Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What You Made Wednesday #3 with Linky

Welcome back to What You Made Wednesday, everybody!! I look forward to this day every week. Let's start off with what I did today.....

Duct Tape (Duck Tape) Headband!

I know, you're probably sick of me saying it, but I have to...... - I'm pretty much in love with it. It is made ENTIRELY out of Duct Tape (or as most people call it, Duck Tape..... I still call it Duct Tape, call me old-fashioned) and also Electrical Tape. Electrical Tape is great for the headband because on the off-chance that the headband size you order is too snug when you receive it, electrical tape can be stretched to your desired size! I still have a few more touches to add (maybe rhinestones? We will see....), and some model photos to take of it before it goes in my shop, but when it does it will be going for $4!! Such an awesome deal in my opinion.

And now for What YOU Made. Last week we had 7 entries, but the one that got the most likes was.....

Toeless Yoga Socks by Made by Meg!

Click the photo above to be taken directly to the listing. She has some other really neat stuff - ceramic tiles coasters, super cute coffee cozies, etc. So go show her shop some love!!

And now it's YOUR turn! Show me what you've been working on all week, I love looking at them. Remember that this Linky will be open until April 10 at 11:59PM, so if you don't have something to share yet you can always come back later in the week to share your stuff! Just remember to follow my blog -------------------> so that you can find your way back here later on. Also remember that the link-up with the most likes gets a special mention next week just like Meg did today, so tell your friends to vote for you!

'Til next time, thanks for reading! <3


Monday, April 2, 2012

Made of Money Monday #2 - Button Bouquets

Hello again!! I have to say, I am really enjoying this blog. I really look forward to writing, you know? Even though I don't have many followers/readers yet, it makes me feel good, and so it's worth the time and effort. =)

Ok, enough of the mushy stuff. Let's go ahead with our Made of Money Monday!! So, if I were made of money today, I would probably be buying some of these....

Button bouquets!!! These are made by Angela D. and are sold in her shop, angel9. They vary in price range - some of the smaller flower girl ones are only about $18 - $23 (which is actually incredible when you think about how much buttons normally cost, and how much time it probably takes to make these), but some of the nicer wedding bouquets can get up to $150. But if I were made of money (or getting married again haha) then I would definitely shell it out for these. They are adorable, and it's such a cool and creative take on the traditional wedding bouquet. Here's some of the nicer bridal-style button bouquets:

I mean, it seems to me that whenever brides are planning a wedding, they are always looking for a way to stand out. Things that their guests are going to remember. And to me, this seems like something that may go unnoticed at the ceremony (just because they are smaller, and actually LOOK like real bouquets from far away) but when the reception rolls around, as guests approach the wedding line or just go to congratulate the bride in general, they would see it and go "OH MY GOD ARE THOSE BUTTONS?? Look how cute they are!!" I know that's what I would be doing anyway if I had never seen one before and saw my friend sporting one in her wedding apparel. It's something that is both traditional and unique at the same time, and also fits under the categories of "classy" and "adorable", and that is so rare a find. These bouquets are also made in less traditional colors, and I think could have an alternate use as some of the CUTEST CENTERPIECES EVER. I mean, picture one of these in a cute little transparent vase sitting in the center of your table at an event:

In fact, that last one is even pictured in a glass jar, and it looks so elegant in and of itself - just imagine if you were to adorn the jar with little gems and fill it about half-way with some of those transparent stones you can find at the dollar store, etc etc. So many possibilities wrapped up in such a cute little piece. I'm telling you, if you are planning a special event or know someone who is - keep angel9 at the top of your list. Her stuff is so cute and perfect for almost any occasion you can think of. As usual, click any of the above photos to be taken directly to that listing, or click here to be taken directly to her shop.

And just so everyone knows (because I didn't specify last week) I am not compensated for any of this. This includes Made of Money Mondays as well as Feature Friday. I do it because I appreciate the work that these shops do, and enjoy bringing great products to the eyes of my readers. They don't sponsor me in any way, and I don't even tell them ahead of time what I am doing. But who is going to argue with some free exposure and a bump in traffic, am I right? So show their shop some love.

If I don't have something fun and exciting happen between now and Wednesday, then I will see you then for another What You Made Wednesday!! Remember I will have LINKY up on that day so you can share your stuff with me (and other readers), and I will also be giving a shout out to the listing that has the most likes from last week. So if you haven't posted your stuff yet, the Linky from last week is still OPEN, so go post your products and get people to like your stuff! Thanks again for reading, everyone~ <3 See you then!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Etsy Success Symposium

Well, originally my plan was to wake up on Friday morning, eat breakfast, then let the hubby take care of the kids while I bust out my notebook and watch the symposium all day.

........That didn't happen.

Life happened instead, and the hubby had one of those rare days where all he wants to do is spend time with me ( =O ), so I had to take him up on the opportunity and ended up spending most of the day with him. Not complaining! But because of this (and 2 screaming kids) I didn't catch as much of it as I would have liked. But this is what I caught.....

Storytelling: I don't know how much this relates to my product. I sell bows...... Not much of a story behind that other than maybe the decision that got me to choose to fabric and the style of the bow..... Not very interesting. I do think I need to go into more detail about how the bow is made though.  Like.... how I heat-seal all my bows' edges by hand from a candle to avoid fraying. That's important! It means that it's going to LAST. I should be telling my customers that. Definitely something to think about.

Prices: People don't buy into the "I'm selling amazing items for super low prices". I was selling bows for about $5 a piece..... That was almost no profit. But I thought to myself "I'm just starting out, people won't want to buy my stuff if it's too expensive, maybe I'll raise the prices later when my shop gets busier." ......But honestly, my customers are probably looking at my prices and saying "Wow, this bow must have been stapled together for that price." So I went back and repriced EVERYTHING. I gave them prices equivalent to how hard I worked on them instead of how much they costed to make. I need to start paying myself fairly. And you know what? I went back later and looked at my inventory in my shop with the raised prices, and magically felt BETTER about my work. I was definitely shortchanging myself. I also need to be able to hold sales and give out coupon codes without worrying about losing money on it. They need to be at a price where I will still be making profit even if I sold it 25% off or something. One person at the symposium pointed straight at the camera, and said something like "YOU ONLINE. Go to your store and double your prices right now. I'm serious." So I took that to heart, and I feel like my prices are more fair to me and also give proper credit to my bows and their quality now.

Photos: .......Oh my lord I have been over-exposing my photos to light. They all of a sudden look terrible to me!! One person at the symposium mentioned that if you're not sure if your photos are up to par, you should take some frequently Front Paged items and put them all in a treasury with one of your items to see if they blend together nicely. Mine totally don't. I feel like my bows are really like... IN YOUR FACE close to the camera. No bueno. Also, there was a little "commercial" between sessions that teaches you how to take proper and professional photos. I was already doing most of her techniques, but she said "Don't be afraid to experiment with props." And that is something that I haven't really done. I generally put the bow on the white paper, take a bunch of different angled photos, then slap it on my daughter and take some more photos. I should be trying them on teddy bears or in the foreground of some pretty jewelry that could work with it or something. I need to play around with it more and have fun with it.

Pinterest: ......Apparently a lot of Etsy traffic comes from Pinterest. I just barely joined this site myself.... And I still barely know how to work it. I need to figure it out. Seriously. If anyone has any tips or tricks about Pinterest, or just wants to teach me how to use it, I am open and thankful for your advice.

Craft Fairs: I really am interested in doing these some day, and those folks from Crafty Bastards really helped me see what will and won't work when that time comes for my business. How to decorate your booth, what to plan for, what to bring, what's important and what isn't, etc. I wish I had written down more notes about it to refer to later when my 1st craft fair comes up, but I didn't because I was busy holding a baby in my arms while watching. Bummer!! But hopefully with their guidance, my first attempt will be a fairly successful one. There are no craft fairs around these parts (I sound like such a hillbilly right there), but there is one in SLC every year. The deadline is coming WAY too soon for me to participate this year, but maybe next year I will attempt it. It should be a good starter fair before I (hopefully someday) move on to Renegade or even the Crafty Bastards showcase.

Well, I learned a lot. If you didn't catch it they still have all the videos available on the online labs page on Etsy, so you should check some of them out. Hope they help you as much as they have helped me so far!!

Remember to join me again tomorrow for Made of Money Monday #2!! I have some great stuff lined up. Thanks again for reading~! <3