Heather’s Ramblings

Archive for the ‘Flaming Hot’ Category

This week’s Flaming Hot topic is what is our staple glass object and why.  My staple is a gravity swirled pressed bead.  I make these beads when I am having problems with settling down and getting to work.  The beads are simple to make yet always turn out differently so despite the simplicity they are still fun to make.  The act of making these beads puts me into a zen like place which helps me relax enough that I can work on more complex beads.

As you can see from these three examples I rarely leave the beads as just a gravity swirl and a pressing.  A few little twists and dots of a transparent turn these beads into something quite pleasing and interesting to work with.

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Today’s Flaming Hot topic is our goals and objectives, how do we track the progress of our business and how do we go about growing/expanding the business.

I consider myself an informed plodder.  I work at maintaining my site and keeping up with my auctions and that is the majority of where I spend my time.  However, I also make sure to take some time to expand my horizons.  I spend 10-15% of my time researching new ways to promote my business such as advertising and getting my work into galleries.  So far I have lots of ideas of what I want to do when I have the money for professional photographs so now its mostly just a matter of earning the money by selling my work.

My main way of tracking how my business is doing this year as opposed to last is my shipping file.  Each year’s shipping gets its own file folder and as long as the current years folder is thicker than the previous years folder I am happy.  The second way I look at how my business is doing is even less formal than the first way.  I will take a look at what sort of shows I’ve done, and what new equipment I’ve bought for the business.  If my business has paid for most of the shows and the equipment then I see that as a good sign.  This year my business paid for me to advertise on JustBeads and a Top 100 site, take a fusing class, buy a ring saw, and paid for several of my show entry fees including my most expensive entry fee to date for a show in April 2008.  So by using these two methods I have decided that my business is doing better this year than last.  Its not enough to provide me with an income yet but maybe in a few years it will be.  Right now, I am keeping my fingers crossed and I hope you’ll keep yours crossed for me too.

This weeks Flaming Hot topic was when do you list your auctions and why?

I used to have a full time job where I worked from 8-4.  This got me into the habit of coming home from work, turning on the kiln and oxycon, and while they were warming up I would clean out the beads I’d made my last torching session.  Then after I torched for a while and ate dinner I would photograph the beads I’d cleaned earlier and sit down at the computer to edit the pictures and list auctions. So my typical listing time was between 730 and 9pm.   There was so science behind that time, it was just what worked for me.

Now that I no longer have a full time job I find that I still have plenty to do during the day to keep me occupied.  I’ve been spending longer periods of time at the torch or making jewelry, I’m expanding my sales and advertising, and I’ve also been spending time getting all of those little projects done around the house that have been building up.  So by the time I am done with all my running around I still end up listing about 730-9pm.  No science, it still just works for me and my life.  🙂

…be able to support myself with my glass instead of supporting my glass with a full time job.

Right now, I may just get the chance to try it out. I lost my job this week and while I am looking for a new one right now, I also have a lot of free time on my hands. I’m not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me, just to explain where I am coming from.

When I was working full time I felt like I never had enough time at the torch but now that I am available I have decided to do what I can to improve my skills and advertise my business as much as I can. If I’m lucky maybe I won’t have to go back to a full time job.

Towards this goal not only am I working on making beads or photographing them every day but I am also trying to advertise myself more. I’ve joined a couple of blog groups, yahoo groups, and am listing on Ebay and JustBeads more.

I am also sending out newsletters from my site and giving away beads to keep people looking at my site. Here is my latest offering. If you are interested in learning how you can win this bead go here. Go to the store and select the monthly giveaway category. Free Bead, November

My next step is going to be advertising. I haven’t decided if I’ll stick to web ads or if I will take some out in magazines as well.

Well now that I have bored you with my intentions, its about time I get to work on them. 🙂 Wish me luck!


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