Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Which I Discuss My Future

Hello Friends! I've been sitting on something for a while now and I am finally feeling ready to share. Many of you already know that I have wanted to make Tender Arts into a real business, but have felt stifled by the demands of my "real" job, my family and my home. While these are all worthy pursuits, I knew that I wasn't being true to my definition of success. I feel that I have finally reached a point where Tender Arts isn't an "optional" part of my life. It is my passion and I want to give it a real go.

So, I've been doing a lot of research and study and confidence building (!) and I am now working on building an inventory. (Boy, it sure feels good to be putting this down here!) The night before last, I started what I have been referring to as my "Flagship Doll". These photos are all of her. She is the 14" Old Fashioned Doll again and she will be the embodiment of the aesthetic I am pursuing. Like Tender Arts Studios, she is just at her beginning, but she's getting there!

Tender Arts will not be only EFA's. It will be basically all kinds of soft goods made from vintage patterns. I am keeping my focus on mainly the 20's, 30's and 40's. I just have such an affinity for the design work of these decades. My intention at this point is to build my inventory, create a real website and book my first craft fair. Maybe even this one! But maybe that's too soon! Okay, I still have a lot of planning to do. And there are practical considerations too such as a business license and display units. I think the beauty of this plan is that I can do just a few craft shows a year to start, but as the children get older and I become more established, I can cut back my hours here at work and devote more time to more craft fairs.
So, dear ones, that is where my head is at these days. Pretty exciting, I have to say! I am even taking an online class with my local junior college on Small Business Management and Entrepeneurship so I can learn about writing a business plan and such. I do think that all my past work experiences will all work in my favor. Seventeen years in retail management and six years managing a small business should count for something!

Anyway, it's a very, very exciting time for me and I want to welcome any of you who may be so inclined, to please leave me advice in the comments! I can use all the help I can get! Thanks, as always, for the wonderful kindness and encouragement. This blog and this community are both big parts of why I finally feel ready to do this. So....thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hugs to all!

11 friends said....:

  1. very exciting! Your dolls are wonderful and I hope you can do it. You might think about the etsy shop thing- cheap and easy.

  2. Dear Bettsi, we must be on the same wavelength.After 20 years with an impressive resume as a secretary and office manager I too am just starting my own business, Dolly Dilettante. I am so glad I have someone to talk to about it. Let's email each other from time to time, I just got my Vermont certification and tax ID and all that stuff, and received a start up grant of $2000. My business plan has been approved. I am about where you are now, working to develop my craft and signature dolls (EFA too!). We must unite in this common endeavor. Would be great fun. Give me a ring on the email soon

  3. Way to go, Bettsi! Yaaay! You have the talent and skill to be successful! Josephine (Proud owner of Daisy, a made-by-Bettsi EFA.)

  4. Betsi I love your dolls. thank you for the kind words you sent me. I admire you greatly to be persuing your passion I wish that I was half as bold. Good Luck and I will watch with bated breath to see your passion unfolding.


  5. I just read your blog Betsi and I'm just thrilled for you! Your workmanship is just wonderful. I know this first hand by my doll that I got from you at a STEAL sometime ago!

  6. Hello Bettsi, You have been tagged!! You need to go to my blog to see what for......
    Have fun!!!
    Hugs Sherrie

  7. Oh this is so exciting! A new venture... I'll be following along. DO sign up for the Christmas Show - and take lots of photos!

  8. Hia Bettsi, your dolls inspired me to have a go from a pattern. You make them look fun and special. That is a real gift that shouldn't be wasted. Like mimik said what about an Etsy or even Ebay shop initially? They reach international markets and would help establish a customer base.

    Good Luck,

  9. YES!!!! Bettsi my friend! Never give up on your passions!! This really is sooooo exciting!! I'm behind you 100% You are so blessed with talent, Even if you do a couple craft fairs a year you will be getting your name and your creations out there and will be making a name! Planning is the secret..And taking your Business Management Course Bettsi your already way a head!!!
    (((Success Hugs))))
    PS: You have so Inspired me

  10. Oh I can't wait to see what she looks like! She is just DAHLING so far! ;)
    hugs, cheryl :)


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