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Time for change

Have you ever had a day where all of a sudden something unusual crops up a few times over a short space of time which triggers a new pattern of thoughts? I have been incredibly busy getting my website ready so I can sell from it as I feel Etsy has had its day and I need to strike out on my own before it is too late. I have already discussed the aggressive advertising and poor press for mammoth 'drop shipping' platforms which have drastically affected Etsy's buyer figures, with Etsy itself suffering from an influx of these fake non-handmade, non-vintage sellers. Today two things that have been brought to my attention have confirmed my need to crack on and get my own shop up and running.

I found a chap on YouTube, Magnates Media who brilliantly explained how large companies got their lucky breaks or achieved great business feats by some very clever, sometimes underhanded, occasionally crooked as a dog's hind leg, but nevertheless, great ideas! This YouTube channel covered TikTok, Starbucks, KFC, Coke and pretty much any major conglomerate you can think of including the industrialists, globalists and others in between. Don't get me wrong I don't want to be a massive company, Etsy

last year was perfect for me, but I am aware that promoting myself without paying for advertising, or using social media giants means I have to come up with genius ways to get noticed.

My daughter-in-law today mentioned that the new fad is shopping on TikTok. Now I know all about TikTok, I never liked it despite setting up a shop which I never used, and I quickly realised it was a major time suck, of which I have no spare time to waste. I therefore have stayed well away, but the way the company started is absolutely genius. Amongst other things, all TikTok videos have the watermark on them, we've all been aware when watching a video from the platform, and so when videos are shared on Facebook, Twitter etc, it is OTHER platforms that promote and advertise the TikTok video! In just the last six months it is very clear that shopping trends are continuing to change and with the continued economic issues it is time to look at a new path of promotion.

There was a time before the Internet when self-promotion was something any business had to factor in, just like today's businesses, except back then it wasn't as convenient, whether it was newspaper, radio, TV ads or flyers. If I was trying to attract gifty shoppers, I had considered making a presence on a local radio station that I like, but in a subtle fashion. They often ask for listeners to say what they are up to, so there could be a way in here if I text in a quirky, witty, attention grabbing way! I realise with so many platforms selling cheap knock-offs my target audience is shrinking daily and local radio isn't going to be the saviour, but it does make sense to be known locally, so this could be a start. Selling gifty things has always been a success for me, but if shopping trends are changing and new customers are becoming few and far between on Etsy, it's time for change.

For quite a while I have considered making an A5 flyer that I could put in local vets, animal feed stores and the local coop. I support local rabbit rescues with my annual donation so it would make sense to be seen locally. We live in a small, rural community and word of mouth does count, so I feel that being visible in all these little stores could get me a good local footing. Again, a birdie sold here and a card sold there isn't going to achieve much and I do occasionally attend the local village hall craft fayre, where to be honest I do alright at. As a rule I stay away from craft fairs, I would rather be sat at home building my website or promoting on Pinterest. I haven't dismissed the idea of doing a lovely small flyer to post around the village especially as my lavender is from local gardens, which may appeal to people once the cheap thrills of drop shipping platforms wear off.

The other thing that cropped up today was a thing called 'Pantone', and whilst nothing to do with competing against drop shipping stores, it does suggest a new direction to follow. Pantone is a colour-matching service that has standardised the names of colours worldwide, primarily for the design industry, and can be purchased as colour cards. It's not cheap and I need to research it further, but it could be a necessary investment. I was recently contacted by a lampshade company that makes for luxury yachts, palaces and opera houses etc, which is quite exciting. I already make poms for big event costumiers who come back year after year, so clearly my poms are good enough for the high life. It is easy to forget that the rich always shop to excess no matter how everyone else is struggling, so what the hell, that's a gravy train I don't mind riding!

Times are changing and although this plan moving forward goes against my ethics of enjoying the simple lives of deep, rural countryside living, it doesn't mean my poms shouldn't lead a glamourous jet-set lifestyle! I have just upgraded all of my pom pom listings and plan to move in the direction of high-end, colour-matched pom poms for the executive market of luxury interior design, film sets and photo props.

It is funny how things can change direction with just a few suggestive coincidences and how quickly new ideas come together. As I continue to build the shop on my website, perhaps with a little more urgency than I might have done just yesterday, before these revelations, I shall commit to promoting on Pinterest, which I really enjoy. My new pom pom listings look really fabulous and I shall promote my poms on Pinterest with all the key words to attract top end designers.

Our cottage is decorated in William Morris throughout and with the good quality studio lights I have and period furniture, I will make things from poms and photo them really well in photoshoot settings! It goes back to the videos I saw on YouTube where clever thought and creative ideas gave birth to the likes of KFC and Starbucks.

Over the next week I shall pin all 50 plus of my new pom photos, which I have added text to via photoshop, flooding an already competitive market. I shall also include a review, meaning my existing customers will be promoting me. How better to describe an experience, than to use someone speaking for that actual experience!

PS. Above is a picture of the new Solstice tote bags I have made! Available very soon!

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I wish you every success with this new venture and look forward to purchasing a couple of those gorgeous tote bags when they are available.😁

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