Sunday, August 22, 2010

Following Etsy's Lead,Introducing a Product Line,Getting Licensed!

    It's been a busy and somewhat unsettling month-nothing horrible,nothing catastrophic,but unsettling all the same. Mandolin Babe's is now an officially licensed as a business in the city of Gardena. This drama started unfolding right around Yule of '09 when an outside agency hired by the city started sending me letters wanting information-at first I wondered if I was being phished for info. Finally a call to the city after receiving a bill for nearly $500 and a visit to the Community services dept cleared things up. Quite simply,once you have a resale permit,you are considered a business. I experimented until the fall of '09 when I got Mandolin Babe's going.
    Until then,it was try selling this,that, & the other and it all failed. Thankfully,as I couldn't afford the hefty bill,the fellow in charge cut it in half. I wondered as I came home while I was grateful for the reduction in fees,why wasn't I more joyful about this important step?  The answer came this morning as I was reading a book: because in doing so I made a commitment. A commitment to my life's direction as far as creating a living goes. No more dabbling,no more getting distracted,no more wondering if I should be doing something else. At the same time,it is a blessing from the Universe: a sign that this is what I should be doing....a validation. I passed go,I collected my $200,so to speak. I got the green light. Of course,when the orders are slow in coming,I start to worry:what if I made a mistake? what happens if I end up shutting it all down? What happens if I fail? Just having arrived in the "past mid 40's stage" of life,I fear I need to find something that works,that guarantees success. Yet there's a still voice within me that tells me everything will be ok,be patient. 
     In the meantime,I read an article on Etsy on starting one's own product line. It so happens that I've made more accessories for fiddle than anything other instrument to date. The ideas fall from the heavens into my head. Then they come out thru my hands & sewing machine. So I followed an idea I had months ago & started making fiddle chin rest covers. 

   The one above (and off center as far as the pic goes-couldn't figure how to center it) is the first one I made for myself. I thought them silly until the humidity & heat hit this month & I didn't want to be sweating all over my rosewood chin rest. I wound up making the next few longer in length,and have posted one in my Etsy store and one in the eBay store. At any rate,I followed Etsy's advice and started the "FiddleBelle" line of fiddle accessories. We'll see how it fares. I've made rosin bags,Fiddle Flyers,now the chin rest covers,and rosin/cleaning cloths so far & who knows what could be next. Here's a pic of the one I have presently on eBay:
  I'm also making holiday ones,and have decided to focus on the sharkfin style of chinrest. Easier to fit,and I have a couple to test fit on.  Here's one I made for myself using a scrap piece of Fall fabric I simply adored:
 Don't mind the print in the pic-I also made myself a Holly one for Yule. A Santa one will be forthcoming. 

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