Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Swelling Sea of Information

Welcome to my blog about my life as a woodworker. I make gorgeous furniture and other useful things out of wood. Its not a lofty job, but I love merging creativity, skill and furniture. Please share this post in some way to help me spread the word about my work. I also provide many helpful links and ideas about marketing your own work.

I have been in business most of my life. I began making cabinets, then building and renovating homes and now I am happily designing and crafting furniture. 
Being a furniture maker is a perfect fit for me and business is starting to flow after a long grueling start up. 

Businesses change all the time. We adapt to our current situation in order to grow or maintain or reduce, depending on what is needed for the best profit margin or other gain. In today's market I am constantly promoting my work in order to find clients rather than compromise the integrity of my work. Showing online is one way that woodworkers are trying to sell their work around the world. You can find my work on EtsyCustom Made and My Website. I have two flickr accounts so people can see images of my work and even learn a bit about my process. I run the blog you are reading right now, I am on PinterestThumbtack, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Lumberjocks, Google+ (twice) and I bet I'm on sites I can't even remember.

In online stores you can use Paypal or WePay to create a safe, secure instant purchase and in person I can take credit cards using the square reader. Cash still works. Yes, businesses change rapidly. My business has already changed from what it was just two months ago.
I am receiving orders from places across the country as well as in my hometown, Portland Oregon. And I still ask, "how did you find me?"

There is a sea of information swelling around us all the time. How do shoppers negotiate this? And how do we catch their eye?

For instance, on Etsy I have to go in and renew my product listings at particular times of the day just to get my images back on top of the swell. Otherwise my images are swimming along like bottom feeders. Or even better yet, do you know about the big mass of plastic in the ocean that collects and floats around? Imagine trying to find one particular plastic bag.

And here is another great idea. Have you heard of Thumbtack? They are a nation wide service that connects people who need work with the professionals who do the work. It operates online, email and texts. I get a text saying that Jane Doe needs a cabinetmaker in Hillsboro and it gives me an opportunity to bid on her job. The bid costs me just a few dollars. I have gotten at least 20 job notices since I signed up. I am hoping that they will add a category for custom furniture soon. So far there has only been one job that is a possible fit for me but I have hope! This is a very exciting turn in the market and another viable method for people to discover my work online yet locally!

This is is useful, practical  and exciting. We are all so busy shopping online that we are overlooking our local businesses! Online is in your living room, you car, the office. Now you can intentionally shop local while at home. Amazing.

I am currently working on several small tables, a portable two part podium, end tables and jewelry boxes. Three of the tables are for local clients! I am very excited to be represented by Dragonfire Studio and Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon and soon to be showing in The Real Mother Goose, Portland Oregon.

If you have a moment please share this post with friends and family and the world.
I love how it feels to be surrounded by the wave carrying you along as if you are just a spec of seaweed. Yes, a little fear is a good thing.  Don't panic. The wave has such great power. I want to stay right on the top so I can ride it all the way to the shore!

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Little Flame

Little Flame
Prize winner in the NWFW 30th Annual Box Show! SOLD