This story is about a relationship. It began with an Etsy shop that was not quite as I expected and a friend that owned a shop in downtown Fredericksburg.
The story begins with a gift that my daughter gave me for Christmas a number of years ago. It was a phone case that had a small sweet bird on the front and I thought it was adorable. It was purchased from a website called Society6. I had no idea that this existed as a place where you can buy artwork on products like phone cases, pillows, tote bags, art prints, and more. I was intrigued by this as I had begun the process of painting illustrations for a book written by Dr. Bertice Berry. My choice was to do these paintings in watercolor and I soon developed a love for this medium.
Back to the phone case. It looked so lovely on this phone. My daughter remarked: "Mom, you could do this!" Yep, I thought. I think I could.
(If you like this one, the image will take you to the Society6 page and the link is an affiliate link for which I will receive a commission).
Flash forward. Presently, I have over 300 works on my Society6 and my sales continue to increase every year. The process is easy. I finish my artwork, scan it into my computer. Upload it to Society6, and it's populated into a myriad of products. Society6 takes care of the manufactured products, I get a percentage of sales. Later I added Redbubble and Zazzle to my POD (Print-on-Demand) platforms.
A local printer had made some flyers for me for a nonprofit group. The staff was always friendly and helpful with my projects. They seemed to be a perfect match when I decided to put my artwork on greeting cards. I cannot say enough about how amazing my cards look, a testament to Minuteman Press of Fredericksburg. I added a link to my landing page because my local customers should patronize this business.
The owner of the print shop suggested that I should sell the cards locally. I knew Heather's shop in Fredericksburg, and the owners live in our neighborhood. We had a sit-down together and she loved the cards that I had brought to show her. Her husband loved them, too. We agreed with the very fair commission and I left the cards at her shop. How surprised I was when my first month's statement exceeded the entire year's income on my Etsy shop. I closed that shop.
My first "trunk show" was in October of 2019. For those unfamiliar with this concept, the artisan brings in a nice collection of work and stays in the shop for the full day so that walk-in customers can see the works and talk to the artist. This was the first time that I brought in original works of art. How exciting when three of the original works sold during that event.
Soon, my sales were consistent with greeting cards. I added framed prints to the collection. These were usually "oops" on titles of the back of the greeting cards. I trimmed off the back and put them into either 5x7 frames or matted them into 8x0 inch frames.
My second trunk show was in March of 2020. We all know what was going on about that time. It was the weekend that Covid-19 was raising its ugly head. Heather and I had to decide whether to have the show. With plenty of hand sanitizers around the shop and keeping our distance, ("social distancing" was not a cultural norm, as yet). Two days later Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a total shutdown, except for "essential" workers. Our world had changed. Heather's door was closed for two months.
This is the reason that I write this blog post. Heather Boutique and other Fredericksburg shops were experiencing an event unlike any other. Heather's shop reopened with limited hours and only by appointment in small numbers. She and her husband were amazing with ideas to make it easy on her local customers, and keep everybody healthy.
To compensate for the financial losses of 2019, the couple has set up online shopping for the first time. Carefully crafting a beautiful website, Jim took his computer background and sense of design to match the ambiance of the shop itself.
Launched just a week ago, I am asking my blogging followers to take a look. Traffic is the desire that every blogger longs for. At this time, the site has a limited collection. The artisans (myself among them) have their greeting cards and the artisan jewelers have their beautiful designs displayed.
Heather is noted for her fair prices and a shop that has the customers in mind with every decision that needs to be made. Ask the locals who come back, again and again.
The image above is classic Heather: soft fonts, distinctive items as gifts. She works with vendors that she trusts. I don't expect a purchase. (I hope if you see something that you like that you might buy that something, but no obligation). I hope that the traffic increases for the webpage and for the site to be seen by lots of people. If you can share the site with family and friends that would be terrific.
So that I can track the analytics on my site, and her husband can watch the stats on their site, I would like to ask that you click through from anniespalette.com This brings you to the Landing Page and you can click the oval logo at the top (pictured below):
Check back often, as items are added weekly. I know you can find similar products elsewhere, but it would be great to purchase these from this fledgling website. The artisan jewelry is one-of-a-kind, and the greeting cards are unique presentations. The Fredericksburg Collection which is my recent contribution has been extremely popular given the local theme, but maybe you know someone who has traveled to this area and this could be a nice gift. I also have a select few of my State Birds collection. Not all, but many items are FREE shipping.
Thank you so much. This is a great favor to a friend and neighbor. Heather has been the owner of Heather Boutique for over 15 years and she's never had to face the financial angst of a pandemic.
REMEMBER: Please click the Heather logo from my website: anniespalette.com
Thank you, all my blogging friends, especially those from our BTC community.
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