Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homefront Team June Summary

Happy 4th of July everyone! This greeting comes a bit early as I gear up to go camping! It's our Alabama tradition. I am opening this email with my Spirit of America Scarf. You didn't know Florida Scarf was so patriotic, did you?
The rest of this blog post will be for my fellow Homefront Team Members.
I'm going to say (in the nicest way possible) that I am glad we survived June and are entering July with full speed. I spent all of my effforts trying to learn as much as I could about our 300 members. (This is a tough job for many reasons) One of the primary ways I did that was through our survey. So far I have around 35 responses. Thank you all. That is more than I could have hoped for. I'm going to hold out a bit longer for more replies until I summarize that project though. I'm sure there are many more on our team interested in voicing their opinions.
Another way I tried to learn about my fellow team members was through the Monthly Check In Thread. This month's theme was, "What do you need to do to improve your shop, or what improvements have been successful in your shop?"
There were a lot of great answers. I hope many of you found them as helpful as I did. In the case that some people didn't have time to go through the whole thread, I did. Below I have highlighted some of my favorite answers. (these are great tips for any online shop owner)

One of the best things that I think I did for my shop (besides adding more listings) was to standardize the backgrounds.
Find a path of creativity and stay on it.
Items in a broad price range.
I have plenty of ideas in my head, just not enough time to create. I will strive to have better time management.
Another thing that I have always wanted to do was make something with a patriotic theme for my special homefront team - and I finally did!
Improving photography and using models has helped me see a definite increase in business!
Discount Coupons
Promoting Other Shops
Get to 100 items
Improve packaging
Focusing on picture backgrounds
Keep Up Motivation.
Refuse to work on the weekend.
In reading the threads I also noticed many people were on vacation. Good for them! A happy shop owner is a happy shop.
Some husbands came home! That was the best news in the thread!
Bethjt has a separate teeshirt shop. In doing this she complies with etsy’s rules while gaining more exposure. Great idea.
Spread awareness and market through teaching.
A lot of people are moving too. It's hard to keep a shop up through that. Being prepared with inventory is key.
FaceBook Fanpage, definitely.
Jarita's Creations said, "There are many things that can be done to really help a shop succeed, ranging from daily listings, renewing items, chatting on the threads, creating treasuries, correlating with fb, twitter, etc, and many more...but staying on top of everything can be very consuming and not allow time for creating and also dealing with life's other obligations. My goal is to find a balance point."
Recommended: NiceGirlNotes
Organize my materials better. Since it's all fabric, I'm unsure whether to organize by fabric type and THEN color, or color and then fabric type.
Items with themes. This would be successful for holidays, and for tagging, treasuries.
Better Banner
Say NO
More Camo.

Hopefully you picked up a nugget, or two, here.
Have a great holiday!
See you in July!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Clay Box Buttons

Aren't these buttons amazing? You'll be seeing a lot of these on new scarves this season.
They are made by Nathalie of Polymer Clay Box. I found her on Etsy.
Nathalie lives on the coast of Belgium. She has been working with polymer clay for over 20 years. It really shows in her quality. She offers a great variety of colors, styles, and sizes with her buttons. Placing my custom order with her was no trouble at all. The items arrived in a timely manner too. These buttons are even cooler in person than on a computer screen. (as you might imagine)
I can't wait to show you once I start using them. It should be soon.
The Polymer Clay box offers more than just buttons. Check it out on Etsy or at
This is her Rainforest Bead. I love the colors here too.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Tomorrow is my mom's birthday! This year she'll be practicing for next year. (I don't want to give it away, but it'll be a big one.) I wish her the most fun in NJ from AL.

I sen ther out a package that inslude a few goodies, two of which were handmade by me. Yay! Here's a couple of shots I took before I sent them out.

Mom loves live music, so I put it in the rock concert slide show. Awesome.
My mom is the kind of person that gets very excited about going into the fabric store. It makes her have to pee every time. She'd probably kill me for writing that, but it makes me pee too. (there, that should make her feel better about it.) On each trip she takes to Joann's she comes out with more fabric than planned. My mom is a potter, she barely sews anymore. So you know what she does? She sends me the fabric. I think she is kooky for doing this, but I love her anyway. I made her some Florida Scarves from the fabric she recently sent. In case it isn't obvious in the photos, she loves corduroy.

Wanna see what else I put in to box?
Eddie Vedder's new CD. It's pretty rockin' for a bunch of ukulele songs. (I opened of course to burn myself a copy first:)
No birthday is complete without some fine-ass chocolate. Vosges is our chocolate of choice.
I hope she doesn't read this before she opens her package.
Party On.... Wayne.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I am hosting a meeting down here at Fort Rucker, AL. I hope everyone in the area knows about it and can come. It is a thought I've had for quite some time and I am now putting it to action.
This is my first military installation. I don't know if socializing here is the same as it is at other locations, but I found it hard to meet people with similar interests. Now that I have been here a while I know quite a few. I'm at the point where, I'd say, I'm known as the go-to for crafting and art around here. I get introduced to new people all the time. People say, "This is my neighbor. She makes stuff so I thought you'd be a good person for her to know."
All these people know me, but they don't know each other. I am hosting a meeting so that can happen. It is my hope that anyone with a creative inkling, in any subcatagory of art right down to enthusiast, will attend. If that happens people can start to build relationships on something other than the flight class that their soldier is in.
Making stuff is fun and rewarding. It is even more so when there are people for you to share your process and product with. I think to put it plainly I want to start an art club. For now I'm calling it The Creative Social. I'm trying not to fuss over it too much because it should be casual. But I did just get finished baking. I made fudgie vegan black bean brownies and peanut butter pretzel cookies. (see recipes below) I also have a list of representatives form local art associations coming as well as some current opportunities. I hope the event is a success. If so, we can have more in the future. And also it could be an avenue for people to break off and start other specific groups, maybe even plan a field trip or two.
The list of participating organizations and opportunities are as follows:

Dale County Council of Arts and Humanities
11th Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition
Claybank Festival
Wiregrass Art Museum
Wiregrass Art Museum Events
and volunteer opportunities
SACS on Fifth Ave. at Ft Rucker
Army Wide Arts and Crafts Contest
Arts and Crafts Festival at Fort Rucker. Coming this Fall!
The Coffee Bean in Daleville is looking for performing artists to host entertainment. Now!

Thanks for checking this all out. Your reward is my recipe:

3/4 C. wheat flour (white is fine too)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. Cocoa Powder ( I use unsweetened black cocoa but any type is fine)
1/2 C. walnuts (optional)
2 T. Chocolate Chips (optional) (I use Ghiradelli bittersweet)
1 C. Soaked and Cooked Black Beans (any beans kind of bean will work) (if canned, use half a can rinsed)
1 C. yummy dark coffee (if you don't like coffee use any other liquid you like..water, soy milk, etc.)
1/2 t. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8" Square pan. Whisk dry ingredients. Puree the beans with half the coffee. Combine puree, vanilla, and the rest of  the coffee with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter in the pan. Top with nuts and chocolate. Bake 25 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into small squares. To make this easier for myself I pop the brownies out of the pan and freeze the 8" square. Then I cut it.

For this I followed a regular peanut butter cookie recipe. At the end you roll the dough in a ball and flatten it on a cookie sheet by criss crossing a fork. After this step I squished a mini pretzel on the top and baked it. They are cute, crunchy, not too sweet, and delicious.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Popalicious Buttons

In a continued effort to share the suppliers of Florida Scarf with you, allow me to introduce another button lady. Her name is Andrea Cammarata and like me she is a Jersey Girl. Yay! Andrea has a few Etsy shops, but the one that I purchased from is, A place where you can add POP to your art!

This small business owner is also a mother, wife, dog mommy and rescuer, friend, and animal advocate. Her full time job is ETSY. It’s no easy task, luckily for her it’s a family affair. Even her two rescue doxies are in the middle of everything.

One of the great things about shopping in any one of Andrea's shops is you can be a part of supporting a cause. Each Month Andrea's family donates money to have 15 trees planted. This is in an effort to offset their carbon footprint and to make their wood items sustainable. The donation is made to American Forests.

This is a sample of the buttons I got from popalicious. They have pin backs. I this this will be a cool new feature on the scarves. Now you will be able to adjust the fit of your scarf by moving the pin. I think it's pretty genius. Now these fashion scarves will be forever adjustable. You can even take the pin off and wear it on something else.

Andrea was great to work with. The items arrived in great condition in a timely fashion. I recommend shopping from any one of her locations. Here is a complete list of all of her shops.
upcoming blog:

Thanks for checking in with Florida Scarf. Have a killer day.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Love the Homefront Team

So, as most people know, I am on the Etsy Homefront Team. I've got a bit of reporting to do on that topic.

For starters, I brought the team to the Fort Rucker Spouse's Club lunch again. And no, I didn't literally bring the whole team. We're online and spread across the world. I brought items to sell representing certain participating team members. Those luncheons are really fun. I recommend (to anyone in the military) to get involved in a similar organization. It may sound silly, but it is a great way to socialize, learn about your local community, get involved, and personally spread the word about what you do. Online marketing is O.K. I don't find it nearly as effective as physically engaging people though. Let's be honest, it is wonderful to be able to touch a product and experience it in real life. Also, you are more available to answer questions.
I am fortunate that my community loves Florida Scarf.

Katy, from the Knackatorium had a good day also.

I even sold a cute, cuddly bumble bee rattle for One Stop Crochet and some stationary from Well of Creations.

 I am thankful that these other Etsy shops shared some product with me. I like bringing to attention the fact that there are so many of us that have small craft businesses. It is my understanding that my neighbors are interested and want to be supportive, but not everyone knows where to find us online. Really, think about it. Why would you buy a candle from scentsy when you could buy one handmade buy a military spouse? That's a no-brainer.
The luncheon was great, but it was the last one until next September. So I'm going to have to wait until then before I do any more live promoting. I'm glad though because for me, the summer is all about production. I have decided to start a new Etsy shop. In the past my scarves could be found at Now they are officially at It should make it much easier to find Florida Scarf on Etsy. Once I get my act together the scgeraci shop will be my paintings and art work. I hope I can keep up with two shops. There's no way to know unless I try.
My last bit of news is the Homefront Team change of command. I am officially the new captain. The promotion came as a sudden surprise, but I am glad for the responsibility. I think there is a great cause behind the team. Each one of its members truely deserves to be successful. As the new captain I hope to bring us all closer to that goal.