Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My trip to JoAnns: A French Student's perspective

My Trip to JoAnns

Hi everyone! It's Anne-Laure again...remember me, right? I am the French student doing an internship at OttLite this year where you may have read one of my blog posts in the past. So upon working my internship at OttLite I decided what better way to get to know more about the company than to go to our biggest retail partner : The Crafter's Favorite Jo-Ann's.

When I entered Jo-Anns, I was really impressed by the diversity of products displayed for everyone to enjoy their hobbies. There is something for everyone’s taste: sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, quilting and much much more…My mother knits but I never had an artistic flair, and am very bad at crafting. However, I said to myself : "So what ? Let’s give it a try". So here I am, lost in the immensity of Jo-Anns, and mesmerized by all the products...I decide to check out the scrapbook array.

I chose scrapbooking as it seemed like a good place for a beginner to start in the crafting world. After a few minutes I am lost in the labyrinth that is Jo-Anns, surrounded by so much decorating stuff that Father Christmas would be by far beaten. You see a Sponge Bob sheet, you run towards it but you’re stopped in your race by the brilliance of a satin ribbon, … and you imagine all the possibilities, stunned by the number of possible matches.

Then I went to see our lamps. Woohoo... we really have a huge array at Jo-Anns! Our OttLite Lamps were everywhere! They even had little interactive screens where we can see videos demonstrating our products. It was all very, very cool! After having cleaned out the store, I returned home to buckle down my new career in scrapbooking.

This was really important for me because I am far from my friends and family for a year, so I want to have nice stuff with photos of them on to hang up on the wall. I’ve never done scrapbooking before, however it is very easy and I was quickly addicted. Here are some of the things I created under my OttLite of course:

Please feel free to share your comments, tips and suggestions with me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Silk painting and OttLite

Developing our Facebook Page is really rewarding because it gives our customers a place to share what their work & us why they love OttLite! That's how we got in touch with Angel Ray. She specializes in Silk painting, a crafting domain few of us have heard about.

Angel explained to us how she came to silk painting and how OttLite really helped her business to blossom :)

"I was a Fine Art major in school, emphasis on painting. After school, I pursued graphic design, which is still my day job. Slowly I became starved of creative self-expression and needed an outlet. I found a silk painting class being taught by Dr. Rosemary Cohen. As soon as my brush hit the silk, I was hooked – found my creative outlet! Even more than an outlet, I found my passion and dream. Silk Painting is it!"

"After dabbling in silk painting for a few years, I finally went for it and did my first show in May 2009. Shortly afterwards, I opened the doors to my Etsy online shop, and joined the amazing CCCOE team as well. I quickly learned as an online seller, you could have the most beautiful product in the world, but if you don’t have amazing pictures, it won’t sell! I asked my talented photographer friend for tips and she told me how it was really all about the lighting. Lighting. Real daylight was the best, she said. Easier said than done, I said."

"I can only paint on the weekends, in the sunshine (my studio is a rooftop deck). So those valuable hours of afternoon are my only time to paint. I whined to my CCCOE teamsters about not having enough daylight hours to paint and do my photo-shoots, and then one of them mentioned, 'Have you tried the OttLite?' and sent me the link. That’s when everything changed for me. I immediately started experimenting and re-shooting my scarves."

"They looked great!! Not glaring, but nearly as bright as real sunlight, and the photos did pick up the subtle shine and texture of my different silks. I had about 10 scarves that had been finished for weeks, but I had kept missing my 'sunlight time window' so I couldn’t list them in my shop yet. I was BEYOND overjoyed as it changed everything for me."

"The OttLite is possibly the smartest investment I’ve made in my silk painting business so far, and I plan on buying several more for my studio. Not only can I do my photo shoots at night, and list my finished pieces faster, but now when the sun goes down after a day of painting, I don’t have to stop. I just bring my OttLite outside and I can see the real paint colors, and keep painting until it just gets too cold. It’s just incredible, and has helped me to grow my business, and get me just a little bit closer to my dreams coming true."

Below are a few links where you can find some Muse Silk Paintings: