Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Avon Walk Fundraising

I've been diligently trying to raise $1,800 in the last 4 weeks, to be able to walk in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara. The event is in 10 short days. It's a 2 day, 39 mile walk from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria. I'll be walking with a top team who has just surpassed the $35,000 mark and entitles them to meet Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, at the closing ceremony on Sunday.

Although I have a long way to go to be able to walk, I am getting some help from my networking efforts. Linda from Abundance Yeah Bakery will be featuring my Denises Delectables Etsy store soon. Julie from The Gerber Babies Blog has a giveaway to help me raise funds. She's giving her readers one entry per view/comment/dollar donated. In return, I am donating my petit four cakes to Julie and sending people to Linda's web links.

I would really appreciate spreading the word that all my sales from shops and website will go towards fundraising. I sell ART PHOTOS MOSAICS JEWELRY & MORE. I also do EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY - EVENT FLORAL DESIGN - A UNIQUE ONLINE BAKERY - CUSTOM JEWELRY

I am determined to get to my $1,800, sharing in the amazing experience this day will surely bring. I am also excited that my friends at the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara will be there to cheer me on and answer questions about the services they offer. For them to get all of the exposure from this event, means just as much to me as walking. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cherry Blossom Photos

I love Spring & Fall and taking photos of all the blooming flowers. A potential customer wanted to see all of the Cherry Blossom images I had, so here they are. I also included some other spring blossoms.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Art For Charity - Avon Walk For Breast Cancer

I decided to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on Sep. 11-12th in Santa Barbara. A friend is walking and I thought it would be a great challenge for me. Well, actually, it'll be a HUGE challenge for me, as I have fibromyalgia and it's a 39 mile walk. It's 26-27 miles on day one & 13 miles on day 2. I've been walking almost every day for the past 3 months, averaging 2 miles per day, so I had already been training. So it worked out great.

Since the event is less than 2 months away, I had to think of the best way to generate donations, to get me on the fast pace to raising $1,800. I had 1,000's of items between my 3 online stores, so I decided that would be a great start at raising funds. I began sharing my goal in various networking circles and asking for support.

So now I have to hope that all the networking will pay off & I will get my $1,800 . . . in sales . . . in donations and in other fundraising events, so I can walk on Sep. 11th & 12th. I did a 10 mile training walk last weekend and was very happy that the serious pain didn't start until around mile 8.5. That was a huge pleasant surprise. The walk deifinitely fueled the desire to make this happen, to continually have a mind over matter outlook in dealing with my fibromyalgia, to push my body and to help a cause that is important to me.

Facebook event:

My Avon web page:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Give Me Some Link Love

For the last 2 weeks, I have been networking with 100's of other artists, artisans & photographers through Facebook & Twitter. It has been great & has made me re-think some things for optimization of my websites, banners and all marketing of my businesses. The link love, networking train has left the station, but is moving kind of slowly. I have seen some people gain 100's of fans very quickly. Writing more on my blog is my next step in this optimization process, as I only have 2 fans. Since I post a photo a day album on my Facebook page, I often neglect this blog. It's tied to my Facebook page and LinkedIn profile, so that makes it easier, as I take on more networking.

I am the kind of person who can always find improvement in almost everything I do or create. I also like to see what works for other people and use those elements that I like, and add them to my own ideas. So I really enjoy looking at what others are doing to market themselves. A good example of this, is that I changed my Twitter background to better show all that I do. Before, I just had a banner at the top left, with some photos & words. I have added a "tips" discussion on Facebook, because I'm always about helping someone who may not know how to do something. I added a link love discussion to my pages & make sure I add both my pages to every page that I have fanned. I also make sure that all who see my post, also see that I have a photo a day album and fan giveaways. So I give incentive to become a fan.

Another great thing about networking is that I learn about many contests among other artists/artisans & photographers, as well as businesses and art galleries. I have begun entering jewelry contests and have found more photo contests to participate in. I have connected with more galleries, which helps me in my next step, which is to begin acquiring gallery representation.

It's all just one further step to get the best exposure for my businesses. it's a great deal of work, but you don't reap rewards without hard work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Valentine's Day Buying Trend

Valentine's Day, the time when people look for that special gift to say how special you are to them. In previous years, we've been inundated with t.v. ads for every major jewelry store under the sun. We've seen ads in magazines for all the major floral delivery companies. But I think this year is a little different. With the trend towards more thoughtful and economical gifts, instead of diamonds, roses or other high price items, we are searching for the most meaningful gifts, for the cheapest prices. I believe the best place to find that special gift at a great price is

I don't just say that because I have 2 Etsy stores. I say that because I have seen some amazing and amazingly cheap, high quality items on Etsy. I've seen other baked goods for very low prices, and they are fresh, with no preservatives, like you'd get from a major online candy/bakery retailer. I've seen someone who sells gemstone bracelets for $5. I don't know how she can make any money on a margin that small, but it works for her. I do have to honestly say that I think she does a disservice to other jewelry sellers by offering her bracelets for so cheap, but that's another post. The time it takes to make such items is as valuable as the item itself. I make greeting cards for several holidays and I've seen other sellers who make equally nice cards on Etsy. Home made soaps, colognes, perfumes, facial scrubs and even coffee are sold on Etsy. The list goes on and on, for what you can buy.

I've mentioned that I recently took a pledge to buy more handmade and local items, not shopping at major retailers. I never really bought much from major retailers anyway, except for an occasional piece of clothing, but you can even buy that on Etsy. I ordered a shirt from a seller on Etsy and loved it. I also loved the personalization that came with it. My shirt came with a lovely matching black box and grey tissue paper, with a handmade tag attached. It's the personal touches that make a difference and knowing that I have furthered someone else's dream to have their own business and make their own schedule, a reality. I am glad that trend of "buying from the little guy" has a strong hold. There are many people who are doing what people of the great depression did . . . making handmade items to supplement themselves, while in between employment. Just that little bit of extra money can mean a great deal to someone, giving them a sense of worth, as they are being turned down for the few jobs that come their way. I should know. I am one of those people. So support your local stores and small businesses this Valentine's Day. You can even request specially made items on Etsy, and you'd be surprised at how cheap you may be able to get them. I see lots of Etsy Alchemy listings from people wanting someone to recreate a high priced item for less. You should check it out.

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