March 01, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Shop!

Today is the official first birthday of my little SHOP, and I just wanted to share with you the evolution of my shop: from the very first items that I listed, my first shop banner, and my horrible photography, to the shop that you see today.

Like a lot of people out there, I thought to myself: "How hard can it be to have an online shop? Just throw some stuff in there and people will come running!" Boy was I wrong. I still have so much to do and learn, but I am proud of what I have done with my shop so far.

I had no idea what branding and marketing were -- and still struggle with what they are. I don't remember if I had a banner right when I opened up the shop. If I did, I have no idea where it is, but I did find other banners in which I tried to be creative and showcase my items, but they don't have the same impact as the banner that I use now.



They're not awful or anything, but they sure don't look anything like what I use now, and I do realise the importance of creating something that is simple yet memorable and easily recognised. I think this one does the trick.


As you can see, I've always had a similar layout and idea, but the one that is in use now is definitely more streamlined.

Another area that always requires a lot of work is photography. You'd think that being a budding amateur photographer would put me ahead of the game, but it did not. I was anxious about getting my items up for sale right away, and because I was still working, I ended up taking a lot of photographs at night with the flash -- a big no no!

I have been very spoiled being able to take product photographs during the day while my son is sleeping, something that I will not be able to do come April. I will have to get over the want of putting an item up for sale as soon as possible, and get the best photographs that I can on the weekends -- and maybe some summer evenings.


The shots of my first items don't look absolutely awful, but there's something to be said about using natural light. I eventually started taking photographs in my bedroom, using the sheer curtains as my backdrop. This was fine, at first, until the Sun started getting lower in the sky and I just couldn't take the same photographs anymore -- they weren't very consistent.


I liked the softness of the curtain behind the frame, but it just didn't give anyone the right idea of how it would actually look on the walls of their home. The glass in the frames also started causing difficulties with reflections and what-not, but I read somewhere to take the glass out and that helped a lot.


 
I ended up placing the frame on a piece of paper to make it look like it was on a wall with funky wall paper, and took out the glass to avoid my reflection peering down at it while I took the photograph. 

I no longer sell photographs in the shop, instead I am focusing on my little art prints and my small greeting cards. I wrote about that here if you're interested in find out why I'm no longer selling my photography.


The first art prints that were available in the shop were three abstract art pieces that I did -- that are no longer available. I slowly added more, including the "Odd Bird" series that I later just simply renamed "bird illustrations" -- original, I know.


I added the little monster series during the summer months, but let them expire because there wasn't a lot of interest in them -- although I think they are pretty cute. I'm actually thinking of bringing a few of these guys back into the shop. Stay tuned!


I have added several other prints to the shop since opening it a year ago. Many of them are of little animals like birds, monkeys, and cats, while others are of trees and flowers. All of them are quite simple, and I love them.

My little prints have also made quite the evolution. At one point I was selling 8.5"x11" prints, ACEO (art cards), and little prints, but I made the decision in January to no longer sell the large art prints or the art cards. I couldn't be happier with my decision. I have never been a fan of giant art -- save for the paintings that I have created for my home -- and figured that there would be other people that feel the same; there are!


In May, I added stationery to the shop. At first I was creating my own cards, but then I noticed that I was getting lazy and the cards weren't looking as nice as they were when I first started. I ordered cards from a cute little shop and absolutely loved the paper. I had been looking for a way to add my drawings to the cards, but my printer wouldn't allow it, and the paper that this shop used was the perfect size for my printer. I ordered up some paper, and added the new cards to the shop in mid-October -- Christmas was right around the corner.


Before switching to the new cards, the old cards were photographed several more times as well. This one is much brighter with the natural light, but do you notice the edges of the classy white piece of paper that I used to put the cards on?


Once I got my little hands on the new paper, I was creating cards like crazy! I now have 44 cards -- and counting -- available in the shop. I like coming up with new ideas, phrases, and little drawings for new cards. I shared my card making process recently with you -- here.


Like all the other photography in the shop, the way I photograph the new  cards has also changed, although I still include the head-on shots so that people can get a good look at the card. I know that the photography aspect of the shop will probably never be done, but I like how clean and streamlined everything looks now. That seems to be my theme, doesn't it?

I thank you -- and applaud you if you read through this entire post -- for following me through the evolution of my shop. It has been such an interesting journey filled with many happy moments, and lots of frustrations. I look forward to what new paths I will take during this next year!

Cheers!




8 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday dear Shop :)

    I love all our calendar pages ♥ They all looks very nice!
    Yes, I think the work on the farmhouse will be ineresting. Maybe we build a "Fertighaus",you know? Thats a house which will be built in a few weeks. It reminds me of leo a little bit. But I´ll share photos of this one,too. Let´s see how we decide :)

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  2. And thank you for the lovely words. I like the new banner also more ♥

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  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LC SHOP! It is amazing to see the evolution of a shop. It is obvious that you have been working very hard on your shop. The new photos are really amazing and truly capture the design. Congratulations on a job well done!

    - Brandi

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  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LC SHOP! It is amazing to see the evolution of a shop. It is obvious that you have been working very hard on your shop. The new photos are really amazing and truly capture the design. Congratulations on a job well done!

    - Brandi

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  5. Thank you so much, Brandi! It's amazing to see the changes that have happened...and I was the one going through them :)

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  6. yay! happy birthday! your shop's evolution is fabulous, and there's lots of success to come!

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  7. I love, love, love the little monster series print. Congratulations on this birthday of your shop! Many more years of good buisness is wished to you :)

    Thank you for your comments! They always put a bright spot in my day :)

    SoUtHeRnPiNkY.bLoGsPoT.cOm

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  8. Thank you for all of the lovely birthday wishes, everyone!

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Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

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