My Marketing Adventures with World’s End Vintage

On December 21st, 2012, Nothing Happened

Well something happened. I had a wardrobe sale. My very first since moving into my new studio space in Wabi Sabi warehouse. Actually my very first ever. I called it (cue dramatic voice) THE END OF THE WORLD WARDROBE, VINTAGE AND ODDITIES SALE.

Not too long after the sale, I opened a vintage Etsy shop and called it WORLD’S END VINTAGE. Now I’ve been doing my best to market this shop online to all of my lovely internet friends. This is what I’ve learned:

1) Internet Marketing Takes Work

I never expected it to be a cake-walk, but it really does take a ridiculous amount of marketing to sell one item. Or just to get views and likes. There are about 7 social networks that I share every one of my items on when I list them. Not to mention the 5 Etsy groups I am a part of. Once I have a larger number of items in my store I plan to start marketing to blogs as well.

2) How to Politely Solicit your Friends

One of your most important online avenues is Facebook. Most anyone who runs a business or is selling a product knows this by now. And the best way to get “likes” on Facebook is to solicit your friends. So I do my best not to be that friend who invites people to “like” pages on a regular basis or who sends out oodles of event invites to people who don’t live anywhere close to the event’s venue. Be kind to your Facebook friends and they will generally be kind to you.

I put out a politely worded request on my FB wall for friends to “like” my page and ended up with over 100 “likes” in less than 24 hours. On the flip side, don’t be embarrassed to promote yourself or your business. If you never mention your page, how are your friends supposed to “like” it?

Reciprocate – if you have friends with businesses or other pages, show your support by “liking” them. That way those friends will feel more inclined to help you out by “liking” your own pages.

3) Why you should Spread Out Your Updates

While it’s good to list a lot of items, I listed about 8 the first day and have been adding 1-3 items every other day. I don’t want to add all of them at once because I know if I keep updating my social media, people will come back to see updates. Plus you’ll appear more frequently in people’s news feeds and Etsy’s circles.

4) Reasons to Find a Mentor or ten

Find somebody who can impart their wisdom to you so you won’t have as much of a learning curve as they may have. Get people to critique your shop, the photographs of your items and your prices. Participate in threads on related Etsy teams and try to get people invested in your success. It’s a lot easier to be successful when you’ve got lots of people on your team instead of battling by yourself.

Help promote other shops and try to become a part of a few different groups. Find a friend or two who can keep you motivated – maybe you can trade off modeling each others’ clothes or jewelry for listings or craft together if you’re selling handmade items.

5) Setting Goals helps your shop flourish

It helps immensely to set goals – both long and short term – for your shop. I find this is the best way to manage your work when you’re working for yourself. For instance, one of my goals for my Etsy shop is to be able to pay off in sales what I pay for my studio in rent. Since my studio is the size of a large closet, rent isn’t that much, but you gotta start somewhere.

Secondly, set up a POA for how to reach your goal. My current POA is to list 1-3 items every other day and to spend 3-4 hours doing online marketing (all of the above) every MWF. Once I have more items in my shop (30 sounds like a good number) I’ll start trying to get some interest from bloggers and other local groups. Maybe I’ll create some flyers or postcards to put in stores around town.

I’m still working on my marketing strategy, obviously. But it’s getting there! With any luck, I’ll be selling more soon.

to follow my store, check out the links below

Here are some pictures of my studio just for fun.

Costume Studio in Wabi Sabi Warehouse

This is the back half of my costuming studio. Somehow I’ve managed to fit two full Z-racks back there plus a desk and two shelves piled high with boxes etc.

Costume Studio at Wabi Sabi Warehouse

Here’s the pretty side of my costume studio. I have curtains dividing this section from the back so it can be used as a fitting room. I also put up all of those shelves myself and the cheval mirror was a gift from the costume designer on We’re the Millers.

End of a Show, Beginning of an Era (?)

We’re the Millers is over

I found myself strangely nostalgic as I cleared my desk and packed everything from my desk organizer to my mini jade traveling Buddha into the stereotypical cardboard box of the employee who’s been let go. Thankfully, I hadn’t been fired. On the contrary, my boss was disappointed to hear I’d be leaving a little early. But when I told her that I’d be leaving for a Costume Designer position on a local feature film, A SHORT HISTORY OF DECAY, she was very excited for me. The timing worked out very well, as I only had to leave one week before WE’RE THE MILLERS changed location to New Mexico.

My desk in the costume warehouse of We're the Millers

Goodbye desk!

Learning Experience

I could not be more thankful for the incredible experience I had on WE’RE THE MILLERS. Even though I was hired originally as a Costume Assistant, I had the opportunity to work one to two days a week as an additional Set Costumer. Which, besides giving me valuable experience, was a pretty big pay increase.

As a Set Costumer, I (with my fellow set costumers) checked and dressed background actors (extras), prepped stock clothing, handled extras’ vouchers and kept an eye on the background’s overall color palette. We had a big carnival scene, so there were days when we had as many as 300 background all sitting around in a huge tent with air-conditioning blasting in through giant tubes. Most of our carnival scenes were at night, so we had 6pm-6am shifts, and the background tent felt like a hurricane shelter – children running amok, people in various stages of dress sleeping in chairs or on the floor, a woman rocking her 2-year old in her lap.

Vans shuttled us to and from set, and there were snacks and coffee (“crafty”) available. Also, we had a truck. A really big one. And it had a washer and dryer in it, a fridge, office, and tons of racks of clothes! I may or may not have used the cross bars for gymnastics.

Costume truck We're the Millers

Our traveling warehouse.

Saying Goodbye

The strangest, most difficult part about film (in my humble opinion) is knowing that most of the people you’ve worked with and become close to over the past couple weeks or months will head back to their respective homes and you’ll never see them again.

Now, I know that sounds dramatic, but think of it this way: working on a film is a little bit like going to summer camp. You meet a bunch of new people, work with them day in and day out, hang out with them on the weekends (because your last batch of friends left town after the last film ended), deal with drama, laugh about past events, develop these close friendships, and then you’re suddenly removed from their presence. Just like that.

Maybe you keep in touch with these people – via Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, but phone calls are rare occurrences, visits practically unheard of, and after a while they just drift away. After a couple of gigs like this, you stop investing in these relationships. You begin to accept the transience of your friendships and the fact that you may never again have close friends that are also close in proximity. This is part of my struggle with film work: the nature of the work prevents forming close relationships.

Where do I go from here?

That issue aside, I have been finding some success in the industry, and I am excited to see where it might lead me. I’m hoping to do this for a little while still – as long as I can hold out on my social life and other side projects, I suppose (you may have noticed a bit of a hiatus in my blogging. It’s rather difficult to spend hours writing nonsense when you work 70 hours/week).

In any case, I have managed to say no to a couple of projects this month in order to take a little vacation (it helped that I booked my flight months ago). We’ll see if I can keep up that trend. I’ll try to get up a couple posts about SHORT HISTORY OF DECAY and WITCHES OF EAST END soon, so stay tuned. I’ll also try to get up my pumpkin pie recipe this week! Yay, delicious treats!

News and Goals at GWDE

Things have been busy here at GWDE!

You may or may not have noticed that my posts over the last month or so have been sporadic. I’ve been quite busy with life and haven’t made the time to update. I’ll admit I was also getting a little tired trying to catch up on my September Road Trip posts. Whew! Glad that saga is complete.

A FEW GREAT THINGS HAVE OCCURRED RECENTLY:

• GWDE turned 1 year old! I started this blog back in January 2011 6 months after I’d moved to Montreal. One year, a blogging award, and 60 posts later, I’m still going strong. Here’s to another year!

• Roseanne from itsallyogababy.com featured my yoga mat bags on her site, and I’ve begun listing new items (including vintage skiwear!) on my Etsy page. I will also be distributing coupons the first weekend in March at a Yoga mini-retreat taught by Diane Barnes of Mindful Living Studio.

• In the meantime, I’ve been applying to graduate schools for Creative Writing (should be hearing back from them by April. Wish me luck!), and started working in wardrobing for film.

• In January, I worked as Wardrobe Assistant to Malgosia Turzanska (Costume Designer for MGMT’s Time to Pretend music video!) on The Edge of the Woods, and have been assisting her a couple of weekends on her current project, Child of God.

• I also came up with simple modernized Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O, and JFK costumes for a music video for local singer/songwriter Chieftan (FB page going live next week). With any luck, the music video will be up later this week.

• On top of all that, I’ve started working part time and moved into a new apartment…yesterday. I’ve also been volunteering at an art gallery and (trying to) volunteer at a local theater.

Life is, for lack of a better word, busy.

I do have a few goals for the next few months. They include:

1) Establishing a fitness program and healthy diet that I can stick to (posts on healthy recipes! and fun exercises!)

2) Gaining more experience in wardrobe/costuming through local and out of town opportunities (indie films to go see!)

3) Creating an idea board for my Etsy site & adding new items in my store (follow my tumblr for updates)

4) Continuing to minimize my possessions by throwing away or donating anything old, used, or rarely used (you should look forward to a post in the near future with pictures of awesomely hilarious items I’ve dug up from my childhood)

5) Downloading more Kindle books and reading them all (I will tell you all about my lovely Kindle and why it’s my favorite toy ever later)

6) Watching more classic films and films in general (I’ve got a looooonnng list, but I’d like to write a review here and there too)

and last, but certainly not least:

7) Updating my blog more often and with more pointed topics (see above)