Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Gigglebot does! As her shop title says, her shop is full of cute and she's brought us these fab buttons to where when out and about. Who knows, maybe it will strike up a conversation. Have your business cards handy when you wear it!
Click here to visit her shop: Gigglebot
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Nicole of Nicole Hill Handcrafted Artisan Jewellry shares her story with us. I can think of worse places to craft for food than the South of France! Nicole handcrafts some amazing and unique jewelry pieces including pieces with European chainmail and pieces in copper. Thanks for sharing your story Nicole!
Come Rain or Shine
By Nicole Hill
I started making jewellery about 18 months ago, while working full-time at an admin job in London, living in Brighton (about an hour and a half's commute, each way) and studying for an MA in International Relations. I like to keep busy.
Slowly though, the combination was driving me mad - and my partner was getting similarly fed up of the long commute, long hours we were both doing, and the tiny amount of time we saw each other for while we were both awake. He applied for a job (unbeknownst to me) down in the South of France, got called for interview, then got offered the job. With a start date of 6 weeks later. My job were very understanding, and in fact, I'm actually only temporarily unemployed - they've let me go under a career break scheme, where they undertake to take me back at some point. Despite the short notice, and me leaving them in the lurch - which I do feel bad about, even if the job itself was slowly killing me - they had no problems releasing me, and so in the middle of summer, we moved down here with suitcases on a airplane (I'm still haunted by how many of my books we had to throw away, and the amount of excess luggage we had to pay nonetheless...)
I spent the first month here finishing my MA dissertation. (Well, ok, starting it, too. I'm good at procrastination. I got the whole thing done in about 2 weeks, the last 2 weeks before the deadline...) And then I halfheartedly looked for "real" jobs, while making the most of the sunshine. Sadly, the south of France is not immune to the economic crisis, even if our little village sometimes feels like it's in another world, and there are almost no jobs. None of those few that do exist are anything I'm remotely qualified for. So, I've registered as self-employed and am trying my hardest to make this work - the alternative is moving back to the UK and the rain and gloom. Which I'm so not looking forward to having to do. This year will be my year, I'm hoping!
We can afford to eat, just about, but we'd be able to afford it a lot easier if my jewellery takes off - not to mention being able to afford to be ill and the like. Will craft for drugs sounds wrong though ;-)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Tiamagic is doing a giveaway! Win ALL THREE of these adorable plushies!
Give Away Rules: Read below on how to enter. A winner will be chosen at random (scientifically out of a hat or something just as random) and will be notified on the blog.
Deadline: Monday, February 15th and midnight. The winner will be announced on Tuesday!
Here's how to enter. Pick one or all of the ways to enter below. 1 entry means, your name will be entered once but if you make a purchase, your name will be entered 3 times for a better chance at winning! Enter all of the ways and you get 9 chances!
1. Comment on THIS blog entry below: 1 entry
2. Heart tiamagic on etsy: 1 entry
3. Purchase from tiamagic's etsy store: 3 entries
4. Follow or comment on tiamagic's blog: 1 entry each
5. Fan tiamagic's facebookpage: 1 entry
6. Follow tiamagic's deviant art: 1 entry
7. Follow tiamagic's dead backpacks on twitter: 1 entry
Open to continental US residents only. (Sorry to our international mates, but shipping costs are too hefty.)
Friday, February 5, 2010
The Story Behind The Lightning Bolts
By Sophie Scaplehorn
When I was at school (I think I was 17… ish) my friend Lindsay and I created The Lightning Bolts Bicycle Club. Here I am:
Yeah, we thought we were cool. We were both really creative, I did art and Lindsay did music, illustration and design. We started making badges and wallets to sell at her band’s gigs in pubs in Bristol and we just sort of got carried away!
A year later I went off to Uni to do my Fine Art BA and I only saw Linz once or twice a year. We both carried on doing our thing and we slowly became The Lightning Bolts Collective. New ‘members’ (basically a raggle-taggle group of friends who were insane enough to want to hang around with us) started to get involved and after graduation Linz and I were reunited, along with 4 other Lightning Bolts in a big cozy house in South London. There was now Linz, Me, my boyfriend Neil (T-shirt printer), Bonnie Paddle (sculptor), Jamie Ruth Hatch (knitter, stitcher, baker extraordinaire) and Ina Dorthea Thuresson (crazy Norweigan artist who we mock, but love really).
It was in our big, crazy family home that I started making my je
welry and set up The Lightning Bolts Etsy shop.
Unfortunately, the Etsy shop never really got going whilst we were in London as we were all out at work all day, every day and never had the time to spend on it. Living in London sounds so glamorous but when you’re working 7 day weeks for less than minimum wage and barely making the rent payments… yeah, not so great. Everyone was really struggling with money issues so it was decided we would all go our separate ways as we couldn’t afford our house any more.
It was sad but my debts were getting worse and worse and I couldn’t afford to stay. Neil and I quit our jobs and in October we moved back to my hometown of Bristol (which is NOT in Wales!) to live with my Dad, rent free.
Now we live in my childhood home in Mangotsfield… it feels weird to be back here after London! We’ve gone from this:
It’s proving to be pretty tough. The idea was to get jobs in Bath and get a little flat there, our first place with just the two of us! But… getting jobs is not easy at the moment. We’ve been struggling for 3 months now and can barely buy our own food any more. Neil just started a new part time job in a bookstore in Bath this week but I still have nothing. So recently I’ve overhauled the Etsy shop, got really passionate about my jewelry making again and am setting up a few craft fairs this year to get my stuff out there! I’ve even got my Mum making jewelry!!
And yesterday… I made my first sales! So now I can eat this week. YAY!
So literally, Sophie and The Lightning Bolts "Will Craft for Food." Visit her shop so she can eat!
Diane at Knotwork has decided to share her ideas on the Top 30 Reasons Your Items Aren't Selling. Thanks for sharing Knot. Humor helps!
Top 30 Reasons Your Items Aren't Selling
I figured I'd list 30 so we'd almost always have one to blame for each new day of the month. If there are 31 days in any given month, just cycle back to number 1.
How to use this list:
Print it out. Cut each number up onto its own little slip of paper. Put them in a jar. Each day when you're wondering why you haven't sold anything, pull a slip of paper out and get your answer.
1) George W. Bush. Yup. Everything's his fault.
2) Barack Obama. Freaking socialist. Screwing up all this wonderful capitalism on Etsy.
3) The economy. Seriously people. Look around. Nobody has a job. Nobody has money. Why do they want your stuff when you have the nerve to charge them money for it in these tough times?
4) Relevancy- need I say more?
5) Recency- need I say more?
6) Resellers. Why would people buy my stuff on Etsy when they can buy Target's products here too? I mean seriously, what do I have that can compete with stuff from Target? It's so much easier for people to buy those things on Etsy than it is to just drive to their local Target.
7) Undercutters. Yes undercutters. I mean you. Everyone has their own reasons for naming a price. But I haven't seen William Shatner here so I'm pretty fricking sure this ain't Priceline. If you want to sell something that took you 22 hours to make for $10, you and I are going to have a problem. I'll meet you outside after school after the bell rings. Alone.
8) The weather. If it's hot, they don't want your stuff. If it's cold, they don't want it either. So strap yourselves in because whatever the season people ain't buyin what you're sellin.
9) Your prices are too high. You think folks want to pay $50 for some yarn tied in a bunch of knots? I don't care if it looks like a hat. It's a bunch of yarn. In knots.
10) Your prices are too low. Hmm. That item looks like a lot of work. Why are you only charging me $5 for it? Oh, probably because you live in a crack house and have swine flu. Yeah, I don't trust it. I'm going to go buy it from someone who will charge me $20 for the same exact thing.
11) People are stupid.
12) The internet is broken. Yes. The whole internet. Call Al Gore. I heard he can fix it.
13) You're never on the front page.
14) You're never in gift guides.
15) You're never a featured seller.
16) You're never in Etsy finds.
17) No one liked you in high school.
18) They don't like you here either.
19) People need to see your items in person to appreciate them. Okay, maybe not that underwear made out of cream corn, but you know what I'm saying.
20) You have your items on a gasp, real person, in your listing photos. I mean, come on. That necklace was completely sterile and free of all bacteria until you let it touch that ugh, HUMAN! Now it's no good. Sorry. Game over.
21) You are not showing your items on a human. How can I tell if those panties will look good on me when the mannequin doesn't have a spotty arse like mine? It's false advertising.
22) Your photos are too dark. Yes, yes, I know you're selling a lamp that glows in the dark. But still, your photos are just way too dark dude.
23) You need more items in your shop. Would you keep going back to Home Depot if they only had six flashlights and a pile of shingles in stock? I thought not.
24) You have too many items in your shop. I mean really, those huge stores like Walmart with tons and tons of items in tons and tons of different categories are never going to be successful. Nobody looks past the first five aisles. Oh, uh, wait...
25) Your items are aimed at too narrow of a market. I'm sure if there were more professional football players from Tasmania shopping on Etsy your tasmanian football helmets would be doing much, much better. Honest.
26) You have to go find your target market. No, I'm not going to tell you who they are or how you'll recognize them, but trust me, you have to find them. And fast.
27) Don't rely on Etsy to make your shop successful. I mean, I know we're on Etsy, and we pay money to Etsy and are here because it's well, Etsy. But yeah, don't count on them for a thing. If anything, pretend like they're working against you. You'll be better off.
28) It's a slow time of year. Maybe not for everyone else, but for you, that's the time of year it is.
29) You haven't built up enough momentum. So take all your inventory in your arms, put it in a shopping cart and send it down a hill to get some momentum going. Report back in the forums after the sales start rolling in.
30) You're not in the US. Just because people in your own country wouldn't buy it, doesn't mean that Americans are dumb enough to (hard to believe, I know).
She also carries Larimar and Dominican Amber beads and supplies for crafting your own designs.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Beverly from Backyard Wildlife Habitats (or CMonetGarden) shares her story with us below. Beverly has a passion for wildlife and is a Master Gardener. In addition to her Etsy store, she also has a website dedicated to helping others learn about nature, create nature habitats, learn to garden and to appreciate what nature has to offer.
I mainly work on items that will enhance your backyard so that it will be more attractive to birds, bees and other critters. Along the way, I took some jewelry classes, and am now making nature inspired jewelry. I have been crafting most of my life. I did it a lot when I was younger, then took a break after college, and am now getting back into it. I find it a definate release for my creative juices. I LOVE art, crafting, sewing, etc. In school, that was my major and my love. I also love wildlife photography (still learning indoor and marketing photography!!!).
I was a financial analyst for a building products company. A short while after the real estate markets crashed, it started affecting the companies associated with new construction. My company went through several rounds of layoffs, and I was caught up in that.
At the time, I was relieved, because I saw it coming. And it couldn't have happened at a better time. I was able to spend some time with my twin 5 year olds before they went off to school. Now, when they are in school, I work like crazy, so I can spend time with them when they get out. They just turned 6, 2 weeks ago. I guess my positive is that I get to be a Mom first. AND then I get to do what I love to do as a job. Granted, starting out is a serious hurt to the pocket book, but i am positive it will all work out.
What I wish for others in this situation is to realize that losing a job is not the end of your world...it can be a much needed beginning of a new life, new passions, awakening old passions. It opened my mind to see the things I once did, but "left behind in the hustle and bustle".
Get back to your roots and remind yourself of who you are....and what a wonderful person you are.
Visit Beverly's Etsy shop and her gardening website.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I'm a fused glass artist that grew up around art all my life. My parents owned the studio but it was mostly used as a hobby. They built it for many years until passing away from cancer recently. So I inherited the glass studio... decided to take some glass classes and then I was hooked.
I'm fairly new to the glass world, I've been doing this for less than a year. My glass teacher is impressed with my work and that has been a big confidence booster.
I worked in medical records for six years until I quit my job to take care of my mother who was sick from cancer. After she passed didn't have the heart to sit in another soul draining office again. I just knew that I had to somehow keep the glass studio open. It was my parents' dream having that studio, there was no way that I was going to sell it.
My mother worked hard all her life. Nineteen years in the electronics industry. Growing up I didn't see her much because she was always working overtime to make the best possible income. And I always missed her.
All my life she always told me "hard work pays off". Our last long conversation she finally realized and told me, "You can work hard all your life but quality time with your family and doing what you love is far more important than the biggest paycheck."
So I want to do what I love... and I love being a glass artist. :)
Be sure to visit AmyKirkman shop.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
What do Etsians do when they're laid off their primary job?? They create!
Check out Moody Girl's newest soap.... Spring Rain Handmade Glycerin Soap. Bring the freshness of spring into your life now while you're feeling snowed in!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Dear Ward Cleaver,
Wouldn't June look hot serving up your morning pancakes in this slick apron? If you haven't already purchased her Valentine's day gift (which being that you're a man, I'm assuming you haven't yet) then you'd best go to BeauMelange's Etsy shop and order this right away! The Beav and Wally would agree, this would make mom very happy.
And to all you others out there who might be reading Ward's mail.... you KNOW you want this! What woman wouldn't look hot in this hourglass apron?
This team is a support group, resource center and promotion team dedicated to helping other Etsians who have lost their primary job or someone in their household has lost their job and they are using Etsy to try to make ends meet or make Etsy their primary income.