This is the personal blog of Michelle Cali, creator of Wine Coutures and John8eight. Here she plans to get overly personal with you by giving details of her creative process along with rants and raves about her two favorite subjects- alcohol and weddings. She will write often, (not sure if that's a promise or a threat), so please visit as much as you can tolerate. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Etsy Haters

Okay this post is coming out of a situation that one of my fellow sellers from Team EcoEtsy experienced. She was interviewed by CNN in what at first seemed like a story about being a stay at home mom with an at-home business. It turned out to be yet another attempt by CNN to bash Esty. This time they were focusing one Etsy's Quit Your Day Job Series.

Now, there is no guarantee that when you open a business on Etsy that shortly after you will be able to quit your job and make tons of money off the crafts you make. Etsy never made that promise. . . and really, there is no company in the world that can make that promise. With any job- selling Mary Kay or Avon, auctioning baseball cards on Ebay or selling knitted finger puppets on Etsy- some people really can succeed and make a decent living doing it, while many others will not. That's just a natural fact of life.

I have never seen the Etsy's QYDJ series as any sort of scheme or false advertisement. The series is set up to help inspire and encourage. Each person that is interviewed offers advice that they themselves have applied to their business as well as warnings on the mistakes they made along with tips to avoid the same mistakes.

Why the CNN seems intent on bashing Etsy lately, I do not understand. No online company is perfect. If they looked at Amazon, Ebay, ArtFire and other online outlets for sellers they would find flaws in those sites too. You just can't please all of the people all of the time.

Hopefully the interview that was done will be overshadowed by more pressing and more important stories like the relief efforts in Haiti or our health plan. Let's focus on real issues rather then spending our time trying to use lies to smear the name of a decent company.

My Mentor

(All designs above made by Florie Amster and all rights retained by her)

As you know, I was so disappointed this passed year for not being accepted into the One of a Kind Show. If I forgot to tell you before, one of the reasons I was so excited about wanting to attend was because I would have the chance to see my mentor, Florie Amster.

I had met Florie Amster when I won a free jewelry making lesson through the Beth El silent auction fundraiser they were doing. When I attended the class at her home, I was just overwhelmed at the beauty that filled her house. Her showroom of jewelry creations made me feel like a kid walking into a candy store.
What really impressed me about Mrs. Amster was her warm spirit. She was very open and honest about her business and encouraged questions. She allowed me to help her as she geared up for another season of craft shows. The extra money I earned was great, but that was nothing compared to the amount of skills and business insight I learned from her.

Thank you Florie Amster, where ever you are!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Great Online Review of Wine Coutures

I just got another great review from a very fabulous blog. *Squeal* The review is from Kattia Gordon of Aleximani Events. Below is the link to the article.

And while you are over there, feel free to look around the rest of her site for wedding help and inspiring ideas.

A big thank you to Kattia Gordan for the review!

Some Eye Candy from My Workbench

I've been busy lately creating some new pieces. Several will hopeful go to an art gallery that is interested in carrying my wine charms. Others are being donated this week to the American Liver Foundation Connecticut Chapter for their silent auction. Still there are some going to the Mountain View High School Grad Night silent auction. And finally a fresh batch is soon to be up for sell at my Etsy store. Here are just a few items hot off the workbench:

Okay Let's Recap...

Now looking back at 2009 I can see where I've made some mistakes and took some good advice. I wish to share my thought with you in hopes that some of what I have to say will help others with their business:

First off, get yourself a system! I wish I had created and kept a better system of keeping track of my spending and income. I am regretting not having such a system in place now that I have to go through this pile of receipts and invoices, trying to get things organized in some readable fashion.

Don't be afraid to change the look of your business. I started my business with a very classy elegant look, but soon realized that I just couldn't put up with that image for long. It just wasn't me. So now I've moved to a more modern look with a bit of a dark side that I hope to show more of in 2010.

Donate. It's good for the soul. I have gotten so much pleasure from donating my items, my time and my money to a worth cause that I love. Pick something you are passionate about and do what you can to show your support. They will be thankful and so will your soul.

You can't please all of the people all of the time, so let people know it. I've learned that if I can't produce an item the way people want it, I just tell them the honest truth. But with that truth I also offer my best possible option and allow them to make the decision on what they want to do next.

Make sure you always have enough supplies. And this rule goes for shipping materials as well. I just hate having to stop my work just to go a buy something that I though I already had on hand. Save yourself the gas and the trouble. Make sure you have everything you need on hand.

Life doesn't live itself. So you need to remember to leave the office and get out there and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The work will still be there when you get back.

Realize that it won't work- and then do it anyway! I am happy that I took the leap in opening my business. Against all better judgement I did what all logic told me would fail. And guess what? I'm still here. Funny thing about following your dreams- dreams doesn't care about logic.