Dec 14, 2009

Please see below for my next giveaway

for a $15.00 gift certificate from my etsy shop

Dec 13, 2009

Marketing ...tags

Every website owner has heard of them, every search engine uses them, and if you are into SEO you just can't ignore them. Yes, we're referring to 'keywords'. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of search marketing are keywords, and choosing the most 'relevant' keywords can be the difference between success and failure of your web-based venture.

Search marketing and knowing your keywords

A keyword is a single word or a phrase which is used to help search engines index your site. Generally, keyword can be a one to five word phrase that can be used by people during search to find your website. However, choosing 'relevant' keywords for your SEO strategy is not easy. Some business owners tend to use keywords that are internally focused rather than being based on the kinds of searches people actually make. Other times, people tend to be almost 'careless' in researching their keywords and choose generic or irrelevant keywords that have extremely high competition. Some examples of generic keywords could be SEO, website, search engine, UK etc.

The best way to choose keywords for your business is by thinking like a person interested in your service/product. What type of word or words would they type in the search engine browser to find your offering? What are the qualities of your product or service? Answering those questions will better help you in choosing the best keywords for SEO.

Choosing the best keywords for SEO

Typically, there are many different methods to find best and relevant keywords and some of these steps are:

Finding words that people use to find product or service similar to your offering.

Keyword research tools such as google adwords, Keyword tool, Wordtracker, Trellian Keyword Discovery, etc., are tools that help you pick the most searched and relevant keywords for your website.

A keyword list helps you understand your target audience 'search psyche.' So, create a keyword list to find the best combination of primary and secondary keywords that:

Drive traffic to your website

Finding related keywords used for search on large and small search engines.

Discovering keywords using trend related tools such as Google trends & Google Insights
Discovering news, forums, and blog related keywords

Finally, remember that the main goal for choosing the best and most relevant keywords for SEO is to divert large amounts of targeted traffic to your site and stay ahead of your competitors.

Part of this article was taken from "John Hill" Website designer, seo uk professional and search marketing specialist

Dec 1, 2009

January 10th giveaway

Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for my January 10th g
iveaway. I will offer the winner a $15.00 gift certificate from my etsy shop. Shipping will be paid by me.
Please leave a website or email, so I may contact you if you win. If I don't hear from you within a week, I will pick another winner.

Tirage du 10 janvier pour un certificat cadeau de $15.00 dans ma boutique etsy. Les frais d'expédition seront payés par moi. Vous n'avez qu'à suivre mon blog pour être éligible. SVP laissez un courriel ou un site pour que je puisse vous contacter si vous gagnez. Si je n'ai pas de vos nouvelles à l'intérieur d'une semaine, je vais piger un autre gagnant.

The winner for the December 1st giveaway is ....

The winner for the December 1st giveaway is Camille Henrie
Here is her blog...

Nov 11, 2009

Please see the post below for my December 1st giveaway

You could win these earrings. Just become a follower and you will be eligible, please see below.

Nov 10, 2009


Blogs are one of the most effective ways to communicate with a vast amount of people around the world. It is also a prime focus for individuals to promote and market their business.

Starting a blog isn’t very difficult, all you really need are a couple of thoughts and a computer connected to the internet. The hard part is to get strangers to read your blog and to get them to keep coming back for more. Most blogs are doomed to fail because they are not treated like any other marketing campaign. You need to plan a blog like you would a business and put yourself in a position to succeed.

Here are a few tips to make your blog successful:

Make sure you have a reason for starting a blog. There a many reasons why a blog would be beneficial to you, but successful blogs are a benefit to the people that read them. And that is what’s going to keep online surfers coming back. This will attract consumers, reduce your costs, and improve your reputation and media coverage.

The key to getting your blog recognized in search engines are the keywords and phrases you choose to emphasize. Blogs will take the text you have written and store it onto a database and send that information through templates which generates the blog we read in the search engine.

The reason many blogs fail is because of failure to upkeep. You need to structure your blogs so people can find the content they are looking for. Think of it like a filing cabinet. A reader doesn’t want to look everywhere for a specific question, make it easy and efficient for them to find their answers. Also, if you make the decision to blog, keep it up. Don’t make you posts random or sporadic, make sure you are consistent when you blog. It doesn’t matter if it’s once a week or once a month. Be consistent!

Blogs are a way to communicate and it’s very important for bloggers to socialize around the Web. Respond to comments made about your blogs and look for other websites and link them to yours. Comment on other people’s blogs and become a name around the internet and as an expert in your field. You will also be able to track the hits on your blog and the more you contribute, the more your blog will continue to grow, and your business will continue to grow.

Once you have your blog in full force and everything is going well; don’t be afraid to promote your success. Getting people to take time out of their day to read your work is not an easy thing to do. Do not be afraid to flaunt your positive reputation as a blogger, especially to other businesses. This can be key to expanding your services to different sectors and opening new doors.

It is important that your blog serves a purpose, not just to promote your business. Use your years of experience to help people and it will all come back around to help your business. Not only is this a chance to market yourself, but the networking, learning and opportunity will pay many dividends in the end.

rticle by SEO Sapien

Nov 1, 2009

December 1st giveaway

For my December 1st giveaway, I am offering a beautiful pair of moonstone and silver earrings.
Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for this give away. Please leave a website or email, so I may contact you if you win.

Tirage de ces boucles d'oreilles en pierre de lune et argent le 1 décembre. Vous n'avez qu'à suivre mon blog pour être éligible. SVP laissez un courriel ou un site pour que je puisse vous contacter si vous gagnez.

And the winner for the November 1st draw is Jody Morin

Her etsy shop is

Oct 25, 2009

The first thing to consider when selling online:

Taking good pictures, check your lighting, try different shots and see what turns out best, take your time before posting them.

Set up your profile, take a look at other profiles if you aren’t certain what to put in yours. Fill in your shop policies, don’t just write the cost and what payment you accept, give out the most information you can so your buyers will be confident about purchasing from you.

List more items, don’t publish your shop until you have a reasonable amount of items to list. Keep adding some every time you have a chance. When listing, fill out your description with a lot of detail, size and materials you use for making your art. Add your tags, fill up the 14 tags that are available to you.

Make sure you are pricing your items correctly, don't overprice.

To upgrade your shop image, take a look at other shops and what they do.

Go to the forums, read, read, read, there is so much advice on the forums in etsy.

Once your shop has the look you want, start promoting, open a facebook fan page, a twitter account. If you have time start a blog. Get your work out there.

Oct 19, 2009

Buy Handmade

BabyEtte on Etsy

Beth is the designer of BabbyEtte, She designs babywearing accessories and has various items in her shop. Her designs vary from unique, European style neckscapes, as well as Cloche Hats,magnificent slings, as well as many more babywearing accessories. . Her style is absolutely unique! Intrigued by her work, I asked her a few questions about herself and her art.

Tell me something about yourself and your art. And your full name and where you are from?

My name is Beth Ritzman born and raised in Seattle but moved to Fort Wayne IN 6 years ago. I’m a wife and mother of 4 daughters ages 1-10. I’ve been making things since my fist pregnancy when the “creative hormones” first hit me and have never left. My girls are home educated and so we spend a lot of time together, which is great. They are a lot of fun.

How did you get started as a designer?

I’ve sewn little things here and there for years. I’ve always been an avid BabyWearer and am pro-Attachment Parenting, so when my first ring sling wore out, I started making my own.
I took my favorite aspects of all the different slings I’ve tried and made the best of the best. The slings I create now are the result of essentially 10 years of babywearing experience and feedback from La Leche League and Attachment Parenting International members from several states.

What inspires you to create?

I am inspired by the desire to be close to my baby. I want to be able to carry and nurse my baby while doing all the other things that Life demands of me, while still expressing my individual style and personality. I do not want to look like every other mom at the playground. And I’ll admit it… I like the attention. ;)

How do you get the word out about your shop and your work?

I can’t avoid it! I have one of probably every sling in my shop in my personal collection! I also wear my NeckScapes and BabyWearing Ponchos all over town.
If people don’t comment about my line of ducklings following me through the store or library (why are they not in school?!) they will definitely comment about the eye-catching, obviously well-made sling holding my sweet Vignette.
Also, I think BabyEtte slings really stand out in the Etsy searches. They are unique, just like the Women I make them for.

Where we can find your items ?

Right now I sell on Etsy, who does a great job supporting their sellers. Of course, I am really new at this. I opened my shop in late July. So I am always looking for ways to grow and learn. I especially want to learn more about photography and work towards a new/better camera. My photos just do not do my items justice.
But you can find me on Facebook as “BabyEtteBoutique” and on Twitter as “BabyEtteEtsy” and Email at Beth.BabyEtte [!at]

Sep 25, 2009

November 1st Giveaway

For this next giveaway, I am offering a beautiful pair of turquoise and silver earrings. Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for this give away. Please leave a website or email, so I may contact you if you win.

Tirage de ces boucles d'oreilles en turquoise et argent le 1 novembre , Vous n'avez qu'à devenir membre de mon blog pour être éligible. svp, laissez un courriel ou un site web pour que je puisse vous contacter si vous gagnez.

Sep 15, 2009

And The winner is...Lisa, click here for her etsy shop

The winner for the September 15th giveaway for the Stone of wisdom, brass and moonstone pendant, is Lisa - Alternity. Congradulations to you!

Aug 18, 2009

September 15th give away

Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for my give away on September 15th for this beautiful pendant. Please leave a website or email, so I may contact you if you win.

Tirage de ce magnifique collier le 15 septembre , Vous n'avez qu'à devenir membre de mon blog pour être éligible. svp, laissez un courriel ou un site web pour que je puisse vous contacter si vous gagnez

AgapeGiftShoppe Click here to view shop

Today I want to share with everyone this gorgeous shop I found on etsy. The owner of the shop is Maria from the Atlanta area in the States. She makes gorgeous hair accessories, many have a romantic and unique style! I decided to ask her a few questions about herself and her work.

Maria, tell me something about yourself.

Querida Maria Jones is my name and I'm from the suburbs of Washington D.C and Maryland. Me and my artwork are continuing changing for the better and remains unique over the years. I have more ideas than time to create and therefore makes me an insomiac

How did you get started as a designer?

I always find this to be an odd question. Its like asking someone," When did you start growing and appreciating the thumb on your right hand?" Your thumb aids you in gripping your most favorite cup of Starbucks, it helps safley lift and play with a newborn, and withoutout thumbs being able to help us ladies to hold our mascara wands we would very upset. So no one is contiously aware or gives appreciation for having a thumb but we need it and would be lost without it. The same goes for anyone that pocesses a talent and niche. I wasn't even aware that there was a name for what I liked to do intil Third Grade, and my class had a once a week Art Class. It became my favorite part of my week next to recess and I welcomed and succeeded in every project I was given.

What inspires you to create?

Alot of nights when I'm up late creating I'll be watching old movies I had recorded, it aids in my inspiration. My old movie taste range from Bettie Grable musicals, Joan Fontain in Hitchcocks Rebecca and I loved her in Jane Eyre with Orson Wells, Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun. I'm just a HUGE movie classics lover all around. I adore how the women dressed for every occassion with purpose , attention, and fit. There is just a perfect flow to the feminity and sexuality to that stlye that took place then that just didnt cross the line of vulgarity that I can find disgusting in alot young fashion. Nature inspires me a great deal I'm a pretty good sketch artist and do water colors of various landscapes. But I'm the worlds wost gardner and just killed me and sons summer garden. I really do regret disapointing him but I did warn him that mommy is only good at recreating flowers in clay and on paper. So to make up for this failure we are going to to make sets of tie died pajama T- Shirts

How do you get the word out about your shop and your work?

I am born to a very large female family and I happen to be the oldest of 22 first cousins. They are very beautiful and have gorgeous hair and I use this as an advantage in my advertising when they wear my pieces. If they are able to bring in two sales I'll create a hair piece for them for free. Right now my sister and two of our cousins are getting married this year and I'm doing custom orders of hair accessories and bouquets. So I'm getting direct exposure that way. My Etsy page seems to act as a profolio of my abilities to other people and I recieve direct orders away from Etsy that way I avoid the fees.

Where we can find your lovely hair accessories?

Recently, I was invited to join 1000 markets
( ) and one of their market groups. I like the smallness of the community and the proffessional level of all the shops there and the expectation of great costomer service there. I'm very new to online selling but I know Etsy and 1000 Markets are the two right places for me to learn and grow from current local roots. Before when someone asked me what I did it was very hard to describe clay Floral Accessories and Vintage Receations but now I have a places to direct people to.

Jul 17, 2009

Website Grader and Tips to get found online

Website Grader

•A useful tool for measuring the marketing effectiveness of your
website, get a free custom report in seconds with advice for your website

Get Found Online, Search Engines

• phrases, optimize for the one with the larger number of searches.
Choose keywords that your target market is using to describe and search for your products and services.
Difficulty or Competition – Consider your chances for a good ranking on Google for that keyword phrase. Look at the sites ranked in those first 10 slots, their authority and relevance to search terms.

• Place keywords in the page title, URL, headings, and page text.
Your meta description should be no more than 150 characters.
Optimize your page description for maximum click.

• Build more inbound links from other sites into yours.
Build more links from trusted websites. Each link serves as a recommendation or a reference to tell the search engines that your site is a quality site.
Each link serves as a recommendation or a reference to tell the search engines that your site is a quality site.

• Submit your website to directories
Communicate with others in your industry through blogs and other social media

Get in to Google Analytics

•See real business results: number of visitors, number of pages viewed, traffic resources, amount of time spent on your site, etc

Jul 16, 2009

August 15th give away....

Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for my give away on august 15th for this beautiful pendant necklace. Please leave a website or email, so I may contact you if you win.

Tirage pour le 15 août pour ce magnifique collier, Vous n'avez qu'à devenir membre de mon blog pour être éligible. svp, laissez un courriel ou un site web pour que je puisse vous contactez si vous gagnez.


I have a CHRISTMAS IN JULY SALE going on!!!
Pleasse see my sale section on the right of my shop.
***All items will go back to their regular price after July 31st***

Jun 15, 2009

July 15th Give away...Moonstone pendant

Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for my give away on July 15th. Please leave a website or email, so I may contact you if you win.

Tirage pour le 15 juillet, ce magnifique pendentif avec une pierre de lune. Vous n'avez qu'à devenir membre de mon blog pour être éligible. svp, laissez un courriel ou un site web pour que je puisse vous contactez si vous gagnez.

And the winner for June 15th Give Away is Paige from Plenox

May 29, 2009

Ten Tips For Marketing Your Crafts Business On A Shoestring Budget

If you're like most people just starting to sell their crafts, you don't have a lot of money to spend on marketing. Well, you'll probably be surprised to learn that there are many low-cost and even free ways to market your handmade items. Here are ten tips to get you started.

1. Be A Human Billboard

If your handmade items are meant to be worn, wear a piece of your work whenever you go out. You'd be surprised how many people will notice it, and compliment you on it. Don't miss the opportunity to graciously whip out your business card and give it to your admirer.

2. What, You Don't Have Business Cards?

Business cards are a must for anyone who's serious about marketing. You should also have letterhead stationery and fliers, all with your eye-catching logo. It won't take long for people to start to thinking of you whenever they see your logo.

Don't be satisfied with plai-old, boring, white business cards. Moo is a great place get bold, attention-getting business cards, stickers, and other promotional items for your business at affordable prices.

3. Leave A Trail Of Flyers Behind You Wherever You Go

Post your flyer or business card on every public bulletin board you find. Look for them at grocery stores, libraries, schools, laundromats, colleges, and a host of other places. Leave them at welcome areas along the interstate to draw in tourist traffic.

4. The Press Release Is Your Friend

Get free publicity by sending press releases to local newspapers. Think out of the box. The electrical co-op where I used to live in Tennessee published a little magazine that often featured local artisans on the cover with a nice write-up inside. This went to thousands of homes across middle Tennessee every month. Is there something similar in your area?

5. Join Your Local Chamber Of Commerce

You should also join local and national craft organizations. Take plenty of business cards along when you attend meetings as these are great opportunities to network with other business owners and crafts artists in your area. The Chamber of Commerce may also publish a list of its members, which will be handy for contacting local organizations.

6. Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking

Once you have the handy list of local groups, you can contact them and offer your services as a speaker. Non-profit organizations, the Rotary Club, the YMCA, and local civic groups usually need speakers to jazz up their meetings.

7. Teach Your Craft

If you're a bead worker, organize an after-school class at the local library for teenagers (and their moms) who want to learn to make earrings. You'll be popular and well-loved. Not only can you charge for lessons, but you can sell books and supplies, too. Once you get them hooked on making these things, they'll be back to buy more supplies from you.

8. Make A Donation

A great way to get lots of publicity locally is to donate a piece of your work to a charity auction or fundraiser. The organizers usually promote their sponsors in their ads and brochures, which can give your business a nice boost.

9. Set Up A Special Showing With Another Crafter

Look for someone who produces handmade items that complement yours. If your specialty is handcarved picture frames, perhaps you can team up with a watercolor artist to do a special show during the holidays. You may want to include other crafters, too, to keep your costs lower, and to draw in a bigger crowd.

10. Write Articles About Your Craft

Your local newspapers are always on the lookout for story ideas. Avoid blatant self-promotion in your article, but mention your business at the end.

Look for online ezines that are related to your craft, and offer to do an article. You'll get a link back to your online store in return. There are many article directories online, too. Write interesting, informative articles, and you'll probably develop a following. Be sure to include your store link.

There you are -- ten ways you can market your crafts business for free, or at very low cost. What are you waiting for? Get busy!

by Darlene Norris

May 21, 2009

Tirage du 15 juin...June 15th Give away

Become a follower of my blog and you will be eligible for my give away . If you don't have an email or website marked, please leave one in order to contact you if you win. If I have no way to contact you then I will pick another winner.Please read below the info on this Mexican seed.

Devenez membre de mon blog et courrez la chance de gagnez ce pendentif le 15 juin...... SVP laissez un couriel quand vous vous abonnez pour que je puisse vous contacter si vous gagnez. Si je ne peux pas vous contacter, je vais choisir un autre gagnant. Vous pouvez le faire en me contactant ( à droite). SVP lire plus bas sur cette semence du Mexique.

May 13, 2009

5 tips for everyone who loves to create

I was going through a magazine for jewelry making called 'Jewelry Artist' and I came upon this short article that is a must for anyone who is creative.

1. Passion. Love what you do; have enthusiasm and excitement for every part of the process. Equalize the unpleasant by giving it the same attention as the pleasant.
2. Play. Be open to approaching the usual, customary, or repetitive tasks you face in a new way. Kids do this with ease: just watch them use an empty cardboard box.
3. Practice. It is important to master your craft through repetition. Once you’ve done something many times, you’ll have the confidence to do it well every time you do it.
4. Patience. Trust yourself to go through a series of tasks in the amount of time each task requires. Sometimes, it is better to finish well than to finish fast.
5. Perseverance. Don’t stop when you hit a bump in the road. Commit to finding a way to solve a problem in your own timeframe, and don’t abandon it entirely.

May 1, 2009

May 15th Give Away

................ Become a follower of my blog and win this pendant May 15th...Please read below

Devenez membre de mon blog et gagnez ce pendentif le 15 mai...SVP lire plus bas

If you don't have an email or website marked, please leave one in order to contact you if you win. If I have no way to contact you then I will pick another winner.
Just click
contact us(on the right) with your info please.

Drawing on May 15th
Tirage le 15 mai
SVP laissez un couriel quand vous vous abonnez pour que je puisse vous contacter si vous gagnez. Si je ne peux pas vous contacter, je vais choisir un autre gagnant.
Vous pouvez le faire en me contactant ( à droite)
And the winner for the April 15th draw is............ Miri Louis...Here s a connection to her blog

Apr 30, 2009

April 15th draw...Become a follower of my blog and you could win this pendant. A name will be chosen at random

Eccentricity - Necklace $49.95

And the winner for the March draw is Beth from Chickscratch.

Buy Handmade
chickscratch Les Bijoux Créa-Lune

March Give Away...............Become a follower and you could win...Devenez membre pour gagner...

My Destash shop...Almost a Give away everything under $10.00............... C'est comme une vente de garage, rien en haut de $10.00

Buy Handmade

Back to business...The ''Ojo de Venado''

I just got back from a 3 week trip to Mexico to celebrate my 50th birthday. It being my favorite country I can't think of a better place to turn the big 5 0

I found great seeds while I was there. They are amulets and are a Mexican form of magical protection. They are called ''Ojo de Venado'' seeds of Mucuna pruriens. The Ojo de Venado mature beans are considered both aphrodisiac and very protective, with strong healing properties. Upon my return I used them to make these earrings and pendant after carefully polishing and drilling them.


Silver was once thought more precious than gold. It is referred to as the metal of the moon and some believe it has powers over emotions, the psychic mind, love, and healing.

This is a very soft metal, so it is often mixed with an alloy like copper. Sterling silver originally was created in an area in Germany called Easterling. So that’s where the word sterling came from. To be sterling sliver, the metal is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper.

Pure silver, aka Fine Silver (.999), will melt at 1761 degrees F (961 degrees C), while sterling melts at 1434 degrees F (779 degreees C) and the flow point is 1655 degrees F (902 degrees C).

Coin silver melts at a slightly lower temperature than sterling because it has more copper alloy in it; usually any where for 10 to 20 percent of it is an alloy.

By: Tammy Powley

Indian Summer - Astmmetrical Necklace $27.99

Feb 28, 2009

How do we manifest creativity?

First of all, what is creativity? There are many definitions. Creativity is learning; creativity is unlearning as well. Creativity is an inspired action-manifestation, flavored with newness, exhilaration and passion.

Creativity is the act of turning your imaginative ideas into reality and involves three processes: thinking, inspired action and producing or manifesting. Your intention comes first before action in the creative process. Inner action first, then outer action. If you have ideas, but don't act on them, you are imaginative but not creative.

Whole-brain thinking
Creativity requires whole-brain thinking: right-brain imagination, artistry and intuition,
plus left-brain logic and planning. Creativity is the process of bringing into being something new that did not exist before, that was previously hidden to our awareness, either as a thought, a process or a product. To have a creative experience, you will want to heighten your consciousness.

We are all creative at every moment because we are constantly changing our perceptions that we have about the world around us. Creativity does not have to be about developing something absolutely new for the world. It has more to do with developing something new to our perceptions. When we change ourselves in any way, the world changes with us. We are changed by our responses to our new perception-experiences and the world is changed by our changed actions.

Raising your consciousness
You are constantly creating. Keep the intention to always create something positive and of a higher consciousness. When you slip and have a thought that is not quite as positive as you would like, you can ask yourself a question. Can I find a thought right now that feels a little better than the thought I have been thinking? (ref. Hicks)” You would ask the same question for a feeling that you want to make more positive. Can I find a feeling right now that feels a little better than the feeling I have been feeling?” Find a thought or a feeling that creates a feeling of relief. Once you answer your question with inner action, this will bring you up a vibrational notch. This is personal creativity at its best.

The soul’s creativity
Regardless of what you are attempting to create, you can always ask: How can I make this more perfect?” Your soul is infinitely creative. It expresses its creativity in everything that it does. As you open to the creative power of your soul, you are allowing a new consciousness to emerge from within you. Observe your creativity as it blossoms with new ideas, insights, and other treasures that will come to you as you continue to access the creative power of your soul.

Energize your intentions to manifest your creativity by writing about new feelings, experiences, or insights. Explore how to express new and creative ways to inspire others, to live a more enriched life and to love and nurture yourself as well as others.
As you explore your creativity, let it express your intuition, your capacity to bring beauty into your life at every level and to enhance your relationships with all. Open up to your soul's creative expressions through movement, sound, language and all that utilizes your five senses and beyond.
Release all limitations, letting go of ways that your personality-self has limited your real self your soul. Open to your soul’s unlimited capacity, allowing your soul to reveal to you many new and wondrous experiences as you now regularly manifest your creativity.

Author: Rijuta Tooker

Feb 25, 2009

BEAUTIFUL LIFE - One of a kind pendant $29.99


How to antique your sterling silver with an egg!

Boil an egg; chop it up and place it in a baggie with your silver for a few hours or until the silver has darkened to your liking. The sulphur in the egg yolk causes the reaction.
It will turn yellow and purple bluish, then greyish blackish. Wash off the silver with water and soap, then rinse.
Your jewellery or wire has turned black! This is a good thing. Just shine it up with some steel wool and/ or a polishing cloth. This technique is not very cost-effective.

Balling wire with a torch

The thinner the wire, the quicker it will ball up. Short pieces of wire take longer to ball up or won't ball up at all. You don’t want your pliers too close to the flame. The closer your pliers get to the flame, the more likely it will be that your pliers will absorb all the heat of the flame before the wire gets hot enough to melt into a ball.

Opening and closing loops and jump rings

Always use a twisting motion with your hand holding the pliers (like twisting a doorknob) to open links, loops, and jump rings. Don’t pull the loop out or you’ll never be able to twist it back into shape.

Feb 24, 2009

Do’s and Don’ts of Selling Items Online

First and foremost choose the right venue. There are numerous sites on the Internet, some of which charge a fee for listing and/or transacting goods and/or services. A free venue is just as good as any; why pay to sell online when you can get the same services elsewhere for free?

Save yourself time down the road by choosing a site that allows you to re-post the ad instead of starting completely over when the if/time comes. Some sites require you to start over from scratch after a certain length of time depending on each site’s individual policy. This can be very tedious and time-consuming, especially if you have had several different ads up at the same time that have all expired relatively close to one another.

Make sure the site is safe. The Federal Trade Commission, Identity Guard and ID Theft Center are just a few sites where you can better understand how to conduct business online safely.

Do your homework ahead of time by researching the competition before listing online. Compare the item you are selling to other items in similar condition. Do this by scanning online classified sites and searching for a similar item you want to sell. Determine a fair price somewhere mid-range of what other sellers are asking to ensure a successful sell.

Post a picture. If the item warrants it and you have the resources, by all means attach a photograph to give credibility to a product’s value. Make sure to photograph from all sides. Most importantly, what you write about in your ad will make all the difference in the world. Make sure you know your audience and write to that audience. Take a look at the difference parts of an online ad and what you should include in each.

The headline

Be creative. Your headline determines whether or not potential buyers will even open your ad and read it. Steer clear of overhyped messaging including typing in all caps, using too many exclamation marks, question marks and other symbols. Do not assume that people understand abbreviations. Spell them out whenever possible in headlines.

The body

In the body, answer the questions people will have about your product. Do not waste other peoples’ time with unanswered questions. It could cost you the sell. It also looks like you are hiding something if you don’t come forward with the information from the beginning.

When describing your item, make sure you write about its benefits and not just the features. This is key! Writing about benefits means that you are answering the question, “What will this item do for me?” For example, don’t just tell potential buyers that your camera comes with three lenses; tell them that the three lenses enable the user to shoot from close by, mid-distance and far away making photography possibilities incredibly versatile.

When it comes to price, there are two ways you can approach it. After doing research on competitors’ products you can choose to be firm or negotiate your final price. Either way you choose, be sure to state so in your ad. If you are open to negotiating, be ready to play the game. Half of the thrill for some people is the fact that they can haggle the seller down a bit.

If after a period of time your item does not sell you should re-evaluate the situation. Look at the competition’s prices and see if the market value has changed. If so, you may have to adjust your price. If you are offering your product at a fair and comparable price, it could be that the demand simply isn’t there. Pulling your ad and trying again later when the market demands might do you well.

Be available. Whenever you post an ad, be aware that potential buyers might contact you with questions about your ad. You will need to be available to answer those questions. You will likely receive email inquiries and the faster you can respond, the better. So, don’t schedule that trip the day you put an ad online unless you don’t care about selling the item.

By: ''Candy Osborne''

Flea Markets, Festivals and Craft Shows

The differences between the types of events you choose to market your products can mean the difference in success and failure. But just because a promoter's ad says that the event is packed with buying customers does not mean the show will be worthwhile. Below you will find guidelines to help you determine which types of events are best suited for selling your crafts.

Flea Markets
Many creators of handmade arts and crafts will do well to stay away from flea markets. These events allow a very wide range of exhibits, ranging from imported mass-produced products to yard sale items. However, if you have a product that is priced in the lower-end for its category, you may do well at some flea markets. Keep in mind that the majority of handmade products cannot be sold at a price that will be attractive to the average flea market shopper.

A festival has the type of atmosphere that makes many crafters cringe! Arts and crafts are not usually the "main event" at a festival. When people are walking around in the sunlight munching on a corn dog, watching parades and live music, they do not think about buying quality handmade merchandise. That same shopper might very well be a great customer at another event. Though many feature crafts, festivals are not where big profits are made.

Craft Shows
Now we come to the catchall of events, the craft show. A typical craft show should consist of handmade products alone. No mass produced items should be sold at a craft show. Some event management will weed out vendors by using a "jury process" in order to ensure that only certain guidelines are met.

But too many events bill themselves as "craft shows" and "craft fairs" where the promoter will actually allow anything from bake-sale items to mass-produced imports. In other words anyone with the booth fee may exhibit. And booth fees at shows can range in price from $5 to thousands. Higher fees do not definitely mean higher profits, so be cautious when choosing which events you will attend!

From: ''''

Jan 8, 2009

Marketing after the holidays

After wrapping up a very busy and sometimes lackluster holiday craft show season, I have come to a few grand conclusions about the economy at the moment, and – no surprise – it sucks! Though the jury is still out on how the craft community will be impacted by our nation’s (and world's!) crashing markets, it's always good to prepare for tough times when in the midst of uncertain ones. As independent artists and crafters with scarcely a safety net in sight, we are vulnerable in many ways, and I sometimes worry that we may be hit the hardest. Sadly, many customers are now opting for the lower quality, cheaper priced, large chain store gifts over our handmade masterpieces. While sitting there for hours at my booth at various craft shows contemplating this fact, I dwelt on what I could do better next time in order to combat the holiday season of lookie-loos...

  1. Be flexible: It might be time to think outside the box with special promotions, painstakingly hunt for a cheaper supplier, or work on a fresh new idea that you may have been stewing over. The more items you carry and the more price points you have, the wider audience you can appeal to and the more sales you will make.
  2. Learn to tighten your own belt: Do not under estimate the smaller, more local craft shows, such as the ones run by craft mafias or Etsy Teams. Since many of these shows are well-run and attract a specific audience, they are some of the best and cheapest ways for you to get your items out there. The simple fact is that the more money you spend traveling and paying for tabling, the more money you need to make in order to break even.
  3. Network, network, network: Get to know other crafters, and listen to the wisdom they have to share about specific craft shows, cities, and markets. Why waste your time sewing purses for craft show in a city that is really into housewares and already flooded with handbags? You are just wasting your time and supplies. I know it takes time and can be tedious, but check out the Etsy forums, forums and the switchboards for some real talk about the business end of things. It does not cost anything to be friendly!
  4. Promote intelligently: I think I find this the hardest part of this business, because I tend to just sit around and think the customers are going to come to me. However, in these tough times, we all know that is not the case. Stop just giving everyone a plain boring business card or an elaborate promotional item that costs way more to make than you have to comfortably spend. This year I started giving people buttons, magnets, and pencils with cute images of items in my shop. Not only do the customers love to get free gifts, but when I got home, I had tons of new hearts and orders from people who got my promo items at a show. These promo items were cheap and easy to get and got me a much better response than a plan business card. Also, get creative and friendly with your local print shop – you will save money doing the printing yourself.
  5. Be realistic: Although some of us (like myself) really depend on the money made from crafting to live, it's time to get realistic about potential changes that you may need to undertake in order to stay afloat during these lean times. If buyers are thinking twice about their purchases, then you need to think twice about the best, most cost effective way to run your business. Be smart and in the true spirit of D.I.Y., do it your damn self…it is cheaper anyway ; )
  6. Don’t underestimate the quality of your own work: Many people might not understand the time-consuming process or expensive materials that go into producing your items. However, once made aware of the time, effort, and love you put in, buyers will be more apt to fork out the cash. I noticed this a lot at craft shows. A person would pick up a yarn from me and admire it, but when I told them about the almost 6 hour process that goes into making every one, I think they felt more comfortable paying almost triple what they would for it at a large chain store. Don’t be afraid to market your process. Describe it in your Etsy listing and profile; include it on the back of your price tag, or chronicle it on your blog.
Story by inhope
Published on January 6, 2009