Caroline Alixe Rhuys is a member of the artistic community in Reno, NV. Caroline uses beading, painting, and needle felting to create mixed-media jewelry and accessories. She creates her jewelry and accessories from materials found in local thrift stores and her extensive stash of vintage fabrics, buttons, and hankies. Some favorite materials are silk, leather, buttons, beads, wool felt,, ribbons, and found objects. Caroline enjoys meeting other makers and supporting them by sharing their work throughout her online and personal networks.
Ideas on what to post for small business marketing
I met a woman this evening at the 1 Million Cups anniversary event who is starting a new business. She commented that she “hates social media.” I would certainly prefer to spend my time teaching craft classes and creating clothing and jewelry instead of sitting at my computer.
However, I have been learning that strategic use of social media outlets is crucial for small businesses. Facebook, Instagram, email, blogging, etc. are useful marketing resources for people who have little money, but who are willing to invest time in marketing their products or ideas. Putting up a website and/or opening an online store to sell your products or services is useless if no one knows you are there.
In some ways, Google has simplified the process for making a business searchable online. A business can increase its visibility by posting worthwhile content on a consistent basis. I am building an email list so that I can send updates on my craft classes and upcycling projects. Taking photos and posting them online does not come naturally to me, but I have recently started posting photos to my Facebook page and on Pinterest.
One thing I do enjoy is sharing things I learn. Although I do shop at craft stores, I also find tools and crafting materials in unusual places. For example, I bought silicone trivets to make designs on fabric for the upcycled clothing I create. I also discovered that sponging paint on an old-fashioned potato masher and pressing it onto fabric produces a cool design.
Keeping a notebook handy can be helpful in generating ideas for postings. Sometimes I just draw a picture of something so that I can refer to it later. This posting was inspired by a conversation. Who knows where your next idea will come from?
Bored with your plain old shoes? Find some new shoes you love, except for the color?
With a few simple supplies and some spare time, you can transform basic shoes into beautiful works of art. Lumiere paint by Jacquard works well on many materials, including leather, synthetic leather and fabric.
Here is a short explanation of how I decorated the pictured shoes:
First, I painted the heel and strap of a pair of plain fabric shoes, using two shades of green as a base. Next, I painted free-hand stripes on the strap in a darker shade of green. For the final embellishment, I painted small red flowers on the heel and a larger flower on the strap. I suggest application of a protective spray such as Scotchguard to keep smudges to a minimum.
If you are nervous about painting a well-loved pair of shoes, there are many thrift stores around Reno. For less than $10.00, you could find a pair of shoes for practice.
On June 23, 2012 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I will be teaching shoe decoration techniques at ArtisTree Studio, located at 18 Stewart Street, Reno, NV. I will provide all supplies (other than shoes).
After seeing me in clothes or accessories I have embellished, sometimes people remark “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” or “I’m just not artistic.” I believe that sometimes, lack of innate creativity is not the main issue. After all, how many of us are born with the ability to read, or calculate formulas? Learning new ways to express your creativity can be fun, relaxing, and a welcome diversion from a hi-tech world.
Repurposing clothing is an eco-friendly way to show your personality through your wardrobe. Through AlixeArts I intend to help people appreciate the beauty and practicality of clothing and accessories created using a mixture of old and new materials.
For residents of the Reno, Nevada area I am teaching a variety of classes through ArtisTree Studio on ways to re-create your wardrobe by painting, sewing, beading and other decorative methods.