At the beginning of October I offered free critique to Etsy shops.I have been working on it slowly in the past few weeks--almost too slowly.As of today I still have 18 shops to check out, which do not even include private requests I received in my email.With holidays right around the corner, I know many Etsy sellers need advice urgently, and I am also getting busier.I decide to compromise the way I do critiques by spending less time on each shop while checking out as many shops as possible in a shorter time.Some of you may receive the crituque as a convo, while I may post some critiques on my blog.Feel free to convo me if you have further question with your shop and crituque. :)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I bought polyester fill from the fabric store yesterday.They didn't carry those safty eyes, but I just couldn't wait to finish my first crochet bunny, so I bought some plastic button instead and used sewing threads to sew them onto the bunny's face.
I also made the bunny a pink scarf :) It looked exactly as I wasnted it to be, so I was very happy.The only problem was it didn't want to stand on its own.Took me forever to get this one shot when it finally stood for a minute or so--
Here's another shot of the bunny in which you can see the bunny tail I added at the end.The bunny wouldn't stand up again so I had to lean it against the wall..
The next thing I did, after making the bunny last night, was to search for more amigurumi patterns on Etsy
I did it!My first amigurumi! And I did it my way :)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Yes, "crochet" with an exclaimation mark!
With holiday approaching,I started to feel the need to "make something warm".I'm not a big fan of knitted sweaters or gloves, but I really wanted to make a blanket, and especially cute crochet animals, also called "amigurumi" .Even though I did try to crochet a little when I was young, I never finished any project(not even half a scarf), so I didn't know if I could actually learn to crochet by reading.But, when I REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING, no one, not even myself, can stop me.So I bought some books and yarns to learn crocheting by reading.
The whole experience was more time consuming,intense and confusing than I expected.
In the first night,I spent hours and still couldn't cound the stitches correctly.I must have tried more than 6 hours but still didn't feel like I made any progess.
The second day, I read the book again, and tried again for many hours, and finally figured out how to make my first project...
I got excited and made my second project the next day..
and the next day I thought I could started my big motif blanket.I made my first square with qhite cotton yarn.It has a heart in the center :)
Then, last night, I decided I was ready to try out a pattern by the sweetest and most generous Ana Paula.
Well, since I only learned "single crochet" a few days ago, apparently reading patterns was still something very very confusing for me.It was more confusing than any of my college text books (and I've got a Master's degree!).But I decided to try it anyway.
After 3 hours,the result was very frustrating..
I got some of the body parts done, but the only part I did correctly was the body.The head was not plump as it was supposed to be, and it took me another hour or so to realize that was because I skipped 7 rows(!).
Bummer.Since the bear was not stuffed and sewn shut yet, maybe I can just turn the ugly head up side down and imagine it as a pot or something..
However, guess what?After my first failure, I DECIDED(again) that I was ready to create my own pattern.I wanted to make a bunny.The only difference between the bunny and bead seemed to be the ear, so I learned to make the ears from Ana Paula again, and made the rest of the body parts by myself.(that's right--without the pattern!)
The result?I was more than happy :)
I'm going to the fabric store today to get the stuffer and finish my bunny :) Thank you Ana Paula!I will surely buy some patterns from you!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
In the past few months I have been slowly and quietly working on Full Time Etsy Crafter Team .Yesterday we were contacted by Etsy Administration about featuring our team on Storque, and today the article is on Storque already!Because of the article a few full time sellers who were insterested in joining the team convo'd me.I hope over time through group effort our team will be able to provide more help for the great Etsy community. :) If you are not a full time ETsy seller but feel you may benefit from our experiences, please let us know what we can do to help you!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Tonight we'll be looking at Meekiyua's shop. Meekiyua has a very interesting shop featuring "tiny origami people"...Well, there is really no better way to describe these little creatures, so I'll show you some pictures.
Meekiyua's shop is nicely set up and she also lists regularly.The first thing that came to my mind when I looked at this shop imagining how I would market my product if I were selling these little origami dolls was -- what kind of customers am I targetting? How can they find me?What search word would they use to find me?
Here are a few things I would do--
Tag: Use all 14 tags whenever possible.If you are selling things difficult to describe or categorize(like these origami dolls), try tag occasions people will use your products in and any other possible functions(e.g.I assume these dolls can be used as X'mas ornament so that's what I would do with the holiday approaching.If they can be flattened I would also tag them as "bookmarks".You can also tag them as "decoration"). You can aso tag the characteristics (cute, interesting, novelty, exotic,japanese,oriental...etc). Be really creative here.You may have made something for one purpose but give your customers a chance to use it for other purposes.This morning I was looking for a cell phone pouch on Etsy.I ended up searching for camera pouch because I knew since they were the same size,many sellers must have failed to tag their camera pouches as cell phone pouches -- unfortunately not all buyers are as smart as me : ) Most of them will not search for origami dolls when buying X'mas ornaments, but some may end up buying an origami doll when it is tagged as a X'mas ornament and pops up in the search
Description: Just as tagging, be really creative here when selling novelty goods. People buying "cute stuff that has zero or little function" are often impulse buyers. (Of course there are also some people who "collect" and purposely search for strange stuff to buy on Etsy, but they are probably not the majority)To talk impulse buyers into buying your products, you need to show a lot of passion in your description.
Customer Survey: if you have made a few sales, ask customers how they found you.
Etsy Forum: Be active in the Etsy forum especially when you sell novelty goods.Remember to have your best product as the avatar to entice other sellers to click and check out your shop. I know Etsy forum can actually bring sales for some sellers(even though this doesn't work very well for jewelry sellers, I know I have got quite a few sales from the forum).Sometimes other sellers will buy from you just because they like you.Sometimes you will find someone you like who is willing to trade products with you.Even if you don't get any sales from the forum, you can always get a lot of resources from the forum.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
A week ago I was contacted by Bead Trends Magazine about featuring some of my jewelry in their April/09 issue. I was very happy to be "found" again after my Figure Magazine feature earlier this year.
I remember how excited I was when being contacted by Figure Magazine--I almost thought it was a scam. This time I am just happy to be recognized.Unlike Figure Mazagine, which is more like a fashion magazine, Bead Trends is a tutorial magazine for jewelry makers, and to write a tutorial for them means now I am not only a jewelry designer but also a "jewelry instructor".
Opportunities like this make me feel extremely blessed, and I guess that is another reason to have an Etsy shop--so that magazines can find me. :)