Monthly Archives: May 2011

Etsy’s Hidden Treasure of the Week- Jewelry, Part 1

Jewelry is one of the largest categories on Etsy (over 2 million items listed as I write this). For shop owners selling jewelry, it is very easy to feel like a very small fish in a very big pond. So many great jewelry artists are selling on Etsy that I have decided to take these next two weeks to highlight a few of the great undiscovered shops. Enjoy

austism awareness cuff bracelet

I love how fun this bracelet/cuff looks! And the story behind it makes this piece even better. Click on the image to visit her shop and learn more.

Green pendant sterling silver

I love the simple style of this pendant. It would compliment almost any outfit.

flower bracelet charm pendant accessory

This flower charm bracelet is right up my alley! Simple, beautiful, and blue! What more could a girl want?

funky pendant flower brass

One of my favorite shops for creative, original jewelry!

Thank you to all of the show owners for creating such beautiful jewelry, and believing in your art enough to list it on Etsy! Looking forward to great things for each of you.

Please show these fantastic artists your support by sharing their pieces with others!

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Giveaway!

Today is your last chance to enter for a chance to win one of my handmade business card holder over on Dondalee’s Blog. Go check it out- and take a look around her fantastic blog while you are at it! Thanks, friends!

Enter and win here: http://wp.me/p1oOmd-5L

Shop Success: Malissa of Lil Bundle of Joy


I am excited to introduce you to the incredibly talented Malissa from Lil Bundle of Joy. She makes adorable plushies, crinkle toys, burp clothes, and other fun things that make me want to have a baby! Malissa is an overnight Etsy success story, and a good one at that. She was just featured on the Etsy blog! So excited to have her with us today.

owl baby toy crinkle sew

Malissa, how did you first get started sewing?
I dabbled in hand embroidery when I was around 10, my Gram showed me, sewed barbie clothes & doll clothes by hand, but it wasn’t until I had my own sewing machine did I really start sewing.  The hubs and I received one as a wedding gift.  =)  Nobody showed me how, I’m self taught!  Started with throw pillows, tried selling those on ebay for a bit, didn’t pan out…..

When did you decided to open your shop and why?
I honestly became inspired to start making baby stuff when I received soooooo many handmade items at my baby shower!  I remember thinking, hey I can make this!!  =D  So after my Logan was born(Dec. 31st) I was decided!  And since I still had 2 months of maternity leave left I figured what the heck!  And so I opened!  With lots to learn!!

I have a serious love of your owls and their eyes. What drew you to making those little cuties?
My momma used to collect owls….. But I re-fell in love with them while I was pregnant.  So we had an owl themed shower, etc…..And I knew people would love some owls too, so I contacted another seller here on etsy, EmbroideryGarden, thanks to a suggestion from a wonderful friend I also met here on Etsy through the Etsy Owl Lovers Team, to turn some drawings I had into embroidery files!  And so my owls were born!  =)  So yes, those eyes are my original design!  I made those all by myself!
Owl plushies baby toy
163 sales in your first four months is incredible. What has attributed to your success?
I am blessed to be where I am right now, I wouldn’t trade any of it!  My success comes from my family and friends.  I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t from all the support I got.  =)  The moment I realized I could make a go at this was the day I returned to work…..I used to work at Michaels….I remember people always telling me how talented I was and that I was wasting it…. I worked for Michaels for almost 6 years, would of been 6 in June had I not quit this past April.  That was a sad day for me….to walk away from all those people, but to be able to be home with my kids, twin 3 year old girls and my baby boy now almost 5 months, was what I’d always wanted.  There have been plenty of days when I ask myself why I did this…..It’s hard to find a good balance. But like I said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!

What is success to you?
To me success is being able to do what you love while being able to enjoy your family.  =)  I consider myself to be very blessed.  =)

What has been the biggest lesson for you to learn so far?
Biggest lesson I’ve had to learn is patience.  Things don’t happen over night…..I remember waiting for that first sale….and then came an email telling me my paypal wasn’t verified or something like that and so I rushed to fix it so my very first customer could buy her things!!  And then she did!!  And it wasn’t just one, it was 3!!!  Now everytime my phone goes ping! I get excited!  =D  But I can only do so much, so I guess another lesson I’ve learned  is I can’t do it all!!  I put my shop on vacation this week just so I could catch up on my wholesale orders….ever since the owls, wholesale orders keep coming in, I have 4 to catch up on…. But I have to pay my bills so I keep saying yes…. I decided to open my shop back up for this reason, I was going to stay on vacation until the 1st, but we need the money so I opened it back up yesterday and was bombarded by emails!  People were waiting for me!!  So I did a few custom listings and have decided to keep my shop open an d just say I’m on vacation so you’ll have to wait a few days to get your goodies.  I ended up getting 2 sales today too, kinda crazy when I wasn’t even trying… =)

dinosaur dino baby boy burp cloths handmade
What advice would you give to shop owners just starting out?
The best advice I got was to join a team!!  It really helps with questions you have!  I think I’m a member of about 8 or so now…. =)  Also, ask your team members to critique your shop!  I really think that helped me get quite a few sales!!   Make sure to photograph your items on a plain white/black background….good advice, makes it easier for people to use your items in treasuries!  And makes your items pop!  Use every single tag and picture so people can find you easier!  And break your shop into sections!!  I know I’ve visited a few shops where they have none and I don’t want to sift through pages and pages….. Oh and I know it’s scary but open up and ship internationally!  I’ve shipped lots of places!  Including Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada just to name a few.  =)   Crazy huh!

You can find Malissa here:
Etsy Shop: www.lilbundleofjoy.etsy.com
Blog: www.owlletyouknow.blogspot.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lil-Bundle-of-Joy/177552298948481

Make sure to show her some love! Thanks so much, Malissa. Looking forward to even bigger things to come for you 🙂

Etsy’s Hidden Treasures of the Week- Spring Green

Spring green is just one of my all time favorite colors. It just makes the world a happier place. This week’s top four spring green hidden treasures on Etsy (because I couldn’t pick just three!):

spring green pin cushion

Everyone should have a pin cushion this breath-taking!
green flower headband

Green, flowers, and a headband? Someone read my mind!
spring wreath green flowers yarn

Not your grandma’s wreath! So chic and beautiful

crochet bunny spring green blue

How cute is this little guy??

Support these wonderful growing shops! They have beautiful pieces that they put their hearts in to making. So spread the word about these up and coming etsy shops. And as always, if you find a spectacular shop with under 50 sales, let me know so we can get the word out about the hidden treasure!

Things I’ve Noticed In the Hunt for Treasure

In my search for hidden treasure on Etsy, I have noticed some trends in larger shops on Etsy in contrast to the undiscovered shops. It has made me think about how I run my own shop, and changes that I need to make in order to become successful. These aren’t hard set rules, because there are always the exception shop on both sides, but more things to think on and consider.

  1. Prices are generally higher in stores with more sales. The seller puts  more value put on the item because s/he knows other people value it as well. It has been hard for me to realize that someone actually wants to pay money for an item that I designed and created. But how I view my shop determines how others will view it as well. This is not about ripping buyers off, but rather giving ourselves the best possibility to succeed while giving our customers the best product possible.
  2. Photos are more professional looking in more successful shops. I think this is something we all know, but is always a good reminder to keep working on. I love looking at more successful shops to inspire me to make my photography better.
  3. Items for sale in more successful shops fit into some kind of trend.  We make things we love, but if we are to sell items, we need to make items that others love as well. I’m not talking about selling our creative souls here, but merely paying attention to what niche market our items fit into and then marketing to it specifically.
  4. Shops with a high number of sales have spent a significant amount of time on etsy. I have seen very few overnight successes on etsy. When I am feeling discouraged, I like to go take a look at larger shops’ first sales. Many times they started off in a similar place to where I am now. Anything worth doing takes work- and time! If we want to be successful long term, then we have to commit to being in it for the long haul.

This is the first of a new series post on shop success. I am hoping that each post will inspire and encourage us all to keep working towards great success!

Etsy’s Hidden Treasures of the Week- Fun and Functional

Deep in the heart of every woman, of every creator, is the desire to make the world beautiful. Today we celebrate those women who make the every day items in our lives beautiful.

bird potholders quilted

These potholders would add some beauty and color to any kitchen!

passport cover black and white

I love the simple beauty of this passport color. Because sometimes the world just looks better in black and white!

hobo purse handbag

This bag really brings beauty to life! Beautiful colors. And finally a bag to hold it all!

Thanks to all of you for helping me find such beautiful hidden treasures! As always, please pass along the special beauties that you find.

Mental Health and Sleep

I had a brain of mush for the last two weeks. It was a combination of sleep deprivation and stress- or at least that is what I am blaming it on. While I have been able to make up some of that lost sleep and my brain is slowly returning to normal, I am finding myself needing an extra shot of motivation to get going again. Hopefully the blog will be returning to normal this week. Hidden Treasure post comes out tomorrow (be very excited! It’s a beauty) and I am planning on finishing a new post over the next few days.

Why does it seem that it is so much harder to restart than it was to start the first time? Any tips on how to get myself going again?