Thursday, February 28, 2008

Olive on the front page


My new ring Olive was on the front page of Etsy this morning :)
It was the first time I happened to be online when my jewelry was on the front page.It was so cool!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The magic of Lighting

If you're an Etsy seller, don't have a powerful photo editing software, and have not tried Picasa, you're missing out one of the best free tools for your Etsy store!I use Picasa to edit all of my pictures.Since I use natural indoor lighting (no light box) for my pictures, most of the pictures
come out too dark before editing--



After adjusting contrast and lighting with Picasa, I can usually get much better lighting.The following picture is the same picture after lighting adjustment --

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Magic of Cropping

While most Etsy sellers understand that the thumnail pictures shown in the category/keyword search are the first and most important feature that attracts customers attention to our stores, many of us do not realize how small the thumnail pictures are--on my 19" monitor they're sill under 1" square.

Most of the pictures on my website went through a lot of editing to ensure the clarity of details of my jewelry are conveyed. One of the easiest photo editing tips I use a lot is cropping. Before cropping, my wire wrapped ring is just a small dot on that 1" square thumnail--

After cropping, the thumnail picture IS my ring--

If customers can't even see your item in the thumnail picture, they will not come into the store.If they don't come into your store, there's no chance they will buy from you.

Go Green for Spring!!

After Valentine's Day, my store now has a new look to welcome Spring.Check out my GREEN LOVERS section -- oh how much I love green!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Treasury "they curl my toes"

Just noticed I am in another gorgeous Etsy treasury named "they curl my toes".I am excited to be featured along with many other artists I have admire,among them jnicdesigns ,who makes gorgeous jewelry.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Customer Survey Results

At the beginning of February, I sent a email survey to all of my past customers on my email list(over 200), and received 76 responses.It took me a lot of time to enter the data and analyze the results,but it was so worth it.I was very grateful for everyone who responded, and even more grateful for those who encouraged me or gave me suggestions.I would like to share the results with everyone who is interested in them--

Age group-

21-30: 43%
31-40: 25%
41-50: 13%
under 20: 9%
over 50: 6%

gender
92% female
8% male(buying for female)

How my customers found my store
42% Etsy keyword search
33% Etsy catagory search
9% referral
8% google search
8% other means: past ebay customer, craft show, pounce, treasury, forum, browsing others' favorites

Most of my customers(73%) bought rings and earrings from me.67% of customers would like to see more pearl jewelry in my store, and 22% of customers would like to see more gemstone jewelry.

I have received some valuable suggestions, and will make the following changes happen as soon as possible--

-clip-on earrings
-free earring backings
-size reference for earrings on a mannequin

I will also offer more of the following designs as soon as I have more spare time--

-mixed gemstone and pearl jewelry
-more sweet pea jewelry
-cuff bracelets
-plain silver jewelry
-of course, more pearls and gemstones!!!

Figure Magazine





Last week,I received a letter from Figure Magazine,who was interested in featuring one of my two rings in their May/June 2008 issue.This is what they told me...

"Your beautiful jewelry would be in a spread in our May June 2008 Issue. In the Accessories Department. It is seashell, coral and other marine naturals (pearls included) that are inspiring a myriad of accessories and jewelry. It would not be featured singly but with other jewelry and most likely in an environment... ie all lying in the sand together, or with other jewelry from other designers."

I was very surprised and honored to know they have found my store out of more than 80000 jewelry sellers on Etsy. Even though this is not a special feature of my jewelry, it is my first exposure in a national magazine, and I am very excited about it. I don't know how much this will help me with the sales, but the first step is always the most exciting thing and one never forgets it. I almost feel weird about it. In some way, even though I'm not yet a very successful jewelry designer,my success has exceeded what I have ever imagined.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Valentine's Drawing winners




Thank you for participating in my survey!The winners of a free wire wrap ring are as follows--

Megan B
Kristy F
Chris R
Kristen W
Recycledideas


Didn't win this time? Maybe you will be the lucky one next time!
thank you again for great support!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Misty..

my new favorite..this song made me want to learn jazz..

Saturday, February 2, 2008

new arrival--keishi pearl

Keishi pearls strung on hammered sterling silver wire headpins...






Friday, February 1, 2008

In a good mood...

My Etsy store did well in January. In fact, I was overwhelmed by the growth of my business.Two days ago, I wrote on my personal journal--

...the success of my website terrifies me.I should be happy, but I'm terrified at the same time.I'm again behind on purchasing supplies,and customers are just buying away...I've been overwhelmed by all the new information I need to absorb in a short time...

When I started my Etsy store, I only expected to get some extra income,since my day job was somewhat unstable and does not pay enough for the level of the work involved. However, after 7 months, I finally feel confident enough,and plan to grow my etsy store to a full time business by this June. As usual, my excitement is accompanied by fear and doubts, just as what I experienced when I first appeared onstage as a solo pianist at the music school, or as that when I sold my English Garden convertible bracelet last September.Many questions pops into my head--

"Is this really happening?Do I really deserve success?"
"Am I really talented?"
"Am I capable of doing this?"
"Are people really appreciating my work as how I have hoped they would or are they just trying to be nice to me?"(-- well, since I'm known to be a cutie pie,people are nice to me wherever I go, and this somehow makes me doubt my ability sometimes)
"Am I still true to myself or am I just trying to please my audience?"
"Will I continue to succeed?Will this suddenly end?"

I remember my piano teacher in England teaching me to "pretend" at the backstage after the recital --
"Don't look like you're guilty about your own performance.Be proud and just say 'thank you' when people tell you that they enjoyed the recital."
It took me years to learn that confidence and grace, and I'm still learning. The problem is, as a perfessional musician, I know that most of us are nervous when we perform, and I don't see why we should hide it from our audience, who are also human beings and experience the same emotions we do sometimes.

As artists, exposing our art works can make us feel like exposing ourselves--our aesthetics, personality,emotions, and even our spiritual beliefs. The more we put ourselves in our works, the more vulnerable we feel.
And I suppose I'm one of those artists who tend to feel extremely vulnerable when presenting our Art. I "see" these vulnerable feelings,but have learned not to let them stop me from doing my job.

When Debbie, the customer who bought English Garden, told me that she loved the bracelets as soon as she received it, I was all relieved. She has since come back a few times after that to buy more jewelry from me.

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