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 )

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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 square.com 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.