Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry BeBe Christmas! The Winners Are....

The photo contest winner is #2 BeBe in a Manger.  Congratulations to the winner!  She will receive a free BeBe of my choosing or 50% off her next BeBe Etsy order.

The winner of the other drawing (for BeBe fans who do not have a BeBe yet) is Michele Traugutt!  She will win a free BeBe Baby of my choice.

As always if you want to get in on the fun please join the BeBe Baby fan club here.  Or "like" BeBe Babies on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new dolls, contests and giveaways!  Thank you everyone.  Have a very Merry Christmas!

I am off to contact the winners...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BeBe Babies and Friends Christmas Photo Contest

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!  This year got so busy with Etsy wholesale that I was unable to complete a Christmas series, so I decided to do another fan photo contest in order to have some holiday BeBe fun.  As always if you want to participate in these fun events and contests you can join the BeBe Baby fan club here.  Or like BeBe Babies and Friends on Facebook here.

The winner of the photo contest will win a free BeBe Baby or 50% off their next order!

Now how to vote...  Choose the photo that you like the best and please email me at with your vote.  Tell me the number and title of the photo.  This will prevent possible confusions which have happened in the past.  OR comment on this post with your vote.  You can vote once a day until Christmas December 25.

Also this contest is still open for BeBe fans who have not adopted their first BeBe Baby yet.  I will be holding a separate drawing for a free BeBe Baby of my choice.  Please email me your name to participate in that drawing.  But remember it is only open to fans without BeBes.

Be sure to share this post with your friends and family!

Now on to the photos...

#1 BeBe Santa

#2-  BeBe in a manger

#3- Waiting for presents

#4- Visions of BeBes danced in their heads

#5- Nathan waiting for Santa

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sometimes It Just Ain't Fair: Snooki's Etsy Shop

When I saw on the front page of Yahoo that Snooki opened an Etsy shop I had to see exactly what she might be making.  Now I've never watched the Jersey Shore, or any of Snooki's other exploits, but I'm aware of who she is.  When I saw that she immediately sold out of everything in her shop I wasn't surprised.  I also wasn't surprised to find that the items she is making and selling are nothing special.  I was more excited to read the comments because I knew exactly what everyone would be saying.

The comments would range from fair:

"Looks like something an elementary school kids would make for Mother's day."

"Not someone I would ever want, but I applaud her entrepreneurial efforts."

"Really? You took a #$%$ sharpie and wrote on a mug. Congratulations on passing preschool art class."

"Well, as a fellow Etsy seller, at least it's drawing more attention to the site, and possibly to other people's shops. I may not be a fan of hers, but maybe more people will know about Etsy, and all the other wonderful shops it has to offer."

To angry:

"Only an idiot would by this BS ! Reality TV is not real TV and these so-called TV stars are nothing but low-life televised idiots!"

"More useless, tasteless #$%$ from the high queen of famous for nothing. Congratulations, you idiots continue to make her filthy rich for doing nothing."

"No home is complete without an illiterate slogan written by this ignorant hosebag on your coffee mug. How stupid must one be to buy this #$%$?"

This one really took the cake on anger:

"these worthless #$%$ should be beaten until they are a blood pile of worthless fake #$%$ guts and bones they get everything handed to the for being a drunk whore on tv and now get to make even more money selling ccraptastic pieces of #$%$ on the web while real people get nothing they tell the poor and homeless work harder dont be lazy but when we put items up for sale no one even sees them because we cant afford the advertizing this system is so #$%$ stupid its beyond bearable death to all this #$%$ from the bottom of my heart"

But my favorite part was the conflict between these two comments:

"Snooker is a genius... The public is stupid for making her popular"

"It is confirmed that she is indeed an idiot."

So is she an idiot or a genius?  I suppose both might be true.  What can you learn from this?

1.  Look on the bright side
As the commenter above mentioned, when celebrities bring attention to a site like Etsy we all win.  Now maybe you've been in the Etsy game for a while and you can't imagine that someone doesn't know about Etsy, but let me give you an example.  Nearly all of my Mexican students know what Ebay is but almost none of them even know what Amazon is, let alone Etsy.  Maybe Mexico isn't your market, but I remember similar reactions in the US only a couple years ago.  There are still many many potential customers around the world that still don't know about Etsy.

2.  Use what you have
Snooki is not waiting for fancy equipment to begin making her stuff.  Yeah maybe it's just a Sharpie and some ready-made blank mugs, but that's ok.  She is using what she has, including catch phrases that are unique or representative of her personality.  She obviously has fans and she's giving them what they want.  

3.  Start!
Now I agree that the stuff Snooki is making isn't that great, however we all started somewhere.  She's getting a lot of crap for her crap because she's famous, but who knows, maybe in a year or two she will be making something amazing.  I have to give props to her for going ahead and starting.  Many people hold back because they are afraid to put something out there that is not perfect.  If we all did that we would never begin.  When I think of the first dolls I sold I laugh.  They were so simple and rudimentary.  But I have sold every single doll I have ever made and have continued to improve over the years.  So take a cue here and if you are someone who hasn't even started a shop yet, do it!

I know it can be frustrating when a celebrity or other person comes onto the scene and has seemingly overnight success.  Of course it strikes at the heart of those of us that have worked tirelessly for years to build our businesses.  However there is no reason to let it get you down.  You can't measure their success against yours.  Just keep working hard and laugh at all the nonsense!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Consequences of Freedom Of Speech on Your Business

I have remained quiet on the Ferguson issue for a couple of reasons.  The main reason is because I refuse to judge either side as I was not there and did not see what occurred with my own two eyes.  However I realize that this issue isn't only about the events of that day.  And a young boy is dead.  There is now arguing with that.  Also there are some scary things going on in the US which I believe are highlighted in this video.

I also read this article which I found to express some of the reasons I'm not commenting on Ferguson but on other points it missed the mark for me personally.  This is exactly why I reserve judgement.  I don't believe either side, in any story, is completely true and without fault.  I believe every one's experience on this planet is different and unique.  What is right for you may not be right for me.  This article highlights my point.  People struggle no matter what color they are and when we start making it a black or white issue people want to defend their own experience.

Amongst the arguments and comments I've seen a lot of interesting, disturbing, and sometimes moving posts and articles on Facebook.  However where I draw the line in the dialog came a few days ago, and because it related to business, I thought I would comment.

Some years ago in my state of Oregon there was a news story about how a bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple because it was against the owner's religious beliefs.  They might have felt they were standing up for their values, and while they received a lot of support from their side, the ultimate result was they lost their business.  Whether you agree or not that was the final result.

A person in my Facebook friends made a post that bothered me so much I was forced to take an action.  Now this person is not someone that I know personally.  In fact I don't recognize her at all, except that she has a handmade teddy bear as her profile picture, so I assume she is an artisan.  I don't know if I friended her or she friended me, and I also don't know if she is a customer of mine.

I had noticed her posting articles that were heavily leaning on the side of the police officer who killed Michael Brown.  I have no problem with opinions, because like I said, I don't know what happened, and I don't think any of us really do, except those who were involved.  And I won't call myself open-minded while also refusing to listen to both sides.  I decided to click on the comments of one of her posts and was blown away by the argument going on between her and one of her friends.  She made comments like "They (black people) need to get over it.  It has been 200 years since slavery", "The first slave owner was black", and "if they (black people) don't like it they should go back to Africa".

I can't tell you how disgusting and irrelevant I find these arguments.  I'm sure someone can respond intelligently to this nonsense, but I prefer not to argue with people who use unintelligent comments to inflame a situation.  If you find yourself in the same situation read this article.  It expresses my point perfectly.

Well before I get off track, and do exactly what I'm warning you against, let me tell you how this relates to business:  I deleted her immediately.  My personal Facebook page is not a place I want to be confronted with this garbage.  It's not a place I want to see videos of child abuse either (which incidentally I also found on her page when I was trying to see who she was).  Now, she is welcome to like my business page, but my personal page is in my control, and I chose to keep this type of thing out of my personal space as much as I possibly can.

This brings me back to the reason for my silence on most issues I see posted to Facebook.  I normally refuse to comment on religion, politics or other hot-button issues because I am not going to try to alienate or provoke my customers.  Remember, everyone on your personal page and business page is a potential customer.  Let's face it, my personal Facebook page should be a place to express myself, but we all need to get real and realize it is absolutely not.  If you feel the self-righteous need to post controversial topics that you know will potentially upset people, then you must realize that the consequences could be a loss of business.  Maybe you don't care.  Maybe you tell yourself that you are standing up for what's right, or what you believe, and that might be true, but realize that broadcasting your personal opinion affects your business.

You need to decide if what you have to say is worth the loss of business.  In my opinion it is not.  Keep your personal life and your business life separate.  Most businesses are just not a platform for this type of commentary.