See My Work with Patty Lakinsmith for the ISGB/Bead and Button Convergence Exhibit

Sunday, March 25, 2012

FEST Boot Camp - Week Two

Well! We’re on to week two!!! I really loved hearing about your goals and hope you feel you’re on track to get there. This week we will focus on specifics for readying your shop for Mother’s Day. With that in mind, let’s take a close look at the products in your shop.

Step 1: Make a list of all the products that you think would make great mother’s day gifts. They can be from hubby, children…or from a new grandma to a new mother! Lots of possibilities! Be sure to look at your sold items…is there something there you sold that you haven’t replaced in your shop or that you could make again that would make a good gift for Mom?

Step 2: Look at your price range. You should have a variety of prices. Make a list:

Under $25 _____ Under $50 _____ Under $75_______ Under $100_______
Noteworthy or Luxury_____. Are you short on any category? Now is the time to plan to make products that fill that price slot. What products will you make?

Step 3:  Look at the products you identified in step one, then look at the tags you used for those items.
If you completed the first two steps, step 3 will be a cinch.  Have you included “Mother’s Day gift”, Gift for Mom, gift for a new mom….or any variation in your tags? If you completed step 2, you guessed it…you can use your price list to adjust your tags as well. “Under $25” will help someone with a limited budget find your item in a search, and so on. Start revising your tags now so they can be found in mother’s day searches and for treasuries of the same theme. A little at a time will make it seem not quite so daunting.

And that’s it! It’s enough to keep you going all week. To make the changes in tagging easier, check out some of the apps Etsy has featured in the apps section. There are a couple that will change tags automatically by adding or deleting whatever you tell it to. Some of them are great time savers!

Before I sign off, I wanted to feature a few of our team mates…I specifically chose items I think would make great gifts for mom.

Who wouldn't want a hug from PennyBoperoo??

How 'bout a gorgeous ring from RecreationalArt?

Fab earrings from MadScientist are a great idea for Mom!

Beautiful Bead bracelet from Beadloverskorner!

You can't go wrong with any of these choices! They're all unique in their own way!
So that's all for now!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Try at Lampworking - Again!

OK, so I've mentioned before how interested I am in lampworking. It's not so much the creation of the beads as it is the properties of the glass. What happens to it when a HOT torch hits it interests me to no end. That's how I started in metal, and it's been a never ending exploration. to class I went once more.
I'm priviledged to live near a great teacher and artist, Joyce Horn, who's skilled at so many things, I dare not try to list. Her forte is beadmaking and stained glass beauties, so I went to her once more. It's not that I see myself creating a ton of beads and I admit, after my last class with Joyce, I never even picked up the torch to apply it to a glass rod. Not for lack of enthusiasm, but for lack of time to venture off the metal path into something new. No practice, no results!
Joyce opened her studio (and her gimongous heart) to me and Jill Bradley last week and we sure had fun. One of the things I find different from other lampwork artists is Joyce's incorporation of dichroic glass into the bead. I'm sure others do it, but in my limited exposure to watching glass beaders work, I'd never seen it done before and I really like the results.
Jill and I sat for a couple of hours, after Joyce's demonstration, and attempted to make beads. Now when I say attempted, I'm referring to me. Jill, on the other hand, cranked those babies out at rapid fire speed! Don't you just hate it when someone you know - with major talent in many artistic modes, I might add - takes to something you're trying to learn like a duck to water???? Geez! And hers actually looked like beads. (I will refrain from describing mine!)
After I get mine cleaned up, I'll (maybe, I think, well we'll see) post a pic or two. I will expect a lot of sympathy, though!
In the mean time, here's a couple of fab beads made by Joyce. She sells them on Ebay under Joyous Creations, Inc. if you want to see more.

Well, that's my latest news....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FEST Boot Camp is On!

Woo Hoo! Today is the day! If you signed up for the Florida Etsy Street Team Boot Camp, you’ve been waiting for this! I know I have and I’m rarin’ to get started!

This is YOUR boot camp! Do as little or as much as you think you can or have time for. The more you do, the better prepared you will be for Mother’s Day – our ultimate goal.

Though I originally thought I’d take the easy way and follow Etsy’s Holiday Boot Camp steps, I’ve decided that we’re all too busy for long lists of “to do’s” so you’re getting my version. Feel free to chime in here with suggestions….I’m very open to ideas other than my own!

So, let's get started!

Step 1: Clearly define your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Write it down and share it with us, if you want. Here’s mine: I have always wanted to have a mailing list so I could send out news of specials for the holidays. I need to make a plan to do this. But I’d like to have a list started by Mother’s Day. So when you define your goal, think about what it’s going to take to accomplish it. Maybe you have a financial goal, or a sales number in mind. Maybe you want to improve your photography. If you share your goal with the rest of us, we might have some suggestions on how to get there!

Step 2: Make a budget for time and money. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Think of renewing and relisting as well as new listings. It will help you if you set up a plan that includes how much you want to spend each week for these things, and how much time you want to spend doing it. You may want to take advantage of Etsy’s ad program or use google ad words or Facebook Ads. All are viable options, and if you want to get noticed, you need to get customers from outside Etsy. There are plenty of free ones – like using your social networking (twitter, facebook, flickr, etc). Here’s how I’m doing it: I allow $30 a month on advertising. That’s all, no more. If I break that down, it’s $5.00 a week. It’ll come back to me with one sale, so it’s worth it. I plan to spend one hour a day listing a new item or renewing, then on to twitter and facebook to post something. One hour per day on line is enough for me. I can get carried away and spend several hours on the computer which means less time in the studio. Fun but not good! I want lots of new items to list for Mother’s Day, so I need to work! This plan may not work for you, it’s just an example to get you started. Your financial goals should include how much you want to make in a defined period. Example: $250 a week for the two weeks prior to Mother’s Day. What will it take to make that? More listings? More exposure? Think about it.

If you complete these two tasks this week, you’ll be off to a good start. Next week we’ll expand on the plan. Last time FEST did this boot camp, you were to pick a buddy. It’s not required, but if you can find a buddy to work with, I highly recommend it. It’s nice to have someone as a sounding board, but that’s just one more option to help you work your plan. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Most important: have fun!


Monday, March 12, 2012

FEST Boot Camp

Well, for those of you with Etsy Shops, you know that Mother's Day is a big day. Sales and views leading up to it are usually very good. However, we on the Florida Etsy Street Team are going to do what we can to increase our visibility by implementing Boot Camp.

Etsy introduced their Holiday Boot Camp last year, so we're adopting and adapting! Each week the tasks will be posted here along with any forms necessary. If you're not a member of FEST, that's ok! I invite you to participate anyway! If  you're from Florida, with an Etsy shop, you can join FEST by going to: and signing up. If you're already a member of FEST, you can sign up for the boot camp here: Come one, come all!

Boot camp will start on March  19th. I will also be featuring a member each week, talking about how they accomplished the tasks at hand, along with some of his/her yummy designs from their shop.
So stay tuned!


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