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Single Mom, Small Business Owner seeks new Head Cover.

If you are a mom, or a small business owner, wearing one hat for all jobs makes you wish for more time.




Computer programming, web design, and coding seem like a foreign language to me as they were never taught in my high school. Although I recently found out about our computer lab, and apparently they used those cards with punched holes. But let me get back on track. The main point is that I have limited knowledge about HTML, engines, and data. However, I have a good grasp of logical thinking and can learn through hands-on experience.


Despite my limited expertise, I managed to create this website. I can't hear your opinion, but I believe it looks and functions reasonably well. Is it perfect? No. Does it meet my exact expectations? Again, no. But I'm making progress and moving in the right direction.


For the past 8 Januarys, I have taken on a task that requires a significant amount of time. This task usually revolves around a particular subject. In the first year, I focused on learning how to set up an Etsy site. In the second year, my goal was to comprehend SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO involves the words people use when searching for something on the internet, especially when they are unsure of its exact name. Another year, I dedicated myself to understanding WIX, the website builder I currently utilize. I have been continuously working on that for over two years now.


analytics of a website

This year my task was to figure out Google Analytics. lol. Just kidding. I never will.


But I did want to learn enough to be able to set up advertising on Google because, well, it's Google. Mentally, I prepared myself setting up various things in advance so I wouldn't be completely inundated. On a very cold, Sunday afternoon after a big snowstorm I sat down, laptop at hand, tea at my side, and began.


After about half an hour, I needed some info from my own website so I popped open PaintedSnowflakes.com . To my horror, nothing showed. The header (top of the page ) was there, the text was all there but the products, my babies, were gone. I hit the next page and the next, each time expectantly hoping to see them but nothing appeared. My site was virtually empty. I tried in vain to come up with a reason. I checked but Wix was having no issues. I disconnected, turned off and on, changed browsers, all the insane things they tell you to do. The ones that really annoy you when they work. None of them did. I had to rebuild it immediately. Four, nine hour, days later, I am still at it. Like I may have mentioned. This isn't my strong suit. I know there are people that are shaking their heads, knowing there are faster ways but i haven't learned them yet. And I am too proud to pay someone else ( some would say pig headed, no disrespect to pigs) to do it. Perhaps.


So, now that's done and it's back to the real task which I hoped would be over by now. This is the time of year I have all these new product ideas going through my mind. Time when I can try new things, new techniques and burn things. Yes burning candles to test products on them. For instance, do you know what happens when you burn glitter? lol I do.


I bought a Cricut machine recently, that I have only once used in three months. It would help greatly if I could use it for tiny print on Unity Candles. But first I have to test if it adheres well, and then how it burns, and research the safety. I have to figure out how to use the machine. Something, it seems, everyone else already knows.


Once I have that information, I can go ahead and start producing said product. Usually, I can complete an item in anywhere from an hour to 8 hours depending on what it is. That's just the painting part. Bear in mind, I have been painting for almost 30 years so it tends to flow from my hand. (pun intended) If the product is glass, it must sit to cure for at least twenty four hours before it goes into the oven for heat setting.


After completing a product, I transfer it to the photo studio area of my workspace. I have a dedicated setup there specifically for taking commercial photos of all the items on my website. Over time, I've collected various props and backgrounds. I love the process of marketing my work. The photos are a huge part of the selling aspect. They need to be crisp, smart, and show the products qualities from the best angles. Later, I load the pictures onto my laptop and begin the editing process. It's particularly frustrating for me because I actually studied Commercial and Portrait Photography in college. It's funny to think back to those days when we used film and had to develop it ourselves . Here's a picture of my college,  in the Flintstones era!



"Flintstone" building

So, the product is now fully created and prepared. First it goes up onto Painted Snowflakes, my website. I upload images, write out titles and descriptions, determine prices and options and add it to the proper page. Then write up the SEO. That's the hard part for me. It's not as simple as a saying wine glass with roses on it.





It should be, but it isn't. You want words that are basic, yet to the point, not overused. If everyone uses the same words, search results will be too many. If they are too precise. then the opposite is true. You hope people will use the words you did. It's finding a balance.. And you don't want to use the same words too often. Easy. Then, I flip over to the Facebook page and add the product there. and then again on my Etsy site.



And start the process over for the next item. Unless there's accounting to be done, there isn't enough supplies of glass, wax, paint, or my orders aren't caught up. If they aren't, I'll detour and get that work painted and shipped out beforehand. And don't forget to walk the dog. It all seems so simple but it takes so much time.


And at 6pm, those loving words boom from upstairs, " What's for supper?"

I haven't given dinner ideas a moment of thought. Because time is the one thing that mothers and small business owners don't have enough of.

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