Thursday, November 5, 2009

An update...

I just wanted to pop in for a quick update....I have been working hard on that photography post and hope to have it up in the next couple of days. I apologize for the delay but hopefully it will be worth the wait!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Virgo Medallion Necklace
25% off + FREE worldwide shipping throughout the store!

A great Labor Day weekend sale awaits you! This is the perfect time to do a little early Holiday shopping, but I bet you'll find something for yourself too...
25% off plus FREE worldwide shipping!
Don't wait! Visit my shop now...the sale ends
Monday, September 7th, 2009.
See you there!

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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Etsy Experiment Revealed!

Does renewing really work?

After reading several threads in the forums regarding renewing as a means to boost Etsy sales I decided I would do my own little experiment in my shop with renewing. I began this trial in March of 2009 and the experiment has been running now for almost a full 6 months. Many of the previous experiments I had read about in the forums were usually held for 1 week, sometimes a bit longer. But really not long enough, in my humble opinion, to garner an accurate, overall picture. (hence the extended time frame)

First let me explain the difference between listing, re-listing & renewing.

•Listing: Listing a new item for the first time. Cost -.20¢

•Re-listing: Listing an item that has sold which you want to sell again. Cost -.20¢

•Renewing: Listing an item that has already been listed in your shop and has not sold yet. Cost -.20¢

Here is how I conducted the experiment:

Begin date, March 8th 2009.

Number of sales, 86 (since opening my shop 9 months earlier on June 8, 2008)

I committed to renewing (along with listing & re-listing) a total of 5- 10 times per day. You can see the original post here: An Etsy Experiment where my initial goal was to run the experiment for 1 week and then report back. Well, as you can see 1 week has now become 25 weeks!
What I did: I kept copious notes... writing down the date, time and number of views the item had when renewing it. I would revisit my notes 24 hours later to see how many new views I was getting. (This was before craftcult offered this service!) I checked my Google Analytics* to see what times of day my Etsy shop had the most visitors and I started tweaking my renewing times to fit.

*How do you see what time visitors are viewing your shop?

Well, you will first need to set up a Google Analytics account, if you haven't already. It's a very simple process. Go to your Etsy Shop and under SHOP SETUP click on Web Analytics. Then click on Google Analytics and follow the steps. Once you have set up your account you will need to wait 24 hours before seeing any information.
Now that you have your GA account set up, log into your account. Under Dashboard click on Visitors, then Visitor Trending then Visits. On the right hand side of the page just below the date range it says "Graph by" and there is a clock symbol. Click on that and voila! You will now see visits by hour of the day withing the date range you have chosen.

The result: Items got more views when I started renewing items during my peak viewing times.

I experimented with renewing 3 items at once or one item at a time.

The result: One item at a time is better even if it's in succession. Whenever I renewed several items at once, at least one of those items would get no new views for several hours.

I don't work on weekends. At least I try not to. So, I don't renew much on the weekends, maybe 2-3 times at the most.

The result: My weekend sales are nearly non existent (now there's a big surprise!)

Once my experiment had been running for a few weeks I noticed I was being featured in a lot more treasuries, sometimes 5 at once!

The result: Since March 25th I have been in countless treasuries and have made the Front Page of Etsy 18 times! (3 times as an alternate) While I can't say how many more sales this has brought with any real accuracy, it has definitely helped. On my best 'Front Page day' I made 9 sales.

When I started the experiment on March 8th I'd already had 86 sales within my first 9 months. That's an average of about 9 sales per month. During the 6 months of this experiment I have made an additional 297 sales. Keep in mind, those sales were mostly during the summer months which are generally slower, sales wise, on Etsy.

The overall result: Sales in my shop have more than quadrupled and my average is now at about 42 sales per month. Take March out of the calculation and it's closer to an average of 47 per month.

Here is an actual breakdown of my sales & shop hearts by month since the experiment started:

March- 19 sales (15 of which were after my experiment began) • Hearts- 89, 4.6:1 hearts/sales ratio

April- 45 sales • Hearts- 102, 2.2:1 hearts/sales ratio

May- 47 sales • Hearts- 163, 3.4:1 hearts/sales ratio

June- 49 sales • Hearts- 238, 4.8:1 hearts/sales ratio

July- 44 sales • Hearts- 94, 2.1:1 hearts/sales ratio

August- 52 sales • Hearts- 182, 3.5:1 hearts/sales ratio

The bottom line? RENEWING WORKS. Even with low views. Even during "slow" months. Even while other sellers are lamenting their slow sales (or no sales). It works.

I once read the following quote in a marketing book and it has always stuck with me. "Not advertising or promoting is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know exactly what you're doing...but nobody else does."

Of course you must consider the price of the items you are renewing. If you are selling $3 cards or $1-$2 supplies (etc) then renewing may not be the best practice for you and in that case I would stick with listing & re-listing as a means to garner more sales.

Now, before you run over to your shop and start renewing items willy-nilly you need to have a few things in place first. Otherwise all that renewing will be a colossal waste of time & money. And we don't want that, now do we?

Here is my 'to do' list before you begin your renewing campaign: (and it's not long, I promise!)

1. You have heard this one oh-so-many times before but it's THE number one, most important piece of the Etsy success puzzle. PHOTOS . They must be great. This means great lighting, great composition, interesting, eye catching & intriguing photos. If your photos aren't really good make them better.

HA! I can already hear the collective groan. Look, it took me at least 4 months of constant shooting several times per week before I was happy with my photos. I have absolutely no background in photography and believe me, I understand the frustration because I have been there (and sometimes still am). But this is not something that can be ignored. Since joining Etsy over a year ago I now have a few tricks up my sleeve that I'm more than willing to share with you. And I will. I'll be posting a photo tutorial someday*...think of it as ~Product Photography for Dummies~ (no offense)

*Update: the tutorial has been posted!
Here it is

2. Make sure your shop is in order. Do some spring cleaning if you need to. Re-shoot those photos, again. Make sure your shop policies, and profile are all filled in, make sense and are cheery and user friendly. Fine tune your shop announcement. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Choose eye catching photos as your featured items and change them at least weekly to keep your shop looking fresh. If you have a large inventory be sure to have shop sections which make it a lot easier for a buyer to navigate your shop quickly and effectively.

3. If your banner doesn't capture the essence of your shop and what you offer, make a new one. Or hire one the the many, talented graphic artists on Etsy to make one for you. (I did!) They are very reasonable and it's well worth the investment to have a great looking banner. Think of your banner the same way you would a store sign or even a display in a shop window. I don't know about you, but when I'm walking down the street and I see a beautiful, (or cute, or clever, etc) shop sign or window display, it makes me want to pop inside and see more...this is what your banner should be doing for your Etsy shop as well. And the same goes for your avatar.

4. Is your shop well stocked? Do you offer a variety of items, styles and colors? A variety of price points? Look around and see what your shop is missing. Try to see it through the eye of a buyer. If you see any gaps, fill them. For example if you make bath & body products can you offer your most popular scents in a room spray or a solid perfume? If you create jewelry do you offer a matching bracelet and earrings to your most popular necklace design? You get the idea. Maximize your opportunity to turn a browser into a buyer.

O.K. you are now ready to renew your way to more sales! But, keep in mind the sales don't start pouring in on day one. Don't get discouraged! Think of it as a snowball effect. The more you renew the more you are seen. The more people that see you the more likely you will make a sale and/or be chosen for treasury. The more treasuries you are in the higher your chances are of making it to the Front Page. The more often you are on the Front Page the more people see you, buy from you, heart you etc. This includes people who write blogs who may even offer to feature you (for free). And the list goes on and on and on...

Once you get started I would suggest you keep notes, at least in the beginning. This will give you valuable insight and assist you in refining YOUR renewing strategy. And please, don't renew for one day or 1 week and then give's not going to work that way. Your snowball will melt and you will be left sitting in a soggy puddle.

Good luck! Please write to me and let me know how it's going. I would love to hear your experiences and if I can offer any advice I would be happy to.

Oh, and one more little tip. Change your shop announcement daily. This puts you at the top of the Shop Local list :)

Update: As of this posting my Virgo Medallion Necklace is featured in the Shades of Sapphire Gift Guide! No doubt a result of renewing. I know this because I just renewed that item VERY early Monday morning (and at that time I was not in any Gift Guides)...and now I am :)

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Sunday, August 30, 2009


Bright Side Project Giveaway!
"August is Sugar, Sugar month!

I am pleased to announce {and so honored to be included!} that the The Bright Side Project is featuring Something Blue this month and hosting a really fantastic giveaway donated by yours truly. In order to win all you need to do is answer a simple question (I'm not going to tell you what it is, you'll have to find that out by visiting the site!) Submissions will be accepted until September 7, 2009 at which point I will read every submitted answer and choose the lucky winner on September 8th. I am so looking forward to reading everyone's responses... I can barely contain my excitement!

So, pop on over to The Bright Side and check out all the great giveaways they're hosting this won't be disappointed!

P.S.- Daily Candy describes the site and it's mission perfectly here: Mrs. Brightside

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Friday, August 21, 2009

25 % off! STORE WIDE SALE!

Urban Winter necklace
...on sale now at 25% off!

I'm running a GREAT sale in my Etsy shop right now...25% off the entire shop until August 31st. Take a peek and find yourself a wonderful bargain! I'll be posting new sale items throughout the weekend...

Visit Something Blue now!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Front Page Treasury

I made the Front Page of Etsy today! What a great way to start the weekend...

Now, off to write that post about my Etsy Experiment. Sorry to keep all 3 of you waiting!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My brief hiatus...or, why I've been neglecting my blog

It's been awfully quiet around here...

Wow, it's been almost two months since I last posted! I haven't fallen off the face of the earth but it sure feels like it. Remember that Etsy Experiment that I posted about back in March? Well, let's just say it was successful and that's one of the reasons I haven't had time to blog. But I'm back now and my next post will be all about the results of my experiment. I definitely learned some things so stay tuned!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Do Something!

Sorting the assortment

I like to think I'm a pretty creative person.  As a jewelry designer I see the potential 'creativeness' aka inspiration, in almost everything I see from the color or form of a plant or flower, to the texture and pattern of fabrics, to shadows cast on a long summer day etc, etc....

So, when I saw Holly Becker's Creativity Series 8 (DO SOMETHING!) over at her delightful blog, Decor8,  I couldn't resist taking on the challenge (or was it an exercise?) and getting my creative juices flowing. The challenge/exercise was to write down at least ONE thing that you planned to do this past weekend that would put you in touch with your creative side. Then come back to Holly's blog on Monday and report if you did it, how it felt, etc. 

I decided to multi task and get organized as a way to inspire my creativity.  

Here is my original comment on her blog: 

"Holly, you always manage to motivate me, thank you!
This weekend I will:
1. Sort through some of my stones and beads. (this always gets my creativity going)
2. Add to and edit my Inspiration binder
I hope to do more than that but I don’t want to commit to too much then have to come back on Monday with less accomplished than I hoped for!"

Beautiful Baubles!

Well, I didn't get both items on the list done. My Inspiration binder is still in the same cluttered mess it has been...

However, I did sort many, many, many beads & pearls which in turn lead to making a ton of new pieces, some for my Etsy shop, but most for a local boutique that sells my work.  I feel such a great sense of accomplishment in getting what feels like two things done at once, organizing & creating.  While I still have a few more trays of beads & stones that need to be sorted, I'm actually looking forward to setting aside some time next weekend to not only organize but create once again!

Oh, and I managed to pick out several paint chips for my Bookshelf Project, and I can't wait to get started on that...

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Etsy Experiment...

Green Glass Bauble Earrings
available in my Etsy Shop

Over the next week, Monday through Sunday, I'm going to test a little theory about Etsy. The theory (or it is a myth?) goes something like this; the more you list and renew the more sales you will have. So, the experiment will be to list and renew up to 5-10 times per day at various times during the day. The total cost for this experiment will be somewhere between $7.00 to $14.00. I have read that advertising should comprise 10% of your sales revenue so in order for this experiment to be considered successful I will need to sell somewhere between $70.00 to $140.00 worth of merchandise depending on what my actual listing fees end up being.

I have always renewed and listed as needed as opposed to in a deliberate, "make a sale" type of fashion so I'm interested to see what results this intentional listing & renewing will bring.

Would you like to join me in this experiment? I would love to hear what your results are as well.

I'll report back next Sunday, March 15th...stay tuned!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

What I Want...

Eames style office chair

I  have been lusting after this chair for ages.  I love the simplicity of the design and the fact that it's white makes it the perfect chair for my studio.  The chair pictured above is a knockoff of the original Herman Miller Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair.
"Aluminum Group chairs were originally developed in 1958 as a special project by Charles and Ray Eames for a private residence being designed by Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard. The seat-back suspension was a major technical achievement and represented a departure from the concept of the chair as a solid shell."
Whatever, I want one.  And when I do get one it will be a knockoff.  The Herman Miller chair sells for around $2000 and I really can't justify that kind of expense on an office chair, especially since I can get my hands on an incredible facsimile for around 1/10th the price. 

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Project Number 1
Behold the current state of the built in bookshelf.  Location: Living room
At first glance the photo doesn't look so bad...but look closer

Inspiration bookshelf.  
I love the contrasting color inside the shelves, the storage bins
and all

O.K., I have a confession to make.  I'm obsessed with organizing. It's a shame that obsession hasn't yet translated into actually being organized.  What it does translate into is browsing the aisles of the Container Store, Target, thrift shops, just about anywhere really, in search of beautiful items with which to contain, camouflage or hide my clutter or, better yet organize my clutter. I attempt to read every article online or in magazines regarding getting organized & reducing clutter.  Real Simple & Martha Stewart are my new best friends.  

I have now decided that my obsession needs to become something real.  In order to make that happen I've given myself a new goal.  GET ORGANIZED, once and for all.  My plan of attack is to pick an unorganized area of my home or studio and focus completely on that one space until it is organized to perfection.  It's sort of like the addage, "How do you eat an Elephant?  One bite at a time." (although I would never advocate eating elephants).

So, one bite at a time I'm getting organized....Join me, won't you?  I'll be posting before, during and after photos and invite you to do the same.  I would also love to hear which organizing tip and tricks have worked for you.

My first project is an abandoned corner of the living room, a built in bookcase that is overrun with clutter and a serious lack of functional and attractive storage.  It needs to serve as storage for books, video games and controllers (which we never use or play with, but I don't care as long as I don't have to look at them!) a few family photos and my unintentional apple collection etc.

I would like to have some attractive storage baskets or bins such as these:

Feathergrain Bins at The Container Store $14.99 to $34.99

Feathergrain Boxes at the Container Store $14.99 to $24.99

I'm also thinking about painting the inside of the shelves a nice, bright color. Not too bright though, as I'm married to a man who is scared to death of color.  My first thought is something in a golden tone, I must find paint chips now.  The quest begins...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Peonies and other distractions...

a favorite

I have been remiss.  Totally slacking my blogging duties.  What can I say?  It's been a busy month!  And February only has 28 days after all...

This month I have:

1. Reached my Etsy sales goals and then some (I'll aim higher for March, I need a challenge)

2. Stocked my Etsy shop with 125 items.

3. Begun the daunting task of de-cluttering my life and becoming truly organized.

4. Joined Twitter. (uh-oh)

5. Created many new, beautiful objects.

6. Enjoyed the company of family and friends.

7. Watched my daughter grow into a delightful little girl who makes me laugh all the time.

8. Looked forward to the extremely productive and creative year ahead.

What about you?

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Micro Rhodolite Garnet Earrings in Gold fill
available here

You heard that right!  As a 'feel the love' Valentine's Day gift to all my wonderful customers, I am offering FREE SHIPPING, worldwide <------that's everywhere, in my Etsy shop for the entire month of February!

Now is the perfect time to find that special gift for yourself...or someone else! 

Happy shopping...

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Monday, January 26, 2009

What the Hail?


Last night, around 11:30 thunder struck and hail came crashing down.  Without warning.  It hadn't even been raining before that so it was quite a surprise.  And pretty cool too.  It was SO loud I thought for sure the peanut would wake up, but she didn't.  It was accompanied by a profusion of thunder & lightening and the dogs thought they should probably bark but we kept them quiet somehow.  Of course I had to take photos.  I'm sure some of you think that's ridiculous, but where I come from hail is a rare occurance, hence the urge to run to the computer and eject the memory card, grab the camera and brave the weather.  And I do this all for you.

More hail

The next morning the hail remains...
it wasn't a dream.

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Monday, January 19, 2009


Yeah,'s the magic number.  At least when it comes to my blog.  I have been wanting a 3 column blog since I first started blogging and just never had the time or inclination to sit down and figure it out.  But, thanks to Three Column Blogger, I finally did it!  And it was SO easy.  So, now I share the joy of 3 columns with you.  Try it, you'll like it.  They have step by step instructions that are easy to follow and info on how to tweak your column sizes and margins.  I'm still working on mine  As you can see, some of my widget graphics on the right are getting cropped.  

These blogs...always a work in progress!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Be My Valentine...

Valentine's Day packaging

I know it seems early to be thinking about Valentine's Day already...BUT, I just wanted to share.
I'm offering complimentary Valentine's Day themed wrapping for all purchases in my Etsy shop until February 14th.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bon Iver

Bon Iver

I rarely watch late night TV, although I do watch TV late at night.  But the other night I caught Bon Iver (pronounced like bon hiver, 'good winter' in French) on David Letterman and I was riveted.  Here was this rugged, rough around the edges...dare I say, unkempt looking fellow who looked as if he walked straight out of a cabin in Montana (he kinda did) playing an acoustic guitar and singing like an angel...actually more like a broken angel if that makes sense.

I immediately looked Bon Iver (Justin Vernon's latest band) up on iTunes and downloaded Skinny Love (listen), the song he performed on Letterman.  It's quite of departure from the type of music I usually listen to, but I can't get enough of it.


You can check out Bon Iver on Letterman here.

You're welcome.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Breakin' the law

Ah, the carpool lane.  There's really nothing like it on a weekday afternoon in L. A. 

So this afternoon while driving home from a lunch date with my daughter sleeping soundly in her carseat I barely noticed I was traveling at 80 miles per hour.  Really, I wasn't going any faster than anyone else so it was easy to overlook.  As I casually cruised along I suddenly noticed something in my peripheral vision.  I glanced over and there was a CHP motorcycle cop keeping pace with me, and looking right at me.  Gulp.  I immediately let my foot off the gas and started to wonder how much this speeding ticket was going to cost me.  The posted limit is 65 mph...this could be pricey.  The officer slowed down a bit, I presumed so he could get behind me and proceed to pull me over.  But then, he sped right past me. I realized then that what he was doing was checking my carpool status....he was looking at my daughter in the back seat (who does qualify as a person) because at first glance I'm sure I looked like a single person taking advantage of the wide open carpool lane.

Apparently speeding is not such a big deal in L. A.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

1000 Markets

A community of marketplaces...

I just opened a shop on the new hand crafted site, 1000 Markets.  It looks like it will be a great venue for selling my work and I'm excited to fill my shop with lots of lovely items.  After all, Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

From their "About Us" page:

"Our merchants are small, independent, artisan businesses built by people who love their craft.  They make & sell unique products based on their own vision, personality and story."

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Enjoying the warmth of the out door fire pit

OK, I'm a day late in posting this but, better late than never, right?  We had a nice, relaxing and quite civilized New Year's Eve.  We celebrated with some friends who were kind enough to take pity on us by inviting us over to sit by the fire & eat a delicious meal...

A glorious fire

BBQ'd Tri tip with a home made chimichuri sauce

Organic field greens

the perfect ending...

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