Posts filed under ‘my biz’

learning to be a brand

May 29, 2012 at 7:00 am 1 comment

training wheels

Identity in the age of extroverts…

I’ve been waiting to receive a book I ordered from the library called  Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. I’d like confirmation that introverts can do public things even though they would really rather just be home with a good book.

I opened up my e-shop for business on Tuesday and stepped through a doorway that I didn’t even know was there. The first feeling was excitement followed by dawning dismay as a trickle of orders (2 to be exact) showed me that this was not going to be easy. As a matter of fact, it was going to be damn hard to go from zero to being an established brand. That was the first clear insight. I am awestruck by how quickly perceptions pivot once we step off the cliff.

Now that my eyes were wide open and my mood dropping faster than an untethered elevator, a good friend shined a light on another more tricky problem. What exactly was I selling anyway? Was I making art sold as greeting cards or did I really want to sell greeting cards with my artful and skewed take on life? Good question.

I’m not sure I can answer it just yet but I think it calls for a clear-eyed culling of my images and adding some words or punchlines which communicate a reasonably authentic sentiment. Now I bet you are wondering how I could not know greeting card 101, but maybe I wanted to bypass having to really tell anyone my feelings. I guess all that therapy didn’t prepare me for this.

Stay tuned.


May 25, 2012 at 7:00 am 1 comment

(almost) ye ole greeting card shop

I’m for sale! Well, not me exactly but my images are looking for good homes.

Slowly, I am figuring out how to sell my work and by extension, how to talk about it. I’ve made an interim shop on ETSY while my website is under construction. The Etsy shop will help me practice fulfilling paper card orders and ironing out the kinks with printing and shipping.

So, take it for a spin and let me know what you think! This reminds me of when I was 8 or 9 and my best friend and I sold paper flowers from a cart on Main Street in Quogue. The tools are vastly different but the excitement is the same. Enjoy!

May 22, 2012 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

pep talk from Ira Glass on refining your craft

Ira Glass, the creator of This American Life, developed a new genre for radio by telling the stories we needed to hear. I found an inspiring interview with him discussing the chasm between our taste – what we know is good work – and our ability to make work (insert your artform here) that lives up to that ideal. His advice: don’t give up and practice, practice, practice.

May 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm 1 comment

Sweetest Valentine

Field Notes: Red Blooded from Coudal Partners on Vimeo.

Okay, I know this is selling field notes but what a way to say I love you! Why does this intrigue me? I think that it gets to the sentiment without being sentimental.

I have been thinking about launching my own greeting card design company for a thousand years (more like 10) and I worry about that fine line between cliche and talking about stuff that really moves us in an authentic way. My work tends to be obscure because I don’t know how to communicate the feelings any other way. Or am I afraid of showing you how I really feel? Oy! Probably a mix of the two. So, will greeting cards be my way of feeling out loud? I’m terrified just thinking about it.

February 4, 2012 at 11:51 am 2 comments

Women entrepreneurs

I have been thinking about starting my own business for a very long time. My parents were entrepreneurs. On the outside, I thought I had a different path from theirs. On the inside, I chaffed at being tied down to any one company. My recent all time record for staying in one job was 6 years at a small Kansas university. Everyone around me there had unbelievable careers – 40 years, 30 years – even 10 sounded like a lot to me.

8 years ago, I thought, okay now it’s time to leap. I moved to Kansas from New York City with my husband at the time. My goal was to start a greeting card business. The midwest would be a less expensive place to live, he would work as a professor and I would make art all day. I spent the first year in heaven preparing for the annual Stationery Show in NY. I made tons of art for cards and packed it all up and sat in my booth at the show for 4 days trying to get noticed. I was told my work was too edgy by Hallmark but Recycled Greetings thought I had potential and tried to help me give my punchlines more mass appeal. The art director loved my work but could not convince his boss to take the next step.

Life then took a series of left turns – my husband and I bought a house, I took a job at the university to help with the mortgage, the job took on a life of its own and last but not least, the marriage ended. Needless to say, the dream was sitting on the back burner with barely a flame to keep it cooking throughout all these changes.

So now, after pulling up roots in Kansas and moving back to New York to figure out my next steps, I have turned up the flame on my business again. I watched this inspiring video today about women entrepenuers. Small businesses are the backbone of the new economy. Go women!

January 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm 3 comments


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