Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Studio News: I exist

I'm on a business trip (this week) and family vacation for two weeks. Yeehaw! I brought my jewelry with me, so my shop is still open. And I know where post offices are in Texas, so shipping will be faster! (I'm still hunting around in Hong Kong.)

I am operating within functional parameters. Functioning within normal parameters? Debatable. I'm awake at 2 a.m. writing a blog post.

What's it like to come back? Kind of boring. People drive normal. I didn't have an urge to drive on the left side of the road. Driving is almost relaxing. Although Dallas can be known for aggressive driving, I don't drive in Hong Kong and I never will...it's on the left-side of cramped, curving, winding roads, and in wild crazy traffic.

One of my friends asked me what I wanted to do first. Book & craft stores everywhere... beware... I'm coming for magazines I can't get in Hong Kong. Already scored a gorgeous of set of bead and metal clay magazines and a tres chic book on making your own findings. Yeehaw!!

Aahm in Teexaas this weeek praacccticiinnng drawwwling out ma words. And patiently waiting while the elevator doors close instead of quickly clicking the door closed. I didn't spit out undesirable food on the table. But, I did drink hot water without the need to add tea or hot chocolate...merely to keep warm. I have some milk tea packets my friends got me that are quite nice, too. Oh, and I enjoy heat! You know when it cools down and you turn on the furnace and warm up the house or car? Heat! (Yeah...too hot most of the time in Hong Kong, so heat isn't installed. You survive with multiple layers of clothes and space heaters.)

It feels normal to be back in Texas in a fourth dimension way: everything is the same...sort of... and slightly different.

New Stuff

When Etsy was on meltdown last year and then they decided to transition to a professional CEO, they went through some major changes. I'm pleased to see some professionalism coming through. I think they're turning around and heading in a positive direction. When I get back to glass, I will probably maintain a presence on Etsy for glass beads.

During Etsy's transition, other options became available and one of them was Artfire. When Etsy was on meltdown, I developed a list of things I would do as an ecommerce app to support artisans. (My alter ago is a girl geek project manager in IT). I looked at my list and realized it contained work that was way beyond me. Then someone introduced me to Artfire. As I poked around I was immediately impressed as they took the approach to learn from Etsy's mistakes and improve on it. The list I had? They did it. And more.

Another thing, they have also formed what they call a Mavens team (you can email Sara and let her know you want to join the Maven team.) You'll be able to get previews of what's coming, help test new features, and make suggestions for new features. I'm just getting my feet wet in this activity and can tell you more later.

Artfire will be introducing studio blogs soon and my business model is morphing to adapt to the new features this will offer. I will be moving some of the content over to that blog to be closer to the point of sale. Some of these articles will be able to be submitted for publication on HandmadeNews.org. If this happens, I will be re-tooling my newsletter (details to come).

Features that I will move to the Artfire Blog:
  • A Business Bite - business ideas and mistakes I've made for you to learn from
  • Made Me Click - pretty items that made me click featured on the blog
  • Made Me Click Artist Interview - sometimes I've been finding artists simply by their unique style...they not only made me click, I wanted to browse their whole shop
  • Designers Challenge - I create my jewelry to a monthly theme and want to share that designers challenge with you in your art medium if you're feeling a little creatively empty or stuck. It's not a pressure challenge...just a fun challenge.
  • Artfire Features - when I made my list of "things I wanted" Artfire did a lot of them. They are a small company, but very responsive to the need of artisans and very good about communicating when new features will be in place.
  • New Jewelry: I'll be releasing new jewelry on this blog since it will be closer to the ecommerce site and even easier to purchase
I will link out to my regular blog when I have updates on the Artfire blog and vice versa, but I will not do complete copies of the posts as that is a "no-no".
What will remain on the Kanna Glass Studios blog
  • Funny Friday - entertaining stories of a klutzy American stumbling through life in Hong Kong and cute pictures of the Maltese that owns me
  • Hong Kong Art & Craft finds - it has taken me a while to unearth the art & craft scene in Hong Kong. I stumbled onto a piece of it and it is seeming to spiderweb out by guanxi (relationships)...and I'm just stumbling around finding various things. I'll share them as I find for anyone who might be wandering through Hong Kong at some point in their life.
  • Favorite Things - I decided to keep Favorite Things on this blog since it will feature books, Etsy finds, and other things that may not be on Artfire.
I was clicking through the jewelry section to find my pieces and see how it stacked up against the rest of the jewelry and if there were additional tweaks I could make. As I clicked through the jewerly, I couldn't help but find some standout artists. One of them is my friend at Moon Katty Studios. She's the one that really helped me get started with jewelry by taking me to my first bead show. I own two of her sumptuous jewelry sets and have bought some of her beads to include in my own work. We also took our first lampwork class together. I get to see her this week and I plan to feature her as one of my first "Made Me Click - Featured Artisan" when the Artfire Blog goes live which should be in the next 2-3 weeks. I've been wanting to feature her for a while and it seems like the right time...we've both re-tooled our Artfire shops and our regular blogs...I've hearted most of her shop as I searched through the standout items. So...stay tuned. I want her interview to the the first Artfire blog post...

1 comment:

  1. ...clearly...and colorfully...YOU exist...indeed!