Monday, July 6, 2009

How to get your work in Stores

So I stumbled upon this about a week ago, and thought the need to share/keep on file for future reference. This great shop owner on etsy has some great ideas about getting your work into stores, she give key to get those store owner noticing your goodies!! So here you are, enjoy!

1) Looked through Local fashion magazines to get label names to look up (I picked jewelry pieces with my same price points and style). Once on their website, I saved all of their retail store info to contact later.

2) I got a line sheet template from an etsy seller ( and in my opinion was the best $60 I ever spent. I drop all of the images and words in myself but the look of it makes things really pop and people are really impressed with it.

3) I emailed all of those retailers I had saved (I googled their names and looked for a website where I got the emails) with the same blurb:
--> An opening line about why I'd be well suited for their customers
--> A short bio about who I am, where I'm located, my accomplishments (mostly etsy related but if you have not had a lot of etsy success yet, talk about the local work you've done, helped brides etc.).
--> A line about what's included in the email (my wholesale line sheet with pricing, order form with terms and pictures of my best sellers).

I attach about 1-4 photos of my best selling pieces or stuff I think they would like and that's it.

(Out of 80 emails, I've gotten about 10 replies. Some wanted more information, some placed an order right away, some wanted to meet in person (the local stores) and some said I wasn't right for them.)

4) For stores without email addresses/websites, I would call and ask for their email address or to speak to the person in charge of buying. Most times they would give me the email address and those are good because they are expecting your email and are not considering it too spammy.

5) Certain stores that were really important to me (ones I really wanted to get in with) I called myself and asked to speak to the buyer so I could introduce myself and get to talk them up a bit. At first they are like "who are you? why are you special" but then at least when you send over your info, they may remember you more than someone who just sent it without talking to them first.


-> Although I got some replies within a day, others I'd hear back from a week after I originally hit sent so if you don't hear anything at first, don't fret!

-> Some may consider this spam, but I do not because it's business to business (not business to person) so they expect it.

-> Don't sit around waiting for replies! Keep making new pieces, phoning/emailing new stores and working on the orders you have gotten (reorders are a big hope).

*** Regarding the chain store for those who are curious: I called the head office, asked for the jewelry buyer's name and number. I called him up and got the voicemail a few times but DID NOT leave a message. I finally got him to answer, asked if I could email my work (and did so RIGHT AWAY since he was at his desk). Although he seemed uninterested, he wrote back within 10 minutes asking for a meeting.***

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Etsy Giveaway Blog

I'm not sure how many of you have heard about the Etsy Giveaways Blog, but I just stumbled upon it yesterday. Let's just say I'm addicted:P You can post your giveaways, advertise and even visit the blogs for a chance to win the awesome prizes!

It's actually a great place to promote your shop. The blog uses Project Wonderful for a low price of $0.04 for side page ads, and $0.30 for top of the page ads. You can also promote your give away from your blog on the site. All you have to do is submit the information about the give away and your good to go! This is a great place to increase blog traffic and promote your shop.

If you have a chance to check it out follow this link. And don't forget to purchase your ad design for just $4.00 in my shop!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Craft show and Trade show Design

So I have another trade show coming up in August and another two in October. Since my last show I've decided to update my design a little:D (below is are photos from my last show)

I've found some awesome designs while browsing through flickr, here's the link. So this year I've decided to strip my mannequin (Betsy) down to just a cute little tutu skirt with a wide silk ribbon tied around the waist. I'll make 2 tutu's one for fall/winter and holiday and the other for spring/summer and cruise. I love her so much and I'm super excited to add my new designs onto her!

Now a great idea that I started doing, since my first trade show, is taking large photos of my handbags and printing them out as posters. These intermixed with my designs on the model help add some great interest to the plain white walls. I mount all the images to black mat board and use a ribbon/fancy shower curtain holders to hang them.

Another awesome idea that I'm excited about adding to my booth is a new business card! I re-designed my card so instead of it being horizontal it is now vertical!! A great way to promote your shop, plus those who love your items can remember your website. It's a two sided card and on the back I have just a small area with the info, but left some open white space to jot down little notes or my phone number. A great idea for those that can't remember everything about everyone you meet:)

So wish me luck at my next show, and think about adding some of these great ideas to your next craft fair. Be sure to check out the link to pick up new designs.

I'll also make sure to take some photos of my new booth this August to show you all!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's time to start thinking about the Holiday Season!

Now you might think it's way to early to start getting your holiday season ideas together, but let me tell you that I've been designing my handbag line for Spring/Summer 2010. I was browsing through the forums today and stumbled upon a great blog that offers some wonderful advice on preparing for the holiday season! The Tiny Fig has laid out exactly what you need to do to be on top of the game in advertising, and more. So I suggest taking a minute to sit down and read carefully over the tips, and have fun creating some great holiday items (because I can't wait to start shopping for them)!

Holiday Prep Guide 2009

It doesn't happen overnight! Start now, set goals and stick to them! Plan so that you can make a few items a week! It's really important to constantly have new stock in addition to re-listing (listing things that have sold) things you have multiples of because it attracts attention from potential AND more importantly repeat customers. You've got to keep the shop fresh and fun for your repeat customers! They've bought from you before and are most likely back to see what else you have to offer. People will be buying lots of different things during the holiday season for gifts and for themselves. All different types of people with different budgets. If you can offer them something they like within one of their price points it's a win-win situation.

REMEMBER to Purchase your holiday themed avatar and banners, plus thank you notes, business cards and more in my shop:)

Make your avatar memorable and don't change it all the time so people who heart you will recognize you. Keep your shop announcements short and sweet, make sure your shipping policies are informative and jazz up that profile. You never know who is reading! I in previous years there was a buyer/seller said that they were going to print the profiles of all the sellers they bought from and include it with their gifts.

Tips for descriptions and titles:
- Take the time to describe your items accurately and make it fun!
- Include measurements in metric and imperial especially if you ship internationally.
- Check your spelling and grammar
- Don't try to jam a million words into the title field! (Etsy is not Ebay and that is what tags are for!)
- Make it easy on the eyes to read meaning don't type like this THiS ItEm Is Gr8! or use ALL CAPS.

Use your sections!
Busy shoppers don't have time to weed through all 15 pages of your of inventory. Make their shopping experience simple by separating your goods into sections. For example jewelry makers: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, etc... For print makers: sort by size and maybe by collections. There are lots of ways to sort your shop but what you should think about is how your target market shops and set it up so that it appeals to them.

PRIORITIZE! There have been times where I have run out of earring hooks or earring posts or glue and it Drives me insane. Write out a list of your absolute necessities and then rank them by how long it takes to get these items. For example, if i run out of shrink plastic I can get it at Michaels which is 10 mins away, I can order ear hooks and ear posts from Rio Grande and have them at my door the next day, if I run out of labels I can pick some up at Staples but if I order some poly baggies from an Etsy seller it will take about a month to get to me via first class. So knowing that I order the poly baggies ahead of time and in bulk to ensure I have enough and to save on shipping. By prioritizing what I need and staying organized I shouldn't have to deal with this issue.

It's also not a bad idea to do an inventory count every couple weeks. I do mine monthly. Okay I don't really count all the little pieces of supplies I have on stock that would take days but I have all of it set up in a way where I can look at it and know what I need more of very quickly. It's a pain sometimes but it's definitely better to order what I know I need rather than dump all my money into supplies that could sit for a long time.


This is a big one. Shipping can get really crazy especially in November & December! Remember to establish a shipping deadline/cut off date (these dates should be posted on your postal office website in October or so). You should have this date posted in your shop announcements along with any other details. It's also a good idea to list your location so that shoppers know where you are shipping from and what to expect with shipping times.
Ship INTERNATIONALLY. Really, there is no good excuse not to. Around October you'll see all these threads popping up about how shoppers can't buy the items they want because sellers don't ship to their countries. If you haven't figured it out already, no one wants to convo you for a rate! They will just move on and find the next best thing. You're really missing out on a lot of potential sales by not shipping internationally I mean how hard is it to package something and take it to the post office to get some shipping quotes? Do it now while the post office isn't busy and has time to answer your questions. Do it because you want to grab a hold of every sale you can get your hands on. Even if you lose a few dollars in the beginning you gained experience and that is worth way more. Let me tell you something... I live in Canada and over 95% of my sales are international orders. If that doesn't motivate you what will?

Buying shipping supplies. It will be different for everyone and you'll have to figure it out for yourself but the way I estimate how much supplies to buy is I take my average monthly supply usage and multiply by 3 and then multiply by 2 for Nov & Dec. That way I've got enough supplies to last whether I see an increase in sales or not. Right now I have enough shipping supplies to last at least 2 months. I don't like to have tons of shipping supplies sitting around but at the same time I don't mind because I know it will get used up eventually. Someone also mentioned to me last year that you should be prepared in case the Post Office runs out of flat rate envelopes, priority boxes, customs labels, etc... I know that my PO always runs out of the customs labels I use so all year round I keep a huge stack of them at home. It's better to be prepared because nothing is worse than running out of envelopes or bubble wrap when you have 10 orders waiting to go out and it's snowing outside or worse.

If you offer gift wrapping or special packaging or offer dropshipping for your customers you will want to sit down and calculate how much supplies you need to keep on hand. Also, be sure to take the time to figure out how you can streamline your packaging/shipping so that you don't spend 20 mins wrapping an order when you have 10 more waiting to be wrapped! Keep it as simple as possible.

Things you should think about are:
- What can I get done now so I don't have to be bothered with it later? Ex: I use a bristol board tent card to ship my stickers so they don't get bent during transport so I have to pre-cut those instead of cutting one each time I sell a pack of stickers. It saves a lot of time.
- If you print invoices and shipping labels do you have enough paper and ink?
- Do you have enough business cards (and freebies or promo items if you offer that).
- Do I have enough gift boxes, wrapping paper, tape, gift tags, thank you cards?
- How will I keep track of what is inside each package?
- How can I package my gift wrapped items so that the buyer will know what is in each box if they buy multiple items? (post-it notes are great!)

If you work out a plan for this now it will save a lot of headaches!

Extra shipping tips:
- ALWAYS package one order at a time to avoid confusion. I can't tell you how many times I tried to package multiple orders at the same time only to have it take twice as long because I had to go back and double check everything was in the right envelope!
- If the order is awaiting an address confirmation or pending payment I will write AC (address confirmation) - username or PP (pending payment) - username under the flap of the envelope with their order packaged and ready to go when I get the notification to ship. When you seal the flap you can't see the writing. Also, I only seal the packages that are ready to go out. So I never get anything mixed up.
- COMMUNICATE with your customers. This should be done without being said but in case you don't know this you should be acknowledging your orders and informing customers of when you are shipping or if your item has shipped. It's good customer service and no buyer wants to sit there wondering if you even realize they ordered from you.
- If you know this it might be a good idea to give an estimated shipping time too.
- Be respectful. Some people don't want feedback left till after the holiday season because of sneaky friends and relatives so you might want to hold off on leaving feedback until after the holiday season or find a notebook and take note of which customers want this.


There are a lot of ways to promote during the holidays. I have a lot of accounts on social networking sites that I am active on. Sites such as Flickr, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc... Some of it will work for you and some won't. It's all trial and error. After all, nothing is guaranteed to bring you sales right? Personally, I think that the best form of advertising is through word of mouth. Get your family to help you pass out business cards, leave them at local restaurants with your bill, give them to your bank teller, etc... but the best word of mouth is from happy customers that tell their friends how much they love your stuff. I always include business cards in every order.


If you're planning on doing some advertising this holiday season you better start setting a budget! Ad spots on the big blogs for the holidays sell out really fast. (You'll want to have your spots booked before the end of September). If you are on a tighter budget do an as swap with some of your blogger friends or see if some of the higher traffic blogs will run a giveaway for you. It's a great way to get exposure without breaking the bank! (Advertise on my other blog Sweet Figments that features handmade and vintage shops starting at just $5).

Things you should consider when purchasing ad space:
- Who is your target market?
- Is the ad space I want to purchase targeted towards my target market?
- What times of the day are people in my target market most likely to be on the computer?
- Is it worth it to spend X amount of dollars if I see a potential increase of X amount of dollars?
- You might also want to factor in how high your holiday Etsy bill will be or how many dollars you plan to spend renewing/relisting items.

BUT, before you go throwing all your money into advertising you have to ask yourself this "Do I have the time to deal with a sudden increase in sales?" This question is for all of you SAHM's, those who work full time off Etsy, those who are still in school or have other priorities.
The holidays are a great time to start branding your store. A brand is a lot more than just a logo. It's about how you want your business to be viewed and represented. Take the time to appreciate your customers and show them by way you package, the things you include such as buttons, stickers, a simple thank you note or something unique with your logo and website on it. Do something that will make them remember you.

Start a mailing list! I started doing a mailing list last June and one year later I have hundreds of subscribers. Mailing lists are a great way to remind your customers that you exist, keep your brand fresh in their minds, they are a great way to pass out sale info, shop updates, announcements for new releases. Having a mailing list has been a really great experience. Remember to only add them to your list if they wish to opt-in otherwise it's considered spam.

Forums. I think it's a good idea to post in the forums to maintain visibility. Sellers are buyers too and sometimes they've known about your shop all year long and don't remember that you've actually got that really cool bag or pair of earrings. So if you pop up in front of them they might remember again. Plus, who doesn't want to support their Etsy friends? :)


I cannot stress how important this is. I don't have actual percentages I'm too lazy to open all my convos and count but the majority of the customers who respond to my survey tell me they found me using the search (I'm guessing around 85%). Now, I know that lately there's been all this fuss about Etsy's "relevancy" search and how it doesn't make sense but seriously, how many customers do you think actually even know that it exists? Personally, if I wasn't in the forums everyday I wouldn't know about it either. I always shop using the default which is "most recently listed". Don't worry about that and make sure you are using the correct tags. This is REALLY important to know because when the holiday craziness starts I don't know why but everyone feels the need to renew, renew AND renew and then list, list AND list some more! So your stuff gets buried so fast it will make your head spin but if the buyer can type in keywords that describe your item they can find you a lot easier. So make it easier on your buyers and help them find what they are looking for by tagging accurately!

Things to think about when tagging:
- Make sure they are acurate and descriptive
- Think about how people internationally search for things. Do they have different words they use for describing your item? Ex: Blanket, Duvet, Quilt, etc...
- If you have an extra tag use it to tag your shop name. This might be helpful to those of you who have a different shop name and username.
- Ask your family or friends to look at your items and tell you what words come to mind.

You are NOT allowed to tag for "potential uses" meaning you are not allowed to tag your items as "christmas gift", "gift" or the big one "stocking stuffers".

Why not? If you type "gift wrapping paper" and "stocking" into the search to look for HANDMADE gift wrap or stockings the search will pull up all the listings with the word "stockings" and "gift" in it including all stocking stuffers and gift wrapping options that people have listed as well as items that come with gift wrapping. Imagine being a buyer and having to flip through 200+ pages of items to find what you are looking for. Major turn off! And since you can't tag for potential uses you can't tag your items as "stuffer" either. Think that this is unfair? Try typing in "gift wrapping" and see for yourself how bad it is.
The solution? Include this info in your item description. If shoppers use the advance search they have the option of searching the item descriptions as well. So, if you include the words stocking stuffer in your item descriptions your stuff will
come up.


Oh we must not forget about our photos! The first impression matters! So take the time to re-do all of those half assed photos! I'm serious! If your photos are blurry, dark, fuzzy it will turn a buyer away. I had pretty crappy photos when I first started and once I spent a little more time on them my sales increased. So, invest in a lightbox, hire someone, buy a new camera and do whatever it takes! If you don't like re-doing photos then don't list anything until you get it right! Shopping online is a very different experiencce than shopping at a B&M store. Those photos are the only thing that a buyer can use to determine if your item is worth purchasing. Try to use all five photo slots and if you have extra space photograph your packaging. Sometimes the packaging is that little push that will get you a sale. I know it's time consuming to re-do photos but do it for the sake of your shop! I promise it will be worth it. Besides, it might get you into a few more treasuries and possible front page exposure!


Okay, I have to say that I haven't tried this out yet. I've always been told that the holidays are the one time of the year that people are always willing to go over their budget for but I'm thinking that with the economy the way it is, it might be a good idea to have a sale. I'm thinking about offering discounts on multiple purchases or just running a sale Ex: buy 3 pairs of earrings for $25 or spend $50 or more and get 15% off. Or maybe I will just run my customer appreciation sale early this year and offer savings of up to 50% off selected items. Try it out and mix it up. It might be worth it.

Don't forget to visit The Tiny Figs shop and blog for more items and tips:)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last day for Free Ad!

My promotion for June is ending tomorrow, so today is the last day to scoop up a great deal! Spend $10.00 or more on a listing and you will receive a free Customized ad for your shop:) That's a free $4.00 listing!

We all need a little help with sales during these difficult times, so here's my way of helping you out! Take a look at the listings available in my shop:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Organized Office!

Alright I have to admit sometimes my office isn't always neat and organized, but I do try and find ways to keep everything in place and at hands reach:) About a year ago I needed to find a way to keep my work space free of clutter, so after much discussion about how to do it I came up with a peg board idea! A large peg board finished off with some white paint and molding helps keep your work area clean and tidy! Here are a few shots of mine:)

I'm still finding great ways to keep my life a little less chaotic, and this organization idea definitly helps:)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finding Awesome Shops

I love browsing through the "Just Sold" area on Etsy! It seems like almost everyday I find myself click through the the purchases of other members, and I tend to find a ton of new items I absolutely love. Recently I purchased some awesome heavy duty vintage railroad spike bookends from

I feel in love with these and had to snatch them up for a Christmas gift for my dad:P A little early I know, but I'm buying my presents early this year.

So if you've never checked out the time machine area, or even the just sold area check it out! It's an awesome area on Etsy and you may even become addicted just like me:D

Here are some of my favs I found through the Just sold area:)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Having a Stress Free Business!

I come from a long line of over achievers, workaholics, perfectionist people. So when I decided to start my own company I was destined to be a stressed out workaholic. Luckily I found some great ways to de-stress:) I've decided to share a couple tools that help make running your own business a lot easier!

List your daily duties for the day and stick to it! Every day while eatingbreakfast I create a list of things that need to be done today, such as: writing to editors, finding new suppliers, emailing new shops and boutiques, and talking with customers. I find that creating a "To Do" list helps prioritize my life and keep me focused. Plus you'll always remember what you need to do! Not only do I create a list of daily duties, I also create a list of my current clients. Having a graphics shop with multiple orders coming in each day, I find that remembering what each person ordered and how they wanted the design can be super stressful. So I invested in a handy $1.00 notebook where I list the date the listing was purchased, who purchased it, what they purchased, and a few little notes of what the customer wanted. This helps me cut down on having to go back and forth from etsy sold items to the design, all I need to do is look at my little notebook and BAM! I know exactly who is next! (**I purchased this notebook from paperlion, for my sister..she loves peter pan)

Taking time for yourself is another way to help with a stressful job. Whether you sit outside reading a book or take an aerobics class, finding time for yourself helps you reconnect with yourself. I practice pilates 3 times a week, go on long bike rides (and now I can bring my dog since I bought this handy dog bicycle basket!), and enjoy reading a good book. Taking 15 minutes out of your busy day can help you feel less stressed and even more refreshed when you get back to work.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This month I am giving away a free customized Ad with every $10.00 or more purchase! This is a great extra design for any shop in need of some boost in their sales. Advertising can expose your shop to buyers looking for your products! One great site to use is Craft Cult, a site directed to etsy buyers and sellers. For $15.00 you can have your ad posted on the side of the pages for 7 days. What a steal!! I've used Craft Cult for my two shops whimsygraphicdesigns and prettygirlhandbags. I've had awesome results, when advertising my graphics shop I see almost a 40% increase in views and sales. And for my handbag shop I've seen a 60% increase in views! Those are awesome results. So if you have ever thought about buying an ad on this site, DO IT! If you don't have an ad for your shop you can find $4.00 professional customized ads in my shop!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Give Aways on Blogs!

Once again I am continually meeting wonderful people through my Etsy shop (and I hope you are too). This time I had the pleasure of designing for a lovely lady who runs She has an adorable shop full of handmade quilts, stuffies, patterns and more! After designing for her shop and blog she asked if I was interested in participating in her monthly blog giveaway. Well needless to say I jumped on the chance. What a great opportunity to get your name and company out there, plus I'm always up for helping out other independent designers:)So today's the day, the give away is up and ready for you to enter!! Just follow this link:

Leave a comment with your email address and your entered! Along with the chance to win a free banner and avatar designed by me, you could also win patterns, fabric, a purse, jewelry, and more! What a great opportunity, so don't hesitate enter today!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yart Sale!!

So this year I've decided to participate in the Yart Sale! I'm very excited to check out the great deals shops will be offering, and I'm sure to be picking up a few new goodies for my new apartment:)

The Yart Sale is a great way to clear out old stock, and even have a sale on new items! I've decided to offer almost 50% off of my handbags at I am also having a promotion in my graphics shop, spend more than $10.00 and get a FREE Ad to promote your shop!

Take a look at some of the great deals from my other shop:)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


So I've been designing (and shopping) on etsy for well over a year, but after first opening my rebeccaaccessories shop I learned quickly that setting yourself apart from the competition is critical. Now you will continually hear me repeating this, because I truly believe that how your present your shop will make or break your business.

One key element in success is the photo of your item. We all know that an amazing picture really makes the item shine..and makes the buyer mor e inclined to purchase (I know I'm a sucker for an amazingly photographed item..even if I don't need it). Here are my tips:

1.) Always, Always take the photo outside when it's sunny, or in a sunny area in your house!! I like to take mine around 10am in the morning or around 2-3pm at night. I find the sun isn't to intense and it has just enough brightness that your item will look amazing.
2.) Go out and purchase 3 white foam boards. Take them home and tape them together forming a three sided box..making sure you just tape the outside so no tape shows inside the box. This box works perfect for taking photos of your items in. You may want to have one of the images with a fun background, but for the close ups or even the clean photo look this box works amazing! It also makes it super easy to eliminate the busy background and to clean up the image in either photoshop or a paint program. You can see how my photos turned out with the white box at
3.) Cleaning photos is key to make your design shine..especially if you're not the best photographer. I use photoshop for all my photo cleaning, I always use my brightness/contrast first to get the true whites white. Then after that I will use my color balance to get rid of any reds or blues that might have been accentuated in the photo. Now color balance is a little difficult if you don't have the eye to see the difference but it does wonders for an image!! Of course there are tons of other editing I and many others do, but this is just the simple version for the non savvy graphic people:P
Now get out there and take pictures of your amazing designs!

Starting A New Blog

Starting a blog is a huge commitment for me, but I've decided to take the plunge. With so many wonderful customers and non-customers I've meet on and off Etsy I've decided to share some advice on graphic design. Including website design, photoshop, illustrator, Etsy shop design, and much more. Here in this blog I'll talk about my inspirations, new ideas and fun ways to create an eye catching shop that will bring in the customers! I will also talk about some wonderful shops that I've worked with and am currently working with, showing you their designs and a few awesome pieces from their shop (of course with their permission:P).

So sit back, relax and enjoy some great advice from a graphic designer!