I have to say, despite the enormous amount of work involved with trying to get my Sparkle & Charm Boutique off the ground, I'm really having a lot of fun with it!
Here's my checklist (randomly organized):
- Decide on products to sell. (Done- sort of. I keep adding things as I come up with new ideas.)
- Pay for web hosting. (Done.)
- Secure a URL. (Done.)
- Pay for online store web design. (Still working on that.)
- Advertise. (I'm doing word-of-mouth advertising at the moment until I get a website in place.)
- Purchase materials to create the product. (I've been stockpiling for a while. Thank goodness for Michael's 40% off coupons!)
- Arrange for method of shipping. (Done- I've had the postal service ship me Priority boxes of various sizes and I've set up an online account with them. I'm going to purchase a small scale to weigh my packages at home.)
- Figure out pretty packaging technique. (Work in progress. I'm starting to like clear cellophane and ribbon, as well as personalized tags.)
- Figure out billing method. (Done- I'm using a business PayPal account and so far so good.)
- Find time to make my creations within deadlines. (Right now this happens after the kids are in bed. I no longer get 8 hours of sleep.)
Now, all of this is evolving and changing over time as I learn what works and what doesn't. I'm trying to keep things simple (no business plan, no expensive marketing campaign, no hard sales, etc.). I'm simply trying to turn my creative outlet into a small side business.
I don't expect that I'll be able to stay at home and do just this on a full-time basis anytime soon, but maybe some day. For now, I'm just enjoying seeing a labor of love made from my own two hands being packed up pretty and sent off to a little girl. I love hearing how much joy my hair bows or tutus are bringing these little ones!
This is turning out to be an exciting and fun venture!!
By the way, if you've promoted my Sparkle & Charm Boutique on your blog since 9 May, please leave me a comment here with a link to that plug so that I can enter your name in my drawing for a $10 gift certificate to be used on any one of my products. I'd really like to choose a winner this week!