Store Update in the mix

iss_fullxfull.15012351_k96u42w8Well, today the etsy store hit 4,000 sales. That’s pretty good if you ask me… considering the fact that I am just doing it as a hobby. Every time the store hits a big event number like that, these promo images get posted to those people that have chosen to follow the store. With this milestone in mind, I am also only one review away from reaching 900 reviews. For that one, I am going to be posting one in celebration of the “900 reviews mark” of Jesus causing a ruckus.

I looks like so…

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The next major milestone that still might take a little bit of time would be reaching a total of 2,000 store followers. These followers are the people that think the store is worth receiving updates about. So, when the store adds new items or posts an update like the above milestones, they will get notifications. I am only about 20 followers away from reaching that next goal. It might take a little while though, because that is a slow moving number compared to the other two.

Regardless, the store is thriving even though it is just a casual hobby.

The next major update is going to be updating the listings with new and improved photos. See the following post I did last week for a sneak peek at what these new photos are going to look like. They are much cooler and cleaner looking than what I currently have posted on the store.

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Doing some design stuff for a friend

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My friend just recently decided to get his dog walking business off the ground. So, we collaborated on a few things and came up with this artwork for his business branding.

Happy New Year post about life and Etsy

Well, with 2017 coming to a close I figured I should write a little something about the year gone and to come. 2017 for me has been pretty crazy. I have been all over the place with finishing school, transitioning between new jobs, ramping up the Etsy Store, becoming a foster parent, and more. Honestly, as hectic as I could make it all seem… I have to admit, 2017 has actually been a rather low-key year for me. I feel like I got a lot done. But, I can also easily say that I feel like I did a lot of time wasting, sitting around, and procrastination as well.

Now, rather than getting into all of that resulting in a lengthy blog post that is likely to not get many reads… I thought I would touch on what to expect in the coming year for my Etsy Store.

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2017 was a big year for the store. I added a lot of new items, changed the look and feel of the store a few times, worked a little on analytics, and more. For 2018 however, I have decided to take the store a little more slowly. I am going to spend the new year focused on my existing listings rather than cranking out new items every month. A few of the ways that I plan to do this will be to update the visual aesthetics with professional photos for each listing. Rather than my dinky phone camera and the dining room light I have a friend that does photography for a living stepping in to ramp up that aspect of the store. The other thing I will be spending more time on with it would be analytics and promotion. I haven’t done much in the way of analytics this year. But, what little bit I have done has shown drastic improvement to the store traffic.

So, I plan to spend more time on that along with upgrading the visual portions of the store. No telling how 2018 will look for the Etsy store, but one thing is certain… I am going to slow down and spend more time on quality rather than quantity. Over the course of 2018 I plan to design a lot of new items without releasing them. Then, at the end of the year… pick the best of the best to release in 2019 (assuming I am still running the store at that time).

Who knows… anything could happen. Just watch the news.

NASA – Net Allocation Sorely Abused

When I woke up this morning and saw that this mess was on the top 3 for today’s headlines in science I just had to chime in. This is ridiculous. Then again, maybe it isn’t when you consider all the facts. Last night astronauts filmed a “trick video” using a fidget spinner on the ISS.

With that said, let’s take a look at the facts. I can’t help but wonder how much it cost to get that fidget spinner up there in the first place. Not to mention the fact that it is a “custom” fidget spinner (so, there was already some money spent there). Depending on what method was used, the cost per pound for NASA to send anything to the International Space Station is pretty ridiculous. It can cost anywhere from $2,000 per pound or as high as $13,000 per pound. Needless to say, getting cargo to the crew is expensive.

From what I could find on the web, the average “custom” fidget spinner weighs about 70 grams. So, let’s do the math.

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If you think I am making those numbers up, then here is a 2016 Business Insider article that covers some of those allocated costs for any given trip to the ISS. The cost for sending things into space is preposterous.

Setting all of this aside, let’s be generous here and give good ol’ NASA the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume that since the fidget spinner is custom, it cost $20 while also going with the lowest possible cargo cost. Up front, this little “trick video” cost $350 right out of the gate (and again, that is being generous).

Part of me wants to get aggravated at this, but then again… we need to review all of the facts, remember?

So… with that, I can’t help but ask what the purpose of a fidget spinner might be. This Live Science article from August of 2017 hit the nail right on the head. Here is a quote from that article.

There’s no doubt that toys that allow kids to fidget can benefit kids with autism. Occupational therapists often use sensory toys like tactile discs, Koosh balls and even putties or clays to soothe kids who have sensory-processing issues. Similarly, research has shown that movement can help kids with ADHD to focus. 

Maybe the title of my post is wrong. Maybe, just maybe… it was money well spent after all. Because let’s face it, you never actually see any real science taking place on the ISS. It’s always just them doing flips, spinning their microphone, or flying. Maybe NASA sent that fidget spinner for a reason (to help these kids focus and get back on task).

But seriously though, space is fake and it doesn’t cost a dime to send anything up there. All of those cargo costs is just one way for the government to funnel massive lumps of money.

Because, at the end of it all this isn’t about 350 dollars. It is about 1.5 billion dollars per cargo shipment (which includes every time we send man as part of that cargo shipment).

But, who are we kidding… I am ignorant. Don’t listen to me.

The Etsy Store is getting some major upgrades

So, I have a couple of supper crazy updates with the Etsy store. I recently got a new patch design up on the store for starters. It’s pretty epic if you ask me. I am stepping away from doing just circles and am going to start designing patches that are a variety of shapes to help mix things up in the store.

Other than that I have been doing a lot of major updates to the store. Not only have I changed the look and feel of the store to match my new website design, but I have also changed the name of the store to match that as well. With the store name now totally changed to match my website I wanted to take things a step further by tackling the analytics to help with search results (something any avid online merchant should do from time to time).

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So far I have been cranking through that just fine and have already seen a drastic increase in sales from what little adjustments have already been made. As of today I have tackled the analytics for the embroidery patches on the store. I still need to do the analytics for the buttons and screen print patches. But, for right now I need a break. Doing this type of junk is supper time consuming. Since I have gotten a lot done with the look, feel, and analytics of the store, I thought I would completely finish up my embroidery section by updating the photos.

This is where the frustration comes in.

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I cannot for the life of me get my camera to take a good picture. Although these look clean, I am not at all happy with them. But that isn’t the aggravating part. What frustrates me is that I have a specific look and feel that I am hoping to go for, but it just isn’t going to happen with my cell phone camera. No way, no how. The upside-downside to this is that I do have a great friend at church who does photography for a living. She could totally set me up and have the listings in my store looking jam-tastic.

The only issue with that is this…

If and when I add a listing to the store I don’t want to have to depend on her or bug her each and ever time I have a new listing get added. It just wouldn’t be fair to her nor productive for either of us.

If I am going to come up with a solution to this issue, I need to be able to replicate the look I am going for at home on my own time with what camera I have. Sadly, the camera I have isn’t that great.

Anyway, Etsy store rant over… I have been tackling a lot over at the store if you wanted to go in and see the updates. I hope to have two new patch designs posted in another month. And hopefully soon I will get this photo taking issue lined out. Once I have done that and have the embroidery section totally knocked out, I will move over to the buttons and screen prints.

Oh, and another update… will be adding stickers soon also! So, there’s that.

Cards are for serious people, which I am not…

Well, as silly as this may seem to most people I decided to take my website more serious like I used to back when I was touring with my music. I still have a lot of art that I put out from time to time, my music is still available for FREE… and I run an online store these days designing and selling patches, pins, and soon… stickers. Not only is art, music, and patches three good reasons to take my online presence more seriously without getting caught up on traditional social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but… I feel like a lot of my views on science are relevant and valid.

Having said that, I just ordered some business cards. They are clean, simple, and to the point. It is just something to keep in my wallet for those moments when I run into people that strike an interest in my rambles about science or patches at random. Nothing more… nothing less. Regardless, I have been getting an urge to focus more and be more intentional with my time lately. And this silly little step is one example of that playing out in my life.

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