Enter: the girl in plaid

My grandfather... where I found inspiration for my store name.
Coming up with your brand name is a long-term thought that you pretty much start evolving in the beginning stages. It's like picking out the perfect name for your new puppy who isn't grown, and I've never had a dog before, so crap!... I didn't even have pet-naming experience.

Knowing where to start is always the hardest part, so here are some ideas to hopefully get your brain juices flowing:

  • Keep a notepad beside your bed.. just in case for those spontaneous ah-ha! thoughts
  • Write down anything and everything
    • It may not be solid, but could always lead to something else
  • Make note of words that describe your product, and how you want your customer to feel about your product
  • Play with acronyms, random, and conjoined words
  • Do any words, or symbols have significant meaning to you?

What worked for me, was being playful and random. I was sitting at my computer in my grandfather's old plaid shirt, when I miraculously happened to write it down 'girl in plaid' on my notepad, which unexpectedly stuck! That's how 'the girl in plaid' was born. It's really random, but at the same time it made sense to me, plus it had a nice little ring to it.

Next up.. packaging! I decided to keep it clean and basic. I've been wrapping presents in brown paper grocery bags for years, and my eyes have never gotten tired of the way it looks, so earthy brown boxes this was right up my alley. I found a decent price from usbox.com, and ended up paying roughly 30-40 cents per box. I found another Etsy seller to make a stamp for me, which cost me only $16. I really enjoyed working with JLMould, and she made the process really easy for me. I also tied some tweed I found from Target for an extra splash of cute.

Wa-lah! My finished product! I sent my packaging to JLMould to tell her that I loved how my stamp turned out, and she posted it to her Facebook wall.. nothing like some extra traffic to your site! http://www.etsy.com/shop/thegirlinplaid

From the Beginning..

Callie and I enjoy what a friend of mine refers to as A&C (arts & crafts). Making jewelry stemmed from sitting at my coffee table for hours trying to make a wearable  charm bracelet. I'm 100% positive that our finished products are now buried at the bottom of our jewelry trunks, but it was the starting point of a new obsession.

Ten YouTube videos and twenty  pairs of earrings later, I was left with one big dent in my wallet and nothing to lose. Learning a new art medium is extremely challenging, and EXPENSIVE! Here are a few tips that will hopefully save you some money when starting out:
  1. Don't get overly ambitious too soon
    • I'm not saying don't go for it, but I'm telling you to not get carried away. I promise you that your mind will be running a mile a minute, so just stay focused on one design at a time.
  2. Plan out your projects
    • I've wasted A LOT of materials by jumping into my ideas. Make sure you plan out what you want your piece to look like and hang prior to cutting your wire. This will also help you know which materials you want to use. 
    • I wish I had found fusionbeads.com sooner. I absolutely love this site! You can pick the quantities you want, and who isn't a fan of FREE shipping. If I'm trying something new, and I'm unsure of how it is going to come out, I can buy the bare minimum to experiment to make sure I'm on the right track. They also have an inspiration section if you are looking for new ideas, and tell you exactly what they used to make it!
  3. Get to know the experts
    • The Internet is your friend, but make it your best friend. YouTube was my teacher, and I learned several techniques by searching for tutorials. I particularly found the tutorials from the following people extremely helpful as a starting point:
With support from a good friend, I was able to start my Etsy shop. People can love it or hate it (hopefully buy it!)... Either way, I've created things that I'm proud of. etsy.com/shop/thegirlinplaid