Business in 2011

Starting my own business has always been in my blood (at least I think so anyway). My maternal grandfather owned his own carpentry company and did rather well- well enough to support a wife and three daughters. My dad is always coming up with interesting ideas on how we can make money doing something interesting and fun. My aunt (Dad’s sister) is a successful “E-Bayer”.

Beside’s being born with this gene to do your own thing, I was an only child. I played by myself a lot, and grew up doing my own thing my own way on my own time. The longest job I’ve held was 2.5 years, with a 6 month break to stay home with my youngest son.  Since my first job at McDonalds, I’ve found each job working for ‘the man’ monotonous, and pretty rediculous.  Every shift I worked I felt like a robot doing something totally useless and mindless. I’ve always had this feeling that I wasn’t doing anything to better the world, yet have always had the desire to do so.

Now, I’m not saying that making jewelry, and other unique crafty items is world altering, but I believe in my heart that you do what you can to make the world a better place. With such a horrible economy these days (all over the world), and banks going under (or taking total advantage of the ‘goodness’ of our government’s help), it seems that some people are starting to grasp the BIGGER picture. Well, the small bigger picture. Buy handcrafted American made goods from your small and local businesses instead of these big box stores so that when you want to buy those ‘things’ you’re getting quality goods AND you’re supporting your neighbors. This is what America was built on.

Since I’ve become an adult, started my own family, and am paying my own bills, I can see how expensive it can be to eat healthy, buy American made, and purchase from small businesses. However, I’ve also seen how much more quality and value there is in paying MORE for the healthy foods, the American made products, and the handcrafted items from small businesses. Maybe this is because I now own my own small business, or maybe this is because I want the best possible for my three young children and their future.

Before I started my own business in the middle of 2010, I rarely bought local. I thought WalMart was just about the only place to get ANYTHING. My husband was even worse than I! He’s still in the habit of heading over to Walmart first instead of the local grocery store, even though Wegmans is closer than Walmart. Weird, huh?  Lord knows Wegmans is a successful running (and growing) grocery store company. How do you think it became so successful? GREAT customer service, and people who ‘got it’; the people who believed in supporting their local small businesses. Even though Wegmans has over 40 stores from Maine to Virginia, they still have GREAT customer service, and they still buy local fruits and veggies. Love it!

When you own a small business (like yours truly) you HAVE to have welcoming, and warm hearted customer service. Otherwise your business will not be a success. I gurantee that. However, I do owe some of these excellent customer service skills to all of the jobs I  had prior to owning my own business.  Without all of the customer service experience I’ve had in my working life I bet you I would not have a successful and/0r growing business.

Some days are harder than others, and I do get discouraged, but I really want to keep up the pace. My hopes for 2012 are as follows, but certainly aren’t limited to:

-Start a fabulously unique beaded womans watch collection, and a mens leather cuff watch collection;

-Double my sales from 2011;

-Do one big art festival;

-Expand my customer following;

-Write more;

-spend more of my making paper goods.

 

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Heather Renee`

It’s December already?!

…Uhhh… yep. It is. Oy. Vey.

Another year [almost] gone, and what a year it’s been. Ups, downs, and all arounds. But it’s not over yet and I’m getting a little ahead of myself! Here’s what happenin’ around Handcrafted by Heather in December:

December 1st- December 31st: TURQUOISE Month!
All turquoise jewelry pieces will be 15% off. No coupon codes will be needed for this sale. Just pick your favorite turquoise piece(s), click add to cart, and checkout as usual!

*ALSO* All month long I’ll countinue to offer Free shipping and Free Gift wrapping on all orders. Get those last minute gifts without having to worry about wrapping them and paying a bazillion dollars for shipping. I know I usually wait until the last minute to get the picky shoppers on my list their gifts, and those gift receivers usually end up with gift cards, or gift certificates- which I’ve found to be appreciated. Get those choosy folks Handcrafted by Heather gift certificates- they never expire, and they’ll be shipped with a unique holiday envelope- ready for giving. 🙂

Saturday December 10th 10:00am to 5:00pm
King Ferry Winery Holiday Open House
at King Ferry Winery
658 Lake Road in King Ferry, NY

*I’ll be here selling Fabulously Unique Jewelry, Genuine Cayuga Lake Glass Goods, and some new fabulous Handcrafted Holiday items!  Free Gift wrapping offered and a friendly smile. Get those last minute gifts with a delicious glass of wine in your hand.
Call for details: 315-364-5100
Click HERE to go to their website. Click HERE to ‘Like’ their facebook page.

 

December 15th to December 26th- Christmas Sale

All items will be 15% off with this coupon code: CHRISTMAS15

This code CAN be used on top of the turquoise sale, so feel free to take advantage of this awesome double sale!

 

December 29 to January 1, 2012  ~Happy New Year Sale~

Save 15% off your entire order with this coupon code: HAPPYNEWYEAR15

 

~* Facebook Giveaways every month!! *~

‘Like’ my facebook page and like the monthly giveaway for your chance to win Handcrafted by Heather jewelry and wine accessories!

It’s not too late to sign up for a jewelry and wine accessory party- either online or in your home. Just email me if you’re interested or would like to learn more about the benefits of hosting a Handcrafted by Heather jewelry party.

 

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Black Friday rant…

Last year I woke up at 3:30 am on Black Friday, made my coffee, and quietly snuck out the door. I had to wear my hat and gloves, because there was frost on my car.  My first stop was Target. I went in, got the 3 things I went there for, and headed for the checkout. Here’s the problem; the line for the checkout wrapped around the entire store twice- I’m not exaggerating; it’s the truth. I looked at the items in my hand- were the plastic toys, and silly furry boots (that I already have in black) REALLY worth standing in line for at least 3 hours?

That was a big fat HELL NO!

I laid the crap I thought I needed so badly on a random empty shelf, walked back through all the mindless mice with all of their stupid crap, and got the heck out of dodge. My next stop was Kmart. I walked in, saw the same kind of ridiculously long line, and turned right back around.

Alright- on over to Walmart. I found a parking spot- a hundred yards from the building- and headed toward the store, shivering, and wishing I was still in my warm car, and thinking how stupid this was. I could be at home in my warm bed with my husband snuggling me.

This particular Walmart is in a town that decided they couldn’t be open 24 hours (probably the only Walmart in America that’s not open 24 hours a day), and the Town board decided that Walmart couldn’t open their doors early just because it was black Friday. So, they didn’t open until 7:00am, which was their usual opening time.

When I finally got to the door, it was 7:30 (or around that time- well after 7:00 anyway), and there was still a line of robots outside. What is going on? I stood around for a minute, before I heard some lady in line say “they’re only letting 20 people in at a time.” So now going to Walmart is like a ride at Disney World? Really? I laughed (again), turned around, and headed back to my warm car.

This entire trip to this shopping mecca was a waste of time. I made the decision to take my chance and go home to shop online. Whatever I found there was what my husband and kids were going to have live with. Afterall, the kids still had things from the previous Christmas they hadn’t even opened. Maybe, I thought to myself, I’ll just rewrap those things. They’ll never know. So I did, and they didn’t.

I did end up finding some of the SAME deals online that were offered in the stores. Around 10:30, I decided I’d go back to the stores I was
at before and see if they still had any of the things I wanted left. Most of them did. There only 3 or 4 things I didn’t get that I wanted. My mom ventured out in her town, and called me to ask if I needed anything. She ended up getting me the one thing I really got up at the butt-crack of dawn for. Thanks mom!

So in conclusion; stay in bed. Shop in your jammies online- most retailers offer FREE shipping on black Friday and cyber Monday anyway.  Do yourself a huge favor and act like a human being- not like a rat waiting for cheese. The sight of these people with 2 cart loads of CRAP (toys, TV’s, misc things they could live without) made me sick to my stomach. If you’re that person- please take offense. I don’t really care. If you plan to be that person again this year, at least buy American made stuff. Be the white rat in the bunch. Rather, the red, white, and blue rat.

Well, hi there, November…

Can you believe it’s already November?! Geesh! Where the heck has the year gone?

This month is a busy month for me personally, as well as on my business front.  We just moved-  this past weekend!- and it’s been a little hectic around our new place. Thankfully we only moved across the street so we’re taking our sweet time organizing and making a place for everything; including all my jewelry and craft making stuff!  I’m an organizational freak, so EVERYTHING must have it’s place, and everything must be put in it’s correct place, or I go a little crazy…  😛

I decided to keep my Etsy shop open during this move, so orders are still coming in while I’m working on putting everything away. Finding the tools and supplies I need to make these things has been a bit of a challenge- but alas, orders ARE getting done!

What’s going on with Handcrafted by Heather this month?

Citrine Sale: All citrine jewelry items are 15% less- prices have already been reduced, so no need for a coupon code!

– November 2nd through November 15th I’m hosting a Holiday Jewelry and Wine Accessory Online Party!

Use coupon code: HEATHERA15 to ‘attend’ the party and to get 15% off your entire order, which will ship for FREE! Gift wrapping is available at no extra cost, and Handcrafted by Heather Gift Certificates make the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday. To have your chance to win giveaways go to my facebook page, click on the event, and ‘attend’.

20% of your order will be donated to St.Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital to help in the fight against childhood cancer.

* * FREEBIES * *
Spend $20+ and receive a $5 Handcrafted by Heather Gift certificate;
Spend $30+ and receive a $10 Handcrafted by Heather Gift certificate;
Spend $50+ and receive a Swarovski Crystal Ring PLUS a $10 Handcrafted by Heather Gift certificate;
Spend $75+ and receive a Swarovski Crystal Ring PLUS a $10 Handcrafted by Heather Gift certificate PLUS a set of 4 Sea Glass Wine Charms;
Spend $100+ and receive a Swarovski Crystal Ring PLUS a $15 Handcrafted by Heather Gift certificate PLUS a set of 6 Sea Glass Wine Charms; or
Spend $200+ and receive a Swarovski Crystal Ring PLUS a $25 Handcrafted by Heather Gift Certificate PLUS a set of 6 Sea Glass Wine Charms PLUS a Genuine Cayuga Lake Glass Christmas Tree Ornament!

**PLEASE NOTE** The Nazareth Elementary school Festival has been cancelled!

-On November 19th I’ll be at the Canandaigua Elementary school for the annual Holiday Craft Festival 9:00 – 3:30

-November 24th is Thanksgiving (I’m thankful for you readers out there!) and then we’ll round out the month with Black Friday on November 25th. This year, though, I’ve decided to sleep in! I’m not going out with all the other frozen deal-getters. Nope. I’m sitting RIGHT HERE in my jammies getting the same (or better) deals. I may stray out, but not until after 10:00am. That’ll probably be just to get Christmas decorations.  I’m not hatin’ on the folks who make the effort to get out there and get the insane deals, but I just don’t have it in me to stand in line for 3+ hours in the FREEZING cold to get a few material items. Nah; I’ll just sip my coffee, play with my kids, and try to recover from our Thanksgiving Feast hangover.  ❤

October at Handcrafted by Heather

It’s hard to believe that it’s the beginning of the Christmas shopping season already, but alas- Christmas is 13 weeks away, and the retail shopping centers already have most of or all of their Christmas products on the shelves. QVC and HSN are already promoting great gift ideas. To keep up the pace, shop owners at Etsy.com (including yours truly) are also starting our holiday promotions for all you folks who LOVE all things handmade!

This is my first Holiday season as an established small business, and I am anxious, excited, and I hope I don’t disapoint my loyal followers/fans.  Here’s what’s happening in October at Handcrafted by Heather:

Starting October 1st ALL things Opal will be 15% off– no coupon code required! Opal is the birthstone of October, and it’s one of my favorite stones.  So all you October born readers out there, treat yourself to a little something and take advantage of this sale. Happy Birthday to you!

AUTUMN SALE- Going on RIGHT NOW! ALL items in my Jewelry Etsy shop are now 20% off! Use the following coupon code for the awesome discount: ILOVEAUTUMN20 This sale will go until October 3rd, and the coupon code CAN be combined with the opal sale! That’s up to 35% off of your entire order!

On Sunday October 23rd I’ll be at Buttonwood Grove Winery over in Romulus on Rt. 89 with all of my Cayuga Lake and Sea Glass Goodies including Handcrafted frames, mirrors, coasters, wine charms, bottle stoppers, trivets, wine bottle lights, bottle TOPPERs (different than stoppers), Christmas Tree orniments, earrings, and necklaces!  C’mon out and see me! If you mention this blog post while at the winery I’ll give you 10% off your purchase.

I’ll have a Halloween Sale on all of my Handcrafted Halloween goodies! That will start October 27th.

There’s a bead expo on the 29th which I’m really looking forward to! Hoping to find lots of unique goodies there!

The 31st is Halloween! EEEKKK!!! (That’s a shreak of excitement, not of fright, by the way) I think we’ve decided to be pirates this year- which is going to be so much fun! My other option is be the True Blood character, Sookie, as a fairy. I love wearing frilly dresses and wings, so I think that would fun too! I’m sure I’ll change my mind at least 7 times until Halloween.

Now is the perfect time to throw a jewelry party! Whether it’s an at home jewelry party, or an online party- you choose!  Your friends and family can get gifts for you, or their own loved ones! I also have available my wine and lake/sea glass goodies for purchase.  Hostess’s get TONS of free jewelry, amazing coupons, and deep discounts!  Please contact me for more information if you’re interested.

Happy Fall, y’all!

Welcome, Autumn

I love Autumn- it’s my favorite season. Here in Upstate New York we typically only get a few weeks of beautiful crisp air, leaves changing into their gorgeous oranges, yellows, and reds, before the white stuff (ya know the stuff- snow- blah!) falls. Then it’s months of dreary grey skies, cold, blowing, yuckiness. Maybe I’d enjoy the snow more if I was still snowmobiling, or if I skied….hmmm…

I think another reason I really love Autumn is because I really love wearing jeans, and big comfy sweaters. Also, it’s the one time in the year the air is the most fresh (I think so anyway), and it’s when I can make soups, chili, and actually enjoy cooking!

In any case, Autumn inspires me to create all sorts of neat stuff. I find myself making a lot of halloween stuff- which is my second favorite Holiday-, as well as Christmas goodies. I agree that September is too early to be thinking of Christmas, but this year many craft superstores decided to pounce on it even earlier than usual. Michaels had Christmas crafts available in August! Maybe even earlier…sigh… This isn’t really a terrible thing for us crafters though. It helps us get inspired and think all the nifty things we can create! Fun, fun, fun!

To celebrate the beginning of my favorite season I’m having a sale- An Autumn Sale. Everything in my Jewelry Etsy shop is 20% off from now until October 3rd. Use this coupon code to get the discount: ILOVEAUTUMN20.

Enjoy it while it lasts! Be sure to jump in a nice big pile of freshly raked leaves!!! (oh c’mon, you know you want to) 😉

Love, Heather

Handcrafted by Heather Fall Events

My Autumn Season is quickly filling up with events- which is a great thing, and I’m excited to participate in each one of them!

*Sunday October 23rd 1:00 – 5:00pm
Buttonwood Grove Winery Fall Foliage Festival
5986 State Rte 89
Romulus, NY 14541
Phone:
607-869-9760
Check out their website and Like them on Facebook!

*Saturday, November 19th 9am – 3:30pm
Holiday Festival
Canandaigua Elementary School
Gibson Street in Canandaigua
Go to the Finger Lakes Store Facebook Page for more information!

*Saturday, December 10th 10am – 5:00pm
King Ferry Winery Holiday Open House
https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=187480764667685

Feel Free to add to this list with At home or online jewelry parties and get a ton of FREE Jewelry!

It’s been a while…

…since I posted! Holy cow! Sorry to ALL of my faithful readers.. haha

I’ve been busy- which is a great thing when you own your own business. In the last few months I’ve been helping out my friend, Linda, by watching her kiddo’s in her home once a week or so, just she can get caught up on her jewelry projects. Although this is great- because I love her kids, and we need the extra $- it’s been difficult with only one vehicle.

But that’ll get easier now because last night the hubs and I got a 2000 Subaru Legacy! We’re excited about the idea of having two cars, but still only 1 car payment (for our current Hyundai Sonata). I really hope it turns out to work in our benefit. I know Subaru’s can be expensive to fix, but as long as we keep up the maintenance I think we should be fine for a while. Jeremy’s excited for it to snow so he can drive on the snow without white nuckles. (The Sonata wasn’t made for upstate NY weather, apparently)

I think the most difficult thing about owning my own business is setting and sticking to a budget. There are so many things I want to do, and so many ideas I have knockin’ around in my noggin- and of course I want to put them all together RIGHT NOW! My husband has been acting as my ‘business manager’ and has really helped me (or tried, at least) to keep me on track with money, and time management. One day he’ll be VP of Handcrafted by Heather 😉

My current projects consist of:
– 2 Halloween invitation projects that total 100+ invitations, all done by hand (see picture)

Vampire themed invitation

Handmade Vampire Themed Invitations


– 5 pairs of Cayuga Lake Glass earrings
– A pair of gold & sunstone earrings
– Getting ready for the Community Corners Block Party which is on August 31st
– Taking and editing photos
– Posting new goodies on Etsy
– Keeping up with bills, budgets, and my boy!
– Coasters with Cayuga Lake Glass
– Tig Inspired Leather Bracelets for guys

That’s just for work! We’re also getting Emmah ready to go back to school, Emmah’s birthday is fast approching, planning to move to the apartment across the hallway (hopefully- cross your fingers for us, please), rearranging furniture, cleaning, organizing, and hauling away stuff we don’t need, want, or have room for.

Busy Busy Busy summer we’ve had! We had lots of fun but I’m really glad it’s winding down!

So about that writing gig….

Wow- I haven’t written in a long time! Sorry about that, folks- been sort of busy doing things that I can write about, I suppose.

I have been busy. When I look back at the last month or so.. holy cow! Not only has my jewelry business doubled in revenue, but I’ve found new goodies to make that I actually ENJOY making ( ie. wine charms, more simple necklaces) and using materials I didn’t think I would enjoy using ( ie. Swarovski crystals and pearls, sea glass).

I had my first jewelry party in May, and boy was it a success! Thank you to everyone who came to my party! Whether you purchased any jewelry or not, you being here and giving me advise meant a lot! BTW, if you’re interested in hosting a Handcrafted by Heather Jewelry party, there’s lots of benefits, discounts, and FREE jewelry to be had, so contact me if this sounds lovely to you 🙂

I’ve been getting more orders weekly- from Etsy, from personal custom orders, and at LiSalon. I am so pleased with how this is all going. It’s taken some time- less than I thought- and I pray daily it keeps up. This is surely something to thank God for. He’s blessed me with wisdom, talent, and I’ve become more paitent. All in all, this business venture- so far- has been successful.

Starting Tuesday I’ll be helping my girlfriend, and mentour, at her home so she can also continue to be successful with her own jewelry business, Loudee’s. I get to go to her home once or twice a week and play her kiddos! The best part is that I’ll be able to bring my little guy and daughter too! All 4 of the little angels are going to have a blast! I can’t wait to start!

Tomorrow is another busy day for me- I have pictures to take, listings to post on Etsy, an article to write about another amazing jewelry artist I’ve met, and pack our bags for our busy and exciting weekend. June 19th is my 26th birthday, and fathers day! It may seem strange to some, but my best birthdays are when they fall on fathers day. I get to spend time with my daddy, and we spoil each other because it’s HIS babies birthday, and it’s MY dad’s day. 🙂 So fun!

Happy fathers day to all you loving, devoted, hardworking daddies out there! Esp. my own hubby… wuv you.

Holy Technology, Batman!

This is the QR code to my Jewelry Etsy shop. If you take a picture with your Smart Phone (gotta have 3G) of THIS code, you’ll be taken directly to my website. Pretty cool, eh?

QR Code

Thanks to my friends Bill and Linda Cass for giving me the info to make one of these bad boys! I’ll probably make one for my other Etsy shop, this website, and my facebook page 🙂