The wallet experiment

Since I got the sewing machine last year I did a billion of experiments and followed a trillion tutorials in any possible language and I failed every time. 🙂

But, I never give up.

There are some criteria I follow when I look for tutorials:

  1. It has to be short (less than 10 minutes)
  2. It has to have little talking (no talking is the best)
  3. If there is someone talking she/he has to have a pleasant voice (If the tutorial is really good and short but the person has an unbearable voice I usually remove the audio…)

The only one I liked is this one and it is clearly much longer for me.

It is done very well and easy to follow (if you know what you are doing, which probably it is not my case)

 

Unfortunately, the result was a total disaster.

Maybe because I’ve sped up the video to save time, maybe because I didn’t have the right tools or experience.

The main problem was to convince my sewing machine to sew the many layers of the wallet. I could not put the bias tape so, in a desperate attempt to save what I had done and stopping breaking needles, I have used glue. Yes, I’ve said it. I’ve used fabric glue.

  1. Used glue for bias tape and credit cards slots too short.
  2. I’ve glued the pockets inside so I guess they could come off any moment
  3. Tried another model but too soft.

I left the wallet alone for a while.

Finally, I have found another brilliant tutorial.

The first attempt was really Sh*t

 

The second one was a success!

Instead of the bow I have used one of the Eclastic mini Elephants.

What do you think?

 

 

 

Toilet paper flowers

How to sew your fingers in 3 easy steps (with photos)

 

This is what my mum thinks it will happen now that I got my first sewing machine.

My mum is an amazing tailor and I saw her sewing my entire life.

On the other side,  I ran as far as possible from the sewing machine even if my mum once bought me a little cute one that I’ve never used. (:-( )

Thank to youtube and the generosity of people sharing their knowledge I am sure I will manage to save my fingers.

So far I have set up the thread and sew straight lines on a fluo piece of cloth, my worried mum supervised me via Skype.

Today I will try to create something. I am still struggling to find a nice package for some of the Eclastic products.

After a full night and half morning of youtube research, I have finally found a project I love.

Another short guide to get more instagram followers – will it work?

We all want more likes, more followers, more sales, more everything.
The web offers, as usual, thousands of pages with the same information, precisely if you google “how to get more Instagram followers you get about 54,100,000 results.

 

Too many pages…too much information…where should I start?

From here of course.

I have recently separated my personal Instagram (@michy.eclastic)  from the business one (@eclasticproject) so that I can test on my new account all these theories on how to get more followers.

So far so good, slowly we grow.

Let’s start:

  1. Publish regularly, at least two or three posts per week; 
  2. Obviously, try to post nice photos…
  3. Use hashtag (#……..)
  4. Pose a question
  5. Mention somebody (@name)
  6. Call to action
  7. Create contests, promotion and give away
  8. Advertise on your other social media your Instagram account
  9. Like photos of other users
  10. Comment on other people photos

Below few points about the hashtags:

  • Check out what hashtags your competitors are using;
  • Use hashtags that influential people in your industry are using     
  • Consider related hashtags
  • Use your name brand in your hashtag
  • Don’t use too many or irrelevant hashtags
  • Use specific hashtag
  • Use popular hashtags (#instagood: #photooftheday: #picoftheday: #instagrammers: #instamood
  • Hide your hashtags, or writing them in the comments or putting few lines with dots after the caption and before the hashtags

I have personally installed a small application on my phone to help me with the hashtag. It can be found on android Play Store and it is called “Hashme”

To know more about this topic you could choose one of the 54.000 pages available on google, or check https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-get-more-instagram-followers-the-ultimate-guide/

What do you think about Instagram?

Please share your Instagram account in the comments and we will pass by to say Hi!

Habits of Self Made millionaires we should consider…

I find myself subscribed to newsletters I have not subscribed to.

Rarely I read them.

It is through a newsletter I did not subscribe to that I came across a series of interesting articles about the habits of Self made Millionaire that I wanted to share with you. (This is just a list to keep the post short but at the end od the post I’ve shared the original articles..)

1)Successful people wake up early, they do this because there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Even though I am not a millionaire yet I do wake up so early that people think I do not sleep at all.

2) They Read;

I do read, but not enough. I can do that.

3) They exercise;

And this is one of my major issues….

4. They Have (Or Had) A Mentor;

5) They Followed Their Passion;

Yes! and I am truly following mine.

6) They Hang Out With Successful People;

And this is why we created the FB group Running towards success”…

7) They help others;

I believe I m doing this.

8) They seek feedback;

Please take your time to comment on the products, the websites etc etc.

9) They Don’t Go With The Flow;

Not sure where the flow is going….

10) They have a positive mindset.

 

How many of these habits do you have?

 

To know more read: Thomas C. Corley

Thomas C. Corley

Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals

Or

http://www.businessinsider.com/habits-of-self-made-millionaires-2016-3?r=US&IR=T&IR=T/#1-they-read-consistently-1

http://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=5528438273&blog=833258&frame_type=none

I’m drowning!!

My “Stay focused” face

I am drowning in pdf.

Many people around the web know how to start, manage and grow a successful online business.

Many people know that to increase the number of visitors  on your website you should give something for free.

Why not a pdf full of useful information?

And we get buried in thousands of free pdf, or at least I DO.

Some of my recents downloads are

  • 7 successful time management habits for online entrepreneurs
  • Organise your life and goals
  • The lean start up
  • How to write the perfect email
  • How to sell on social media
  • How to write the perfect blog article
  • How to lose weight without a diet (I know it is not business related but I’ve downloaded it…)

How many I have read?

ZERO!!!

I get bored after the first paragraph.

Modern psychologist would probably suggest that I have some form of Attention Deficit Disorder and they are possibly correct.

While I am writing this post, I read comments on Facebook, think what to do next, check on instagram, talk to the dog and text my husband.

How I get things done?

Recently I have discovered the bullet journal (check www.bulletjournal.com)

“the analog system for the digital age”

I was skeptical at first but not only I have increased my daily productivity, it helps me to stay focused and to relax before to start another hectic day with my “always in motion brain

And you?

DO you have the “free pdf download syndrome like I do”?

How do you stay focused?

Kawangware Street Children

Living and working in Kenya has its challenges.

The biggest one is to find suppliers. Let’s say it loudly, the chinese market is full of beautiful and cheap items I could buy for Eclastic. Amazing packaging, original findings, website like dhgate, aliexpress, offer a great variety of items to choose from.

BUT…

I don’t want, (and I hope the Chinese readers, if any, will forgive me for this statement) to give my support to the Chinese market. It does not need it.

During my endless research for somebody who could make gift bags at a reasonable price.

I’ve found Morris. He offered just what I needed: gift bags made of newspapers.

  • He did not ask for a deposit or upfront payment.
  • He delivered on time.
  • The bags were super cute and stunning

Morris and his colleague Agasto started Kawangware Vision Centre in 2001 to create and open up positive life opportunities for orphans, vulnerable children and at risk youth in the community. The project then as Kawangware Street Children & Youth Project (a community based organization), started making handmade and designed paper bags out of recycled papers which they sold to tourist and safari companies and the income earned was used to improve their lives as well as maintain their business.”

Wonderful people with a wonderful project. Check their website www.africabags.com

The other day I met Morris and asked if his group could make something different for me

The packaging for Eclastic Elephant Necklace!

They’ve agreed even if is not in their repertoire.

This is how it should look like but with a smaller logo. I am super excited to see what it will look like when finished!

Help us growing. Comment and share!

Thank you!!!

The evolution of a product

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Around 2 years ago, one of the Maasai working at the camp, Steven,  gave me a gift. A small elephant necklace made out of cow bone. It was an unexpected gift that I really appreciated.

s-l225

Once home, I tried to cut the same shape on a DVD but it was harder than expected. The trunk was getting broken all the time, the plastic was not melting together, the colours were fading.

I did hundreds of experiments before I got it right.

I started to sell the Elephant necklace at Mara Bush Camp – Private Wing and people loved them!

We got featured on the Air Kenya magazine “Ndege News” and some people came to the camp just to buy the small red elephant necklace.

I was very proud, but not totally satisfied.

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My mum told me once that Elephants with the trunks up bring good luck and that is what everyone needs, isn’t it? So I started to change the original design.

Cutting was even more challenging than before.  But the result was much nicer.

I even dare to say; rather fabulous!

Small Elly

At the same time I discovered metal stamping. What a cool thing. I couldn’t help but fell in love with it.

But plastic cannot be hammered…so I’ve tried to write something on a piece of aluminium taken from an old broken teapot. I wrote a message to myself “NEVER GIVE UP”.

I wear it all the time.

This is how I started “The Elephant with a Message” that got sold out in very short time at the camp.

I wrote inspirational quotes like “Dreams come true“, “Enjoy each day“, “I can and I will“, “you are special“, “you are loved“, “Keep going“.

I am still not 100% satisfied.

I feel that the little Elephant Necklace is work in progress, It will go through more changes, aiming for perfection.

Stay tuned!

elephant-with-a-message

Mission Impossible made possible

josephine

I always liked challenges, but this one is a tough one.

I have met Josephine some time back. She is young, very shy and mother of 2.
She is from a rural area in Western Kenya. I don’t know much about her as she does not talk much.

She has been helping me for a while now with small and easy tasks, like removing the metallic part from the dvd’s or flattening the plastic bottles.

Then I decided it was time for something new.

One afternoon, while her husband was taking care of the baby,  I showed her how to cut plastic flowers out of plastic bottles.

She looked at me surprised when I started cutting circles. I asked her to follow my example. Only then did I realise that she had never held scissors before in her life. For me a city girl from Italy holding scissors or a pen was so normal. It never dawned on me that it was not an obvious thing worldwide. 

But then we started  slowly to cut together. Step by step Josephine learned to use the scissors and to cut circles. A slow process but she improved. She had to leave before we could make a flower of the cuttings. I did it on my own. 

The next day I showed her the flowers I made from her cuttings. She could not believe her eyes. “Have I done that?”

YES YOU DID!

The expression on her face was priceless as you can see on the picture I took of her

The quality of her flowers is not the best yet, but she has a good attitude and she is willing to learn.

Next challenge…painting the Elephants!

The Elephant conundrum

Fosteringimages

I was thrilled when the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who takes care of Elephant orphans agreed to sell my little Eclastic Elephants at the curio shop.  I had no idea whether visitors to the orphanage on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi would like my little, coloured, handmade plastic Elephants. 

To my delight they did!

I promised to adopt Elephant orphans when I sell a fair amount of my Elephant necklaces. The sale went so well I adopted to orphans: Embu and Dupotto. Check their history out on the Sheldrick website.

I was not only so happy to adopt the two Elephants but also emotional about it. It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to help.

And i want to adopt more. When you buys the Elephant necklaces I can  help more orphans to a wonderful life.

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