Even at 25, you gotta start sometime

October 10, 2010

So even though I knew the perfect title for my next blog entry for weeks, I’ve been putting off writing it, ’cause I wasn’t quite sure of what I would say.

But then I’ve been thinking about how I’ll only be 25 for the next couple of months, so I better write it now before my chance is gone forever.

(Deep, I know…)

So what am I starting?

Well, I mentioned before that I’m starting to more heavily pursue crafting.

On September 1st, I set up an endcap display at the Hudson Sampler Store. I found it when stalking the JoAnn Fabrics headquarters. I had a job interview about a mile down the road from the headquarters and thought that I might as well check it out.

Nestled between the JoAnn building and an actual JoAnn’s retail store was the Hudson Sampler Store. The light-up letters above the doorway still say the Country Sampler Store but I went inside because the sign in the window advertised that they rent booth spaces to crafters.

Upon further inspection (and after speaking with a very nice woman at the counter), I discovered that they actually sell a variety of crafts like photography, handmade cards, and blown glass.  So I filled out the application form and met with one of the managers a few weeks later.

The rent is very reasonable, and I can pretty much do what I want with the display (within reason).  The employees that I met on the day of my interview seemed very enthusiastic about my work and they thought I’d do well there.

September’s slow for retailers in general, so I wasn’t expecting too much.  So far I’ve sold a total of two items, but hoping it will pick up closer to Christmas. (My lease goes through the end of December, and then I can rent month-to-month.)

I stopped in to drop off some more inventory at the end of September, and found that one piece was broken and one piece was stolen. The broken item had a clasp issue which was easy to repair, but the other piece?  Who knows what happened to it.. I guess that’s just the risk you take with retail shops.

* * *

I also just started selling (well, I suppose you’d call it showing so far) at Pageboy Salon & Boutique in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh), PA. The owner, Rachel, used to have a cute shop called Kharisma Vintage Fashions, also in Pittsburgh. She’s really sweet and great to work with so I got a hold of her after I visited the shop about a month or so ago.

I sent her a lot of vintage eyeglass necklaces, 1″ buttons, and origami crane earrings, so please check out the store if you’re in PGH any time soon. Nearby are some cool shops like Wildcard (handmade cards ‘n’ crafts) and Dozen Bake Shop (spectacular cupcakes and unique foods).  I’m hoping that I’ll get a chance to stop by the neighborhood again soon.

* * *

Additionally on the crafting front, I will be doing the Oddmall show in less than a month! It’s November 6, at the Clarion Hotel in Hudson, OH. The first one I did wasn’t the best, however, it’s been steadily growing in popularity. Also, April from Regretsy is scheduled to be there!

Also applied for the Bazaar Bizarre show, but was rejected. Which is strange since they accepted me two years ago when I had minimal items in my Etsy shop and absolutely no prior show history. I guess competition was fierce, so I’ll just wait and see if I can get in the Handmade Arcade again.

* * *

Tomorrow is also the start of my new job at one of my favorite craft stores (can you guess which one?) It’s just seasonal, but I’m hoping that I can eventually bridge the gap to work for corporate. Not sure how that transition will go, but it should be nice working for a company I actually believe in.

You may recall that I previously held a job at the local cable company. Without going into too much detail, call center customer service just wasn’t doing it for me. I knew it wasn’t my forever-job, and I’m feeling pretty good about moving on to an industry I enjoy.

* * *

So I suppose that the moral of today’s story is that I may not know exactly where I’m going, but at least I’m getting closer to it each day.


Day 98: Wednesday, January 20

January 20, 2010

Ugh, I just can’t seem to wake up today.

After I saw Ryan off to work at about 8AM, I fell back asleep.  I got up again a little bit before 10 (an hour ago) and I still feel like I’m in a haze, so I’m brewing some coffee.

While unemployed, I’ve been pretty successful with keeping a normal sleep schedule.  It’s really tempting for me to stay up late because I’ve always liked to, however, lately I’ve been  going to bed around 10-11 to wake up around 7:30.

Anyway, I’m moving slow like the buffalo, and need to kick it into first gear (or whichever gear allows you to go faster) so I can look like I did something before Ryan gets back home from work (he’s expecting to be done around 1pm).  Not that Mr. Afternoon Naps has any room to talk, but still, it’s nice not to be a hobo…

Should do something tangible like laundry or dishes, but first, an update:

This weekend I went to see Chicago with my friend, her dad, and her boyfriend, since they had an extra ticket.  My friend and I had actually seen it together freshman year, but I had forgotten quite a few of the songs.   Some of the numbers are kind of lame, but at leas they’re pretty brief so the entire musical does a good job at holding your attention.

Afterward, we (minus dad) hung out at her apartment for a while.  It was nice to spend that time with them because I haven’t really seen many of my friends lately.

I know that visiting pals doesn’t have to be expensive, but I guess I’ve been reluctant to contact them to plan a date since I’m trying not to spend too much money and I don’t want to make anyone feel awkward around me.  Plus I feel as though I don’t really have much to talk about lately.  Sure I’ve been working on my Etsy shop and Facebook fan page and trying to create some new jewelry, but overall, I’m not that exciting right now.

I need to look up some more cool free stuff to do around town.  The zoo has free admission on Mondays.  And I haven’t been to the art museum since they opened up the new wing.  If these activities sound appealing, let me know if you’d want to come along.

I have finished a couple of books since the start of the new year.  The fist was  The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman.  It’s filled with great advice and is written mainly in question-and-answer format, so it’s pretty easy to read.  Some things don’t apply to me quite yet (like the info on buying a house), but it will make for a good reference.

The other book was I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  It was a pretty interesting read, but I cannot imagine a single person to whom I would recommend this book.  It’s a memoir about this guy who works for an ad agency by day and participates in drag shows for extra money by night.  He designs his own outfits that all feature clear domes for boobs that he fills with water and goldfish.  He constantly gets drunk on vodka and meets this crack addict male prostitute who offers him sanctuary in his fancy penthouse.  They have parties, and drink, and smoke crack.  Then fight.  Then try to go clean.  Then drink and smoke crack again.  Then leave each other.

Luckily, I only paid two dollars for it at a used book sale a couple of years ago.  I thought the goldfish on the cover was pretty. ..

OOH! I did get a job lead from someone who graduated with me… She works for a company that does marketing campaigns for other companies.  She said that they periodically hire production artists to touch up photos and things for clients and wanted to pass my resume along to her boss.   It’s strange, though, because I actually applied for that job back in 2008.  Maybe with my job experience they’d be more likely to hire me now.  I don’t know, but I’m very grateful to get such an offer out of the blue.

Hopefully some more leads will emerge soon.