I thought it was maybe time to do a little history on the making of my little hobby/business, Netties Expressions. Share some behind the scenes information with you and give you a little feel of what all goes into my handmade products.
You can read more about some of the details HERE.
People often ask me, "How did you come up with your name?" Or they'll ask me, "Are you Nettie?"
It's a little bit of a story and I'll try not to make it too long. :) I was making some greeting cards, printing business cards for a few business in Roblin and designing and printing some birth announcements for some friends who had a lot of faith in me. Now looking back, thirteen years of age seems pretty young to actually have the task of designing up birth announcements for happy families. I was thrilled to do it and they loved them, so it was definitely a win/win situation. :) I wanted to make my products look professional and knew that I needed some kind of name. The biggest thing with my business name was that I wanted it to be something that would allow me to broaden my horizon and expand my products without having to make major name changes. I stewed about it for awhile and kept coming back to this "Expressions" part. I figured that if I would use that word, it would be all inclusive. I was expressing myself through different products and it wasn't confining to just one or two items. My cousin and I came up with nicknames for each other when we were young. Mine was Nettie (short for Jennette). Hence, "Netties Expressions".
I went through quite a number of logos in my early years. I dug through my files to see if I could find some of my past logos and share them here with you for interest sake. So far I haven't been able to find them yet.
I finally splurged in 2010 and had someone else design a logo for me. This was the result.
I used this logo until the spring of 2016 when I decided a new look was desperately needed and took to the design board again myself. I was tired of the colours of my old look and was really tired of the butterfly.
I love the look of my new logo and it feels like it really expresses what I do and my style. And the interesting thing about it...I didn't think of it until my logo was finished...but all the many logos I went through the first few years had a heart somewhere...I remember specifically thinking a heart was suitable since I was making my products with lots of love...
For a number of years I made a lot of paper products. Greeting cards, calendars, journals, recipe book card holders, crafty books and bookmarks. I started going to our local craft show in 2008. Since then, except for one year due to sickness, I've had a booth at the Roblin Craft Show in November.
I bought a Cricut in 2011 and started dabbling with some sign making. The first of my signs were all made with vinyl lettering.
Below is a sample of some of my very first signs.
The Cricut machine was very limiting and I found it expensive to keep up with purchasing all the cartridges. I ended up selling it after only a few uses and went for a Silhouette SD. It was a bigger machine than the Cricut and my options were basically limitless. Anything I could possibly design on the computer I could also cut out. This is when I really started getting going with making wood signs. I created my own stencils and then used them to paint my signs.
I did all my woodworking in my dads shop. The process today is still basically the same as the early days. I purchase my wood, cut it, sand it, paint it, seal it, attach hanging hardware...the whole deal is done by yours truly. It was scary using all the saws and for sure the pin tacker at first. Now I love it, and can't imagine not doing this type of work!
I made my very first large pallet sign in the spring of 2012. It was a very last minute engagement gift for a cousin of mine. My brother helped me assemble it since I was still a little unsure about the whole building thing. I wanted it to be solid and last for years.
After making this sign I completely fell in love with the whole sign making deal. I had been collecting quotes and sayings for years and now I could finally use some of them up. I would say that's when the switch happened with turning into more of a sign maker and not quite so much just a card maker.
I went through a while where I created free art prints for personal use. I would blog about it once a month and people would download these printables for themselves. My very first free printable was this one, "There is always, always, always something to be thankful for." I was touched by the huge response to my printables! After a while I thought I should see if I could start selling them. I was also starting to become a little bit concerned about just giving away too many free designs. Some digital designers were sharing about how their free printables were being sold by other people. I am a one person operation and it just made me a little nervous to have to start dealing with that. This is when I pulled the free printables all together and only offered them as an actual print which I printed out of my office. All my prints, greeting cards, bookmarks, etc. are printed from my home office.
...to be continued.