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:
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. :)