few I hadn’t shared yet.

First I wanted to mention that I’m having a sale at Noelle Lewis Art on Etsy and Amazon, for just a few more days. I’m clearing out some of my older floral items, including jewelry sets and mixed media paintings, so I can focus on my landscape cane jewelry and landscape paintings – which may still include some mixed media.


Meanwhile in my other shop, Pastiche Accessories, I have a new collection of florals featuring statement necklaces and matching earrings in a variety of colors and styles. I use the caning technique for these also but shape the slices into flowers, then connect them and finish them with beads.

As I may have mentioned, I’m branching out to include other metal colors – besides silver – such as gold, copper, and bronze. And I’ve started making studs along with the dangle earrings, which can also be purchased as clip-ons. 

I hope I’m not confusing anyone while I figure out my multiple shop situation and get organized! But I have plenty of options and I hope you’ll check out the sale and/or the new collection! 

Valentine’s Day Promotion and “Watercolor” Jewelry Set

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I wanted to do something fun and different for a promotion this year. So instead of the usual percent off or free shipping, all of next week’s Valentine orders will ship with a free gift. It’s a surprise but I will say that it’s inspired by a Valentine’s Day classic.

I had a couple other projects going on and only managed to design one new love-themed jewelry set, but I think it turned out pretty cool. I used three different colors of alcohol inks to create an abstract faux watercolor pattern on white polymer clay hearts. I think I will experiment with other colors and shapes later in the year.

As usual, I’ve also brought back several items from previous years, mostly hearts in red and pink, but some are definitely subtle enough to wear year round, and one of them can be personalized. I moved  all these items into the Valentine’s Day section of my Etsy shop so you know what’s included in the promotion.

 

My Valentine’s Day jewelry collection

So check it out and maybe you will find something special to gift or to wear. Handmade jewelry is a great option (in my biased opinion) because it can be a lot more affordable than fine jewelry, but more unique and personal. 

If you’re in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can enjoy the day to celebrate your love and not feel too much pressure to make it perfect – it’s the thought that counts, right? 

And if you’re single, then I apologize for couples getting all the attention, and I hope you can feel good about doing something nice for yourself or other people in your life – cause you don’t have to be in a relationship to deserve that!

Cyber Monday Jewelry Set Promotion

Between orders and holiday plans, I’m a little behind on things and still have some holiday crafts and recipes to share.

I will try to get to them soon, but for now I am going to quickly share a Cyber Monday promotion I have going on in my shop!

I’ve been wanting to sell more of my newer jewelry sets made with polymer clay canes, and I also think they would make great gifts.

So this week, Monday through Friday, all jewelry sets at Noelle Lewis Art come with free shipping and gift packaging! Each set includes a necklace and earrings with images of local landscapes or holiday scenes. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you can also re-post this photo for a chance to win a pair of earrings from one of the sets!

  
So check it out and I hope you can all get through your shopping with minimal stress and enjoy the season! 

50% Off Handmade Jewelry

Just a quick update on my Etsy shop – I now have a Sale/Clearance section with some of my older items about 50% off. 

Some sellers don’t like doing sales because they put so much effort into each item; I didn’t like the idea at first because I only wanted people to see my best, latest work. But I have a lot of old stock to get rid of and a lot of new ideas, and people love good deals, so it seems like a win-win. Plus it couldn’t hurt to possibly get more reviews.

Check it out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PasticheAccessories?section_id=17046251. I hope you find something you like! 

  

 

Best Etsy Sales Month Ever!

IMG_7653.JPG

So I opened my Etsy shop about 5 years ago at the suggestion of an enthusiastic friend. Sales were practically nonexistent for the first few years (yes years, but don’t let that discourage you, I really wasn’t trying very hard) as I figured out my niche, worked other jobs, and eventually realized I had to learn business as well as my craft to succeed.

Recently though, I’ve been able to put a lot more time into it and at least start to figure out what I’m doing. So, minus seasonal highs and lows, my business is getting better and better over time.

20140830-032905-12545655.jpg

Above: a graph of my revenue over the last two years. Not sharing the numbers just yet but there’s plenty of improvement.

If last year is any indication, I should have a very busy holiday season. But this month I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’ve already beat my record sales month – last December – in only August! I’m not sure about off-site sales, but it’s my best month so far on Etsy. The big order I got for wedding hairpins definitely made a difference, but the little orders added up too.

So I am trying to come up with something nice (and affordable) to send each of my August customers in the mail. Meanwhile, I’ve added a coupon code to my shop for the month of September – $5 off any order (of at least $10)!

Selling handmade definitely has its ups and downs, not just financially, but emotionally. It’s not easy to take rejection when your work is so close to your heart, or to be misunderstood for even trying. And I’m definitely not making a livable income yet so I’m lucky I have a supportive husband (before you read that as “I’m a freeloader,” I do my part supporting him too).

Then again, a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet. Maybe I should be honored that anyone is spending their hard-earned money on my non-essential items. And when it is going well, it feels great, maybe more so for all the hard work and bad times and doubters.

So feel free to head over to my shop {here} and use coupon code CELEBRATE5 on your order.

Or check out my aforementioned friend’s work, now on Behance {https://www.behance.net/katiepylman}.

And if you’re an artist/entrepreneur too, I hope you’ll keep trying!