etsy series no. 3

hello, friends!
today's q&a comes from Holly over at Little Flower. you must check her out as her handmade soaps, lip balms and other beauty products are all handmade and natural.
holly has some great tips, so read on!

How did you decide to join the etsy family?

I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and I'm constantly dreaming of fun ways to work (especially as alternatives to boring jobs)  I have a degree in business management that was originally intended to help me open the most existentially romantic coffee shop on the planet but unexpectedly lead to a career as a wedding florist.  My day job is as President and lead designer of Sweet Pea Floral Design  
My Etsy shop spices things up and keeps my over active brain from getting to antsy.  I'm passionate about PURE body care items that aren't too girly, too frilly, to perfumy but rather reflect the natural provision of nature such as herbs, beeswax, shea butter and other earthy ingredients that feel like they belong on your body.
What type of marketing do you invest in? (etsy ads, blogs, wedding networks, etc.)

My main marketing is via treasury teams on Etsy.  I also commit to 10+ holiday craft shows to spread the local love.  I teach DIY lip balm classes at the Ann Arbor library and donate lip balms and soaps as rewards for the Library's summer reading program.  I like this promotional opportunity because it gets the product into the hands of active community members and supports a good cause while still counting as a marketing strategy.
How do you manage shipping? Any special packaging or notes that you include with orders?

I couldn't keep up without the amazing shipping button that Paypal provides.  I've actually decided not to offer direct checkout (Etsy's new in house payment option) because I'm to happy with the shipping that I can complete in 4 clicks on Paypal.  I schedule a pickup on the USPS site here!input.action and I never have to leave my house HA!

How important are good, clear, photos? 

These are great questions.. Good Clear Photos are completely essential!! For example as a member of treasury teams I'm always hoping my teammates will include me in their latest treasuries.  The more clean clear and up to date my photos look the more likely they are to end up on the front page.  Landing on the front page or being in many treasuries has the compounding effect of more clicks, view, likes and therefore better search rankings or "relevancy".

Custom orders tend to scare a few sellers--tell me a little about your experience working with brides & weddings for the favors. How has offering custom orders helped grow your shop? 

I make most of my Etsy income on custom favor orders.  I have a system that allows clients to tell me their colors and motif, what text they would like on their label, and which varieties of soap they prefer.  The first few times I created custom listing it was intimidating but now it takes me under 20 minutes each.  There is a lot of money to be made in the wedding industry just because of volume (1 item x 250 guests = big sale)  So in this case the 20-30 minutes it takes to customize is worth it because you really can charge for your time.  I think one of the biggest challenges for artists on Etsy is remembering to charge enough for their labor hours and not just for their materials.  If you don't find a way to charge for your time you will burn out after awhile.
What would be your best tip or piece of advice to offer sellers or those thinking about opening a shop?  

How about a mini list:
· Decide if you are in it for the money or as a hobby
· Join some treasury teams but not too many (3 or less)
· If you are not a good photographer get organized and have someone to take photos for you they will pay for themselves if you are in it for the long haul
· Don't get sucked into the computer for too many hours a day take breaks
· Its okay to put your shop on vacation and take a breather or get inspired again
Hope that you find some of that helpful.  I'm really just a novice myself but I have had some success and it feels so empowering!  I wish the same for all of you.

the horizon

why does it feel like summer is already over? crazy. & mixed emotions about that. really looking forward to fall though.

the end of summer means labor day. which also means our sweet friends are coming to visit in just a few short days! doesn't matter if the weather is sunny or rainy...we always have a blast together.


after labor day we have trips to florida, danville, pennsylvania and most importantly....nashville! we have some serious birthday/anniversary celebrating to do. so, tennessee....beware.

before i get too excited though, i have some knots to to work!

large knot

thanks for reading my scattered ramblings today!
happy tuesday, my friends.

pride + comparison

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”

c.s. lewis, mere christianity

i read this quote a few weeks back and it just keeps creeping back up in my thoughts...everyday.
there is so much truth in those few statements. got me thinking....
what motivates me.
why does above said motivation drive me to comparison.
what does a healthy view of success look like. is that even such a thing??

by nature and genes, i'm a passionate person and am at full throttle most times. my family calls this "eagerness" dad passion. we are two peas in a pod. so when others around me don't have the same attack on life/work/etc i get bothered. 
why can't people just do it now. 
why aren't they trying hard enough. 
why are they doing what there doing. 
this is where my prideful heart gets in the way. competition is a great thing but sometimes i let that get competitive spirit get tainted by pride and quickly forget about a little thing called humility. 

now i just need to figure out how to adjust this sassy-ness and not be so prideful and judgemental towards others. sounds simple enough, eh?
anybody with me on this?
thanks for listening. keepin' it real on this tuesday morning.

me and dad

love ya dad!

family + etsy

ah, the weekend. why must you go so quickly.
my parents made a quick trip up for a few days which made the time fly faster but we had a great time. can't complain at all, really. lots of shopping, good food and plenty of coffee.

my little etsy shop was busy too! i get so giddy when an etsy convo/purchase pops up on my phone. i might even squeal a little bit....! wrapping up the purchases & putting it all together is lots of fun. getting a package in the mail might be one of my most favorite i want opening the package to be equally as special. who doesn't like seeing a package on the front step??? i'll take that any day over a bill. hands down.

thanks, Canada, for loving perch. the love is mutual.




flowers + dresser

the top of my dresser gets rearranged often. my favorite is when a pretty flower makes an appearance. always the perfect excuse to move things around and make room for a beauty clipped from the backyard.
dresser flower
there was even enough left over to spruce up the living room/kitchen.
free flowers are the best flowers.
the etsy series is taking a brief hiatus and will be back in a few weeks!
find a flower & enjoy your day, my friends!

hole punched leaves

after doing a little flower picking in the neighborhood, i had lots of little leaves sitting in my sink. i hate to see them go to waste but have never really found a useful way to display them. so the natural next thought was to hole punch them...! ha. i really wished my hubby was home to see the thrill and excitement happening in the kitchen over this little discovery. my pup was there but i think i scared sweet sammy......


anywho. its such a simple little process...
i hole punched the leaves at varying spots and tried to have a keep leaf sizes grouped together. its okay to even keep a few on the small branches and just punch through one leaf in the group. this gives the final display a little uumph.
once i had my leaves all punched and ready i just strung them onto a piece of twine. it would be nice to have a few more leaves added to the rope but a lovely storm came through and i didn't have a chance to gather more. it will be easy to add to the rope later on, which will be fun to see the different stages of life as they start to dry up.
this can be displayed on the wall with a little washi tape, or added to a lovely grouping of frames. i opted for the corner spot on the curio cabinet. fun little after work project for a friday!

what have you done with left over leaves or branches?
happy friday, my friends!