I need feedback! I am developing a line of textile items to sell on Lisbeth's Etsy shop, using her cut paper designs. After reading an Etsy Better Business Guide, my head is spinning. I am not a business woman. I have a difficult time narrowing things down, and sticking with them. I'm more of the idea person. But I have to adopt some of these good business strategies if I'm going to make this thing work! One thing I read is to keep the shop simple - don't have too many different items in one shop. Hmmm. I already have tee shirts, stationary, framed mandalas, and now I'm going to add textiles. It is suggested that one open another shop for additional items...argh, I'm not ready to do that. But as far as the textiles go, I want to start with table linens - napkins, table runners and tablecloths. Pictured here are some napkins I made yesterday with the fabric I designed on Spoonflower. One thing I know is that I need a new sewing machine. I have a 50's Singer that does not even have a zigzag stitch. Just a straight stitch. It's a great machine and I've sewed a thousand and one dolls on it, and clothes for me, my husband, and my kids - even my wedding dress. But if I am going to be sewing these napkins and tablecloths, I need a serger. Otherwise, I will be painstakingly measuring, turning, ironing, and straight stitching all the edges, which takes a loong time, and even then, it's never perfect. Not that it has to be perfect, but hell, if I can get a machine that just zips around those edges, that's the way to go. (Besides, my sister is engaged to a guy who collects and repairs sewing machines - I am certain he can find me a good deal! It's about time I stepped out of the dark ages...)
Another thing that the guide suggests is that I put my ideas out and ask for feedback. So here goes!!! Please visit Brainstorm Studio and let me know what you think of the shop so far - the banner, the intro, the profile, the items, photos, etc. Tell me what you think works, and what could use work. I am ordering a bunch of new shirts for summer this coming week - tank tops and tees with colored mandalas, and some of the mandalas will be smaller than the ones you see printed on the current shirts. And I know I have to offer a wider range of sizes.
Also, what do you think of the new fabric pictured here? And what about the napkins? I want to sell an assortment of six different colors and designs, because my favorite color is rainbow, but I think that I should offer sets of 4-6 napkins of the same fabric for people who are more matchy and may not like as much crazy color as me...
The white on blue piece is going to be a tablecloth. I'm getting to keep this piece because it had some irregularities and Spoonflower is re-printing it for no fee! They are terrific!
Eventually I would like to open a separate shop to just sell yardage of the fabric. These are only my first tries at designing. I have so many more ideas for new fabrics using Lisbeth's mandalas!
And so many ideas of what to make with that fabric - pillows, curtains, shower curtains, bags, clothing, quilts, etc. But I do not want to be sewing for a living. If this takes off, I can hire people to sew.
Well, thanks for letting me air this all here. And thanks in advance for any constructive criticism and feedback!!! Happy Weekend, All!