This weekend marked the 30th Market Day. It also marked my first Market Day of my 30th year. This is not a coincidence. Actually it is, but I like to think about it as a cosmic connection rather than a weekend where scheduling worked out. A big, delighted "thank you" to the 1,484 people who wandered through the rows of talented, local makers admiring our wares and buybuybuying. You make what we do matter.
My day was a success. So many folks were generous with their giggles as they picked up postcards and read them aloud. That's my favorite part of this wee side business; other people find it funny too. I'm still flattered, surprised and thrilled when someone picks up one of my postcards and decides they need to buy it. This weekend greetings will be sent to Croatia, Minnesota and the Philippines. XO-LP is going global.
I have over 1,500 postcards in my house right now. (Take a minute to catch your breath. Also take a moment to wonder where all that paper is stored in this charming little home.) So exciting, yes. But dude. HOW DO YOU GET NOTICED? Sorry for yelling. I just think about it everyday. I think the real question I have is how do you get your illustrations out into a crafty, card shop lovin, familiar-with-etsy world and still have them be special? I wanna know how my many print idols get serious about their work, find time to make their work and ultimately, get their work noticed.
Part-time small businessing is hard. You need to know about SOE and Meta Links and inventory and receipt keeping and invoicing and wholesaling and where the hell you packed the table cloth during the move. There more questions than answers and so many resources (clearly this is a good problem) that it's hard to know where to start.
Cat and Dani are constantly helping to inspire and educate me. Setting yourself apart from the Etsy crowd is flippin tough. Keeping your shop up to date could be a full time gig. Spending money on ads... is that really effective? And then there's the dreaded Etsy envy. Aw man it's the worst. You wish your notes would be as so totally awesome this, that or the other one. There's Pinterest metrics and Google analytics and so many other things I don't reallllly understand. I'm not complaining. Definitely not. In fact I'm grateful for the help, advice and technical assistance my friends and colleagues have provided. (Thank you Liz, Chels, Kiley and Scott.) I make something that I love and I'm so thankful that other people have invested in me.
8-year-old Laura and her plan to create a line of greeting cards under the name "Palmark" (this is a real story. I have visual proof of the little crown I drew on the back of cards sent to my grandmother) would be tickled by the fact that people buy and send her creations. I'm simply overwhelmed by the possibilities.
So here's the plea: What tips and tricks do you have for me as a (very) small business owner? How do you get noticed?