Monday, April 9, 2012

Who the Heck is Mimi? and a Business Update

Did I ever tell you my name is actually Michelle?  Mimi is my nickname.  It wasn’t that I wanted to hide my true identity that I chose to use Mimi.  I just like it.  Also there are a lot of Michelles in the world.  A LOT.  I got the nickname from one of my favorite people that I used to work with, Krystal.  My first and last names both start with MI and at work we always had to initial everything.  One day Krystal said my chicken scratch looked like Mimi.  She started calling me that and it stuck.  The only problem is now that I am building a business the question comes up, what do I put on my business card?  I am thinking I will put my full name then list my email which starts with mimi right underneath.  Hopefully people will get it.

I thought I'd take a minute to give an update on how the new business is going.  So many people have commented that they hope to be able to do something similar one day so I want to share my journey with you.  I have learned so much from other bloggers sharing what they have gone through. I can't always just take from the blog world, gotta give back right? 
So first off it has been awesome.  I am trying to enjoy every step. I am definitely not bored.  I am keeping so busy working on things that I keep forgetting to eat.  (don’t worry I make up for it at night) I am working on making a schedule for myself that works.  It is hard at times to stay focused and motivated when nobody is there to call me on it.  It helps to map out my week on Monday.  A make a weekly goal list that includes projects I must finish, projects I want to work on and blog goals.  I love to start new projects but finishing, like totally finished not just camera ready, is the hard part.   

I'm not gonna lie though it's not all sunshine and roses.  Not having a regular pay check is freaking me out.  I knew when you quit your job the pay checks stop but it's still hard.  I have sold several small things and a few big but I obviously am not making what I did before.  I'm still figuring out what to price things at, what will sell, and what I want to make.  I thought I wanted to just build and re-purpose but I keep finding deals on furniture to refurbish and I am liking switching back and forth. 
The hardest part about working at home for me is not having all those coworkers to play with. I used to have people to talk and laugh with all day long. I can only call my sister so many times in a day before she stops answering.  I am trying to make it a point to meet up with friends at least once a week to keep me sane.  Oh and I miss my Tully's French Roast Coffee every morning.  I suppose I could buy a bag for myself and make it at home but it's not the same.  It's an adjustment, I am definitely not complaining though. 

So for the business part what I've decided is that I need to try several different methods to get my stuff out there.  The plan is to keep some things in local shops but to also use Craig’s list for larger items and furniture.  I have placed a couple larger items on Craig’s list to see how that would go and I sold them pretty quickly.  I also plan to post items to my facebook page that are for sale as well as list things on the shop page of my blog.  I have been doing a lot of research on other peoples blogs and have seen people doing all kinds of cool things.  I noticed one seller on Craig’s list added a line at the bottom of their items for sale that says, “for other items for sale check out our website”  Brilliant right.
Oh and I also found out a change is coming with the shop I have my space in.  She will be moving to a new much smaller location next month so I will not have my own space with her anymore.   I still plan to consign some smaller things in her store but it is up in the air how that will look exactly.    
I am also working on a logo, fun news on that coming soon, which will then lead to a new blog look, fancy business cards and product tags.   Oh and I need a blog button of course.  
Then there's this blog.  Do I add advertising? Do I sign up with a network?  I have gotten a few emails with offers for giveaways and sponsored posts but they haven't felt right to me and quite frankly I wasn't ready yet.  Of course I would love to make a little money for all the time I put into this but then it wont just be my happy place anymore, ya know?  I'm still working that out but my goal is this month to make a move.

Lastly you may have noticed all the pictures of me in this post?  No?  Well that's me.  I got my picture taken.  Actually 100 pictures taken.  It takes that many to get a good one of me. I just wanted one good photo for my blog. You know one that wasn't taken in a bar with my friend cropped out like I had before.  I have to tell you it was quite an experience. I do not like photos of myself.  I mean at all.  It's ridiculous, like get over yourself, right?  So I decided to just post them.  I always like seeing photos of other bloggers, don't you?  No one cares that I have wrinkles, a crooked eye when I smile, or that I am in desperate need of highlights.   My photographer friend April took my photos.  I trust her.  She's one of those people who is comfortable in her own skin and is just easy to be around.  Her faith just shines.  If you are local check out Impressions by April on Facebook she's brilliant.
So that's where I am at.  I want to ask you awesome blog friends for your advice.  (actually I'm begging please help me) How do you sell your product?  Does Facebook or Craig's list work for you?  Do you have advertising on you blog?  What kind of advertising annoys you.  Any and all advice would be so appreciated. If you prefer to email please do mimisblueroofcabin AT gmail(DOT)com.
Thank you all so much for your comments and support, I can't even began to tell you how much it means to me.

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Full Circle Creations said...

I love the pictures of you and your nickname! Friends always try to shorten my name or give me a nickname and it just doesn't work. Congrats on the sales. And I'm so happy you are enjoying your new career. I haven't used Facebook or Craig's List for selling, although I think I need to. I pack up my stuff and take it to craft fairs. I too need to decide on advertising. I haven't wanted it on my blog, but I've been thinking about it lately. I started an Etsy shop to sell my signs and have sold some there. Word of mouth takes care of the rest of my sales. I don't live close enough to anywhere to have space in a store so I count on the Craft fairs.


Becky said...

The pics turned out great! I have been unemployed for a year now. It was quite an adjustment! Now I am not sure I will have time to work. I would love to do furniture full time, but I don't know where to sell either. I haven't had much luck with Craigs list in this area, but have done fairly well with consignment. Or I should gets sold, but I don't make much money on it since most do a 50-50 consignment. I look forward to seeing some of your other ideas on selling. (I am running out of room!!!) Good Luck!

- Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl said...

Beautiful photos Mimi! I like the first one the best, but #3 is a close second. And you are truly beautiful and I still don't see a crooked eye ;-). Good luck finding a spot for the larger items.

-Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl

gail said...

Mimi-(michelle) I'll never remember your real name... my brain is old and tired.
love the pictures, thanks for a personal post. Good to get to know you better.
I have tried CL, with some success... it's just not very consistent. My booth at the shop (you know it closed for about 6 weeks?) well, it's back open, I have a much larger space, and I'm doing really well there.
I don't really have any advice, except to google antique or thrift stores in your area. There are lots that you may not know about.
I like the facebook idea, I decided today that I'm going to start posting pics of stuff for sale in an album (with prices?)
good luck girl!

Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic said...

I loved reading all of this post, I feel like I know you a lot better now. :)
I'm living my dream vicariously through you right now so you know I'm listening to all your tips!
Love your photos, there's not a bad one in the bunch, you look great! Your friend did a nice job and you do look so relaxed.
The only advertising that annoys me is when it makes the page take too long to load. Oh, and sponsored posts that are totally irrelevant to the theme of the blog, know what I mean? I usually skip over those but if they happen too often it's kind of a turn off. (not saying don't do any, they bring in good money, just not like, every other post!)

Elizabeth said...

Business cards-I'd say use Mimi since that is the name you associate with yourself. As someone with two names (Elizabeth mostly called Betsey) I always go with Elizabeth..just my personal preference! I'm not sure where you are located but a really big seller in my area is occasional sales. They are held one weekend a month and make a ton of money. Many in our area have even been written up in national magazines. The usual cut is 20-30% for the non-owner of the space. Maybe there are some around you? Or you could start one also. If you would like more info feel free to email me: Lizzyp_159@ yahoo .com Good luck with all your decisions!

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

I love your photos - especially the third one. My blog is only for pleasure and I don't (yet) have any ads so I can't give any advice from the business side of things. I was just going to give you my two cents worth about ads. I have no problem with bloggers putting ads on their sidebar, but I would prefer they not put them between posts and definitely not have blinky ads as they are very distracting. I think it would be helpful if you are trying to sell furniture from your blog/facebook if you put where you live along with your name and your email address all right up there by your photo. You don't want to slow people down by making them search for your name, contact info, and it would be helpful to know if it is even possible to purchase from you by knowing what city you are near. Good luck with your venture.

April Wilder said...

You are one awesome lady!! So inspiring you are my dear!!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

Well, you are certainly way off the mark on your picture-ability! New word! Lots of great points and questions, all in one. As your new BFF, I say go with MiMi. The only blog ads that really infuriate me are the ones that pop up, flashing and moving on the screen, until you find the "x" and delete the sucker! I was renting a room in a cottage. In fact, this is my last month. It was a great starting out point, but I found the small space very limiting, so I'm in the process of opening my own place. I'm with you. It can all be pretty daunting! One step at a time, is what they say. Not easy to do. I just need to keep a list and keep scratching things off. Best to you, in your new venture. Let your talent run wild!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

First off, your pictures are beautiful! And I'm glad to read the update on how things are going. I am still in that in-between land of wondering whether I have a business or a hobby, and most of the time I'm OK with that--but I love to read about how others are approaching similar issues. Wishing you the best of luck as you move forward!

Leonie Henham said...

I have been following your journey for a while. Though you got lost in my cyber nightmare...I have been reading your posts and love how you are going. have few to catch up on due to fore mentioned cyber...
You are a true inspiration! I love to build, (Took a year long cabinet making course for my 40th.) I love the simplicity of your projects which look great. Have you any pointers for someone who would love to sell one thing, instead of giving them away...

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