Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: Just Ice Jewelry

I didn’t need to dip deeply into the well to come up with an amazing jewelry designer, Linda, proprietress of Just Ice Jewelry. A social studies teacher by day, Linda needed to relieve some stress and started making jewelry. Before she knew it, she was selling to fellow teachers, doing jewelry parties and craft shows, and, in 2007, she opened Just Ice Jewelry on Etsy. Some of her most unique items are made with upcycled Chinese pottery shard pieces. These broken pieces of antique chinese pottery really speak to the social studies teacher in Linda. As she is creating her amazing pieces, she wonders what function each shard played in its previous life. Was this a bowl? Was this a vase? When you look at her gorgeous jewelry creations, you can tell that Linda was inspired to give each shard a new and beautiful life.

As a successful seller on Etsy, at local shows, and in local shops, I asked Linda to share some advice for other sellers. She says that though there may be discouragements and you may spend a lot of time creating listings and maintaining your shop, that feeling when you’ve sold something, especially when you least expect it, is like none other! She started RNEST to support other Rochester area Etsians and provide a forum for us all to grow and promote our shops – and to support one another in the discouraging times!

Make sure you stop by Just Ice Jewelry and take a look around. The Cornflower and Cherry Blossom pottery shard necklaces are in full bloom and lovely. Plus, Linda has a special promotion running right now. She’s offering a free gift for the next five purchasers of pottery shard jewelry. The Quilted House (oh, hey, that’s me!!) has made gorgeous, Asian-inspired gift pouches for this free gift with purchase, so head on over to JustIceJewelry and get them while they last!

Just Ice Jewelry can also be found on twitter and in the blogosphere, so click the links to find Linda there, too! You can also type RNEST into the search field on Etsy to find JustIceJewelry and all the RNEST members’ wonderful works of handcrafted art!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Make-it Mondays: Becoming the Ace of Base

From: Buenahelena!

I recently created a Google Base account to boost my Etsy sales. Essentially Google Base is an online database into which a user can add content, including items on Etsy. With an account you can upload your items from the RSS feed of your Etsy store and schedule them to be refreshed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. When a buyer uses Google as a shopping search engine they will pull relevent items from this "base" and your items will appear in the results. Stained glass seller, Go to Great Panes has posted an extremely helpful blog for creating a Google Base account here. It is worth the 10 minutes for the many exposures you can create with it.

***On a special note: This is a beta version, so rules for this database and Etsy will change in December 2009. Keep your eyes peeled for updates!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jack's Pick: Item of the Week

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 "The Perfect Big Sis Tote" created by Michelle at The Quilted House!

Why do I like this bag? Well, first of all, I'm a "dude." Bags, totes, purses....those aren't really my thing. However, this bag appeals to me on a couple different levels.

I like the colors. That what first caught my eye! I love green, and this is a perfect mix of light and dark greens, with a hint of brown (another color I dig).

I like the fact that is has lots of uses and reuses. I like that you can take it to the beach, or the market, or on a weekend trip.

I like the way it is photographed! That really doesn't say anything about the item itself, but it sure makes me want it when it looks a great as it does in all it's pictures.

Way to to Quilted House, you got Jack's pick of the week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: Buenahelena

Bubbling up from the well this Wednesday is a very cool and unique shop: Buenahelena, owned and operated by Carol right here in Rochester, NY. Frustrated by tiny paychecks from her job as a teaching assistant at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Carol was encouraged to open Buenahelena by fellow Etsian, Yabetta. She chose the name Buenahelena out of her obsession with all things Latin. It turned out to be an apt choice, as buena of course means “good” and Helen or Helena means “light,” it fits perfectly with Carol’s desire to spread “good light” around with her creations. Though Buenahelena was started in 2006, Carol took a brief graduate school induced hiatus, but is now back in her hometown of Rochester with rekindled interest, revamped photos, new products, a rockinblog, and a new community in the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST).

As you can see from her shop, she loves using found objects and giving old baubles a new use. She finds a lot of her materials at thrift stores, her grandparents’ attic, or sometimes they're just given to her serendipitously. As a fiber artist outside of Etsy, she loves textile mediums and also loves working with beads, sequins, glitter, and everything else that we’re told not to use in art.

Her current favorite item (and mine too!!) is the Confucius Say Coaster set. They're funny, kitschy, and perfectly mesh with her goal giving new life and purpose to vintage finds. Her idea of sandwiching the vintage napkins in clear vinyl means that you can keep the kitsch going party after party! What was once toss away napkins is now sturdy coasters that are easy to wipe clean while still showing off great illustrations and sayings.

Since starting in 2006, Carol can look back and offer some advice to other Etsians and artisans. She advises others to take their shops and their crafts seriously. This isn’t a no-commitment side job that will bring in the money if you just put up any old photo of something you made. You have to become an excellent photographer. You have to create a brand and a story for your products. You have to nurture your site like a child by listing often, communicating with buyers, and promoting yourself in any avenue possible. And most important: be patient!

Make sure you check out Buenahelena. Also, if you’re in the Rochester area, Carol will be selling her work in an outdoor booth at the Old Fashioned Family Fair on September 26, 2009 from 9 am-4 pm at 1400 Lehigh Station Rd. in Henrietta. It is very in step with the feel of Buenahelena since the church hosting the fair is holding a huge thrift sale of goodies inside as well. (It’s a good bet that Carol will take the chance to find some new materials while she’s there!) Also, for the rest of 2009, Buenahelena will offer free shipping to blog followers, of this blog or Buenahelena, and to all greater Rochester area buyers! Just send Carol a message through Etsy and she’ll reserve your item with a new purchase total or refund you through PayPal. What a great deal and a great shop!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Make-it Mondays: Handy Magnet Ring

From: Buenahelena!

Happy Monday Friends and Crafters! I have been making button rings on my Etsy site for awhile and recently began making furry bottle cap rings. In the jumble of my super-fun-makin'-craft-table one of my empty bottle cap rings stuck to a magnet that was waiting to be glued to another project. A chain reaction began as the magnet started sticking to other things on the table; my safety pins, earring backs and metal beads. How handy could this be while working on projects? I tend to work with small pieces and I'm sure a fair percentage of my materials are lost to the floor in my studio. How many fellow Etsians could use one of these, should I decide to put them up on Etsy? Mmm...

  1. Adjustable ring backs. I get mine from Bunnysundries.
  2. Bottle caps. I like Izze caps. They have a minimalist white design and you can enjoy a fizzy drink made with real fruit while crafting.
  3. 1"round magnets.
  4. Aleene's jewelry glue and Gorilla glue

How to repeat my happy accident:
  1. Use the jewelry glue to attach the bottle cap to the ring back
  2. Next squeeze a little Gorilla glue into the cap
  3. Pop the magnet in. It will want to stick to the metal anyways, but the glue is for good measure.
  4. Now pretend you're the Magneto of your craft area.
Try out different materials for your ring like velcro or soft putty to stick other non-metallic materials on!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Followers and Friends

Did you know you can "follow" this blog? Look on the left column and find the "Follow this Blog" link.

Won't you also be our "friend"? You can become a fan of RNEST on Facebook.

Check out our Fan Page!

New SIte

Hi Kids,
I found a new site...
Could be a good opportunity. Free listings. :)

New and Improved

New and improved and raring to go! The Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (R-NEST) is here and ready to share our joy and artistry with you. We've redesigned our blog and have all sorts of wonderful events planned for you, our readers, fellow RNESTians, and anyone else who's interested, so stay tuned!!