Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
In the following article,Molly of Elizabethjewelry shares with us how she makes jewelry for a target market based on her extensive retail experiences.
In my years of working directly with the customers in a retail forum, I have noticed certain trends. As people are all unique, many people buy outside of these patterns. But a large enough portion of people do buy a certain style for me to make items for them.
Ok, first I start with the gemstone. I make a collection around each of these; peridot, red coral, smokey quartz, champagne topaz, Amethyst, white pearl, garnet, labradorite, and a multi color collection, mostly done with cubic zirconia. I dont have them all up on etsy yet, but that will soon change as I just hired a general assitant. She will be working on my wholesale orders off line, while I concentrait on Etsy.
Let start with Peridot. I have seen a trend that peridot wearers tend to be in their 40's, and are very dignified and rooted. They are professionals, with more disposable income. They enjoy nature, the outdoors and are generally optimistic people who enjoy art, yet are a bit conservative. ( I know this may seem like a sweeping generalization, but I cant help but notice this pattern over and over again). So I make for them a classic necklace that is both delicate and dignified, with just a touch of sparkle. 18". Not 16 as 16" tends to appeal to a much younger crowd. The toggle is a custom heart. It is branded with my name "elizabeth" on it as it has an unconditional lifetime guarantee. People like the fact that Elizabeth Is a brand that once they buy a piece, they own it for life. Especially for this customer. Mature people tend to remember when things were made to last forever, or at least a lot longer than most of todays "disposable" gadgets. I also use french wire to give
the piece a more finished look. Now, using french wire with a necklace strung on beading wire is widely used, however, I was using it at least 6 years before it became a widely practiced technique.
This was one of my first things I listed, so I could retake the photo I believe:
The red coral is another good one where I started with the end user. Men. That is right, as men are proven to be more attracted to red than any other color, and will buy red as a gift more often. So I made this necklace with the idea of men buying it for the women in their lives. Men like to obtain, not normally shop around. So I put it in my top featured items. I sell one of these necklaces to a man at nearly every show! I made it bold, yet feminine with the flowers inside the square. (men also like squares). I also made it simple to both go with many womans outfits. No silver spacers to confuse the matter. Just a great medium sized 6mm round red coral. I think the recipient of this necklace will always enjoy having a classic red accessory that can be worn with the neutrals ( blacks) that is in most wharedrobs. So she will wear it a lot, and make her "man" happy as he knows he accomplished buying her a gift she enjoys. The price is affordable for the craftmanship, yet at a price that is percieved as quality. No too cheap, not too expensive. Again the custom heart toggle. has been featured in a treasury or two.
The next item is for a younger demographic. The late teen to 35 crowd. The cost needs to be lower. I wanted it to be under $35.00 The cool "IN" theme is anything French, or Paris, and less of a beaded look but more of a fun cluster of charms off of a sterling chain. The Quality needs to look like they are buying perhaps their first piece of "real" jewelry. So I hunted down suppliers, finally having one make me the right findings I needed at the right price. Actually, may of my findings and beads are custom for me to provide the best quality at the right price. This has been featured in many treasurys. And we know that the people who are building treasurys are mostly under 35.
The last is my best seller. I sell about 60 or so a month on etsy. I knew that every person who has pierced ears wanted a good all purpose everyday earring. Something that is just a tad more than a simple plain hoop or stud. Something they could put on one handed, with their school books or small kids in one hand. A safe earring that was not boring. I have sold this to all ages from 4 to 96.
This is priced at an impulse buy price. Something they would buy just because they went to work without any earrings. They also tend to get worn a lot. These are the earrings that some people just live in. Some people really enjoy fancy earrings during most of the time, and need a more basic one for days off.
It needed to be strong, sturdy and simple. They are polished, but with a little less than perfect finish, so they don't feel like the earrings cant be worn if they get a little tarnished over time. Many people tell me they have lived in them day and night for years!
This comes in 18 colors to appeal to everyone. Often someone will purchase one color only to put in "notes to seller" that they want a different color than the one pictured, as I tell them to look at my photo of many colors grouped together for them to pick from. I just love that. That the earring itself sold them, no matter what color. So the extra group photo really helps. I do add some pictures of my daughter wearing her pair so people can see what it looks like on a person.
This earring has also been picked by admin once to be on the front page. That really made my day!
Friday, November 13, 2009
FTEC's member Eleen just recently opened a temporary gift shop called Modern Mouse in the Alameda Towne Centre. Throughout the holiday season you will be able to see many fabulous Etsy designers' works in person at Modern Mouse, including 13 members from FTEC --
Modern Mouse is holding their grand opening on 11/14(Saturday). Join us for the fun!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I'm slowly purging all references to my Etsy shop from my business cards, ads, etc because I want more control over by branding. Although I don't have any short term plans to set up my own shopping cart I want to be a little more prepared if I do decide to.
I've set up http://shop.everythingtiny.com as a redirect to http://kfarrell.etsy.com and thought while I was at it I would write up instructions for how other folks can to - and on the super cheap. I've seen a bunch of places that charge a monthly or annual fee for domain forwarding. The cost of my setup is about $10/year including domain registration.
Tools You'll Need
- A membership with NearlyFreeSpeech.Net. If you know a little bit about what you're doing you can use this setup on *any* host, but for the sake of simplicity all my examples are on how to do this with NFSN.
- An FTP or SFTP client. I like to use FileZilla.
- A text editor. Notepad will work just fine.
If you don't already own a domain you can buy one through NearlyFreeSpeech.Net. It's a little less than $9/year for domain registration and unlike GoDaddy they won't spam you into getting a zillion of their other service. Deposit $10 into your NFSN account, purchase your domain name (it pulls from your account balance), and you're good to go.
If you already have a domain name there will be a little extra configuration for you, but we'll get to that later.
Setting up your site
Ok, there is a tiny cost to setting up the forwarding. While NFSN doesn't charge any monthly fees for sites, they charge for storage (how big your site is) and bandwidth (how many gigabites of files your site sends to other people). Since you're just forwarding your visitors on to Etsy, both of these will be very very low. Extermely low. But nonetheless you'll need to make a small deposit into your NFSN account, $1 should be plenty.
Creating your .htaccess file
A .htaccess file is a special file that tells the server how to handle requests for your site. Open up a new file in your text editor and copy/paste the following:
RedirectTemp / http://yourshop.etsy.com/
Save the file to your hard drive with the name ".htaccess", making sure there is no file extension such as .txt.
Upload the File to Your Site
Open up your FTP client and connect to your site (the connection information can be found by logging into NFSN and clicking the 'sites' tab and then the name of your site.
When you connect you'll likely see a number of folders such as "logs" "private" and "public". Upload your .htaccess file into the public folder. If it has a file extension rename the file so it is just ".htaccess"
Add Your Domain as an Alias
To make your domain work with your site you need to add it as an alias. Go to the site information page and click "Add a New Alias" on the right. Enter the domain you wish to use. I.e. if you want "http://shop.everythingtiny.com" to go to your Etsy shop enter "shop.everythingtiny.com".
If you purchased your domain name through NFSN you're done! It may take 24 hours for everything to start working, so be patient if it doesn't seem to be doing anything right away. You can test to see if your redirect is working by going to http://yoursite.nfshost.com, where yoursite is the name of the site you created.
If you purchased your domain elsewhere
You'll need to add a record to your DNS to get things working. Check your registrar's documentation for "how to add a DNS record." Once you've figured it out, you'll want to add what's called a CNAME record. It will look something like:
shop CNAME yoursite.nfshost.com.
Where "shop" is the subdomain you want to use (i.e. shop.everythingtiny.com) and yoursite is the name of your site at NFSN. The CNAME record may take a few hours to take effect.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The following article was originally posted on our team member nicholasandfelice's blogon July 30, 2009. In this article Beck shares with us how she does her craft show displays at the Eugene Saturday Market.You can find their jewelry in Felice's Etsy shop.
Most Saturdays for the past 18 years or so we have sold at the Eugene Saturday Market. We have had our excellent reserved corner booth space on the corner of 8th and W Park Street across from the Farmers Marker for many years now that we earned by doing all those markets and getting the points. And being there when the very old couple finally decided to retire from their spot who had it previously. I imagine Nick and I will be hobbling on our canes too when we finally retire from that corner spot.Luckily Etsy has come along and changed our lives so that we don't have to be there every weekend, especially the ones that are brutally cold or hot. Now that we have Henry and Max, Nick stays home with the boys while I go to market by myself. (Until they are at least old enough to be somewhat helpful and not poop in their pants.That goes for Nick too.-just joking hun)It's a lovely hour long scenic drive on mostly back roads through the Willamette Valley from our home to Eugene. I start most Saturday mornings with my old timer marketeer vendor girlfriends and coffee. It is usually the highlight of my day. This year we revamped our Saturday Market booth display. We had been using the same display for more years than I can even remember.It is still basicly the same but we took off a whole top row of earrings so that I can now see over the top of the display and not be boxed in. We got rid of dud earrings that weren't really moving. We also got one of those new fangled light weight plastic folding tables instead of the super heavy plywood one we made back when we were young. Those are hanging vases across the front top of the
booth and we also have some on a display hanging on the other side of the booth. We love our EZ Up booth although I really think they should be called EZ Down as the process of getting those little metal buttons pushed into the top can require heroic efforts and leave me panting wiht exhaustion first thing in the morning.Taking them down is a breeze though. I replaced the old ratty purple background on the boards with a crisper off white muslin. It's really improved the visibility of the colored stone and glass jewelry. We still continue to use the method of having lace sewn on the bords in rows that the earrings hang off of. I can't take credit for the idea as we saw it in a store display in Santa Rosa about 20 years ago. But it works really well for us and we get lots of compliments on it from customers.