Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Updated Seller Resources Page

One of the great things about being on the team is that there is an amazing group of people to go to for advice. Here on the Etsy West Michigan blog we want to help, too! That's why a few months ago one of our team leaders, Cathy from JustJaynes, set up the Seller Resources page. This page has recently been updated with more links to info about setting up social media tools, taking great photos, and more.

Here are some links you can find there - How to Effectively Use Social Media, Ten Simple Tips for Success on Twitter, and How to Brighten Your Photos.

What other topics would you like to see in the Seller Resources?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Team Tag Reminder

Did you know that our team has a team tag? It's "etsywmi team" and if you're a member, you can use it as one of your 14 tags on as many items as you like. Now, why use one of your valuable tags for EtsyWMI? First, it will help to identify you as an Etsy West Michigan team member. Secondly, it will help teammates to find your items to include in team treasuries like this one I made last night.

Treasuries are a great tool for sharing the wonderful pieces our team has to offer. Some treasuries are lucky enough to be selected by admin and be featured on the front page of Etsy resulting in hundreds of views for those featured!

One final reason to use the "etsywmi team" tag is that we promote it! At opening day of the Fulton Street Artisans Market flyers were handed out teaching shoppers how to search for team items on Etsy. We also have a badge which you can add to your blog or as a photo in your listing to help promote our team.

In addition to searching our team tag, you can see our members and their work by checking out our newly updated EtsyWMI Members Blog and our team profile. For starters, be sure to take advantage of being a member of Etsy West Michigan by using our "etsywmi team" tag in your shop on as many items as you like!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Members Monday: Silvine Photography

Time for a new featured member! This week it's Michelle from Silvine Photography.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop.
I took many of my photographs while living in and traveling through Europe, Asia and Africa. I loved the different kinds of people I met and the various cultures I experienced. Each one of my photographs is like a candid shot of someone's life in another country. Through my photography I want to erase borders that may exist because of distance, language or misunderstanding. My shop allows me to share different cultures and my experiences with others.

What are you currently working on?
I'm developing a new line of photo greeting cards and travel journals.


What do you like to do in your free time outside of your business?
I usually spend my free time brushing up on my languages, cooking or playing tennis.

Where would you like to see your shop and business in a year?
In a year, I'd like to see my clientele grow and be able to enter more events so that I can share my art with a wider range of people.

Where can we find you online and/or locally?
My website is Otherwise you can find me on Facebook or  Twitter. Locally I'll be at the Fulton Street Artisan's Market every Sunday this summer, and in late September I'll be exhibiting at Ottawa Tavern in downtown Grand Rapids for ArtPrize 2010.

Michelle also has a wonderful jewelry shop on Etsy in addition to her photography.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Etsy Craft Party!

This Friday is Etsy's birthday and they're celebrating by inspiring craft parties all over the world! Etsy West Michigan will be hosting a craft party meet-up and everyone is invited.

The party is this Friday, June the 18th, and will be at Schuler Books on 28th Street in Kentwood starting at 8pm. You can RSVP on Facebook or on Feel free to bring your camera & crafts to work on and share. Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

At the Market

One of the things I anticipate the most about joining the Fulton Street Artisans Market this summer is the fabulous community I feel I will become a part of. LaShelle from Designs By LaShelle really tells it best about how market can be so much more than just a shopping and selling venue.

My name is LaShelle Green of Designs By LaShelle. I was actually the first person to apply and pay for a season spot this year for the Fulton Street ARTisan Market beginning Sunday June 13 from 11-3pm and continuing through the summer, every Sunday through the end of September.

I love people and being creative so after being invited to participate at the Fulton Street ARTisian Market I decided to jump right in with both feet as one of 4 season ARTisians. My rememberences of last year were at first a little scary but soon turned into wonderful. I wasn't sure about how I was going to "tarp" my space, had no idea how to set up my tables and basically, never doing anything like it before, I felt a bit frustrated. But all those feelings turned into rays of sunshine when I attended the market meeting intended to aid those that needed to know how to set up their tarps for shade, etc. I really appreciated that. I also got advice from those in the etsy forum that had been to the market before and I wrote down ideas and began planning how I would pack my car and actually set my tables up at home. This helped immensly.


I used days at the market while sitting behind my table to observe how others sold their items. I also used this time to make back stock while visiting with people next to me, and meeting all the interesting and creative people that walked by. I looked for ways to make someone's day. I made a pair of earrings for a little girl that didn't have any money. I met an older, disabled lady and we became instant friends. I invited her to come behind my table and for the next two Sundays taught her how to make a necklace and earring set. It's not all about making money to me. It's about the friends you make and the hearts that are needing to connect with someone that cares. For me being out at the Fulton Street ARTisian Market isn't about 'stuff' it's about the people. Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Members Monday: katskrafts

Katrina from Kat's Krafts is our new featured seller!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop.
My name is Katrina and I'm from Holland, MI. I am wife to my darling hubby, Greg, and mother to a rambunctious 10 month old, Caden. When I'm not busying myself in those roles, I am busy with my etsy shop, Kat's Krafts. When I started my shop I was selling handmade cards, scrapbook embellishments, etc. but after I started offering custom cootie catchers 2 years ago, I haven't had time for anything else! So, now my shop is devoted to my cooties and although it's been a bit hard to adjust myself to a different kind of creative outlet, I am excited at the success I've had.

What are you currently working on?
Summer is hyper busy for me - wedding season is in high gear and so am I! My product line has expanded from cootie catcher favors to menus and programs and place cards. Even brochures and invites! I've got a lot of other ideas clanging around up there, too, but it's so hard to find the time to bring those ideas to fruition, photograph them, come up with pricing and list them in my shop right now. So I'm saving them up for fall and winter when things are less hectic. :)


What do you like to do in your free time outside of your business?
I like to spend time with my family. My husband is my best friend, we have so much fun together and my son Caden is just a joy to be around. At 10 months, he keeps us smiling- we are definitely smitten! Aside from my family, I LOVE getting some Starbuck's with my best friend Trish (who has an awesome etsy shop, too- daisysanddots) and shopping or just talking. And my other love is scrapbooking or creating something! I love to lose myself in making something, but those times are so few and far between now as a mommy and business owner.

Where would you like to see your shop and business in a year?
I would love for my product line to have expanded with some of the ideas I've got right now. I would love to have my business model for wholesale of my designs set in stone and partnerships made with the many vendors who have inquired about offering my products, but that I've put off for the time being and I would love to have an employee to help me with the day to day shop maintenance stuff so that I could be more free to create.


Where can we find you online and/or locally?
You can find me on Etsy or on my blog. I don't have a facebook account, mainly because my life is already too occupied with being on the computer and I do have a twitter account, but I never use it. In fact, I only signed up because everyone was all "a-twitter" (pardon the pun, haha) about how good it would be for business. My first and only tweet was, "I can't believe I broke down and signed up for this!"

If you're in Holland, you will probably find me at Fris. I believe in shopping locally and proud to say that I purchase all of my supplies there. I have formed some great relationships with the staff there and they have helped make my business grow by offering quality products at very reasonable prices! If I'm not at Fris shopping for cootie supplies, I'm probably at Starbuck's or browsing the scrapbook aisles at Hobby Lobby.


Friday, June 4, 2010

At the Market

If you're a regular in the EtsyWMI team forums or know a Grand Rapids area artist, you've probably heard FSAM referenced time and time again. It is coming up in just over a week after all! EtsyWMI team member Jenn from YKnotShop, has put together a Q&A to help you learn more about FSAM as a newbie to the market.

I was wondering what FSAM means?
FSAM = Fulton Street ARTisans Market.

I am new to the market give me some details on FSAM!! 
It is an open air market that is located at the Fulton Street Farmers Market (corner of Fulton and Fuller in Grand Rapids) on Sundays starting June 13th. You get one 16 foot booth/stall for $10 or an 8 foot booth/stall for $7 first come first served basis.

Some things you may want to know about your booth: 
Your booth will be about 16' long and slanted forward. You will need table coverings, shade and other basic things that you would need for a show as in props and such. Remember, it is an outdoor open market. A 10x10 canopy will cover little more than half of your booth. I also put a tarp out over my customers - they tend to stick around at your booth longer when it is shaded. You can park your car right back up to your spot. 

Can I still sign up?
There are only a limited number of season vendors, but there are lots of spaces other than that. If you are free on June 13th stop down and see what it is about. The 13th is full but there are usually openings on the other Sundays and you do not have to commit to every Sunday. I am afraid that I can't say that every Sunday is full of people but there is starting to be quite a lot of people coming more and more. It is definitely a growing market.

How much inventory should I bring with me?
That is entirely up to you. Do you have a half booth or a full booth? Each half is 8ft long so you want to look full but not over full. You can always have extra in the car to replenish, so just make what you think will be good and go from there. There is no magic number. My booth has changed so much over the past 3 years it isn't even funny. You will learn from experience. I don't sell what you sell so I can't tell you really how much to bring. Like I said bring what you've got and if it is too much keep some hidden to replenish. If it looks like not enough do some filling in and know that next time you need more.

Some set ups
I have a few of my older set-ups here if you want to take a look. You can see some here from other artisans.

Feel free to take a trip down to the market during the week, when the farmers are there, and you can get a feel for the space and how others do things like canopies. Sometimes there are crafters there too so you could say hi and glean some info from them.

You can always find more info about FSAM on Facebook and on their website.

The most important thing is to have FUN!!!!! See you there.