Tuesday, August 28, 2007

my Etsy store on you tube

My Etsy store is now on You Tube!!
I'm the jeweller, as well as the pianist you see/hear on this little slide show.

check it out..

Saturday, August 18, 2007

listen to radio online

I have a Master's degree in piano performance from Indiana University. i love my school, and am proud to be a musician. In the second year when I was at IU,I started teaching for a company (see their website here) and have been driving from Bloomington to Indianapolis twice a week (150 miles round trip) to students' homes to give piano lessons ever since.
Indiana University has a great music program, and we also have a great local radio station called WFIU. When I was on the road, I always listened to their channel until there's no reception anymore(in Indianapolis).
Two weeks after I moved to Indianapolis by myself to teach the piano full-time,I started to feel lonely. I've no friends around here, I've decided not to get cable tv, and also cancelled my blockbuster subscription, and, I don't even get to listen to my favorite radio channel! Then, one day, it suddenly occured to me that I can listen to WFIU online!
I played it for the whole night and imagined I was still in Bloomington...

Monday, August 13, 2007


Two weeks after moving, I finally had proper, stable internet connection at my new apartment.

Since I was just starting my Etsy store and was still receiving orders from customers during the time I moved, my computer and the modem were the very last item to come to Indianapolis with me. I didn't have internet hooked up in my apartment,but I was lucky that some neighbor didn't secure their wireless internet, so I "borrowed" it for the first few days. The signal was pretty weak, and I was disconnected from the web half of the time, so one night I used Panera's internet, and the other night I used Starbucks'. That's how I found out Starbucks doesn't offer free Wi-Fi. I signed up for Starbuck's 24 hr "free trial" while I was there;it was very fast, but the server suddenly went down an hour after I signed up. Very disappointed!!!!

I signed up with Comcast one week after moving, only because the salesperson gave me a great deal. He came and turned on the switch for the cable, and left me to do the rest myself. For some reason it wouldn't connect, so I called customer service many times to discuss the problem. Eventually they decided to send a technician at no charge, because none of the sales rep could figre out why my modem wasn't communicating with them. However, their technicians were so busy that I had to wait for another week(during when I had to borrow my neighbor's internet again) , and the only appointment time available was 7-9 am. My goodness...Of course the technician came at 7.00am and woke me up...It only took him a few minutes to decide my old modem, which I used for a different cable service in Bloomington, "got confused" when it was moved here, and "it probably won't work again either even if you take it back to Bloomington". Machines are apparently not more reasonable than human.

Apart from the internet problem and the super weak cell phone reception, everything at my apartment was pretty good. I probably shouldn't disclose the following pictures when I'm just starting my blog and new website, but this is exactly how I've been working on my jewelry since moving...

I probably should be embarrased.Well, maybe I am a little bit; that's why I only inserted a small picture. I haven't got a proper chair for my table yet. so currently the whole floor is my table.

The truth is, I have not finished unpacking all my boxes after two weeks. Although I've been moving every year since coming to the US four years ago, this has been the most exhausting and scary move for me ever. I've never had a whole two bedroom apartment to myself, and of course have never had a craft room. I was so overwhelmed that I just scattered everything everywhere..

You probably don't need to see my living room. Well, it's getting there, that's all I can tell you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thank you

I want to say thank you to (in chronological order)

My parents - who supported me no matter what I choose to do

Ebay - my first jewelry selling venue, where I gained initial confidence as a "jewelry seller"

My customers -
i do not remember the name of my first customer, who bought two pairs of my earrings on ebay last June. They were made with sterling silver filled wire and sold for 0.99 each. I probabl didn't make any money on them after all the fees, but I was thrilled to see someone actually found my jewelry amongst tens of thousands of jewelry listings on ebay, and actually placed a bid and paid for it. Small things like this sound trivial, but you remember it vividly because it's your first.
i want to thank you to every single one of my customers, who found my ebay or etsy store and placed orders, whether they were big or small. It still makes my day whenever a customer tells me "i love your designs". Without you I would never dreamt of calling myself a "jewelry designer".

Eni Oken - who generously offers the most inspiring online jewelry tutorials at the most affordable prices. I learnt all my wirework techniques through reading, and very soon I couldn't find anything in bookstores wth more refreshing ideas and I once thought that was "it" for jewelry making. Eni's designs truly opened my horizons and made me understand there's endless ways to use my wire.

Studio 94- without her I wouldn't have been on Etsy now.

Etsy- without Etsy I wouldn't have been so happy today.

Etsy forum - this is the place I met other crafters and learnt lots about crafting and selling.

Also everyone along the way....thank you : ) for helping me become who I am today.

start fresh..

Sold my first pair of interchangeable gemstone earrings yesterday to a repeat customer (thank you Gigi!). the moment i saw the notification email of sale i started jumping and dancing from excitement.

My etsy store has been open for one month and five days by now, and it was a huge success in every way. i'm amazed to see myself making sales almost every day, getting involved in the community, working hard to improve pictures and promote, and already hoping to help other new sellers when i'm still new myself too!

Etsy is an amazing website. For people who love handcrafted items it's like the biggest craft fair you can ever imagine. There're so many sellers on the site with the most genuine and genious (!) creations. I never did hear about it until participating in Bead & Button forum, where I also learnt it's very difficult to sell jewelry on Etsy because of the competition(there're currently over 200000 jewelry items on etsy). At the time I learnt about Etsy, I was pretty satisfied with the little success from my ebay store, and never thought about starting a new venue to sell my jewelry. True, ebay fees are high, but all the tools the website developed for sellers made selling so easy for me. Besides, I had been on ebay for almost a year and sales seemed to be pretty acceptable considering the little effort I put in to maintain the store. (I will be closing my ebay store very soon. I will talk more about my ebay v.s. etsy experience in another post)

I didn't think about selling on etsy until a fellow jewelry designer studio94 I met on ebay emailed me about her new selling experience on etsy. I remember seeing her jewelry auctions on ebay a few months ago. I had really brief email conversations before, because I admired her jewelry, and she happened to be also from Taiwan, the country I was born and grew up in.

All Studio94 said to me was, she moved all her listings from ebay to etsy two months ago; it's a very friendly community, "you should check it out." I took a loot at her etsy store.It was just beautiful, and she was selling pretty well. I told myself, "well, she makes great jewelry and takes great photo, so her jewelry will sell there. That's probably not gonna happen to me." But I simply couldn't forget her words. I checked out the website once a while for a couple weeks, did some research on the jewelry on the site, checked out the forum about some selling tips, registered on 6/29, and then on 7/4 I felt I was ready. I listed one of my best selling pearl rings, and within an hour I could see many page views. "So there ARE people on this website,"I thought. I started listing more. Since I was a new seller on the site,I offered free US shipping to my first 10 orders. On 7/5 I sold my first ring while I was listing another new item.

" I CAN'T BELIEVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

excuse my gesture, but that's basically how I felt. then within a few hours I sold another ring.

My first 10 orders were filled in three days. I was so excited that I hung in the forum all the time (just to release some energy...), and soon I realized how lucky I was. There's so many jewelry designers on etsy who do a superb job and deserve more sales. Check out some of them on the side bar, and support these wonderful designers as you support me!

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