Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Features - Hello Spring!

Sunday officially marks the beginning of Spring! While Summer will always be my favorite season, Spring comes in at a close second. After a long, cold, brown and white winter, the colors emerging this time of year always put a smile on my face :) I've been out taking pictures of all the new color and browsing Etsy for beautiful Spring finds. Enjoy!

Which season is your favorite?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


I love working with local businesses and organizations for fundraisers and awards. Recently the local fitness center had a Relay for Life Spin-a-Thon event. If you're not familiar with a spin-a-thon, you can read about it HERE.

Generally they just sell t-shirts as a fundraiser, but wanted something a little different this year and asked if I could make some necklaces and ornaments for them to sell as well. A local designer created the logo for this year and I was able to engrave it for the wooden pieces.

On the back we added something a little special so the necklaces could be worn double-sided.

I was so happy to be a part of this wonderful event and love helping local organizations like this :)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Features - Aquamarine

Wow, how is it Friday again already! I guess I can't complain, that means it's time for the weekend. While we don't have any specific plans, it does mean more time to relax and hangout :)
And I can't believe it's March already too. But I won't complain about that either. That means Spring is just around the corner and the warmer temps that have been teasing us will soon be here to stay! Today's finds are for all the March babies, or any one who just loves aquamarine. Enjoy!

Which is your favorite?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Craft Show Tips - Variety is Key

With the spring show season kicking off soon, I thought I'd share a few thoughts I put together last year during the holiday show season. I have my first spring show coming up in just a couple weeks, so my brain is in high gear getting ready!

Product Variety
Twice now I have been near a booth that sold only one item. They had a variety of that one thing, but it was still just one item. The first girl had decorated glass blocks and the other group had bricks with fabric around them to look like little couches for door stops.
When a customer walks by your booth, they see what you have and they are either interested or not. When you only have one item, they are more likely to walk on by.
You need a variety of different items to draw your buyers in. If one item doesn't catch their eye right away, the next item might. And that gets them to stop at your booth and see all the other items you have.

Don't Forget the Men
Variety also applies to the people you are targeting. Does your booth mainly attract women? What about adding a few items for the guys. I was surprised by the number of men at craft shows last year. They are big fans of my beer mugs and flasks :) In a sea of items for women, it's a good idea to have something for the guys as well. Maybe the husband stops at your booth, his wife will stop too...a chance to make a double sale :)

 Add a Variety of Price Points
Along with only having one item, having a narrow pricing system can be a problem as well. If you only sell high-end jewelry, you will be cutting your market to less than half the buyers. I'm by no means saying to devalue your work or under-price your items. But adding items that take less time or smaller stones might appeal to shoppers on a tighter budget as well.
I try to keep all my items within gift-giving range. I find that most shoppers (especially in the fall) are buying for gifts, rather than themselves. Some are looking for a big gift for a loved one and will spend a little more. And others are looking for stocking stuffers or that one last piece to finish a gift basket. Having something for all these shoppers may make your show a bigger success.

There are tons of tips for having a successful show, but today I wanted to focus on variety as I feel it has helped me continue to do well at my shows. I hope it helps you too :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Etsy Wish List

When most people think of an Etsy Wish List, they think of all the things they want to buy. All the things in their favorites account. But me, my mind is always on the business side, and my wish list consists of the things I'd like Etsy to change or add as features for their sellers. Below is the my Etsy Wish List:

1. Change a buyer's address on the receipt
Right now, all we can do is add a note to remind ourselves to change the address before shipping. Since I do so much custom work, the item might not ship for a couple of weeks. And when I'm printing 10 labels at a time, I can easily overlook my note and forget to change their address. I would like to be able to change it the minute the buyer requests the change.

2. The ability to upload a file during the checkout process
When engraving photos and recipes, I need the buyers to upload images of their items. Some buyers new to Etsy aren't aware that they need to send this image to me in a message/convo. It creates unnecessary messages and sometimes delays in production when I can't get ahold of my buyers right away.

3. Create a custom listing from a message I started
Right now, sellers have the ability to create a custom listing from a message when they buyer contacts you to create a custom item.
But there are times where I am the one who contacts the person first. Maybe they purchased something, but requested an add-on or to upgrade their shipping. If I message the buyer first, I can't create a custom listing for them via the messaging system. Instead, I have to create a public listing for them to buy.
It would also be nice to be able to create a second custom listing from the same message.

4. Separate quantities for different variations
Etsy definitely doesn't help keep inventory straight. If I have 3 pair of 1/2" earrings and 2 pair of 3/4" earrings, I can only make 3 pair available rather than all 5 because I don't have 5 of all one size. So I can only list 2 and then have to do a new inventory count when the item sells out.
Or for items like my recipe books where I offer them As Shown or Personalized, I'd like to be able to offer the quantity As Shown books I have made and on-hand, but have unlimited inventory for the Personalized option. Again, this makes keeping inventory a pain when I have to go to my shelves and recount when the listing runs out.

5. Separate shipping costs for different variations
It would also be so nice if we could add separate shipping costs for variations as some items weigh different amounts. My 4x6 frames weight just over one pound, but my 8x10 frames weight almost three pounds. With the current system, I have to build some of the shipping cost into the cost of the frames. I don't feel this is right and doesn't portray the true cost either.

6. More characters for variation titles
Variation titles can currently only be 20 characters long, including spaces. This honestly doesn't let you fully describe your variation in many cases. I've come to realize that too many buyers simply don't read the description and Etsy's mobile app isn't user-friendly when it comes to buyers trying to read the description. It would be helpful if we were able to have longer variations to explain more to the buyers, since they might not read it if it's only put in the description.

7. Photo overlays
Okay, I'll admit this one is a long-shot and not really a necessity, just wishful hoping. It brings me back to the fact that many buyers don't read the listing description. I had numerous buyers during the holidays that didn't see my shop announcement that I was closed for Christmas orders. I also had this stated in capital letters in the first line of the listing (case and point that they don't read the description). It's so frustrating to have to cancel orders because of this. It also takes time away from other needs in a very busy time.
My thought was that photo overlays would allow me to write right on the first photo that I am closed for orders. I don't want to close my shop during this time so buyers who don't need their items until after Christmas can still order.
In fact, I am considering doing this on my own any way. It's just such a pain to change them all for a 2-3 week period, then have to change them all back after the holidays. (And remember what file all those photos are stored in!) Photo overlays would allow you to add it on top of your photo, rather than uploading a new photo and having to replace it. This way you would just add it and remove it. Still time-consuming, but much less so than the other option.

This is definitely one of my more wordy posts! I'd love to hear your thoughts. What is your Etsy Wish List? Would any of these changes be beneficial to you as well?
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