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If you've been keeping up with what has been happening over at Happy Cactus lately, then you are aware that I'm preparing to launch a collection of one-of-a-kind hand embroidered artwork. You can read some more background details via this earlier blog post.
Launching a new product category takes an incredible amount of time and effort. Here's a peek behind-the-scenes at some of the stages I've gone through to prep these works for sale.
Stitching: First, I have been building an inventory of hand embroidered pieces that I will be making available for sale. Each piece takes a number of hours to complete (it obviously varies by size and detail) and I usually work on one piece over a number of days before moving onto the next one. The pieces vary in size from about 1 inch to 5 inches.
Market Research: I've done quite a bit of market research to see what is out there in the market along the lines of what I'm doing. What is being offered in the "wall art" category? I haven't limited my research exclusively to embroidery; rather, I have been looking at all sorts of textile and fiber art, fine art, and lower end pieces. There is quite a range!
Making Decisions: I knew from the get-go that I wanted to sell my pieces of embroidery framed and with custom mat boards that coordinate with and complement the linen and embroidery work. I spent a lot of time sourcing samples of frames and mats and playing around with ideas. Quality is extremely important to me, and I am so pleased to be working with a wonderful American vendor that offers extremely well made frames and beautiful mat boards.
Product Photography and Descriptions: As I get closer to the launch of the collection, I have been diligently working on product photography that shows off the pieces in their best light. Additionally, I've been working on product descriptions and other collateral.
To be the first to hear when these pieces are up for sale, sign up for the Happy Cactus Designs newsletter here. Follow along on Instagram (@happycactusdesigns) where I often share works in progress (#happycactusembroidery).
Do you love scouring Pinterest for beautiful images and ideas as much as me? It's also a great place to discover items that I want to buy (hello new bedside table) and to create wishlists. Pinterest recently launched Buy It buttons on Pinterest where you can safely and securely buy products through the app.
As of the publishing of this post, the Buy It button is only available on Pinterest's iPhone and iPad apps in the United States. I'm excited that you can now shop Happy Cactus Designs' products via the Buy It button. An enormous percentage of my site traffic comes from Pinterest, so I'm hoping this will be a great new avenue for discovery and sales.
It's time for a big summer sale!
Take 25% off with discount code SUMMER. Sale ends Sunday, July 26.
Stock up on thank you notes, notepads, birthday cards, and even Christmas items! Click here to shop the sale.
An assortment of favorite gold objects in my office right now:
Porcelain Cactus Dish by The Object Enthusiast
Gold Foil Balloon Birthday Card by Happy Cactus
Washi Tape by MT Tape
Earrings (old) by J. Crew
Gold Leather Pouch by Baggu
I am in the midst of designing new cards that will be released later this summer. One card in particular could not wait, though! I'm excited to share the brand new hand-painted Rainbow Dot Heart card that I released early following the Supreme Court's historic marriage legalizing gay marriage. Find it in the shop here.
I'm excited to share that Happy Cactus' Good Vibes and Positive Thoughts card is featured in July's Mommy Mailbox. Mommy Mailbox is a monthly subscription box that features awesome lifestyle products with the goal of uplifting moms. See all of the other fun items included in this month's box here.
Image via @mommymailbox
As I explained in a guest blog post on Oh So Beautiful Paper last month:
At the end of 2014 I was sidelined with a major ankle injury I sustained while running (note to self: watch out for those curbs!). Being on crutches and laid up for weeks, I knew I would soon be going stir crazy. I had dabbled briefly with hand embroidery a few years before and thought now would be the perfect time to pick it back up. I ordered a number of supplies online (since I couldn’t drive anywhere), delved deep into some online video tutorials I discovered via my old pal Google, and began creating some pieces of work.
As with my hand-illustrated paper goods, I am completely self-taught in the art of hand-embroidery. What started as a fun side project has turned into something more as folks have begun inquiring about purchasing my work, if I offer patterns, and requests for custom pieces.
I am in the midst of planning to sell pieces from this one of a kind collection in the near future. My intention is to offer them as contemporary pieces of art ready to hang on your wall. This is not your grandmother's old timey hoop art (no offense to your grandmothers!) and I am excited to soon offer unique pieces to adorn your walls. To learn about when the collection launches sign up for my newsletter here or at the bottom of this page.