Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Romancing the Stone... where can you find good gemstones beads?

I've been on the hunt for good gemstones for my jewelry and it's not as easy as I thought it might be. I have gone to gem shows but honestly, the prices weren't very good. They did have some good quality stuff but it was really pricey. So..I went to the neighborhood bead store. Nope, they only had a gazillion crystals and manufactured beads and findings, no nice stones. I've ordered online, from Etsians, and some of the orders were very nice but some were not. It's so hard to buy stones when you can't actually look at them. And a lot of times when you get them, they are sooo small. (even with the mm size shown on the shop). I did find some good stones at a shop in West Palm, called, Beads Gone Wild. Very nice moonstones.. not cheap but they gave me a deal and let me break up a strand. So, I ask... where do you all get your good quality gemstones at reasonable prices?

Added a few new resources to the blog resource section on the left... check it out.

Oh, and the Schmoop says Hello!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chock Full of Goodies

The D List message board ( http://etsydlist.boardhost.com/index.php ) is becoming my personal source for really good info for people like me who need all the help they can get to get their shop noticed.  Here are a few of the recent recommendations:

The Sampler:  ( http://www.homeofthesampler.com/ )  This is really kind of cool.  Basically, from what I have read, you, as a handmaker, send a sample of your work (probably something less expensive) to The Sampler.  They feature it and you on their site.  Then they package it up nice and pretty and send it randomly to one of the other registered sample submitters.  So, you promote your stuff and get a little something for doing so.   I have not done this, but I plan to try it.  If nothing else it sounds fun!   Thanks to http://www.ocasiocasa.etsy.com/ for telling us about this site.

50 Sites to Promote Your Handmade Website:  On a pendent making site called http://www.createapendant.com/sitepromote.htm  they list 50 places you might want to check out for promoting you site.  Pretty extensive list.  Definitely worth checking out.  Thanks to http://www.hippiechickboutique.etsy.com/ for that suggestion.

Treasury Clock:  This is really neat. http://www.craftopolis.com/index.php?com=tc  It is a dashboard that shows you the status of the availablity of the Etsy Treasury. So, you check the clock and when the hand starts to go to the red area, you know the Treasury will be opening up soon.  Love this.!  Thanks to http://www.dobatseatcats.etsy.com/ for this.  Pretty neat!

Oh, and since my kitty Schmoopie felt the need to contribute to the blog today by walking across the keyboard like a gazillion times, I have to give her a shout out as well.  Here's to the Schmoop!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The "D" Lister Message Board is HOT!

The D Lister message board is now up and running thanks to http://www.hippiechickboutique.etsy.com/  and I HIGHLY recommend you check it out.  Good ideas are flying in like crazy.  So much great info on how to promote your etsy site, and general chat is coming in and I anticipate this will explode.  Make sure you check it out.

Here are some of things I picked up from the board yesterday that I thought were great:
HEARTOMATIC : OK, this is really cool http://www.craftcult.com/heartomatic.php  This site will show you all the people who have hearted your site, and items and other statistics.  It's a little easier to digest than the etsy "who hearts this site" page. 

STUMBLEUPON: Register with http://www.stumbleupon.com/ and then recommend your own sites and blogs.  I just did it, so not sure how this will effect my activity, but http://www.hippiechickboutique.etsy.com/  and http://stichesintime.etsy.com/  say they saw results the first day.  Cool!

Follower Suggestions:
JulieEllynDesigns.etsy.com  recommends trading.  It's kind of a way to network and get sales on your site (which is always good to have when starting out).  This is how she describes it:
1. Ask someone if they are willing to trade.
2. Through convos or email decide upon what you each feel is an equal trade.
3. Post the item that you are going to trade from your shop with "Reserved for X."
4. Wait for other Etsian to buy the item. They just need to put it in their cart and click "commit to buy."
5. You go into your Sold (order) section and click "got payment." The transaction is complete as it assumes you received payment (no need to go through paypal).
6. Mark as shipped when appropriate.
7. Other Etsian will follow the same process (posting trade item and you purchase, etc.).
8. The items in both shops will show up as sales; you will be able to give feedback to the other shop as a seller and a consumer.
9. Wait for your terrific trade to arrive!

So much great info.  Keep it coming.

And remember, when at all possible, buy from a "D" Lister!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Optimism Abounds!

If even for a brief moment, many of we self proclaimed "D" listers felt like super sellers yesterday simply by connecting and telling our stories.  It was really something to see.  I will try my best to keep the momentum going. (for the whole story, see Entry Four)

I've made a few changes to the blog, learning a thing or two from studying another blog, namely That Design Girls Blog . She had a nice background and I  noticed it was from thecutestblogontheblock.  So I add one one too.

We have over 100 people interested in joining the "D" List Etsy team.  How exciting.  We should hear from Etsy on our submission soon and will start the ball rolling.  Thanks again HippieChickBoutique

I've started a Resources section on the left and will begin listing resource links so they are easier to reference.  Check it out.  And feel free to make a suggestion on a good link/resource.

Found something really cool... the Handmademovement.com Sneak Attack. (see resources on left) I love this.  This is a great way to promote "D" listers. Handmademovement encourages etsy sellers to buy from a seller who has minimal sales by picking a seller and listing them on their site.  Check it out and participate if you can. Sign up for the mailing list.

My favorite blog avatar   TwoCatsCreative   How cute is this?

I guess having a Blog really does help....
My item views on my shop went up a lot, I got 20 heart for my shop in one day, I made A LOT of new friends and I started a team initiative with HippieChickBoutique. Not bad for my 3rd day.  Hopefully, with the new team effort, I will turn some of those views into sales...for us all!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Entry Four - Blog - OMG.. This is awesome!

I had no idea today would be what it has turned out to be.  I was just clopping along with the new blog thing, and decided to drop an invite on the Etsy forums.  Thought there might be others out there who feel like I do and would be interested in going on my journey with me.  So, I started a post.. http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6291125      Well, boy were there.  I started with 0 followers and now have 28 and counting!  So many of you were feeling the same helpless, semi-confused feeling I am and needed to connect.  Out of the almost 80 posts, came a friendship with HippieChickBoutique who took the ball and ran with the idea of getting a team together. Others gave great tips and info (listed below) and others just wanted to say, heck yes I'm a "D" lister and so happy you are too! 

So, now we (HippieChickBoutique and soulstone321) are starting an Etsy team and already have several pending members.  I'm adding several sections to the blog.  A Super Shout Out section to highlight someone who either gave great advice, support or encouragement.  A Successes section to list any exciting sales, or milestones that our "D" listers may have had, and an Announcement section to provide info on events or team happenings. 

Wow, one day and a community is born... I'm so proud!  Thanks to all in the original thread who brought momentum and enthusiasm to the conversation!

Some great resources were born:
BannerSketch - suggested by my new friend HippieChickBoutique - A banner generator that is awesome

Info on setting up a  Treasury - suggested by HippieChickBoutique

More Treasury links suggested by Monkeeta  - http://www.craftopolis.com/index.php?com=tc, http://www.etsy.com/poster_sketch.php

Info on customizing your blog suggested by ArtrageousClay - Thank you so much, I will be checking that out.

Entry 3 - Blog - Still Learning

I learned today that I can put my Etsy Mini on my blog, and so I did.  I just added a gadget, chose HTML/JAVASCRIPT and pasted my mini code in.   Tada!  It worked.

Also found a few good Etsy Blogs and Websites:
All Things Handmade - A MiniBlog for Etsy Sellers
Handmademarketing.org - Jackpot! This is a good one.  Lot's of resources here. Great blogging section
Item of the Day - Love this one and love, love, love the background on the blog.  Note to self, get a better background you noob!

Finally, a shout out to germandolls http://germandolls.blogspot.com/http://germandolls.blogspot.com/
 for being my second follower.  Thanks germandolls!

germandolls cute little elf baby!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Entry Two - Blog - Updating My Blog Appearance

Ok, so after I created my blog I went back to the Etsy forums and posted a link to my blog on the forums, of which I got no reponses.  I did find another post relating to a blog so I checked it out.  It was a seller of dolls who said she needed help with her blog.  I checked out her blog and realized... if she needed help, I was in intensive care.  I had no photos, no custom design  etc... So, I created a custom design and added photos.  What do you think? 

I know... still have lots to do.

Anyone have good blog how-to resources, please add to comments.

Thanks to http://beadznbling.blogspot.com/ for being my first follower.

Entry One - Why the D List?

What is the Etsy "D" list you may ask. Well, I am an etsy shop owner (soulstone321.etsy.com), who is not having much luck selling or getting attention for that matter. I am realively new to Etsy and I've been on the hunt for guidance on making my site successful. Right now, I would consider my shop to be "on the "D" list".

Why is soulstone321 on the D list? Well, as much as I think my site is super cool the reality is:

1)I only have 17 items for sale ( I work full time and have a very busy life and put as much time as possible into my shop without getting the look of neglect from my husband for the time I am spending making, photographing, listing, researching etc...)

2)More importantly, I only have 2 sales, and pathetically, one of them is a mercy sale from a friend of my mother-in-law. A very nice gesture, but still, it's kind of like kissing your brother, if you know what I mean. Still, thank you so much Martha for making my day!

3) My items are NOT all that unique. I love to make beaded jewelry, I love natural semi-precious stones and I love the idea of wearing them on my body and seeing them worn on others. But let's face it, I am but a grain of sand in the Sarah of beaded jewelry sellers.

4)As I research how to make my shop successful, I am realizing I know nothing about selling on Etsy. Creating, setting up a site, taking good pictures and pricing well is only a very small part of being successful.

I have accepted the sad fact that I am a "D" lister. And I say to myself... is it worth it? Wouldn't it be easier just to shut down, sell all my supplies on Ebay, and go to the beach? Well, it would. But I'm not doing it! I'm starting to realize that as much as I love making jewelry and love people wanting to buy my jewelry, I love the game too. I love the challenge of trying to get my "sales" number up. I love the idea of climbing out of the "D" list and actually having a successful shop. I dream of being one of those on the forum who posts that they had a "really good day today and sold 5 items and made the FP!" FP: Front Page... the holy grail of Etsy.

And so... there is my ultimate challenge and goal. I want to make it to the FP! Then and only then will I feel like I have made it out of the "D" list.

So there you have it. I'll be writing on the topics that I learn will help me be a success on Etsy and the changes that I make to make it to the FP.

Stay tuned, this will be either very interesting or very sad. ;-)