Thursday, September 22, 2016

A New Kid in Town?

There are two consistent long-running loves in my life — rocks and paper. (Did you think I was going to name people? Sorry!) Over the years, it’s no surprise, I have parlayed my love of rocks and created my jewelry biz, which I still so enjoy. Recently, while it has been officially in the works for the past eighteen months, I finally shared my latest baby with a few of you; and I'm thinking it's time to bring it out of hiding. So, on that note, I’m blending my two loves, although a little diverse, by introducing my papergoods biz here.

A bit of history — I have made paper dolls, paper doll clothes, calendars, journal pages and cards my entire life — well, at least for as long as I can remember. (Does anyone remember Betsy McCall the paper doll that came monthly in McCall's Magazine back in the 1950s?) Over the years, card making and paper crafting has remained a constant with me…I just love crafting with paper — printing, stamping, cutting — it’s just pure fun. My “official” history with printing goes back to the old days in school where I hand cut stamps from linoleum blocks and film for screen prints. I wear scars on my hands and one on my foot (don’t ask) as badges depicting the labor of my love over the years. Best lesson ever...a good tool is a sharp tool!

Many years back I started designing, printing and cutting stickers for my personal calendars — a few Filofax styles to be exact. I love stickers and I love all things vintage so I created tiny little pieces all vintage-inspired to jazz up my calendars. Along came the planner craze and I jumped in with both feet or maybe I went in head-over-heels! I was so tickled to see that there is a whole world out there that is full of wonderful people who love their planners and decor just as much as I do! If you didn't know, there are entire online communities built around planners created by Erin Condren and The Happy Planner by MAMBI.

I know…it’s a really young crowd and I am sure I am the great granny in the mix. But, hell, if you love something who cares what age you are, right? As a jewelry e-tailer since 2006,  I was intrigued when Etsy made a splash in the world of online retail for what was then handmade goods. While very interested, I have never sold my jewelry there. It just didn’t seem like the right fit for my designs. However, I did start shopping for planner stickers and paper-related pieces on Etsy. There must be hundreds of thousands of shops that sell planner-related goodies on Etsy. Even with those numbers, I really only found I two shops that offered vintage-inspired stickers that matched my design style. Can't lie, I was a little surprised when I had to wait four weeks for my first order to ship (which I now know is the norm for most shops on Etsy) but loved all I had ordered in those early years.  I loved what these two shops created — I found that I was still designing and making stickers to meet my specific planner needs. And, if you follow my jewelry biz at all, you’ll know that I balk at having the same thing everyone else has. And a lot of what was and is on Etsy in the planner world are "me too" type designs and just not right for me.

Lightbulb moment — at least I like to think of it that way! Why not open an Etsy shop and sell planner stickers that I designed? I couldn’t possibly be the only person who likes to decorate their planner with vintage-inspired stickers, could I? So a little more research and I discovered that the shop I had ordered my first vintage type stickers from had 16,000+ orders since they first opened their shop. That’s a lot of stickers! As with many things in life, I decided to give it a go — why not? Etsy makes it pretty easy to open a shop that looks great with very little financial investment — it does take a lot of time and photography skills; but I love every minute of it. 

So, enough about the history…my whole point here is to invite you to join me on this venture of mine. To date, my reviews have been stellar and I am a bit short of three hundred listings in the shop. Unlike most shops, I don’t do quick releases that disappear in a few days. Because of their non-trendy nature, many of my listings have been there since day one. All of my designs are vintage-inspired and a bit of the shabby chic side, including florals, stripes, checks and ditsy patterns. In a way, I think my designs are a bit more mature and there is nothing that is “me too” about them. (Think of me as the Advanced Style guru of the planner sticker world! Where is Ari Seth Cohen when you need him?) Young planner girls will wince when I say I have not designed one ombre box! (I say that with love and I so respect all these young kids out there with successful shops! Kudos to you!) I only list designs that I love and use in both my Erin Condren and Happy Planners. It's much like my jewelry. If I don’t like it you’ll never see it in my Etsy shop or at Tanya Lochridge Jewelry.

Well, with that, I hope you will take a little look-see over there. My shop name is trlplansandprints — if you are in the planner community I think you might find some joy in the goodies you see. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you aren't a lover of all things planner, if you are a mom, grandma or aunt or like me a great granny — the stickers make great gifts for those young planners in your circle. As a little treat for you reading all of this you can use promo code TRLBLOG20 to save 20% on your order.

And, thanks for all your support over the years. Because of you, I get to do what I love and I am very grateful to each and every one of you.

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