Saturday, February 11, 2012

5 THINGS WITH HELLO HUE

Aloha! My name is Lindsay and I blog at Hello Hue, formally known as Aisle to Aloha. I live in Hawaii with my husband, Chris, and I'm kind of a bacon freak. I am the artist behind Hello Hue Studio where I sell my bright, colorful acrylic paintings and try to convince people that they need more happy color in their homes! :) I've been selling my paintings since September 2010 and have learned a lot about myself and the business. I love all aspects of this beautiful handmade community and I'm so proud to be a part of it! Here's what I've learned:

1. Comparison only breeds negativity. ---> Countless times I have found myself comparing my shop, artwork, number of sales, even my branding to other handmade artists and wondering "Do I measure up?!" Ugh, I think you know what I'm talking about. This kind of comparison really only breeds negativity. I think as women, as well as creative souls, we have to be careful of falling into the trap of comparing our businesses to others. When I play the comparison game, I can count on being uninspired and in a funk for the rest of the day. I'm learning, bit by bit, to focus on my own goals and let them progress as their own entity instead of side-by-side with someone else's. If I challenge myself to break my own records, instead of yours, I'm far more successful at achieving those goals and I feel much better about that success.

2.  Get connected! ---> After opening my shop in September 2010, I resisted joining Twitter for several months. I just thought it was pointless. Well, I was so very wrong. Twitter, Facebook, even the Etsy forums and Pinterest, are great ways to connect with potential customers and wise business owners with a wealth of knowledge to share. They are also great places to gather inspiration. I've been encouraged, inspired, and challenged through all of these social media platforms and they all have so many different things to offer as well as unique audiences to access. If used correctly, they are the perfect platforms to grow your business as well as grow as an artist!


3. Success is hard work. ---> Ok, this is kind of a "duh" moment. Of course it takes hard work to be successful. But that's kind of something I had to learn. I know; silly. For a while, I would spend my days, a lot of time, lamenting the fact that I wasn't selling anything, or my products weren't fresh enough, or my stats were low, yada, yada. Then, I would go into my studio, work my butt off, and I would see improvement in all those areas! And the light-bulb went off. Hello! When I spend time actually creating new products and bettering my shop, I grow more successful (even if that was in small increments.) That in itself inspires me to create more and come up with new, fresh ideas. It's a cycle that really works well, if I can only get it started instead of sitting on the couch!

4. Looks matter. ---> We've all heard that you can't "judge a book by its cover" and that looks don't matter. Well, in the handmade world, people do judge a shop by its appearance and looks do matter! It took me almost a year to get to the point where I was 100% happy with my branding. It took time to develop the feel, look, and aesthetic that I wanted my customers to see! It was worth it, though. Now I feel like everyone who looks at my shop or sees my paintings "gets" me. I hope they see a bright, modern, and fresh shop. What do you want your space to feel like? Spend some time brainstorming what you want to come through that computer screen when a potential customer clicks into your shop. Work on bright, clear photos and a professional looking branding and create a shop that effervesces with "you".


5.  Do it your way. ---> So, confession time. I don't carry a sketch book with me everywhere and as much as I'd like to say I have lists and lists of great ideas-- that's not me. Usually when an idea comes to me, it's in the shower, or while I'm painting. And I don't write it down, I just let it percolate in my head. After a bit of internal brainstorming, I get really excited about it and start forming a plan to carry out my awesome idea. Obviously, not everyone deals with new ideas like this. And for a while, I felt bad about this. But you can only function properly when you do things the way they work for you. Sure, we can always work at being more organized or whatever, but make sure you feel free to create, think, dream, plan the best way that works for you!


Find Lindsay Here:  Blog  |  Shop  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Thanks so much, Lindsay, for all your helpful tips on running a handmade shop! It's so true what you say about spending time on your branding and really developing a strong look for yourself. You want your customers to really notice your product and making it stand out with a good look, fresh pictures, and strong branding is key. :)


15 comments:

  1. I so enjoy these articles Savannah! I feel so inspired after hearing some of these girls have to say and their experiences. The comparison thing that Lindsay talks about really hit home for me!
    Such a good article!

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  2. love this all!! such good insights

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  3. Thanks, Lindsey! You have been so awesome, even with the new branding transition and everything, you have managed to keep a stable front with your blog and business. I have learned a lot from you!

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    1. Thanks Rachel, that means a lot!

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  4. Great points! I totally relate to the comparison issue. I just started a new shop and I'm constantly spending every spare minute trying to make it better. These tips really help. Thanks!

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  5. this is great. I love her workspace :)

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  6. Loved the last point especially! I love lists and sketches but only when I feel like I need to - I have design classes where I'm FORCED to do a mindmap or i'm forced to do 12 sketches of the same idea re-done 12 times.... it gets tiring and doesn't work for me. :( Oh well

    Great points thank you!
    xo
    http://kittysnooks.blogspot.com/

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  7. Such a great article! As a fellow blogger/small biz owner I totally agree with the "do it your way" strategy. Different things work for every person.

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  8. Beautiful tips, Lindsay! I really enjoy looking at your paintings & being a follower @ Hello Hue...you inspire me. :D

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  9. Lovely post. Lindsay seems so honest and down to earth. I love that she admits to NOT carrying a sketchbook everywhere... I always wonder how often people really break out into spontaneous sketching! =)

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    1. oh, NikkiJoy, your comment made me smile. :) I WISH I could have sketchbooks full of ideas, but it just doesn't work for me. Like I said-- do what works for you!

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  10. I've been resisting Twitter for a while now, but everything I read tells me I should get one! *sigh* I think it might be time for me to finally get a twitter!

    darladear.blogspot.com
    darladear.etsy.com

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    1. Yes, Darla, get on there, girl! And when you do, look me up and say hi! :)

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  11. Wonderful tips and insights! I love how you handled the re-branding...it's like one didn't even notice! You are a great inspiration! Thanks!

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  12. Thank you for the insight! I've been wanting to jump into the Etsy game (vintage and handmade), but it's a little intimidating!

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