february desk display 01

Whew! Its been quite a week; for some reason this semester all my professors decided to start piling on the homework/intensive projects right away, which means no easing into the semester gently. lol. I’m trying not to panic even though I’ve got a boatload of stuff due in the next week.

Needless to say, knitting and creating time has been at an absolute minimum. *sigh* I’m hoping once I get my schedule down, start working on organzing my homework time better (how come it always changes from semester to semester?) I’ll get back into the swing of creating since I have so many ideas floating around in my head right now! In the meantime though, I’ve started to do a little research into my biggest 2007 goal: opening my own webstore.

grab bag of goodies

This is something I’ve wanted to do basically since I was a kid; run a small business that allows me to market my creations. I’ve read countless books over the years on doing that (hehe--how many twelve-year-olds read Barbara Braebec’s book from start to finish in one sitting? lol), and yet I still am very timid about taking that leap of faith and just doing it. The ideas are there, the ability to focus and manage my time are there, the networking/people skills are too; but I still hold back for fear of failure--something that haunts me constantly in school. I think at this point, I’ve got a better handle on how much work starting a real business is going to take (all the legal/tax stuff; no fun, but I want this to be a serious endevour from the start) and now I just need to get my ducks in a row. I’m giving myself until the end of the semester to come up with a business plan, list everything I need to do as well as design my inventory for the slated Autumn opening. That gives me summer to work on filling out forms, getting permits, working on stock and a part time job (since someone has got to pay for all this! lol). But right now I’m still buried under a pile of books on running home-based businesses. Its amazing how many books have been published in recent years on every aspect of the handcraft business--I even found one on basic legal stuff you need to know when starting such a venture! Now thats the kind of nitty-gritty that I am looking for. :)

vintagevalentine_01 vintagevalentine_02

With that in mind: I’ve lately been getting a lot of comments on my redesigned/reconstructed pieces I wear; some even from local boutique owners. I’d love to be able to whip out a business/contact card to hand them, just in case they are interested in possibly carrying my work, but I’m not sure where to get good business cards made up. I want to design something myself--no prefab designs! Any ideas about where to get a small run (100-250) of professional-looking cards printed?

photos top to bottom: redecorated over my desk for valentine's day :: some bits and bobs I picked up recently :: a vintage valentine I found at an antique store recently... I just love it! ♥ [ click on any for a larger view/description ]


sulu-design said...

Sorry I can't help with the business cards, but I admire how driven you are and how much research and planning you're putting into your goal. I'd love to see more of your reconstructed pieces on your blog!

Evie said...

Overnightprints.com has great prices and great quality for business card printing. Also, if you are looking to startup a small store online, you may want to check into bigcartel.com which offers a great solution for small shops and crafters. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

How exciting!! It sounds like you've got a good grasp on things and the time to build your business. I had business cards printed at Staples/Business Depot (can't remember which name they use in the US) which if I remember were around 250. The other option is to print your own! A package of 250 business cards is around $10 and you could probably pick up the software for a song (if you don't already have something on your computer). Then you can design them yourself and print off as many as you need. Good luck with everything ... you've definitely got talent!

amisha said...

i don't have technical advice to offer unfortunately.. but very excited for you and impressed with the steps you are taking to make this a reality!

Connie said...

look on stationary websites too for business cards, you know, the kind of stationary stores that do customized stuff.

and i love the red trinkets hanging, very fun and inspiring

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Nothing is sweeter than a vintage valentines!

Have you checked MOO cards online? 100 images that you send for $20! They are fantastic!!

VDOprincess said...

I second the Moo suggestion. They're quite a bit smaller than a typical business card, but the print quality is FANTASTIC, they're full color, and they're double sided. You could totally take (or have taken) pictures of your lovely creations and use those as one side of the card.
It's a good way to start without a huge commitment.

Casey said...

Thank you everyone for your sweet comments of encouragement!! It means so much to me that I've got such lovely friends supporting me. :)

Thanks for the recommendations for cards as well... I'll be checking all of these out.

Jess said...

Try Vistaprint.com, too. I had some done there. (actually the cards were free, just had to pay $4.95 to upload my own file and something for shipping. They have special "free" offers all the time.) The quality was acceptable, but their customer service leaves something to be desired. It's an option.