What have I been doing lately?
During the summer months it is tough to get sweaters, so I have been off the machine and doing major supply buying the last couple of weeks. Once I have the material inventory, it is really efficient to make up my "bundles" right away rather than put everything away and then drag it out again later to do so. (My family has this thing about wanting to actually use our living room for a living room now and then!!). So I have also been doing that. I now have about 150 bundles ready to start producing sweaters during the summer for fall shows and Etsy.
Where are the Tshirts?
My plan is to keep offering and making Tshirts while also building up my sweater inventory, so when September comes, I am prepared with tons of goodies for you. Then, hopefully, during the fall and winter this year, I can start building up the Tshirt stock for next spring. Then I will really have the timing and production on track for both seasons.
List in waves or often, that is the question!
At the shows recently, I have realized that I am not the most efficient maker on the block. if I had standardized patterns or jobbed out the sewing, I could be much more proficient. But my items would be far less unique and far less fun to make. There would also be more waste in my process. Right now the materials usually dictate the design and often the size, so that I can use as much of the fabric as possible without providing more fodder for the landfills. Again, not necessarily efficient, but in step with my ideal. So my road to efficiency is the wave approach to making and listing.
FInally, shop affected by shows
I have tried very hard to put up the vast majority of my show merchandise in my Etsy site for at least a short time before taking it to the shows. I hope to continue this, even though it does require a lot of photos and time to list items that would probably sell at the show, and not need this effort. Like I have said, my Etsy customers are very important to me, and I do not take it lightly that they are willing to buy and trust from the internet, so making sure they have the best selection of my inventory is important to me.
Other on-line venues coming up?It is never a good idea to have all of your eggs in one basket. So beyond Etsy, I have been doing the shows. But so far Etsy has been my only on-line outlet. I do have stores in both Zibbet and Artfire, but as of yet have not put any inventory into them. I will be trying some of these venues out as the year progresses. I may just put scarves and cuffs in those, or may put sweaters in some... I really haven't decide yet. Again, I love Etsy and hope to continue with it as my main on-line venue, but am also open to expansion ideas. I will certainly keep you posted if I do anything.