Tag Archives: business

Holiday Shipping Deadlines – for real and they are approaching fast!

*Domestic (Canada): December 15th, 2008
*United Sates: December 1st, 2008
*International: November 28th, 2008

Hi all!

Just a note to say that the above are the shipping deadlines for ordering art from my shop if you want your order to arrive in time for Christmas. And sadly, postal delays that are beyond my control do happen even when I get the packages to the post office on time. About 3% of orders that I ship out arrive much later than anticipated due to being held up in customs or other undetermined reasons. BUT all orders I’ve shipped out DO arrive to their final destination. :)

I can ship XpressPost or PriorityPost via CanadaPost if you miss these deadlines. You can contact me for the applicable rates on Etsy or by the email located in the sidebar on this blog. And conversely, I can upgrade you to XpressPost or PriorityPost if you want your order faster than the following times taken from my shop policies page on Etsy:

Canada – 3 days to 2 weeks
USA – 3 to 6 weeks (have yet to figure out why it is slow)
Europe – 2 to 4 weeks
Asia – 2 to 6 weeks
Australia – 2 to 6 weeks
All other international destinations – 2 to 6 weeks

(Average to everywhere other than Canada is about 9 days to 3 weeks. And there is that 3% that arrive in 5 to 6 weeks for some unknown reason. Please keep in mind that if your order is late that it will arrive. OK?)

All orders are shipped First Class Regular mail for flat items and Expedited or Small Parcel for larger 3 dimensional objects from New Brunswick, Canada. Shipping this way keeps costs lower for the both of us. If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you.

Artistic Productivity

What does productivity mean to you? For me it involves a tangible result from effort put forth to create an ending thus setting the stage for a new beginning.

At this moment many endings are in limbo. Decisions are hard to make as I want to do it all at once. I cycle through this feeling on occasion and understand that it will pass as decisions are made but in the meantime it is more than just a little annoying.

I currently house close to 40 or more art pieces in various stages of completion, add to that numerous websites that are craving attention from me; namely flickr and trunkt which have sorely been neglected but are all to important for my survival as an artist working online. Dawanda would be another. Transitioning from one level of productivity to the next means being organized, knowing when to say yes or no, delegating tasks and hiring out when needed.

I hired a bookkeeper. One major decision made. Speadsheets are alien to me. Give me creative software and within a few hours I’m rolling. But using and trying to learn Office or Microsoft related software and I implode! After weeks of messing with Google Spreadsheets, OpenOffice, NeoOffice and even two custom spreadsheet applications that I purchased from two different Etsy sellers I indeed said enough. My time is better spent in creation mode and not in adding numbers up and keeping track of what goes in and what goes out. I loathe bookkeeping and databases.

And on the advice of a friend I facebook again. He wrote saying “Jessica, it is as much a business tool as it is a personal and social tool.” I’m on there. Feel free to Facebook me!. The next endeavor on facebook is to integrate my Twitter to seamlessy update my thoughts from there rather than on facebook itself. Somehow, I have people following me already and I’ve never updated my Twitter since registering for it in late 2006.

When a new site launches always go and register your user name. Even if you don’t use it for a year or more it will be there waiting for you until you can incorporate it into your master plan.


In search of supplies, systems and the middle class dream

Beginning your own business from scratch without going into debt is a fun challenge. Add to that a student loan that is 10 years old that must continue to be paid down. So far so good.

The next immediate need is bookkeeping software to track my incoming and outgoing costs, supply, packaging and advertising costs as yes, I do budget a small amount for advertising. I attempted to install Open Office but Panther and Open Office hate each other due to X11. After more research I found Neo Office. Wonderful! How do I use spreadsheets… I haven’t a clue.

Last month I earned as much as I would have earned working part-time at that nameless place… haha. I remain earning well below the Canadian poverty line. I live with my family who feed and house me. Without their support I could be on the street.

I’ve not borrowed a cent to run my shop. That feels so good to say.

In August I’ll be introducing matting into the shop. Tomorrow I meet with a local custom picture framer and gallery to work out a price for mats to go on my 5×5 and 8×8 inch prints. He’s also interested in selling my originals! Woot! I currently order rectangular mats from an online supplier. They do not, however supply square mats which most of my artwork is. And their quality is very good; acid free with no over cuts. I know a good mat when I see one.

I’m stocked with pens of every shape, colour and size, paper, paint, printing ink, and packaging supplies.

As time goes on I purchase larger amounts of everything to take advantage of bulk discounts and cheaper shipping. All the art and prints are placed into acid free resealable clear bags and then sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and placed into a sturdy craft mailer for shipping when sold. My shipping days are standard; being Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s.

My studio/bedroom and now part of a spare room have become packaging, business, creation, storage and computer work stations.

I began paying myself bi-weekly in May from my Art Sales and have continued on since. There may be those who believe I’m not able, thinking this a hobby and that I should go get a real job. Well, this is my real job and I love it.

My goal is simple: to become a respectable middle class citizen earning a livable wage.


Ensuring the Pace is Slow

Garden Gloves

For someone who is normally active in both movement and spirit my physical well being has been struck down to a dauntingly slow pace. I began feeling ill late last week and promptly drove myself to the medical clinic Tuesday evening after my symptoms began worsening and not improving after 5 days.

They diagnosed me with sinusitis and prescribed a 10 day course of amoxicillin. My family and many of friends got hit hard with whatever it is that is going around in Southern New Brunswick. Here, I thought I was immune. Haha. I had sinusitis 5 years ago and it lasted eight months. It will not last that long this time around.

The case of the elongated routine

Early last week I had begun my routine of getting up in the morning, brushing my teeth, showering (every second day), eating some breakfast and running my business for the day. I tend to rise at 10:00AM and go to sleep at 2:00AM. Seems to be natural for me so I stick with it. I don’t need an alarm to wake up with this time schedule. But, brushing my teeth now takes one hour and showering takes 2 hours and eating, well it’s hard when your appetite has depleted to that of a mouse.

I remembered having a case of Ensure tucked away in the cupboard for those times when my gut acts up as it does on occasion from having Crohn’s all those many years ago. Knock on wood it has remained in remission for the last 11 years. And one way I keep it in remission is to know my body and when the gut feels bad eat easily digestible food and in a few days I do feel great again. I eat pretty much everything except for olives. They turn my stomach as does tomato soup. Yet, I only cook with olive oil and eat many fresh tomatoes. Hmmm.

As part of the routine I had begun walking to the post office daily taking orders in hand to ship off to various destinations around the world. The post office is a 1/2 hour walk down hill from where I live and another 1/2 hour hike back up that incline. The walking halted abruptly on Thursday. I become tired climbing the one flight of stairs to my studio to work.

Working is good.

I can sit no problem. So, I’ve been working on creating limited edition prints, packaging orders, painting and readying my business for the Fall and Christmas season. I want to buy that three family home I dream of in uptown Saint John. I am working towards it. By Fall I hope to have 500 items listed in my Etsy shop. I have 157 right now. Another 343 to go.

And you know what feels good, I am doing this all on my own. There is no man in my life. I’m reaching for my dreams as twice now those dreams have been put on hold due to relationship breakups. And that is the way with life.

Never Never Never give up.

Image Credit – Jessica Doyle, Garden Gloves