Monday, December 21, 2009

Make- it Mondays: Short and Sweet

Happy Holidays!!! (image of Wreath by RNESTer, VictorianPetals)

The Monday before Christmas is hectic for everyone, especially myself as a teacher. From last minute gifts to tying up lessons at school I can barely keep up. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas that feeling of frenzy is in the air. Everywhere besides Etsy that is. For many sellers the rush of sales are long gone, as shipping this week is already too late. I would expect low sales to continue in the following weeks as people play with all of their new toys and get their credit card bills. Yikes! In this down time I suggest a few ideas for Etsy sellers to ring in the New Year.

  1. Organize your Etsy budget/sales/purchases/ bills from 2009. See what you made. What worked and what didn't? Get something prepared for the taxman to see.
  2. If you have never kept an Etsy account, resolve to start now in 2010.
  3. Make a new banner for your shop. I know I fall for all those ''New Year, New You" gimmicks. Why can't your shop get a lift too?
  4. Take one of your vacation days off to to edit all those posts with the descriptions and tags like holiday, christmas, stocking stuffer etc...
  5. Put obvious holiday items at a discount and rename them with SALE in the title. I know a lot of people who do all of their decoration shopping at high discount after the season.
  6. Think ahead to Valentine's Day. What can you make in warm colors? Do you have actual vintage Valentines? Pieces for couples or gifts that one might give on a romantic date? Start putting those things together.
  7. Give yourself a pat on the back and sleep in. That's an order!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jack's Pick: Purple Patchwork Owl by Peach Products

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

This week I have selected a cute little guy made by Casey of Peach Products. He is a handmade purple patchwork Saw Whet Owl stuffie. A Saw Whet Owl, for those of you who have never seen one of these little adorable creatures, is only 6-8 inches tall, and weighs about 3 oz.!

Casey is an amazing artisan who brings these little treasures to life. She is an expert needle felter also, and creates incredible little creatures in her etsy shop. Casey knows these little owls so well because she also volunteers as a bird bander for owls for the Braddock's Bay Raptor Research organization in Rochester, NY

I own one of Peach Product's little own stuffies, as well as an owl pillow in my daughters room.

Thanks Casey, these are wicked awesome!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Make-it Mondays: Reviewing R-Nest WinterFest

The R-Nest WinterFest Door Prize Winner!!!

Oh the Monday mopes, I am sick! Despite my Dayquil haze and failing vocal chords I, along several amazing ROC Etsy street team members, enjoyed our first (and not last!) successful public sale. The R-Nest WinterFest was our first large scale team effort. We gathered at our meetings to plan, sent tons of emails back and forth, bombed the town with signs that we staple-gunned in mall parking lots, and traversed murky insurance issues. All in all it went well, but now we must come together to see how to improve.

Some suggestions:
  1. Start later in the day or on a Saturday.
  2. Don't put up signs before snow storms. And advertise even more!
  3. Check out wifi capability and fees of the venue (we were credit card ready, with our own shopping site until...da-da-da...the $150 dollar fee.)
  4. Check ATM's. We had one, but it was busted. Lame.
  5. A larger location, like a church or school to pull more people and vendors.
Leave me more suggestions and I will add them to this post.

Things that rocked were:
  1. Our raffle table and humoungoid door prize. I saw a lot of action there.
  2. Networking with other ROC Etsy vendors.
  3. Inspiration from vendors displays, packaging and products.
  4. Sweet trades and word of mouth sales, by modeling what other vendors were selling.
  5. Super supportive, friends, neighbors, colleagues and family who love to buy our stuff.
  6. WIDE variety of vendors within our group.
Leave me things you loved and I will also post them.

Now, one more thing. My photos of this event suck! Send your photos to and I will post them here as they come. Let's keep this post ever updating for the next couple weeks as a reflection and even greater direction for the future!

Winner of the Mother of All Giveaways Grand Prize

Congratulations to #3 Littlebird! Thanks to everyone who entered and everyone who found us at the first annual RNEST Winter Fest this weekend! This marks a great end to a great show and a great giveaway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jack's Pick: Fingerless Gloves by MFCrafts

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

This week I have picked a gorgeous pair of fingerless gloves made by Marie of MFCrafts.

I like these for several reasons:
-It's cold in my neck of the woods now, and these look warm and stylish.
-I like the color combination and that they are 100% wool.
-I like the price.
-I like that I watched Marie knit these while at our RNEST meeting last Monday night.

Marie has sold lots of these in various colors. She notes in her item description that she was inspired by Twilight to make these in this color...SMART CHOICE!

Great job Marie! Also don't miss some really fun vintage items at Marie's second shop MFVintage.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: In My Head Studios

Gurgle, gurgle and up from the well comes In My Head Studios. Vickie has been an artist since she could hold a crayon and needs to create like she needs air. All that creation needs an outlet, right? Well, on Etsy, Vickie found both a place to sell her wares and a real community of likeminded folks.

Vickie loves working with paper because it is such a versatile medium. She uses it to make cards, jewelry, book boxes, painted objects, origami, need I go on? She finds that it provides just the right texture and dimension to her works of art. Her favorite item right now is her domino ornaments – I have to agree! They are beautiful and unique!

Vickie, like so many other sellers, advises others to keep your photography sharp – it’s the most important thing when selling online! Perfect pictures are a process of trial and error, but you’ll figure out the best way to photograph your product. Also, she advises that there is always something new to be learned in the Etsy Forums. They are great places for tips and tricks and to connect with other sellers!

Make sure to check out In My Head Studios and find out more about the shop and Vickie on her blog, twitter, facebook, and flickr.

Before you head off to check out this awesome shop, enter the seventh and final Mother of All Giveaways for a chance to win six, count ‘em, SIX gift certificates, one each from six wonderful shops!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Make-it Mondays: And by "make" I mean SHOP!

From Buenahelena!

This Sunday marks a milestone for our street team. On December 13th we are holding our first organized, public sale event as a team, the R-NEST WinterFest, at the RIT Inn and Conference Center (5257 West Henrietta Rd. Henrietta, NY 14602). Join us from 9 am-4 pm to support fellow team members and shop, shop, shop for great, handmade holiday gifts. Every purchase of $10.00 at an individual seller's booth will buy you a raffle ticket towards free prizes from individual sellers and one grand prize basket of goodies from ALL of our vendors and other street team members.

Top 5 reasons to shop local this year:
1.) Your gifts will be unique! No embarrassing double gifting!
2.) You'll boost small entrepreneurs in Rochester in a tough economy and support its Arts community.
3.) You can rest assured that you are getting a quality item that was ethically produced. Not in a sweat shop. Not by small children working for a pennies a day...(cough, cough Walmart).
4.) You won't get that nagging mall headache. You know that brain overload of too many colors, lights and choices?
5.) You will avoid horrendous traffic and that angry, overtired shopper who will invariably yell at you for "pulling into their space" in crowded parking lots.

If you can't make it to the WinterFest, be sure to visit our team member's Etsy shops. This holiday season many of us are offering specials sales and deals from discounts on multiple purchases to free shipping. (Team members leave you deals in the comments section of this post!) Happy giving! Don't forget to give a little TLC to yourself as well...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mother of All Giveaways: GRAND PRIZE

Edited to Add: This giveaway closes on Sunday, December 13th. The winner will be announced Monday, December 14th.
Hello! Well, as promised, this is the last week of the Mother of All Giveaways and we have a treasure in store for one lucky winner! For this final giveaway, all the participating shops are giving the winner a $10 gift certificate. That means that Ms. or Mr. Lucky gets to spend $10 buying any fabulous item in each of the six fabulous shops! By now you should know the giveaway rules and know how to enter UP TO SEVEN TIMES, but if you need a refresher, check out this post. And, as a reminder, here's a list of the participating shops and a sample of thier FABULOUS offerings:

Buy Handmade

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: Paper and Tact

A dip into the well brings us one of our newest RNEST members, Paper and Tact. This lovely store is run by a quintet of lovely ladies: Ashley, Ariane, Kate, Libby, and Susie. When the coasters they created for bridal shower favors were a big hit and a load of fun to create, Paper and Tact was born on Etsy.

Just in time for the holiday season, make sure to stop by their shop and check out their holiday line of coasters – just divine! In addition to coasters, they sell jewelry, wall d├ęcor, fabric blooms, and hair fascinators – so chic!

The one piece of advice they have for other sellers is to list a few items at a time so that you have updates more often. In the beginning, they listed all of their items in one giant batch...and then had no more items to list for a few weeks! Listing one or two items frequently will help keep your shop higher up on the page on Etsy – the higher you are, the more views you’ll usually get!

The ladies of Paper and Tact love custom orders for special events and offer a discount for large orders, so make sure to check out their shop and send them a message with your custom request.

While you’re here on the blog, don’t forget to enter the latest Mother of All Giveaways! And don’t forget to come back next week to enter the seventh and final giveaway – trust me, it’s worth the trip!