Thursday, October 28, 2010

Smells Like Team Spirit

Ever consider joining an Etsy Team? This week I'm going to blog a bit about the joys of Team Spirit.

I never was a big sports fan as a kid, and the mere mention of Teams conjured images of sweaty kids and teens grunting together, jumping around and slapping each other on the back. I was shy and uncoordinated and never appreciated the camaraderie that is Team Spirit.

You don't have to play a competitive sport to be part of an Etsy Team. For that matter, Teams are a way of coming together and of offering support.

This week I received a convo from therufflyowl about her new blog that featured me and other members of our mutual team. It was a sweet article and I thought of what this team has meant to me, friendships forged, support at difficult times, shop sales advice and support.

There are so many types of Teams to join on Etsy. Treasury Teams are a great way to promote your shop, but also to meet other members and support their shops too. Teams that are comprised of members that sell like products are a great source to for discovering new ways to create and sell your product. Local Teams can point you to local selling venues and you may have a real physical get together. Charitable teams are inspiring and uplifting.

You can find out more about Etsy Teams here although Etsy is going through a “period of adjustment” while they switch to Beta. Team information and the team pages are not necessarily current.

This week I received a personal convo from a team members that I've never meet in person, or had even heard their voice. It was a message of encouragement, support and friendship. I realized that though we've never met in person, soul to soul, we have known each other for the 2 years that we have communicated through Etsy. I was deeply touched by my friends support.

It may be a little work to find your right team and go through the application and acceptance procedure, it is well worth the process and time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Does Etsy not do what you want it to? Want more sales tracking information? How many of your Treasuries have made it to the Front page of Etsy?

There are a number of people who are just as frustrated as you are and some have created sites to help with Etsy drawbacks. Here is a list of off site aids and what they can do for you.

Click on the site names to take you there. Holding the control button while clicking, will open it in a new tab.

Here are my personal favorites

CRAFTOPOLIS  has some fantastic features.Check your SHOP HEARTS and how many page views you've had in your shop on a certain day. With your Google Analytics downloaded, you can do a TAG REPORT with tells you what search words brought visitors to your items. And their new Feature EDIT EXPRESS is phenomenal. You can bulk edit, prices, titles, descriptions and quantity. I LOVE it. I can't get the edit description to work. Maybe you'll have better luck

CRAFTCULT Has a few wonderful tools. Check your SHOP HEARTS with HEART-O-MATIC. Look for front pages you have been in in the VAULT. And check out these awesome widgets on my sidebar. Just click on WIDGET and make your own.

ETSYHACKS has so many great hacks I will only list a few.
COPY LISTING is my favorite. No more writing an entire listing or relisting something similar and changing it. - EDIT THIS ITEM with a quick access button.
There are many more tools, but the designer is now working for Etsy and some have been added to Etsy already. The only disadvantage to etsyhacks is that they only work with firefox.

ETSYONSALE  for the most part I love this site.
You can schedule a sale for your site either by SECTION or ALL ITEMS. You schedule the date, give the promotion a name and either select a percentage or dollar amount. I have had a lot of success with this and I credit it with bringing more business to my site, however I have heard of some problems and I did have a real mess of a problem once. Just watch your items and make sure they have worked correctly.

Here are a few others that you might find useful.

STATSY  has a few nice features. VUTRAC shows you views and hearts. Similar to craftcult's Heart-o-matic.  CLOCKBOT – is a feature that lets you schedule renewals. Pretty handy I think. LOCATOR is a feature that lets you find your kewords in a search. Not sure if this functions well.
I think that my favorite feature of Statsy's is FEATURATOR. Sign up and get an email every time you are on the Etsy Front Page. And with BIGGEST FAN you can see who hearts you the most.

CRAFTCOUNT  lists top etsy sellers altogether and in categories. Maybe this could be useful to see what they are doing to get the results they have.

ETSY FEE CALCULATOR  helps you Calculate how much you pay in fees and how much you make UGH

ETSY TECHNOLOGY HELP  is a blog with tips on how to work some of the Etsy features.

HANDMADEOLOGY  is a wonderful blog full of great tips.

And Finally there's ETSYWIKI  full to the brim of everything Etsy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Sara of Twillypop has taken a relatively simple idea and expanded it into some of the most stunning jewelry on Etsy. She has spent a lot of time improving her product, photography and image. Those of us who have watched her shop blossom are amazed with what her hard work has yielded.

What brought you to Etsy?

I wanted to see if my little necklaces would be of interest to anyone, and Etsy seemed like the best venue in which to do that.

Tell us a little about your shops Twillypop and TwillypopGirl 

My shops are both based around a single idea for ribbon jewelry and then just expanded upon.

Your jewelry is beautiful. Please tell us a little bit about how you started and what you did to improve your product.

Thank you! Believe it or not, I only just started even toying with the idea of making these necklaces one month before I opened shop. I had never made jewelry or taken and edited pics up until August/September 2009. AND I had NO internet/blogging/social networking experience whatsoever! This year has been a veritable whirlwind!!

As far as improving my product, it has just been a matter of trial and error. The more confident I feel, the more ideas seem to come to me. The more freedom I give myself to just be "me" with Twillypop, the more creative I feel.

Your photography has gone from ordinary to absolutely Stunning. What inspired you?

I have to confess that I had no idea that my photos would cause the stir that they did. The whole thing started because I wanted to have photos of my jewelry on a model. 

My only option right now is for me to be the model, which means someone else has to be the photographer. I recruited my 10-year-old daughter who stands on a chair and takes pics of me. The photo editing effects came from a need to pretty up pictures that were snapped by a child! Voila! My pictures were transformed out of sheer necessity! (you know what they say about necessity :D)

I know you're a member of Curation Nation Team. Can you give us some advice on how valuable teams are and how they can help sellers?

Being part of the team has helped me to find a niche in the vast sea that is Etsy. It is easy to get lost in such a huge marketplace. Through the team I am building friendships, discovering many shops I otherwise may not have, and also having my shop discovered by others.

Do you have any other suggestions for struggling sellers to “shape up their shops” ?

I feel so new to the whole thing and I still have so far to go that I feel a bit funny offering advice......
I will say that when I spiced up my pictures, my shop got a ton more exposure through people using me in treasuries. I would also tell anyone starting out that I feel like social networking is HUGE where Etsy is concerned. I only had one sale in the 2 months prior to getting on Twitter and starting my FB fanpage.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I've recently felt that I've not been as creative as I used to be. I wasn't sure what I could do, then I remember an exercise that I learned in school. I tried it and it was amazing.

Do you ever hit a creativity block? You can't think of a new idea for your shop, new marketing, or new way to photograph that will make your shop stand out. You know it needs something but you can't put a finger on it. Try this little exercise to open your mind to the ideas that you have buried in your subconscious.

Read this story, then retell in to yourself with your eyes closed. If you can't remember it perfectly it's not important to remember every detail. I you are a perfectionist (some of us are) record it and play it back with your eyes closed, head down, relaxed. Maybe you have a partner or friend with a more inspiring voice, have them record it. You can even change the scene a bit if you like, but don't add to many details, the lack of detail is what brings new ideas to mind. 

Have Paper and Pencil next to you.  Relax, close your eyes and start the story.

You are in the woods. It's a beautiful day, the air is crisp and the sky is clear. You can see it through the trees. You take a deep breath to take in all the wonderful scents of the forest.

You start to walk, not even knowing where your walk might take you. The ground is soft with moss, but you are also crunching fallen leaves with each step. The walk in the woods is exhilarating. You haven't felt this energized in a long time. The sounds and smells of the forest
inspiring you to explore.

Ahead in the distance you see what looks like a house. As you get closer, the house becomes clearer. Unusual, that there is a house in the middle of these woods. You reach it and the door is open. You call out, but no one answers. Curiosity has the better of you and you look in the door.

The interior is beautiful. There are wonderful paintings on the wall. In front of them, there is a piano with a large sculpture on it. You are drawn into the house to take a closer look. There is a chandelier over the piano. You've never seen anything like it.

There is so much beauty in this room, it's hard to describe. But your curiosity has gotten the better of you. You wander around the house. All of the rooms are open, and full of the most amazing things. You come across a room with a closed door. You reach for the handle and turn it. You can't believe what you have found there. You walk up to it and pick it up. Turn it around in your hand to see and feel it. It's amazing. This is just what you were looking for to inspire you.

Open your eyes when you are ready and start writing down everything that comes to you. You mind should be flooded with all kinds of wonderful ideas.

I suggest you try this story first, but you can change scene to whatever you think might inspire you. You could be on a beach or in the desert. Maybe you'd like to be on a tropical island or in the cold antarctic, whatever place might give you new insight. 
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