Monday, August 15, 2011

The KISS principle- in design and in business.

Summer is a time when online sales slow down, in part due  to family vacations and time spent with family and friends enjoying summer BBQ’s and pool parties.

I used to fret about this time, trying to take advantage of the slow sales months by making hefty to-do lists, swearing I’m going to make my personal Christmas cards and actually send them out this year.  I’d panic when I lost my creative mojo, and feel guilty about my lack of blog posts and not having listed any new products.

Now it is early August. I’ve accepted that summer is break time, for me as much as for everyone else.   I’ve just returned from a week at the cottage; a week spent relaxing by the lake, catching up on my reading.  Essentially, I did absolutely nothing.

I’ve made a few cards for custom orders, and when I did have the energy and inspiration to make something new.  What transpired was a design similar to when I first started.  It was not the multiple-coloured, layered card adorned with ribbons and rhinestones  I had been making a few months ago {and what I will return to, don’t worry}.

Remember the KISS principle? Depending how old you were when you learned of this principle, there may or may not be the word {stupid} after the “keep it simple”.  

With the help of my new MM Slice Machine, I used the KISS principle and created two cards.  Despite a minor glue set back (if you’re a fan of A Paper Buffet’s Facebook page, you will recall this event).

Using some SU Very Vanilla cardstock and some designer paper, I made a baby card and a thank you card.


The baby card was made as a gender neutral card, and I think it would be great for a baby shower, a meet-the-baby party, or even as an invitation.  I love the simplicity of the card, and even thought to leave the ribbon out completely.  But I like the balance it creates and I decided to leave it.



The thank you card was created in the same way, except I used the Italian word for thank you, which is “Grazie”.  Truth be told, this was Plan B; “Thank you” was too large in 1” letters to put on a standard A2 card (4.25” x 5.5”), but I may try a 6”x6” layout card next.  Again I used a satin ribbon in a coordinating colour to add some balance.


Keeping the KISS principle in mind, I’ve decided to make a few other changes with A Paper Buffet in general.  While a great idea at the time, the needs of an independent website and shopping platform is too much for me to upkeep with any state of consistency.  I started this business as a means to share my creativity.  With a career, and many other creative interests that I want to pursue (photography, knitting, cooking, scrapbooking, etc), I need to be realistic about how I can/will/want to spend my time in order to be successful.

I will continue to sell on Etsy and give it my all.  While Etsy has made a number of changes which had initially prompted me to start my own website (coupon codes was the biggest one), I have to realize that a website like Etsy has already identified my target market.  Simply put, it’s hard to be found on the world wide web!  There may be opportunities to expand to other online marketplaces (if you have any thoughts about Artfire, I’d love to hear them!), but for now, you will find A Paper Buffet products exclusively on Etsy.  It will also be very easy! will be redirected to my Etsy store.

The exception to the aforementioned statement: It still bothers me that Etsy requires a membership to purchase. If you do not want to create an Etsy account but wish to purchase an item that you see here or on the Facebook page, or if you would like to discuss a custom order, please feel free to contact me via email: sales [at] apaperbuffet [dot] com

And so I return to the relaxing pace of summer and I’ll enjoy the rest of August. I’ll put away my neglected to-do list.  Better yet, I’ll throw it out and make a new one when I’m ready.

As for my Christmas cards…I think photo-cards are all the rage…wouldn’t you agree?


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