Thursday, October 24, 2013

Well hello again blog!

Poor have been so neglected. One might think that I have been sitting on my arse eating bon bons and doing nothing with my business, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Lily Cole Designs is so busy that I haven't made any time for blogging/facebook, etc. Well that is going to change, starting today. Nice to see you again blog, let's get to know each other again.

Lily Cole has been "in business" since March of 2011. Everyday since it's inception, I have created something. Here are the most recent works of art, so great for a little girl (nursery or child's room):

And everyday I learn something new. Every. Day. Sometimes I make mistakes that turn out to be a complete waste of time/money. Like buying iron-on transfer sheets - a lot of them - thinking I'd make a bajillion tshirts out of my own designs. Nope. Epic fail. Designs bled, some didn't go on all the way, others cracked off. After a lot of research, purchases, sample fabric ordering, and trial and error, I finally landed on the right solution for me: uploading my designs to Spoonflower and getting yards of fabric printed with several of my designs. I then cut around the design and stitch it on the onesie/t-shirts.

I also have made some SMART decisions. At the top of the list: hiring Stephanie Fizer Coleman to consult me on my business. If you don't know Steph's work, check it out here and her blog here. Her work is amazing, she sells worldwide, has licensing deals, is a book illustrator, and has a fantastic Etsy shop (the Fox and the Teacup). She has "been there done that" but even more appealing is that she is willing to share her learning experiences with others. I have found many other artists who aren't eager to share their secrets (like, where do you get your supplies? how do you get your artwork printed?). Steph has answered probably one hundred of my questions so far (and if you know me personally, you know that I have a tendency to ask a TON of questions). If you are an artist or entrepreneur looking for advice on growing and maintaining your business, I highly recommend you check out her services: Creative Biz Coaching

I have been working with Steph for 3 weeks now, and already my business is about to undergo some major changes. Here is a breakdown: 
  1. Instead of getting all of my printing outsourced, I will now be printing everything on my very own new printer. This was an impactful decision for many reasons. My workspace is limited and I had to clear out many old craft items to make room for this beast of a machine
  2. Printing at home means I also need to have paper (several different sizes), a paper cutting machine, and shipping supplies at my house. Saving money in the long run and it gives me more control on what is delivered to customers. 
  3. I rarely do any advertising or marketing, but I am learning that utilizing existing social media outlets can be really impactful. I struggle with blasting the "look at me and all of my talent!" communication a bit because it seems very "self-absorbed." Yet I plan to have a different approach. Stay tuned. 

Thanks for checking in (and hanging with me after a long blogging absence).