Tuesday, April 19, 2011

EtsyMom Team Newsletter: Issue 7 - April

Hello and happy April, everyone! Spring is almost here (from what they tell us, anyway) and we’re excited to show you what we have going on with the team this month. First, we have a couple of announcements to make.

It is with a heavy heart that we announce Kimberly (cinnamonspice) is stepping down as co-leader of the team. She is still staying on as a moderator and co-head of the Special Events committee. Alice (lilprincessbow) has also decided to step down as moderator and co-head of the Welcome committee.

After much deliberation and discussion, we would like to welcome Jennifer (LavenderAve) as co-leader. She will continue to lead the EMCA/Gift Guide committee along with her new responsibilities as co-leader. We would also like to welcome Tammy (HotLavaClothing) as a new moderator and co-head of the Welcome committee, replacing Alice. You may have already seen our other new moderator helping out with the EMCA committee. Make sure to say hello to Meg (BeachsideTreasures), as well! You can find out more about our moderators right here on our blog by clicking the link on the right side of the page, or by going here.

Would you like to help out with the team? We are currently in need of another moderator to help with the Welcome committee, and a few volunteers to help with the Special Events and Social Networking committees. Please send an email to etsymomteam@gmail.com if interested in helping out.

Let’s keep the announcements going, shall we? Please join us in welcoming the newest members to the team! The following members joined the team between March 17 and April 16. Send them a message, and visit their shops and blogs. Let’s show them what being an EtsyMom is all about!

mmim * DoodlebugsJewelry * JanuarysJune * tiffanysobears * pitterpatters * SadieSewBaggins * hayleysstitchery * iheartbellasbows * knitonefelttwo * LilysLetters * littlepagsboutique * WhisperingGarden * ALTTCreations * starmekcreations * AnnieDees * 1scrappinmom * littlepearlquilts * makaleka73 * juxtaposeddesign * mylittlereverie * Rewelliott * abcflipforme * lilpersephone * TinyHandsDesigns * LittleKnitsStudio * danilykewoah * funkoliciouscreation * LilybeansBowtique * mompotter * OceanBreezeDesign * LexiAndMaddy * ladyluxedesigns * northloopyarn * favorcreative * picknknit * corkdesigns * Insprink * miamimere * babychiccreations * zouzousbasement * farmsteadorganics * mpchipmunk * MyFaireSeamstress * Stemdesigns * awesomuffin * RAKJpatterns * emmiluandbrothertoo * CountryintheHeart * CharmedFig * lauratownsley * kimiko611 * Martiniandolive * LaurenAlexander * MadebyAHug

Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear EtsyMoms! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappy biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrthday tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo you! It’s time to celebrate for the following moms! They all have birthdays between April 17 and May 16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Jarrett Baby
Hot Pink Chick


Sunshine LaRose


Special Events
By Kimberly (cinnamonspice)

During the months of March and April, EtsyMoms came together to raise money for two different charities. A number of EtsyMoms donated proceeds from their Etsy sales to support Japan's recovery effort in the wake of the recent natural disasters there. Some of these shops are still participating; please visit them here: http://etsymom.blogspot.com/2011/03/etsymoms-have-history-of-contributing.html.

From April 1st to April 7th we held our second charity auction on our newly created auction site: http://etsymomauctions.blogspot.com/. A couple of months ago, team leaders learned that one of our longstanding members was experiencing an extremely difficult financial situation, and we wanted to assist her. We are so thankful to those who contributed some of their finely handcrafted items for this event, and to everyone who helped the auction run smoothly. We raised $70 for our team member!

**Our next event will be a team sale in July in conjunction with Etsy's 4th annual Christmas in July sale.

**Have ideas or suggestions for a team event? Want to become involved in planning Special Events for our awesome team? Send an email to etsymomteam@gmail.com with Special Events in the subject line.

EtsyMom Curator Award

Winners of the March/April EMCA

Congratulations to our winners!

Jill of MaiseysDaiseys — a whopping 34 treasuries!

First Runner Up
Jenny of MadalineJane — 22 treasuries

Second Runner Up
Shannon of IHeartQuotes — 16 treasuries

We had 14 participants and 100 treasuries were made. That's a team record by a long way.

Congratulations ladies, and thanks for playing!

Please grab the button and put it on your blogs. The code will never change so it will automatically update each month with the new winner.

The April/May EMCA is now open. Can we beat 100 treasuries?

Etsy Tips
The Art of Tagging!
By Jenny (louloututu)

On Etsy tagging is essential for success! You get 14 words to optimize your search ability, so make sure you use them!

Personally, I am horrible at tagging my listings. I can’t think outside the box, and more often than not I end up with the same seven tags and just leave the rest blank. Aware that I was not fully utilizing each listing, I vowed to improve my tagging skills for 2011. Through trial and error and vast amounts of research, I am sharing my new admittedly limited knowledge in the hopes that you can benefit.

Main Category

Is your listing considered vintage? Are you listing crafting supplies? If your item fits into two categories, pick the one that best targets your shopper. Look at your listing title; this should be your jumping off point.

The 13 Other Tags: Some Suggestions

By answering some basic questions (see below) you should be able to come up with enough keywords to fill in most of your remaining tags.

What is your item?
What is the main material used?
What is the main color?
Where will it be used?
Age group?
Techniques used?
Does it correspond with a holiday?
Do you belong to a team?

In my shop I make tutu costumes sets, so I would use the following words to tag my Rainbow Clown Costume: children, clothing, costume, tutu, tulle, clown, circus, birthday, girl, dress up, Halloween, pretend play, Etsymom, sewn

Still a little stuck? Check out these other resources to help jumpstart your tagging!

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Insights
By Maite (Tamsy Trends)

Like many Etsy sellers, you now have a Facebook page for your shop, having read in the forums and in several blogs that having a Facebook page is a great way to advertise as well as interact with your customers and other sellers. But do you ever find yourself asking, "Now what?" How do you really know if your Facebook page is effective? Is it engaging your customers? Is anyone actually looking at your wall posts? Facebook can actually help answer these and many other questions with a tool they call "Facebook Insights."

As defined by Facebook, "Insights provides page owners with metrics around their content. By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, page owners…are better equipped to improve their business and create better experiences on Facebook."

You can get to the Insights Dashboard by clicking on "View Insights" at the right hand side of your page. (Note that you need to be an administrator of your page and have at least 30 likers to view insights.)

The data on the Insights Dashboard is broken down into two types: Users and Interactions.

User Insights

This shows the total page likes, new likes, and active users per day. An active user is any person who has interacted or viewed your page or your posts.

Click on "See Details" to view even more detailed information including data on new likes and (*gasp*) unlikes per day, liker demographics (gender, age, countries, and so on), page views and unique page views, tab views, external referrers, and media consumption (i.e., how many people actually clicked on the photo or video you posted on your wall).

Interactions Insights

This section shows information on all feedback or interactions on your page. "Post Views" displays the number of times likers viewed a story posted by your page on their News Feed, while "Post Feedback" shows the number of likes and comments for your posts. Click on "See Details" to get information on the number of users who unsubscribe to your page per day.

Most of the data on Facebook Insights are presented in graphs that show daily numbers either for the past week—as shown in the pictures above—or for the past month. Both User Insights and Interactions Insights provide valuable facts and figures on the people you interact with daily. These insights can help you identify how to use your Facebook page more effectively for your business.

Ask me Anything
by Cara (LetterMeThis)

Question: What are some traditions I can start with my family this Easter?

Answer: Easter can be more than just dying eggs and buying a new dress for church. Here are some ideas for new traditions to start with your family this holiday.

Make a lamb cake with your kids using a cake pan form and coconut. My great grandma used to do this every year, and I still remember them.

Go for a drive or a walk as a family. Search out objects that are shaped like a cross.

Head to a petting zoo and check out the bunnies and lambs.

Bring some lilies to a nursing home or hospital.

Make a sacrifice of some kind: pay for the person's order behind you in line, buy an Easter dress or outfit and donate it to a local shelter, or donate Easter baskets to a Women's shelter.

If you have a question about business, life, love, or the pursuit of happiness please email me at: lettermethis@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer: Advice given within this column is not done so by a professional. Any advice given should be considered subjective and within the spirit of friends offering help and information.

EtsyMom Featured Seller:
Oceanair Dreamer

Our featured Etsy seller for April is Susan of Oceanair Dreamer!

Oceanair Dreamer offers beautiful beach inspired jewelry using vintage beads, Swarovski crystals, Czech glass beads, locally found shells, sterling silver, antique brass, and other high-quality materials that will have you longing for the sand and sun in no time.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Susan, and I'm a wife to a fab husband, and a mom to one daughter and an energetic dog. Who am I kidding, I'm a mom to the three of them!

I was born and raised in New York, moved to Pennsylvania, and for the past three years now reside in the Wilmington, NC area. I just love it here! My husband and I chose this coastal area specifically for its lovely beaches. Although we can't afford to live on the beach, it's literally a mere 15 minutes away with no horrible beach traffic ride home afterward.

I have been creating and taking pictures my whole life. I sew, garden, love to cook and I'm a reality show TV junkie! And believe it or not, I work a 40-hour week in an Ophthalmology practice. You may wonder when I have time to make any jewelry. I get time anxiety about that myself.

What do you create/offer in your Etsy shop?

The majority of my work is ocean and nature inspired; however, I do add some glitz and glam pieces for special occasions or holidays, and I have made some beach wedding necklaces and earrings for friends here.

How did you get started in your line of business?

I had never heard of Etsy before moving here. Then one day a complete stranger complimented my beachy necklace I was wearing out to dinner and asked me if I sold my jewelry on Etsy. When I got home I went online to Etsy and wowee, wow, wow, wow. Such beautiful things to look at and so many talented people. I joined and started buying the most beautiful of beads and findings. Items I never saw in any of the big chain craft stores. It was heaven! Thank goodness I had a job, because I was addicted! After making a ton of stuff and selling to the girls I work with, I took the plunge (knowing it would be time consuming) and opened my shop, another baby, OceanaireDreamer.

Describe your creative process.

Thank goodness I'm an early riser, it gives me time before I go to work to lay out beads and think of ideas or at least start a piece. I am lucky to have a workroom with a large table. Most of my creating is done on the weekend. I get up as early as I do during the week, while everyone is still sleeping and I'm not needed. However, I can't take photos until the sun comes up, and even then there's only one time in the a.m. and one in the afternoon that's good for lighting. I use natural light, not a flash or lightbox. I try to add my new items during the weekend, too. I try to think when a lot of people would be online shopping.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I am sometimes inspired by a movie—Eat, Pray, Love was one, the Twilight movie series another.

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment?

My favorite piece in my shop right now is my Seahorse and Anemone necklace. I adore seahorses, and I've combined this lil’ fellow with a locally found shell and a glass "flower" bauble. It is super beachy!

How do you promote your work?

Since spare time is my nemesis, I don't blog or twitter. I do upload pictures to Flickr, www.flickr.com/photos/oceanairejewelry.

I only have a personal Facebook page, but I only share my pieces with my friends once in a while. I don't want to start bombarding them.

I also share new pieces on StumbleUpon.

I have found that the best promotion for me has been doing local craft shows. I get a lot of sales, and my business cards get picked up like crazy. I have even been invited to other craft shows from this. Right now I'm set up for the Kure Beach Street Fair, the Hanover Center Arts & Crafts Day, and the Burgaw Blueberry Festival. There are a couple more toward the end of summer I'll be applying for, too!

What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?

Business can be slow here on Etsy, as there are so many talented people, but one thing I learned is patience. Just when you're ready to close up shop, you get a sale and a compliment. The funny thing I've noticed, for me, is that it may not be what I like the best that gets sold, nor the newest item.

I have started using coupon codes for return customers, and that has worked a bit thus far.

I also always keep lines of communication open with the buyer. I convo them thanking them for the purchase and I convo or email them when I've shipped their purchase out! It's more of a personal touch. I know I appreciate it as a buyer. And besides, you never know who could stumble across your shop. It could be a celebrity, a stylist, a magazine, or a boutique in some swanky shopping area that wants to carry some of your pieces. You just never know.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Art is so subjective! Not everyone is going to love your work, but a lot of people will. Just keep creating and get it out there. It's very important that you love what you are doing and you are passionate about it! That's it!

Thank you very much, Susan, for taking the time to answer our questions and letting us feature you here in the EtsyMom Team Newsletter!

If you like what Susan has to offer, you know how to buy from her! You can also share her products on your social profiles or in a treasury. If you liked her feature here today, drop by her shop and give her a quick “hello” via convo!

One last mention before we let you go. We ask that each of you please visit the last newsletter post and rate the newsletter. We want to ensure our team newsletter contains content you want to see and that the information we provide is useful to you. So please leave us some feedback. The original post can be found here. Thank you, and have a very happy April!

Missie, Heather, and the whole newsletter committee