Category Archives: Etsy

Just Being Me

There are a bunch of local bars in the neighborhood where I live. Most of them have a retro or upscale feel to them. The buildings are well maintained and have interesting architecture and design. But this one bar really just looks like a whole in the wall. You know, the kind of bar you would expect to see in a student ghetto? No windows, no decoration, no class. Simply put, it looks out of place. I found myself wondering the other day why this bar doesn’t do something to make itself look more appealing to the eye. Why not renovate so you fit in with the rest of the neighborhood? I started thinking about how their business would bring in wealthier customers, and therefore bring in more money. But then it dawned on me that my assumption may not be correct.

You see, this people who run this bar know who they are as a business. They know that their bar appeals to a certain group of people, and they are not ashamed of that. They fit into an aspect of society. And perhaps if they renovated their bar to appeal to a different group of people, they would no longer succeed. They may fit into the neighborhood better if they renovated, but they would be competing with local bars for the same group of people.

As small businesses (and humans in general), it is too easy to try to fit in to a mold instead of standing out as ourselves. While it is smart business to follow certain consumer trends and fashions, we do not want to change who we are in order to appeal to another group of people. We will just end up competing with other businesses for the same group of people, while leaving our original clientele without a business to serve them. And most importantly we lose sight of ourselves and our originality in the process. We are creators, not copiers. We cannot be afraid to be who we are, because really that is when we will be at our best. At the end of the day, I will succeed by just being me.

What Inspires You?

I seem to have lost my crafting inspiration. I look into my beautiful new craft closet, all nicely organized with yarn on display, and feel nothing. Nada. No desire, no urge, no inspiration. I look at my etsy shop, closing in on the number of items I want to carry, and feel nothing. Nada. No desire, no urge, no inspiration. Just nothing. Same with my beloved to do lists, blog, facebook, twitter… the list goes on.

Well, maybe nothing doesn’t quite describe the feeling since it is not an empty pit feeling. It is more of a lack of inspiration mixed with more than a touch of guilt. Guilt that I should be crafting. Guilt that this is my dream and my goal. Guilt that I have incredible opportunities to grow my business right now and yet I am doing nothing. Not a thing.

I’ve tried taking a break, in hopes that inspiration would return after some healthy distance. I’ve tried forcing myself in hopes that I would enjoy it and the desire would come back. I’ve tried looking at old projects in hopes of having old feelings return. And yet nothing. Not a thing.

I’m at an in-pass here and need to do something to move forward again. Any suggestions? What do you do to get your inspiration back?

And We’re Back!

After a summer hiatus, the shop and blog are back up and going! Keep your eye out for new features and posts. I’d give you a hint, but what would the fun be in that?

Until then, check out these handmade beauties by a new Etsian:

silver pearl crochet earrings

Handmade by Katie of Sprtizy Fitzy.

Etsy Hidden Treasures of the Week: Household

I just moved into a new apartment on Friday and have been on a hunt for household odds and ends for weeks now. Well, are plates considered odds and ends? Here are some of my Etsy household favorites:

I know these are too girly to be approved, but I love these Corning plates. The flowers! The blue! Melts my heart a little

wedding heart pillow

This might have been created for the Royal Wedding, but she will custom make one for the wedding in your life

christian coasters love

I have been waiting a long time for a post to feature this lovely shop. They have so many great items that this set is just the tip of the iceberg. Go check it out- you can thank me later.

What have you found on Etsy for your home?

Making Lists

When life gets crazy, I make lists. Lots and lots of lists. There is just something about having things written down instead of floating around in my overloaded brain that gives me a sense of comfort and calm. Even if I have yet to touch anything on a list, I feel more organized and ready to take on the world again.  Lately, I have been making a lot of lists. Lots and lots of lists. On one of those lists is this blog. I have neglected it lately. This week that ends! I am sorry it didn’t make it onto last week’s list. Come back Tuesday to check out some great featured shops.

Etsy’s Hidden Treasure of the Week- Sweet Babies

What is it about the size of an item that can just make it so cute? Shoes can be cute, but when they are itty bitty baby shoes they are automatically adorable. You hear “awww” coming out of your mouth before you know it. What could be more fun than looking for undiscovered shops with baby and toddler items? Here are some of my favorites:

baby toddler pink hat flowers

I don't know if if the little girl or the hat are more adorable!

 

brown polka dot baby shoes

How adorable are these shoes? I just need a baby to fill them...

 

baby toddler headband flower

Oh come on! Too cute for words!

 

Etsy’s Hidden Treasure of the Week is a weekly feature of shops with fifty sales or less. Please help out the feature shops by clicking on their items and sharing them with friends and family! And as always, let me know what fabulous finds you discover on Etsy!

Shop Success- Marilyn of Pulp Sushi

I am very excited to introduce Marilyn from Pulp Sushi to you today. Marilyn has a fabulous Etsy shop with beautiful bright jewelry and accessories. As she puts it, her shop is inspired by classic beauty with a bold twist. Everything about Marilyn’s shop is fun, including the name! Marilyn has been on Etsy for almost five years now, and has some great insight into this crazy little world! I am excited to share with you today.

necklace bold turquoise blue funky

Marilyn, when did you decided to open your shop and why?
I originally opened my shop just as an experiment to see if I can make some extra pocket change selling my little handmade items. I’ve always wanted my own store and Etsy was to test the waters.  I opened my Etsy shop making custom notebooks and marble magnets.  I started making more jewelry with my marbles because I wanted to start doing other things besides magnets, and I just wasn’t very good with making the notebooks even though they sold – I got bored with that pretty quick.

You are getting ready to celebrate your fifth anniversary on Etsy. Have there been any transitions for you as a shop owner and artist?
Definitely!  I’m going through a major transition right now actually. I’m actually looking in to branching and expanding on the Pulp Sushi brand.  I already started when I introduced the exclusive candles made by TattooedGeek.    I’m looking at expanding the store to include original art prints, small decorative houseware items, soaps and of course more jewelry.  I would like to work with other designers, it is my dream to have a Collective store where I get to showcase different talents.  I am at the point now where I’m not going to close my Etsy shop, but will be channeling my focus to a new website.

You have some really unique jewelry in your shop. What keeps you inspired and motivated?
Thank you! I respect my thought process and don’t force myself to hammer things out.  I do get annoyed when my creativity hits a dry spell so what I do is write in my journal, read my favorite blogs, visit my favorite online shops (just browsing!).  I am so thankful for things like my cameraphone because sometimes I can just see something on the street and it will trigger an idea and sometimes I can’t just write it down.
necklace jewelery turquoise Pulp Sushi
What has attributed to your shop’s growth and success?
Is it a “success”? LOL Funny that I don’t see it that way. It continues to be a work in progress.  I guess the reason why it hasn’t completely flopped is because I take it seriously and I look at it as a business more than a hobby.  This is my second job.  I continue to strive to make it my ONLY job but it doesn’t happen over night.  It might for some people but they’re just lucky.  I don’t expect Etsy to bring people to my shop, I know I have to do all the work myself.  I’m mindful with how I present myself online like on my blog and my Twitter, I don’t want to come across as a flake.
What is success to you?
To me, I define it as doing something you take pride in.  When your work is something you look forward to doing, it’s the last thing you think about before you go sleep and it’s what gets you up in the morning.   When it’s Sunday night and you do not think “Ugh, I have to go to work tomorrow.”

What is one thing that you know you did right? If you had to do it over again, what would you be sure to still do?
I would have gotten a business bank account sooner.  It really does give you a better picture of just how much you’re spending in your business and it helps you think more about where to invest your money in.  I will continue to renew my items because I think that’s the best promotion on Etsy.  I would NOT spend money on Showcase spots and blog ads – that has only paid off for me once.   I also wish I started doing craft shows sooner.  For a long time I was scared and intimidated that my stuff would get laughed out.  I needed to have more confidence in my work which I feel I do now.

What has been the biggest lesson for you to learn so far?
After five years, I think I have finally got a grip on where to channel my advertising and promotion as far as markets and approaching stores are concerned.  Before what mattered was if a lot of people read that blog or go to that market, surely I’ll have sales but it wasn’t the right target audience.

Also, if you can find a local community to join that will bring more selling opportunities for you if you’re looking for craft shows, markets and stores to get into.  I use to be a member of the {NewNew} (http://thenewnewny.com/) before I moved further away from the city and I loved it and learned so much about business from this group. More than ever did when I was a business major in college.  Now I am part of the Hudson Valley Etsy Team (http://hvetsyians.blogspot.com/) and it’s been a great group to be a part of and get support from.  There are a lot of online groups you can join but there’s something about meeting face to face and selling together that is really nice.

What advice would you give to shop owners just starting out?
Don’t freak out if you don’t sell right away.  If you expect to see growth and recognition you must must must put time into your shop.  It’s not just what you make and sell, but how you present it in photos, banners, descriptions, your bio, blog, anywhere you want to people to notice your stuff. I have spent countless hours promoting on Etsy forums, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace (before I deleted my account), Flickr, Kaboodle.   The more put into your promotion, the more you will get out of it.
pulp sushi ring flower purple

You can find Marilyn here:
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/pulpsushi                                                               Blog: http://pulpsushi.typepad.com                                                                                          Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pulpsushi                                     Twitter: http://twitter.com/pulpsushi

To include you in the celebration of her 5 year anniversary on Etsy, Marilyn is offering free shipping all of June in her Etsy shop PLUS a 15% discount with coupon code “HAPPYJUNE15”. And you can head over to her blog to get in on a fantastic giveaway!

Make sure to show Marilyn some love and make her day! Thanks so much, Marilyn!