Are you applying the 80-20 Rule in Your Creative Business? Read to find out WHY you need it?

Every business consists of Science, Commerce & Arts components in its business process. Science is about inventions, commerce is about selling & Arts is about creativity in the products & ideas. Many Independent Artists have to swap their thinking caps throughout the day to manage all of these tasks efficiently. Artists need to stay away from their creative world & perform tasks  like photographing the artworks, editing them, managing their online stores, attend art & craft events, respond their customers through emails as early as possible & promoting the product globally.

This lengthy process often ends up with no personal & social time for most of the independent artists. We understand this issue and in our endeavour of coming up with solution for solving this issue, we came across two rules which are easy to apply in creative industry!

 
Tips for handmade businesses

First up is, “The 80-20 Rule”

Well, this country is pretty easy to understand. Spend a good amount of time on those 20% of business activities that brings around 80% business revenues. If we talk through artist’s perspective, an artist should deliberately focus more on creating his artwork more & more effective & photograph it commendably rather than spending time on thinking how to sell it. An artist should be more focused about adding an extra value to his artwork & getting associated with the different channels where he can sell.

 

Second Rule is “Focus on what you love”.

If artists are restricted by any boundaries, they can never flourish. Creativity can be expected by an artist if you let him play around his own world & not burden him with formalities like selling & promotions & strategizing. So if you are an artist & want to escape from these formalities, it is highly recommended to firstly chalk out all the activities that you are currently performing. Then you need to identify those 20% tasks that might drive in about 80% of your business revenues. Out of all these tasks, separate those particular tasks that you enjoy the most & through which you feel that you justified your day. After you find out the tasks that less excites you, try & find the ways to outsource them or maybe assign them to someone else.




It’s quite normal to feel Control Freak! while handing over the other tasks to someone else, but if you don’t do so, it will detrimental for your business. It quite understood that for an artist, managing the sales, marketing, operations & finance is an Einstein’s job. Nevertheless, to help from getting rid of these tasks you may always find a company who has an expertise in these fields & who works on project basis. You won’t need to handle anything that bothers you or that takes your time, you may simply outsource it to these proficient companies in this line of business. Indirectly it would also help you to save an amazing sum of time to do that 20% of works that brings-in an impressive 80% profit to you.
There are so many online companies who offer the virtual assistance especially to the arts & crafts industry. You might also find online handmade stores, art galleries, art dealers, PR companies, and creative websites who help you to introduce yourself to the world. Creative Business that are outstanding performers have their 80/20 rule sorted and created their support network already! 

So to Sum up a simple 3 step process;

  1. Every artist should find their creative niche which is most pleasing to their clientele.
  2. Then, list all the tasks which are time consuming without great ROI; but someone needs to do them. 
  3. Find experts and specialists who Love to Do these time consuming tasks and delegate the process. (Your Trash can be someone else's Treasures ;) 

What to do with Copycats in Creative Industry ?




There are several artists who have created their virtual presence to showcase their creativity to the world through social networks, blogs, 
personal websites, e-commerce portals etc. They place their complete artworks on these sites in order to promote & generate a demand for them & make some money.

However, we constantly come across artists at various craft markets who have completely blocked themselves from Online Media (even simple product photographs on the market days are banned) to protect their creative ideas from the copycats! But this detrimental for their own growth and product reach! 
"We did some research and found astonishingly about 62% artists around the globe who still fear to go online, due to the fear of CopCats! "
Being an artist myself I can understand the immense stress an artist feels when their art is copied by someone & then its value being diminished. However this doesn't happen every time you add your creativity online.

 "You can never run out of originality, the more you use it; the more you gain it."
 On the other hand we came across some fabulous Creative Artists who are just inhibited by such copycats in the industry. Edith JoChinke from Timeless Treasures just calmly brushes off these copycats by saying;
 “No one can do my products as well as I do. A passionate handmade buyer will always notice the difference! So it doesn't bother me!” 
Or Sam Nord White from Yarra Glen Market,  just changes her Products every time she finds someone else has copied her existing products and opened stall in the same Craft Market!

Usually the imitators lack a lot of originality in their art piece. People, who make business by copying some of the most selling items, don’t have the perseverance and passion to sustain them in long run. Whereas an original artist has more passion and soul in his artwork & this keeps his work authentic. A true artist also keeps on searching for new ways to enhance his traditional creativity, however in the way that people recognize it by his name.

Imitators are always driven by the latest fashions; they keep on copying different objects from different artist & create some sort of mixtures out of it. This doesn't work for true art lovers & they catch the tricks used by the artists immediately. An original aesthetician understands that a significant factor of success lies in sticking at something for the long term. When an original artist works on his art piece, he completes it with a perfect finishing that is gained from several years of practice & experience. This doesn't happen with the copiers, they start the piece with an intention to imitate but they aren't 100% successful in finishing it with the same level of quality.


Make Copycats Irrelevant Now; Make Your Business Exclusive!

 There are several ways through which you can keep your creativity away from these burglars. Go Gung Ho with Social Media Promotion to promote your products globally; don’t restrict yourself to small region and pockets of towns! Brand your products by your signature packaging, quality and personalized touch! Create Collaborations and Market your products through various avenues as discussed in our previous blog posts about “5 tips to sell handmade online”. When your products are promoted by Art Gallery, Art dealers or Online Marketplaces, it’s perceived in different light by the buyer, as it makes your product look elusive and precious.
 Big Brands like Louis Vuitton, Versace, GAP etc. are often uninhibited by some ‘made in xyz’ country labels copycat products being flooded in second class markets. There’s lot to learn from the Big Businesses sometimes!
Stay ahead of your game and beat the copycats by showcasing your products on various Art Galleries & Online handmade stores sooner than later.

We can help you to promote your masterpieces on various channels, do not worry about the ‘How’ & ‘Where’ as we are here to take care of it. You just need to go embrace the change and expand your product exposure! Give justice to the artist in you! 


Introducing New Artists - Sally Green creative Glass Artists


Born with a creative intention to blend art with life,our artist Sally Green is one of the soul who is obsessed of completely transforming even the simplest colours & lines into something truly artistic. Encouraged to paint and draw from a very young age, her passion made her choose the first profession as an airbrush artist. As Sally entered into this exquisite market of arts, she established her own shop where she educated & created murals extensively for public perusal. This wasn’t the only limit, in pursuit of modern art technique that combined her career and creative desire- The Glass Art was formed.
sally-green-collage.jpg
In the year 2002, Sally changed the traditional way of Glass Art & converted it into something very unique using attractive colours & Glass beads, a method known as Lampwork. She took a lot of efforts for over 8 years for creating this artpiece into something very beautiful & exceptional from other similar art. Sally wanted it to be the best of the class & thus she struggled to make her unique Handmade Jewellery Hand-blown Glass adding her own innovative style of arts & some colourful Glass Beads. Her skills are commended worldwide & especially in the Australian Art Galleries. This doesn’t stop her from hunting & trying out new ideas to reinvent her Glass Art making it superior. She never gets tired to justify her passion & works on her Glass art in her Studio which is based out of Dandenong range, east of Melbourne.
Lampwork is a kind of art that requires a lot of dedication & endurance. If you are a true believer of this art only then you find it easy to make. These believer of arts can only be the people who are eligible to call themselves as Artists. The artists can only understand what it takes to make the Lampwork beads using the glass & torch. There is a proper technique of heating the glass & beads, giving it a required shape, adding the ornamental elements & choosing the perfect range of colours to mix-up with one another.
These Glass beads can be availed as per the choice – simple ones without any embellishments or the ones with decorative objects. Various coatings of colourful glasses are used by melting them in order to obtain the finest look of the artpiece. The practice of making hand-blown glass is very difficult and it takes years of practice to get it perfect. Our Artist Sally has reached the level where she has earned the identity of being one of the greatest artists to make the Glass Art famous & elegant to wear.
Her range of creations are available for display on her website where one can contact the artist and get the custom pieces crafted by her & completely unique from others. One thing can be definite that once you wear the Glass Artpiece made by Sally Green, you surely going to look graceful and will get beautiful compliments.

5 Tips for Selling Your Handmade Products Online!


Nowadays, it’s very fashionable, convenient and fabulous branding opportunity for artists to display and sell their products online! There are so many ways you could start your online brand presence with Social Media Shops, Websites, Online marketplaces and Online Handmade Shops.

Most artists find it daunting to start their journey with selling online and are often unsure what to look for when joining new marketplaces. Also to launch your own website and to bring huge amount of traffic to the website, takes a lot of time, effort and money! Showcasing at local galleries is also passé now, due to high commission and limitation of region.



Follow these 5 tips to Make Informed Decision and Rock Your Business Online in 2014!

Online Businesses are flourishing and with influx of new websites coming every day. So in 2014, having good SEO or SMO practices are not enough to get you wide visibility and customer base online! Co-opetition is the new trend you need to adapt to make the most of your Online Business!!

Small handmade businesses can join hands with online marketplaces, Online Galleries and shops as part of their Co-opetition strategy to ride the online trend in 2014! These online handmade businesses are already well established and have strong implementation of marketing strategies which will give you wide online presence and it also improves the bottom line of your business.

They have established admin practices and do most of the marketing for you, so that you can concentrate much more on the making and selling, then when you have your own private website. 

There are three levels of online sites to promote your handmade products:
·         online directories that are often part of a membership offer, and they give short listings and direct to your own website e.g. Australia Craft Network, Creative Addiction, Handmade HQ, Craft HQ
·          online market places where you create and market your own shop e.g. Etsy, Madeit, and similar many more
·         online shops that sell your products e.g. HardtoFind, TheCraftGallery
Each of these levels ask for a different input from you, and charge different rates and commissions. (More info coming in next blog posts--- Watch this Space!)

So, where do you start your Online Journey?

Online selling tip 1: What’s out there for me?

There are tons of websites on the internet which allows different users to sell their products in exchange of some sort of commissions. But there are few important fundamentals that you should know before signing up with any online shop to sell your products.
  1. What fees does the provider charge
  2. What are the payment plans and services offered
  3. Who is the target audience
  4. Does your target audience matches with theirs, brand and price level
  5. Do they sell products that you wish to sell
  6. What are the terms & condition to sign up & terminate etc
  7. How does the website look like?  How user friendly is the site? Both for you, but also your potential clients.
  8. Whats their website traffic? 
Refer to list of more research questions here. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions to your potential Art Galleries, Handmade Shops and Marketplaces.

-        Online Shop or Online Craft Galleries like us, manage marketing and administration on your behalf. We even go one step ahead and promote the artists and their passion too!  So the commission for such services is bit higher than DIY sites, but it FREES up 90% of your screen time.
  Online Marketplaces or Online Handmade Business Directories where you list your products and tag your photos, you will have manage the promotion and most of the admin and it’s like having an online shop


These popular sites can be a great launch pad to set up your own private website, and to link to your own website to drive more traffic to your own site.
Stay away from businesses that don’t link and promote your personal websites or portfolio!



Online selling tip 2: Images that Sell Your Products

Before you are ready to go online, make sure you have quality images of your work that will convince customer to buy your product on single glance. These images should explain the texture, colour & predictable size of the product which makes it easier for buyer to decide. At least 4 images from different angles should be submitted to the provider for display. Maintain your style of images for every single product that you capture for selling or displaying, the theme & background should have some consistency. Images speaks better than words, so make sure you win the game no matter if you need to spend some more bucks but upholding the quality of photography.
Some websites prefer clean shots against a white background, others prefer highly stylised images. Often a combination of overall shot plus a detail shot are the best. Make sure that your images and products fit with the website’s feel, brand, target market and price level.

It’s good idea to present collection of your work based on theme or category, so all products are listed in one category giving you more credibility and positioning. E.g. Newborn Baby gifts series, Fashion Print Series

Online selling tip 5: Tags your products

While having quality images, it is also necessary to code your images with the keywords that you want people to search you with. Playing with the words can really help potential clients find your work. Be very creative in framing your sentences & words. Don’t use jargons, use words that people understand & art lovers put on search engines to view & buy.
You will need to list these words when managing your own online shop, whereas listing with Online Galleries / handmade stores will do it for you as part of service, saving you heaps of experimentation time and energy

Online selling tip 4: Create Gifts!

People love gifting handmade products as they are unique and created with lots of love! So make sure that your products are perfect gifts for various occasions throughout the year like Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Christmas etc. This will ensure that you get more sales and repeat business throughout the year!
Personalised and eGifts which are easy to download are very popular in online retails. Also gifts for men and boys and wedding gifts categories are popular too.
Earn extra brownie points with Beautiful Packaging! Pay special attention to gift presentation and packaging; include photos of your beautiful packaging!

Online selling tip 5: Build your Repertoire

Your professional images, profile and feedback will all contribute to your credibility.
Your websites or product description should be clear and should not make your users doubt you. It is very important to maintain transparency in your business in order to win the trust of your customers. Your online profile defines your credibility so make sure you have an FAQ section or some feed backs about you. Be in good terms with the shop owners and ask for their opinions about your products. Majority of people buy these products online because they have trust on the sites, so get associated with them & their customers to expect long term returns. Be very honest & straight forward with your customer & plan carefully on how you would deal on your returns.

No matter till what extent you follow the steps, but don’t forget to be confident about your products & be positive with the online business world.  

New Artist Introduction - Edith JoChinke from Queen Victoria Market!

Hello All !

We are delighted to introduce you to our new artists and her latest creations listed in our store! 



Edith JoChinke is Australian Artists from Timeless TreasuresThanks! I made it myself


 The very concept of Timeless Treasures Country Cottage Crafts is largely centred on captivating provincial designs with affordable prices, ranging from simple items like coasters, welcome signs, journals and book ends to decorative products like mirrors with fabricated floral patterns, trays, lamp shades, clocks, door hangers, prints and canvas arts. Timeless Treasures Country Cottage Crafts transforms your simple abode to artistic vintage experience. 

Edith is very talented artists who paints beautiful images of bygone era to create charming provincial crafts. She also offers patterns and kits , so you can create vintage charmed crafts yourself! 

Timeless Treasures is located in String Bean alley of Queen Victoria Market , Melbourne. We are very proud to offer her unique and exquisite products on The Craft Gallery Shop!

Now you can enjoy some beautiful and unique products from local Australian Artisan from comfort of your own home, by visiting our shop! 

Happy shopping!
Akshaya



Enter our Blog Competition to WIN $50 Craft Supplies

Hello Readers!!

We are excited to announce our Blog competition starting from 1st February 2014 to 28th February 2014!
 
So here's what you have to do to Win our $50 worth Goodie Bag of Craft Supplies EACH WEEK in February !
  1. Write an article about your Favourite Craft Hobby (between 150-500 words)
  2. Email us the article at sales+The Craft Gallery . OR submit it at our Contact Us Page
  3. Every Monday Morning, Winner will be announced. (10th Feb, 17Feb, 24Feb and 3 Mar) on our Facebook Page
  4. Winner needs to message us their Postal Address to receive the $50 Craft Hamper :) (Postage Included)
See the Craft Packages to be Won every Week shown at the end of the post :)  
 
Terms & Conditions:
1. Unlimited entries allowed
2. We will choose Winner based on articles uniqueness and presentation.
3. Blog Articles should be submitted between Monday 12am (AEST) - Sunday 5pm(AEST) will be accepted for each week.
4. Only Australian Bloggers need to take part in our competition , due to postage constraints!
 
 Goodies for Winners:
1 Winners will receive our Craft Supplies worth $50.00, Postage Included
2. We will cross promote all our winners, So this your Chance to Promote your Skills and Business
3. We will also publish a biography of each winner on our blog :)
 
Stalk us on Social Media to Win our Hearts with this Competition :)
 
Look forward to great participation from all lovely crafters!!!
 
Check out what you can win every week!!

$50 Craft Supplies for 1st Week Winner
 

$50 Craft Supplies for 2nd Week  Winner
 


$50 Craft Supplies for 3rd Week  Winner


 
 
$50 Craft Supplies For 4th Week  Winner


 
 
 

 

Hand Painted Fashion Posters from 1921 - Fred Rusic


Happy New Year to all readers!!

Thank you for your loyal support for the past year :)

Since October we started offering Handmade Gifts from Local Artists in our store. Now we have Australian Artists who have joined our services and are proudly showcasing their creations in our store.

Today we are introducing our most recent artists Fred Rusic. We met Fred at local Ferntree Gully Village Artisan Market early this month.

We loved his meticulously handpainted posters. We soon invited him  to showcase it on our website so many more craft lovers can view them.

Fred has collected these vintage 1921 Fashion Prints over the years and now he bleaches them and hand paints them with great detail and care. He frames these posters on light weight white boards. So they are ready to decorate your beautiful homes :)

The posters can be detached from the white boards if you need to reframe them or have some different ideas.

Please Note: No digital means have been used to produce these colour effects! 

Let us know, what you think about Fred's artwork, by leaving us a comment below!

Happy crafting

Akshaya






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