Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tags: a primer for newbies and a refresher for others

submitted by Cathy of JustJaynes

When I opened my second shop on Etsy, JustJaynes, I was coming off a 6-month hiatus from selling. There were a few changes.

What are these things called treasuries? What are all these funky applications on the sidebar of the front page? What are TAGS?

Not the lovely tags made by our own Celene from MariaSoleil, but the tags used to describe our items.

Tags actually do much more than describe our items. Tags put our items into the Etsy search engine for buyers and treasury curators. We all have the same goal: Sell. But when our stuff’s not selling, the secondary goal: Be on the Front Page! Being on the front page will bring lots of views and new shoppers into your shop.

First tag: Your main category
All other tags: Subcategories and descriptions

You’ll see that the tag system will automatically make suggestions. If your items fit into those suggestions, use ‘em! If not, and it runs out of suggestions, don’t stop! Time to get creative. How will buyers and curators search for your item? Color, shape, theme.

COLOR: Treasury curators especially will not search for something “blue” because there will be too many results, so they search for a certain shade of blue, such as aqua blue, teal, baby blue. Think soft pink, cream, coffee.

SHAPE: Swirls, circles, squares, flowers, they’ll search ‘em ALL.

THEME: Smoky, mystical, gothic, romantic, ghostly, winter, shiny, use your imagination!

But there are only 14 tags! Plus I have team tags! Well, yes, but you can combine some tags. Such as “sterling silver,” “silver plated,” etc. They have to be words that go together.

But I still have a few tags left! Do you ship internationally? Do you accept RME? Will anyone search by your shop name? Your real name? These can also be tags.

Thanks to Kara from lhsblack for volunteering for a tag critique! I selected these earrings partly because they are my favorite, but also because these earrings should be selling or on the front page or in treasuries or all the above!

Here are the current tags:
jewelry, earrings, dangle, glass, wire wrapped, bead, green, river, sterling, silver, etsywmi team, wire wrapped

Tag makeover: jewelry, earrings, dangle, glass, wire wrapped, faceted, seafoam, green, sterling silver, etsywmi team, tear drop, briolette, opaque, international ship

So go check your tags. Are you using the search engine to your best advantage? Do you ever search for your items to make sure they are showing up? And if they are not showing up, why not?

Storque articles:

Feature Artist: MondrysYknotShop

What is your shop name and what do you sell? Mondry's Y Knot Shop and I sell a variety of things. Everything from hand knotted jewelry to gift bags and therapy pads.

What is your shop's URL? Http://MondrysYknotShop.etsy.com

When did you start selling on Etsy? August of 2007

What is your favorite thing about Etsy? The forums and all of my close friends

What is your favorite thing about what you sell? Why, creating it of course.

What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? I have to say that the black and white colorized postcards are my current favorite but I like them all. Otherwise I wouldn't make them.

What teams do you belong to? I am a co-leader of the EtsyFriends team and a member of the EtsyWMI team.

What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I like to chat in the forums and chat rooms but my most favorite way is to take my items to shows and show them off.

What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? You know I have many items in my favorites but I can't pick anything I like pretty much everything that is listed on Etsy. I guess if I must choose it would be the fun things that make me laugh. Like this embroidered toilet paper... http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13082746

What do you do in your spare time? I hang out on Etsy, try to get stuff sewn up and read with my daughter.

Do you have anything else you would like to share? Well not really. I would like to say that you really should buy handmade this year. I took the Handmade challenge did you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feature Artist: The Empty Nest

What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop name is The Empty Nest and I sell a variety of unique, kitschy items from vintage typewriter key jewelry, to atlas map magnets, to pocket mirrors!

What is your shop's URL? http://luv4sams.etsy.com

When did you start selling on Etsy? January 26, 2007 – it all started after my daughter’s medieval wedding was over and I needed something to occupy my spare time at night, so before you know it, I was creating marble necklaces and expanded from there.

What is your favorite thing about Etsy? For me personally, the favorite part is meeting people from all over the world and that is how friendships begin. I also love to hear when people inform me that they truly love my shop – gives me warm fuzzies!

What is your favorite thing about what you sell? It would have to be that I don’t know of many people who actually have a thought process like me and make items that I do. I like that I can put a little of my quirky personality into my items and share those with people.

What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? It would definitely be my glass marble dictionary definition bracelet mainly because I love it when people pick the six words to put under the marbles – it also allows me to provide a special gift for that special person.

What teams do you belong to? Fabulous Artistic Moms (FAM) and Etsy West Michigan – both allow an opportunity to promote others in that same group and also form new and developing friendships.

What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I love chilling out in the forums; I’m all over the board posting to topics of interest. I also started in a few chats and let me tell you, they are ADDICTING!

What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? Oh my, what isn’t there to like about Etsy but the newest love would have to be sellers who make baby items – I’m a new grammy and grammy has to spoil the little one!

What do you do in your spare time? Spare time – what is that? After working a full-time job, coming home and walking the pooch, I immediately go to crafting. I’m anally organized and it is hard for me to sit still long enough before I get bored.I LOVE LOVE LOVE snowmobiling and boating so when weather permits, that is where I am!

Do you have anything else you would like to share? Well a few facts about me:- I come from a family of 13- I met my hubby at 15, married him at 18, had kids at 20 and 21 and have been with him for over 30 years- I’m a new grammy although I don’t feel like one- I’m an avid animal lover, rescuing a few pets along the way- I’m very energetic- Family is #1 priority- I love to create and bring about a smile on another person’s face!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Feature Artist: That Is So C. U. T. E.

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop name is That Is So C. U. T. E. and I love it when someone looks at my shop and can’t stop the words “that’s so cute!” I love knitting, felting and needle felting so you will find a variety of those items in my shop. Right now I have Pretty Pockets, Birdhouse ornaments and bottle cozies. Soon I’ll be adding some bowls, baskets, wine bottle (or liquor bottle) cozies, and other ornaments. I also love painting so you will occasionally find some hand painted items. Right now I have some Halloween items in my store. I also enjoy beading and have come up with my own design for beaded book thongs because I want to be too sexy for my book! I’ll be listing more of those real soon as well.

2. What is your shop's URL? http://thatissocute.etsy.com

3. When did you start selling on Etsy? I joined Etsy in August of 2007. It is a very part time place for me as I do hold down a full time job as well.

4. What is your favorite thing about Etsy? I love that for the most part, Etsy sellers are so willing to help someone out. I love handing out in the forums – I pick up so many great ideas. So many ideas that that I run out of time to create.

5. What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I love the feedback I get on Etsy. My very first feedback was one word…but what a word! “Perfect”! And another favorite I received in a convo…the person I traded with said “I just got the purse and have to say how AWEWOME it is! When I opened the box, it took my breathe away. Really! You do absolutely beautiful work.”

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? My favorite item never made it into my shop! LOL!! It is a dark brown bottle cozy that has an aqua blue fun fur around the top. I am still in love with the color combo so I kept this one for myself.

7. What teams do you belong to? I belong to Etsy West Michigan and the Etsy Knitters teams.
The West Michigan team is able to meet up in person. There’s been a great deal of joining up and doing the local craft shows together. We put on our own Trunk Show in September. We are talking about putting on our own show next year – much larger than the trunk show. We are also considering getting together socially for a Christmas party.
The Knitters team is world wide and it’s been fun meeting other knitters from around the world. I’ve picked up some good tips from this team.

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? That’s got to be hanging out in the forums. I generally check on all sections of the forums as I have time. I pick up good ideas under the Business Topics & Techniques sections. I love it when I can help someone out in the Site Help section. I can even find some interesting threads in Etc.!! But lately, I spend most time on our own team thread for the EtsyWMI team…we’re a chatty bunch!

9. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? Wow – I see so much I wish I could just buy it all! I love the variety of soaps I find here – scents that sound so wonderful. I see even more yarn that I would love to add to my stash…but I’d have to hide it! Beads…artwork…all I have to do is check out 3 or 4 treasuries and I'll easily find more treasures to add to my favorites.

10. What do you do in your spare time? I love to read!

11. Do you have anything else you would like to share? Yes, I’d love to share a “real” fairy tale of how I came up with my shop name. Once upon a time there were 5 sisters who took vacations together, even after they were all grown up. They enjoyed each other’s company. They loved eating and shopping on these vacations. One day, they noticed something that kept happening whenever they were shopping together. No, not the fact they were mistaken for a mob when they entered a shop. The fact that quite often they would utter the same words at the same time: that is so cute! So, it is to honor my sisters that I incorporated that phrase into my shop name in the hopes that others will continue to utter those wonderful words as they enter my shop!

Just remember – CUTE now means Creative Unique Trendy Enticing!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where In The World Are Our Members?

Craft Show "season" is upon us here in West Michigan. I bet between now and Christmas you can find several shows each week. We won't have members at every show, but we certainly will be well represented!

Would you like to know where in West Michigan our members will be? Karin & Cathy have been kind enough to put all this information together in one spot: check out this Etsy profile for a list: EtsyWMI.