I am so terrible about keeping up with these blog posts! I don't know what to say half the time lately. You don't want to hear me rambling about making stuff, that's boring. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of exciting things going on right now, besides work!
We are trying to move out to our house in South Dakota at the very end of February. We're really tired of Minnesota, and ready to begin a new life! I am very excited to see how business goes out there. I really want to get my work into local shops. While Etsy can be fun, it is ALOT of work. And, my work really sells much better in person. Its really tough to convey size and at times the actual colors. While my photography has greatly improved, its still far from being awesome. I have an excellent camera phone now, but terrible lighting in my apartment! I'd love to be able to use the Badlands as a backdrop for my tree photoshoots. We'll see!
I do have some new gem trees, and more coming! Its been hard getting into the energy work lately, to be honest. My current residence doesn't have a lot of good energy, and I've been so drained. I put so much energy into my trees! But it'll come, little by little! I really don't like making a ton of trees at one time either. I think each piece needs its own time, with gaps in between, to refresh my creative energies. I really want to get into making more complicated designs, but its just not working right now. I have a lot more studying and practice to do, which is frustrating me. How hard can making a tree be?! Its definitely harder than I'm giving myself credit for.
I'm also thinking of putting together Make a Gem Tree kit, so you can make your own gem tree! I'm not sure how to work the kits. I can sell the directions themselves, or direction plus supplies. And, how to do the supplies in the kits? But I think its a great idea. A basic tree is pretty simple to make, its the more complicated structures that take time to learn.
I will be quitting the jewelry tree stands, and in lieu, have instructions on how to make them. Its going to be difficult for me to get wire at a decent price when I move, because I'll have to constantly be ordering wire. I don't want to have to drive the price up just to cover the costs of shipping for the wire. Jewelry Tree Stands are simple to make, and once you master the right ways of twisting the wire, it'll take 15-20 minutes. You can make them as small or as large as you desire!
I may get into selling rough rock specimens and tumble stones, depending on what goes on in South Dakota. I've always wanted to do this, and it seems like a great opportunity!
If I get my gem trees into local shops, I may not be offering so many on Etsy anymore. I may end up being more of a custom order shop, with instructions and make your own kits. I don't know yet though, these are thoughts I'm throwing out. I plan on shifting to a new business shortly, called Little Badlands. I want to add more products in with the gem trees, but I'm not sure what that'll all include yet. It really again depends on what happens when we arrive in SD.
In addition to this business, I will be growing Oddball Cat Toys, which will become a subsidiary of Little Badlands. I cannot mix the two together, they will stay separate. But, I'm having so much fun with the pet segment! It is definitely a much harder business to run, and the profits are much lower. I'd love to see if I can sell some pet products in the local shops as souvenirs. It is a large, often ignored segment in the tourism industry.
Now that I'm writing out what I've been doing and thinking, I see why I don't have a lot of time to blog. hehehe I think I need to cut down and simplify my business life a little. :-)
Here are some photos of the newest gem trees for sale in the shop. If you click on the photo, it will lead you to the listing in my Etsy shop, where you can learn more about the tree, and/or purchase it.
Wow, I cannot believe its been that long since I've written a post! I am terrible! Actually, I've been trying out Facebook, which has proven to be quite the waste! I really need to get back into the habit of doing my blog once more.
Business is running well! It was so busy during the holidays, that I barely got to sleep! between Spirit Gem and Oddball, I was working 15-17 hour days just to try and catch up with orders. It was AWESOME! I thank you so much for all the orders, and I really hope you enjoyed your little treasures!
Unfortunately because I was so busy, I didn't have much time to keep up with my gem tree stock. My forest was cleared out of trees! But not to worry, I have lots of new bases on hand to create some wonderful gem trees! I'll try to add a bunch of bigger trees, although I really enjoy doing petite trees! They have the best shapes possible, at least in my opinion. I am adding a petite one as well, as my entry level tree. If you're not able to afford a larger piece, or are unsure of where to put it, the TINY tree will work great! Here's a photo:
Let's see. I had a really gorgeous Rose Quartz on Rose Quartz gem tree to list... except my new kitty, Dee Dee, decided it was hers! She had quite the adventure with nearly being killed in a high kill shelter in North Carolina. Before that, she was definitely abused and neglected by the former owner. Once she was rescued from the shelter, she spent a few weeks at a foster and then she was flown to me in Minnesota. Unfortunately the day I picked her up, I had a terrible kidney stone and stopped with her by my side, to the ER for treatment. She was the first kitty they ever had in the ER! Needless to say, the poor baby had been through quite a bit in her short life, She was as cool as a cucumber, thankfully! The Rose Quartz really helped her get over her traumas and fears quickly. I cannot say enough for crystal healing for animals! This was Dee Dee's choice to pick the tree. She had ignored others, but the second she saw this one, she reached out to it. I don't think this one will ever go on sale, but I will make another one to sell! (provided she also doesn't steal that one, lol)
We ended up having to postpone the move to our house in South Dakota until spring, although from the looks of it, its going to be end of February/early March. We are both so incredibly bummed, but the timing wasn't right to move. The house required a few major pieces before it could be lived in, which we are still working on. We'll get there, though! I really hope my business does even better once I make the move to rock land!
I'm playing with the idea of changing the business name from Spirit Gem Designs to Mini Badlands. The area around our house is called that, and I would love to have a name that comes from the land, because I want to be part of it. I want to add other products too, although they may not be in gemstone form. I have grown very addicted to weaving, and am playing with the idea of adding some bags and rugs to the mix. I'm making woven cat blankets for sale over at Oddball. But, I'm not sure. I don't think I can manage three stores, but I also don't want to cloud the trees with something completely unrelated. We'll see what happens!
I think that's it for now. I just wanted to check in, make sure people know things are going GREAT!, and apologize for the absence. I think I'm going to skip further Facebook posts and just blog. They may not be big posts at times, but at least they'll be pretty pictures! I'll see what I can do about adding more stuff to the website too. I will be busy in the coming days getting the Oddball Cat Toys website and blog up, the business has grown to the point it needs it! I'm very happy about that. :-)
Anyways, happy Thursday, and stay warm!