Writers Spark: Interview With Lisa LeBlanc

Vintage Typewriter card set by The Craft Pantry

I have to say I am really loving the interviews I’m doing for the Writers Spark series!  It’s fascinating to hear the stories behind the blog writers on Handmade Spark – such a diversity of backgrounds and such a wealth of wit and wisdom.

When a person combines his wisdom and creativity, a revolutionary idea can develop from the sparks. This is what happened when an experienced trader thought that there should be a trading program that even the newbies could use without worrying about the complex analysis and security hacks. The following post, would tell you about this program that is called Snapcash Binary.

I hope you are enjoying them as much as I am!

In this post, we meet the wonderful Lisa LeBlanc – an artisan and independent boutique owner (on Etsywith The Cottage Nest, and on-line and in the ‘real’ world with Nest Interiors) who has a love of handmade and a penchant for chihuahuas!  On Handmade Spark, Lisa has been writing the thought-provoking and inspiring ‘business realities’ series (you can find her blog posts here).  In this interview, she shares some interesting thoughts on journalling and blog writing, among other things.

Enjoy!

1. Tough ask but…give us a bio in one sentence!

I am a retailer and craft artisan with a background in interior design.

2. What do you create?  What drew you to this particular craft?

Having my own shop, a lot of my creations were born out of necessity or from my pure dissatisfaction with what I was receiving from my mainstream wholesalers.

3. What inspires you?  How do you keep your creative spark firing?

Music is a big pull for me; a certain melody can open up a whole new world to me as I tend to visualize what is playing.  The trick is to be as quick as your mind!  I try to keep a journal or sketchpad close by to capture it all.

New Orleans book pages wreath by The Cottage Nest

4. Tell us about your day job…

I own and operate my own boutique where I sell my items and those of several local artisans.  It’s great fun and every day is different; I love working with so many talented people and our community is really embracing us and the handmade movement!

5. What kinds of things do you enjoy writing about?  Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?

I journal like crazy…or maybe I journal so I do not go crazy!  I was gifted a great book – ‘Writing Down the Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg.  In a nutshell, you are encouraged to write it ALL down, no matter how bad it is.  I carry my journal with me all the time and grab it when I need to vent, have a great idea, or if I want to reflect on an experience or completion of a project.  Blog posts tend to fall our of this.  Though it is a different audience compared to writing just for myself, I do want to share enough that the reader has a sense that there is a real person behind the business.

French charm bracelet by The Cottage Nest

6. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from running a handmade business?  What advice can you pass on to other Etsy sellers?

Make sure it looks handmade and not homemade.  People in my shop really pay attention to labels…and although they like the idea of supporting a local artist, it has to look professional.  For Etsy sellers, you need to be on Facebook and on Twitter.  Period.

7. And for blog writers?  Any advice on writing posts and engaging readers?

For my shop blog, people love going ‘behind the scenes’ – I try to give them the inside scoop…pictures of opening boxes when they arrive, what inspires me, what my typical day is like, etc.

8. How do you market your business?

Facebook has been the best!  I post something and I will either have a walk-in or online order for that item within a day.  I use Twitter too, but I haven’t see it as being as beneficial as Facebook.  I also collect email addresses at my shop and online; I send one or two emails a month to my existing customer base and it works!

Fleur de Lis tea towel by The Cottage Nest

9. Time to pay it forward!  Tell us 3 of your favourite Etsy shops that we should support…

Mary Lindsey Designs – this is one of my artisans…she has so many well priced jewelry offerings and her craftsmanship is impeccable!

Rainbow Dreams pendant by Mary Lindsey Designs

Beau & Stella – many moons ago I worked with this artist in my other life as an interior designer.  I love her pieces – sensible elegance!

Branch necklace by Beau & Stella

June Bug Art – a friend and local girl with a ton of talent!

Louisiana Pelican by June Bug Art

Thanks Lisa!

Handmade Spark Art Finds – Media Mix Up

When you browse the Art section here on Handmade Spark, you will find artists from around the world using many different types of media, including, watercolor, paint, pencil, and photography.  Here are just a few of the great Art finds from Handmade Spark!

Art forms in whatever way have an unique approach of the creator, what may seem to be a valley of red beautiful flowers painting may be depicted as the call from the people from the trouble war stricken valley of innocent people, art is self emotive, there are different views, opinion on every shade of the color that is stroked in the canvass by an artist.

When it comes to keeping up with the trend many artist start experimenting new styles, combination of other media like photography, water colors, acrylics it is an interesting fad or it is a mindless piece of art is left for the imagination of the viewer. Mixed media art has become the power to captivate the intuitive and more daring adventure interpreting new styles and techniques. when an abstract art form has the power to speak to the viewer it is fascinating, as there is no start, goal or focus on the subject, it is a form of free flowing art, instinctive of what comes at that very point of time, with new materials or simple water color.

The step by step approach of starting an abstract form is actually a tough job, and using the right amount of mix media is challenging unlike trading with the new forex trading online software which is just a three simple sign up steps and one can trade effectively getting an good profits without much knowledge about the trading world, Qprofit System can be used from any browser and the automated robot trading gives the user to trade while there are attending other important tasks, while the trading is done around the clock across many exchanges, all the winning payouts are credited into the trading account of the users, with a small amount of commission paid to the online trader for picking the robotic form of executing trades.

Click on the pictures to learn more about the artists, what media they used, and where they are from!

Lucky the Bicycle fine art original 8 x 10 by Studio M.M.E. | $40

Lucky the Bicycle fine art original 8 x 10 by Studio M.M.E. | $40

abstract modern art, urban industrial splash artwork - by Barbosa Art Modern Painting Gallery

abstract modern art, urban industrial splash artwork – by Barbosa Art Modern Painting Gallery | $122

one fell down by W Y A N N E

one fell down by W Y A N N E | $28

watercolor stationery by Cynthia Callan

watercolor stationery by Cynthia Callan | $4

Photo Fine Art Print At the Fair by Gallery32

Photo Fine Art Print At the Fair by Gallery32 | $30

Giclee Prints Red Poppy Flower Field by HJM Art Gallery

Giclee Prints Red Poppy Flower Field by HJM Art Gallery | $17

Penny Farthing Dream original drawing OOAK by ArtSnark

Penny Farthing Dream original drawing OOAK by ArtSnark | $25

Dandelion original acrylic painting by Natalie Callwood Art

Dandelion original acrylic painting by Natalie Callwood Art | $200

Featured Member: Sandie Russo is a Shop Critique Maven!

Featured Member: Sandie Russo is a Shop Critique Maven! Rhinestone Earrings Vintage 1950s Estate Swarovski Forest Green Antique Brass

Rhinestone Earrings by Zaftig Delights

Some women are practically superheros, and today’s featured member is definitely a member of that group. In between running two very successful Etsy shops (Knitzy Blonde and Zaftig Delights ) and “riding herd” on her teenage grandson, Sandie Russo also manages the SASsy Critique Team, an impressive Etsy team if we’ve ever seen one.

Ethereum Code is a crypto trading robot owned and developed by Mr. Marc Weston. This automatic trader mentioned in this full article is actually not a robot; instead, it is a designed as highly sophisticated software with precision technological tools linked to bitcoin markets. They have instant access to trading assets all around the globe. When this mechanism senses a particular pattern in motion, they initiate trade events to gain profits.This is a state-of-the-art online investment solution that has been created after years of efforts. It has been developed specifically for the needs of people interested in participating in the cryptocurrency markets, the mining and trading of those.

 

The crypto trading market is a volatile one and it is just as popular among traders. Novices sign up for such systems every day because they provide ease of access and eliminate the need for having deep knowledge of the industry.

full article

SASsy Critique Team is a dream for new Etsy sellers that need help figuring out the next steps. Here’s how it works: Etsy members request a mentor to look over their site and assist them to figure out concrete problems they can work on that will help them drive sales or improve their items. Her group of mentors and commentators work tirelessly to help Etsy members by providing critiques that help them push their shop to the next level. And despite this crazy schedule, Sandie generously sat down to talk with us last week about the top four things that Etsy shop owners can do to get found and drive sales.

Sandie Russo’s Top 4 Etsy Shop Checklist

1. Photos

The images in an Etsy shop are the first opportunity you have to make a good impression, and it’s one of the things that is the hardest to get right, according to Sandie, who shot fashion photos professionally with her husband. “Even I struggled to get my item photography exactly right in the first year or so, and I’m a pro!” Sandie exclaimed.

Good photos are well lit, in focus, uncluttered by distractions in the background, find props or settings that appropriately display the items…and that’s just scratching the surface of all the ways you can tweak your photos to drive more sales.

For more info on creating great product photos, check out this recent post on product photography.

2. SEO

Focusing on SEO in your product descriptions and titles is the next in Sandie’s top 4 list. She’s critiqued hundreds of shops since taking over leadership of  SASsy Critique Team, so she knows better than most the value of fine-tuning the language describing your items to help those dream customers find your shop.

Sandie particularly recommends focusing on the title of the photographs, making sure that you are describing the item, not just providing the title you’ve given the piece. “People often name their photos – particularly photos of artwork – something artsy.” For instance, if you titled a creative oil painting of your dog ‘Ellis the Blues Hound’ it wouldn’t help people who are looking for oil paintings of a blue dog find your work.

For more help polishing your SEO, check out this post on prefecting titles and descriptions.

3. Promotion

Getting the word out can be hard, particularly if tooting your own horn is something you’re a bit uncomfortable with. But according to Sandie, getting online and finding your audience is key to driving sales. She recommends several social sites for Etsy owners, including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Squidoo. She also recommends Kaboodle, a social site that is similar to StumbleUpon, but for shopping! What a perfect Estsy seller match!

Not sure how these different tools work? Check out our recent post on social media tools for Etsy sellers.

4. Inventory

Every interview should have a surprise, right? This one is no exception. Sandie gave us the inside scoop with her last tip, really opening our eyes to how much hard work it is to be a successful Etsy seller. “The truth is, four or five items in your Etsy shop isn’t enough to be an Etsy superstar,” explains Sandie. “You really need a certain amount of inventory to cross the threshold into a professional Etsy shop.”

So how much is enough?

“Once my Etsy shop crossed that one hundred item threshold things really took off.” Sandie’s dedication and patience in building up her work is something that she recommends that every Etsy seller strive for in order to be successful.

No wonder this Etsy seller stuff is such hard work!

Sandie RussoSandie also had two words of advice, literally! “I always tell new shop owners, especially the ones that have been open for less than 6 months, you have to remember the two P’s: persistence and patience.”

You can find SASsy Critique Team on Etsy and on their own piece of the Internet at EtsyMentors.Blogspot.com.  And don’t forget to check out Sandie’s shops – she’s an expert if there ever was one!

KnitzyBlonde.etsy.com

ZaftigDelights.etsy.com

Believing Mirrors: Do You Have Them?

By: Robin Norgren Pic #1 Photo credit: http://www.wellofcreations.com

“One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm.” –Hannah Senesh

Trading cannot be forced in every single human being, it has to happen come naturally to them, they need to develop this interest in this field that would help them become successful here. For this, it is very important that they get the confidence from one or the other sources that would make them believe that their investments are going to be safe and that they would get it back in some or the other way. And this source should also try and explain the reason or the justification for any losses made. Now it is only this elaborate and in-depth explanation that would make even the uninterested develop an interest in this field.

Crypto-CFD Trader is believed to be a good source which has been doing this for a very long time and has also experienced success in many cases. It has successfully infringed in many traders the most expected confidence and has made them successful in this field.

 

Julia Cameron coined the term “believing mirrors” in her book Find Water: the Art of Perseverance. Believing mirrors are those people who are “generous enough to reflect us back as gifted and interesting.” The believing mirror in a creative’s life is vital to raising the probability of a long and inspiring – not to mention lucrative- career. I can attest to times when I need to be alone as an absolute necessity to processing thoughts, generating new ideas and executing the ideas into reality.

However, the artist must also prepare for those times when the gremlins arrive, attempting to undermine and diminish those said sparks of new ideas. The believing mirrors understand this process in an artist’s life, the glow of those high days of productivity and the dread days when you are questioning the value of how you are using your time and energy. When the well seems completely tapped of resources, those are the times when these gems are vital in your life.

A believing mirror puts the right encouragement in your conversation. He/she helps you feel “heard” and challenges wrong thinking. The person lifts the veil of the dread and holds your hand as you step forward by faith through the down days until you can feel your momentum drifting back to you.

Have you some believing mirrors in your life? If so, where have you found the best resources for finding them?

Writers Spark: Interview With Amber Jordan (aka Mommy The Marketer)

Typewriter necklace by Cute Ability

Typewriter Necklace by Cute Ability

In this installment of the ongoing Writers Spark series I interview Amber Jordan, aka Mommy The Marketer. A veritable font of marketing knowledge, Amber is a very busy lady! She maintains an Etsy shop (Tate Skye Designs), writes for Handmade Spark and her Etsy Momentum blog, and helps other small businesses through her consulting work. Amber clearly has a passion for small business and loves to pass on the tricks of the trade she has learnt along the way.

Very few people are so generous that way. Most of the successful people do not like to share the secrets of their success. I have, though seen a program that helps people trade in the financial market, as the creator was a content and happy man and wanted to share his success and expertise with others. This was the creator of FinTech LTD who generated a special program and is allowing the people to use it completely free. Read more at this website.

Sprinkled with fantastic advice and laugh-out-loud moments, I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

1. Tough ask but…give us a bio in one sentence!

Just an enterprising Mommy shouting out small business advice and the crazy musings of a parent, business owner and artist.

2. What do you create? What drew you to this particular art/craft?

I guess you could say I stir up online press releases for Etsy shops and other handmade businesses. Mommy The Marketer keeps me very busy with consulting work and writing business articles for both Handmade Spark and my blog Etsy Momentum. In my downtime my alter ego, Tate Sky Designs, is allowed to focus on my passion for photography, architectural illustration and watercolor.

The Mommy The Marketer website and my personal Etsy shop, Tate Sky Designs, are my outlets for all of my loves. I helped the ‘big guys’ get rich for far too long in my corporate job as a Designer/Project Coordinator and in-house Marketing Department Gal (they had to hire three new people to replace me when I left). It is refreshing getting back in the trenches to help out small handmade business owners. I love getting to know shop owners and seeing them meet their small business goals and find online success.

When I traded my dry cleaned suit for yoga pants and a ten year old t-shirt after the birth of our second child, I felt a huge hole in my life. I started Tate Skye Designs as a little back-burner Etsy shop to allow me to focus some of my creative energy. I quickly realised how hard it is to ‘get noticed’ in a sea of handmade businesses out there. Several years ago I successfully helped launch another small online business and got the burning desire to get the ball rolling again. After some no so subtle hints from my husband, Mommy The Marketer was born!

Cherry Kiss by Tate Sky Designs

3. What inspires you? How do you keep your creative spark firing?

I love photography and painting to help decompress but my real motivation comes from helping out others. I am absolutely thrilled to get positive feedback from my clients about their small (or large) victories after I’ve helped them.. Sometimes I feel like an ‘insider’ leaking secrets. Or the tireless cheerleader for all the underdogs out there. We can do it!

4. Tell us about your day job…

My ‘day job’ is wrangling my two very busy kids (5 years and 15 months). After I finish pulling the toddler from the curtains and washing peanut butter out of the 5 year old’s hair, I usually have a spare minute or two to work on my articles and website. Mommy The Marketer really gets fired up when my husband comes home from work and the kids are in bed. Saturday morning is also my ‘press time’ to really crank up on my upcoming features. Of course, as I write this my children are dumping an entire box of cheerios on the floor…but they are quiet so I’m okay with it.

5. What kinds of things do you enjoy writing about? Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?

I enjoy writing about the roadblocks and challenges that small handmade businesses face on my business blog, Etsy Momentum. Tutorials and honest advice on what to do and not to do as far as marketing your company and the delicate ‘art’ of selling. I guess you could call it my killer instinct side! The Because I Said So blog contains light hearted musings that ramble about all my passions: art, handmade, parenthood and my attempts (keyword there) and ever ending quest to balance it all. Stop by for a good laugh on your coffee break…or if your life is like mine the two minutes you have that should have been used to pull your toddler off the curtains.

White Goddess Tulip by Tate Skye Designs

6. What’s the biggest lesson you’re learnt from running a handmade business? What advice can you pass on to other Etsy sellers?

Know who you are. Really refine your image or ‘brand’ before you jump into an all out “hey everyone, come and buy” campaign. First impressions are everything. You have less than 10 seconds to capture the attention of a potential buyer. Be memorable, be honest and be yourself. It kills me to open up an Etsy shop or Artfire store and see a blurry logo and poor product shots. I know you are an incredibly nice person but you are selling you and your business short by not taking the time and energy to do things right.

7. And for blog writers? And advice on writing posts and engaging readers?

Ask the right questions and fill a need. My most successful posts have come from direct questions by clients. For example: ‘Why am I loosing fans on Facebook?’. My articles explaining insights into the world of social media have had a great response.

8. How do you market your business?

Well, as ‘Mommy The Marketer’ it is part of my job description to be everywhere. The Facebook fan page has been an incredible resource as well as Twitter. My Etsy Momentum blog has a loyal following. However, most traffic comes directly to my website (MommyTheMarketer.com). Great referring sites like Handmade Spark have helped as well as several other top business and craft blogs in the industry.

I rely heavily on word of mouth and wonderful referrals from clients and fans. People are much more likely to buy a product or service if a friend or colleague has referred them. Never underestimate the power of ‘your best customers’. Treat them with respect and give them your best and they will pay it forward with kind words about you and your business. I am thrilled to the ‘go-to gal’ for several of my clients. Handmade business owners have such a wonderful passion for their work nd it is an incredible feeling to be with them on their journey.

Goodbye Winter by Tate Skye Designs

9. Time to pay it forward! Tell us 3 of your favourite Etsy shops that we should support…

Just three?! I love so many! I would say a couple of standout shops (and their owners) would be:

Swanky Place – her crazy blog about ‘Betty and her dog Muffin’ and their travels in their 5th wheel around the US keep me laughing and coming back for more. Hey Betty, tell Muffin I said hi! (Muffin likes to sneak out and update blog posts when Betty is busy).

Fanny Women’s Perfect Apron by Swanky Place

Chrystalyn Jewelry – Chrystal keeps me ‘on my game’ and is a seasoned Etsy seller. She works social media to the max and has created her own network with her Redding Handmade Team. She is an example of one who is doing things right. I love seeing her next move, odds are it will be a winner.

Landscape necklace by Chrystalyn Jewlery

Edith and Elizabeth – I consider Jane my Facebook ‘mole’ (in a good way!) – she gives me a heads up when there are hot topics on discussion boards and always asks for my input. Her decals are crazy cool so that helps as well.

Chandelier vinyl decal by Edith and Elizabeth

Thanks Amber

How-To : Making a Yo-Yo Necklace

Making a Yo-Yo Necklace

I recently was hooked up by Totally Tutorials with Ruby Jane’s Retro Fabrics to create a tutorial using Deb Strain’s Fresh fabrics for Moda.
When I was a kid, my maternal grandmother lived with us. Grandma was a Home Economics teacher and was a very, very crafty lady. We would have sewing lessons and cooking lessons and we did all sorts of arts and crafts projects. One of the early sewing projects she did with me was making a yo-yo quilt. Yo-yo quilts were very popular during Depression times because it was a way to use up your little scraps of fabric and create something really beautiful. As a seven or eight year old kid, I loved being able to do such a simple project and help Grandma work on one of her projects. As an adult, I find making the yo-yos to be a very satisfying, zen-like experience akin to knitting. Once you make your first one or two and get into the groove of it, you can quickly produce lots of pretty little yo-yos.

When I was a kid, my maternal grandmother lived with us. Grandma was a Home Economics teacher and was a very, very crafty lady. She used to take lessons and home tuitions for school children and college-going students who had taken Economics as the main subject. She also gave finance related advises to popular start-ups like Fintech Ltd. In the morning and evening sessions, Economic terms would float in our home and at other times, crafty masterpieces. We would have sewing lessons and cooking lessons and we did all sorts of arts and crafts projects. One of the early sewing projects she did with me was making a yo-yo quilt.

I wanted to do something different with my yo-yos, so I decided to piece them together to make a cool necklace. This tutorial will show you how to make the one pictured above. (Find out how to win it at the end of this post!) (winner was announced on October 5th. Stay tuned for more giveaways!)

Let’s get started!

You will need:
fabric scraps or small quilting squares
fabric scissors
needle and thread
circle template*
fabric pen, pencil or chalk
embroidery thread
jewelry design board
metal chain
open jump rings
needle nose pliers for jewelry making
wire cutters
lobster claw or desired fastener

*You may print out my circle templates here: jpeg or download as a pdf I recommend printing onto cardstock to make tracing easier.

Use your fabric marker (or pencil or chalk) to trace a circle onto the wrong side of your fabric. The diameter of your finished yo-yo will be slightly less than half of size of this circle.

Cut out your circle. For this necklace you will need to trace and cut out seven 2″ circles and two 3″ circles (which will result in seven 1″ yo-yos and two 1.5″ yo-yos).

Blog Spark – Interview With The Editor Of Handmade Evolution

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your Etsy story?

I started out on Etsy as a buyer – and it wasn’t until I started
volunteering at www.justwork.ca that handmade really took on a new, more
special meaning for me.

It was my first experience in the trading field that inspired me to be here for a longer time. I slowly started liking my journey in this field through the crypto code that was filled with both good and bad experiences and this made me understand the meaning of life in simple terms.

I set up an Etsy shop for them
Justwork and really got hooked on the etsy experience as
a result. I love posters and origami art – so from there I decided I
should start my own shop, Field Trip – where I sell typography posters.

Why did you start blogging?

I think it’s been in me for a long time – I started my first “magazine” in
grade 5 and since I was 13 or so I’ve been known to spend all my spare
money on magazines and books. Then this fall I took the leap and started
www.handmadeevolution.com

Where does your inspiration come from when writing articles?

First and foremost by all the talented artists and designers in the
handmade sphere. I’m constantly blown away by their skills and creativity.

Handmade Finds for your Desktop
Who taught you or how did you learn the technical (design, setup, etc)
side to blogging?

I’ve been working as a self taught freelance web and graphic designer for
4 or so years now. So blogging came fairly easily. My recommendation for
someone just starting out would be to get a couple great books and to try
to learn a new skill or two a week. That’s what’s worked the best for me.

How did you build a community around your blog?

Twitter is the number one way I feel connected to the larger blogging
community. Once you get into it, it’s a lot of fun!

How does your blog help your Etsy business?

I think by blogging on a daily basis I stay inspired, and it helps me to
feel like I’m part of the larger handmade community – which in turn makes
me want to create new, better items for my shop.

Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the
blogosphere?

Not sure that I’ve “made it” personally!;)But I know that what keeps me
going with it is realizing that I have something unique to contribute – my
own tastes, views and values. What we do as bloggers is important –
especially as members of the handmade community – we have an opportunity
to influence the culture that surrounds us to think differently about our
consumption of material goods and what that means.

Neutral Living Room Inspiration
Name three websites you couldn’t live without.

Youtube.com – Their favorites feature is awesome. Great music
keeps me motivated big time.

Wikipedia.org – How can you not love it?

Scoutiegirl.com – In Tara I’ve found my e-doppelganger, while
our blogs are very different, we share so many similarities in terms of
vision and personal history. Right down to having the same college major
to being Virgo’s. Her site inspires me time and time again.

What are your three favorite Etsy shops and why?

Irene Suchocki – her work is stunning and so
pretty yet always tells a story. I have a few prints up next to my desk.

Paper Leaves – just discovered this shop recently
and I am a huge fan of not only Kristen’s work but also her outlook and
sense of life purpose.

Hine – the best place to get a really cute iphone
case from the sweetest Etsy-an. Her shop is often only partially stocked –
so you have to get items before they sell out.

Etsy Business Spark : Honey’d Designs

Hello! I have been sewing and designing since I was a teenager and was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles while I was in High School. That is what originally brought me to California from Minnesota. My plans got derailed due to financial issues which kept me from attending school there. So I worked a couple different desk jobs for a few years until I met my hubby and had our two children. I then became a stay at home mom. After my children became a bit older, I decided it was time to do something with my creativity. So I started my own brand called Honey’d in 2007. From there I had a custom logo designed and trademarked. I then ordered matching logo labels and hang tags for my handbags. I went on to start up my own website which turned out to be an absolute nightmare! I did not know the first thing about running a website so it didn’t work out so well. Without knowing about Etsy or any other avenues for selling my handbags, I went ahead and shut down my website. I then basically gave up and packed away all of my supplies and beautiful fabrics. I had thought about trying again until I found out that I was pregnant. I knew that between having a new baby and everything else I had going on that there would be no extra time for my handbags. Sadly I miscarried 4 months into my pregnancy and then took a few months to heal my broken heart.

Then I found out about Etsy and how easy it was to navigate the website and start my own shop. So once again I decided to give my business another try. So I unpacked all my supplies, my sewing machine, purchased a good camera and went to work. I started selling on Etsy in Novemeber 2009. I sold my first item instantly after I listed it. At first I didn’t know what happened to my listing and thought I did something wrong. I was happily surprised when I realized I had sold it! It was a pillow cover, which is one of the things I also sell in my shop. Although I sell jewelry and pillow covers, my main focus now is my handbags. It’s where my heart is. I’ve learned many things about business since starting my Etsy shop. The Etsy forums and Storque Blog have the best information! I have learned so much about photography, pricing, shipping tips and so much more. I’ve also learned that international shipping is not as scary as it sounds. The USPS website has excellent information and if that doesn’t work just go to the post office and they will answer all your questions. The first step is the hardest and it’s usually smooth sailing after that.

Conclusion

The unpleasant truth is that nowadays the online market is full of scam and bogus trading platforms. One must strictly stick to the strategic plan of buying low and selling high. If you are buying close to a day’s high, keep a big stop loss and small profit goal or vice versa. Risking a huge amount for a single trade must be surely avoided. People who have a clear vision on money and risk management will never step into a call margin. Bitcoin Code review says so.

Most of them fail to offer something else than losses to their users therefore we are really glad that this crypto robot system review is going to end with a positive conclusion. Our team of professionals is 100% confident in the legitimacy of Bitcoin Code robot, so we would like to advise you to seriously consider joining it. This will be one of your smartest financial decisions.

The best advice I have for new sellers would be about getting your shop exposure. The most important thing is your pictures! Invest in a good camera and don’t have the date stamp on your pictures. The better your pictures are the more visits you’ll get to your shop. I would also suggest not spending a ton of money on advertising. The best money I’ve spent on advertising is simply renewing my items a peak shopping hours. I follow the morning, afternoon and late evening times for the east and west coast. Those seem to be the best hours to renew items. My shop is still a work in progress, but I’m enjoying every minute of it and I look forward to what the future holds. I’m glad I have Etsy to make my business so much easier and fun. You can get to know me a little bit better by reading a recent article I was featured in at http://www.nuok.it/2010/03/today-in-new-york-sahnda-black/. Thanks so much for reading my story and have a great day! ~Sahnda

Handmade Handbag/Wristlet-Scooter Print

Handmade Handbag/Wristlet-Scooter Print

To find more Etsy Business Spark articles Click HERE!

  • http://www.afinetoothcomb.com Julie – Fine Tooth Comb

    That’s a great point about making sure that product photos don’t have time stamps on them. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone mention that before, but it’s a great point! Anything that distracts customers from the product is a no-no.

  • Tim Adam

    Yeah.. I have not really thought about the time stamp…. great point!

  • http://AudreyGardenLady.etsy.com AudreyGardenLady

    Lovely shop. I think I’m in love with your Lotus wristlet….
    then I went to your esty shop and Whoa!!
    Your spring color collections are too beautiful!

    Thanks for the article and advise.
    I’m climbing that learning curve on improving my shop pictures.

    Audrey

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/emilyorpin Emily Orpin

    As a serious bag junkie I am very pleased to meet you and your shop Sahnda! Hearts ahoy!

    Also – the photo thing is so true. As a writer for this blog I’ll often find the perfect Etsy item to illustrate a story, but I won’t use it for a post because the photo isn’t crisp, clean and clear. So not only do bad photos put off potential customers, they’ll also result in missed exposure opportunities on blogs etc.

  • http://www.wellofcreations.etsy.com robin

    congrats-your hard work definitely shows in the quality and the presentation of your product

  • http://www.honeyddesigns.etsy.com Sahnda

    Thanks so much for sharing my story and for the wonderful compliments!

  • http://www.oceanavenuesilks.etsy.com Ocean Avenue Silks

    Really great article! Nice to know you a little better! Wishing you lots of success!! 🙂

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/aubepine Jen

    Great feature! You have a lovely shop :).

  • http://twitter.com/Carolinesjolund Caroline Sjölund

    I found the most gorgeous handbags athttp://www.handmadespark.com/blog/etsy-business-spark-honey%E2%80%99d-designs-2/ …. Me LIKE! I WAAANT!!!

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Do You Have it in You? Business Realities Part Three – Opportunity

Having your own business takes some special skill sets that even I am still grasping.  Here is the third in a series of articles that will hone in on those often-overlooked business realities.

Thus far, I have talked about sacrifice and discipline in regards to developing and running your own business.  This week I want to focus on opportunity, because, truly, it can be the best and most exciting part of your business!

Word Art Print - Take Advantage of Every Opportunity

NayArts Shop

Not every opportunity is equal, however, in the beginning I suggest taking advantage of most everything that comes your way.  Opportunities come in many forms; people, events, contests.  This is your time to be a sponge and take it all in…as you develop your business prowess and define your niche, you will be a better judge in how to spend your efforts.  These early opportunities will help define your direction…it is part of the process!

Here is what I’ve learned along the way…

Prepare an “elevator speech” a 30 second to 2 minute brief description of you and your business.  Think of it as speed dating; you want to give them just enough to make them fall in love with you.  I’ve done this in the weirdest places: the grocery line and doctor’s office to name a few.

Although a relatively recent system, BitCoin Code has been developed by the financial guru Steve McKay. His system uses algorithms to analyze the market and locate potential trades. In addition to this, the algorithmic orders can be also employed for effective controlling of execution parameters like

  • Participation rates: To observe time and pacing parameters
  • The threshold on price and limits: To detect the starting and ending time with aggressive or passive settings

You can learn more about these constraints by clicking the suggested web page. The payout rates are set at 95%, which is impressive for any trading system. There are in excess of 90 assets available to trade in and the success rate is currently at 89%.

Hand in hand with your “speech” you should have a business card to give out that refers to a website, blog, or twitter account.  Business cards are easy and cheap and so are websites & blogs.  Give multiple business cards to your friends and family too; my mother is probably my biggest advertiser and you know what…it works.  I’ve had sales just from her passing them out around town!

Get involved!  Find a cause you are passionate about and volunteer.  You are sure to find like-minded individuals to friend and who better to support your business than some more new friends!  And here’s the upside to community involvement…publicity!  I am an avid supporter of local business and joined my local Chamber of Commerce. Just from this one organization, I have been repeatedly in the local paper and radio.

Remember though, the best opportunities are the ones you create!  What is your best advice?