WHAT'S NEW THIS WEEK ?

10:06 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

THE NEW ITEMS THAT I LISTED IN MY SHOP SO FAR THIS WEEK.. I HOPE YOU LIKE THEM... GO TO
FOR MORE INFO ON THEM...
ENJOY

Pink and Brown Handmade Clutch
Black and White Floral Handmade Clutch
Brown and Orange Handmade Clutch
Blue and Gold Handmade Clutch
Flower Power Crossbody - Hobo - Beach Bag
Pink and Gold Peace Sign Crossbody - Hobo - Beach Bag

Once again, you can visit TrampLeeDesigns for information on these or any of my handmade original items.

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Getting the Job done right with SEO

12:46 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

I am running a little bit late. But, as promised, we are going to talk about SEO's. For anyone out there that does not know what that means, and that does not in any way make you dumb, I didn't know what the hell it meant either when I first opened my shop, and I have a background in Marketing. I had just always dealt in print or something that was done face to face, never the internet, which is a whole different animal. An animal that is actually quite simple to manage, once you learn the rules. If your shop is completely up and running, you will want to scream in about five minutes. Hopefully, you are just starting out and only have a few listings, or none. I suggest that everyone read this document prior to listing even their first item. Etsy_Sellers_Guide_to_SEO_Version_1.0_.pdf
This is a 25 page document with everything you need to know about every aspect of how to list your items to get them seen. You do not need to pay for  ads, they are a waste of money. They will get you to the top of the page that you can get all of your items on for free if you will follow this guide and list your items properly. This will get your items to come up in search engines when people look for your particular type of item. Don't look past the opinion of other successful shops. Take a look at the blogs of the other Etsy members who have been successful in the Etsy Seller Handbook. There are great tips on everything that you could possibly imagine. Browse through and you will get tons of great ideas.

If you shop is already set up and not Optimized properly, get to work on that right away. I suggest taking the document item by item. It starts with your headers, do them first. Once they are all done, then go onto your body. If you try to do each listing at once and take in all of the SEO information, it will overwhelm you. Just changing your Titles/Headings if they have been done incorrectly will immediately give you an increase in views and have your stuff showing up right where you want it to.

I know that Etsy emphasizes a lot on keywords and using the right ones to get your stuff to be seen inside of Etsy, from what I have seen, my title is really what has gotten me noticed. Following the guide and doing what it says has really made the difference on my shop exposure.

Good luck to you... Let me know how it goes..

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Photographing your items for sale

2:31 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

Ok, I know that when I started this blog I promised you guys insider tips on what I have muddled through and learned that has helped me with my Etsy shop. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get this part started.. I have worked out what is most important for you to know first. The very first thing that I will discuss is...

Disclaimer, please do not feel like I am talking down to anyone, this will be somewhat of a Dummies course. When I first started and everyone was throwing around, do this, do that, half of it sounded like another language. I am going to explain things as if you know as much as I did. That way those that do not know, will  not have to do what I did and google each and every item. Because that sucks..

Photos:

You are gonna take photos and you are going to be super proud of them. The very first advice someone will give you is to retake your photos. Me, I started out by adding 60 plus items to my shop day one and low and behold first thing two different people said. Bad part, I wasn't asking for any advice. I am a reader, I was going through the Etsy Seller Handbook and doing my best. I had taken all of my bags outside, used all natural light and a friends beautiful back yard with trees and the leaves falling and natural woods and I was so proud of my pictures. Guess what? Everyone thought they sucked, and they were right. The may have been beautiful shots to be just pictures, but for Etsy, they have to be a certain way to get noticed. To be completely honest, my shots are still not completely where they need to be. I have retaken them 5 times, no joke. Now, the tweeking I need to do, now that I figured out the formula for photo taking, is all needed to be done in photo editing. Now let's talk about your photos.

If you live on the beach and you have terrific sunshine every day, by all means, take your shots outside. For the rest of the world, here are some helpful tips for indoor pics.

For all small items, us a light box. That is what makes those amazing photos that look like they have a great bright white missing background that are all over the front page.

This is a great link on how to make an at home light box inexpensively.

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/07/diy_light_box.html

Lighting for larger items, you are going to see people with these great professional looking photos, the lighting, the shots. Sometimes, they are using extremely high lumens LED photographic bulbs. Some people have the money to buy those. I personally, do not. I don't have an extra couple hundred dollars for bulbs. So, I had to figure out to get a similar effect with much less money. This is what I came up with. Find a blank space in your home. Preferable one that you can keep as your space. Designate so that you can put your lighting in place and not have to always move it. This way you know your blank white wall with stay clean. You may need to do a paint touch up in this area to get it good and crisp. Be warned, not all items look great on white. Most do, but if your items happen to be those that need a different background, decide that up front and choose a different color wall. Another good way to get good sharp crispness behind your shot cheap is with thick paper boards. You can get these in multiple colors as the craft and hobby shops and even walmart depending on what colors you need. Although walmart has a much smaller pallet. The light bounces off the white really well and makes a big difference in how your item looks. When purchasing bulbs, I bought a three pack at my home improvement store of 100w flood bulbs for $15.99 and a lighting can that holds one of them for 5 bucks. The can is perfect because using picture hanging wire that I had around the house I hung it in position from the ceiling right where I needed it to stay all the time. Since it is in my designated space, I just leave it there. Mounting it was simple because I just put two screws into the ceiling and wrapped the wire around the screws tightly and then hung the can to the level that I needed where it hit the wall perfectly. The other two bulbs, I had an old directional lamp that my neighbor gave me. One of those that stands up and also has a side arm that moves that you get from Walmart for 20 bucks. She had it forever and was getting rid of it. It stands up and is perfect for me to move in to position. The third, I did not have an upright lamp and I needed something up high enough to be my third light source, so, I took a regular lamp and using wire, I strung it from two screws into my ceiling. Hey, when your are poor, you get creative. And let me tell you, it works perfectly. You work with what you have. If you must buy lamps, hit the thrift store. Find them cheap. Do not go spend money that you don't need to. Now, the next step in photos is editing. A lot of what you see in your front page photos and what most people do not know, is editing. These people do take nice pics, but they also edit well. Most of the editing you need to do can be done right from your Windows program. If you play around with your brightness and contrast, Windows nowadays has become pretty sophisticated. As long as you do not use a flash when taking your shot, and you have enough lighting on your item, you should be able to make it plenty bright.

Ok, I am going to explain how to tag your photos before you list them. Once you are completely happy with your photographs and they are still on your computer. Right click on your picture, go down to properties and click and then click details. You are going to have an option for either Keywords or Tags. They are the same. In that box, as with inside Etsy, you enter every possible way that someone might search for your item. List the color and style and item. Every combination of it. There is no limit to the number in here. Do not forget to also list your company name in here. If you have five photos of the same item, once you have tagged the first one, select all and copy and paste the keywords to the next ones like it. This will make the process not take so much time. As your keywords make you items pop up in Etsy, these tags assist in your items popping up in internet searches.

Ok.. I hope you have all learned something.. I will be back Monday to discuss your listings and the mistakes I made and I know that I see a ton of shops doing. Let's get you guys seen.. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend...

I am going to add to this because I have been reading through a bunch of the things on the Seller's Handbook Blog about Photographs. Like I said earlier, I am in no way an expert on Photo's. Just supplying you with the resources to get them right. Yes, everyone suggests natural light. Let me explain why I did not. If you are not in the tropics, like me my techniques might be your option. Where I live, we have six months that are dreary and unpredictable and overcast and then that only leads into a spring that again rains almost every day. Finding a good time, not to mention a good time each couple of days to take photos in natural light is basically impossible. I chose to set up a photo area in my apartment. It may seem overboard, but, my photos were not coming out well the four times I took them before this. There are some great videos and blogs on how people take and edit their photos.


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EQUALITY

5:09 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments


I wanted to share this, because the first four are true AND needed to be said, but honestly, I am not equal, none of us women are, we are so superior, so much better, so much more awesome, and just because the Business world has taken forever to acknowledge it, has been to their demise. Have you seen the state of the economy in the United States? If we had been running things, we wouldn't have been so busy with our johnson's getting tugged that we weren't doing our jobs and we would have seen this shit coming... So, as I said, I am NOT and will NEVER BE EQUAL...  GET USED TO IT..

0 comments:

Duchamp's Lover

3:07 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

Ok .. Ms. longwinded has a story to share... I have been feeling not so well, but, something came across my lap and I really need your help with this. It has been laid on my heart and those who know me personally know, I cannot stand injustice and will do what I can to help when I can. A little over a month ago, I had a sweet young woman contact me via my shop about her shop on Etsy. She was very polite and kind and asked if I could help her by looking at her shop and tell her what she was doing wrong, why she wasn't getting visitors. Well, we all know, if we had a magic wand for that answer, we would all be rich. The truth is, there are about 80 answers to that. It is a lot of steps and none of them are short. They all take time and detail. Here comes the problem. The young woman is in China and her first language is chinese. Although she seems to be able to communicate very well, I can tell that occasionally the language becomes a barrier. She is an amazing young woman that is incredibly talented at what she does and has really made a huge effort to improve her shop and is still doing so every day, while making more product at the same time. She unfortunately got that first customer this week that didn't go to the post office to pick up the item when the notice was left at their house in the US and the lady left her bad feedback and was extremely rude to her. It just crushed her spirit. I tried to cheer her up and let her know that sometimes, in the US, folks are just Aholes and you have to overlook them. Something that I did not know before meeting her is that the Chinese government has banned the use of Facebook and Twitter. The only way that anyone can use it is to buy a bootleg, illegal copy, punishable by some not so nice stuff. I personally wouldn't want to be in trouble with the law in China. So, her forms of exposing her shop are very limited. Also, I cannot imagine the whole "Mom and Dad, I am an artist" goes over well in China, crap it doesn't even go over well here and we are supposed to be free thinkers. Anyways, this is where my wonderful fellow Etsians that love to support each other come in... I am asking you to please if you have the time, stop by and fave her shop, pin her items, fave her items, whatever you feel compelled to do. She could really use your support. It just really makes me grateful for living and being born in a country where I have the freedom to do and say what I please as I please and tell those who don't like it to stick it where they please... I cannot grasp what it would have been like to live your entire life under such oppression. Sad, that in 2013, it still exists... 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/artsgifts


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Country Chic Shoppe

2:27 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

I have just come across the cutest little shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/CountryChicShoppe
She has really developed a talent for adding a shabby chic finish to furniture and repurposing items that would probably have just been forgotten. The shelves and jewelry boxes that she has in her shop are absolutely adorable. It makes me extremely jealous. I have tried many times and just cannot seem to get the desired effect when trying this process. It takes talent, one I don't have..lol She also makes these really cool ankle chains that accessorize your boots. I have never seen anything quite like it. You will have to stop by and check her out and show her some love... Hope everyone is having a great week..

http://www.etsy.com/listing/120490780/sparkly-bathroom-organizer-distressed

http://www.etsy.com/listing/116516077/jewelry-box-country-shabby-chic-jewelry

http://www.etsy.com/listing/121009322/vintage-mans-jewelry-organizer-holder

http://www.etsy.com/listing/111853146/3-tier-silver-boot-chain-ladies-boot


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7:40 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

I've just updated my website, check it out. http://trampleedesigns.com/

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I Cross My Body, You Cross Yours

12:27 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

I have been fiddling around with the idea for months now of making an adjustable crossbody bag. One that will fit all sizes, so that each bag could be worn by anyone and not be sized specifically. I have been working with different options, seeing what will and will not work. Trying to decide what is functional, practical and what isn't. First, I thought buttons, well, that is ok, but my bags are rather large and generally carried by younger women, and mayyyyyyy tend to get overstuffed on occasion. I kind of feel as though buttons would not hold up. So, then thought about snaps, maybe snaps would work. But, as I have worked with snaps on many different fabrics in the past year, I have learned that snaps, over time, tend to rip the fabric as you use them repeatedly. Which is why I chose very early on not to use them on my clutches and use magnetic snaps instead. Then, my daughter and I were out somewhere and saw this woman carrying a bag that had the straps tied in a knot, which was a really cool look, and I thought would go well with my bags. Well, some of them.. Then you enter into the issue of whether or not the person has the knot tied tight enough. If they have a lot in the bag and the knot is not tight, it will fall off or slide down on them. I know, I know, I am probably thinking WAY too much about this. But, ask anyone, I don't do anything half way. I might be working on 15 things, but I will make sure that each and every one of them get the attention they need to be completed and completed well. So, I was in my most favorite place to shop in the world, the fabric store on Saturday and I saw my most favorite thing to see while shopping, a clearance basket. In it, were a bunch of large buckles. They had obviously been for sale in the store long enough that the glue holding the blister pack on to the paper was no longer holding and they had to be taped on. So, these normally 7+ dollar buckles were $.11. So, the universe or the fabric store Gods have spoken and I will be attempting to make them with large buckles. If it works, I will very soon have my crossbody bags in a one size fits all. Those of you that are familiar with my shop know that I specialize in plus size crossbody bags. These hobo style crossbody bags are normal hard to find for a woman of size. I feel as though a woman should not be punished and not allowed to be fashionable just because she is big and beautiful.

I am giving away gift certificates to my shop in a pinterest contest, so make sure you scroll down and enter. There is also a contest a little further down for a free clutch of your choice.

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9:12 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

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8:53 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

Tramp Lee Designs

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NEW PIN TO WIN CONTEST..

7:32 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

0 comments:

Blah Blah Blogginess

10:38 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

So, Yes, I am aware that my blog needs some help. The trouble is, if you knew me, you would realize, I absolutely do NOT have the time to set it all up. I have the most wonderful partner ever that will be taking on that task. Getting it to just where I want it to be and the way I want it to look. That way I can focus on the shop and shop promotion and the content of the blog. So, look for changes in the days to come. They will be happening one by one. But, before long, all of the little features that are supposed to be here, will be. I appreciate your patience.. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend...

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4:51 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY LOVELIES...

Just wanted to stop in and say happy Valentines Day. I hope everyone is getting lots and lots of sweet from their sweetie.. I hope that all of the gifts your are giving out today are handmade. I know that there are a million wonderful ideas of things you could have made for free or with things you have around the house posted on blogs. 

This is your challenge to prepare for next year. 

*Money Saving Tip - The further you get away from Valentines Day, the less you will think about it..
DO NOT do this. When you are in your local craft store and see that the Valentines items have been marked down to 80 and 90 % off, grab them up. You can get great items for scrapbooks, stickers, paper, anything you can imagine, for next to nothing. Grab that stuff up. Unless of course you live near me, then, leave it alone, I am coming to get it.. Give yourself a Valentines Day Basket in your craft area and put it all together. When it comes time to make things, while everyone else is paying a ton for stuff, you won't even need to leave the house.

I hope that you all have a Fantastic Day. 

0 comments:

MAKING A PILLOW

5:28 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

As promised, I am here to share the making of my first Heart Pillow. This is the finished product. Now, be gentle with me, I am knew to blogging and this is my first time explaining how I do something. If I skip anything, you can feel free to ask me, I only bite when people like it. 

Materials
Fabric for pillow - depends on how large you want to make it
Fabric for appliques - once again depends on how large the pillow will be
Scissors
Sewing Machine
Needle
Thread
Fiberfill or Fabric Scraps
Fusible Light to Medium Weight Interfacing - depending on what material you use for pillow, I used a jersey and needed to use interfacing to make it easier to sew to for my appliques.
Many of us have pieces of fabric scraps laying around, I know I have thousands. I have used old sheets, pieces of dresses I was fond of and didn't wear or fit into anymore, thrift store finds. Fabric is Fabric, when making a pillow, it really does not matter. If you are on a budget, you can make a pillow for next to nothing.
The size of the material you need completely depends on what size heart, or whatever shape you decide to make you would like. As long as you can cut out two pieces in the same exact shape, you can make a pillow out of it. The way that I got my heart pattern was to take a thin cardboard envelope and cut it out like we did when we were kids into a heart shape. It came out perfect. I am sure that if you search you can find a large version of any shape you would like, or one that you can re size for free.
Depending on the material that you have chosen to use for the pillows base, you may need to iron on some fusible interfacing to the back of your fabric. It will never hurt to do this, It stiffens the material just slightly and makes a better surface for you to sew to when attaching your appliques that you are about to make. Once interfacing is attached, and trimmed down to the size of your fabric, set these two pieces aside.
 *Money Saving Tip. Whenever you have a few extra minutes in Walmart or the Craft Stores that you frequent, check out the clearance rack. I don't even start shopping for crafts or non sale items until I have first visited the markdown aisle of a craft store. Learn where they keep the Clearance in your favorite craft store and frequent it. Do not pay full price when you do not have to. Sometimes the same exact item you are purchasing is marked to half price because last year they used a different box and this year they decided to change it and make it more flashy. 
 When ironing interfacing, iron the plastic feeling side down towards your fabric. do not worry if it stick to your ironing board, it will come right up when you are done. Just make sure that you go over it really well and get it to stick to your item.



Appliques
I know that valentines is now wrapping up and most of you won't be making heart pillows. I know it seems strange that I am posting this now, so let me explain. I believe that you can use this logic for any pillow and I think it would be a really simple and cute way to maybe make a pillow for a child with their initials on it or cute little felt animal faces. You can play with it and make it your own. Just make sure you send me pics to post when you do.


I chose red and white felt . Cut you little hearts of different shapes and sizes, some that will fit on top of each other and some that will not. Same goes if you use other shapes. Sew together the ones that you have chosen to put together using a zigzag stitch.

*Money Saving Tip - Do not every buy those little paper size sheets of felt for crafts. Go to an actual fabric store, if you have one near you. Before you leave your home, print out whatever coupon said store has that week. All of the big ones have a coupon running 24/7 for either 40 or 50 % off one non sale item. This is also a fantastic way to buy expensive items that you need, machines, lights. Find the colors you want of felt there and pay much less. I got 2 complete yards of red felt last week for $2.00 at Hancock Fabrics. I will use that now for Valentines and again at Christmas and who knows between now and then.

This is what you will end up with. I did white thread on my red on white and red thread on my white on red.


Next, pin all of your appliques into place onto one piece of the materials front.
Once you are happy with the placement, you will sew these appliques into place just as you sewed the smaller hearts onto the bigger hearts.


Once all of the appliques are sewn onto the front piece, you take the front of the pillow and pin it to the good side of the other piece of fabric. Sewing those two pieces together, leaving a three inch opening on the very outside of the heart, do not leave this opening at the bottom point or top crease of heart, it will make it pucker when you hand stitch it.


Make sure all pins are removed. Place a small slit in the crease of the heart. Be very careful not to cut through the thread.


Turn your pillow inside out and smooth outer seams. Use fiberfill to fill pillow to each corner. (You can also cut Fabric Scraps small and use them as filler) Stuff pillow to the consistency that you are happy with. Work fiberfill around inside of pillow to make it smooth. 



Once you are happy with the pillow stuffing, hand stitch the hole together and you have your own handmade pillow. 


Congratulations..

I hope you enjoyed the demonstration.



0 comments:

Valentines Day

1:33 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

Have been busy all day making things for my sweetheart for Valentines Day. I am taking lots of pictures. Tomorrow, I will attempt to load them on here and show you step by step how to make cute little heart pillows. I always have extra fabric laying around. I thought it would be a cute idea. Then, as I was doing it, I thought, it doesn't have to just be for Valentines day, you could actually make any shape of pillow, square, round, triangular, and put whatever shapes you want on it, even letters, or numbers. Maybe you have a date that is significant. I will be giving you detailed instructions tomorrow. Very easy. So, stay tuned... Hope everyone is having a fantastic week..

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Social Media for Business

6:37 PM Tammie Rampley 1 Comments


So, let's talk Social Media. My background is in Marketing to some degree. But, I have absolutely no idea how to use the internet to my advantage. Without any money to spend, I have to do what I can for as little as possible. A while back, I came across +Kim Garst  from  boomsocial.net. She was actually named Forbes top 50 Social Media Influencers. So, of course, I have been watching what she is doing. I went to her Facebook page where she offers the free book "30 Fun & Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fan Page Likes" as well as many other items. https://www.facebook.com/kimgarstboomsocial.

The document was amazing and informative and extremely easy to follow. A couple of days later, I received an email informing me that I was invited to listen in on an award ceremony that  +Mara Glazer  from TheBizzyBuzz.com was having called the bit.ly/bizbabeawards  . Kim was one of the women being honored and everyone invited would be given the opportunity to listen to each of their interviews. We can hear what each of them not only use as their tools for success, but what strategies and practices they have put into place in their particular fields of expertise. What lessons they have learned. What NOT to do. How to make life easier for those of us struggling and out here muddling through quicksand some days, or so it seems. The interview was very inspiring and encouraging. The listeners were also given access to a new book that Kim has written and not yet released on how to promote and utilize Pinterest for promotional purposes.

This is one program that I feel like has really given me a ton of knowledge and is going to help me stop having to redo stuff over and over again and feel like I am getting nowhere. Check out these ladies and what they are doing. There is a ton of free information on their pages that will help get you going.

1 comments:

Giveaway

1:57 PM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

So, last night I started my first Giveaway using Rafflecopter. https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/. I have been just doing my giveaways on Facebook since I opened. When I tried to get some help advertising my contests, I realized very quickly that I was breaking the Facebook official policies on Giveaways and Contests. This is a copy of the official policy, https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php and here is an explanation that you can actually understand http://blog.rafflecopter.com/2012/08/facebook-giveaway-rules-regulations/. I think that I was breaking every rule possible. Twice. I find rafflecopter to be a really interesting and easy program to use. It makes it simple and easy to follow the guidelines that Facebook has laid out while making it easier to advertise your Giveaway. I set up the Giveaway and then was up until almost five getting it promoted around the web. Well trying to. I signed up for every site that "says" it will "advertise your contest for free". I will let you know what my results end up being. My exposure so far has not been so great. I think I am just going to have to keep tweeting it and hope for the best. I noticed when I got up that Etsy is down. Grrrrr... It does me absolutely no good to promote a shop that is lost in cyberspace. I will march forward, head held high, sword in hand (no idea why I have a sword, must need one today), ready for anything. I hope you lovelies have a fantastic afternoon..

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3:07 AM Tammie Rampley 6 Comments

LOVE TO WIN COOL THINGS? a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

Blogging

12:03 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments


Visit Tramp Lee Designs
So, I have been toying with the idea of blogging for a few months now. My shop is getting to where I want it, I am happy with the way it looks. And, I have been having quite a few people on Etsy contacting me and asking me for advice on what to do with their shop, how to set up for photo’s and such. So, no better time than the present. You have to start somewhere. I think my biggest fear isn’t that someone won’t read it, but that someone will..lol.. I have a somewhat, some would say, very, smart ass personality at times, and not everyone gets it. But, I look at it this way, it is MY blog, right? I can say what I want, right? I figure that I might as well say what I want to and if people want to read it they can, if they don’t like what I say, they don’t have to. I will be compiling the information that I have been sharing with the people contacting me in the next few days and sharing it on here. That way, the next time someone asks, I can send them here instead of retyping it alllllll over again… 
So, Since I kind of just started rambling, I should probably introduce myself. I am Tammie, aka TrampLee. This will kind of be how you get the inside scoop on things, like the name. It actually IS my name. When I divorced, I kept my ex’s last name so that my daughter would grow up with the same last name as me. So, for 23 years I have had the last name Rampley. For many years, I signed my name T. Rampley for professional reasons. When you sign many documents in a day, you get reallllly sick of spelling it all of the way out. Well, at some point in high school, (she is now about to graduate college) my daughter let me know that every time I signed my name that way, I was signing it Trampley, and the only reason she knew was because she realized that when she did they same, it made her Crampley. So, for years, it has been somewhat of an inside joke between us. When it came time to add a name to my line, my daughter suggested that I name it, Tramp Lee. Hence, the awesome name. 
I make Original Handmade Purses, Clutches, Hobo, Crossbody Bags and some accessories. I started out just making them for my daughter. She was in college, I was bored. After a while, she had way too many purses and started hinting to the fact that she was going to start giving them to her friends if I kept giving them to her. I made a few for friends with a very positive response. I heard quite a few times that their friends really liked them. At this point, I was only making Crossbody bags. I had a young lady mention to me that being a woman of size, she had difficulty finding a crossbody bag that would fit her. Being a plus size woman myself, I had to see what she was talking about. I checked out my bags and then everyone else’s. She was right, when you put on an average size bag and you are either a size 16+ or you are over 5’ 8” the opening of the bag rides right under your breast. You cannot even find one to ride on your hip like you want it to. So, I set out to develop a plus size crossbody bag. One that a woman of size, or a taller woman could wear comfortably on her hip without attention being painfully brought to the fact that it just doesn’t fit. Why do purse makers think that larger women don’t want to wear or deserve to wear nice bags?
Then came the clutch. The very first clutch came from a pattern. I was standing in Sam’s one day with a friend waiting on someone to help us and I just so happened to be across from the book section. I looked up and saw the most adorable handmade clutch pattern on the cover of this book. Of course, said handmade clutch, was the very first one I ever created. It isn’t my favorite, but, it has served me well. While making it, I started to realize that I didn’t want to make a style of purse that other people could make. I wanted to make a purse that was my own. I wanted to do something different then everyone else. Whether simple, or strange, I wanted each and every one of my bags from there on out to be originally mine. My brain went into overdrive. Since then, I have created six different clutches, that are mine, allll mine. Did you hear my evil voice? It is very rewarding to know that you are making something that no one else is. Yes, it is somewhat harder to break into the market, because it is definitely a niche clientele you have to attract. But, I feel like it is worth it. I truly believe that it will pay off. I feel good about what I do and what I create. Oddly, the clutches that I am least happy with are the ones that everyone seems to like the most. If I see a flaw in it when I photograph it, it will be the one that everyone is favoriting on Etsy. Now, Make sure you hop on over and check out my shop… http://www.etsy.com/shop/TrampLee
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