You know who has my vote as the Crafty Retail Rock Star of the year?
Cynthia Deis of Ornamentea.
ORNAMENTEA EMBRACES TECHNOLOGY
I first came across the Ornamentea website while researching sites for my own fledgling business almost a decade ago. Most retailers were still in the dark ages...we were only just starting to recognize that a web presence was a business necessity. Ornamentea was way ahead of the curve--the site was total eye candy in a sea of standard "stock" templates and lousy visual imagery. Today it sets the standard for the industry.
site. Make sure to click every link. It is stimulating both creatively and professionally. You are bound to leave the computer bursting with enthusiasm and ideas for your own shop.
Facebook often, because something exciting is always going on.
Whether she is sending out her latest weekly craft tutorial, or simply sharing the details of her recent battle with the flu, it is a delight to be part of Cynthia's circle. Hop on over here here to sign up for the Dot Com Dispatch, her weekly free e-tutorial. Cynthia has the pulse of the industry and you are sure to learn something. She also emails a weekly newsletter to her brick and mortar customers. Although store owners know that "they should" have store events, many fail to host even one a month. Not Cynthia! This week Ornamentea has six separate events going on! Read her newsletter and be inspired!
CYNTHIA GIVES HER CUSTOMERS A REASON TO SHOP AT ORNAMENTEA.
There is always a whole lot of free going on at Ornamentea. Cynthia sells a great deal of inventory by exposing her customers to new products, techniques and ideas..FOR FREE. She has free templates available for download and some of the best jewelry tutorials on the net.
In addition to providing the goodies listed above, Cynthia and her team cultivate several different "micro communities" within her customer base. For example, she has a "Metals Club" which meets --for free-- at the shop. There is a monthly metal project for anyone who chooses to make it. Ornamentea is currently sponsoring a juried metals competition for group members. The club even has its own separate newsletter! Other free clubs include the Altered Book Club and the Beadweaving Club.
Are your school kids bored on half day Wednesday? Ornamentea welcomes them for Kids Work Wednesday, when your child can make a project for only $2.00! The shop hosts an open air market five times a year for customers to sell their handmade wares. Did I mention that Cynthia and Galen have two small children? WHEW!
Honestly, it is easy to see where Ornamentea would have to employ at least 28 people! Every business owner knows that staffing is one of the biggest challenges in retail. Tune in next week as Cynthia shares some tips on being a good boss!
IN OTHER NEWS:
here. It is the ultimate "upcycling" project since it features tarnished "throwaway" hoops for the base and just a few grams of Ashland Bay wool top for the felting. I am just finishing up a blue and silver set which will be perfect with denim. I used mismatched hoops, which adds to the playfulness of the medium, and embellished with seed beads and Swarovski sew on stones.
FIBER EARRING CHALLENGE!
THE ONLY RULE IS THAT THE EARRINGS MUST CONTAIN A FIBER ELEMENT!
Send me a picture of your fiberlicious creation on or before February 23, 2011!
You supply the ingredients and I will supply the prize---a fantastical, mouth watering, envy inducing box of Sparkling-N-Fibery Goodness with a retail value of $150. The winner will drool on it when she opens it...guaranteed! There will be prizes for the second and third place winners as well as a special gift for every participant who blogs about the challenge. Throw Down judges will be independent, with no business connection to either The Crafty Retailer or Aussie Threads and Fibers.
Time's a wastin'! Need some inspiration? A quick google image search for "fiber earring" generates 1.9 million images! Sort through your craft stash, get your creative muse flowing, and help me spread the crafty word!