Archive for Beaded Jewelry

Is It Spring Yet???

It’s mid-March and still snowing. Which prompts the question, “Is is spring yet?” We don’t know what the weather has in store, but while it’s getting it’s act together, here is a preview of the makings of my spring collection.

RAM Jewelry Designs - spring collection

Double-stranded adinkra necklace

RAM Jewelry Designs - spring collection

Double-stranded recycled glass and seed bead necklace

More in the slideshow (below)

Let me know what you think.

Etsy Success: 3 Things You Need to Know – Part 2

In part one of this post, we asked Etsy artisans three essential questions about their strategies that contributed to the success of their shops:
1. What marketing or sales strategy do you attribute to your volume of sales?
2. Is there anything that you changed since you began your shop that resulted in increased sales?
3. What advice do you have for beginning Etsy sellers?

In this post we continue the conversation with three other Etsians. Here is what they had to say.

Of her marketing strategy, Sarah Kelley of The Beaded Lilly says, “I don’t really market at all and I don’t strategize sales. I make stuff– stuff I like, stuff people ask me for. I strive for authenticity, transparency, clarity, punctuality and kindness and that resonates with my customers and clients. What I make is not about what I can sell. It’s about what I can say.” Sarah has, however, changed the focus of her Etsy shop since she started. “When I opened I was focused on beads only. I love beads. But simple metal designs are my bread-and-butter sales now..” in response to customer inquiries and demand. Her advice to new sellers is to recognize that “things take time to gain momentum. Be patient, follow the advice that resonates with you, and don’t give up. Focus on the work and the presentation and the sales will come, eventually.”

Stephanie Lindsay of yoyosbuttonsandbeads has a passion for… well, Yoyos, Buttons, and Beads. You’ll find all sorts of beads and buttons in her shop &#151 many from recycled or reclaimed materials. She attributes her sales to “precise, yet creative photography” as well as “accurate and honest descriptions.” Changes that have helped increase sales include joining “as many teams as I possibly could manage. I didn’t do this until I had been selling for awhile. I started some teams, too. Both of these seemed to improve sales.” Her advice for Etsy newbies is “to just keep plugging along. It takes awhile to become an established seller on Etsy because it is so competitive with so many sellers selling some of the same things.”

Sandy Baker of Abigails Vintage Shop says that putting “one new item or renew[ing] one item every day” was advice she got from another Etsian in terms of sales strategy. She adds that “this actually seems to work well.” One of the things Sandy has changed that positively impacted her sales are the quality of her photos. “I try to use more natural settings and especially take pictures outdoors. I tend to shy away from ‘staged pictures’ and I am always trying to improve my photo techniques.” The advice she has for newbie sellers is to have “patience and perseverance. I still work full-time and it can get frustrating when I do not sell anything for a period of time and I think I am doing everything right. Then out of the blue I sell something everyday for no apparent reason. Because the economy is so fickle, my advice is patience, be honest and hang in there.”

Dawn Kimble’s New Tribe New Traditions shop features inspirational and AFrocentric tee shirts that she designs. She says, “I use Etsy marketing, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and I sporadically blog about my shop. I haven’t invested much money in advertising and marketing because I want to utilize as many free online opportunities as I can. I also want to capitalize on word of mouth and the quality of my products.” One thing that’s helped her sales is “to increase the number of customer pictures that I use on my site. I love to see customers wearing our products and others enjoy it too.” The advice she has for Etsy sellers is to “do your research. Find out how other merchants are driving customers and look at the quality of their product pictures. It doesn’t cost much to get started if you are smart.”

Work on photos, persevere and keep at it. Those are my major takeways from this two-part post. And there are others. What resounds for you? We’d love to hear from you if you have other techniques and strategies that have contributed to your success. Please share and happy selling!

Etsy Success: 3 Things You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered why some Etsy sellers flounder while others seem to flourish? I have. So I asked several dynamic Etsy sellers three essential questions:
1. What marketing or sales strategy do you attribute to your volume of sales?
2. Is there anything that you changed since you began your shop that resulted in increased sales?
3. What advice do you have for beginning Etsy sellers?

Here is what they had to say.

Quiana Taylor of Soul and Substance creates African- and Native-American- inspired art and jewelry. She says, “You are your own best marketing. I wear something that I make as often as I can because if someone admires it, it opens a door to introduce them to your items.” In terms of strategies to increase sales, she says that “social media is amazing because it links you to many many people who may have never even heard of etsy. I am an avid instagrammer (@soulnsubstance and @_readysetglow).” As to advice she has for beginning Etsy sellers, she says, “Don’t expect to just know it all. Because you won’t. Link yourself with people who are successful at something and glean from them.”

Sheryl of Hand Painted Petals makes original, heirloom designs on wine glasses, glassware, jewelry, and keepsakes. With over 500 sales since November 2009, she attributes her success to narrowing her market focus to maximize search results. “That means I work hard on my tags, titles and descriptions to keep up with trends, SEO, seasons (current and upcoming), competition and my own new designs and listings. Also, about a year ago, I expanded into the wedding and anniversary market, which has been fruitful for me — and a lot of fun, too!” The most important thing that’s contributed to her sales is improving the quality of her photos. “My photos are like a ‘shop front.’ If my photos look dingy, dark or unclear about what’s being sold, I can’t expect people to take time to explore my shop. Instead, I have to (metaphorically) meet them at the front door with reasonably clear and inviting photos.” Shery’s advice to new sellers is “to get involved in teams and learn as much as possible; ask lots and lots of questions and then be willing to spend the time to make the suggested changes.”

Zoe of Diaspora Designs opened her shop featuring jewelry from the African diaspora in August of 2010. She attributes her 1500-plus sales with “staying in touch with my customers the old fashion way–I send them post cards in the mail every time I have a coupon code or sale happening. I think it is important to stay in contact with them and garner repeat business.” Improvements that have contributed to her success include what she calls the “countless changes” she’s made to “frequently go through my listings and update them with new and improved photographs, tags, and new items. I am never satisfied and I try to keep updating every time I have a new idea.” Zoe’s advice to beginning Etsians is “not to give up! It is easy to want to close up shop after weeks or months without turning a sale. But, if you continue to make new and improved items the customers will come. Once you gain momentum it tends to have a snowball effect.”

Esther Prat’s Wrapped in Leather shop features Unique Leather Wrap Bracelets. Esther says that she feels it’s important to be part of Etsy teams “that are pro-active in supporting team mates.” What’s helped her increase sales is improved photos. “Although I’m still learning to take better photos, [there’s been] a great improvement from the initial ones.” Her advice to new Etsians is to “join a proactive team, learn to take good photos,” provide excellent customer service and integrity, and deliver quality [products].”

This is advice we can all take into 2014 as we endeavor to improve upon what we accomplished in 2013. Stay tuned for what other Etsy artisans have to say in Part 2 of this post. If you’d like to share your Etsy success, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

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