Thursday, December 30, 2004

I put up some more button designs. Mostly they are in the black pride section. While preaching self love and putting down self hate might seem to be universal, but I'm black, and speaking from experience, we need self love more than anyone else, except for other people of color, I guess they need it about the same as us, but that's not as strong a sentence is it?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

While I have talked about this before, I'll reconsider the subject. I always wonder about people who think it's stupid to sell items with political stuff on them. Maybe it might offend someone, but then again, I'm offended by shirts with whore in glitterpuff on them or maybe I think that fur coats are a terrible crime, but they don't say "don't put words on t shirts. don't sell fur coats, you might offend someone". Nowadays niche marketing is popular- we've recognized that our society is much broader than the mythical middle class one mom, one dad, 2.5 kids, all white family- and we sell accordingly.

Niche marketing makes sense nowadays. We buy things to show who we are. Maybe not the best thing ever- but there it is. So many people would prefer to acquire things that reflect them in their minds, rather than something that looks very cookie cutter. So if a strong basis of your self is your belief system- you might want to buy things that reflect that. That's why you see people with bumper stickers, buttons, and shirts proclaiming their beliefs.

Humans are tribal animals, and they want to show others that they belong to a tribe. If Oog from the other tribe doesn't like it, well, she's free not to buy. But I don't think for example, Oog is going to forgo a bracelet she wants from me, because I have a button saying something she doesn't like. Borders sells books about how liberals are trying to eat babies and drown grandma, but I still buy from Borders, because at the end of the day, we wear our tribal colors, but getting what you want is always a good thing.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

So today, I feel pretty productive. I took a lot of great pictures with my new digital camera, and got 9 different items up on my site, and I will be consigning two items, including some great fish earrings I could make because I got some great pliers for Xmas. I feel better having a well stocked site- it looks a bit more professional to me. If you have a site and it's only has two or three items, it looks a bit lazy, even if you have been working hard on your products. Then again, I can't say much because what is mostly on my site is buttons, which isn't as labor intensive as say, clothing.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I made 6 bracelets out of wooden beads and one necklace. I haven't photographed them nor the double strand button bracelet I made yesterday or another more conventional one. Since my inventory is increasing so much, I think I might consign one of my bracelets on divatribe- it'd be good for promotion.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I made another bracelet today, but I haven't finished it. Yesterday I spent a lot of time link pimping on livejournal and it paid off- I got a sale! The craft supplies I got pushed me in the red where I was formerly in the black, but I don't think it's a very large amount. Anyway, other business stuff I did was to make the order(2 audre lorde buttons) and to package them. I hope we can ship them off tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2004

So yesterday I spent a buttload of money at the craft store. So this morning I had fun making two bracelets, and yesterday I nearly finished a pair of earrings. I have thought up (and posted) four new button designs since I have posted last. Winter break is a great time to stock up your store. I have been suffering from a lack of inventory for some time. I haven't even had enough to really post on divatribe, but I'll put at least one piece up, and find another online mall to promote my stuff too.
Divatribe is a great place, but I worry about the whole mix of jewelry- I can't really in good conscience charge $20 for my stuff, but for some of the other people, charging $20 would put them out of their house, and into the street. So it's kind of weird to have the two types together.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Here's a feel good story. Crafty goods infilitrate The crafty women at hellagood products now have their stuff listed on amazon. This is great, because we need more small businesses supplying goods in this country. A big corporation can be good in its place, but more innovative products come out when everything isn't focus grouped to death. Not to mention the money that you give to small indie businesses in this country tends to stay here-laying off an entire division just to save a few pennies for the CEO's bennies is way less likely. So give your money to crafty, independant and other small business people through out the year.

I love clothes, and I know that my $25 a shirt goes better at panicdoll, or another small clothing maker than it does to a mall shirt that isn't even worth the price and is mass produced.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I found a DIY link exchange. I'm not very knowledgeable about this sort of thing, but DIY seems to have become a big movement nowadays. There are tons of knitters, jewelry makers, hand bag sewers and the like all getting their crafts together. I swear- if you relied only on DIYers, I bet you'd never have to rely on corporate clothing, bags or jewelry. Then again, most DIYers tend to make more casual or alternative clothes, instead of stuff that would be appropiate for the work place, but maybe I just haven't been looking hard enough.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I found a new auction site. Cute clothes, and jewelry, but where are the buyers?

Monday, December 06, 2004

I have a one day only sale on a To Heart manga lot. Also, some cute jewelry ending today.
My paypal balance is 6.66. Pretty interesting.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Well, both of my overstock auctions didn't sell. I wonder if the buyer base isn't there yet? Also, it's really annoying that I keep getting all this "be my friend" spam. It's an auction site! Why does anyone care about this 'friends' crap?

I really hate these ebay auctions with stupid trumped up stories. I'm all for marketing, but there's a line you shouldn't cross- and exploiting people's awwwww factor for more bucks is too much. I didn't mind the person who runs saying 'hey, my main income is off my shirts" in the gothic lolita community because it's a community- you talk about stuff. It's not like she put in her auctions a sob story to a bunch of people who just want to buy stuff, and get on with their lives.

When I'm looking at an auction, I really don't care if you have two autistic kids, or that you are selling the cane to cheer your six year old up. I just want the description of the item, and your terms- how many days do I have to pay, what do you take. The real danger is that fake stories will erode everyone's feeling for the real ones. If people make up sob stories, soon they'll get caught, and then no one will believe someone who is really in trouble.

But on a more cheery note, my ebay auctions are selling! Of course, I'm mostly selling anime and manga stuff that I don't need or want. I mostly have manga in Japanese, and one sealed DVD- I already had volume one of His and Her Circumstances, and I bought the box in the rightstuf sale.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I am trying to step up my ad campaign. Still haven't found the right words for my button sales. I should advertise my jewelry on more jewelry live journals. DIY marketplace is pretty crowded- I bet my ad isn't even on the first page now! For your amusement, here is a funny me page with lots of bad bad advice for ebay buyers and sellers.

I probably should start listing more of my jewelry at the store first.

Monday, November 29, 2004

This is a fun reminder. Don't steal images! (warning:NSFW)

Friday, November 26, 2004

I have decided to list on also. I need to advertise more, but that would invovle making a cool logo in photoshop. I also need to put up more of the awesome designs I have in my head on my site. However, I ate too much turkey... I still have auctions up on ebay. Since it was a holiday weekend, I decided to make them ten day auctions instead of 7 days, for more exposure. The pearl bracelet is my favorite, although it was a bit picky to put together. I guess I should learn more advanced beading styles sooner or later, though.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ebay is changing the rules again, and many are outraged. It doesn't seem too well thought out to me. I give buyers ten days to pay, and I usually use first class mail- which may take additional time to get there, because I don't want to charge $5 to ship a bangle. So a buyer could mail their payment on day ten, and it might take another week to get there, and then they could say they didn't receive their item! I think the old 30 day was good, because after a month, you know you have a problem, even though there may be problems with media mail, which is fairly slow. I guess this is an example of how you should think before making a business decision.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I am amazed this pair of shoes only went for $158.00. I felt sure it would have gone for $200. I am only a lowly seller, so I never get a 21 bid auction. Then again, very few people are getting 21 bid auctions lately, and most are getting more like one bid, if any bid auctions. This economy has lots and lots of people selling to get cash after they have been laid off, and so the market is a bit dodgy. I'm starting adwords for my store again, hoping to get traffic up.

I'm not as good as a PR pimp as some who are always submitting their wares to magazines, or to charity auctions, because I lack the confidence. I love my stuff, but there's a huge difference between a sterling silver tennis bracelet with real diamonds or something or even a handcrafted bag, made out of vintage fabric, and a chip beaded bracelet, even if it has a cute heart on the end. It's great fun jewelry, but I don't really have a high end grouping. I guess that can be my selling point-fun stuff at a good price. I mean seriously, there's a lot of room for both $200 bracelets and $5 bracelets! Seriously, what do you buy more of? $1 items like my buttons, or items that cost $35?

But then again, who knows? The profit margin is a bit fatter on other items I guess. But then again, who has time to do all that when they should be studying?

Friday, November 12, 2004

I don't think there is any cut and dry rule on who is going to be a good ebay seller. For example, I have a lower feedback percentage than some people, but I have 2 negs over a year, and some of the people with better percentages have like 50 negs over a month. Some sellers with really shrill TOS have been good sellers too, but then again, I mostly buy clothing, and people have a good reason to be shrill in that category.

People negging because it doesn't fit, people having fun bidding up your item and not paying(I have had people not pay on auctions less than $5, and I don't even sell in the tough clothes category), basically there's a lot to go wrong- especially if the buyer doesn't read the description of the item.

I also have a bone to pick with people always trying to say that sellers should do feedback first. BS. They should do feedback when the transaction is over. Maybe it is because I'm a good buyer, but I'm not looking for the feedback, I'm looking for my item. I know that sellers can't just assume you'll be a good buyer- especially if you have a good feedback profile. You could have gotten undeserved feedback from a feedback firster, and then have scammed the seller ten ways til sunday, or at least written them nasty emails.

The thing to remember about buying on the internet is that no one knows you from Adam. You could have stolen ten credit cards, or have saved ten orphans' lives and are just buying winter coats for them. No one knows! So blaming sellers for wanting to keep their businesses afloat, I just don't get.
After much ado, I finally updated my site. I have nearly 50 items up, which is a good start. I hope to have more before the deep part of the holiday season hits. I am buying more supplies for jewelry, and I am thinking up more ideas for button slogans. I tend to do buttons and jewelry differently.

I always put buttons on my site first, and jewelry on ebay first. Buttons are pretty uniform, so you can put the same price on them, but I'm trying to figure out the jewelry market, so I try ebay first. Or maybe I mixed it up. God, I'm tired. Also, I tend to put out assorted things I want to get rid of such as manga duplicates on ebay, too. I guess I should branch out to other sites, but I don't have much inventory anyway.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Well, if you are looking for an ad collective, here is a livejournal group where they are trying to put one together. I have finally gotten about to paying for an ad for my site. I got a lot of traffic from quizilla the last time, and hope to get some more, and some sales out of it too.

I'm running a bit low on stock, so I should get to making things, or at least having more ideas for buttons. I put up two all new button designs on my site. I still haven't put up my favorite one "Don't Blame Me. You voted against yourself" up. I hope the economy perks up at least.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Has everyone noticed how early Christmas advertisements have started this year? It is barely out of October, and I see Christmas stuff. Then again, I'm not helping, I sold an Christmas bracelet earlier and am selling one now. I hope the Holiday shopping season goes strong, this economy seems sort of stagnant.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I have made two chokers,(actually 3, but one I am not selling) with velcro closures. The velcro is because it's a no sew project. I would like to be able to sew, but I'm the type of person who can't even make a simple skirt. But Velcro is awesome.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

It's about that time every week! I don't know whether readers prefer seeing auctions when they first open or when they are about to close, but since I prefer seeing them when they are about to close, that's when I post them.

I'm also confused on whether it's ebay legal to sell costume jewelry. I don't buy or sell the expensive stuff for obvious reasons, such as if one gets a piece of jewelry for cheap, they can feel good modifying it, but I wouldn't play around with expensive stuff that costs upwards of a hundred dollars, which is expensive for me as I'm not taking out a loan for this.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I've decided to switch hosts for my website, and am still waiting for my domain name to transfer. This shop may be a little bit easier to manage! I'm still debating google ad words, but might put it in once I have more stock. Hopefully this page loads faster and is simpler to navigate.

In ebay news, I have gotten up to a hundred feedbacks, which is good, since before this year, I had less than 30. Of course, the problem with ebay is that you are always tempted to buy things, whether it is cute beads or cute socks. However, an annoying problem for me is that it's hard to find a good deal. I refuse to believe that it costs $6.00 to ship something that weighs 2 ounces. I don't mind if the shipping cost is under 3 or 4 bucks for such a light item- one must pay for packaging materials and all. I wish ebay would show shipping costs for items so you didn't have to click on the auction to discover that they are charging $10 to ship 20 beads.

Then again, I don't have to pay for gas to go to the post office during the school year(walking is healthier and just fine) so maybe I am spoiled.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

If you need earrings, I have 3 pairs on auction. There's also a bracelet. I'm doing a lot of work about my business lately, but it's a secret.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

My velcro is shipping tommorow. I hope it gets to me soon. I want to make a ribbon choker before my lace gets here at least. I have this great pink grosgrain ribbon. It'll be really funky and fruisty as a choker.

Friday, October 15, 2004

I am learning the hard way that it is hard to unknot one's string after knotting it. I knot my elastic about five or six times after I think I am finished, so that is to be expected. But today I was making a bracelet for myself, in this style, and then I wanted to add a heart pendant. So I tried to get it unknotted, but I mostly just broke the string.. Opps.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I have 5 items ending tomorrow. I am wondering about advertising them on livejournal communities. Maybe just a discreet link would be ok? I don't mean communities devoted to anything important, but just the buying and selling of things. My favorite is DIY marketplace, which makes me tempted to buy things all the time. I worry my pictures aren't nice enough. Everyone else has a great logo or something..

Monday, October 11, 2004

I'm really mad at egadgetman! I swear it's been like 3 weeks since end of auction and I haven't gotten my crimps. While I don't mind knotted bracelets, it feels a bit more secure to have more than just knots. I of course have been forthcoming about this, but it's not like everyone reads the description of the item.

I of course am sadder and wiser about feedback scores. One has to read the positives too. This guy has many positives that say slow shipping. I guess I did mess up, but it's still annoying.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

To avoid statistics, I idly made a Christmas bracelet, in October. I really need to make more bracelets so I can make excuses to buy more beads. Beading is really relaxing! I'm totally taking it up as a hobby.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

These are another pair of modified hoop earrings that I am selling for best offer. However, I don't take personal checks.  Posted by Hello

I'm selling these modified hoop earrings for best offer!  Posted by Hello
Yesterday, I modified three pairs of hoop earrings, and started on beading a bracelet that is like this one, but in other colors. I have started to put more campaign buttons up for auction as this is the last part of the campaign. I'm really doing a lot of business work, as it keeps my mind off school.

I am trying out using the common keywords, and I think it is working a bit, as my Fat Acceptance buttons have a watcher, but will they bid? Ebay is a pretty dramatic marketplace.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

So today, I decided to list on ebay, and relist some good stuff that didn't sell the first time around. I tried to identify popular key words, as ebay is mostly a keyword game. I am disappointed in my photo quality, as my little camera doesn't have a zoom lens. I have a man's chain, with a brand mark, but I can't even show it, because it's too blurry. grr. With all of this, I only have one auction of buttons up, but I'll change that tomorrow. I should start selling a lot of election buttons with the October run up. However, I don't know how to get buttons without obvious tie ins sold.

That's why I started my website, but that didn't work. So I don't know what I'll do about the buttons.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I'm closing my website. That doesn't mean I have stopped selling. I will continue to sell here, at divatribes shops, and on ebay. It's just too much effort to advertise a website that one can't even update all the time. To make this applicable to other people, one has to look at the return on investment to see if it's worth it to peruse an action in business.

Monday, October 04, 2004

About the earrings that I made earlier, I made an orange pair with heart pendants, and they were great. Identical to this pair. I might have to dig up another pair of orange pendants, because it's becoming Halloween season. The holidays are great- I hope for a large amount of buying, even though the economy isn't as good as it could be.
I still can't get my website updated and fortunecity still won't give me an answer. I might just close my website, and just do ebay. It'd be cheaper. Also, there is an auction ending today, as always, but if you wanted some costume jewelry, these are nice. I have a lot of these heart pendants, although the jewelry I keep for myself out of them are all earrings, because I collect them. One piece of jewelry I made for myself was just a mod- I had some hoop earrings and put some clear hearts on them. Very cute.

Maybe I should get some pliers to crimp wire- it'd be easier than looking for drops, but I'm a bit nervous about that. I should see if the school library has a book on that.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I was reading on the switchboards about how annoyed people get when people complain about their prices. I totally feel them. If you can't afford to shop, then don't shop. If you want their high quality handmade goods, pay the price, but if you want mass produced sweat shop labor produced items, well, you're welcome to get them.

People in business have their prices for reasons, especially one man/woman businesses. For example, it takes money to get the things to make the items, and not only that, these people don't buy in the cheaper by volume bulk lots that larger businesses may buy in. Not to mention they need to advertise their sites, go to craft fairs to pimp their goods, package their goods in a cute manner,etc,etc. All of this costs money that the average indie business person doesn't have.

So yes, these adorable bangles cost $7- but the person took time and effort in making them, and chasing down the stuff to make these items. If you want to enjoy a well made product, you might have to pay a bit more.

I'm cheap, and I admit that, but I'd never ask someone to lower their price for me. I'd usually wait for a sale or see if I could snag it cheap off ebay or if I really had to have it, save up, but never annoy a small business person about their prices.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I'm still trying to get the keywords and stuff right for jewelry selling. It's a whole new area. Also, here's to hoping I can update my site again soon. Also, some stuff on ebay is ending within about 24 hours or so. Be a sport, check it out.

In other small business news, Mad Scientist University, a game created by a young game creator, who is an alumni of Emory University, will soon be sold from the gaming shop Sword of the Phoenix. This of course brings up the fascinating question of whether it is better to sell things yourself and get all of the profits, or to consign your things and get more exposure? I'm too inexperienced to answer that question.

Speaking of consignment, I have a few buttons in the divatribe shop, but I should work harder with that store. Things in that store have to be exculsives, so I do worry a bit about putting new designs in, since buttons are kind of 'mass produced' product.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I forgot to put a picture up. I really like this necklace, personally, even though purple and not pink is my favorite color to go along with green... Posted by Hello
Here is a link with more information. I do costume jewelry nowadays, but then again, I am not the type who has ever had the real stuff.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yet again, there are auctions closing today. Things are picking up, scanning problems nonewithstanding.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I got some more supplies today, so I made a necklace. It's a pink and green one, and I put it up on ebay. I'm a bit nervous about selling things like this on ebay, as I am not a stone expert. I think the stones are rose quartz and jade, and they were sold to me that way, but how could I be sure? Then again, it's being sold for twelve bucks on ebay, so it should be clear that it's fashion jewelry, not the lost jewels of the Queen of England. The stones are also all small pendants which are detachable if you really want to detach them. I'm thinking of making some bracelets, but I don't have enough beads, and my stretch magic doesn't look classy enough to have the pendants on it.

In button news, I'm working hard, but need to draw some things, as that is my new area. Buttons with original art just look more creative and classier than ones without. Although I worry my drawing style is a bit primitive.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Yet again, I am selling a Kerry/Edwards button, which is ending today. Also, one of the hard parts about custom buttons is trying to anticipate what sort of design the person wants. Maybe I should change the requests so that I have a better idea of what layout they want.. I want to work on jewelry, but most of my supplies haven't arrived yet. So I might draw new designs for buttons.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Yay! Instead of working for publicity, I'll just say that some great vintage Japanese wood cut type buttons have only 9 hours left. Cute buttons for cheap! Spend some cash, maybe it'll stimulate the economy.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

I changed the website around to partition it into two sections- one for buttons, and one for jewelry. I only have button bracelets up now, but I plan to get a lot more up in the future. On ebay, some anti Bush buttons are ending today. Get them now.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I'm selling an handmade lampwork bracelet on ebay. This is my first(well, almost) foray into jewelry for sale. I went to a flea market in July, and I sold a wooden green and pink bracelet to a girl, who was quite possibly an AKA, I think. You know, that gives me an idea.. It's good to work it on more than one line, possibly, although it's more than double the work getting set up. I am trying to get more buttons up on my website, but fortunecity isn't wanting to cooperate.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

It seems that my obsessions buttons are going...going...well you get the idea. The anime addict button is one I'm particularily proud of- I'm getting better with the GIMP.

Monday, August 30, 2004

I'm starting to want to branch out into jewelry art and design. I would have to redesign my website, though. Then again, what's wrong with a sub site devoted to jewelry? Also, on ebay, I have more great deals ending today. Some of these items are starting at 1 cent- you can't lose.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Warning! A bunch of scummy thieves have appropiated Sublime Stiching's designs, and are possibly using sweatshop labor to recreate the designs. Here's what to look for, from her site:

"What should I look for?
Look for clothing in stores that has Sublime Stitching designs with tags that say another company's name, "Made In India" or anything BUT "Sublime Stitching". Even if the tags do say Sublime Stitching, this does not mean they have permission to use my designs and re-sell them to the public. Only crafters making items by hand and selling them at craft-fairs, fund-raisers and through small retail venues are covered by my Angel Policy. "

That's why I'm always skeptical of people who complain about copyrights. Copyrights protect all creators. I had a bit of a strange problem earlier. This page had part of my site on it, but luckily, they corrected it. I'm glad! It was pretty weird.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

About July's contest, Rachael Harlich won a free bag of buttons with the slogan "Nothing On Tv? Read a Book!" Thanks for all your support! In other news, I've decided not to have an ebay store, as it's better to focus one's effort on one store instead of two, but I do have ebay auctions up, with great deals on custom buttons, button sets, and the like.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I'm having a problem with advertising. I don't think I'm very good at writing ads. I have created some ads, like this one on, but I don't think they are very good. I am thinking of investing in an ad campaign. What I need is web traffic. Other small merchants tend to concentrate on attempting to get into magazines, as I have read on the Switchboards, but my items are not the type of thing that would be in magazines- I like my buttons, and am happy with them, but they aren't exactly a good fashion accessory- even my bracelets are just novelty displays for buttons, because I haven't started jewelry making in earnest. Now bracelets, and an idea that came to me recently- greeting cards- would be a better fit for magazines. However, I should caution myself on trying to expand too fast, and I need to keep my ad budget under control- I don't even have a credit card.

I'm also writing out some copy about custom button bracelets- i.e. a person gets their images on buttons and has a bracelet made at the same time. I'm considering clauses to make having an unique button bracelet seem like the most wonderful thing in the entire universe, and also trying to word my copy so that people will not think this is merely a cheap way to get merchandise for some overexposed media trend. Not only do I not want trouble with copyrights, I do recognize that for example bands make most of their money off of merchandise. Just because I'm not rich doesn't give me a free pass to rip them off.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I'm still plugging away at my ebay store. I am wondering if two stores isn't redundant, but then again, it's two different audiences. ebay attracts people who want bargains on stuff they've seen advertised on TV, and an independent website should attract more adventurous customers. eBay has a greater quantity, so that is good, but it's all about the keywords. I'm still trying out advertising. I've got an ad up on etalkinghead, and have paid for a quizilla ad that hasn't gone live yet.

Maybe when the school year begins, I'll take the plunge and have an ad on It's a lot of money for a week, but might get people talking, and so I'll only have the trouble of maintaining that publicity. I don't know. All I have found is advertising that doesn't work. Button oriented live journal communities looked good, but I am not producing unofficial merchandise for things already on TV, so that doesn't work. Also, going to the flea market and handing out business cards isn't very effective either.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cassowary Buttons is back up. Also, I have selected the winner for the contest, and the announcement should be any day now. I am working to stock my ebay store, which is slow going. I only have thirteen items up after three days of work, and that is with turbolister. I have great difficulty coming up with compelling copy.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I have restarted my ebay store, but rebuilding my inventory is going to be slow going. However, I'll try to update every day until I have the full compliment.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

If you wanted one of those button bracelets, I have one for sale on ebay.

Thursday, July 29, 2004 is down. I will announce when it is back up. I'll put up some ebay auctions for you button junkies later.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Finally, I have gotten off my butt, and button bracelets are here. They are a pretty handy way to display your buttons, and pretty cute too.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Here is a handwritten note sent by the winner of the Happily Homemade contest to Funky Utopia's owner:

"dear nicole, i received my lovely basket of goodies today and it is truly special! i really enjoy hand-made things and i thank you very much for choosing me as a winner in your contest. i am sending to this address, which i found on the website. the address on the package was from texas but had no sender's name on it. i hope you will thank the wonderful merchants who donated the prizes for me. i wish you much success in your business." sincerely, h. beck"

That's really sweet of her! Also, I'd like to note that Funky Utopia is awesome, because there are journals. Of course, I think journals are awesome in general.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Yesterday, I went to the flea market. I was pretty nervous as I hadn't been to one before. Sales of course weren't great- we were inside, next to the flea market office, and I didn't actually have my own booth, but had the end of another booth. Anyway, I felt encouraged by the sales. I sold two Bush buttons(I don't have any on the site, but after my parents complaining all the time, I made some) one to an old lady who had wandered over, and one to a younger girl whose mom said "Look at the pretty buttons!" I sold two buttons one that said "Stop Blaming and Start Working" and another that said "Don't Live in Afrodenial" to a woman who had worked with me. I sold a bracelet that was made of wooden beads to an AKA, apparently. I also nearly sold two button bracelets to this one girl, and was complimented on my good idea. This whole flea market thing reminds me of how much I need to update my site. I have some good new designs I premiered at the market.
So even though I didn't make tons of cash(and what cash I made, I spent on corn dogs and funnel cake), I had a lot of fun. I met some old people from frog jump, TN, put my business cards in hands and interested some people in custom orders. All in all a good day.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I find it interesting that keep religion and politics out of business, only applies to left leaning politics, and non Christian religon. There are entire stores filled with Christian stuff, people who put religous themed posters and messages on their answering machines and advertise in the Christian business directory, but apparently, that's just fine. It's also fine if your politics are right wing. Print up shirts with big fat Confederate flags on them, and it's not 'keep your politics out of it", but god forbid if you speak about Bush.
I'm all set for the flea market tomorrow. Only 20 more small buttons to make, 25 more big ones, maybe a two or three bracelets, requiring 5 buttons each, small, and a few promotional ones for the bartering for space. I already have my prototype bracelet, so I will use that too. I'll also sell my necklace.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Flea Market Mojo

It seems that I'm all clear for the flea market Saturday! This is my first one, so wish me luck. I'm going to try to do a poems in the moment type thing as a gimmick, as I am fond of gimmicks. Speaking of gimmicks, some good slogans are coming in for the July contest, keep them coming. The person with the best slogans gets free buttons. Sweet,eh?

Saturday, July 03, 2004

It's Summer...

and I'm dabbling in jewelry production. Bracelets would be cool, I think, because it'd be like a charm bracelet. I made a little pendant, which is pretty ok. If I could get the knot tying down, the bracelets would be a nice addition to a flea market table.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

It's time for another site update

And it is a big one! First, I'd like to announce the July contest. Send the best slogan, and win a free grab bag! Also, there are lots of new buttons. The naughty buttons ones are my favorites, as they say "I'm Happy Because I Eat Cock/Pussy". I got the idea from an vintage advertisement that said "They are happy because they eat lard". In Bleeding Hearts, my favorite one days, Stop Blaming, Start Working, because I tend to see people get too smug and complacent in their calls for personal responsibility, and they actually forget their own responsibility for how things turn out.

A new button in Black Pride was sort of a toss up- it could be in several sections. However, I associate the phrase "Each One, Teach One" with blackness, so I put it in there. It's a good phrase for everyone though. Geek Buttons are back with a vengeance with Grrrl Gamer, Book Whore, and Comics Slut buttons. I wonder if they are a bit too feminine, but I don't know.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Auction Whore

Lately, I haven't been very adventurous with my eBay auctions. I have offered my perennial anti bush buttons, some Japanese woodprint buttons, and the like, but not anything I haven't sold before. (BTW: They are all ending today) Although, just now I listed a new Gustav Klimt button, and my old button maker that I started out with.
It was a good button maker, but it's just time to move on, you know?

It's hard for me to think of ways to sell most of my buttons, which are slogan buttons, that are not really connected with current pop culture trends on eBay. EBay is all about the keywords, and I can't think of any good ones. Some would say to just switch to pop culture trends, but that market is saturated, and plus, you have to always keep up with what's hot.

However, a good slogan can stay around for decades after whatever the hot new band one is ripping off's fame fades. All I have to do is think of good marketing.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Another Site Update

This one was a minature update. I just made more pages accessible(inculding this one) from the main page menu. I read a book called The Tipping Point, and am trying to find that perfect point of usabilty in which everything is optimal, so expect a lot more fooling around. If you want to help, please email me from this page.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Early Site Update

I have updated my site a little with some new button designs. One in the black pride section says "Fewer Excuses, More Justice", which expresses how I feel about race relations in this country. If as much time had been spent on solutions than on excuses for why people want to treat others badly, we'd be in utopia right now. In the bleeding hearts section, a button proclaims "No one lives in a vacuum". This button helps remind people that we are all connected, that no one is alone. The background is a beautiful photograph from NASA.

Also, in the art button section, there is George Klimt's Mada Primavesi. I have loved Klimt ever since I first laid my eyes on "The Kiss", which seems to be his most famous work.

Hopefully I can get more buttons out tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Business and Politics

My mom doesn't get it. She's like 'why don't you offer some pro Bush or pro life buttons?" I wanted to say "You don't see Dixie Outfitters with t shirts that say "The Confederate Flag sucks" or Christian merchants with shirts saying "Hail Satan". But then again, maybe broad based marketing was popular back in the day. Now, it's all about niches. If you can serve a small market well, that is better than if you serve a large market sloppily.


You can get ten custom buttons on the cheap here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

New Button Maker!

I got a new button maker, one of the ones from Tecre. It was really heavy, and since I felt a bit woozy today, I didn't understand the instructions at first. My first button came out with the paper on the outside, and the plastic on the inside. Then I got the hang of it, and everything is very nice. Pulling the handle down has a very final feel to it, and I felt a bit more established, having such a nice machine.

I didn't have one defective button except for the first one. This is much improvement over the Badge a Minit. I'm a bit worried about transport because it's just so heavy and stuff. I feel more prepared now, because I'm planning to go to the Memphis Flea Market in July, if I can think of more cheery, family friendly designs.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Another Mini Update

The grab bag section now has grab bags from all sections of the site. I like the grab bags idea- you get 5 random buttons from that section for cheap. I think it's a good way to sample if you're indecisive.

I've also restarted my google ad words campaign. I'm hoping to optimize it so that I get the sales without the expense. A really hard part about having a site is letting people know it is out there, especially if you're only a micro business.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Site Update

It's time for another site update this week. There are two new buttons in the feminist section this week, both saying "I'm not into Madonna whore complexes", one featuring Bettie Page, and another an anonymous Hawaiian girl from the 1920s or 30s. The sentiment comes from reading guys complain about dating girls that might have gasp had sex before. The idea that women are supposed to be putting their lives on hold is tired. Men wouldn't stand for it, and women shouldn't stand for it either.

Also, in Bleeding Hearts, if life gives you lemons, quit. This is a nice phrase, I think.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Feminist Buttons On Sale!

My whole feminist button section is on sale! 75 cents for 1 inch, and 1.50 for two inch! Button themes range from pro choice to advocating male responsibilty for rape to general feminist themes. Check them out!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Cassowary Buttons on Consignment

Cassowary Buttons and Divatribes have joined forces! I have consigned two unique button designs in the Divatribe store, which will be going live on June 21st, but come in and look around anyway.
Paypal Changes

You don't have to sign up for a paypal account to check out in Cassowary Buttons' secure check out! It's just click and go, and streamlines the experience for new users considerably.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Site Update

Today's update was a small one. I put up a button that says "The World Does Not Revolve Around White People" to my black pride section, which I am thinking of changing to black pride/anti racism because some of the buttons are anti racist, but I don't know yet, and a link to Urban Destiny, which has bags, and well, they actually look like pretty nice bags.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Cassowary Buttons Is Involved In a Contest!

With the help of other indie merchants from The Switchboards, I am part of a contest! With purchase of Cassowary Buttons goods, you can enter to win a basket worth nearly ninety dollars and packed with goodies from bracelets to earrings to purses to cards. Here are pictures of what is included. You not only get goodies, you help support indie merchants, which is very important, because the money from these goods can help keep a mom home with her child, give a college student extra time to study, and also employ people. America needs people who own their own businesses and keep the dollars in their community. The big box store may also sell purses, but they are made overseas with the hands of children, not employing people here at home. So, help the economy recover, buy from an indie merchant today.
Chugging Along in the Button Biz

My blog ad in Herectial Ideas is now up. Also, the site recieved a bit of tweaking- a new grab bag here, a few new links to other worthy merchants there.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Finally a site update!

Now that I can update my site again as fortunecity was having issues, I have created a feminist section, and am now carefully going into custom orders. I have done the latter with great trepidation, as working with different personalities is always a challenge, although an exciting one...

Sunday, May 30, 2004


I am thinking of starting a feminist button section when I can update my site again. I have some really good ideas, and have already started on the designs. You can see a preview here. I already have a few feminist buttons up already, but they are scattered, and that isn't the vision I have for my shop. I have many opinions on many issues, and so it's hard to get all of them down. Also, some things blend into each other. Do the more political of my black pride buttons buttons belong in the politics section? Well, it's part of the ambiguity of business, I guess.

Friday, May 21, 2004

On Cheap Buttons..

The entire geek buttons section is on sale. 1 inch buttons are 75 cents, 2 inch buttons are 1.50, and 4 button pin packs are a dollar off. Get anime buttons, manga buttons, comic buttons, and much more on the cheap!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

On Button Photos

I have added a page to my site. Now the fronts of buttons created for actual orders are displayed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

On Creamy Mami Buttons

I have added some new Creamy Mami buttons to my site. I may start making more buttons for more obscure shoujo shows. The reason is three fold. On one hand, it's something that not everyone with a button maker has thought of, as there are many different button sellers on the net, and on the other, while there are copy right problems, it is not as big a risk as others may take. For example, let's say, I start making Azumanga Daioh buttons. ADV, the American rights holder, is perfectly within its rights to tell me to cease and desist, and I would have to do so. While Studio Pierrot is well within its rights, derivative works seem to be stopped less often in Japan- as evidenced by the thousands of doujinshi(fan comics) sold openly at Comiket, and other markets. Also, I just like cute things, and shoujo(a term meaning 'for girls') anime is cute stuff, much unlike the sad stereotype that many porn hunters have of it.

In other news, I have started a lot of new ebay listings- get them while they are hot. I have also added a poll to Cassowary Buttons to serve customers better.

Monday, May 17, 2004

This is another picture of a 2 inch button back.  Posted by Hello

These are what the backs of my buttons look like. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Whore Those Auctions, Baby!

I don't want to clean my room, so I've been busy on eBay! I'm busting out with tons of new auctions! First, we have 2 inch Anti Bush Buttons- the usual "Anyone But Bush" "Anarchy 2004" etc. Then in a fit of unoriginailty, I have some Creamy Mami buttons for sale. Creamy Mami is an old school anime in which a young girl gains the abilty to transform into a singing sensation. Both 1 inch and 2 inch versions are avaliable. Of course, to tie in with my previous post, it's all about the risks you want to take. Putting copy righted material on eBay could get your auctions pulled. There are also some buttons based on Japanese wood block prints from the 30's. I love 'em, and here they are in 1 inch and 2 inch versions. Also, I have some great anti racism buttons, with original snarky slogans that will have you jumping with glee! I'm getting back in that eBay groove!
Copyright and the Button Maker

I was thinking about copyright, and found this page for collage artists, which I thought also applied to button makers. Often, people will think they can just stick celebrity pictures on a button, and since it's a derivative work, it should be fine, right? No. Or that because they got the image off the net, it's public domain, or because they aren't making a million bucks, they deserve to use anything they want. All of these are false beliefs. It's better to learn about potential problems beforehand, than complain when it arises. This site is just the first step. Learning copyright law may also protect you. When you create original buttons, you don't want someone to take your hard work, and use it. Also, for you determined to use other works, it can also show you the loopholes in which you can get your work through. (and selling a button is not 'fair use') and whether you are willing to take the risk.

Monday, May 10, 2004

On Auction Whoring

I have three button lot auctions on Ebay, for you who want the opportunity for a bargain. Here is an auction that is ending on Wednesday. It features a lot of buttons with slogans from "sex positive" to "mcdildo- I'm lovin' it". Another fun batch of buttons advertises a love of comics and manga to the world. These four fun buttons start at .99 cents. Of course, the best bargain is yet to come. Just listed today is a lot of political buttons starting at one cent. It can't get any lower than that, so take advantage. Well, that's it for today's auction whoring. Come back soon for button bargains.
On Live Journal

There are several Live Journal communities for button makers and button lovers alike. One of these is the Button Whores community. This community, attractively designed with black background, and pink font, caters to both makers and buyers of buttons. There are plenty of button sellers hawking their auctions, along with people asking for button making tips, and if they can find specific buttons.

It is more heavy on selling than buying, but less heavy than some other communities. There are many members, but many seem to just lurk. There are few controversies here- it's just good buttony fun.

Friday, May 07, 2004

On eBay

I'm a bit worried about Ebay's changes in its non paying bidder program. Where is the certainty of knowing the buyer will be out of there in three NPBs? What if the buyer instead can terrorize the sellers, and by extension, the other buyers. A seller's time should be used listing more bargains and attending to paying customers, not people who think that they are too good to pay. I think sellers should be protected more, because when all the decent sellers are chased off eBay, the good buyers will have no where to turn.
Remember the rule of thumb, people. If you would be embarrassed, kicked out, or banned from a retail shop for doing what you are doing, don't do it online.
Cassowary Sightings.

One of my buttons was inculded in Chateau Bizarre's May 3rd Finds Section! Woo~!
On Plugging Your Own Site

Today is Friday, and as promised, there is an update. There are political buttons- Sexy Lefty and John Kerry is a Douche Bag But I'm Voting for Him Anyway (named after the popular site) and a geek button (Magical Girls Rule!) Also, there are two new auctions with low starting bids, and John Kerry is a DoucheBag buttons are only 75 cents. See my sales page for details.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

There is a new sale at Cassowary Buttons. Every Child a Loved Child Buttons for 75 cents each. Check it out, and enjoy.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

On eBay

If you get a bidder like this, you need to be prepared. Here's a seller's toolbox for the bidders from hell.

1)Know EBay's policies. A customer sending harassing emails to other customers? Auction Interference. Bidding on your auctions just to leave negatives? Campaign to harass. These can be used to protect you when you get a numpty.

2)Be clear in your auctions! Put up a photo of the exact item you are selling. Make it clear. State your policies clearly in the auction, so you can refer back to them.

3)Use delivery confirmation. Protect yourself against fake claims of an item lost.

4)State that you will not take returns without proof. If you have a too lenient return policy, people will take advantage and fast.

5)Don't be afraid for your feedback. You need to discourage these people, not encourage them. Don't be afraid of negatives, and don't bend to unreasonable demands. If you get a negative, post clear, factual replies. The bidders who know what they are doing will note this. Also, if they use profanity, or put your contact information in feedback, you can get it removed.

6)If they don't pay, file non paying bidder, and file for a final value fee credit. Three of these from different sellers can kick a bidder off. Don't make things worse for other sellers! Report these!

Friday, April 30, 2004

I revamped my site. Now there are art buttons for sale and grab bags, just in case you're crusing for a deal. I also added a sales section in which special offers and auctions will be advertised. Of course, there are new buttons in the black pride, and bleeding hearts sections of the site.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

On Resolution

300 DPI is the recommended resolution for button making, but it'll take a bit of fiddling before one figures out how to get them to print at the desired size.(at least it did for me, you readers may be on top of things) The way I finally figured it out is (I use the GIMP) adjust the pixels per inch first, then figure out how many pixels are needed to be the number of inches I need. I guess this sounds basic, and is in fact probably doesn't work on many graphics programs that don't tell how many inches something will print out at, but I recognize that not everyone is at the same level, and maybe others will feel helped by this silly tibit. I find that 800 pixels is good for 2 inchers, and 400 is good for 1 inchers, but your mileage may vary.

Monday, April 26, 2004

The Philosophy of Button Making

Button making for business or pleasure- one of the most important things to think about as a button maker is whether you're doing it for fun or profit. Only you can decide whether you'd rather make buttons that only promote your own beliefs, or whatever makes the most profit. More on this later.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

On Auction Whoring

I'm auctioning off four buttons based on Ruben's 4 Negro Heads. 1 inchers all. Come in and look! Also, on the more practical side, here is a link about resolution, which is an important thing to keep in mind for those printing out more photographic buttons.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Cassowary News

My site, Cassowary Buttons, has undergone an overhaul. There's a new look, and shopping has been made easier. There is also a new geek buttons section, and new buttons in the political and naughty buttons section. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Random Button Thoughts

I seem to end up with better buttons in the morning. Whether that has to do with general energy levels or just some strange fluke, I do not know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Button Shop Review

Titancia's Buttons- Overall a fairly well organized site. There are custom buttons and premade buttons, which are 1 inch and $1 each. Navigation is pretty straight forward- although the words buttons should be divided up by subject manner, otherwise, this site offers a variety of buttons from fairy buttons to buttons about the joys of being vegetarian. Overall, a cute site.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

On Changing Your Mind

I've decided to make this blog my site's official blog. I'll still have tips and tricks, button store reviews, and button making thoughts, but I'll also advertise specials and new buttons.
On Button Makers

As I have said before, the machine you need for button making varies with your need. If you're only going to be making five buttons ever, a plastic handheld one should be fine. But for selling purposes, I'm starting to think a metal one would be better. The downside is that the lowest one can find is $150. But the high failure rates and slow workings of a handheld will constrain you, and that's how you know it's time for another button maker.

Monday, April 19, 2004

A Plug

I'll try to keep the plugs to a minimum, but I do have a buttons site. I am having a special sale on defective buttons- buttons that still pin, but may not be sealed all the way around, or something. 25 cents each. To keep this useful, I'll note that it's fairly hard to avoid defectives on a handheld button machine. I hope to upgrade soon.
Tips and Tricks

Slogans are always a popular thing to put on buttons. But there is an art to creating good slogans.

1)Keep it short and snappy. You want people to be able to read the buttons.

2)Parody is good, but hard to do.

3)Revise, revise, revise- sometimes the first thing you think up isn't the funniest

4)Keep a notepad for ideas.

5)If you want a picture with a slogan, make it so you can read both the slogan and make out the picture.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Button Shop Review

I will review button shops to cover the button making web. Today's review is is one of the most popular sites. It offers buttons which are usually around 1 inch to 1 3/4 inches, with the occasional two inch button. I have ordered before, and they seem fine to me, but I'm not a button expert. It is a bit pricy- $2 for 1 inch buttons? But since they are so popular, I guess they can charge that much. Slogans tend to be leftist, starting with atheist slogans, but going into prochoice, anti Republican and pagan slogans.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Tips and Tricks

Although I am just starting out, this is the internet, so of course, I feel qualified to tell other people tips and tricks about button making. Of course, this is not absolute, jump in, with a tip on the comments, you know? The badge a minit handheld button makers seem to have a sweet spot near the end of the handle. I can tell because I can feel the button being pressed together. When I use that sweet spot, I seem to get less defectives.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Button Making For Beginners

Where do I get images?

There are dozens of places to get images for buttons. Photos of friends and family, drawings you have created, designs purchased from others, graphics and text created in graphics programs. I'd like to advise caution in using copyrighted images for buttons to sell, especially on eBay. It's best to err on the side of caution. About copyright- just because it's on the internet does not mean it is public domain, copyright terms have been extended to 70 years recently also. Anyway, it's more creative to use something unique than the same overused stars.

Photos: Don't use an irreplaceable photo for your button. Make a copy of it, and then cut the copy to size.

Graphics Programs: There are many programs available- Adobe Photoshop, and the GIMP being the most popular. I personally prefer the GIMP as it is truly free. Of course, it's all made by amateurs, so sometimes it is a bit wonky.

Handdrawn: Make a copy of your drawing, perhaps scanning it and then printing it out before using it to make a button.

Remember that the images have to be the right size, too. Usually buttons are one to two inches in diameter.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Button Making for Beginners

My button making for beginners posts will be all about the basics of button making for people who want to give it a try. What tools are needed, where to get them, and how to use them once you get them are topics that will be covered. Today's post is how to choose a button maker.

To make buttons, you need a button maker. It can be anything from a handheld one to a fully automatic one. It all depends on what you want to do- share buttons with family and friends, start a business, or promote a special event. If you just want to share with your family, or even just start a small business, going for the high end $600 button maker might not be the best bet.
Handheld button makers are cheapest, but are more difficult for people with low hand strength, and may turn out defectives more often.
Bench button makers are standalone button makers that you push down on a plunger or handle to create the button.
Automatic button makers do not require pushing a plunger and instead are 'push button' systems. Bench and Automatic systems make it easier to make more buttons faster, but they are more expensive.

There are many different manufacturers, including Badge a Minit, Dr. Don's Buttons, USA Buttons Button Biz and many more. I personally use Badge a Minit, but there are many other brands out there.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Welcome to Button Maker's Ball. This blog is for button makers and button lovers of all types. I'll write about button making tips and interesting button related developments.