Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Team Meeting

At the team meeting this morning we learned a lot about trend spotting from Randi, and we all came away with some really helpful links to sites that can help us to make the kinds of things that people are looking for. Thanks to everyone who attended! Here they are...

Friday, March 27, 2009

We Have a Winner!

I just remembered I was supposed to post a winner of the Spring Challenge. Studio Cherie will be mailing her frame purse to Jamie Wagner, for posting comment #14, which was chosen by Random.org.

Jamie's comment was something like, "I love the jewelry set #6, but it was tough to choose, I also really like the coin pouches." Yay! She gets one. I am off to email her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Challenge

Here are the entries for the team Spring Challenge. Do 2 things here.

1. Use the poll in the sidebar to vote for the winning prize.
2. Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post to enter to win the prize. Make sure you are signed into an ID that has a way for us to contact you if you win, or leave a way for us to contact you in your comment.

The prize will be the item that gets the most votes in the pole, so vote for the item you want the most! Anyone can vote, so there may be more votes than comments.

Everyone who is inside the US and not on the Eastern Washington Etsy Street Team is eligible to win the prize. Deadline for voting is Friday, March 27th at 5PM Pacific Daylight time, so do it now! Winner will be chosen by the number picker at random.org. Comment entries will be numbered in the order received. Chances of winning are one in however many comments are received. You must be in the US to comment.

Entry #1 Pin Cushion Caddy (tools not included) from LCS Cottage

Entry #2 Palm Wax Candle and Painted Holder from GlitznGlass

Entry #3 Greeting Card from Random Scraps

Entry #4 Handmade Journal from Ragnazidnar

Entry #5 Framed Poem Magnet 5.5" x 5" by That70'sShoppe

Entry #6 Jewelry Set from Fashionably Adorned

Entry #7 Coin Purse from StudioCherie

Entry #8 Earrings from BeadedSplendor

Entry #9 Choker by DanaBurger

Entry #10 Coin, Cell Phone, Etc. frame pouch by SeamsVictorian

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Etsy Marketing Primer-vera

For those of us who are serious about our Etsy marketing, this is a must-read article in the Storque. It is written by Etsy's new marketing consulant, Lou Sagar. Here is an exerpt from his bio:
A few years ago, I wrote a book "Zona Home". My vision was that Home is Sanctuary. It is where most of us enjoy the opportunity to be creative and expressive. We tell stories about our family, our heritage, and our loves...I work today as a brand strategist, and I love what I do.

If you are busy making things like I am, make things that will get the most attention on Etsy, the article lists the holidays and themes that will be highlighted. An easy one to work into just about any product would be gardens. Update your tags, if you haven't already. I don't think having winter as a tag will get much attention this season.

As always, photography is the major issue for online sellers. Here are some quick tips that you can use right now. Use a cyc. This will create a background that is not distracting from your product. For small products, a 12 inch square of scrapbooking paper can become your cyc. For larger items, get a roll of paper or of fabric. When using fabric this way, wrinkles and folds create a distraction, so I like to use suede or a well pressed piece of linen.

The other thing you can start using immediately is a reflector. Anything that is large and white can be used as a reflector. The lid from a large rubbermaid container works great. Sometimes you need helpers to hold these for you while you shoot the photo. If you have a tripod and a timer, you can be the photographer and the assistant yourself. Try holding the reflector at different angles and pay attention to how the light changes. The idea is to bounce light back up from the source (usually a window for me this time of year) onto your product.

Above is a little example of using the cyc and the reflector. I left the table uncovered for contrast, but you might want to cover the table in something white, to reflect more light. In the last shot, you can barely see the pincushion I used to prop up the glass case.

Of course Etsy has a ton of photography tips as well. Here is a handy link to those. I found instructions for a cool trick that some of you might like to use on colorful items to make your photo look like this one with the background black and white and the item in color. The instructions are for photoshop. The place where I found them, photo.net, could be a good resource for you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Own Gallery Go Getter

Here is a photo of Monti who is the talent behind the shop GlitznGlass at her gallery opening on Saturday. I was so happy to see how fabulous her painted glass and painted floor cloths looked in the gallery space. I asked her to share any advice she had to any of us who might consider showing our work in a gallery. She was full of encouragement. "The main thing is," she said, "don't be afraid to get out and meet the gallery owners." They may surprise you like this one did Monti, by wanting to see your work. Monti did very well her first week in the gallery, selling an item everyday. Her paintings are stunning in person, so it really doesn't surprise me that she is selling. If you'd like to see for yourself, visit The Gallery of THUM located in downtown Spokane at 159 South Lincoln. If you would like to read more about showing your work in galleries, Etsy's blog, the Storque, has published a great series of articles you can read.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Front Page

Zantie was in a great front page spread put together by Etsy Admin last week, and this afternoon WhileTheyPlay is featured on the Front Page via treasury freature. Great photos equal great exposure. Congratulations ladies, you keep us inspired!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Etsy's Marketing Initiatve for March

According to this article in the Storque, Etsy's marketing focus for March can be expressed in the idea of having a few friends over for dinner. I was thinking of that as I put together this treasury. The gift guides are expanding and adding fresh content more than ever, and with Etsy announcing themes in advance, I believe there has never been a better time to create and market our handmade and vintage items on Etsy. I encourage you to tap into the resources made available by Etsy for improving your shop in their shop makeover series, and examine how your shop can fit into the current marketing initiative. We have a number of experienced and capable business people on our team. Another good idea for newer shops or shops who aren't being featured as much as they'd like, would be for you to use our Yahoo Groups message area to ask questions about marketing, photography, etc.