Friday, October 16, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - Foxy G. Knits

I recently visited Lois' blog, and it is so very interesting. I later realized why it appeals to me: she's an organizatonal freak, just like me! Her blog, Foxy G's Den of i-KIT-quity, has a variety of weekly posts, featuring interesting artists and creative people who support good causes. And she's very business savvy. I didn't realize I was a scarf lover until I looked at Lois' unique handwork. Everyone needs to check out her Etsy page, especially now that winter’s coming... at least in the northern hemisphere.

  • What's the name of your business/shop?
Foxy G. Knits

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Registered domain name: www.foxygknits.com

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
Foxy G. Knits features hand knit scarves, shawls and wraps for today’s woman.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
This is Pretty in Plush Purple Pluffs, certain to bring out your inner fabulous!
  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
Currently, I am working on 200 children’s scarves. Recently, I wanted to build a Facebook Fan page and get to 100 fans so that I could secure my vanity name (http://www.facebook.com/foxygknits) So, I offered to knit a children’s scarf for the local homeless shelter for every new fan I received between July 15 – August 15. I posted that information on my Facebook page as well as tweeted about it. I thought that it would take me a month to reach 100, but it took only four days. By the time the promotion was over, I owed the shelter more than 200 scarves! Fortunately, I had built up a large inventory for my shop and am now in the process of taking photos, writing copy and listing those completed items.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I have not hosted any advertising on my blog to date and have advertised on others sites very little. When I did advertise, I participated in Project Wonderful on others’ sites. I have two avatars, one I use for etsy and my personal Facebook page. The other, I use for my Facebook biz page and online advertising. I have chosen to keep my shop name, Facebook vanity and twitter name the same to help build brand recognition.
  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
As I am on wordpress.com, I am at the mercy of the particular theme I am using for widgets. I would have to say that my favorite widget is “flickr.” I am very visual and enjoy having photos of my items in various colors on my blog. In addition, I like that when I add an item to flickr, it automatically adds to my blog.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
This is an easy question – I am only on etsy.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I am on Facebook and twitter . I post newly-listed items and other information on my Facebook biz page. I am a member of the Etsy Twitter Team, and we are very active in promoting our team as well as each other. Facebook is more narrative; you put information out there, and people respond or not. Twitter is way more interactive. I think each has its place in the marketing mix and also that both are effective if used to develop relationships.


I am also a member of two other teams: Etsy North Georgia Street Team and Etsy Bloggers Team and share useful information with them at every opportunity. I promote members of my teams, as well as other etsy sellers on my blog.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Run your business like you are the customer – be that customer. What makes you want to shop in a particular place – service, attention to detail? And do get comfortable with promoting yourself.

I know that many artists and artisans do not like to promote themselves, and I truly understand. However, if you don’t promote yourself, it is like throwing a party and not sending out invitations. I bet no one shows up. But there are ways to promote yourself that are not distasteful. As I mentioned above, I use a variety of methods to market or promote Foxy G. Knits, and they all involve building relationships and trust. I share useful information with my team members at every opportunity. I generously heart sellers whose work I like. (OK, those were two helpful business hints!)

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
I have been advised that I should be charging three times the cost of the yarn per item. Sometimes that works, and something it doesn’t. For example, I am currently working with yarn that costs $13 a skein retail, and the scarf I am knitting will take at least two skeins. Now, there is no way that I can sell that particular scarf for $78. By the same token, I have knit items with yarn that cost only $5 or $6, but that required a lot of time. Those scarves are worth way more $15-18, based on that formula.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
My knitting is so mobile that I take my little corner of the world with me wherever I go!

[Lois, I found this photo on Lois' blog, back in August, on a Monday morning. This is her beloved ashtray collection... or part of it. She has even started a designated blog about her collection - I personally have to commend you on this, being a curator in a museum and knowing the cataloging objects!]

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I am absolutely doing what I am suppose to be doing right now – selling on etsy and producing a regular blog. Where that takes me in a year, I do not know, but I am confident that it will be to the right place. I am pretty sure that as someone who has been a writer for her entire life and been in the communication field for more than 25 years, I will have expanded my writing options.

OK, it's the storybeader's turn! I was trying to see if I had a favorite style, but there was such a fantastic choice, it was hard to say. The sassy wrap scarfs were the most appealing to me, with the different textiles and colors. Hate the say it, but it reminded me of an animal - check this out:

12 comments:

TiLT said...

very cool! I love her scarves....just another item to add to my handmade addiction :)

NICO Designs said...

Great feature. I also like the scarf you chose at the end. It does remind me of an animal--it looks so soft with a bit of the wild.

BeadedTail said...

Her scarves are gorgeous! Thanks for introducing her to me Deb!

Splendid Little Stars said...

What a fantastic interview! She is so interesting and creative! Her facebook idea--just fabulous!

foxygknits said...

My goodness, I feel like a rock star! Thank you so much for a lovely article. And I also appreciate the flattering comments that were left.

I may have to call on you to help me curate the exhibit of the 20th century as seen through my ashtrays that I hope one day to turn over to a museum!

Julie Schieffelin/Cowgirl Jewels said...

I love Foxy G Knits! Awesome article - beautiful product, beautiful person!

Elephunk said...

Lois is a wonderful artist! Thanks for featuring her!

betty said...

great article - beautiful items

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Great feature!

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

Gorgeous scarves! Nice feature.

Linda said...

Terrific interview and Foxy is such a worthy person. She does great work and is a great friend.

Congrats, Lois

SANDY said...

Like you, I'm not a fan of beer either; but did enjoy the tour. Always fun to stop in and see who's creating what on your page. I'm so behind in my visits, and drops; still trying to decide what to do with ec.

Been way to busy to give it enough consideration of late.

Sandy

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