Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Branding 3 B Street

I must be on the right track because I saw this video on CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend featuring, Ron Johnson, CEO of JCP, also known as JCPenny. He discussed the makeover JCP is about to endure.  Take a look at the video below:

3 B Street's name was created to be just that - a meeting place, a destination for high quality products, and an experience.  We are branding ourselves as the "Nordstrom (sorry, JCP) of Etsy."  3 B Street will have the exclusive feel of "Nordstrom's" with only the best products, features, and customer service.  Eventually sellers will exclaim, "How did you get on there? I want to sell there too!"  3 B Street will become a status quo with a group of elite, handmade sellers who offer great service, take pride in what they sell, and do so with impeccable skills.

The experience will include a personal connection, also common of typical "meeting places."  The entire experience, whether online or at markets and shows will be exhilarating, classy, and high quality, which is exactly how 3 B Street is branding themselves.  I guess great minds do think alike.  Thanks for affirming, Ron Johnson.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Going Live...

3 B Street officially went live at the end of Sept 2012.  What a journey and an exciting one at that. We've built the site from ground up.  No templates, no cheat sheets, no rules.  Simply by imagination, creativity, and listening to my heart.  Now comes the hard part.  Getting others to share my passion.  Over the last several months I've been attending fairs, shows, and markets to find the creative people. I've met some truly talented artists and gotten nearly 99% positive feedback, which continues to motivate me.  I know I'm doing the right thing and that there's a need in the market for sellers to succeed and buyers to find those special, pre-selected products.

In just a little over a month, we've got 70 users.  Not bad for a fresh start!  But, we're nowhere NEAR finished.  With the upcoming holidays, I'd like to get about 300 members by the end of the year.  My passion is not technology or even creativity, but helping people succeed and watching others grow their business as I have mine.  Providing support and resources means more to me than the almighty dollar.  I promise to never lose sight of that goal nor lose my integrity in the meantime.

I just need your help in spreading the word.  Remember to like us on www.facebook.com/3bstreet, follow us on www.twitter.com/3bstreet and share your findings.  Search through the site, tell your artist friends, and best of all BUY products on www.3bstreet.com.  Not only will you make me happy, you'll make my seller happy, and most importantly, yourself happy.

I'm in this for the long haul.  Come join me...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

To be free, or not to be free. That is the question.

Finding the happy balance between cost and value is a challenge.  We all measure that value differently and have to weigh out the cost versus benefit.  I recently came across a discussion thread where a crafter said she didn't "believe in paying anyone for her personal work and helping put money in somebody else's pocket".  I wonder if the suppliers she buys from feel the same way.  If so, then we'd all be out of business.  Fortunately, most support a collaborative environment.

In reality, a service is just that, where you pay somebody else with a greater expertise to do the work. Some handmade sites are offering completely free accounts because they simply want to support Crafters and Artists. The implication is that the rest of us don't, but that is hardly the case. Establishing 3 B Street involves support staff, advances in technology, an immeasurable amount of time, new resources, advertising, design, legal advice, a formal business plan, and much more. Providing a professional service requires a serious commitment.
Premier sellers and customers are willing to pay for exceptional service.  3 B Street will be an exclusive venue where sellers won't be over saturated, and customers will find high quality products easily without having to browse thousands of products.  There is an absolute value to pay for this service to achieve your desired outcome.

The old adage "time is money" has substance.  But so does creating a high quality, customized, user friendly, well supported website.  Hopefully the benefits that 3 B Street offers will provide the balance you're seeking.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The number "3"

3 B Street.  I want to expand on some things I recently learned about the number "3" and it's meaning behind the name of the site.  Numerology, the study of numbers, reflects certain aptitudes and character tendencies.  The number "3" actually represents a "path possessing great talent in creativity and self-expression where artistic abilities can only mature through discipline and commitment to the true development of your talent.

The stars are aligning.  Come join us...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

About the Founder, Laurie

Hello!  I'm Laurie Barron and started 3 B Street in 2011 due to common frustrations with other handmade sites and the challenges of selling at markets.  I grew up in the Midwest, attended Indiana University, Bloomington, in the 90s, and currently live in Southern California, with hopes to get even closer to the ocean.  I have an adorable husband, a beautiful white German Shepherd, and two lovable cats that moved across the country with me.
I love being creative as it provides an emotional outlet as well as fulfilling my passion for creativity!  I will try anything new and love making gifts for others.  I currently sell non-slip headbands, dog collars, and key chains at a weekly Farmer's Market in Temecula, CA, as I consider this my "lifeline" for 3 B Street.  Here are some tidbits about myself and what's important to me:
  • The ability to "give back" will be how I ultimately measure success
  • I'm passionate about animals
  • I'm an optimistic dreamer
  • I'm an extrovert and extremely energized by others from whom I can learn
  • I tend to be sarcastic and consider myself quirky, but relish in being different
  • My husband was a race car driver and doesn't always appreciate my sarcasm
  • I work hard and put a lot of energy into what's important to me
  • I like to eat a lot and would rather work out more (I was a swimmer at IU)
  • I believe in having fun and a work/life balance.  In fact, I believe in balance and moderation for ALL things.
I hope you follow 3 B Street and support our new handmade site...exciting things are coming!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crafter vs. Artist

The ultimate question with really no definitive answer...are you a Crafter or an Artist?  In its general sense, they can be described as follows:  A Crafter refers to an individual creating items with a functional purpose, often with a specific set of instructions.  An Artist focuses on the aesthetic value rather than functional, the medium used, an advanced skill, and is exclusive to the creator.  But ultimately, it's in the eye of the beholder, right? 

I believe most crafters will also think they're artists, but does it work the other way? I don't think so.  While we all take pride in our skill and ability to create or even make one-of-a-kind items, I think it's important to know the difference. 

So, Artist vs Crafter is NOT in the eye of the beholder, but finding beauty in it is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Social Media

Wow!  What a beast, but a beautiful one!  I cannot imagine going back to the old system of networking, whatever that is.  It's amazing how we connect these days, and with whom.  I love the discussions threads, the introductions, the advertising, and the random updates.  Although I haven't figured them all out yet, I fully intend to optimize the individual capabilites.  Although somewhat intimidating, I feel there's nothing I can't tackle and overcome...especially with all of your help, that is...my online social friends.  I'm looking forward to networking, disucssing, and updating all of you.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Company

As with any new company, we all have to start somewhere.  Etsy I'm sure didn't start out where they are now either :)  Yes, it's hard to compete, but we have to be unafraid to try, not only myself, but merchants and customers.  Believe me, starting up 3 B Street has come with more emotions and challenges than I ever realized!  Each phase brings a new one.  I think each new site out there brings it's own, unqiue design and personality, and we can't be everything to everyone. I think that's often when we fail is because we lose sight of our original goals.

I'm not a gimmicky salesperson because I think my site will speak for itself.  I have never seen another site like it, and have made the design just as rich and creative as the quality of work I'm asking of the merchants.

I intend to sell my own handmade products on 3 B Street and also be an integral part of connecting with people through the site as the Founder. I'm very passionate and excited about it and hope you'll consider 3 B Street to be the "next" site you're willing to try because it'll be worth it.