We’ve Moved!

October 26, 2008

After much hemming & hawing, I have decided I can’t live with WordPress anymore and I moved the LolliShops Blog to Blogger.
Please update your links…
Come & See!
The New & Improved LolliShops Blog

~Sadie Lou


Happy Friday, Sweets!
I don’t think we have even scratched the surface of the many facets of Cottage Style/ Froufrou. This next trend is one that I feel, is timeless and beautiful. Around Lolli-Land, we’ll be calling it FrouFrou Cowgirl! Take a look…

We even have our very own Jennifer Hayslip as our model,

That photo was from last year’s Silver Bella event, on vendor theme night.

What do our two weekend artists have to do with Froufrou Cowgirl? Decide for yourself…

I’ve been creating handmade goods for 20 years, with a background in free-lance design – selling designs to publishers, as well as selling finished work. Acquiring a liking for all things eclectic first began during my childhood in the out-west version of ‘Mayberry’. Cosmopolitan city lightd came next and it was fun, then I settled into suburbia for a time but my roots on the range called me home. I never looked back.

My work is a reflection of eclectic living. Whether jewelry, historic reproduction dolls & bears or vintage goodies etc…I like to ‘mix it up’. I’m a horse-crazy cowgirl at heart; my husband and I are cattle ranchers in Wyoming. I dabble in photography, write a little for hire, love music – western swing, classical, jazz standards, oldies and ethnic flavors.

The old-time cowgirl was a creature of strong contrasts. She was tough…and tender, a product of the times in which she lived. The time-frame that produced the cowboy and cattle barons was the Victorian era. ‘Girly-girl’ cowgirls wore fancy handmade lace as well as sweat stained leather. Satin, florals, baubles and embellishments ruled their wardrobe. Picture the Gibson girls in flamboyant, wide-brimmed cowboy hats. Let me tell you, it ain’t easy being a girly-girl in a dirty world…on the ranch. Like my sisters from that bygone era, I also hunger for lace & fine-ness and sanctuary in pretty pleasures.

Every era and culture offers it’s own unique personality. Rules rule our world, but not the arts. While we can only live in one era at a time, we can play with and learn from all of them in the arts. I’m tickled to be a part of the Lollishop family … a ‘virtual’ village of unique boutiques for the online shopper to stroll through. Quality handmade merchandise in many flavors and various versions everywhere one looks! Thank you Sadie Lou for ‘Lolliland’.

~Shery Jesperson, Reata Rose Ranch

and now for Shery’s little sister,

“How it all began…”

I’m like most bead-lovers….my life-long bead-addiction began at childhood. My earliest memories began with Grama’s jewelry box, which was my favorite toy-box! If she couldn’t find me she knew

exactly where to look first! I started beading with dyed macaroni, pony beads, seed beads, any kind of bead I could get my little hands on! Now it’s mostly gorgeous expensive ‘good stuff’ you can’t find

at the grocery or dime store! I’ve created jewelry for myself all my life and used all sorts stuff….from pine needles and nuts, to thrift shop junk, lots of flea market finds, and re-working antique pieces I’d

collected over the years. Many design ideas I see everywhere nowadays, I’ve either tried or created for myself over the years.

Grama also began to teach me how to embroidery when I was 5yrs & my Mom always used her creativity with Christmas gifts, Valentine’s Day, or our birthdays. I was surrounded by wonderful creative women.

I made my first hand-sewn felt cloth doll & her clothes at 10yo, later in HS I sewed many of my own clothes (Seventeen magazine inpired me every month!), when my baby sons were born I embroidered tiny

white T-shirts w/swallows and teddy bears, eventually I created a wide variety of craft items, which I sold in my gallery in MI which also represented 40 artisans, it goes on and on….I’ve been a crafty gal

all my life! *Take note of my jean jacket smothered with buttons hanging above my worktable…I did that while living in Sacramento way back in 1987!!

Six years ago, I was seeking a new job/career and faced age discrimination for the first in my life. To make ends meet I began selling some of my worldly goods I’d collected on Ebay. One day, while brushing

up my resume for the 100th time, I took a break and clicked into Ebay to check on my active household auctions. Afterward, I detoured into the jewelry category….I snuck a little peek at all the jewelry

(total weakness)….”whoa, look at ALL the items and what they sold! I can DO that!!” The rest is history. I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love and call it my career too!

Mia Bella Collection Jewelry
Mia Bella Beads

It’s a well known fact: Lollies love Vintage!
There is a special category designed for it- “Vintage Treasures” and there are some very determined Vintage Vendors with an eye for what the Lollies gotta have!
But just so we’re all on the same page, I want to qualify Vintage Treasures for everyone.
This is a post I wrote for The Guild (our private forums for vendors- but we have a public one too * more on that later).

The first rule of thumb:
1. Vintage = 20 years or older (when it comes to home decor and collectibles: MOSTLY older)

2. Antique = 50-100 years or older

3. We love Cottage Style (vintage) art supplies = buttons, ephemera, birthday decorations, crepe paper, Christmas, greetings cards, wrapping paper, seam binding, trims, forget-me-nots, glitter, charms, rhinestones, cupcake toppers, photos, fabric, lace, doll parts, etc.

4. Cottage Style/ Shabby Chic home/office decor = vases, planters, pitchers, framed art, small furniture, tablecloths, linens, candle holders, mercury glass, figurines…etc.

5. Cottage Style Clothing/Jewelry = Aprons, vintage prom dresses, shawls/wraps, lingerie, slips, gloves, frilly baby clothes, collectible doll clothes/shoes, whole pieces of jewelry and jewelry repair pieces, hats with flowers & velvet

The LolliShops audience is *MOSTLY* interested in vintage from the 1800s, early 1900s, the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s (some 60’s and 70’s) and 80’s bling!

It seems to me, the emphasis on Vintage Treasures is with the photographs. If I can give any advice to the accepted Vintage Vendors, it would be to work on showcasing those Treasures in a way that is scumptiously delicious!
Someone who is an expert at Vintage Artistic Elements, is Sarah Elder…
Visit her Flickr HERE
But see what I mean?

Someone that knows how to photograph home decor is Polka Dot Rose,

You can visit Karla and Kristi’s photostream HERE

They will both be LolliShops Vendors and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind sharing some tips of their trade with you.
Have a great Wednesday!

New Word: Mom-prenuers

October 20, 2008

So ladies, since we have our own “LolliLanguage” we’ve been speaking…
I thought we could also learn a few, new words that help promote our crafty businesses!
Today’s word is Mom-prenuers”. This word comes to us from the Tip Junkie!
It basically means you’re a mom-owned business and the Tip Junkie blog has a really easy and inexpensive way to advertise for the holidays! You’ll find LolliShops is already on there!
She has set up a special Holiday Shop-a-Thon section of her blog.
If you have taken the handmade pledge in the past and you’re going to shop handmade this Christmas, then you could check out these links! (Of course we’ll all be LolliShopping this Christmas too!) If you see something you like, you could always give them a nudge apply for a LolliShop.
If you have never been to Tip Junkie before, I’ll tell you what to expect! She has blog posts that have crafty tips and tutorials, blog posts announcing blog giveaways and I loved this post on Couple Themed Halloween Costumes!
So go check it out–and tell ’em LolliShops sent ya!
And don’t forget to invite your friends to apply for a LolliShop
Here’s the link for the application
Also, I keep track of incoming links and referrals to this blog… I have another special prize in the works!
~Sadie Lou

I feel like I met Alisa ages ago! When I first started up the Cottage Style Street Team on Etsy, Alisa was one of the best supporters. She would always show up and help promote Cottage Style shops with me in the forums.
Alisa is one of those true, consistent friends…
…and she’s an ultra-talented artist!!

Since childhood, creating has been a love of mine. When I started my first year of college I thought my career would follow the Fine Arts path, but then I discovered a passion for children. So I veered off and became an Early Childhood Educator. After almost 14 years of traveling that kid friendly path, I veered again. This time I found a familiar road… art. However, instead of drawing and painting like I used to do, I began scrapbooking and card making.

From there I developed a love affair with paper. Pretty patterned scrapbook paper, beautiful hand painted vintage wallpaper, perfectly aged ledger… it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s paper.

A year ago, I decided to take my paper love one step further and I started Alisa Jane Designs. It began with the designing of a few simple note cards and composition journals and now with the anxiously awaited opening of LolliShops, has evolved into a stationery shop. I really enjoy creating functional items that bring beauty to life’s everyday tasks. My personal mantra is “life is a beautiful place to be” and I find that my work is inspired by this beauty, whether it is a blooming rose in my garden or the innocent giggle of a child.

I am so excited about the opening of LolliShops. I really feel like it will be the perfect venue for businesses that provide not only aesthetically pleasing products, but also products of the highest quality and customer service where both personal touch and satisfaction is most important.

You can visit Alisa Here
and Here

Ladder Full of Friends

October 15, 2008

Bobbie sent me this story and asked if she could post it on her blog. After reading it, I wanted to be sure lots of you were able to read it. So, here’s Bobbie’s story…enjoy!

To my LolliShop Friends:

Beginning on September 8, 2008, the day I joined the LolliShops Guild

..I wondered how long it would take for me to make 100 friends….seemed like

a lot to me!! I mean there were nearly 600 or more members when I joined. I was sure it would be months!!

So I kept track by using an old Chutes & Ladders game board. I thought it would be fun to watch my circle of

friends grow or climb the ladder to 100.

Who is that in the first box, well that’s our “Sadie Lou” that’s Who! Notice she’s

planting the seeds to grow the business! 🙂 he,he Last week, October 8th my LolliShops Friends Ladder ……reached 100..funny…one

month to the day!! My plan in the beginning was to contact my 100th friend…share my “Ladder of

Friends” story and send them a little something special. It would be sort of like a giveaway in reverse…nobody knew what I was planning.

But then, how fair is that to all my friends who had been hanging onto the ladder while I was waiting for number 100.

So I had a drawing, everyone of my friends (expect #100) were placed in a hat and one was pulled out!!

So I have two winners. Judy Mullins was number 100!! Bettye, inc. was the winner of the drawing!! I have a couple of April Cornell Fabric bags with some fall treats to send them.

This has been a lot of fun. The positive attitudes that the members here at LolliShops Guild are so encouraging and welcoming its no

wonder I filled up my ladder in just one month!!! Just image what the future holds!!!

How sweet is that?
I remember telling Lori Karla at the beginning of summer, that I wanted to create a marketplace where we could sell our creations, vintage & supplies–yes–but more importantly, where like minded artists could support one another. A marketplace that was community driven–not based on competition. This story encourages me that we are headed in that direction with LolliShops–it’s been a sweet ride so far.
~Sadie Lou

I received Dana’s press kits for Moon Maiden Soaps & Sundries and I was so impressed by her packaging, I asked her to write an article for the blog about how she went about branding her product lines…

In order to stand out in a sea of competition, focus on branding and fluidity in packaging is essential. Where the big players can spend an enormous amount of time and money on branding, smaller businesses can really do wonders with branding by following a few simple principles.

Create a Look – Decide on the color scheme for your business. Ask yourself what kind of look and feel you want to impart. It is important to choose colors from a complementary color scheme in order to carry it through your all your packaging, company logo and promotional materials.

Design a Logo – What image would you like your customers to visualize when they think of you and your product? If you are unable to capture the imagery in your mind and translate it into something tangible you can work with, I strongly suggest developing a relationship with a graphic designer. There are several wonderful graphic design programs on the market today; and many more people trained to use them quickly and effectively. Having some ideas and conceptualizations laid out in advance will be very helpful for both you and your designer.

Decide on Product Presentation – How do you want to package your products? Packaging plays a very large role establishing fluidity and professional presentation. A little research goes a long way here; develop a “scrapbook” of examples by getting out there and looking at merchandising first hand. Insure that all your packaging solutions for your entire line compliment one another. Keep in mind also functionality and durability when selecting packaging styles.

Sadie Lou asked me to share a little bit about my experience with branding Moon Maiden Soap & Sundries and how I settled on my current style.

I began with my company name. Since my business is in the bath and body industry, it seemed appropriate to emphasize the delicate feminine side of women. I had chosen Moon Maiden to reflect the youthful beauty associated with the maiden aspect of the triple goddess figure from earth-based spirituality. From there I decided on the image of the maiden. She is from a copyright-free vintage postcard. I felt this maiden had the perfect feminine expression I wanted for my product presentation. Initially, I attempted to design my own product packaging. However, I quickly realized my limited skills with the graphics program and decided to seek the services of someone more qualified. Working with a graphic designer was quintessential to developing a fluid style for my line. I prepared a storyboard of what I wanted regarding color scheme and the maiden image, but just as importantly described how I named my business as well as some pertinent information about my background. Within a few days I was contacted with the first set of graphics to approve –I think being prepared for that initial meeting shortened the process considerably.

I order most of my packaging supplies through Nashville Wraps (www.nashvillewraps.com). They have a large selection and very low minimums which can be beneficial to small businesses. I order my labels through Online Labels.com (www.onlinelabels.com) as well as Creative Label Concepts (www.labelsbythesheet.com). Again, both have relatively low minimums and a large selection of label sizes to meet your needs.

Due to the small scale of my current printing needs, I opted to purchase a color laser printer and print the labels myself. It allows me to print as needed; and frees up upfront overhead costs and valuable storage space. I do have my business cards and literature printed professionally.

I do figure packaging costs into the pricing for my products. I keep a spreadsheet with a breakdown of cost per unit with supply sources listed for quick reference and future ordering.

I hope by sharing this little bit of insight, you too will be able to develop branding that is as unique and lovely as you and your wonderful handmade products are!

By Dana Eskes © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Proprietor, Moon Maiden Soap & Sundries

Moon Maiden Soap

Leah applied for a LolliShop last week and when I visited her shop, my eyes got very wide and I got very excited!
Leah is an artist whose medium is vintage chenille! Doesn’t that sound lovely? Oh, I assure you it is…

I asked Leah if I could feature her this weekend–I was seriously *proud* of this woman’s talents! (as if it had anything to do with me…)
She agreed and so I’d like to introduce you to Leah of Vintage Chenille…

I have always loved to create, especially scrap booking, cross stitch and patchwork. I have recently had baby No. 4 a girl!!! (after 3 boys) and that was the only excuse/inspiration I needed to get out that sewing machine and create
+++ I love collecting old buttons and buckles, ribbons, ric rac, lace, crochet flowers and of course vintage chenille. I have so many ideas and plans for the future of my small but expanding new business. I’m thrilled and very excited about the journey I am about to begin with LolliShops! ~Leah

You can get to know more about Leah and her creative side on her blog, so sweetly named, Handmade Bits & Pieces

~Sadie Lou

LolliShops Information

October 7, 2008

Remember that game we used to play called “Telephone”? The players would sit in a circle and one person would think of a made up sentence and then whisper it to the person next to them. Then that person would whisper it to the next person and so on and so forth through the whole circle. Eventually, it comes back to the person who made it up and usually, the sentence is completely altered.
Somewhere along the line, the information gets distorted.

Well, we see this happen in everyday life too. I have seen it happen with LolliShops! People email me questions about all sorts of wacky information they picked up out there in the blogsphere!

Here’s the straight scoop— *wink* (that’s a LolliShops term, by the way)

The fee structure has changed from the Etsy model to a better one but those secrets are being shared with vendors privately on our forums. If you are an accepted vendor, you had an invite to the forums in your acceptance letter. If you lost it, please email me at lollishops@gmail.com

There has already been a sign up for a co-op ad in Somerset Life magazine publication that will be coming out in a color, full page ad in January.

The beta launch date is scheduled for the 15th of November and the Official date for everyone is November 28th.

If you have any questions concerning your acceptance, I will be creating a special email account so I can send out group emails for the month of October & November–I will be notifying you through the email you provided in your application.
If you were accepted but no longer wish to participate or receive emails, please do not mark my email as spam but rather, send me an email asking me to please take you off our list.

Thank you-Have a great evening–*watch the presidential debates tonight!*
~Sadie Lou

Blog Stats

October 6, 2008

Good Morning Ladies,
I hope you all had a refreshing weekend. I sure did! I wanted to share some exciting news with you. I joined a new website called Quantcast.
It’s a site that tracks your personal website.
I embedded some code on this blog to get some numbers and I was very excited by the results!

This tells us that here in the states, we average about 2.3 thousand visitors per month.
Globally, it’s a little more at 2.9

Altogether, that’s around 5 thousand unique visits per month!
This stat is really amazing! Addicts only make up 1% of the audience for our blog. 75% of our audience is passers-by and 25% is regulars.

I found this information very comfortable. “passers-by” to me, equates- potential buyers and they definitely outweigh the vendors in this diagram. All of this traffic is generated *before* our ads in Somerset Life–this all traffic coming from our blogs and word-of-mouth. We’ve done a good job spreading the word!

Okay, now for the last graph–this information was really interesting. This is our demographic. I hope you all find this as useful as I did:

This pretty much confirms a lot of the guesswork I was doing. Now, I just installed this tracker so the information will continue to get more and more detailed. I’ll keep sharing it with you as I gather up new information–they have other categories they’ll measure as soon as they get more data.
~Sadie Lou