Etsy Resolution: Week One- Branding and the about page

about

I have decided to follow along with the etsy resolution workshops, to help me work on my own business. With a little toddler and busy life, it has been hard to have time to work on getting my website up to date and think about my brand, and where I want to direct it, at this point in my life. So by following along, I think it will give my some prompts and tips to help work on my own business a bit, and re-assess how things are going, after almost 8 years in the game! Being an all-round creative with many interests and likes, I often struggle with my brand and identity. I know its something most designers find hardest to do, its always easier to design for someone else than yourself.

So this week, they talked about branding and the ‘about page’. You can view the lesson here- Etsy Resolution Week 1

So time to look at my about page, and brand. I have been trying to work on my about page recently. I did a lot of googling and reading on how to write about pages. My goal to get my about page the best it could be. But again, work takes priority over my own site, I still need to make money! But with this lesson and prompts I think I can finally get it to be the page I want it to be.

  • When did you start making what you make? My business started in 2007. I started out selling textiles and art on etsy. Then in 2009, I started to take on illustration and graphic design freelance jobs. 2010 I had finished my studies and started building up my freelance business.
  • Why did you start making what you make? I originally started making Children’s accessories, which stemmed from a highschool project. I always loved Children’s things, and they were fun to create. But then when I moved to freelancing, I started doing logos, websites and branding. I love helping small businesses and individuals bring their brand or online presence to life. I love giving businesses a visual voice.
  • Were you always creative? Yes! My mother is an artist, and was a strong influence on my creative skills. I have always wanted to do something creative.
  • What do you love about your materials? These days I work mostly with digital ‘materials’. SO I love the fact I create something from pretty much nothing. I am also in love with natural fibres, including paper and natural fabrics. I love natural texture, urban decay and vintage.
  • What do you love about the process of making? Creating something beautiful from raw materials. Creativity brings basic materials to life into something beautiful and useful. I also love the process of make-overs. To make-over a brand or website, from drab to amazing, is a very rewarding experience.
  • Where did the idea to start a business come from? As a teenager, I had a long term dream of starting a business, as i liked the idea of doing my own thing, creative freedom and also being able to work from home and bring up my own children. I didn’t think it would happen until I had plenty of experience in the workforce, but after studying and finding myself unemployed and struggling to get a job in the industry I was in, I also stumbled upon etsy and decided to start up a business anyway at least as a sideline till I found a real job. After a while and some sucess, I gave up on the idea of working for someone else and fell in love with running my own business.
  • What is unique about your business that makes you stand out? I usually just work with small businesses rather than big brands, which means I can be more creative and give it a really personal touch and plenty of character and love. My work is full of details and love, not slick big brands.
  • What do you love most about your business? The variety of work I get to do.
  • What do you love most about what your business allows you to do with the rest of your life? It allows me to have the freedom to work from home, and still do work while bring up my child. (And any future children)
  • What “aha” moments have you had? I started out in the world of fashion, thinking fashion and textiles were my thing, but after trying to work in that industry, I realised it really wasn’t my world, and wasn’t satisfying my creatively as I had hoped it would. I re-assessed my interests, and my “aha” moment was realising grahic design was my true passion, so I took a risk and re-trained as a graphic designer and found my true creative passion.
  • How has your business evolved from where it started to now? It started out as an etsy shop, selling bags and accessories and some art, to then doing a few freelance jobs and wholesale to then graphic design and illustration freelance work. Over time i have grown my client base, done a great variety of work, and been published. Most recently i got to illustrate a Children’s book.
  • What lessons have you learnt? Business can be hard work, there are times clients waste your time or don’t pay up, and times when you spend hours fixing something for no pay, and hours spent building your business and promoting it. I have learnt soo much in the time I have been doing this, but still have more to learn. My skill level has also developed, learning more about coding, photoshop tricks and more.
  • What about your business would you consider normal, but that other people might think is cool? Creating art that looks hand-done using a computer and wacom tablet. I love my wacom, and drawing with it, but  I find some people find that so fascinating and amazing, but it has become the everyday to me.o/l
  • What problem are you trying to solve? Helping businesses and individuals grown their business and online presence by making their branding look awesome, and attractive to their customers/readers. Some people have great ideas, great products, great blog posts, but don’t have the creative or technical skill to make them shine, and that is where I come in. I am helping clients communicate who they are/who their business is in a visual way, so they can get their message across to the world.
  • How do you want your customer to feel when they use/receive something you’ve made? Excited and happy. I love when clients send an email back after a first draft full of excitement about what I have sent. I want it to be better than they could have imagined. I want it to perfectly suit their style and communicate who they are so well, that they feel I really ‘get them’. It’s the best compliment when I client says ‘I’m really happy I am working with you, because you seem to really get what I want and who I am’
  • Why does what you do matter? Because for small business’ to thrive they need to attract customers. And they need customers to get a feel for how they are in order to attract them. So I help them communicate that visually. I love working with small business too, as I think they play an integral role in the economy, and local communities. They also provide the customer with better choice and fill niche markets. I want to make small business stand out and have a voice, so customers fell more attracted to them then the big companies.
  • Who helps you? I work on my own, but occasionally outsource things like printing, developing or writting.
  • How do you help people? I sort of already addressed this, but basically i help people visually communicate who they, their ideas, blog, business or what ever it is they do.

Now I need to turn all these thoughts and answers into a nice about page! And collect the following photos:

  • Studio photos
  • Me working
  • Close-ups of hands and tools
  • Action shots
  • Pictures of work in progress, including – materials, design process and production process
  • Lifestyle shots, including – family and home

I will let you know when my new about page is written and live, would love to get feedback once I have finished it.

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goals for twenty fifteen

It’s still January, so not too late to write this post! Even though I have taken a while to get this post written, my goals have been underway already. I have split my goals into aspects of my life to work on this year

health

Continue improving my diet, cutting out the bad processed and sugar filled and trying more healthy food, and also try to snack less- I am a terrible snacker. I also want to have a go at the occasional green smoothie, try new ‘superfoods’ and experiment with new recipes and get in good habits.

fintness

This may sound crazy, but the fitness goal is to look like I did at my ‘peak’ age of 21, or better. The reason for this goal, is to get my body in the best shape I can before a) I have another baby, so it is easy to recover next time, and I am giving the child a healthy mother, and b) To get in good habits and take care of my body before I hit 30, as my body passes its peak and heads into the territory of aging, its important I take care of it, to stay young and healthy longer.

Last year I did a lot of walking, and at the end of the year starting up the game by adding in some HIIT workouts and the odd run. Now I am trying to do regular HIIT and some weight training to help tone up. I am currently doing the 90 day Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 2.0 workouts

mother2

I want to work hard this year at continuing to teach and help Henry develop. Including taking him to swimming lessons again, regular library visits, songs and book together. Take the time to just sit with him and show him things, as well as involve him in everyday activities. I have come across some good educational activities through Montessori sites. And of course give him lots of cuddles and love.

career

It’s hard setting career goals, when a tiny person takes up so much of your time. But I would like to get my website finished off (it’s missing a lot at the moment, since I tried re-designing it last year) and just try and take on some good projects and do what work I can.

 

spirit

Journal regularly, I would say daily, but I know some days can throw things out, if traveling, having visitors or just a busy day out, so the aim is to journal as much as I can. On a regular at home all day kind of day, there are no excuses!

I also want to try and change my mindset, and let go of self-pressure. In this busy world, we put pressures on ourselves, when really it doesn’t have to be done. E,g Getting a blog post like this out by the very start of the year, instead I took my time. Letting go self inflicted insignificant pressures, may seem like a small thing, but it can take a load off the mind and stop the self induced stress. It’s mostly about keeping things in perspective, and not getting caught up in perfection.

community

(photo from Local is Lovely- an Orange based blog)

Go to local markets and events. This was a goal I had last year, and I want to try keep it up. Our local area puts on a lot of great things, and I think it’s worth getting involved and experiencing what the town has to offer, as we don’t know how long we will stay here.

home

– Get my pantry super organised and tidy, and more raw ingredients, less packaged foods.

– Get frugal, and beat the big supermarkets, by trying to buy things bulk or at farmers markets when we can.

-Make things for our home

-Grow more plants (Like herbs and veg)

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La Galette blog re-design

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I recently finished this blog design for the lovely Zainab of La Gallette. Still in school, she creates beautiful baked delights, a lot of her creations are sugar free and vegan. Her food photography is feminine, gentle and so very beautiful! So talented!

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So it was a lot of fun working on a re-design for her blog, to make the blog reflect her creations and personality.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 8.10.20 pm

Hope you like it, and enjoy her posts too.

lagallette.com

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My bliss #5

blissno5

This little bliss ball creation tastes like fig muesli. It’s almost like a protein breakfast ball.

You will need:
-2 dried figs
-1/2 cup almonds
-1/2 cup oats
– 2 tbsp protein powder
– 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
-1 tbsp Mayvers Superspread (or nut spread of choice)
-1 tbsp rice malt syrup

First soak the figs for an hour or two to soften them up, then mix everything in the food processor and roll into balls.

My bliss:

1. Getting into the new year (there is always a great positive vibe starting off a new year)
2. Getting into new routines
3. Experimenting with new healthy foods, and loving the summer produce from the local farmers.
4. Feeling proud of my son, for surviving his first time with foreign baby sitters.
5. Enjoying the summer rain, and the relief it brings from the heat.

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2014- Looking back on the year that was.

2014_review

I love to do a yearly summary, it’s a great way to reflect back on the past year, see what I have achieved, things that have changed and events that occurred. A nice moment to reflect before beginning another year.
This year was my first full year as a mother, and starting the year with a 3 month old to ending it with a 14 month old, certainly means it’s been a year of lots of change. If I had to choose a word to sum up the year ‘CHANGE’ is a good one.
At the start of the year, knowing my life would be busy I gave myself some simple, yet still challenging goals..

2014images01

On new years day, I started things off right with a walk to the park, for a little picnic with Henry, the start of many walks and trips to the park together. We also started our first garden plan ideas, getting some native plants planted around a planned garden bed.

2014images02

Henry developed fast, soon sitting up, crawling and sitting in his highchair eating solids. We continued going for many walks, began photographing my old clothes to sell, made a fun easter cake, and went to a wedding in Mudgee.

2014images03

Beautiful Autumn came, bringing gorgeous leaves to crush through as I went for walks, and Henry enjoyed playing in the too. He quickly learnt to pull himself up, stand and soon took his first steps at just 8 and a half months old. I took him to regular swimming lessons, and sewed a teepee for him. He also got a cardboard cubby made by his grandpa. I dyed my hair black and turned 28! We installed a fireplace in our house, though it was all a bit crazy and it was installed and uninstalled a few times, before finally officially being ready to use.

2014images04

I was trying to eat healthier, more fruit, veg and less sugar. I took Henry for visits to the library to borrow books, and he loved playing with the duplo. My parents came for a vist. We had snow at our house (yes even a little snow is exciting, when you have hardly seen snow all your life) and it was Henry’s first snow too. He started liking parks, playing on the swings and slide. The fireplace was finally roaring, and Henry got to go to his first birthday party.

2014images05

We took a short trip to Sydney, and Henry got to see his great-nan. I bought an ergo carrier for taking Henry out to the park or shops, when I didn’t feel like taking a pram. I dyed my hair again- ombre this time. We went on lovely country drives as a family often on the weekends. Spring came, and the flowers all in bloom. We took Henry to his first petting zoo, he was a bit unsure at first, but soon giving the animals a little pat. He began ‘helping’ more with cleaning, LOVES washing up, vacuuming, sweeping and wiping things. Construction on the backyard was underway!! And we celebrated Henry’s first birthday! I also went to my school 10 year reunion.

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The final 2 months of the year, were jam packed! I took Henry for his first train ride on the xpt (a 5 hour train journey) to Sydney, and he did really well and enjoyed it. We went to Westfield Chatswood to promote Herbert Peabody, the book I illustrated and also visited family while there. Including getting two of Henry’s great grandmothers together. Backyard renovations were go-go-go, we went nuts trying to get it all done before Christmas, including laying turf at night, speed planing, and lots of wheel barrow trips up and down the paths, and finally getting our gate in. Henry started enjoying helping me with the baking. And still loving washing up and vacuuming. We went to a wedding in Sydney, back where we got married, which was really cool. Then the rush to prepare for Christmas, decorating, baking and cleaning. We had a lovely relaxing Christmas, and spent the final week of the year relaxing, going for day trips in the country and playing in the lovely new backyard. New Years eve, we had a special treat of Chocolate mousse, which Henry loved a bit too much!!

What a year, and so much change happening!

2014change

And to show you how much Henry and I changed. The first photo is Dec 2013, the second Dec 2014.

And so goals for 2015.. let’s make that another post, this post is already too long!! Stay tuned :)

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