Action Aprons and other Comic Creations

Do you like Action Heroes, Comics, and Super Heroes?

Do you like to wear an apron or would wear one if you were able to share your love for those things?

Do you like Cosplay or wearing Costumes? These items are perfect for you too! Wear over smple black or white outfits underneath and show your Cosplay style in fashion for your passion!

Check out my new line of Action Aprons ™ and share your love in the kitchen, while cleaning, working on art or many other reasons to wear an apron.

Get your Action Aprons at Goodsmiths https://www.goodsmiths.com/trisha-trixie-designs

 

I also have a brand new line of Comic Cup Cozies for those who want to help their cup have an identity!

These and other Comic Creations will be available at Capes Kafe soon! Want these items in your store, to buy wholesale or drop ship with your company? Contact me and lets work something out!

Desire a Custom Creation for any of these type of items? I would love to! Contact me and let’s gt this party started!!

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

PI

My Poison Ivy Cosplay Action Apron

Trisha Trixie Two Hundreth Post: How I Got Here & Where Am I Going

Today is the day I hit 200 posts on this page! A few of you sent in replies about what you wanted me to write about and such and the biggest outcome of those was the questions of

“How did I get from here to there?” Meaning what brought me here, the journey, how am I doing, and where am I going from here. What do I plan to do going forward and the journey it took to get to this point. I did talk about this before for an IFB Challenge, but I wanted to elaborate for this post (Click here for previous post)

Let’s take a quick backtrack. I used to model a long long time ago in 1988 back in California.  It wasn’t much but it was fun and I really enjoyed it. Then in the late 90’s I worked in Iowa doing some short term modeling and  stints around town. In 2010 I had the chance to be in a Fashion Show and was featured as well in the Juice Magazine in Des Moines, Iowa. All of these little modeling stints pulled at me to get back into modeling. But the timing wasn’t right and I just didn’t want to do Commercial.

In 2009 I added another website to my list of others I was doing and tried my hand at a Fashion website where one could come into a community of others who were also interested in Fashion. In essence it was like a dating website but for Fashion. I talked to many people, I had a few on the site, and I even discussed this with StartUpCityDSM and others in Business and the field. It fell to the ground and I let it fall.

I went back to cubicle work to earn some money under my belt since I did not have anyone handing out dollar bills my way to fund my ideas and business like many other do. Here I was, in all my businesses, doing this by the sweat of my brow. Yet, I was still determined to keep up with my thoughts and ideas and go for what I loved to do.

In 2011, I ventured into doing Art. Just art, drawing, digital art, etc of the like. I didn’t really think I wanted to be an artist for the rest of my life full time but it was good for me to unleash that inner side of creativity out of me and honestly I needed to do it to heal after a life altering event that happened.

It was like it all hit me. I wanted to do what I LOVED to do. Model and Fashion. But not just anything. I wanted to go back to Vintage Modeling and creating Fashions for others.

So in 2012 with assistance from family and friends, I ventured into the world of working in a cubicle gaining money under my belt and living life like most people do I think. They have something they TRULY desire to do, yet allowed the humdrum part of like to weigh them down and not do what they loved. That was NOT ME and I was hating every minute of it. I did however meet some amazing new people and friends along the way and the cubicle life for a time reminded me why I am an Entrepreneur. Because I thrive off my OWN life and my OWN ideas.

It is really hard to live your dream when you are getting paid to help someone else live theirs. I do not like working for the man and watching my life pass by while I punched a time clock.

2013 came around and when that contract was over I jumped head first into a pool of uncertainty yet again and did everything I could to have the life I desired. I knew I wanted to fully be invested in my brand and what I was doing but I didn’t know how. Somehow I fell into the lap of knowledge about IFB Independent Fashion Bloggers and saw there was an even in February where there would be workshops and a chance to really learn and connect. I just knew deep down in my gut, that I had to go, this was it, this was my jumping off point.

I saved the money up to go and got assistance from those around me for extra funds to pay for it all. It was exactly what I wanted, needed and yearned for. I learned so much and met so many people. As I said earlier, I talk about it more here.

It changed my life. But the one thing that really changed the direction of success I made I feel is credited to Susan Baroncini-Moe who wrote Business in Blue Jeans. I won a session with her and in 30 minutes I felt I knew more of what I had to do that I had learned in the past year. Sometimes, things just hit you and people get put in your path for a reason. I like to listen when that happens.

At the time I was scattered, doing everything regarding fashion. The funny thing is that all I really wanted to do what Aprons and Accessories. She encouraged me to focus on my own Trademark, do what I love and don’t fight it. After doing some investigation I found out I would have to change my Trademark anyway because of my business name was connected to another business and since I own the rights to Trisha Trixie I claimed it.

I went through a re-branding and re- everything. Sadly at the time everyone jumped ship at the same time as well. Luckily I am not Kelly Coutrone, but at time I feel like it because I tend to have people come and go, but I guess perhaps that is the business.

Since March of 2013 when I made that vast change in my business, things have gone up , up an away from here. Sometimes it dearly is hard to remember to come down off my cloud and see things for how they are.

I have done well in sales. I have been through great learning processes and have made changes and adjustments along the way. Some for the good and some I have had to change again and again. Having your own business is quite the learning process. It is a trial and error and sometimes trial by fire times and moments.

I am still changing, growing and learning but I think things are going well.

I am currently a 7 Miracles a Month Group with Stephannie St. Claire and it it amazing and well worth it. A great group of people and a wonderful tribe that also encourages and inspires.

I write for my blog and for a few others here and there but mostly www.desmoinesisnotboring.com. 

I have done a few guests posts on various sites.

I have items in local shops and online.

I sell at Tradeshows and Craft Fairs as well.

The fall in 2013 is looking to be a great one.

I will be going back to New York for NYFW, New York Fashion Week as a gift from IFB that I won when I was there last. I am taking my man who has never been there and we plan on going to a few Fashion Shows. Who knows, maybe I will get recognized by what I am wearing and might meet some people who will help me along the way. It also could just be a great trip with my man. I am open for anything.

I have my SECOND Fashion Show for the year planned. The first was a mini show for a Residential Facility. It was light and fun. The second is my main event and I am planning, creating, doing everything I can to make this a Fabulous Event. Omaha Fashion Week told me when I applied for them this year, that they felt Aprons would NOT translate on the runway. I am out to prove them wrong. So far, I have done well in that quest.

This fall I will also be doing a variety of other Craft Shows, Fairs etc to get my brand out there and sell. I plan on hosting a few events on my own and seeing how that goes.

I have started a new side of my business to inspire and encourage others as well as doing what I love to do. To me, they go hand i hand. Be Fabulous Campaign is a part of who I am and who this business is. I think others need to see and learn to be the real authentic selves and their passions will help them be fruitful i their life like mine has.

I am creating a Fabulous Fall and am ready to wait and see what the rest of 2013 turns out to be and will re asses this plan of action for 2014.

I am thinking of adding some Home Baked Goodness  in with my aprons and maybe some other items and changing things up a bit. Maybe gift baskets with an Apron, a Treat, a Potholder to match the apron and a wooden spoon. I don’t want to be a bakery and take orders. I just want to bake what I love and share it with others. It is a means to bring to life the Old Fashioned Goodies like Grandma used to make. Simple, Sweet, Delicious. The thought concept is “Yes, there are still women who like to be in the kitchen” 🙂

Who knows what the future holds, but I do know this:

  • I am enjoying my life.
  • It might be hard at times but it is worth it
  • I love what I do and I have a fire and passion for it that I think others feel and see.
  • I love this life and will keep on keeping on.
  • When I wrote about this back in March these were the Goals I had back then. I wanted to bring them back up and share and show you were I am now in relation to these goals and dreams:

My Future Desires:

  • I hope to accomplish a full line of Aprons and show at Omaha Fashion Week and one day soon at New York Fashion Week.
    OFW turned me down but I have had one mini Fashion Show already and planning the main one for October 13, 2013
  • I hope to be able to sell in a boutique or store for at least the next 6 months to a year.
    My items can now be found in three local boutiques and online in two places
  • I hope to have my own boutique in the next two years
    The quest for my own boutique is out there, but I am waiting until after my Fashion Show to see the reaction from my town and how my sales are at that time
  • I hope to be known as a name in the PinUp industry for TrishaTrixie and for my modeling uniqueness and my amazing fashions
    I was in a local magazine and on a Local Morning TV Show which helped others to recognize me more. I do hear from time time time “Aren’t you….and it warms and delights my heart to hear so
  • I hope to be published in online and offline magazines and hopefully some widely known ones
    I was featured in one local mag and might possibly be featured in a regular online mag
  • I hope to be a speaker at a variety of events in my town and in other places about these accomplishments
    I have yet to be a speaker but the year isn’t over yet
  • I hope to one day be one of the speakers at IFBCON within the next two years if not sooner (wink and smile)
    Perhaps the grander I get and the more success I can show by doing what I love will help IFB see an interest in me. This goal is still very much alive in me
  • I hope TrishaTrixie  to be names people hear and learn to love!  I am working on it, but it is starting to happen!

The final thing I want to say is for other to be themselves. Enjoy life. Go for their goals. Live out their dreams. Do what works for them.  But if it is not working for them, see how others are doing it. Talk to advisers and gurus or those you admire and find out how they do it. Expect Miracles.

The most joy I have ever had in life was reaching, yearning and going for my goals and dreams.

It may not always be easy.

But it is always worth it.

Until Next Time,

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

Happy 200th Post!!

Trixie Tuesdays: Selling STUFF (TrishaTrixie Style)

So ya wanna sell your STUFF? From Aprons to Artist to Social Media Strategiest, no matter what you do, if you love it enough, you might decide you want to make money at it.

Selling items you make is not easy. Making a business out of it is even harder. Often I fight the comments of others asking me or stating to me that what I do is a”Hobby” not a business and on top of it all, I have to make sure I do enough, but not too much business to deal with the IRS (who always wants to dip their hands in my pockets it seems)

I am no expert, though I would say I have a pretty good handle on connecting, networking and marketing and that helps. It always surprises people when they ACTUALLY see how much work I put into my business. I would first say to you, be sure that you really want to do this. As I said before, it is NOT easy. But if you love it, you pull up your boots straps and do what you gotta do!

If you are doing it as a hobby, you might not desire to put in as much effort as I do. That is up to you. I will let you decide. I will say however all the things I am going to tell you have moved me from a mere online existence to getting my brand out there, getting traffic on Social Media, turning that traffic into buyers, and getting my brand known more and more as I go.

1-Products-The one thing I learned early on this year is that I need product. That sounds simple, right? But just having a small selection of product is NOT enough. You need to have product to sell to the customer. One drawing here or there or one apron was not enough. Last year when I was focusing on my art I sold nothing when I had 2 or 3 drawings. Once I had a variety of over 20 for them to choose from, I sold more. People want to see what you have and I think it relates to the fact they are not a one trick pony and don’t want you to be either.

Part of products is staying true to the brand. I have had a hard time with and struggling at times. People want me to make all sorts of things but if it doesn’t stay true to my brand I am only doing myself a disservice. Don’t stray too far. Stay true to the brand. Sometimes I have to eloquently say to people, “thank you for the suggestion, but that does not stay true to my brand right now. I keep that in consideration for in the future for if I change it.”

2- Networking- Just making the items will not work. Sadly they don’t sell themselves. People may joke that an item is so good that it sells itself, but in reality…it does not. YOU have to do the work. I network. I buy myself a stack of Business Cards from 123print.com or moo.com and then I take them out with me. I get all my Trisha Trixie cards from123print because I can hand out more because the cost is lower but I still get some amazing looking quality cards. I do design them myself and use hi resolution pictures so they come out the best. If you don’t know design, getting a pal, college intern from your local community college or design school will keep the cost down. I use Moo.com for all my Modeling cards. They are a higher cost, even using their templates, but I don’t mind because they are a higher quality and I don’t hand them out as much.

Get on local websites like here we have www.catchdesmoines.com, www.desmoinesisnotboring.com, and then there are Chamber of Commerce site in your local areas like Downtown Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and others. Get on their email lists if you can to find out where the events are. Then you MUST go to them. Go mingle, share your passion, talk about what you do, your excitement and passion will come across and people will want you card. If you are an artist, having a selection of cards with small showings of you art is a good idea. If you are a model, pics of yourself, and for me, I have a pic of me in one of my aprons. Show what you do somehow some way.

Get out there, meet others, hand out your cards and in addition a part of Networking is going to events where you listen to a speaker or learn something. Take the time to do these as well. It will further your knowledge and thus further your career if you are able to take away that knowledge and apply it to what you do. Plus as you get further down the line, you could be asked to be a guest speaker and sharing your passion on the other side of the coin.

3- Marketing-I am often teased that I am the QUEEN of Marketing and Networking. I wouldn’t go THAT far, but I will say a funny story. After awhile going to events and marketing myself so much I was at an event and my friend said to another person “This is Trisha Trixie, she is like the Princess Mafia Connection, she is cute and well connected!” I never laughed so hard, but I even used that to my advantage and started a Linked In Group. It hasn’t taken off much, but I don’t want to let it go, because it was cute and such a great idea.

The reality is, that Marketing to me is thought of in the same manner as Networking. To me they go hand in hand. But you CAN take marketing further. People need to see your items, hear about your STUFF and connect with you, somehow, someway. How YOU do that will be up to you. How I do it is through a variety of means.

Facebook Pages are fabulous to me. Make one for yourself. This is different than your profile. A lot of people refuse to connect with a Business Profile, they only desire to connect to a page. I am the same.  Get yourself a Business Page, but here is the key…USE IT! write a post at least once a week, engage in your followers, ask them questions, ask them their comments or ideas, start a conversation. Upload pictures of your products. If it is art, watermark is or make sure it is signed so no one steals it, if you have a business name or quote that is yours, trademark it by adding ™ behind it so you can start tagging it and in the event someone TRIES to steal it you have proof. If you are super serious about Trademarking or Copyrighting find out more about it and start applying for them. I have been through 3 Trademark Infringements and 2 Copyright issues on written items, it is not fun and the first few times I lost. But once you properly protect yourself, you will be ready for the next guy that tries to take away your items by calling it their own.

3.0-Marketing Ladders– There is a new thing I found. Now this doesn’t mean it is NEW, I just mean to say I have found it and I feel like I have struck GOLD! Promotional Ladders on Facebook. In the Search bar enter Ladders or Promote. There you go. Choose one and copy and paste your Facebook page into the ladder.

Here is how “I” do it so not to waste time. I set a timer for 5 minutes. Find a ladder I want to connect with for the night. Copy my page in the ladder or one the front page stating “Could use some love on ______ (whatever your page name is) then add the link. Then I like all the items ABOVE me. If I have the time still left I might delve into a few of them deeper if they peak my interests and make sure the GET NOTIFICATIONS is checked and ADD TO INTEREST LIST. When the timer goes off, I am done. Someone recently said to me “I spent over 30 minutes on doing Ladders the other night.” Well, then that was a waste of your time. The output to input from those likes ratio just got diminished by you doing that.  What will happen is others will come like you as well. Should you send a message? Well, I don’t. Again to me it wastes time. Do I get message from others saying “Like from so and so page”, yes I do and then I take a special moment to go LIKE their page and make sure the GET NOTIFICATIONS is on. Why? Because I KNOW it takes time so if they took the time to send me a message I desire to return the favor.

4-Beautification- Just making things is only the first step. I know I keep saying that but I want to get it through to you that there are SO many more steps. Get yourself a good camera or Camera Phone to take pictures of your items, or have a photographer friend help you out. Don’t post up grainy, dark or blurry pics of your items and expect them to sell. Would you buy an apron if you couldn’t see it? No, you wouldn’t. But you would be surprised how many people do that.  Also if you are an artist get yourself a good scanner. Taking a picture of your art is not the same as a good scan. If you don’t have one, save your pennies and go to Kinkos or Staples to have them scan it for you. Make sure it is above 300 dpi. I have them scan my larger items at 600 dpi. Then I can use that image on any site large or small and make it look my best. I keep a small thumb drive just for my Kinkos and Staples trips. I also add my images on there from my home so when I am doing a show, I can take them to one of those places and get print off done. I use heavy paper of 60 weight or higher.I tried 38 lb and they were too flimsy. Test out a few weights and see what sells for you. If it is black and white and you want them to color it in, a lower weight is fine because you can roll it up and pop a rubber band on it. The heavier weights I also buy Sleeves from Hobby Lobby and slide my prints into the sleeves and sell that way.

Making items look their best is beneficial.

Another fun way is PicMonkey. It is a fun photo editing and collage web software. But don’t go crazy. Remember THE PRODUCT is the most important. IF you add to many flashy items and embellishments and logos, then you can’t see what is being sold.  There is a free version but I spend the $5 a month to gain access to the extra fonts and embellishments.  I also create Facebook Banners there as well as many other uses. Save your money paying for banners and logo and try them out here first.

5-Other Social Media Suggestions- I think the number #1 way to get your message across is through Hootsuite or a program like it. I started out with ping.fm and once I saw Hootsuite I fell in love.  Again, there is a free version, but I pay a little more each money to be able to get my message across to more places. If you have the free version I would suggest, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter to connect to. If you pay for the expanded version, add Linked In Groups, and Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, and Google Pages like I do. In one sweep I can add a message to over 27 places. Bam, one and done. Again, less time, more ROI, Return on Investment in time and money.

Which leads me to the other extras: Join Facebook Groups which connect you to others in your craft or what you want to do. I am in groups for models, vendor shows, art groups and more. I also am in Linked In Groups that do the same.  Then I follow people on Twitter who either are in my craft or could connect me to others. Google Pages are new but I have already found value in them.

You are already blown away now aren’t you. See I told you it wasn’t easy. But I have streamlined my processes to make it easy. First you need to invest some time perhaps a whole day once to get connected with these groups and get set up on sites etc. But once you have done the front work, then maintaining is the key.

I pick Mondays to usually do all the big things I need to do. Then whenever I write a blog, I copy it into Hootsuite and tada, it goes across to all those groups and Twitter feeds etc I added before.

I also (most of the time) write my blogs ahead of time. I got out of sync with that and am working on getting myself back into the groove. But I also have learned to forgive myself and not beat myself up if I miss one. If my followers bring it to my attention, I put one together, but everyone leads a life and they understand if I don’t get to a blog one day.

The best advice I received recently was from Susan, from Business in Blue Jeans   when she told me to blog about recipes and what aprons to wear with them and to talk about the world around Aprons. Connecting with others and talking about what you love is essential. I also have added my HOW TOs like today. I know I have knowledge to share and I think the business is more than just Aprons. It is about me, Trisha Trixie the persona and the Brand.

Focusing on this has been very successful for me and really drawn people in. I blog, I copy the blog to Hootsuite and Independent Fashion Bloggers, Then I share it on Google and Stumble Upon. My hits have gone from 100 followers in January to over 5,000 now!

6-Online, Tradeshows or Both- Where to sell your items is essential. I do sell online and sadly have jumped around trying to find the right niche. Etsy is great if you have a little of product and can afford to pay because they hit you with fees and costs going in and coming out, for you AND the buyer. I found out about Goodsmiths and at first didn’t think I wanted to sell there because it appeared saturated with Aprons. Once I saw the cost benefit I found it to be worthy for me. Under 25 items was free but again I pay the little bit extra to sell more products. Their tool is easy to use and within two hours of putting an item up it sold! Then I was SOLD, on Goodsmiths!

I also do Tradeshows. I wanted to apply for a lot more but some of the shows require Liability and the costs are too high so I have to step back for now. I am working on those things but found through Craigslist and the other pages I mentioned shows I can sell my items in. Also because I was in a few shows last year, they generally reach back to to interested vendors to see if they want to do it again.  So all I have to do is fill out application, send check and I am ready.

For Tradeshows though, you might need to invest in a booth, a Tradeshow Board or set up or find visually appealing ways to show your items. I don’t know that there is a WRONG way but I know the most appealing beings people in. Also I rotate my items around throughout the show. Then if people come back around they might see something they didn’t see before. That is usually when I make sales.

Some sell online, some only do shows some like me do both. There is a cost for shows but if you can sell over and above the booth cost I feel it is worth it.

Is it worth it?

In the end I ask myself it is worth it. Is the thing I am going to do, the time I put in, the show I am going to do etc worth it. IF I feel it would not be a value of my time or effort I don’t do it. ROI, Return on Investment for the time I put into something has to be worth the output. Sometimes, I don’t know that until I do it. I recently did a show that I thought would easily bank $200, yet instead I sold $45.  So next year, when that show comes back around I will either do something else or just not do that one. As well, I have spent time on adding my items to Chiq. com and Pose.com to see if that would gain more traffic to my site and sales. When it did not I slowed down or on another site I dumped it all together.

You might have to test a few things out to get your groove and niche together.  See what works for you, see what doesn’t. If it doesn’t try something else. Keep going, keep moving forward. Don’t let the hates and saboteurs get in your head. Jealous people tend to be the worst because they see you happy and making money and they aren’t so they want to disrupt your life. Don’t let them. And if you fail, get back up again. Many a businesses I know as well as myself didn’t work the first time. Others will scoff at that too. Let those comments and words roll off your back. All that matters is you, your life, your business and if you want to do it and if you are enjoying it.

7-Training & Learning, aka Extra Curriculum- I found a few sites and books helpful for me. I try to have some downtime on Sundays to read learn and do the things that will help me grow and still learn. Since I am an adult not in college anymore, we need books and perhaps online courses to help keep our ideas and mind fresh. Plus some of these courses have been great connections to other places.

These are ones I did that you might explore and see if they could work for you

Right Brain Business Plan- A creative Way

Goddess Leonie Business Guidebook

From Good to Great, Why Some Companies Take the Leap

You Inc, The Art of Selling Yourself

Working for Good

The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary

…as well I want to link you back to my PERSONAL Knowledge and growth that has helped me. I write about that and have all the links to these and more on my blog, please take the time to read it and investigate these sources further. CLICK HERE

I hope all of these have helped. If there are any questions I could answer, comment, message me etc. I am happy to help in any way I can…

Until next time,

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

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