TwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle PlusMembers login

Getting to the Sale

July 19th, 2017 by Morna

Early in my career as quiltmaker, I sold my work. I took commissions, I did juried craft shows, and I was the only quilter in a fine arts co-op with a storefront. I saw my share of objections to sales. I still see them today. The price is too high. I need to talk to my spouse first. I can’t make a decision today. I need to look at other items. I’m not sure I have space in my house. I’m sure you’ve heard some of those and others. Here are some ideas on how to get past buyer objections so you can get to the sale.

Anticipate objections

Whatever the objection, you can think of it as an opportunity to educate your buyer. Look at the most common objections you get and address them early in the sales process. For example, if you are often asked how to hang your art, talk about that before it comes up. If your sales are wholesale, explain your terms. If someone wants to see if your art fits in their space, let them know if this is/is not possible. If someone wants a different color, are you amenable to reproducing your work. You may even have written material that answers some of these questions with the display of your work at a show or gallery.

Read more…

Escape to creativity!

July 12th, 2017 by Morna

What are you doing on your summer vacation? Yes, I know that as creative entrepreneurs you don’t really take a summer vacation. You are probably working in/on your business 24/7/365 and can’t possibly take time off.

Or maybe you do fit in some time because your spouse has a two-week vacation. Or maybe you still have a day job with vacation time and you don’t want to lose it all. According to Market Watch, the average American worker takes just over half his/her vacation time.

This summer try something different. Take time off and use it as an opportunity to open your mind, spice up your creativity, and see the world in a new way. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Get out your coloring books

We all know that coloring is still on trend, so grab your crayons or colored markers and get to work. You can find coloring books anywhere today. Or you can draw your own design — something easy for quilters — and start there. Studies show that coloring has therapeutic results.

Visit a museum

This will likely involve a road trip, so call a friend for company. It’s great to share a new experience with someone else. The two of you can decide if it’s a day trip or an overnight. Pack the car with great snacks. I always say that calories don’t count in the car!

Take a class

You have lots of options here. You can find a local class or search the Internet for a longer retreat. Consider taking a class that stretches you. For example, if you are a quilter, take a photography class. If you are a photographer, take a drawing class. The idea is that you step out of your box and try something new. And, your class may or may not be in person. You may find an online class.  Two places to check out are Creative Live and Sketchbook Skool. If this idea resonates, again look for something out of your comfort zone or even a new teacher who could inspire you.

Take a technology break

Technology is wonderful, but it’s so easy to get wrapped up in sharing everything on social media. Consider some of your time technology free. When you are not always looking to capture the perfect Instagram moment, you can be more present to the experience.

Bring back your youth

Do you remember some of the fun you had as a kid just playing? You might have loved hopscotch or jacks or your hula hoop. Get them out and try again. And, while you are drawing the hopscotch board with sidewalk chalk, take some time to decorate the squares. I like the advances in the chalk we have today.

Two favorite quotes about summer

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” —Henry James

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Your turn!

I’ve taken a wonderful museum trip so far and am looking for a class. What are you doing on your summer vacation?

 

 

Let’s celebrate + stretch

July 5th, 2017 by Morna

July. We are midway through the year. Have you taken time to review where you are with accomplishing your goals at this half-way point?

This week is the perfect time to look back at what you have accomplished so far this year and adjust your goals for the year. Why now? Other than it is half-way through the year, this is the week of July 4, Independence Day here in the United States. It is a day meant for celebration — picnics, fireworks and gratitude. I like celebrating where I started and where I am. I like celebrating that I am able to work both independently as an entrepreneur and interdependently with so many wonderful people. I’m sure you have some of those same celebrations.

Read more…

What are your “pinch-me” moments?

June 28th, 2017 by Morna

Last week I was honored to be a special presenter at the Handi Quilter Retailer Academy. The first day I gave a talk on Capturing the Creative Customer and on Social Media. The second day I offered individual coaching sessions on a first come, first served basis to those who were interested. I met some fabulous retailers from around the world and reconnected with a few I already knew. I also had a lot of fun.

During the final banquet, Handi Quilter presented four of us with a special gift — the biggest pair of scissors I’ve ever seen. In fact they were so big, and of course sharp, that they wouldn’t meet the carry-on requirements of the airline. Mine should be arriving in the mail, and I’ve picked out a wonderful spot to hang them.

One of the recipients said earlier that speaking at the Academy was a “pinch-me” moment for her. I agree. It also reminded me of an article I read sometime back by Connie Schultz, a columnist with the Cleveland Plains Dealer, about how her mom lived a “pinch me” life.

I love this attitude. It’s about being in the moment and grateful for everything. It doesn’t matter if you are experiencing something for the first time or the tenth time.

Read more…

Craft a powerful tagline

June 21st, 2017 by Morna

What’s in a tagline? The purpose of a tagline is to express your brand differentiation. It’s to say who you are compared to your competition.  It’s to get people to want to know more about your company and how you can help them. The best taglines have an emotional component.

Do you recognize these taglines?

Make Creativity Happen
Made to Create
Designed by a Quilter, for Quilters
For People Who Love to Sew
Make More Art, Spend Less Money

They belong to companies in the arts fields. I’m guessing that you knew most of them.

Read more…

Are your “real” priorities in your calendar?

June 14th, 2017 by Morna

 

Do you ever struggle with aligning your priorities with your actions? Beth, one of my clients, was recently struggling with this. She told me that her family was her priority, yet she was barely fitting them in around her business, rather than the other way around. She was taking on more commissions and at the same time increasing her output for exhibitions at galleries.

In reality, your priorities are defined by how and where you spend your time. By that definition, family was not Beth’s number one priority.

To get clearer on your priorities, during the next few weeks develop a list of your needs, wants, and values. “What’s the difference?” you ask.

Read more…

Slay the Social Media Dragon

June 7th, 2017 by Morna

Do you ever get overwhelmed with social media? So many different platforms to choose from. And, regardless of the platform, they each seems to change all the time. And, when you are on social media, it seems like other people are posting all the time. And, you get frustrated trying to keep up with all this. It’s enough to feel like social media is a fire-breathing dragon.

If you want your business to grow and reach more people, you need to be on social media. That’s a given. However, it’s easy to slay that dragon if you follow some simple steps.

Step One – Consider your audience

The number of social media platforms seems to grow, only you do not need to be active on all of them. Your first step is to figure out where your peeps are hanging out. In all likelihood, they are on the platform you enjoy. So pick a platform, take time to learn how it works, and follow the remaining steps. Once you’ve got the first platform down, you may want to add a second. Remember you don’t need to be on all forms of social media to be successful. You do need to be on at least one.

Step Two – Create categories

If you look at what you post already, you’ll probably find that you could break that content into categories. Consider what you’ve been posting as well as what you want to post in the future.

Read more…

Lessons from The Magnolia Story

May 31st, 2017 by Morna

I’m an unabashed fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper and its hosts, Joanna and Chip Gaines. I’ve been know to watch marathon style more than once, and I’ve even got my husband to watch with me. What is it about Joanna and Chip? They are real, their values come through in all they do, they work well as a team, they have fun, and, oh, she does have a terrific sense of style. I asked my husband about the show. He likes it because Chip and Joanna are motivated by the end result, helping others achieve their vision, and that money is not their motivator.

In October their book, The Magnolia Story, was published, and I knew it would be fun to read. It also offers lots of business and life lessons. Here are some.

Be true to yourself.

This is what comes across strongly with both Joanna and Chip. You get a sense of what their values are and how they live them in their lives and business. Their family comes first. And what can you say about Chip? Joanna said he was her first fixer-upper, and while she might try to “fix” him, it doesn’t change what is true underneath. Kind of looking at a house and knowing it has “good bones.” I remember the show where he ate the cockroach — really! He is definitely a silly person at heart and doesn’t try to change that.

Read more…

Impressions from Spring Quilt Market 2017

May 24th, 2017 by Morna

 

The Spring 2017 edition of International Quilt Market took place in St. Louis this year. As always I’m inspired and energized by what I see. Overall, I thought the colors looked clear and fresh, which I like. I saw several lines with words and/or letters. And, the inclusion of clothing patterns continues. Here are more specifics.

Michael Miller

A major theme in Michael Miller booth was Paper Doll, which featured four wall quilts with fabric (as opposed to paper) doll bodies. You or your children or grandchildren create clothes and stick them to the dolls. A wonderful way to encourage connection and to introduce children to sewing.  Also new from Michael Miller is the vivid 21-piece Hello collection by Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. The line features an old telephone print (remember those!), scissors, exclamation points, and fun letters to cut out, along with blenders and tonals in graphite and aqua colorways. Free patterns and kitting instructions are available. The line ships in June and promotions include a summer blog hop followed by an Instagram hop. (michaelmillerfabrics.com)

Moda Fabrics

Moda introduced its 40-piece William Morris line, which was inspired by the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The prints are from the wallpaper and textile designs of William Morris, 1834-1896). A kit of a 72″ medallion quilt is available. (modafabrics.com)

Read more…

Do Your Survival Skills Still Work?

May 17th, 2017 by Morna

Recently I was talking with a long-time friend about some changes we had each made in our lives, both personally and professionally. During the conversation I noted that I was giving up some of my survival skills. You know, the ones that have been in place forever and that can operate on auto-pilot, whether you need them or not.

You might wonder what I mean by “survival skills.” I am referring to a way of being that has served you in the past that may no longer be serving you. Examples might be perfectionism, procrastination, shying away from confrontation, or not tooting your own horn.  

Read more…

Copyright © Morna McEver Enterprises LLC, All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without written authorization
Designed and hosted by GloDerWorks

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).