Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Delayed Feature

Hi there everyone.

Just to let you know that my blog hasn't been updated recently because I was out of the country and had no interenet access.

Normal updates will resume shortly. This includes the Fortnightly Featured Seller which I will be posting within the next couple of days (I know that it is slightly late and it is normally posted on a Wednesday but I don't want to make you guys wait for another fortnight!)

Thank you!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Fortnightly Featured Seller

So today I’m introducing a new regular blog item – The Fortnightly Featured Seller.

My featured seller for this fortnight is Michelle of http://www.marumaru.etsy.com/. She makes and sells jewellery. Michelle’s shop recently celebrated its second anniversary. A resident of Honolulu in Hawaii, Michelle graduated last year with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Japanese and says when she’s not making jewellery she loves going to the movies and drinking champagne.

I asked Michelle a few questions about herself and her shop:

1. What inspires you to make such unique jewellery?

I'm inspired by fantasies from when I was a child. I wanted everything to be in pink and blue like cotton candy, ride on a unicorn and eat ice cream all day long. My grandmother owns a very large land area in Japan and made it into a beautiful garden that is now a popular tourist attraction. I would spend my childhood in her garden looking at blue Hydrangeas wishing I could take it all back home with me. In my shop, you will see lots of flowers from rose cameos to czech flower beads.

2. Which item in your shop is your favorite?

My favorite item in my shop is the Bermuda Blue Sunset Earrings. I love how at one angle it has a beautiful ocean hue color and if you look at it from another angle, it has a warm beautiful sunset color. Here's the link: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_1&listing_id=24802276

3. Which items do you enjoy making the most?

I enjoy making items with flower cabochons. You can add them to anything! I place them on lockets, on leaf petals, and they're gorgeous just by itself. Flower cabochons were the most popular last year during the Christmas season, so I will be definitely getting more of those :)

I’d like to say thanks to Michelle for being my first ever Fortnightly Featured Seller. If you would like to be featured contact me through the Etsy convo system. My shop is http://www.buttonsbows23.etsy.com/

Monday, 8 June 2009

Making Your Outfit Smile!

Well this week I came up with some new ideas for my Etsy shop. I was doing a bit of clearing out when I found a huge tin of buttons.

Some of the buttons were gorgeous and while I was wading through the box and found myself picking out combinations that I liked, complimentary colours and more unusual ones too!

So I guess that's what inspired me to start making these button barettes and button brooches. My personal favorite is the barette shown to the left. I think it has a real shabby chic feel. I'm tempted to keep it myself! But alas it's on Etsy here's the link if you would like to know more about it: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?

I've also added to my accessory range with the introduction of brooches! It was actually my Auntie who suggested I start making them. She said she loved my hair accessories and she thought if there was a way to attach them to her clothes they could really make her outfit smile. I loved the way she said that so it has become the new mantra of my shop: "Making your outfit smile" I think it sums up exactly what I'm trying to achieve.

So anyway - back to brooches. I think the picture to the right is my best brooch so far. The colours are really striking and very fashionable for this season. If you like the look of it go to: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_2&listing_id=26174997

There's lots of new brooches and barettes in different colours and designs on my shop right now so take a look if you want to make your outfit smile!: http://www.buttonsbows23.etsy.com/

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Twitter: An effective marketing tool?

This new phenomenon is a micro-blogging site. The Twitter site asks its users one simple question: “What are you doing?” Then your co-workers, family and friends can ‘follow’ your updates.

My question is: Can it be used as an effective marketing tool?

I know that there is a growing presence on Twitter of Etsy sellers promoting their shops. However I’m not sure that the any of the views generated from tweeting are converted into sales.
One of the major problems I find is getting the right followers. Tweeting links or promotions is fine but if your information is not reaching potential customers it’s useless!

Many Etsy sellers I got information from said that you have to be careful not to over promote your shop. Followers can get bored with constant promotions and links to your shop. Less is definitely more!
tinahdee says: I probably do 80-90% non-promo stuff, and then tweet when I list something NEW (not a renewal) or to notify about a sale or discount.

Despite its drawbacks some Etsy sellers say it’s very successful.
For example modernemotive says: I've gotten my biggest sales off them (3 over $50) plus many others for lower transactions. . . . . When I remember, I do ask how customers found me, and quite often it comes back to twitter. :) I Twitter about whatever comes to mind. :)

I think you’re success on Twitter depends on what you make of it – Spamming will get you no where but no promotion will do just as little. My opinion is that promotion on Twitter should be used sparingly. Try mixing it with details of your day like “Just sitting down to start making a new design” or “Off to bed.” Make your tweets interesting so people will look forward to hearing what you’re up to and hopefully you’ll reap the rewards!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

An Introduction to Me

Well, I guess the big difference from me to other Etsy sellers is my age. I'm 15 and while that might put some off, others see it as a benefit. If I want to sell my creations why should anyone say I will do a worse job than an experienced mother of two? Some people seem to have this prejudice against anyone under 18. I hope that I can break the mould!

I started making hair accessories about a year and a half ago after paying over the odds for a badly made hair accessory that didn't even match the outfit I bought it for! I have been making things since I was little - everything from ladybug houses to blankets. So I made a few hair bows to start off with. My friends started to ask about them and soon enough I was selling them. I developed my skills and began making more complex designs. I branched into hairbands, barettes and now I'm beginning to dabble in brooches. I recently stumbled across Etsy and after a bit of research I set up shop.

Now that I'm beginning to take this venture a bit further I thought it would be a great idea to chart my progress. Etsy is totally new to me so I'm starting from grass roots level. But hey, everyone has to start from somewhere, don't they?