Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: A Retrospective


The past is prologue.

In this 2013 retrospective, I will review my 2013 Resolutions, assess my progress, and use the past year's experience as a springboard for my 2014 Resolutions (which I'll post tomorrow, so stay tuned).

PERSONAL

Keep a daily gratitude journal.   I'd give myself a B+.  
Finish Erin’s graduation quilt.    Big fail. D--.
Eat more veggies.  I did pretty well, but could do better.  I'd give myself a B.
Walk more.  I'm a fair weather walker, but I've definitely increased my walking time and distance. B+.
Read at least one really good book per month.  Check! A.
Drink less Diet Coke.  I gave it up entirely while on the Slim Down Challenge.  A+.
Visit my sons, Tim and Jeff.  Done! A.

Not on the list, but a noteworthy personal accomplishment -- I lost 35 pounds. 
With one exception (not finishing granddaughter Erin's graduation quilt), I did reasonably well in meeting my personal goals for 2013.

ETSY

300+ sales.   I had 301 Pasque Flower sales and 36 Aunt Pheba's Vintage sales, so 337 total. A.             
Create 5 items per week, at least 1 “new” item.  I did pretty well, but many "new" items are cut out but still waiting to be sewn. I'd give myself a B-.
Do at least 2 seasonal promotions.   Check!  I participated in Christmas in July promos, and I had a 25% off coupon code, CYBER25, from late November through Cyber Monday.  I'd give myself an A.
Find creative uses for scraps. I am accumulating ideas, but I haven't turned them into listings yet. C.         
Keep blogging.  I hit a creative dry spell and took a semi-sabbatical during the holiday rush.  C-.                
More Facebook posts.  I did more posts, only about 1/3 directly related to my shop, but I still have relatively few followers.  B.
Limit computer time to less than 1.5 hrs/day.  Another fail.  I significantly reduced Pinterest and Facebook time, but reading blogs, posting comments, writing blog posts and participating in Etsy team  activities still takes way more than 1.5 hours per day most days. So much precious time spent. So little return on that time investment. D.

Other noteworthy Etsy accomplishments for Pasque Flower Creations in 2013 included:

My aqua chevron oven mitt made the Etsy front page!
My bright leaves with orange oven mitts were a prop for a TV commercial shot in NYC by NOLA Films.
I created a special line of oven mitts for the Neighborly boutique in Chicago. 
I had repeat wholesale bib orders from Cambric Lawn, a boutique in Toronto, Canada.
I became more active in posting  "real" Favorites to Pinterest (while limiting time spent browsing on Pinterest), and I began Tweeting many of my new listings (also limiting time spent browsing on Twitter).

AND…

I opened a second Etsy shop, Aunt Pheba’s Vintage on June 1, 2013.
I had 36 sales in 2013 (about 1.5 per week)  so I’m off to a faster start than I experienced with my primary Etsy shop when it opened back in February of 2011.   I currently have 68 items listed in the vintage shop. 

Even though I had a pretty good year on Etsy, I didn't make the Honor Roll.  I still struggle with how to maintain a social media and blogging presence without negatively impacting my productivity. The computer is, as one of my blogging buddies noted, a real "time suck."

My Shop Stats show that way more than 90% of my shop traffic comes from Etsy, Google and Yahoo searches.  (I guess that means my SEO is holding its own.  I'm not lost in the crowd.)  A teeny tiny percentage of my shop traffic is linked to my blog, Facebook, and treasuries.  Last year I had 26,062 views in my Pasque Flower Creations shop.  Only 65 were linked to my blog.  Only 57 came from my Facebook page.  230 came from Pinterest.  

And...I need to improve my photography skills to spiff up my listing photos and add a little more class to the blog.

TTFN
LeAnn

12 comments:

  1. High-five for exceeding your sales goals! That's great! And pat yourself on the back, because losing 35 pounds is awesome. Even though you didn't do everything on your list, those are two big accomplishments! Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Paige! Wishing you all the best in 2014.

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  2. It sounds like you did pretty good last year! I have a feeling that 2014 will be even better for you!

    Way to go on the 35 pounds! That is my main goal for 2014. Think I can do it.

    More about your goals from last year, looks like you met the most important ones when it comes to family (OK, except the quilt). You did great at your business, and you will do even better this year.

    About the computer time. That's a tough one. I have the same problem. My problem is that all my designing is also done on the computer so it's like double time for me. I think it's going to be a matter of priorities. Also, going to have to start setting the time so I can get up every 15 minutes to stretch or move.

    Best of luck to you this year. You deserve the best!

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    1. That should read "set the TIMER"

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    2. Setting a timer is a great idea! Thanks for your vote of confidence! Wishing you continued success in 2014!

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  3. Wow! Congrats on all those sales! And even more congratulations on the lost 35 pounds! That's a huge accomplishment to be proud of.
    It's interesting so many of your sales came from Pinterest. I have to admit that I've never really used Pinterest for my Etsy items, and I've also paid insufficient attention to my shop stats. Now you've got me wondering!

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    1. The Shop Stats were an eye opener. I got even more views (over 100) from Hawthorne Threads -- an online fabric store that lets you post pictures of items you've made with their fabrics on their website. Who knew?

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  4. All in all it looks like you had a successful year! My biggest struggle is with the darn computer! I could get so much more done if I could tear myself away!

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  5. Overall it seems you did have a good year--a lot of accomplishments, some unexpected.
    I wish we could tell which views resulted in actual sales.
    Congratulations, LeAnn!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! For every 10 views, I average 1 Like. And for every 10 Likes, I average 1 sale -- or 100 views = 1 sale.

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  6. Sounds like it was a great year! Both of your shops are doing great! I always have trouble finding a good balance between creating and promoting...ugh!
    And major congrats on those 35 lbs!!!

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