Alan's Profile

About

Hi, my name is Alan and I've been making and selling my handmade items for many years now. I started out in mail order long before fax machines were popular and now, this thing called the internet. I would buy small ads in national magazines where I would get orders the old fashioned way. At that time, a little 1x2 inch black & white ad would cost around $350 in a magazine that had around one million subscribers. That was a lot of money when you compare that with how cheap an ad on the internet costs today where you have the whole world at your doorstep instead of just subscribers of a magazine. And it took forever for an ad to appear. It would take 3 months for an ad to appear once you submitted it and now, it takes only seconds to get an ad uploaded to the net.

In 1995, QVC was doing a special program each week where they would feature 20 artists/vendors from each of the 50…

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  • Male
  • Born on February 24
  • Joined August 6, 2008

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About

Hi, my name is Alan and I've been making and selling my handmade items for many years now. I started out in mail order long before fax machines were popular and now, this thing called the internet. I would buy small ads in national magazines where I would get orders the old fashioned way. At that time, a little 1x2 inch black & white ad would cost around $350 in a magazine that had around one million subscribers. That was a lot of money when you compare that with how cheap an ad on the internet costs today where you have the whole world at your doorstep instead of just subscribers of a magazine. And it took forever for an ad to appear. It would take 3 months for an ad to appear once you submitted it and now, it takes only seconds to get an ad uploaded to the net.

In 1995, QVC was doing a special program each week where they would feature 20 artists/vendors from each of the 50 states and sell their wares on live TV. I was one of the 20 picked from the state of Idaho where they picked two of my clocks to be on the program. They then ordered 300 of each for a total of 600 clocks. I had 3 months to make them which wasn't easy since I was also building a house next door to me.

QVC would travel to a different state each week to air the program live so I had to be on stage since they wanted to feature the artisans who created the products. They did a live show from Sun Valley, Idaho so (okay, now a funny part) as I was getting on stage in front of the audience and cameras, I got a massive case of stage fright/mic fright LOL from being live in front of millions. I lost my voice so all I could do is cough and clear my throat but my then wife, (I'm now single) stepped in and took the mic like a professional and we sold all 600 clocks in about 5 minutes. That was amazing! If we had 10,000 clocks to sell, they would have sold in no time. I'm still embarrassed about my mic fright episode to this day and it was hard writing this down since I had to conjure up those memories again ;?)

Then in 1996, I was making birdhouses so my friends and relatives would tell me I should put them on the internet and at that time, I didn't really know what the internet was so I did some research and found out I needed a computer but didn't know a thing about computers and didn't want to know anything about them either. I felt I was too old to learn how to use one but I still wanted to be on the internet so I found a local hosting company to build me a website and in June of 1997, I had a website but no computer. My hosting company was nice enough to let me come down there each day to check my email for orders. After awhile, I think they got tired of me asking, "now how do I log in again to check my email" so I finally decided to join the computer age and bought my first computer that September. I ended up teaching myself how to use it since there weren't many I knew who had a computer at that time to teach me anything.

My birdhouses did well back then when sites like eBay didn't even have a million items for sale yet. I've learned that you are never too old to use a computer and find computers and the internet to be the best tools a person could ever use. Since then, I've been dabbling with other aspects of the internet but decided to get back to making clocks and other things I design. I recently came across etsy and I think it has some of the best potential of anything I've come across in a long time.

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