Monday, May 31, 2010

I heart Faces

When I saw that this weeks challenge was barefoot, I knew I had to enter this photo!!! My daughter LOVES being barefoot, and I love this picture of her!! What is even better about this week having a barefoot theme is that it is for a great cause.

 We have the privilege to decide when and if we want to be barefoot, and sadly MANY people don't. How many pair of shoes do you have that you haven't worn in FOREVER?? Could you part with them?? While at church a few years ago we were challenged to do more then get rid of the ratty old shoes we don't wear anymore, we were challenged to give the shoes right off our feet. Tim and I met that challenge, and then ran our errands and such the rest of the day barefoot... we got some weird looks, and when we explained why we got even weirder looks, and then we would run into people who were also barefoot and with a knowing smile we would not at each other, knowing that we gave our "Sunday best" to those who don't have any, that shoe drive at church over the next 3 weeks raised over 30,000 pairs of shoes... since then I don't just give old shoes to the Goodwill, I give them to shelters. It's a good way to give back!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Do's and Don'ts Of Crafters!!

1. Learn the Craft, NOT the Style
I'm sure it's happened to ALL of us! We come up with something that we can't find anywhere else... lo' and behold a week later someone has been "inspired" by our design!
Or we have found a GREAT way to word our listings, and someone uses the copy and paste feature and uses it word for word.
Now I know the saying "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". It is supposed to be flattering but in reality it's downright frustrating... and rude. No-one likes it.
So that is rule number one.. don't copy someones style. If you are inspired to make something similar to someone else, take care to make it your own. I know there are some mediums where everyone seems to have the same thing... crochet (my medium of choice!) is one of them. There are TONS of sellers out there with similar hats, scarves, washcloths, booties, cuffs, you get the idea. Jewelry is another medium like that. It is hard in a saturated market to stand out with your individuality.
So what can you do??
It's your personal style and spin on things that makes you unique.
Make sure that all your items are a reflection of YOU.
You want people to see your items and KNOW where it came from!! Make sure that all your items are a reflection of YOU.
When someone copies you.. remember what comes around goes around.

Vintage Daisy Antique Brass Bee Victorian Necklace by LauraBlytheDesigns

2. You get more bees with honey!
Yes that is right!! Be nice! Have you ever been in the forums and seen the rude poster and thought I would NEVER buy from someone who is mean like that?? Well guess what... it applies to you to!!
So in the forums and in the chat...
if you don't have anything nice to say, it's better for sales to NOT say anything at all!!
Don't jump on the bandwagon complaining about the Etsy Admin.
DO be encouraging to new sellers
DO be positive and uplifting

Spam Bot Greeting Card by UrsalaandOlive
3. Stop The Spam!
There is a FINE FINE line between advertising and promoting, and spamming.
Sometimes it's hard to know if you are crossing that line.
Sooo ...
DO use your facebook and twitter to promote yourself
DON'T make that ALL you talk about, remember people don't want to see you plugging yourself on every post!
DO put your links on the bottom of convos and emails
DON'T convo people who have hearted an item and tell them it's on sale
DO post your sales in the forums (under promotions)
DON'T Hijack someone else's post to tell about your sale
DO Email those who have asked to be updated about specials and promotions
DON'T Email everyone in your address book
DO Post on pertinent blogs and put your link as part of your signature
DON'T Post on Blogs with your sales and links

Eloise and Ramona Play Telephone Best Friends Necklace Set by FlapperDoodle
4. Talk Talk Talk
Or write write write!! We are talking about communication people!
When you get a convo asking about an item, what to do.....
DO Write back as quickly as you can
DON'T wait to reply if you need to do some research, write them back and let them know you are looking into it.
DO Give clear concise answers to their questions
DON'T make the process confusing
DO Be friendly and patient!
DON'T get frustrated with their questions (well don't let them know if you get frustrated)

Live Love Learn 8x10 Print by Tessyla
Most important is the Golden Rule:
Treat others as YOU want to be Treated!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Look at me!!! or How to get in Treasuries!

Antique Brass Eyeglasses Necklace by NineXMuse

We have all seen the beautiful treasuries on the front page of Etsy and thought...

I want to be on the Front Page!!!!!!!!!!

So off we go taking better pictures, we research tags and make sure our items are tagged perfectly..... and no front page love.

What gives???

Well there is more to it then having amazing product, pictures and tags... you have to put yourself out there.

You Are What You Create Mens T-Shirt by StutterAndSing

1. Do it yourself!

You are more likely to get noticed by other treasury makers when you make a treasury yourself!

here is an Etsy article on just how to make a treasury: How to Make A Treasury

Mon Tresor Treasure Chest Necklace by TinyTokensDesigns

2. Your in a Treasury... now what

The best way to know if you are in a treasury is to go to Craftopolis here you can see if you are in any treasuries.

The share the news!! Post it to your Twitter, Facebook, Blog, MySpace... share it where you can!!

Don't forget to comment and click on the treasury, and thank the curator.

Toddler Hello My Name is Trouble T-Shirt by ShockNRoll

3. Make yourself Known

How are treasury curators going to rfind you amidst the masses?? Because you post on their treasuries.. it's your introduction into their world.

I find that when you comment on a treasury with a well thought, and articulate post, you will get noticed a heck of a lot faster then just saying "great picks"

I hope to see you on the front page soon!!!!

*Article I wrote for Handmade Spark

It's all about the Branding!!

When you see hear the term "Golden Arches" what do you think of???? McDonalds of course!!

Why is that??? Branding. They have that logo on EVERYTHING they do!! Even their McGriddles have the Arches in them!

If you hear about Target what image pops into your mind??? That red and white bulls eye!

You are probably thinking that it has NOTHING to do with your little Etsy shop... WRONG.

Etsy Seller EnchantedMemories has this to say about Branding:

"Branding is important for any business no matter the size. It helps create a professional appearance that creates buyer confidence. Branding can also be beneficial to your sales in it creating a recognizable brand for your products."

So when your business card matches your logo, and your return labels match your banner, and your blog ties it all together... when people see those images, they think of you!

Pre-Made Owl Banner By EnchantedMemories

Think of it this way...

You get a purchase... you nicely package it up, stick a few cards in it, and send it on to it's new home..

When they get it, do they see a card that matches your banner?? So when they come across it again they instantly remember your shop??


Do they get it, come across the card later, and think.. what was that shop again?? I know I got an awesome product from it, but what else was there??

Branding is SO very important...I can't stress it enough... branding will bring repeat buyers!!

I really love Barbie at EnchantedMemories... she makes cute yet professional all in one branding sets, and she also does custom orders. I think I really like her because she is a mom like me!!

Here is a little bit about her in her own words:

"I am married with three small kids. I am always drawing, either sketching an idea I have, drawing something for my kids to color or doodling on the corners of paper while on the phone. I love that 99.9% of my orders are completely custom becuase I love being challenged to create new things that I have never drawn. I believe that art is a very important part of life and think that children should always be encouraged to be creative."

In short, branding to Etsy is to Location and Real Estate!!!
*post from written by me

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it has a song" Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is one of my mentors in life. I've never met her, but I've read her books, all of them. Her life is an inspiration. She has been through it all, abuse, persecution, she was a big part of the Civil Rights movement, she's lived all over. She's a poet and author, if you have never read her books, I suggest you do!!

My love of bird cages comes from the book "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" The quote from the book "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it has a song" speaks VOLUMES to me.  I want to share what it means to me, please comment and share what means to you!

As a creative person, I always want to say something about me in my work. I don't make things because I can, I make things because I LOVE to! I want people to see the things I make, and see me in them. See my passion for the items I create, and see my love of color, yarn, paper, and buttons!!

As a human being, we all go through trials, and life lessons. We don't share these experiences with people because we have all the answers, we share them because it's our life, and our song. We are meant to go through these things to learn and share.  It's not an answer, it's life. Think about the times you are listening to the radio and a song just resonates with you. Then you find out that the singer wrote the song based on life experiences.... doesn't it just mean so much more to you??

I feel we all have a song, we all have something to share, and it's not the great answer to life, it's about making the bonds and connections in life.

I love to do a search on Etsy for Bird Cages here are just a few of the Purdy Things I found!!

Womens Bird Cage T-Shirt by CanteloupeCorner

50's Birdcage Pillow by Olive

Vinyl Wall Decal Hanging Bird Cage by HouseholdWords