Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Talking ArtFire While I Wait for my Husband to Blog

My husband is an excellent writer, and I’ve somehow roped him into writing a post for the blog. But he’s been busy, and hasn’t had much of a chance to sit down and do one yet.

Despite my reminders.

Or, in plain English: nagging.

While I wait, I wanted to switch gears a little and tell you about a side of my art business, in case you’ve ever debated doing the same sort of thing. It’s pretty exciting to consider myself a “business woman”, but my husband, as supportive as he’s been about this venture, will be even more excited if  it ever pays the mortgage off. :)

Like many “mompreneurs”, I started my business online, and, boy, was there a lot to learn – and there still is! There are tons of venues out there to sell on, and I continue to explore them, but I must say I have no regrets on starting out on, so wanted to share a little about it with you in case you aren’t quite sure if it would work for you. ArtFire really was a shot in the dark, as I wasn’t familiar with selling online at all – or even in person. But I love it there!

Why, you ask? Oh, you didn’t? Well, you know me, I’m gonna tell you anyway. But since I’m so often verbose, I’m going to just keep it to five fave reasons. Ready?

1.       The cost. There are two studio options to choose from in order to sell on ArtFire, known as “PRO” and “Basic”, and I have one of each. What’s the difference? (Click on the links for examples of each.)
a.      For a PRO account, there is a monthly fee – but that covers everything. Whether you list one or one thousand items, there are no listing fees, and they never have to be renewed. If you make any sales, you don’t pay any extra. This makes it easy to just create and list, as you always know what your bill is going to be at the end of the month.
b.      A Basic studio is free – no listing or selling fees at all. No kidding. But there are differences, such as fewer seller tools available, plus your studio will have ads placed next to your items. And I’ll be honest, they can be tacky. But, hey, it’s a great way to start out, especially if funds are super tight.
2.      My opinion matters. My goodness, can you believe ArtFire actually wants my feedback? Ok, not just mine, but from all sellers? The “admin” is always around, and isn’t above stepping into discussions. You may not always agree with them, but they are very present and accessible.
3.      ArtFire is like business school in a box. Tony, who is the main “face” we see, COO, and marketing guru, is always providing tips on how to become successful with our businesses. I haven’t always liked what I’ve learned, but he’s been right so far, which works for me.
4.      The Collection of the Day! Oh, I just love these! They are one mass email mailing that I actually open up each time it lands in my inbox. It showcases a dozen beautiful items from fellow artisans, and is such a bright spot in the day. (Click here to sign up for them.)
5.      It continues to move forward. As the online world spins faster than the speed of light, change (which folks like me rarely embrace!) is survival. ArtFire is not one to keep things “as is”, but keeps progressing, which is necessary for any ecommerce platform.

So, that’s part of the non-Asperger side of my life. But it’s also an important one to me. My daughter is looking to join up, as well, hoping to earn some money towards college. If she does, I need to remember to use this link when she signs up, as she’ll get her 3rd month free, if she chooses a PRO studio. (Actually anyone can click on it and use it.)

If you have any questions about ArtFire, feel free to ask. I do sell on a few other venues, but ArtFire has worked best for me so far. As always, I’d love your thoughts! And there's a poll -->>> if you'd like to take it, too!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Husband Will be a Featured Writer Here Shortly

Somehow, I've talked my husband into writing a blog post. Actually, it was surprisingly easy. I thought I'd have to pry him with all sorts of things, much of which would include me listening to all sorts of sports somethings, which typically go in one of my ears and out the other.

But all I did is ask - and he said yes.

(Hmm...what else can I ask him to do?...)

I'm not sure what he'll write, and I'm not sure if he does yet, either, but if you have any suggestions, I'll gladly pass them along to him for his consideration. My guess is it will be on Asperger's - but depending on what I put on the menu this week, it could be about my vegan-ish journey, and his take on that. And trust me, he does have an opinion on that!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

This Mother's Day Wish is For You

To all the mothers who could never rock their child to sleep
To all the mothers who fight back tears as their child's dance card remains empty
To all the mothers who wonder if their child - or their family, even - will ever be understood and accepted for who they are, not who others desire them to be 

You are incredible
You are strong
You are loved, even if your child has an atypical way of showing it

To all the mothers who know their child will continue to grow and succeed
To all the mothers who know their child will grow up to contribute so many amazing things to society
To all the mothers who do any and everything for their child, and who love them more than they ever thought possible

Happy Mother's Day
Happy, Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Talking, and the Phone

As for the phone, I can’t even say I have a “love-hate” relationship with it. Sure, as a teen, I was glued to it – cord attached from handle to base and all. (Remember those?) But now? Text? Anytime. Talk? Please text me.

Maybe it’s my effort to feel “young and vibrant”, since so many kids these days don’t actually use their phones to talk anymore.

But last night, I had another, “Teaching Moment à la Kristina.” And it had to do with talking on the phone. She decided she wants to have her hair cut by someone besides her ombre-coiffed mother. (That’s fancy talk for my hair is going gray, so might as well make it sound chic, huh?) Swamped with life, I kept forgetting to pick up the phone and call.

Except on Sunday and Monday…

…when they are closed.

So, the other day, she not only reminded me to pick up the phone, she insisted upon it. And knowing her history of interrupting my phone conversations, I had my own insisting to do. I emphasized how important it was that she not interrupt me. I issued ‘the’ warning, just as many other parents have done throughout time immemorial.

Do not interrupt me unless impending doom is ascending upon the house.

So, while she was in another room, I picked up the phone, and called. Then I made a mistake. I used the word “trim” instead of “cut”.

Apparently doing so unleashed impending doom, and she rushed in to correct my word choice.

In a very loud and not so happy manner. That not only flustered me, but the woman on the other end of the line, hearing it all go down. Ignoring my hand signals (got to love social cue awareness – or lack thereof – at times like this), I headed to the one space of last resort – the bathroom. After an apology to the receptionist, and another lovely moment at the hair dressers firmly imprinted in my memory, I hung up the phone, and told her I needed five minutes.

I really, really needed five minutes of quiet.

Then the discussion began. Then the revelation. Kristina has always interrupted our phone conversations, and I figured it was just one of “those” things we’d forever be working on. But that’s not going to be the case anymore. And the reason had me feeling overwhelming empathy for my teen.

“Mom, you mean that people can hear noises on the phone except for the person they are talking to and dog barks.”

“Yes, Kristina, they can.”

Kristina sunk into the couch with the look of overwhelming embarrassment riddled across her tear-stained face.

“Why didn’t you tell me that before? I never knew that. I never…”

And she didn’t.

Just wanted to share her perspective of talking, and the phone.