Even Howard is a San Francisco-based crafter of crochet jewelry and the founder of Nadene, an Etsy.com shop that she’s operated since 2006 (which makes her the earliest active member of its seller community). She also works as a yoga instructor and a social media consultant.
Howard recently spoke with the Intuit Small Business Blog about how using Intuit Weave streamlines her myriad business pursuits.
ISBB: Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry designs?
Howard: I’ve been in the crochet world for more than 20 years, and I set up design challenges for myself in order to develop something new. I think of the person, the place, and the mood as a single element — and I create for that. I also look for alternative shapes and materials that can be manipulated with the crochet technique. I consider what my buyer wears and how that person would coordinate and complement the overall aesthetic. A big part of my aesthetic comes from the production itself; I consider truly handmade, eco-friendly, and ethically sourced crafts that are made with joy to be beautiful and worth sharing.
How do you set yourself apart on Etsy?
Because the colors and textures are designed to be unique, I take photos in natural light and often in extreme close-up. My work is also vegan: I use no leather or other animal products in my creations, and I detail why that matters in my listings. Additionally, I keep my store banner, “About” page, and shop aesthetic consistent, so my buyers can understand the feel and mood of my creations. I also use my seven years of experience as an Etsy retailer to help newer sellers navigate the world of selling handmade, both online via the Etsy forums and offline.
What was life like before and after you started to use Weave as a business tool?
Before Weave, I used three different apps in tandem with an old-fashioned notebook to keep track of my projects, priorities, and to-do’s. I’ve converted to Weave on my iPhone and iPad for all of those uses, and I cross-reference with my online calendar for more complex events.
Because I have multiple business pursuits, I keep track of projects and events within each of my businesses (and their corresponding to-do’s) by setting a clear project title in Weave and organizing within that. I differentiate between shifting priorities using the “star” feature and also categorize by due dates. I often add ideas without due dates as well, which for me signals a lower-priority task.
I spend about 20 minutes each week organizing the week ahead, checking my projects and to-do’s in Weave, and creating new projects. I sync the Weave app across my devices so that, wherever I am, I can easily keep up-to-date. Weave works well for me because all my businesses are my lifestyle. I enjoy having my to-do’s and projects in one place.
What trends do you foresee in crochet jewelry and accessories for the Fall/Winter season?
Based on what I see in San Francisco, new shapes that still create the feeling of warmth will be in demand. Geometric shapes that communicate a playful modern feel will stay trendy, and I see the pastels and brights of summer remaining but taking on slightly darker tones or being paired with gray and black.
The fine texture of thread crochet can also show the seasonal transition of color, and that’s a pairing that I love to design within. Mixed-metal finishes are always fun and, although they look new, items made with multiple finishes or in metals allow for easy matching with existing favorites a person already owns. Collar necklaces give lots of opportunity for playful design and have the ability to completely change the tone of an outfit.