Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blazing Soul News

Hello friends, this is my blazing soul news.  Many yummy things going on, I want to update everyone, and share my adventures.

First a little background........
Five years ago, I met Etsy.  It was love at first sight for this costumer/art quilter/jewelry designer girl.  I was able to create a job I love: designing fun product lines of wearable art in my Aly The Red store (tree and bird, fingerless wrist warmers, art bags, journals, coffee cozies). I learned so much and am grateful to everyone writing/sharing/teaching all they knew about selling what they loved making with the rest of us.  The second year I opened Bliss Forest to share my whimsical gnomes and stuffed creations.  They were often written up in adorable blogs and in one issue of Stuffed Magazine.  I opened Charmish beads store as an outlet for the beads I brought into the world as head designer for Ohm Beads, a larger company.  I’ve been invited to write for three different books because editors found me on etsy.  And received wholesale orders because shop keepers look for products on etsy.

I am grateful for all my wonderful etsy customers who have followed me through the years, or just bought one hand made thing from one of my shops.  I’m grateful to have supported myself and family via Etsy sales for the last four years.  I’ve grown as a business woman, as a designer, and made many great friends through Etsy.  It’s wonderful, helpful and quite necessary to have had that much direct feedback about my products.

Last year, while still enjoying my work, I started to feel a shift.  I wanted to spend more time and focus in the studio making product, developing new work, and somehow simplifying my life.  I was feeling too busy and experiencing a constant nagging feeling that I should always be doing more.  I sought more wholesale accounts that gave me larger bulk orders, less email and less time in the office shipping and working online. I think it’s a natural progression for many established etsy sellers to want to make the move to wholesale.  I'd love to hear more from others who have made a similar choice.

I also worked through some health issues that required many life changes.  Don't worry, it's all good!  I'm all spruced up and better than ever.  
After the wonderful Christmas rush, I have had time to do some soul searching and took a long-awaited family trip to New Zealand, Australia, and the south pacific island of Rarotonga.  Wonderful time with my family, a great mix of rest AND lots of exercise, great food, tons of time in the ocean (which is very exciting t those of us who live in Oregon where the beach water is beautiful yet COLD year around), and came home with a fresh perspective on my values, my family, my business, what I want in life (five year plan, baby), and what I want as a designer. 

 I found in my heart ……
  • ·      a desire for the most eco friendly product line I could work with
  • ·      to make the jump from retail to wholesale
  • ·      the interest to work with gallery owners, boutiques, and zoos !
  • ·      to be free of the fluctuating prices of silver
  • ·      to simplify my focus (one product line, one medium, one type of product to market and be excited about)
  • ·      to choose more play time with my family and friends
  • ·      to use my business to make a difference in the world
  • ·      to have a product line that would utilize all my skills as a designer
  • ·      to weave travel into my work and family time
What fun, huh?

So what am I doing about all this?  Stay turned for the big reveal coming in June. 

(My next few posts will be about our colorful trip. Weeee!)


MelissaSue said...

You are so inspiring Alysse! Not just your art, you write very elegantly :)

Aly- Bliss Monkey Studio said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Melissa. I realize I love to write more personal updates in my blog. More big news on it's way that will have me rewriting my bio....

Sweetest of Things said...

I love hearing about what is happening, and it's especially satisfying to hear what the business people that I admire, and that inspire me, are doing in their lives!

mosey handmade said...

aly~ so good to find you again! i will look forward to reading your blog and hearing your plans, i have many of those similar thoughts! bug hugs!!