Sunday, August 16, 2009

She's Batty Designs Business Feature

Home Business Feature: ~*She's Batty Designs*~ by
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¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)

(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jamie...

1- Tell me a little about yourself and what inspired She's Batty Designs
I'm Jamie Sabot and I'm the owner and artist behind She's Batty Designs. I'm also a university student finishing up her bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in fine/visual arts. I started off doing a double major in psychology and fine/visual arts but quickly realized that a major in fine/visual arts was not where I wanted to head (more on this below).

I'm highly passionate about animal welfare and worked for a number of years with the Ontario SPCA. Animal welfare is by far the cause I advocate the most for. I find a lot of my strengths and skills complement a career in animal welfare, and perhaps I'll end up working in that field again some day. Right now my efforts are focus on my 3 rescue dogs and my turtle. Each one of them has a unique story. I would love to share these stories but I think I'm already going to have too much to say for this blog feature! Contact me if you want to hear more or check out my brief (and a bit out of date) profile at the ASPCA ning community site.

My favorite time of year is autumn. It's when my all time favorite holiday takes place (Halloween), and I love all the sights, smells and weather that comes along with autumn. I decorate for Christmas with a lot of the same decorations I put up at Halloween because a lot of them are inspired by the Nightmare Before Christmas. I've started growing pumpkins this year and can't wait to harvest and carve my very own - home grown - pumpkins.

My love of arts and crafts was what inspired She's Batty Designs. After attending Fine Art school and not feeling totally satisfied with the direction my art was headed, I threw out all the "rules" and "norms" that has been drilled into my head. I gather up a bunch of art supplies that inspired me, a few pictures, and a lot of glitter. I crafted like I was a kid again and made art that made me happy. It was very refreshing to make art that didn't have to have a purpose other than my own enjoyment. It was inspiring, and enlightening to drop all the Fine Art baggage and make art without a struggle. Friend and family members embraced my works so I decided to start offering them publicly via She's Batty Designs.

2- What types of products do you sell?
Most paper products - greeting cards, tags, die cuts, and scrapbooking supplies. I'm getting more into candle making and currently offer a few different kinds of candles and melts.

I also offer my services as a photographer - one of the only things I didn't throw out the window after Fine Art school.

Featured Products:

Graveyard cupcake candle
I love Halloween so much that I just had to make a spooky inspired cupcake candle to celebrate! I hadn't seen any candles like this before so when the idea popping into my head I wrote it down in my idea book, did a sketch and then sadly didn't come back to it for about 6 months. I was flipping through my idea book (6 months after the sketch was done), the pages immediately fell to the page with the sketch of this candle! I got super excited about my long lost idea and jumped into action! Now I'm super excited to release this candle under She's Batty Designs so everyone can share in the spooky fun :)

House on a haunted hill card
This is one of my fav recent creations. I love the colour scheme in this card. The golds and browns are so deep and give it a really "rich" look. I also got to use a lot of different techniques in this card including spray painting, crystal effects, stamping, and embossing. One of my most favorite things is glitter so this card is extra special to me because of the amount of glitter I was able to use in it without "over doing it".

3- How long have you been selling online?
I started selling online in April of 2008 at Etsy.

4- Do you sell your products offline at any events?
If so, what types of events are most profitable for individuals who make their own products
I have done a few events but they aren't something I participate in regularly because I haven't found any in my area that are worth while.

5- When deciding on a new design, what factors influence that design?
Mostly the supplies I have on hand and what I'm currently trying to create. Half of the time I walk into my studio without a pre-determined project in mind. Other times I walk in with a vague concept like "Halloween Tags". What is created from there depends on the supplies I have on hand. I focus on one holiday at a time so for a few months the tables in my studio are covered with Halloween supplies or Christmas supplies, etc.

6- Have you ever experienced creator's blocK? If yes, what advice can you give to others to come out of it who may be experiencing it as well?
If I have a creator's block it's usually not due to being out of ideas or supplies, it usually because of fatigue. I only get short bursts of energy due to having Ankylosing Spondylitis, so when I have the energy I do a lot of creating! When I don't, I spend a lot of time online listing my items, surfing around for inspiration, and talking with other artists on plurk and the AF forums. Although this cycle is not ideal from a health stand point, it really works well to keep away creator's block! When I'm creating I'm solely focus on that, and when I'm drained of energy, I'm solely focused getting passive inspiration and doing the less creative tasks of online selling. I used to get depressed about not having the energy to create more but I've realized over the last few years, that taking a different perspective about my whole situation has really helped me to be super productive when I DO have the chance to create.

7- Jamie, in your opinion what's best way for someone with a home based business to get more exposure?
The need to look at what venue they are using to sell. If they are selling online then that is where the majority of their marketing efforts (and money) should be spent. If they are working from home but selling at a market on the weekends, then they need to focus on creating enough stock for each weekend and encourage people to come and to their booth at the market - so they would need to market locally.

Online sellers have a really vast market to try to reach so they need to narrow down their reach. First they should figure out how their target audience is and focus their marketing efforts there. Once they've reached that target audience they can start to expand their online marketing efforts. Project wonderful ads have worked rather well for me as well as keeping a blog and sending out a month email update.

Online sellers should also try to list often and at targeted times. I find that if I list a few new items on a Saturday or Sunday, I do better than if I listed those same items on a Monday or Tuesday. Listing is free advertising if you're listing on ArtFire so it's a win-win combo! I would also suggest listing a couple items a couple days a week rather than listing them all on one day. You'll get more exposure throughout the week if you stretch out your listings. It will also give you a chance to really market each listing without overwhelming your contacts and social networks. Those are just a few of the basics that I have found worked for me. There's lots more info on Handmade News. I'm the editor of the marketing department so as you can imagine, marketing is something I'm highly passionate about.

8- Do you take custom orders?
Yes, I do! I really love custom orders because it give my creative muscle a workout! Custom orders help keep things fresh and innovative in my studio. I also love helping people so if I can help fill a need they have with my art then all the better! A lot of my "local" business comes from custom orders, particularly for custom photo invitations and cards. I really love creating these because not only do I get to work with a personal photograph but I also get a chance to use my graphic design skills :)


Add'l Featured Products:

Gocco Halloween party invitations:
Besides photography, the medium I loved the most to work with in Fine Art school was printmaking. I adore my gocco printer - it is my most loved "tool" in my studio. These invitations hold a special place in my artsy heart for a few reasons. One of those reasons is obvious - they are for Halloween! But the other reasons are so obvious. I designed these invitations my self on the computer using my graphic arts skills (which are self taught :)), I then transferred my designs to gocco master screens and printed them on card stock. I used two different screens - one for the black and one for the green pearl link. I really love the use of the green pearl because it's so shimmery and really holds its own next to the black. I really love making pieces that I can incorporate computer skills and traditional arts skills.

We've Moved:
These postcards are super simple in their design but they are very special to me. These are made using my gocco screen printer again (like the Gocco Halloween party invitations), and were another design that I made on the computer. They are special to me because these were the exact postcards we sent out when we moved last year. I made twice as many as we needed. For the ones we sent out, I made a second screen to print our "moved" info on the back of the postcards and kept with a "batty" theme. I'm so happy to be able to offer the ones I left blank on the back to the public because perhaps there is someone out there as batty as me for this kind of simple, halloween-ish design.

9- Finally, where can people find your products online and how can they reach you?
They can find my products at:

ArtFire http://shesbattydesigns.artfire.com

I can also be reached via email: shesbattydesigns (at) hotmail (dot) com

3 comments:

She's Batty Designs said...

Thank you so much for the feature :)

Scarlet Leonard said...

What a great interview, a pleasure to read.

Meghann LittleStudio said...

What a great feature on a great artist :)

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