Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spinning Plates: Small Business To-Do List

In the distant past while working as a realtor, my favorite broker kept telling me "Work on your business, not in it." I'll never forget this advice because it is an ongoing problem for me to run around hugging trees and to miss the view of the whole forest.

There are so many things to do as a sole proprietor. It's easy to get sidetracked on the things that we like to do or the things that are most demanding attention at the moment. It's easy to forget the whole important list of tasks that have to be kept in motion like spinning plates.

For my business the to-do list is something like this (in alphabetical order)

Blog photography
Blog writing
Cleaning the studio
Direct selling
Etsy store listings
Goal setting
Inventory records maintenance
Marketing & promotion
Pattern design & swatching
Pattern writing & editing
Planning & scheduling
Product photography
Production & product testing
Sample making
Sourcing of materials

This list needs my constant attention so that some vital things are not forgotten. It's always a challenge. For you new entrepreneurs, make a list for your business, sort the list in a meaningful order, and post it in some prominent place. Feel free to add other to-do items in the comments!

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is always better:


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Miscellaneous

Congrats to local designer Seth Aaron Henderson who deservedly won this season's Project Runway. His clothes can currently be found at the Anne Bocci Boutique in Multnomah Village in Portland. Sometimes even Seth makes appearances there himself.


There was a drawing at the office this week and I won, so Mr. ChaCha and I are off to use the prize--two tickets to today's NBA playoff game between the Portland Trailblazers and the Phoenix Suns! Hurrah! (Hope the Trailblazers show up.)


The game will be a good break from prepping for the workshop I'm teaching tomorrow. I called all the students and found out that one is a left hander (always a challenge for right-handed me) so I spent some time trying to do bead crochet left-handed. What a mess I made!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Glass Storm

Enter Gallery Here

Some frozen moments,
passing beauty, moving on:
aging inspires me.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bangle Drill Team

All in a row listening to music is a line dance of bangles, waiting to be photographed, listed, and adopted. Some will appear on Etsy and some are destined for direct sales at shows.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dressing Gowns and a Touch of Heartache

So now I'm on this nostalgia fetish in which everything having to do with vintage vanity is attracting me. Perhaps it's because I have one of those birthdays coming up that divide evenly by 5 (or 10). To combat the feeling of getting older, I'm getting younger in my mind.

Old memories surface:

  • My mom, in a dressing gown, takes out her pin curls. The curls boing all akimbo. Young girl me wonders how she will tame them. She has a tiny little groove in her right front tooth from using it to continually open bobby pins.

  • My first floor length nightgown that wasn't flannel felt so glamourous. I was wearing it the night I found out that my boyfriend, who had just left for college four weeks earlier, had up and married some witchcraft-practicing tart he had just meant in one of his classes. A Mississippi River full of tears flowed while my sister held me.

  • Hot humid nights and the sound of crickets. Sitting on the floor with my sisters in front of a big box fan and staying up too late. Talking about boys.

Photo credit: Lulu of Lunatech Photographics

  • A box full of nightgowns as a 30th birthday present, from my ex-husband. He thought they might help me like him better and forget the black eye he gave me the night before.

Photo credit: Lulu of Lunatech Photographics

  • Didn't work. I left him anyway. Took the nightgowns with me.

Old memories, both sweet and sour, float around me like little balloons of celebration. Today I remembered a phone number from 28 years ago but forgot to eat lunch. Go figure.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day Arrives! Bead Crochet Class Soon!

Yes, my tax returns were completed on time and didn't have to go on extension. Got them back from my CPA yesterday and they're now in the mail. Phew! Also, last weekend was the last weekend for overtime at the day job. Is it time to celebrate?

I wish.

As the typical small business owner, I've got a zillion things to do, and so many things were put on hold while I was working extra hours. The good part is that now there are oodles of PTO hours I can use on getting caught up on my business. It's hard to know where to begin.

Meanwhile bead-crochet bangle making has been going on. Watch for more of them to appear in the store as quickly as I can get them photographed.

For anyone in Portland who wants to learn how to crochet the beaded bangles you see in my shop, I am teaching a 5-hour workshop at Dava Bead on Sunday, April 25. Last I heard, there are still a few slots open.

How about some more money crafts for tax day?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dresser Sets

Picking up where I left off, (before getting consumed in extra hours at the day job, before spending a bunch of time completing the costing of my year-end inventory, before finally updating QuickBooks for last year, and before getting it all to my CPA in time for my taxes to be done), here are some dresser sets that might have sat on the beautiful dresser from my last post.

There is a lovely collection of them currently for sale, in a range of prices and styles, on Here are some of my favorites: