Monday, December 27, 2010

The Ghost of Christmas Impasse

"Twas the night before Christmas, Christmas day, the day after and another damn day after that, and all the through the house not a kind word was spoken betwixt a wife and her spouse."

Alas I've reached the point of reason...well, maybe not reason but some semblance of cogent thought and articulation, that I might write (Read: purge) what ails me about "special days" and the special pressures they present. Along the same vein as people who bellow out in anguish and upset when their favorite celebrity is revealed to be, human, I have come to find that I have gravely mistaken egg nog as the cure for assholery. Hark, the shame and frustration!

Much like celebrities, special days are just regular ol' days with added expense, pretense and expectations. And boy, did that I ever learn that the hard way this year.

Some of you may have noticed my erratic and harried posting schedule; many days and events' recaps cut from lag between posts and sheer lack of memory. I've been pretty bogged down with my business, my books and some of the less exciting aspects of real life. Why, why then- did I think the twenty-fourth of December would swoop in on a sleigh and bring with it cute mammals adorned in bells -of the un-ringing variety, please, I am a mother, silence is both golden, and scarce- patience, peace, respect, consideration, compassion, [insert other things that don't incite me to full-blown histrionics]. What was I thinking?! Well, whatever it was, clearly it was not a shared sentiment, because my December 24th came swooping in alright, and out of me came words I'm almost ashamed to repeat. OK, so that last part is a big fat lie if I ever told one, but it sounds, let's stick with it.

In truth, it was disappointing, I was disappointed, I am disappointed, and although I'm quite pissed with the Favorite Guy, I may very well be most pissed with myself for having just realized...admitted- Oh semantics, you can suck it too- the obvious."This is no new elephant, Tameka, and you went and put lights and silver doodads on it?! Hell, now it seems larger, and even more ominous"!

Now on the heels of a brand NEW! year, I'm feeling yet more pressure. Yes, in addition to the sad and heavy said glittered elephant has left deep in my craw. "I've got to snap out of this, everyone will be making resolutions and writing lists", I say. Yet, the best I can come up with is a plan for surrender, a white flag, an un-flipped bird, one final act of anything but willful resignation. More pressure, more pretense, more blog fodder. Sighs and sulks.

Hey, how much alcohol do you think it takes to kill an elephant? No, not a real one, silly.

I'll take peace for a thousand , Alex.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Phase One: The 7 Year Itch Project

Can "The Great Tameka" pack, paint, unpack and decorate without going completely mad before Festimas? Stay tuned to find out...


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanks Given

Thanksgiving 2010

I hope all who partake enjoyed a happy, healthy Thanksgiving. We shared a quiet intimate dinner at home; just the four of us. This is no easy task with all of the hustle and bustle in each of our daily lives', so we are truly grateful to have been able to carve out this time for reflecting and reconnecting.

Thanksgiving is one of those complicated celebrations for me, as I'm not too keen on its painful historical past. I do however, remain meditatively mindful of the lives, culture and history lost when we gather to savor our own sweet, but fleeting time together.

Peace, gratitude and grace

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finals, Fame, Fun, and Finals...

I am finally settling myself after a whirlwind weekend! Friday was the end of studying and the final final exam of the Summer. With Fall fast approaching, the Universe squeezed in a heaping helping of awesome for this weary, worrisome, woman on Saturday.

First, my interview with the sweet, warm and wonderful Jennifer Davis creator of "Indie With..." "Indie With" is a blog and Internet radio show that highlights independent artists/entrepreneurs who have a little (or in some cases a lot) going on on the side. We met this past Saturday to discuss what being an mom, artist, wife, business owner, and self- proclaimed "side-dish slut" means to me.

Thirty-one minutes of fame: although the lines were quiet, Pretty in Peace was buzzing! I received more hits on Saturday than I have since I went LIVE! on Big Cartel this past August. It was a wonderful experience, and the energy shared between Jennifer and I was palpable even through the airwaves. Kindred spirits unite! Have a listen, leave a comment-let's show some support of Jen's new media venture! For more on Jennifer Davis the artist, see her shops here:

Oralgasm:"Chocolate mixed with all sorts of delicious things"
Phineas & Lou:"City life and music inspired knit and crochet" wares

With a school picture-esque smile frozen in place I begin to thrash about in my closet to find something equal parts comfortable and stylish for my date with the Favorite Guy. That's right- same day, new adventure. Joseph and I are fortunate enough, through our respective works, to be neatly tied into the local art and music scene here in Phoenix. Friend and esteemed local DJ Senbad was working the Red Bull Sound Clash with The Roots and Miniature Tigers, and we got in on this SOLD-OUT evening of super. And stupor, in the way that only an energy drink sponsored bar side event can be.

And now, I wait for the final grade of my final class to post. I'm tinkering on the edge of an A. based on my worst-case-scenario calculations, I will need a minimum grade of 88% to hang on to my 4.0 with a 91.910%. Anything lower, and I fall into that grey, subjective area that clearly doesn't fit with my very concrete plan for world domination, now does it?

Sips cawfee, minimizes screen, F5s on grade book and...still nothing. Grimace.

This post has been brought to you by the letter, "F", Peace!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unfluffy Shtuff

Cosmo at 5lbs and about 3 months old, based on his teeth

A few nights ago, the Favorite Guy and I were sitting up in bed skimming The Cat Encyclopedia and came across a very interesting fact-well, interesting to us anyway. Cats-it seems, don't think they are people, rather they think we are cats. This made for so much restless thinking on my part, as I am currently in the throes of acute misanthropy.

How fantastic would life be if humans could even begin to behave like cats? [I'm already married, I'm allowed to be a crazy cat lady. Please continue...]

Although your cat doesn't ask you how your day, life, kids, spouse, art, work, school etc. is going they also don't neglect to check if you're still alert, oriented and breathing before they go into an hour's long rant about the aforementioned areas of their life only to end the call abruptly without..."Um, yeah...I'm fine, thanks for asking," she says awkwardly, to the dial tone!

Cats know their shit stinks and are conscientious enough to cover it up but not by masking it in perfumed semantics, posturing, transference and defenses. I'm liking this already...

What have you got for me?
Have you been a good kitten, er...I mean, friend?

Peace and fluff

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time, time, time...

In a people house...

Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me
At any convenient time
Funny how my memory slips while looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme
Drinking my vodka and lime

-Simon & Garfunkel-

A few weeks ago I deduced I'd been running approximately 2 weeks behind in life...or was it a week? Either way, I was running behind and the anxiety of impending deadlines felt much like impending death, without the rest and peaceful parts.

I buckled down, (read: neglected everyone and everything that wasn't on a list or whining) and got it all done, and done well. I'm still holding onto my 4.0 GPA with just two more assignments and one week to go. I'm equal parts proud and [insert English language translation of "blah"].

I know this seems awfully existentialist of me, especially since I generally reserve random thoughts for Thursdays, but does the end ever really justify the means? I mean, when you're done doing, you've only freed yourself to do more-and, hopefully if you're lucky- different stuff.

That being said, now that my studies and one craft fair are done, I'm in full out holidays prep and planning mode. The leaf is in the table, the menu is planned, the vegetables have been forewarned and baking anxiety is in full gear. (Baking is evil.)

What have you all been up to in my absence?

Peace and pondering

Monday, November 1, 2010

DIY or Bust: The Halloween edition

Glasses $1.09, Sweater: mine $0.00.
Vintage dictionary: mine $0.00
Skirt (stadium blanket turned into wrap skirt, with only a few expletives) $2.70.
Socks $4.36

"Old Crow"
Spanish Moss: $2.64, skull cap $1.09
Hot glue gun $0.00. Black bird $4.13 (w/coupon)
additional feathers and lashes $5.48
scarf $5.48

Priceless memories

Peace and family fun

DIY or Bust: Craft Fair edition

I think I've mentioned aloud (Sometimes the conversations I have in my head meld with the real ones.) that I've gone completely crazy and entered TWO craft fairs this year; that's twice as many as usual! And, perhaps I may have also quipped aloud regarding having ZERO dollars in way of a craft fair budget. Rebranding has put the kibosh on any disposable Pretty in Peace income. Necessity is, however, the mother of invention and I needed to raise my pieces to make them more readily visible atop a buffet table that is several inches lower than most collapsible craft tables. Amongst a sea of 30 other vendors it was not a step I could afford to leave out of my sales/exposure strategy.

Dons thinking cap and enters garage of doom.

Repurposed cardboard box, bowl of Mod Podge $0.00

Fabric scraps, child labor

Hidden interior: sandwich bag filled with gravel from front yard


Felt, grosgrain ribbon $0.00

Clear push pins: $1.09 (tax included)


Peace and simple living

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cosmo and the Universe

On the heels of what can best be summarized as a full out fucktacular month, Yael Rose returned from the mailbox of doom on Monday with this little guy; skinny, filthy and cute as ever!

I took him in, fed him and started the obligatory, "Is this your furry friend?" sign. Our neighbor, a dog owner-told the Favorite Guy that our visitor had been in and out of his yard teasing his dogs for a couple of weeks. Hmmm...The kids pooled their resources and off we went for ear mite cream, flea shampoo, a de-wormer and of course, a pretty little collar.

After much, much debate about names: Bennie, Vishnu, Comet, Pizza, Greyson, Theophilus, etc. we settled on, "Cosmo". Cosmo however has yet to settle down-at all. Much to the dismay of our three older, fatter, lazier rescued feline friends.

With two craft fairs and the busiest shopping season of the year approaching, he is proving to be somewhat of an occupational hazard for Pretty in Peace.

But, who can resist the cute?

Thank you Universe for allowing me the opportunity to give shelter to another furry friend in need. See, I'm being gracious, now can you ease up on the fucktacular please. My beer budget is TIGHT.
Peace and critters

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The NEW!

Peace Dreamcatcher necklaces

Leaf and Pod charm ring

Athena bracelet

The Castle Key necklace

A few of the pieces I've completed over the past week and into the weekend. Things continue to move at a rather intense pace here at Casa de Mercado, I'm equal parts excited and frantic about it all.

I'm still feeling really good about what I've been churning out design-wise. The discovery of the feathers at the bottom of my bucket o' brass findings has inspired a small collection of crunchy, Bohemian pieces, that I hope to build into a larger line for Spring based on how they're received this quarter.

The Castle Key necklace and Athena bracelet are more elegant, Holiday Collection designs. They're the tail end of my Finer Things Collection and will likely remain one of a kind pieces. This collection has been a blast to create, I've had fun stretching my imagination beyond the confines of my own flip-flops, jeans and obnoxious tee reality, but I feel a change comin'.

Being in the red has forced me into a deeper shade of green with regards to my booth displays for Coffee, Cookies & Crafts 2. I'll be posting more about the process in the next few days. I literally have a current budget of $0. (That is not a typo.) I do however, have a glue gun and access to free child labor, until Halloween. Winks. To be continued...


Thursday, October 21, 2010

My busy week in review...

Also known as excuses for blog slackin' when I shoulda' been blog mackin'... (Somewhere my friends are wincing at yet another failed attempt at being hip.)

Last Friday I cut my own hair...I "fixed" it on Saturday...I haven't combed it since.

Studying...well, sorta. This is stupid week. Are you familiar with stupid week? Well, I have a week when I just can't seem to get anything to make happens every month. The last time I had woes of the monthly variety I had the culprit excised by a nice man in a very cold, well-lit room. There were drugs, it wasn't so bad. This time however, I am not so lucky, so deal I must.

I study with the television on for background noise-it helps drown out the voices in my head that beckon me to do other, more fun things, like eat more empty carbolicious calories. Only this week the television beckoned me to find the names of cool songs from Subaru commercials via Google and then purchase said cool songs for my 5pod, but only after watching them on YouTube thrice and "singing" loudly. Note: I only actually know the 30 second snippet of lyrics featured in the commercials.

Here's my favorite one:

A pox on dude who pulled the doughnut out of his pocket. I had to double take...with one hand on the phone...thumb on the number 9... Please tell me you saw it too.

What else? Oh, despite what I look like in the photo above and now as I type this, I'm a rather astute businessperson, and have spent a better part of the week sounding great in type and on the telephone as I negotiated (read: whored) my way into some pretty exciting ventures for Pretty in Peace. More on those later...

Today I completed a few NEW! pieces for my Holiday 2010-2011 Collection, and managed to squeeze in a few, simpler everyday-wear pieces for a local craft fair. Spins in chair, and giggles as cats run for all of their lives. I made it! Woot!

I saw a good movie...Canadians are um...Canadian. See for yourself, it's called, "Les Sept Jours du Talion" (Seven Days). It's an impressive take of the madness of a vengeful heart...or the heart to avenge madness. You'll have to let me know what you think when you watch it; It's on Netflix streaming.

I wore purple. I bought more Halloween treats, clear nail polish; taught more math and discussed The U.S. Constitution.

I watched a docu-news-something-or-other on Andrea Yates and yelled at the television, my husband noticed something was wrong with me. Hmmp!

And, here I am...on the verge of once again wishing you all a wonderful weekend. I'm going to comb my hair tomorrow, and take pics of all of the new designs I've completed...promise.


Friday, October 15, 2010

On my way to bed...

I yawned one of those shaky-kneed, arms outstretched, "Oxygen please rescue me from the grip of lethargy" yawns with the sing-songy sigh finale. You know the type, yes? [If you answered no, beat it. If you answered yes, proceed to paragraph two.]

Well, my sing-songy sigh finale sounded JUST like the hook of this song. Instead of going to bed, I had to sing the song, "aaa-aa-da, aaa-aa-da, set'ma somethin' somethin' youuuuu"...Until... "Ha!", I exclaimed with my eyes. "PM Dawn...I remember them!" Yes, I was still exclaiming, clearly I was very excited. It would however be short-lived- intense, but short-lived nonetheless- as the only other person um, musically inclined enough to appreciate the song was asleep.

So, I went to bed with the song on my mind. Today, I figured I'd share my story just in case you found yourself someday, yawning one of those shaky-kneed, arms outstretched, "Oxygen please rescue me from the grip of lethargy" yawns with the sing-songy sigh finale, you'd know-unlike me-that, you are not alone. Oh shit, what have I started?

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Peace and music

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

A Happiness Project

As someone who lives with clinical depression, happiness can oftentimes feel as elusive as calorie-free cake and world peace. There's an overwhelming idealism about the concept, an expectation of something far from reach, something far from real, something incredibly intangible.

Lately, I've been working to change the way I measure my personal happiness, both as a choice and a recovery goal. Stigma to the flames, I've been acknowledging, accepting and treating my illness. Unsurprisingly this decision has and will continue to make some people sick.

In the way that diabetics ration sweets, as a depressive, I've had to restrict my bitterness intake. Chances are I've taken a pill for you, if you've called in the past couple weeks with some suck in your teeth, some roll in your neck, and/or low octave levels in your voice. Not because I don't love you, but because I can't, "nunh uh", not right now.

Y'know, I've never really been much of an emotions juggler. I'm far too feeling for that sort of mental-tasking. Once it's in my hands, I hold on to it, usually far longer than I should. So, for now, I'm giving it back, putting the onus on the owner, banning the bitter, foolery is forbidden-I'm sure there'll be much more where that came from, as I get better at this.

It's only been a few weeks, and it already feels like something I can do. Not like daily power walks or eliminating sugar from my diet, but like, real-life adjustments for real people. Laughs.

It's Thursday, and that's my project. What parts of yourself are you working on?

In a word,"peace".

Shop Talk: Retail Tales & Craft Fair Game

L to R: "I Do" choker, $24-NEW! earring tags-Plume dangles, $20

I peck this post dry-eyed and caffeinated to the point of impending nausea, I have a meeting with a stockist in a few hours. This is not just any stockist, but my first and in many respects my favorite, Frances Vintage. Peep the [shop] and the [blog]. Local. Awesome. Cool.

The past couple weeks have been an exciting-sarcasm rolls from lip and drips into tepid cawfee-mix of student, sweatshop employee, and quality control specialist for me. As much as I love what I do, there is a level of tedium in the production process that makes for a most unsparkly me. So, guess what I did to combat some of the tedium of mass manual production. Give up?! I'll tell you what I did, I spread myself thinner than the jam on my orally hyper-sensitive person toast. I applied for a spot at a local craft fair!

This is when you say, in glee club like harmony, "Oh Tameka! Why, pres tell?" And, I -after giving the question much consideration- reply, with shrugged shoulders and a quizzical gaze.

Now that it's done, as I await my fate from the judges I've started to mentally prepare myself for the uppercut, roundhouse of rejection, all whilst working on designs and display solutions should I be chosen. I'm retiring the ticket earring displays for a more cost/waste conscious, sophisticated tag. They've been hand-cut from recycled, patterned, metallic holiday gift boxes.

Oh, did I mention the craft fair is to be held the week of final exams, and Jordan's 19th birthday? Fun times.

Peace and preparation

Saturday, October 9, 2010


This was the first take in what would become a good 10 mins. "laugh attack".

That's me in the mirror looking every bit of as absolutely insane as I feel each week whilst recording myself signing for my ASL class. Take upon take, either cursing at the camera having fumbled my finger spelling, or laughing later whilst viewing the video, witnessing my psychopath-like absence of affect. This whole experience has been pure comedy.

Alas, I have a new appreciation for sociolinguistics as a science in and of itself, and a regard for body language cues that even an avid people-watcher such as myself had yet to fully grasp. You'd think- being a histrionic, er I uh mean- animated New Yorker, I'd have no problem communicating sans verbalization; why, I "flip the bird", roll m'neck and eyes at least a dozen times a day! What gives American Sign Language?!

This week, I'm buckling down and committing to an additional hour of practice daily, either I'll ace this course or rip my hair clean outta my head! How about you? What's the most challenging thing you've done, recently?

Peace and practice

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moroccane Magic

Last month I entered blog friend and talented artist, Kate Tracton's contest to name her new line of wares. The designs in the collection are made using her polymer clay canes, the resulting aesthetic very closely resembles that of Moroccan textiles. When I saw the pieces, I immediately thought to capture the technique and inspiring influence, so I joined the contest and suggested Moroccane Magic. The rest is history.

Photography credits: Yael Rose, age 11

I received my earrings just in time for The Favorite guy's monthly gig at Nakama, a local sushi bar and lounge. I absolutely love them, and they're just the added hint of class and color my mostly blue jeans wardrobe needed. You can see more of Kate's polymer clay designs, as well as her incredible bead-weaving in her Etsy shop, Kate Tracton Designs. She also has a fan page and gallery on Facebook.

Peace and magic

Monday, October 4, 2010

Talking Shop: September

Coming soon:
Asymmetrical wave choker $24

I can't believe it's already October! Moreover, I can't believe I've been in my NEW! digs for two months. Admittedly, I've been in a state of perpetual motion, balancing school, homeschooling, our label, label appearances, and Pretty in Peace. Don't ask how I'm doing it all, as I haven't had the time to wrap my head around the process, myself. What I can tell you however, is that I am doing it!

September saw a 450% increase in revenue from August. This kind of exponential growth was expected given the 600% increase in visibility that occurred throughout the first month of business (Aug. '10) as a result of some pretty heavy promoting. I promoted less aggressively in September and felt it. Grimace. My hits dropped just a little under 6.5%, but the breadth of traffic increased overall. In short, fewer hits albeit from more sites/locations. That being said, I managed to gross 26.5% more in Internet sales than I did in September '09 on Etsy, where I'd been settled and selling for the better part of 2 years.

The greater part of September's sales came from new customers, this eases some of the angst I initially felt about standing alone. It also has me thinking about incentives to lasso in my previous customer base. This could prove tricky given Etsy's strict customer contact regulations-more commonly referred to as spam.

November 1st: Holiday 2010
Limited Edition Collection

For October, I'm going to focus on tweaking the site-okay, actually finishing the site. Tweaking is an understatement of sorts, it's pretty bare bones over there-but, I'm working on it. I've also been twisting and beading away at a quaint, little holiday collection which hits the shop November 1; a dozen one-of-a-kind pieces with a little extra something that says, "special occasion". In addition, I have final exams, costumes to make, a costume party to attend, and trick-or-treating to squeeze in there...somewhere in there. I guess I should go now, huh?

Peace and progress

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Squeal! It's almost here...

It's costume making time again!

I picked up the SPECIAL! Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living for inspiration. Whilst I love me some Martha, a few of the costume ideas in here are going to cost an uncrafty, impatient person their very last drop of good sense. Being afflicted with at least one of the aforementioned, I've opted to go glue gun versus shot gun. Regular readers know the sewing machine and I have a tenuous relationship, at best. I need some FlyTie 101, or whatever the remedial course numbers start with.

We-as in the Favorite Guy and I, are stepping out on the town this 31st, so my costume has to not only be fool-proof, but lagered-up-fool-on-the-dancefloor-proof, as well. Y'all ready for this?!

In other harvest news, the orange storage containers made their way in from the hotter than hell garage today and the cats are all about it. Biju is the resident bad ass. The other two aren't in the shot, but they're waiting nearby to get in on the pilfering.

I'm just trying to get over the fact that it's STILL over 100 degrees here in the valley. It's quite likely the buckets will remain full over the next couple of days, maybe even a week or more until it is cool enough to decorate outside. Until then, my glue gun is cocked and loaded, and nothing and no one is safe.

Woot! It's almost Halloween!

And you, will you dress up this year?

Peace and zombies

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Straight Trippin', Boo!

September's San Diego Road Trip (sans kids) at a Glance

1. 1st fuel stop: dinosaur sculpture next to the speed limit sign 2. The cooler's contents 3. About 3 hrs in, I'm now becoming restless and overly caffeinated 4. Woot! Joe's gig 5. The essential disco ball 6. Joe at work on the turntables 7. All smiles 8. And the crowd goes wild! 9. Joe and resident DJ Mikey 10. More prance and twirlery 11. The Tipsy Crow bar 12. Joe does Happy Hour 13. Holy guacamole! 14. Post-guacamole haze 15. Well, whatd'ya know...books! 16. The shadow of my book sale haul. 17. Art books. Yum! 18. Scenery 19. The bee shot 20. Goin' home...

Peace and good times

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thank You

Thank you, India; thank you, terror; thank you disillusionment.

Thank you frailty; thank you consequence: thank you, thank you, silence.

-Alanis Morrissette

It has been the kind of week that would've normally- and nearly- ended in the special display of histrionics I work inconsistently-albeit diligently- at modifying, or at best suppressing. It has been the kind of week that calls for more beer than my petite frame can calorically justify.

It has been the kind of week that compels me to question the already suspect intentions of humanity, jargon about greater good, and tales of community. The kind of week that makes you throw the towel at, rather than in. That kind of week. A weak ass week; misgiving and superfluous, like tepid tea or decaffeinated coffee.

If Kermit thought green was anything but the new black, what he need know was, living in shades of grey whilst living as categorically Black, is viewed with an acutely jaundiced eye. How's that, for a fragmented rainbow "connection"?

But, I will not be broken, nor will my spirit be convoluted by the construct of color, nor conquered by the ideologies and qualifying clauses of "community". I will love, I will be loved, and I will be elevated in love, because I am excellent, I am me, and I am free.

My tea bag told me so.

Peace is a choice

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Business Card Swap

"Bronte" pins and Pretty in Peace packaging 2010

I'm hosting a business card swap!

For those who may be unfamiliar, business card swaps are a quick and convenient way to get your cards in the hands of exponentially more potential customers than usual, in about the same amount of time, by card-pooling with other business owners.

Shown above is a mock order with a neat little packet of 10 fellow artists business cards, that's one order for me and 1, 2, 3...9 advertising opportunities for them! Just think of the amount of awesome potential if/when the 9 other artists ship their orders and neat little packets of advertising opportunities!

I'd like a minimum of five participants, and will happily swap with as many as 10. More than 10, and I'll need a volunteer to help me manage the load; my schedule is tighter than last year's jeans, these days.

The swap is open to anyone with standard sized business cards or smaller (Moo minis like my Tea & Honey Bread card shown above are acceptable), selling pretty much anything other than children, favors of the special/adult variety, and illegal substances. Simply leave a comment on this post with your shop/business info and e-mail address and I'll contact you with the fine-tuned details, and a Paypal invoice for the postage amount which will be about $3 for First Class mailing.

I'll accept cards from interested business owners until mid-October, then it's time to get these babies out for the busy holiday season.

Peace and success

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Retail: Real Tales

Hark! Has it really been 9 days since my last post? Madness! I do however have good reason. Y'see, I've been juggling school, getting ready for Holiday 2010 (Which I am totally psyched about in spite of the record-breaking 3 digit temps here in Arizona.) and, putting together pieces for my retail stockists.

When I announced my newest retail venture at Phoenix's Bunky Boutique, blog reader and dear friend, MaryJane asked me how it is that I go about approaching retailers. I thought today (Well, nearly two weeks ago when I initially drafted this post.) would be a good time to write about that.

These days, the shortest distance between two points is an e-mail. So, I generally send an e-mail to a perspective stockist asking if they'd be interested in a wholesale/consignment relationship with a local indie artist. Those three words, "local indie artist", make a huge difference in the circles in which I run.

The Phoenix indie art scene is quite welcoming, and even with the breadth of artists on the scene, it's quite tightly knit around a set of core principles, local and independent being prime among them.

Included in the e-mail, is a link to my "catalog". I used to use Flickr! for this, but since subscribing to Big Cartel, I thought it made sound business sense to use the shop as a catalog as well. It's a way to increase my potential for visibility (Google hits: Google ranking) and conduct business even when online sales are slow. Did I mention the impressive zoom feature? You must check out the zoom feature.

I've seen some gorgeous, glossy postcards and catalogs used by other artists, but I'm all about keeping costs down and trees up! Check out my props: forks, a sheet of scrapbook paper, and the empty frosted glass jar from last year's Christmas candle. Everything within reach has a purpose or three, 'round here.

Then, (and probably the most nerve-wracking) is the meet and greet. If a retailer is impressed, they will likely want to meet you and see your wares in person. This is when I bring along my personal favorites; the pieces I can talk about in depth, with the kind of passion and confidence required to seal the deal. Lastly, money talk and handshakes abound. Woot! It's time to get creatin'!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Lightening Up

Thoughts have been exceptionally heavy in my head lately. It's one of those times when there's so much going on that skimming even a little idle time from the top of the heap puts you way behind in the game. Does that ever happen to you? I suppose it happens to us all.

Normally, this would be a time when I'd curl up with a children's book. I'm not into Sci-Fi and adult contemporary books just can't quite get me to the "there", where I need to be when the "here", is just too much. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time for a book, of the non-text variety.

So, I bought this dude from the clearance bin at the front of the grocery store. Y'know the one that-in conjunction with the candy rack- is largely responsible for the wailing child and equally livid parents in the parking lot? Yep, that would be the one!

All of the fizzing was kinda cool since it wasn't in my glass for a change. I have an easily aggravated Pitta belly. And, I kinda like the little guy, although the one-eyed dude on the package was the one I was vying for. This would have been the moment, uh...30+ years ago when I might have engaged in some histrionics. He goes well with the voodoo doll on my desk, and the process did lighten things up a bit. So, all's well that ends well. Now, back to the grown up stuff.

Peace and priorities

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