Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Great Etsy find for the week

Ever since I started selling on Etsy, I have committed myself to being a buyer there as well. I truly believe in promoting handmade items as well as the artists who create them.

Once I recover financially from Christmas (as my daughter gets older, Christmas gets more expensive ;0 ) I will be shopping again, so each time I make a purchase, I will tell everyone about the item I bought, what seller I bought it from and what I think of it.

I recently purchased an all-natural face wash from HookedStudios Ever since giving birth to my daughter, I have been battling very bad acne (worse than when I was a teenager). I have tried several over the counter products, but in addition to my acne, my skin is very sensitive and tends to dry out very easily.

The face wash from HookStudios is a combination of ground oats, which softens skin and absorbs excess oil, garbanzo powder, which cleanses and lightens the skin, tumeric spice, which aids in remodeling damaged skin and ground flax seeds, which is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Ground flax seeds also improve the symptoms of acne, psoriasis, eczema and dry skin.

Not only is my skin smoother after only a week of using this product, but I am also seeing a reduction in my acne. I think I have finally found the skin care product I have been searching for.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Promote, Promote, Promote – Ideas for your Etsy Shop

We all know how important promoting our Etsy shop is if we want to be successful. I have put together a few ideas that you might find useful.

1. Use a signature line with a link to your shop in all of your emails

2. Promote your shop in forums and blogs that correlate with what you sell

3. Develop a free service. Share tips, ideas and any knowledge on your craft. You can create tutorials on YouTube (check out One True Media to help create videos)

4. Have a contest. You can either put this in your shop announcement or post it on your blog.

5. Send offers to your customers. Just remember that they must give you permission to contact them. When you send out packages, insert a note with your business card informing the customer of specials they could receive if they send you an email permitting you to send them correspondence.

6. List your shop’s url on Open Project Directory, the Yahoo Directory and

7.Register a domain name that you use for the sole purpose of directing traffic to your Etsy

8. Advertise your shop on Craig’s List

9. Sign up with Link Referral

10. Write articles about things you know and distribute them to editors as free content for their email newsletters or website. Ask if a link to your shop and a one line description of what you offer can be included with the article

11. Join a group on Yahoo. There are several groups for Etsy sellers – here is a link to the search query for Etsy

I found these ideas in the Forums:

1. agoodwitchtoo posted this:

How about a FREE way to get your shop’s sales or new items out there?

Blockhead Radio is starting another NEW show on Saturday 12/6. Tune in every Saturday at 5pm EST to hear “The Witching Hours”… where yours truly (me!) will be the hostess with the mostest plugging shops with “Wicked Good Sales”!

Click here to see the thread

2. mshalston told me about Letsets which is a tool for Etsy sellers. They help you upload all of your store inventory to Google Base

3. This list is thanks to LindaCain on Etsy


Click here to view a thread that has a huge list of places to promote/advertise

Well, that's all I can think of for now. If you have any new ideas or fun ways that you promote and would like to share them, post them in the comment section and I will add them, with your name and a link to your store.

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Years Resolutions

With Christmas behind us and the New Year just a few days away, it's time to start thinking about the promises we will make ourselves for the coming year. Every year I sit down and make a list of all the goals I want to accomplish and all the things I want to change, and every year I find myself falling short of the expectations I set for myself.

This year I am taking a different approach. Not too long ago, I was reading everything I could find on becoming successful and one tip I came across had a pretty profound impact on me. It said, "One of the fastest ways to fail is to set too many goals for yourself. While setting goals can keep you on track; if you set too many, you will get lost trying to accomplish them all and ultimately you will accomplish nothing."

I am a list maker. If I don't write it down, it probably won't get done. So for me this was hard to accept at first. But then I took an honest look at myself and realized that the statement held more truth for me than I would like to admit. I realized that I am really great at writing down what I want, but its the follow through I have trouble with. It's easy to recognize the things we want to do, but setting out on the journey to accomplish them can be somewhat daunting and it is easy to stray from the path.

So this year, my list only has only a few very realistic goals on it. I plan on focusing all my attention to only those goals, and committing myself to staying on track. No excuses!

Success takes dedication and commitment and a lot of hard work. It's easy to say you want to be successful. It's even easier to write it down on a piece of paper along with ways to achieve it. But ultimately it takes completing each goal along the path to success for you to be completely successful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have You Heard

Etsy seller Originals By Terri posted a link to a social network in the forums this morning called It's for bead and jewelry enthusiasts. You can post pictures of your jewelry/beads to show and they even have a selling venue. From what I can tell so far, it doesn't look like they charge any fees for selling, so it is definitely worth checking out. Here's a link if you want to check it out.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's a joke I got the other day, and I just wanted to share it :)

Everybody needs a good laugh!


This is why women should not take men shopping against their will.

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, my wife is like most women - she loved to browse.
Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Wal-Mart:

Dear Mrs. Samuel,
Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Samuel are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

2 . July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away.'

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on lay-a-way.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone? '

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were..

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least .....

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!'

Bad JuJu

I started a thread in the Etsy forums yesterday, which for me is a big deal, because I'm usually killing them instead. But I was curious to know how people would feel about being asked to change the order in which their photos of an item were displayed. The reason being, for use in a treasury. I have only done two treasuries so far, but I am always on the hunt for neat things to promote. Every once in awhile, I come across something and find that maybe the second or third picture the seller has is a better representation of that item and by switching the 'display' picture, the item would work better in the treasury.

The reactions I got totally caught me off guard. I thought a lot of people would get offended by the suggestion of changing something in their shop, especially when they weren't even looking for a critique. As of this morning, the thread is still alive and not one person said they would mind. In fact, most stated that they would be more than happy to do it and would be honored to be featured in a Treasury. Some even said, "What about my other photos, do any of them need to be changed?"

I have read a lot of threads, some of them very controversial, sparking very heated discussions. Some have gotten down right nasty, so it was so great to see that everyone actually agreed on something, especially a topic that could have been taken as an insult rather than a creative opinion.

I think that we all look at our own work a little differently than someone on the outside does. Sometimes when you are too close to something, the view isn't always the clearest. Everyone wants and deserves their moment to shine and if a little constructive criticism helps them get there, then I don't think too many people would be offended. So, if you want to feature someone in a Treasury, or on your blog and the picture of the item isn't the best of the choices, don't dismiss them and move on. Contact them and let them know your intentions, the worse that can happen is they say no.

If you want to read the thread, here is a link

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Coveted Front Page

Where some actors long to see their name in lights on Broadway, many artisans on Etsy yearn for the opportunity to be on the Front Page.

I've put together some tips I have found that might help achieve that goal.

1. Get involved in the forums. Along with promoting your own store, comment in other threads as well. Help others when they ask for advice or critiques. Add to threads in all categories.

2. Create treasuries. Let the people you feature know you admire their work and why. Convo'g like this is now permitted, but don't send all convo's back to back. Spread them out or you may get muted.

3. Join a team. This is not only a way to get your name and store seen, it is also fun. It's a great way to meet new people who have similar interests as you.

4. Comment regularly in the treasuries. Let others know what you think about their collections.

5. Make sure your pictures look good in 'gallery' format. Gallery is what is used in treasuries so if you usually keep your view in 'list' format, switch to gallery and make sure all your pictures look good and are treasury worthy.

6. Speaking of pictures, the most important tip is to make sure your pictures are great. They need to be crisp, clean and clear and really need to show the real beauty of your items.

I have never been on the Front Page myself and I'm using all these tips to try and get there. I had never really looked at my items in gallery view before and was surprised that half of the image in most of my pictures was cut off and they really didn't look good in gallery format at all. I am in the process of changing them all in hopes in will help.

With the Front Page changing frequently it's easy to miss. If you want to know if you were ever featured and missed it you can check on Flickr. Join this group which is updated regularly.

I hope these tips help. Feel free to add any tips you have in the comment box.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let me introduce myself

Hi. My name is Candi and I have been creating jewelry for about 3 years. I have always been crafty but I had never done jewelry until one day I saw my sister-in-law making a bracelet. It looked interesting, so I sat down, gave it a try and have not stopped since.

I got my start selling jewelry on Ebay, where I stayed until just recently. I will always be thankful to Ebay because they provided me great opportunities for learning not only about the business side of selling jewelry but also how important it is to build relationships with your customers. I did very well on Ebay and gained many loyal customers, but sadly the fees there have made me seek out other venues. This is how I came to find Etsy.

I opened my store last month and what I love most is the community that Etsy is. I have found the forums to be a valuable source for information and have learned a lot there. It is also wonderful to be in a place with so many talented and creative people.

I decided to start this blog to not only market my new shop, but also to share things I find along my journey to becoming successful. My family and friends joke that I am a little OCD because when I want to know something or learn something new I have a tendency to research it to death. I am a firm believer in 'paying it forward' so whatever I can share I will.
Above all though, I hope to make many new friends.

I hope you will visit me here often because you never know what I will be posting next :)