In previous blog posts, I've made reference to my "thing" with shoes. And since I'm not qualified to psychoanalyze myself, I decided that I probably have all of these shoes because I rarely had nice shoes as a little girl. Who knows . . . . I'm sure there are millions of women who have always had beautiful shoes, and still have closets full of them as adults. Whatever the reason, I absolutely LOVE shoes and I have found that when I embellish a pair of shoes with buttons, beads, and lace, I usually sell them ;o) Especially the beaded bridal shoes! They have received quite a bit of attention wherever I post pictures of them, and I've made several custom orders for brides who want a pair of these beautiful shoes for their wedding.
So, even though I rarely actually wear a pair of fancy shoes (working here at home, and all), I do have a closet full of gorgeous shoes, most of them already embellished, but many are also waiting for my next surge of creativity. This week on the Eclectic Artisans Etsy Team, our theme for the blog ring is "How Do You Store Your Inventory." Here are a few pictures of some of my current inventory, as well as some of the shoes that need to be transformed through my creative magic! Many of my artistic endeavors also include vintage clothing that are hand-embellished with ruffles, buttons, flowers, beads, lace, ribbons, and anything else I find that could turn an ordinary skirt or jacket into a vibrant, unique object of wearable art.
Although we now live in a fairly small cottage by a lake, I do have a room of my own (didn't somebody write a book by that title???), which also has a tiny closet that I use to store my embellished and vintage items that are available in my Etsy shop. There is also an old, well-worn cupboard that I now use to store most of my embellished shoes while I am trying to decide what to do to dress them up. There are also hand-embellished purses, as well as a few hand-decorated art journals in there . . . . but mostly it is shoes. In one basket I have several hand-embellished purses stored in large zip-lock bags.
After I have an item listed in my shop, I print out a copy of the listing to include with each item and keep them together in one of the zip-lock bags. At first, I decided to keep the items stored in plastic bags to prevent them from being bumped whenever I rearranged inventory, but I soon realized that if I didn't identify exactly which item was in the bag and match it up with the order, it could get kind of confusing. Especially if I had listed six different pair of "ivory beaded bridal shoes," and the customer did not realize that there were so many to choose from! Including a copy of the listing has really helped me to get my orders out with much less anxiety on my part ;o) and so far the customers have all been happy with their purchases!
I also have a basket on the top shelf of the inventory closet where I keep all sorts of embellishments . . . . ribbons, lace, beads, charms, vintage buttons . . . . . and that kind of inspires me to come up with amazing new designs for all of my hand-embellished vintage items. Another project that I've been working on is to make the sheer fabric bags that I use for shipping the embellished shoes. I like to have them made up ahead of time so that when I get an order, all I have to do is pop the pretty package into a shipping box, print out the invoice, address the box and I'm off to the post office.
One day I hope to have a larger home office, a beautiful studio, and the PERFECT inventory storage system. But for now I am quite content with my corner "office" in our little cottage, with just a tiny closet and old cupboard, and the sewing studio that I share with my sweet hubby and all of his music paraphenalia. At least I've advanced from storing everything in baskets in the corner of the bedroom. But then, I'm sure that no one else have ever done anything like that! Check out the other artisans at the Eclectic Artisans Team blog and see how they keep track of all of their treasures ;o) ~~ Nina