I Don’t Know How to Name A Blog Post…

Hello everyone!  Kari here.  Its been one heck of a week, to say the least.  I was out-of-town for the testimony of Comey, and only heard bits and pieces of it on NPR while I was driving, so those are my hot Friday night plans…To watch the hearing on YouTube tonight and babysit my fermenting pickles…(Oooh, pickles would make a really cute fabric!…Saving that idea for later!)  We have just wrapped up our first round of summer camp for the little ones and it was awesome and exhausting and the kids are currently dug in under covers in their jammies doing what they do when they chill, aka Netflix and Minecraft.

Anyway, back to my first point here.  I would like to begin by giving a quick shout out to my sister, who is doing a great job of running The Tree House Kid and to my Mom who is running Folks Linen!  If it weren’t for those talented and loyal ladies, I would not be able to do what I do.  That is to say, that I wouldn’t be able to focus so much time and attention to what I truly love to do, which is to design, quilt, and be an entrepreneur.  With them running those shops, it gives me the time and mental space to really focus all of my attention (what is left of it anyway), to my quilts.  Please take a moment and visit their shops on Etsy, bookmark the site, and go back and share some love!!  We offer really unique gifts for kids and adults alike,      depending on who or what occasion you are shopping for.  The links can be seen above in the text, on the opening page of my blog, or by following the link at the top of our blog that says “Find Us Elsewhere”.  As I am not making those items myself anymore, it is rare that I have my hands on them to take pictures, share them on Facebook, Instagram, or blog about them, but they are still an important part of Goodwin’s Custom Crafts!!

Now, on to what I wanted to share with you!  Today, I had a change of heart about my quilts.  I know they are lovely and pretty and took a lot of time and money to make.  I know they are worth more to me than I can reasonably sell them for.  I know Etsy is not a fine art Gallery, although you can definitely find fine art there.  I know that most of my quilts are small and will be used with messy kids, on the floor, or out in the yard for picnics…As such, I can NOT charge what I might like to for my quilts because folks who are buying them know that they will end up getting spilled on, pooped on, or curled up on by the family four leggeds.  This is something that I just have to accept!  I have tried to follow the advice of folks from the “charge what you think it’s worth, then double it because your time is valuable” school of thought, I have tried to charge what I would like for my quilts to sell for in a perfect world, where everyone has more than enough money to invest in the arts and pretty stuff, and I have tried at times to charge what they might be worth if they were on the level of fine art hanging in a gallery.  The truth is that when I started this, I liked that my work was affordable and attainable to normal folks with normal cash flow.  I have always offered payment plans for items that were a little more of an investment, and that won’t change, but I want to revisit a time in my life when the art of making quilts was not so much about how much money they could bring in, but in the simple act of making the thing itself.  The process, the journey, the end result.  It is a little harder for me to keep my prices low and competitive because I ONLY use organic cotton in everything I make, so I know my quilts will always be more than the next quilter who uses regular cottons.  I mean, I wish it wasn’t true, but the simple fact is that organic cotton is more expensive than non organic choices…but the old saying of “You get what you pay for ” comes to mind here. Ok, why am I saying all of this?….  

Oh yeah!  I remember.  The good news is that I went through my shop and marked ALL of the quilts down 15%.  That is a starting point.  I only want to make enough money to support my quilting and have a little extra spending money for stuff the family and I like to do.  Nothing too extravagant, just the simple joys of an adventurous life.  So I have marked them down, permanently.  I hope to sell a few this month and clear out some space for some new up and coming projects that I have in the works.  I love to sell my work…it is so exciting each time something sells!  The Etsy app on my phone literally makes a “CA- CHING!” sound like an old cash register every time I make a sale and everyone in my house cheers and takes guesses as to what has just sold!  (Kinda nerdy, I know, but that’s us!)  I want to make it easier for you to own quilts yourself and to keep us playing our favorite guessing game!  Please stop by my store on Etsy, Kari Goodwin Quilts, bookmark the site, check in with the shop at least once a week to see newly listed items, and mostly, check out those quilts!  If you have had your eye on one lately, it might be a good time to snag it!  My quilts usually don’t last for more than a year in my shop, which is a pretty good turnover in my opinion.  If you missed the first announcement, you may also want to know that I am working on a new, stand alone website, called (surprise!) Kari Goodwin Quilts that you can check out as well.  I am still tweaking the listings and making adjustments to the website, as it is only a few days old, but I will keep you posted.  Until then, happy shopping friends!!  Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already, and bookmark our site to make it easy to find us again!  Enjoy your weekend!!

Holiday Shipping Updates~

Hi, Hello, and Greetings from the Goodwin’s Custom Crafts team!  The elves are busy working, I assure you!  The Tree House Kid has had another amazing season full of wonderful return customers, as well of plenty of new ones.  Items are currently in production and will be shipping out in time for Christmas!  Folks Linen is happily plugging through all of
the holiday napkin orders, so thank you to everyone who gave the gift of eco-friendly re-usable linen napkins this year, as well as the various other gifts from Folks Linen!  We couldn’t have made it without you all!  To my Kari Goodwin Quilts customers, thank you as well for making this THE most productive year to date for Kari Goodwin Quilts.  Ya’ll are ALL so loved, I promise you that!  The Tree House Kid is closed for orders, but Folks Linen and Kari Goodwin Quilts are still open for holiday gifts with a nice selection of Ready to Ship items.  In fact, nearly HALF of my KGQ shop is Ready to Ship, and I am offering same day shipping for all orders now through December 20th.  There are a variety of shipping options to choose from during checkout, so the closer we get to the 20th, the more I would recommend choosing the “Priority” shipping options.  It is a couple of dollars more in some cases, but it will be well worth it to have your packages in hand sooner.  I have made a new shop section and moved it to the very top of the list for visibility with all of my Ready to Ship items in Kari Goodwin Quilts.  Among them are quilts, baby gift sets, pillows, and wall hangings.  You can see them by clicking this link.  Thanks so much and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Goodwin’s Custom Crafts!

Deal of the Week at Folks Linen!

Short, sweet, and to the point today, as I am working at my favorite local climbing gym, Treadstone Climbing this morning!  I haven’t worked outside of my own business for over 5 years, so I’m actually kinda excited in a very nerdy way about it.  This week only, today through next Friday the 16th, take 20% off any $100 order with Folks Linen!  cropped-IMG_2857.jpgIt’s a great time to stock up on some early holiday gifts, hostess gifts, or to buy some pretty napkins or tea towels to spruce up your kitchen.  Enter the coupon code TAKE20 during checkout to receive this amazing deal!  PLUS my Mom, who runs Folks Linen, just marked down the prices already, so you could stock up on tea towels and napkins, aprons or bucket bags!  (there are only a couple of those left, but still, two is better than none!)  Go shop with my Momma and have a wonderful, blessed week all you beautiful souls! <3 Kari


Today’s Featured Item – Linen and Cotton Tea Towels

The “Featured Item of the Day” is back!  I enjoy these posts because they are simple and all I have to do is share about a product that already exists instead of lately, which has been like trying to read a crystal ball to predict what I should make DSC_0766next, a process that often involves seeing something and imagining it before it’s real. That’s fun and all, don’t get me wrong, but the talking about the featured item of the day is kinda like a vacation from that.  These are super simple as the task itself.  Made from a linen/cotton blend, these tea towels are generously sized at roughly 18″ x 26″ and feature my own fabric designs.  They feel a little like canvas at first, but get softer with each washing.  My Mom discovered a little life hack the other day, that if you pull these out of the washing machine and just smooth them out to air dry, they don’t need ironing.  Bam!  Save electricity by not using the dryer and time by not using the iron. DSC_0758 These make lovely hostess gifts, simple Christmas gifts, and can even be made into coordinating dinner napkins as well.  If you read the blog post yesterday, you would know that we are offering FREE shipping this week on all orders from Folks Linen and Kari Goodwin Quilts, so stop by and do some shopping.  The shipping is on us! Coupon code is FREESHIPPING and if you enter it during checkout, the shipping is $0.


Online Interview

I was recently asked to do an interview for an e-book, based of some product photography (see picture below).  The online interview was kind of fun, so I am posting it here first!  Aren’t you lucky!  *insert winkie face*  To visit her website and see the post visit here.

Q:   What methods, if any, do you use to promote your shop? (FB, twitter..ect)

A:   I use FB ( www.facebook.com/goodwinscustomcrafts ) and instagram mostly. I don’t use twitter, I’ve just never “gotten” it. We also have a website of our own, where we post galleries of all our past work, and a very loosely put together blog.

Q:  Have the recent Etsy changes affected your sales at all? DSC_0092

A:  Recent Etsy changes have affected my sales and views. I feel like the rearrangement of the home page and the somewhat obscured position of the “Categories” tab has made it a little harder for people to directly browse items. It seems to hinge much more on social connectivity throughout Etsy now than it did before.

Q:  When it comes to photos, have you seen any sort of trend on what kinds of photos best sell your product?

A:  Photos? Clear, bright, bold, and no nonsense seems to work best for me. I do like to take a picture of the item “wrapped” so that folks know what to expect when it arrives in the mail.

Q:  If someone wanted to start selling their crafts today, what advice would you give them?

A:  Selling crafts online today? Be ready to invest, invest, invest! The more time you put in, the more you will get out. And be ready to be flexible with your expectations.
Q:  Do you have a website outside of Etsy? If so, do you find it useful?

A:  Yes…I am not sure how much traffic goes through the site, but we do have one. www.goodwinscustomcrafts.com I am still very much in the “back and forth” phase of whether or not to sell items from the website, but I do see it going that way in the future as our business grows. Between my husband and I, we actually have FOUR etsy shops, so the website is a place where we can showcase all of our items under one umbrella.

Q:  Do you ever hire professional services such as photographers or advertisements?IMG_1812

A:  We have never hired professional photographers or advertisers. I have done trades before…items for photos of those items, and that was awesome! I have a Nikon D200 my Dad gave me, so I use that for most of my picture taking myself. An iphone takes a pretty decent picture as well in a pinch!

Q:  What first inspired you to make and sell crafts?

A: What first inspired me??? Restless hands and too much free time. Plus, it just sounded like a really fun and challenging thing to try.

Q:  As a marketer, I am particularly impressed with your FolksLinen shop because it is fairly new and already has 19 sales. What do you attribute this success to?

A:  Folks Linen has surprised me a little too….I think the affordable napkins, at such a friendly price point have helped with some of these first sales. I did sell these items in my other shop www.goodwinscustomcrafts.etsy.com for a long time, but just recently made it into it’s own, independent shop. I think that was a good move for several reasons.

Q:  Do you have a “regular job” outside of Etsy?

A:  Sometimes I daydream about a “regular” job with a “regular” paycheck, where I get to gossip with co-workers about nothing in particular, then I realize that is 100% crazy, and I get back to work. Most of the time that happens when I need to get up, stretch my legs, and go for a nice walk outside.

Q:  Do you sell your products locally?

A:  I do sell my products locally on special occasions. I do not frequent weekly markets with my goods because I prefer to sell from home and keep life simple when possible, so I regard these opportunities very carefully, and almost interview the event before I decide if it is a good fit for me personally. I am selling at an event this weekend, actually. It is called Dinner on the Farm and it is a farm-to-table dinner hosted for over 200 people on this rural farm not far from where I live. I am most excited about the food and watching the kids run and play on the farm! We also do a yearly show in December with a good friend of ours who is a potter. We do the show at her country home, very informal, lots of tea, cookies, and conversations. That is my kind of show.
Q:  Do you participate in any forums or FB groups (No need to list the names) If so, do you find them helpful?

A:  I do participate in only a couple Etsy groups / forums. I also receive the Etys newsletters, and subscribe to their emails. I check them regularly, hoping to see my goods featured on some category headline, which has happened a few times over the years! But it is also just a really good way of keeping in touch with what is hot on Etsy. I don’t follow trends, but I do like to be aware of them.