Hello friends and readers!
Well, if you have been following this blog, you might have gotten the inkling that I have been quite busy lately. There's been much updating to be done, both in the shops I run and also in the other blog I write, not to mention things going on that I've been eager to share. So, I'm consolidating!
My new, consolidated, bigger, better, blog is now up and running, and more can be found at:
Keeping a log of how much time I'm spending working on which things was my first really good idea in a while, as far as my business goes-- and one that I am happy to share the results of.
Actually, on the web lately-- in various fora and also, in the media in general...I've heard lots of chatter about how many profiles people have to have to keep up with things these days.
This rings true for me. I realized, much of my day is spent updating various websites...uploading to all my different homes on the web...and in general trying to update all of my images, banners, avatars...on all of the pages I use to promote my products.
ok, here's a little list
shop. susyjack* shop admin
website. scd (susanconnordesign)
so...i'm gonna downsize. my admin and page maintenance is taking way too much time away from when i could be designing. i've been thinking about just *how* is best to do it, and i think i'm almost there. but, i want the solution to be something that preserves the ability for me to be current in my community, and as i do in spiralbound_, make sure i'm blogging about art and design i love... i certainly don't want my solution to be something that makes my content suffer. so. maybe not downsizing. just optimizing. integrating.
ok. that's it! more soon...
So...I did a little (traumatic) experiment yesterday with myspace and facebook. I have to say...those sites are hideous to look at! Ok, although facebook did have some redeeming qualities, MySpace gave me a migraine.
but...if you want to add me as a friend on facebook my profile lives here.
Anyway...I looked further into things and decided to go onto VIRB. What I really liked about it was that it was a bit easier to customize...with a little experimenting, I was able to get a page I liked up and running. Now, to make some friends.
The site is mainly for musicians, but, I'm seeing a bunch of designers and illustrators who are also representing themselves up there. So...not long now, I'm hoping the etsy community starts frequenting more often.
If you're curious, take a peek at my page. I set it up today, since it was raining and there was not much else doing.
all for now.
I am having lots of fun trying to coalesce the jewelry and the paper into one solid look and feel...who knows where this will lead. But, I got a warm, fuzzy feeling when I uploaded this photo of the sl* packaging, yesterday. Obviously...try as I might, I can't escape the simple beauty of a well-curated selection of materials...twine, newsprint....ahh...their very presence on my desk makes me feel more connected.
I've been thinking about combining my blogs...into one single blog-- which hopefully can be better organized. Right now, things seem a bit fractured and this is probably due to the limitations of blogspot/blogger...
In other news, I continue to bid my paper jobs out for small-run production...and a wonderfully hopeful bit of news today...I think I've met a great, super eco friendly print shop in Brooklyn to help me finesse my job...so, that is truly exciting for me. Soon, I'll be able to give details on that, I hope.
Sigh... I'm keeping so much under wraps...and as I get closer to relaunching, it's really tough to feel that I'm not sharing...I feel very guilty and selfish. Still, knowing I'm going to come out on the other side and be able to show new (and hopefully groundbreaking) paper work is really keeping me going.
As SusyJack*s business grows, it's been pretty exciting for me to try and hang on to those tenets I had when I started...simple design...clear communication...and trying not to get too cute. Focusing on lively, invigorating colors and taking a fresh perspective on what paper can be. I'm hoping I don't disappoint in the coming days.
Also...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll soon be doing some creative work for Korn Design the incredible Boston and NYC studio that gave me my start in the design world...and what a start it was. So...things keep bubbling away.
sunshine daydream...today is such a beautiful day in NYC I figured it was a good time to make some yellow earrings.
these livia earrings are new, and inspired by a walk home from the shops on 42nd street in the sun...pardon the dust on the vase. as you can see, housekeeping is not my forté! xx susy
I really, really wish I could say these were just listed, because they were! But, as soon as they were listed, away they went. Someone snatched them up. I will see if I can find more of these lovely copper filigree shapes, but no guarantees. I am really surprised at how well susyluxe* is doing so far...but it makes me so happy to think of people out there enjoying accessories I have made.
Anyway...in SusyJack* land, I am fixing up some new patterns, which I hope to share soon. Also, getting to work on some art wall tiles. I hope to have them partially ready this weekend, and ready for upload in the SusyJack* etsy shop.
I haven't really been too active online lately...but, I've been very active in reality. Working on new designs, coordinating production of some of the items which will be launched at the show, and revamping the website to be more true to my vision of what SusyJack* is all about. It's exciting...and hopefully soon I will be able to share it.
So...many people have expressed curiosity about my workspace, and to tell the truth, I am...rather....reticent to reveal the squalor which I call a studio. I know that 'great ways to perfect your office' and 'cute workspaces' are all the rage right now...and there are some beautiful ideas flying about the blogosphere...but let's be honest....I can't get anything done without making a mess....so, perfection is just not practical for me.
Give me space, paper, ink, and I'll make something happen. Pretty organizers and sensible shelving are something I can't even aspire to. Still, all I need to do is look out the window to remember, I've got the best office in the world, the lady New York.
I really want to express my thanks to those who took the time to comment on my post a few days ago, the post called My Compass which I penned on the18th.
Yes, for the past 2 or 3 days, I've been giving pretty serious thought to how I market this lil' company...and I've buried my nose (finally) into some 'how to start a business' books. Truthfully, back in July, when I started really working on SusyJack*, I had not given much thought to where things would go...
It's been really interesting applying all of the skills I would use to help former clients build their brands in my own direction. So far, I'm coming along with some really interesting positioning that I really like.
As a sidenote-- up above, those are new ornella earrings in susyluxe*. When you're making big patterns and lots of graphics all day, it can feel really good to pick up a little pair of pliers and some delicate findings. Change is good.
I'm really happy to announce that the wonderful independent culture magazineVenusZine has run a feature article about SusyJack* in their DIY section! This is pretty great. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Amy Strauss, one of their writers, about the company and the past and ongoing inspirations for the designs and the products.
I'm really thrilled with the content of the article. Amy did a great job at picking through all of the details to create a story which really describes the work and what I try to do.
And...I'm not the only one featured on Venus. There are loads of other articles about women, the arts, culture, music, and the indie lifestyle which are worth exploring. I hope you'll head on over to take a peek, and let me know whatcha think.
Hello, everybody... Quite an interesting frame of mind I am in, lately... I haven't been as active online as I usually am, and that is because I am working very hard to bring SusyJack* to the next stage.
All along, sharing my work as it happens has been a really wonderful thing for me. I make something, then, put it up for the world to see...but now, I find myself preparing work that I'm not sharing, and it's strange. I have to admit, it's because I really don't want to reveal what I am bringing to market...or how I am going about developing SusyJack*s identity as a newcomer to the paper world. This is really strange for me, because I am usually so transparent about working. But, I'm finding that business, rather than art, requires a little bit of a different mindset than I am used to.
Of course, there is plenty to come-- but, seeing as there's a big show and launch coming up for me, I'm keeping it under wraps. There will be several designs released before May, but, the majority I think I'll have to keep a secret!
My landscape is shifting a bit, so I'm doing my best to accomodate both selling on etsy and through my own site, as well as working more closely with retailers. They are two different animals, requiring different skills from me. So, switching between those 'gears' is not as smooth as I would like it to be at the moment, but I'm working on it.
Hopefully, in a few weeks, I will have made a good transition.
Anyway, I hope this finds everybody well. Interesting times are ahead.
Yesterday, despite the rain, I managed to get out to the stores on 42nd which sell craft supplies and fabric...so, that was fruitful.
When I got home, I took shots of these ursula earrings which I'm really excited to add to the susyluxe* shop which I hope to stock full of yummy jewelry in the next couple of weeks. There are several designs I've been working on...but I'm also designing the backer cards, and that takes a little time. I'm such a sucker for fun packaging. To me, it's part of the joy of making things.
So...tonight Kurt and I go to see Rufus Wainwright at Radio City for V-Day. I have heard he puts on a great show, so I'm really excited.
In other news...an etsy friend of mine who makes great, screenprinted shirts which are eco-friendly and was also the videographer at etsy for some time, has launched a new blog called Screening Demons which is about all things silkscreen. She interviews talented artists and also waxes poetic on her love of silkscreen printing. Definitely worth a visit! Congratulations, Shan!
Anyway-- I hope everybody has had a happy Valentine's day so far...full of kisses, chocolate, and whatever and whoever it is you love.
Nothing makes me happier than a wonderful day in my studio...when something seems to be going right, and the I make a little 'breakthrough'. Usually, this is sort of how it works...I work really really hard to push through all of the other items I've seen and accumulated in my mind, to try and put down what I *really* want to design.
I feel like I really got back there, today. I've got a few motifs that I'm really excited about...they feel new to me, but also like they are very much in the style I've been trying to develop. I can't wait to work a bit more on them, but for now...it's off to the post office.
It's freezing here today, so I hope I make it back here without frostbite.
Filling up the susyluxe* shop bit by itty bitty bit. Anyway...it's fun, and taking my mind off of all the stuff I've got to do to keep up with SusyJack*... it's always nice to have a diversion.
There's a very light, pretty snow falling here in NYC at the moment. It's just so beautiful. I am back in the studio after a little time away, and it feels pretty good. I'm catching up on orders, and most of them will be going out tomorrow.
I know I've said this before, but I really love my postal scale.
It's right up there with my stapler, my holepunch, and my ruler. I can't live without it. I'd definitely recommend getting one for anyone who would like to speed up their shipping. Combined with PayPal's multiorder shipping, it makes neat work of preparing packages.
Plus...it's somehow REALLY satisfying to see all the little packages...with their little official-looking barcodes...ready to go.
More paper goods on the way...I'm not going to reveal them til they are ready, though. mmm....secrets!
Hello! There is much brewing this week...and I have been very busy. But, unfortunately, I am away, visiting family and not in my workroom in NYC. I'll be back in action on Saturday. Still, I have managed to get at least a little bit done, like researching what I would like to do for my stationery booth, emailing a few old friends (who I hope are still speaking to me since it's been WAY too long)... figuring out what to get two wonderful old friends for their brand new, beautiful babies...if anyone has good recommendations, let me know. Something for a new boy, and a new girl...and hopefully handmade. : )
Also, I'm really excited to start in and use some of the newest pattern designs. I'm really liking where they are going. When I get back to NY, I'll be busting out the camera, and taking lots of pics of the newest items...so, I'm excited for that! More soon...And many other things...one nice surprise which hopefully I will post about here, soon!
I'm really enjoying applying the patterns and shapes to the new Wall Art format. As a former painter *and* graphic designer, it really brings me back to be able to see things I'm making actually hanging up...I don't know...guess it's a sentimental thing.
So...I'm experimenting with a few ideas for custom combinations of tiles, and I'm loving the idea of letters...I can see doing a great combination for a name, a phrase...even a wall with a poem on it. This is the first sketch for the idea, and I'll be working on more.
In other news...I have begun to post some of my jewelry in a separate shop on Etsy. This is sort of an experiment...I'm not sure whether susyluxe* will work best in it's own store or under the SusyJack* store...but, we'll see. I'm trying it out. In other selling venues, like Supermarket I will be combining the items in a single shop. My focus is still on paper goods, but anyone who reads my other blog spiralbound_ knows...I have a really, really huge penchant for jewelry....sigh. Probably because I can't afford clothes, I have to supplement with accessories!!!
...or, maybe it's because I used to work in a bead store....
Eek! I've been so busy this week with the new site design and the storque article buzz that I forgot to mention something well worth mentioning! A giveaway!
The lovely Molly asked me if I might participate in a giveaway through her blog A Few of My Favorite Things. And so...being that I'd never tried a giveaway before, and it's a time of year where I have a little extra time, I thought I'd give it a whirl.
So...if you are interested in adding your name to a virtual raffle for a purple weave notebook and a set of studio clips (you pick the patterns)...head on over to the post and leave a comment. She will be picking winners tomorrow so get there quick! Late notice...I know...but well worth it :)
Also, while you're there, make sure and sk*rt her blog...this is a new social bookmarking site I found through A Few of My Favorite Things that is pretty cool and helps women generate buzz for websites they enjoy...I tried it, and actually have had a little communication with the folks at sk*rt who are very nice, indeed.
Good morning everyone!
Well, after a very long and challenging weekend spent updating and changing over my website to feature the new design and format, things are starting to pick up again.
Also, I'm really happy to mention that my first self-authored article has been uploaded to the Etsy Storque today.
So...if you have ever wanted to soup up your imagery (or, wonder how some sellers and designers style their photos) take a look! There are helpful tips on how to brainstorm your shot, how to set it up, and how to take it forward, and work further with your ideas. Enjoy! xx Susy
***See The Outcome*** Etsy seller Caroline Grace just posted a link to the photos where she uses tips from the article to style shots for her Falling Snowflake Earrings. So, take a peek! Simply lovely. Thanks for sharing, Caroline!
*ok, here's an update...I messed up the new site this morning, but It's back up, now. oops!*
Well, as you can probably see (at least, I hope you can see)...things have been in upheaval here in SusyJack* webland. Anyway, the blog header is the *least* of the changes...there are others, as well...Good ones! Promise!
Anyway, here's the background...as some of you might know, I had designed, coded and updated the SJ* website all on my own and it was quite a task...taking me away from designing, promoting, and otherwise nurturing the growth of my company...primarily, it was really hard to add new items to my own site.
What ended up happening was that I would add new items to my Etsy store, but my own web presence (independent of Etsy) was languishing...and it was becoming *really* hard to keep up with updating.
I love Etsy...and Etsy is the place where I have met so many friends and contacts, and I so value it for the community aspect. However, as a growing business, it just wasn't meeting certain needs. For example, the ability to arrange my items, the ability to offer discount codes, or the ability to customize the page.
Enter BigCartel. I was on trunkt and complaining in the forums about the fact that I couldn't order my Etsy store, and therefore, people arriving from trunkt were having a heck of a time actually *finding* the items they were looking for among my products. Trunkt recommended I try Supermarket(an awesome curated site where I'm already selling)..or BigCartel (which I'd never heard of). Well, thankfully, I'm a curious sort, so I went to BigCartel. I'm so glad I did.
This is the bridge I've been looking for...an easy format that I can link to my own site, and easily update with product, saving me time that would have been spent coding all the item detail pages and pricing info on the previous version of the SusyJack* site.
So...onward and upwards. It's a little bit of a different experience to enter the shopping area of my site, now...but it is BETTER. Soon, I will fully integrate my new boutique with my site...so, you won't see the /bigcartel.com in the address.
Now, I can offer discount codes, have categories, product search, sizing or color options, organize my products, track sales, and get stats for page views and referrers...not to mention have a groovy sample sale! And, the price is more than manageable.
Ok, that's it, my buttercups. As you can tell, I am really excited and happy, and although I am still adding product so there are not many in there at the moment, but, I hope you will all stop in and take a peek, and let me know what you think. xx Susy
As I begin the great schlep forward into designing the new collection, I am also making sure to add a few new products into the line that can be updated with new patterns as they emerge. Here is one of them, just added on Etsy...and there will be more to come, because the idea is to mix and match!
The deluxe calendar and the mini-calendar were really successful for me (which I am glad of, because they were pretty demanding to make...as some of you readers may remember!) And one of the things I found about the calendar was that customers were really enthusiastic about being able to hang up the pieces. I had many questions from various customers about prints, and their availablity, so I decided to move forward with the wall panels I'd been exploring.
These wall panels are really fun to make, and I love their simplicity. Personally, I think they are a great way to introduce art into a space without making an intense declaration...for me, these walk the line between decoration and art in a really nice way. I wanted them to be something one could buy for themselves, or give as a gift, and I think that's been achieved.
As a longtime abstract artist, one of the things I try to do with my designs is make the shapes I make really accessible...so that each viewer can find their own meaning within them. The goal for me is to introduce a feeling...hopefully a positive one...in the most simple, uncomplicated way that I can. I sort of think of the designs I create as meditations. I think that really shows through, and I'm pretty proud of that!
Anyway, I'm sorry to make this post a shameless self-critique, but I guess I'm feeling introspective today!