Thursday, April 26, 2018

Coming Attractions


A Wellie Wishers doll with real lashes.

I know it's been ages since my last post and I apologize! I have no fewer than five saved drafts I just never got around to finishing. Rest assured, I have been working hard. On the way to the blog is one tutorial showing how to add "real" eyelashes such as the ones shown to dolls with fixed eyes and another showing how to re-flock dolls whose flocking has worn away.

The new fence, under construction

Spring arrived in fits and starts, and if you're a long time reader you know that means I'm working in the garden for long periods. Loki, our naughty puppy, has decimated the grass, including the sod we laid last year. He has also been digging up the vegetable and flower beds and even the stone patio. Our yard is extremely wooded and we don't have enough sunlight for plants of any kind in most of the yard. The stone patio is right in the best area for a garden, but the patio is one of my favorite things about the property and a reason we chose our house, so I don't want to rip it up. My husband came up with a terrific idea to combine a fence to protect the grass with planters in the sunny part of the yard and I contributed the idea to use a wide cap to add extra seating to the patio. We've been working on that. After five years of similar projects we are starting to see results, enjoying our fire pit and our homegrown fruits.

My husband was able to get my computer working fairly well again, which is a good thing, because besides working in the yard I've been re-working my business model. Long and hard reflection convinced me that while my doll and doll supplies business is steady, it's not very lucrative. It's just too much of a niche market to be really profitable, at least to the extent I am able to fund it. My problems finding a reliable supplier contributed to my decision. I spent a month or so in a funk and feeling really depressed and then I decided to do something about it. I joined a resellers group which is helping me set and achieve goals ad build my business. I am absolutely still restoring and selling dolls and doll supplies and writing tutorials but I am expanding the reselling part of the business. I branched into women's fashion with my Poshmark boutique earlier this year and now I have started selling on Amazon and Mercari. I am Atelier Mandaline on both platforms. I am stocking new and used toys, electronics, fashion, art supplies, and even some food and toiletries. I even started adding men's fashion to my boutique! My inventory is the largest it's ever been. It's still hard for me to purchase large lots. I had a little mini heart attack this month when my credit card bill arrived during a slow sales period, but things picked up so I'm trying to trust the process. The next step for me is to try Fulfilled By Amazon. You pack your inventory and mail it to Amazon and they handle it from there, so it's as if you have a big warehouse with employees. Freedom from daily shipping and collecting money will allow me more time to restore more dolls and find more great deals, as well as allow me to occasionally take a vacation without losing sales. Right now the way eBay is set up forces me to close my store any time I can't be at home. I hope you'll check out my newest "stores". I don't have a store on my newest platforms but you can follow me on Mercari like a social network and I hope you will. I don't have any followers so far!



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