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Old 07-18-2012, 08:53
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Question What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

To help the new hair bow makers like myself, what are some mistakes that you made when you first started making or selling bows that you have learned from, and what advice can you give to us?
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:48
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

Oh I like this post! Great idea!
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:21
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

using a hot glue gun is way too messy! I try to always use E6000 glue... it hold better and is easily controled when using a toothpick to spread it out.
Also, picture make all the difference in the world, when trying to sell something!
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:27
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

I think my first mistake was buying the first tutorial I came across on the Internet. It was junk!! Within a week of buying it, I found so much free information and tutorials that were worth buying. Also, I was listening to people on YouTube for advice.....wrong again! I have deleted about 90% of the channels I had subscribed to. That being said my advice would be to take it slow & do your research (this forum is now the only place I look to when I have questions). Making bows is easy, making quality bows that you will be proud of takes practice and hard work
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:36
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

For me, the biggest mistake was buying supplies for retail in the stores. Even with a coupon it was still racking up the money. Now I cannot even imagine paying retail prices for supplies, unless I run out of something and absolutely need it when time is an issue. That was my biggest and most costly mistake lol. So I would do research online to see where you can get stuff for better deals. And of course I died and went to heaven when I discovered the glory of group buys
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:56
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

Let's see--

1) don't steal pictures. You WILL be found out and then your reputation will be tarnished and it will be hard to regain trust

2) Practice makes perfect. We all think our first bows/headbands/clips are great but now when I look back at the first stuff I have I can't believe I actually thought it looked good!

3) Packaging is super important. Buy nice boxes for bows, polymailers for shabby headbands and be sure to make it look nice. I wrap my items in pretty tissue paper and include a packing slip and a business card. All of my items come on bow or headband cards and I HAND WRITE a thank you on the packing slip. No one wants something that comes packed sloppy. Part of ordering online is the excitement of opening the package IMO.

4) Don't undersell your products or undercut the market!!!!! If you sell online do your research and find out what the median price is for the item you are selling. If you are selling locally don't undercut the other local businesses. That does no one any good and you won't make a profit.

5) Figure out a formula that will help you make a profit. Set an amount you want to pay yourself per hour. Then figure out how much time it takes you to make each one of your items. Figure out the cost of the item you make and then add your "fee" in. That should give you a MINIMUM of what to charge. Don't forget to include Paypal fees into your pricing. I add the cost of my shipping materials (labels, boxes, tissue paper, cards, etc) into the shipping cost. Yes, it only cost $1.67 to mail a 3 oz package but I need to pay for all the materials that went into the packaging.

6) Your pictures need to be CLEAR. Use the macro setting on your camera. No stray hairs, toys in the background, junk on the counter, etc. Get some scrapbook paper from the craft store and use it to stage your photos. Good lighting is key. Don't forget to watermark them.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:11
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

I don't see my bows but I got a couple of tutorials as well. they were crap don't buy them. When you are first starting start with the 100's of free tutorials. If you use the search button on here there is an Unlimited supply of WISDOM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:19
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

At the beginning I was way too excited and ran out and bought TONS of ribbon. It was a long time before I saw a profit because I had already spent a ton on supplies. Plus, I ended up liking to make different kinds of clips than I originally set out to make, so I had extra unused ribbon. I found ways to use most everything or sell it off, but I should have been patient and only bought a little at a time in the beginning.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:28
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

I actually purchased TONS of ribbon straight out of the gate thinking I was in for a bow biz only to find that I do not like to mass produce anything. (So boring for my designing mind!!) I think that you need to get your techniques down, figure out what you love and go from there. Don't jump in to every group buy and don't buy tons of anything until you know that you will use it. (On the plus side, I now have a massive ribbon stash for when I am designing that frequently comes in handy. )

Focus on quality, AMAZING photos, networking and make sure that you LOVE what you are doing or it will not be a successful business.

Also, I just had to add that not all tutorials are crap.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:30
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnathanMagz View Post
At the beginning I was way too excited and ran out and bought TONS of ribbon. It was a long time before I saw a profit because I had already spent a ton on supplies. Plus, I ended up liking to make different kinds of clips than I originally set out to make, so I had extra unused ribbon. I found ways to use most everything or sell it off, but I should have been patient and only bought a little at a time in the beginning.
Ditto this!!
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