Sunday, March 28, 2010

Craft day

Yesterday I had three friends over for a craft day, a first for us. All of us worked on our craft projects at my two work tables in my sewing room.

One friend mended pants, another organized photographs for scrapbooks, and another cut the fabric pattern for an Ohio State-themed purse and worked on her cross stitch. I finished some of my home decor projects, including draperies for my mother-in-law.

We broke for lunch at 1:30 p.m. I cooked Mediterranean chicken in the crockpot, which included stewed tomatoes, Greek olives, and marinated artichoke hearts. We also had a seven-layer salad, sticky buns, a bottle of Bogle Merlot, and a bottle of Barefoot Chardonnay.

After lunch, we went back to our craft projects for a few hours. We broke for Campfire S'Mores Bread Pudding at 5:30 p.m.; imagine bread pudding drizzled with melted chocolate, mini marshmallows, and crumbled graham crackers.

We all had a lot of fun and look forward to the next craft day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Facebook ad

In putting together a marketing plan, I realized my biggest challenge: reaching a global demographic on a shoestring budget. I have 5,650 followers on Twitter and a Sew Darn Simple fan page on Facebook, but that is not enough.

After doing a little research, I found that Facebook ads have a low click-through rate, but a high impression rate and the potential to reach millions.
I ran my first ad campaign on Facebook from March 10 through March 20. I targeted 25 to 64-year-old females in the United States, or more than 39 million people.

The first ad consisted of my logo, which includes my tagline: Custom Sewing for Your Home and More...Purses, Accessories, Home Decor. The logo was a hyperlink to my website ( The verbiage below the logo read: 100% cotton purses, wallets, cell-phone cases, lanyards, accessories and so much more. Custom orders. Global shipping.

Because Facebook has a low-click-through rate, I chose to pay up to $0.68 per click, not to exceed $5.00 per day. During that 10 day advertising campaign, my ad had 86,778 impressions and 21 clicks, for a 0.13 percent click per thousand (CPM) rate, and a 0.024 percent total click-through rate (CTR). My average cost per click (CPC) was $0.53 and my total campaign cost $11.17.

Although I do not track how customers hear about me, during my first Facebook campain I had 4 new customers, 8 total customers, and 10 total sales. My average sale is $9.00, not including shipping.

I began my second Facebook campaign yesterday (March 20). I substituted the logo with an ad that has pictures of my merchandise. I kept the maximum pay per click at $0.68 and the daily budget at $5.00 And I kept the verbiage below the graphic, but changed the hyperlink to go directly to my Etsy landing page (, where I sell my merchandise. I already have had 60,630 impressions and 10 clicks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's in the bag

To paraphrase a commercial by a well-known electronics juggernaut: there is a bag for that.

My online shop has backpacks, reusable baggies, cosmetic pouches, toiletry bags, and purses of all designs, shapes, and sizes. Occassionally I'll make a CD case for a grand-nephew, a crayon case for a neice, or a diaper bag for an expectant mother.

My latest project is what I call the drawstring project bag, which is approximately 6.5" in diameter and 13" tall. The bottom is weighted with heavy, fuseable Peltex interfacing.

I envision my project bag being filled with yarn, thread, fabric, and needles for those who like to knit, crochet, needlepoint, and/or sew.

My first project bag includes words and appeals to the wordsmith. I also have a similar fabric with numbers for number crunchers. But, if typography isn't your bag, Austin Powers, I have hundreds of other prints and combinations.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fourth time is a charm

Many great painters have painted over a canvas several times before creating a masterpiece. I am finding that sewing isn't much different.

As I often do, I based a new wallet design on two modified patterns. But, it took me four tries to create a saleable wallet.

On my first attempt, the zipper (for coins) was in an odd place, just below the flap. Also, I later discovered that most of the credit card slots were too narrow.

For my second attempt, I moved the zipper to the middle of the wallet, but I still did not like it being on the outside. And, I did not like the Velcro flap.

My third attempt was pretty good. I substituted the Velcro flap for one with a magnetic snap, but I forgot to put fabric behind my zipper to make a pouch. I corrected that problem, but the design was still missing something.

For my fourth and final design (paw-print fabric), I added a see-through vinyl pocket to accommodate an ID. The wallet also has an opening that runs lengthwise to accommodate paper currency, a zippered pouch for metal currency, three distinct slots for credit cards, and a pocket under the credit cards for more cards, such as business cards.