After a lot of typing and picture taking, I am proud to announce my first ever tutorial. This one details the steps to making a paperbag scrapbook. Yes, Paperbags - like in, Lunch bags! When you see the finished product, you won't believe that the base is just that brown paper that your kids take to school everyday. And the cost is so minimal to make the basic book, you may be making them for everyone you know! Give it a try and let me know how it works for you! It'll help me develop even better lessons in the future! Good Luck!
I hosted the second to last class for Beginning Crochet this evening and I must say, I'll miss this! With 5 ladies and an 8 year old girl in attendance, we had a blast (as I will admit I've had in every class)! ALL the adults were crocheting scarves before the end of the evening and doing an incredible job, I might add. It's a shame that this won't continue.......... I would like to say "Thanks, Ladies. I've had a great time and it was a privilege to teach you". One student suggested that I continue the classes out of my home - since renting a venue was the "Killer" of this business. I'll have to see how to generate interest and getting the word out. It's definitely something I would consider, but getting participation has been the challenge. The interest is there, it's the follow through that stumps me. If you'd like to express interest, just email me. If there's enough participants, I will certainly arrange something. This is just too much fun - and the best "Ladies night out" I've ever had!
After reviewing my last blog entry, I have to say some interesting thoughts crossed my mind. They are about crafting in general......
Crafting is so much more than a bottle of glue, paper, yarn scissors and what have you. It's more than what you do with them, even. Anyone, for the most part, can follow some simple instructions and create a scarf, a Christmas ornament, or a journal made from recycled materials. Putting some beads and wire together to form tomorrow's accessory is not about patience or how well you can see.
Crafting is like a chemistry experiment. You take elements that, alone, have very little value (say glue, paper and scissors) and reconstruct their properties to create something that now gives them value. A ball of yarn and a crochet hook have little value sitting on your shelf. Create a fashionable hat with them, and you have an item that just may save your life in a blizzard. It's like mixing hydrogen with oxygen. By themselves, their value is limited. Mixed, they give life to almost everything on earth.
So crafting, in the right context, has tremendous value. It's not just what you do with the components, it's about the many ways you can rearrange those components.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, knowing how to "rearrange" the elements can mean the difference of surviving or dying. That's what crafting is......... understanding exactly what being creative means. I often hear "I'm just not creative" and therefore a student thinks they have no ability to craft. But learning the simple "how to's" can go far in your life. Learning basic crochet stitches for example, can allow you to use ropes or tree fibers to create life saving apparatus. Learning polymer clay techniques might make your pie baking results look like blue ribbon entries. Sewing skills can help you mend a tent, or bind a book should the need arise.
I think the creativity that everyone thinks they lack is just simply carrying your skills further than your kitchen table while making a clay figurine. Think about it...... because I'm having trouble articulating this thought! lol
It is with heavy heart that I have decided to close the Crafting Classes portion of this business. It was a difficult decision, but one that was out of my control. Let me explain.....
When I signed with the coupon company, Living Social, they explained that they only run an ad IF you agree to reduce your fees by at least 50%. I agreed. Then they also explained that THEY get 1/2 of the amount collected. A HUGE fee for a small business like this (so I only received $5.00 for each student) - but I thought "if it brings in customers, and those customers take additional classes or tell friends about this, it would be worth it". EVERYONE loved the classes that they signed up for! EVERYONE!
So my part as an instructor was satisfied. Out of 100 students, maybe ONE couldn't "get it". My success ratio was phenomenal! I couldn't wait to see a lot of the students return..... but no one did. I gave coupons for discounts on second classes, I made "special" schedules according to what everyone told me they wanted, and I even offered some really nice gifts for second time students - still no one signed up for another class. I created a facebook page in hopes of "spreading the word" and even ran contests - still no interest in helping me grow this business.
I had to pay for the room we used on a "per usage" basis, so if I needed the room for one night, I paid the nightly fee. MANY times there was only one or two students for a class so I lost money. Only once did I have enough students in one class to pay for the room. And I continued to lose money waiting for return customers. Many students called and asked if they could bring a friend for the same coupon deal - of course I agreed. I did many favors in hopes of building this business the right way - not realizing that no one is willing to pay full price for a service. I am naive, I guess.
So with this, I have come to the realization that the true crafters of the world, those that appreciate what a talent it is, are far and few between and that those who have shown an interest are not serious enough for me to continue to invest time and money any longer.
Thank you to those who redeemed their coupons in a timely manner - that was the first and most important step in trying to make this business work. For the remainder of you who still have coupons, there's just no way I can continue to rent a room for one or two people at a time so I will be holding a final two classes from my home. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a seat.
This has been quite an adventure and learning experience, albeit an eye-opener. I've met some wonderful ladies and the laughter we generated was worth the diminishing bank account. Thanks for the ride, ladies!