Category Archives: Places to buy and sell

We Have a DOT COM!!

It’s taken a bit of wrangling and a bit of frustration and feelings of “oh my gawd, did I do that right or did I just break it” but it’s here!

mountainmoonandsea.com

Notice how that “.wordpress” is missing? (Not that I minded it). WordPress is awesome and I love the things I can do with it. I particularly love that WordPress is cool with me taking their name out of my domain. I’ve not got the time or skills to throw together a kick-ass webpage without the use of a template.

Why do I have a Dot Com? Great question, Me. Because I can.

No seriously? Okay, because I’m expanding my hobby, trial business, fledgling business thing into something bigger, better, and more professional.

And you’re still talking to yourself in third-person and interviewing your (first-person) self? Yep. Nobody else around at this hour to interview me. Except the cat and I doubt he’d like me waking him at 1:40 in the AM.

Fair enough. Anything else you want to tell us about the new you? I’ll soon stop ranting about business plans, marketing plans and financial plans. As I’ll be finished my TAFE course.  That’s great. Anything else? I’ll be working on new product ranges with new materials and with new purpose.

What do you hope to achieve as the new you? World Domination, mwuhahahaha. Well eventually, but for now I’ll settle for creating some kick-ass ethical products, letting the locals know about it and hopefully finding some retail stores that like what I’m doing and want to stock my stuff…. Maybe finding my sanity, oh and some sleep. Everyone loves sleep right? We’re overdue for a bit of a branding overhaul as well. Pray to your deities that I get that Suncorp Grant!

Right. We do. So you best get back to work and finish that bloody assignment. NOW!   Yes maaahm!

Oi, you forgot to post a picture in your post! Ok here you go:

“LOVE XO” print by hark home on Made It

Much Better!  You’re welcome.

From both of us: if you can see this and not the “Crazy Domains” page it’s a minor miracle.

Kick Start Your Business with a Helping Hand

I’m currently writing my business plan for my final subject of my Small Business Management course. A big, important chunk of this is the financial plan. (Understandably so). You can’t plan anything in your business unless you can fund it. Most people will suggest that you get an overdraft or a business loan, sounds simple right? But what if you don’t have a car or a property to secure finance against? What if you’ve been studying business stuff so you can actually succeed in the business world and don’t have a steady income for the banks to make their income calculations against? If this is you then you’re in the same boat as me. You could ask your family to go guarantor for you, but you may feel like you’re losing your independence. If you’re like me, you can’t live with the thought of them having to repay the loan if anything happens to you.

Small Money Tree by Elmira Titeyeva on Etsy.  “Money Tree-an attraction to wealth and money. According to Feng Shui in the tree must be an odd numbers of coins. 9 coins with a hole or multiple of 9 and attached red thread.”

If you want to start a charity or not-for-profit there are philanthropists all around the world who would love to help you out. Almost every financial institution has a charitable grants programme. If you’re a tech-based start up you’re ok, lots of investors out there waiting to cash in on ‘the next big thing’. If you want to start a community program to help under-privileged peoples then you’re also covered. If you want to make a short film or theatre production there are quite a few government grants available. If you’re under 30 you’re in luck with many youth programs for young entrepreneurs available.

What if you want to start a business because it’s something you’re good at, something you enjoy, it’s a good idea, there’s a gap in the market for it and it may do some good in this world? Then you’re like me, biting your nails, reading through grants websites til 4 in the morning.

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World” – Ghandi
Hand Stamped Jewellery by Kottage Kreations on Etsy

This morning I stumbled accross the Suncorp 5 Grand Helping Hand. $5,000 may not sound like much to big business, probably their annual budget for paper clips and highlighters. But for someone small, (a one-woman-show working into the wee hours to research, plan, network, blog and get things done), it’s a BIG deal. It’s just what you need to hire a professional graphic designer for some rebranding, get sample products made, get some advertising and get to some local wedding expos to get some paying customers. To be able to do this, without going into debt, would be ah-mazing!

Mountain Moon and Sea makes customers look and feel great. We create innovative recycled and hand-crafted stationery, accessories and giftware, made from ethical materials using fair-trade practices. Our product lines include ethical wedding stationery, greeting cards, event invitations and paper bead jewellery.

If you like what I do and what I write, can you do me a favour? (I will rarely ask my readers to do something for me). VOTE FOR ME for the Suncorp 5 Grand Helping Hand. As a reward I would like to offer 40% off total purchases from the Mountain Moon And Sea Etsy Shop with the coupon code “HELP2012” for all who vote. This includes 40% off already reduced, discontinued lines.

If you’re looking for funding and but more into communities and crowd-sourcing try Kick Starter. There are many Kick-Started success stories such as that of Allegory Pens. In the world of music Amanda Palmer is THE kick-ass Kick Starter.

If you’re not familiar with Kick Starter, it works by you submitting an individually crafted “all-or-nothing” project. The public pledge funds, yes that’s people you know and many you don’t, from all over the world. Any donation amount from $1 to $10,000 is catered for on Kick Starter. The artists have full control and responsibility over the project and usually showcase what they want to achieve with their projects in a video to convince would-be investors. Each project offers different rewards for different levels of funding pledged. Often rewards are a copy of the finished product, limited editions or exclusive experiences and are only limited by your imagination.

There Is More Than Enough For Us All by jessicagswift on Etsy. For more beautiful and inspiring prints click on the image to go to her Etsy listing.

Kick Starter really is an all-or-nothing game. You set your budget and your deadline and get people to pledge funds. If the target is met by the deadline you are funded, people’s credit cards are debited and you’re obligated to send rewards to your backers. If your deadline comes and you’re short of your goal well that’s the end, no one gets charged and you don’t have to send anyone anything.

Kick Starter may sound a bit like the hippie commune barter system of business funding, but you know what? I’m totally OK with that. It has power, with over 20,000 projects funded, over 2 million people pledging funds and over $200 million in funding granted.

I hope this has helped some other small business person out there to not give up. It may seem hard but if you have faith, believe in your ideas and keep sharing your ideas with people, the abundance you need will come to you.

🙂 Diane

Got Something To Say?

“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

I had to do a powerpoint presentation for my Cert. IV in Small Business Management course it was scary and daunting, but empowering at the same time. It was part of the networking subject, as often at networking groups different people will take turns to give a presentation. We were taught to use an attention-getter to open. This is short phrase or quote that get’s the audience’s attention and focusses them in on the topic you are speaking about. This has a particularly good impact if you can put up a visual of the text and an accompanying image as you say the words. (Having one of those remote controls for the projector helps). Use your strongest, most confident voice. Don’t let yourself think you’re not good at public speaking, because this just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Believe in yourself and in your message.

By ValentinaDesign on Etsy. Click link for listing and check out her shop for more gorgeous zentangled artworks.

After you’ve delivered your attention-getter introduce yourself, if you haven’t been pre-introduced, and introduce what you are going to speak about. Show an outline of your talk. This will work a bit like a table of contents does in a book.

Clearly mark each new section of your talk with headings and sub-headings (my TAFE teacher said to number them all but I’m not convinced either way). Be brief with text and where possible use bullet points. This way you can talk to your points without having to know word-for-word your entire talk. Use diagrams, graphs and charts where appropriate. Try and break up long sections of text with images. I try to do this with my blog posts so my readers don’t get bored. (I know you’re a visually-intelligent bunch, like me!).

Speak Up print by TipsyMouse on Etsy. Click the image to see the listing and other art-prints with a touch of wit.

Be aware that people take in information in different ways. Some people are more visual, others more auditory. If you can, get your audience moving and participating in some physical way. They won’t forget your message and they definitely won’t fall asleep!

Every essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion, so should a presentation. At the end recap what you’ve said by going over your headings again. This will trigger any questions people will have. Let people know that you will take questions, or if you are not able to take questions let them know another way that they can contact you for more information. (E.g. After the talk, email, relevant website details).

As my teacher used to say :

“Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you’ve told them”.

I hope this helps. 🙂

Happy Birthday Blue Twig Studio

Happy Birthday Blue Twig Studio!

My lovely friend Deb over at Blue Twig Studio is celebrating her Blog Birthday with a great give-away of some craft kits. There is a great green mixed media art kit, an awesome orange embellishment kit and a pretty pink mixed media art kit.

Head on over to the Blue Twig Studio blog to have a look and enter into the competition. If you’d rather just join a club and get a kit sent out every month in the theme of either Mixed Media Art, Ribbons & Trims or Vintage and Found Objects head over to the Blue Twig Studio Store.

My best wishes to you Deb, for every success. Your friendship, creativity and inspiration have been invaluable to me on my creative journey.

Changing Lanes

Sometimes in life you see that as your journey progresses down the multi-lane highway that an opportunity to travel a little better, a little faster, a little more smoothly arises and so you change lanes. If you’re driving in Sydney traffic no matter what lane you pick it too will eventually present its own issues and you’ll need to change lanes again, either back to where you were or to a different lane altogether.

The time has come for me to change lanes with Mountain Moon And Sea. We got into the lane of volunteering and stocking with I Heart Gallery as it was a great opportunity and full of promise. After about 3 months in that lane I have realised that the travel to and from Sydney, the coffee I needed to get me through the day and the take away food were taking their toll on my health and my wallet. Being run-down physically meant that I had fallen a little behind in my TAFE work and struggling to catch up is stressing me.

After doing some brain-storming and a SWOT analysis I realised that there was more to why this lane wasn’t working for me anymore. I brainstormed what I saw in I Heart Gallery in terms of target market, political beliefs and the sort of energy is had as a space. I Heart Gallery is young, “alternative”, subversive, decidedly young, overtly sexual and politically charged with a dash of cutesyness, some pop culture iconography and pinch of retro-cool to balance it out a little. There is also a certain chaotic flair in I Heart Gallery which is very at home in the Inner West. I Heart is cool, fashionable and will be popular with those that the rest of society may label as “Goth”, “Emo” or “Hipster”. This would have sat really well with me 5-10 years ago. But I am not that person anymore and the work I produce reflects that.

Mountain Moon And Sea (MMS) reflects more of who I am now, and who I want to be in the future. It is focussed in the Illawarra by it’s very name. I want MMS to be more ethically focussed, in terms of environment, sustainability of resources and supporting fair-trade practices. I want MMS to be a spiritually grounded business whose practices reflect the ethics at the heart of it, at the heart of me. I want MMS to be organised, professional, reliable and to build strong relationships with its customers, suppliers and with the greater community. I want the business to focus on hand-made items of artisan quality that are still affordable. I want the items I create to have their own unique style, to be beyond “fashion” and to hold their appeal for many seasons into the future, with the quality to last the test of time. The target market I am looking at for my products is older, more “mature” and more ethically/eco-focussed. There are different life stages in my target market to that of I Heart Gallery.

Image

Available at I Heart Gallery, St. Peters until Friday 27th April.

My time with the Gallery has been really enjoyable. I have worked with genuinely lovely people who have supported me and encouraged me in so many ways. I have learned a lot about myself, my business and gained some really valuable retail experience. Hopefully I’ve contributed as much to I Heart Gallery as I have received. I have been inspired in many ways and have many plans for future projects that I am currently storing under my hat until I am finished my course and in my new studio.

On that, rather long-winded, note I shall leave you as I have assignments that need tending to.

A Rainbow Palette

My siblings got me something really special for my 30th birthday in October, a gorgeous blue designer wallet, you know the kind you see on the red carpet. I’ve noticed since then that I am drawn to blue, a lot. I noticed at my first market stall that most of the items I had for sale had either blue or blue-green tones. I realised that not everyone has the same favourite colours so one of my many challenges for 2012 is to create things in all colours, even those I may not love (like gold and orange). Here’s a link to the gorgeous wallet – in gold. (Because the Jay blue has sold out). House of Baulch — OYO WALLET.

First Market Stall at Beat N Bites in Wollongong's Osborne Park

I am trying to source supplies in all colours to support the rainbow palette I want to draw on for the future Mountain Moon And Sea range. I say source because I really do want to focus on more ethically produced products. This is what is in my heart and if I’m not following my heart then my creativity dries up and there is nothing there for me, or for you.

I always feel something special when I see a rainbow in the sky, but a double rainbow is doubly special! May it bring us all good luck for the rest of the year!

Etsy Treasury – Best Organic Clothes for Bubs

Everyone knows organic is good, but it can also be cute, fun and adorable!
This is great, especially when shopping for that new addition to the family. There’s something on Etsy for all tastes and styles and in every colour of the rainbow.

BABY Organic Onesie, Nautical Anchor, Galaxy Blue Organic Nest one-pieceBoys Rocket Onesie and Tee Available for infants and toddlersYellow Cat on Galaxy Blue Organic American Apparel T Shirt CHERRY BLOSSOM Organic baby girl envelope tee (3-6 months, 6-12 months, 18-24 months)Organic Cotton Applique Apple Red Bodysuit One-Piece Tee or TshirtUnicorn -Infant Bodysuit, Organic, Hand Dyed Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Pale Blue  Screen Printed Ink, 18-24 monthbe still my Sea Turtle Organic Tee for Kids and BabiesOrganic Swirl Green T Rex Applique on an Organic Baby Tee - 12 MonthsYellow S/S Toddler (12-18 mos.) Onesie w/ Ebroidered Floral Appliques and Swarovski Rhinestones. -SALE-FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING tooAtAt Walker  American Apparel baby Onesie in whiteinfant baby organic 1-piece onesie also in super soft 100% cotton onesie shirt hippie hand screen printedMatryoshka Babushka in White, Natural or Pink OnesieOrganic Cotton Baby Onesie, Lavender 'Peace Chicken', Size 12 MonthsOwl Organic Onesie or Tee