Holiday’s arriving soon!

Wow, this summer went FAST!  It is all a blur, but I will say it was a pretty successful summer as far as Bebe Anne Design’s goes!

I ventured out of my little shop, and set up at 2 markets in August. The first was an outdoor farmers market in Gold Bar Washington. This farmers market is new. A very motivated woman, with a lot of patience and spunk, decided to take on a huge commitment. A commitment to organize and set up vendors EVERY WEEKEND. I finally jumped on board in August. I was leery and unsure if the time I spent preparing and setting up would pay off. This market is outdoors, in a town that tends to be windy. And, if there is even a slightest chance of rain, it will show up in Gold Bar. But, regardless, I packed up my stuff and went to set up.

I found that this small town farmers market was great for many things (other than sales). Some vendors helped me set up my canopy, and other vendors gave pointers on how to keep my stuff from flying away.. Even better, each vendor came over to visit the “new” vendor and offer some insight. This was not a competition on who could sell the most but a group of people and vendors that wanted each to succeed. I received the “low down” on other markets and places to sell my jewelry. Many vendors heard I was going to be there, and came by to purchase gifts for their friends and family. And, there was live music.

As I sold my Bebe Anne Designs custom necklaces, I listened to the voice of a woman that was so pure and told story. Her name is Erin McNamee. She had several CD’s for sale. I figured once the farmers market slowed down, I would head over and purchase one. Time got the best of me, and before I knew it, she was at my booth with her parrot on her shoulder. She purchased an original necklace I made from a Vinyl Record. She told me shIe would be back later. When she returned, she came to purchase more necklaces for her friends. I offered to trade one of her CD’s for a necklace, and she accepted! Please take the time to head to her website  and listen to “… one of the purest voices you’ll hear in this city.” – Seattle Weekly. 

My second big adventure was the first week in September. The process started in August, when I submitted and was accepted to set up at the Urban Air  Market in Seattle, WA. I figured it was worth a shot. With much surprise, I was accepted to be a vendor and this first time event in Seattle. This is when I started to panic a bit. You see, I did not have the best booth set up design. With necklaces, I had a hard time displaying all of them so they were facing the customer. At the Gold Bar farmers market, I ended up laying most of them out on the table. It was the only way to give a good view to everyone. But it was awkward and very unorganized. Set up and tear down was a disaster and took way too much time. So, my first thought was GET ORGANIZED. I started looking for display cases. My second thought was GET SOME STOCK! It was time to get serious and get some new designs and necklaces made ASAP.

I shared both my excitement and my anxiety with a friend. She had set up in areas similar in the past, and her feed back was much invited. She offered to come with me, because in a Market of this size, you need at least 2 people , for many reasons. I didn’t think about leaving to use the bathroom and watching for people who like to walk away with items without stealing. I immediately accepted her help and starting getting ready for a plan. Much like the smaller market, the vendors were friendly. Most had WAY MORE items for sale and a much much larger display. There were lots of props, tables, signage….I could tell these vendors were serious, and it wasn’t just “extra” money for them.

Both of these markets were different in many ways. The fee for the farmer’s market was very low, $20. The fee for the Urban Air Market was high, $240. I knew I had to sell A LOT in Seattle just to pay for my vendor fee. The farmers market had fewer people attending. But, in the end the Farmers’s Market was much more profitable than the Urban Air Market. Not only because of the sales of the day, but because since that day, I have had other sales outside of the market, because they saw my items either at the market or on posts about the market.

I am told, either one could be a different story on any given day. It is all depends on the crowd that is strolling by. I will definitely plan better next year. I have attempted to get signed on with local Christmas Bazaars, but they are no longer taking vendors. But, I know I will plan my summer accordingly to participate in more local farmers markets. And, Etsy is working for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I will continue to keep that updated with my newest designs.

Oh, there is more too …. but I will save that for the next blog. In the mean time, check out –– that is your hint

A fantastic opportunity

I had a message on Bebe Anne Designs Instagram recently from Shining Sol Candle Company (Designer Pete Evick) asking if I would like to collaborate with him and offer some of my Bebe Anne Designs guitar pick jewelry with a run of his amazing candles. This was the first direct message I had ever received on Instagram. And, I knew exactly what my answer would be.

I had met Pete Evick a handful (or more) of times. You see, I am a huge Bret Michaels fan. You don’t know who Bret Michaels is? OMG, he is a singer/songwriter for the glam band  POISION and the front man for The Bret Michaels Band. Oh, and more…. You see, Pete Evick is not only the owner of Shining Sol Candle Company.  He is a multitalented musician/producer who, in addition to playing guitar in the Bret Michaels Band, has also served as a co-songwriter, producer, mixer, and musical director for the group, and his own band, EVICK. A man with a true entrepreneurial spirit, he pursues his own projects, which have included the conception of an all digital record company called Potomac Records which has been turned over to his close high-school friend, Mike Bailey, and a new environmentally conscious candle company also based in Virginia called Shining Sol Candle Company. Although Pete is an award-winning producer, his biggest role in life remains that of being the best father he can to his two boys.

So, the last time I saw Pete, was in Aberdeen, WA October 31st, 2015. He was there with Bret Michaels for a show at the DnR Theater. My best friend Debby and I were able to talk with Pete prior to the show. He told us about his book, Moments That Make Us (available on Amazon, iTunes and Kindle) and how well he is doing. I knew he had his candle business, and heard that was going well too. I brought a gift for Pete. One of my designs from an upcycled vinyl record. As I gave Pete his gift, he was very gracious and said he loved it. Dang, it felt good to have a chance to give Pete Evick on of my designs. He played the show that night, and kept the necklace on the entire show. He knew my business meant a lot to me, as his does to him.

After the show, I had the opportunity to go back stage and see Bret Michaels. Oh, Oh, Oh, as always, I came prepared. I brought a gift for Bret too! Now, this wasn’t my first time meeting Bret. I have lost track of how many times I have been lucky enough to have a meet and greet. It never gets old. Bret is a kind hearted, genuine and pure soul. You can tell he loves what he does. Music, entertaining, song writing, traveling, acting, promotions and more. But, this time, it was my turn. A quick hello, and I dove right. I pulled my gift out of my purse and said “Bret, I have a gift for you.” He immediately put the guitar pick necklace made from a Rod Stewart record on. We had a short visit, then took some photos.

Now, if you remember from a prior blog, I always like to bring gifts for the band. Not that I always know that I will be meeting anyone, but because I always like to be prepared, and it is my way of showing my appreciation for sharing their talent. I have brought things from custom made art, plaques, Pez dispensers, picture frames, song writing books and this time, a guitar pick necklace made from an upcycled vinyl record.

Once I got home, I went onto amazon and ordered Pete Evick’s book, The Moments That Make Us. I then found Shining Sol Candle Company on facebook and Instagram. I wanted to follow what Pete was up to, and really wanted to purchase some of his original candles. I never expected to get a message that he was interested in more of my designs.

So, I said “YES”. Although, I wasn’t quite sure what his plans were, I imagined him placing these jewelry pieces in hot wax. Yes, I should have asked, but I was just too excited. I also knew that Pete was on the road, and may not have much time to check his email. I didn’t want to waste any time , so I got started on the first order.

Today, March 31st 2016, I saw my first posting with our collaboration. Pete Evick Official   facebook page posted an Ebay Auction with a one of a kind guitar pick necklace by Bebe Anne Designs (THATS ME!) and a signed and numbered rose scented candle by Shining Sol Candle Company. It was so hard to get dressed and go to my “real” job. You see, I was sipping coffee, strolling through facebook when I saw it! My guitar pick necklace on his candle. I had always sold through my Etsy Shop . I never though about selling on Ebay.

Anyhow, I don’t know any more than that. I finally got myself together and got to work. I then came home and started writing this blog. We will see what happens next. For now, please take the time to head to Pete Evick’s Facebook and Instagram pages in the above links. Tell him Bebe Anne Designs sent you! More to come, I have to go check the ebay listing!  (Find Pete’s ebay listings at shiningsol2013 and Bebe Anne Designs ebay listings BebeAnneDesigns )

Necklace made from vinyl records going crazy on instagram!

My posts of the necklaces I made from vinyl records are goin g CRAZY on instagram! My first post on instagram was 10 weeks ago. I was a little leary of why I would have an instagram page for a new business. I had questions like “What do I post?” and “how do I know if people are seeing this?” and the “how will this compute into sales?”.

I am still not sure how that is calculated still. But I do know that when I post a new necklace I designed from a vinyl record onto Instagram, my phone immediately starts showing me likes. Even better, those same people start liking some of my other posts.

My smart business social media sister, Blue Egg Photography, introduced me to some key instagram suggestions.

First of all, make sure there is a link to your Bebe Anne Designs Etsy Shop. If people are interested in pricing or in looking at more of your vinyl record jewelry items, you better give them a place to go to. The link, whether Etsy or another website, needs to be easy to find in your description. You cannot repeat this enough!

Second, never ever ever post a picture WITHOUT also adding a link or reference to another social media page, your page, or your etsy page. If you look at my attached photos of vinyl record jewelry, you will see I have watermarked them with my etsy page. At first, I put my facebook page on everything. That was fine to do as long as my goal was to increase my presence on facebook. I found that most facebook users are on instagram for a different reason. Many do not have relatives or parents on their instagram page, so it seems to be a safe zone, or so they think. Oh, I haven’t shared my instagram hyper link yet — INSTAGRAM! (PS go follow me!)

When I first started connecting social media 10 weeks ago, I was at a loss trying to figure out how to get followers. I didn’t want followers I had to pay for, although I have had many offers come up! I wanted followers that enjoyed my style, my product and also inspired me. Hashtags are still HUGE. 99% of the “like” and “comment” madness on my vinyal recard pendants are due to #hashtags. Tagging my favorite band, record, holiday or trending subject have been rewarding.

As of this week, I have 67 followers. I have had 4 sales this week on my etsy account from people I do not know! Yes, that is a huge deal! Friends and family have ordered from me, but to get a sale from a stranger!!! It is because we have something in common. Vinyl Records, Music, a dream concert, band or a memory of a music inspired moment.