Updated: Jul 22
Spring is about transformation, with the crocus flowers poking through the snow and the buds appearing on the trees as they wake from their long winter slumber. The warmer days and below freezing nights are perfect for the Vermont maples to give us sap for our maple syrup. We are fortunate, our neighbors make their own and they are quite generous with their left-overs.
As the big day that makes it official (March 21st, the first day of spring) is nearing, I am feeling inspired to make new things. But I haven't just been haphazardly throwing new combinations together, I've been doing my research.
Now mind you, it's hard to know which direction to take my dolls when I am basically the only person in the world right now who sells these little gals, at least with any sort of web presence and maybe the only one who's making them. Market research is challenging in this case.
I've relied a lot on the opinions and advice of those around me. Family, friends, and just anyone who will listen, give me their ideas on how to improve. Here are a few from my very own dear husband. They are the inspiration for this week's Darling.
1. Give the dolls individual names. I'm not horribly fond of this idea because it's a lot of extra work and I think it is an unnecessary marketing gimmick. But he has been right with so many other things, I thought I'd give it a chance.
2. Get rid of the wings that are made of scrapbook paper. This I agreed with wholeheartedly. I had been told by more than one person that they just didn't look like wings. They were shaped like wings but the patterns on the paper were distracting.
3. Make all my wings hand painted. If I want to get people interested to buy them I should give them a truly handmade experience and make every part of them with my hands. The only exception is my pixies because they already had pre-printed wings, which I personally really like, and so must others because I just got my first wholesale order for them.
4. Don't make any more One of a Kind dolls. Take the ones I have and make duplicates. I thought this might be difficult given the wings are hand painted, but I am finding it is not really that hard to hand paint two sets of wings the same color. There are only slight differences in them. I told him I'd like to make one new doll a month and release it as a limited edition. He didn't like that idea but hey, I gotta do my own thing sometimes.
5. Take a break sometimes. Sorry honey, this just isn't an option. A soloprenuer never rests.
This week's darling started her life looking quite different than she does now. I think the transformation is a success.
Here is Orabella before and after:
Indeed, She's come a long way baby.