Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

May you all have a safe &  wonderful New Year! We'll see you in 2011 with more interviews, projects and show updates.

Take care!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Guest Interview - Pat Turpen from GCat Studios

Today's interview is with Pat Turpen from GCat Studios. Pat has been playing with photography for over 20 years, but just recently started his business around it. He's been my clothing photographer for the last 10 years.

What got you started in your business?
Basically being unemployed got me to start up. I had no revenue coming so it was time to buckle up and see if I could actually sell my services.

How long have you been in business?

Not very long. Maybe a year.

What are you focused on right now?

Mostly scenic shots around San Diego. People love this city and it shows. I have sold a lot of cityscapes and random abstracts that people can identify with.

How do you balance real life, work and your business?

This is my work and real life at the present. I'll go out for a couple of hours just looking for things to shoot if I don't have an idea already lined up. I'm working pretty much all the time when I have a camera in my hand.

Are there any local businesses or artisans that you are exited about right now?

I love working with Dark Goddess crew and I feel lucky to be the only guy in the group. I hope this group can go further with this endeavor too. A lot of great gals are putting a lot of hard work together for people.

Any tips for setting up a table for vending?

In photography a table is all about getting your work seen. Also letting people know it's OK to look through books and pictures that are there. Pricing is also key, you want to be able to have a price available so you don't have to think one up on the fly or if you're away from the table someone there can handle a transaction for you without having to wait for you to return.

Do you have any upcoming shows that you are doing?

Hopefully a January Dark Goddess show.

Do you have any suggestions for getting your name out to the public?

The internet. It's the best and most widely accepted way to get your name out. Plus leaving your card in local shops is a good thing as well.

What is one thing you would like people to know about you or your business?

I take requests.

Do you have a website, blog, store front ?

The main site is and it will be up before the end of Jan. Meanwhile, I'm going to be doing a lot of advertising and showcasing on my Facebook page. I have a raffle going on right now till the end of the month (December). or just look up Gcat-Studios. I'll also be looking into an Etsy Store as well.

 Is there anything else that you would like to add?

While I don't do events or weddings I am looking to start some portraits. Mostly of children and pets because they're a lot easier to work with and for some odd reason kids love me. I also do product photography. If you need your merchandise shot for a website I can do that as well. I'm very open to creative shoots that a lot of people stray away from. So if you need something done drop me a line and lets see what we can do.

Like Pat said he's available for portrais, product shots or other ideas that you may have. If you interested in getting in touch with him, he can be reached via email or on his facebook page.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guest Interview- Kari Niebell

Today is our first guest interview in a series and we're talking with Kari Niebell, the founder of Dark Goddess and owner of Biejo by Kari.

What prompted you to start the Dark Goddess event?
 I think cross-promotion is a powerful tool. I felt that each of the entrepreneurs that I invited to join Dark Goddess had a commonality in their client base. This commonality being individuals who prefer their fashion and art a little dark of center. It has resulted in increased exposure for each of us. Not to mention, the events are a lot of fun!
How long have you been doing the Dark Goddess events?
Dark Goddess launched on 6-6-2010.
Where do you see the Dark Goddess event going?
I would like to see Dark Goddess Events expand. We are outgrowing our current location. I would like to see it become a traveling event; taking place at other various locations such as night clubs, hair salons, even homes. I would also like to see additional Goddesses get involved.

How frequently do you hold the event?
Dark Goddess events typically occur every two months. This schedule has changed from time to time to accommodate holidays and special guests.

What got you started in your business?
I was working in the tech industry for 17 years and was recently laid off. I decided I wanted more control over my future. In parallel to that, a friend of mine was carrying this beautiful handbag; when I inquired, she explained that it was a company called "Beijo" and it is designed to be a work-from-home business.
How long have you been in business? 
Since April 2010

What are you focused on right now?
I am focused on establishing and maintaining a customer base as well as creating an on-line awareness.

How do you balance real life, family, work and your business? 
Currently, Beijo is my full-time job. Also, my showroom is a short walk from my home, so it is very easy to work whatever hours I choose, and still be available for customers when they need me.I am fortunate enough to have an incredibly supportive boyfriend who not only attends and helps at most of my events, but also shares his Real Estate office with me and my business. Beijo is very integrated in both of our lives.

Are there any local businesses or artisans that you are exited about right now? 
I am very excited about a boutique hand-made jewelry line that will soon be integrated exclusively into my business. Details will be announced soon.

Any tips for setting up a table for vending? 
It's not about covering every possible inch with merchandise. Less is more and makes it easier to shop. It is also good to utilize height whenever possible.

Do you have any upcoming shows that you are doing? 
I have a few home parties scheduled. They are always a lot of fun!

Do you have any suggestions for getting your name out to the public?
Create a facebook page for your business and always carry business cards. There are also many good networking groups.

What is one thing you would like people to know about you or your business?
You will always get more for your money with Beijo. If you were to buy a comparable handbag at a department store you would spend at least 3 times as much. Also, Beijo Bags are extremely durable.

Do you have a website, blog, or store front ?
I also have a showroom inside Lew Breeze's Real Estate Office in Little Italy: 1774 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101.

Is there anything else that you would like to add? 
My business is flexible and adaptable. I am available to share my Beijo collection with my clients at my showroom, private parties, or events.

Kari is available for home parties and other vending opportunities and can be contacted via email at, via twitter , or on her facebook page.

Thank you to Kari for taking the time to answer my questions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meet some crafters!

Starting later this week or early next week, I"ll be featuring some interviews with some great friends and fabulous small business owners from the Dark Goddess Event and some other great local artisans!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back to the beginning from whence I came.

When I initially started my business my original intent was to do clothing on a regular basis and somewhere down the road I got away from it. I started doing side projects like the wood burned boxes and ornaments and really had fun doing them. While they are still fun to do, I've decided to go back to my "roots" per say and start doing more clothing. I'll still do the little things here and there, but I really want to get back to my original plan of attack.

Earlier this week I started that plan by drafting a Victorian/Western Era Men's Vest and have a set of size ranges from 38-44. I'm going to go all the way up to a size 52. In addition to that I'm going to do some shirts from the same era in the same size ranges.

I'm also hoping to scale the patterns down for boys' sizes as well.

I also want to make a few ascots and maybe even a frock coat or two and some pants.

Once I get all the patterns solid, I'll be making a trip up to the Garment District for some fabric and notions to start doing production. I'm not sure how many of each size I'll do, or if I'll do the entire size range in the same fabrics. That's something I'll play be ear when I start fabric shopping. There are also some specific things that I want to find button wise for the vests which will also determine how construction goes.

The new website design is still in the "sketched out" stage and of course when I got myself motivated to actually sit down and do some coding, I had found that my HTML book had gone MIA. It probably ran off with the power cord to my embroidery machine, which I expect to find now since I bought a replacement.

I'm also planning on doing a batch of homemade gifts for family and friends this year too. Hopefully time (and motivation) will allow me to get accomplished what I would like.

Photos are finally unloaded from the camera and I'll hopefully be getting up some photos of the aprons that I've done.

Until then, happy crafting.