Live From the Cluttered Workbench

Live From the Workbench - 11-18-2021

We’re heading into the last few weeks of the year and I still don’t have all my inventory up in the shop! ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

Which comes as a surprise to no one (at least not if you’ve been following me for a bit), but since I’m only $50 (net) from breaking even this year it’s also a little frustrating.

But I do have a lot more of it up than I did at the beginning of the year and I’m loads closer to break even than last year, so I’m counting it as a win!

(…but I’m still throwing a few bucks into a Facebook add and I’ll be doing some other cross-posting in the hopes of squeaking out a proper year in the black.)

On a happier note, sometime between now and next update, I’m planning on revamping the art room a bit. So next photo I post should have nice shiny new desk and a bunch of additional storage to show off.

Etsy Reloaded

Etsy Shop - November 2021 - Martha Bechtel

As much as the new fee structure drives me up a wall– I need the reach that Etsy brings when it comes to holiday shoppers. So I’ve reluctantly reloaded a few of the items into my store.

I renewed the various ‘paint your own’ options, the 5-inch fences (I bumped up the price by a buck to hopefully cover the extra fees), and some new Saturday Story Prompt PDF workbooks. I meant to sculpt a new ornament for this year but got sidetracked by other things.

I’ve got a bunch more workbooks to create (there are twenty 31 Days books) and I have some ideas for day planner printables for writers that will wander on up as well.

I also picked the ‘free shipping over $35’ option. We’ll see if that turns out to be a horrible idea or not. ๐Ÿ˜…

For the moment I’m only going to be listing the ‘can make more than one of’ items to Etsy all the OOAKs will remain in the shop here.


2019 Small Business Relaunch

I had a very crazily detailed spreadsheet that tracked the materials used for each piece of artwork. It was complex and glorious… and way too detailed.

So part of what I’ve been doing is going back and labeling things ‘consumables’ and ‘non-consumables. Paint, sealer, wood glue, etc. have all gone in the ‘consumables’ bin and are no longer being tracked as part of the materials cost for a specific artwork.

I’m still waffling over if I should count time ‘cost’ when setting the prices because I do this for fun (and to hopefully break-even) and am not looking to make a living from it. I love making the little magnets, but casting, prepping, painting, and photographing them takes a good chunk of time. At minimum wage they are… insanely overpriced.

For a while, I just listed things at 2 x cost + taxes and called it a day. Looking at the spreadsheets, 3 x cost + tax with a minimum floor of $5 seems workable. ๐Ÿค”

Or I could just offer discounts when folks buy multiple things! (I’ve put up a trial of this on the shop, we’ll see how it goes.)

A Herd of Stablemates

Custom Breyer Stablemates - Martha Bechtel - October 2021 Sales Herd

Only one of the new four horses have cantered off home, so the ‘ready to rumble’ herd in the store is growing by leaps and bounds. I have another four that just need detailing done, but I’m not sure when I’m going to get back around to finishing them off.

I need to whip up some sort of ‘Arting Schedule’ for next year and get a guesstimate down on how many things I think I can finish up. Mom was talking about maybe getting out to do some fairs next year (on top of the one she runs) and that’s got the artists Muses rolling.

But first I need to finish cleaning up the art room.

And posting all the existing inventory.

And redoing all the pricing.

And, and, and… anywho… ONWARDS! ๐Ÿ˜

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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