post

Vendor Introductions: Part Five

Starting today’s vendor introductions we have Candice of Buttercream Clothing.

1. What do you make/sell?

Buttercream Clothing is a ladies clothing line that is locally made using high quality fabrics focusing on comfort and style.

2. Why do you make/sell it?

What inspires your work? I decided to start this ladies clothing line as it was so difficult to find Canadian clothing that was stylish and comfortable at the same time. I am inspired by fashion everywhere I go, I love people watching and seeing what people are wearing every new season.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I am very proud to provide a ladies clothing line that is ethically made in Canada with a focus on pieces that will last for years to come.

You can find Buttercream Clothing here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/buttercreamclothing

Instagram: @buttercreamclothing

Website: www.buttercreamclothing.com


Buttercream Clothing
Buttercream Clothing2
Next we have Sue of One Hundred Monkeys.

1. What do you make/sell?

I am a metalsmith! Mostly Silver, but like the colors of the base metals such as copper and it’s alloys such as brass and bronze. I make all kinds of Jewellery including some for your horses!

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I love the skill and complexity of working with metals, love the textures and images I can create. My inspiration comes from Nature in the form of textures as well as Folk Art symbolism.

My style is influenced strongly by Art Nouveau, Celtic and Classical movements, and my content often centers on narratives and symbolism.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I like to create art that inspires, teaches, and tells a story while at the same time being functional as well as beautiful.

You can find One Hundred Monkeys here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanannesharp

Website: http://www.suesharp.ca/

onehundredmonkeys
onehundredmonkeys2

 

Next we have Shannon of Heart N Soul Handbags.

1. What do you make/sell?

My collection of handmade leather purses and accessories draws strong parallels to Alberta’s prairie culture and the constant inspirations nature provides. My pieces are both rustic and organic, utilizing raw edges of the leather hides and embellishments such as hand cut leather flowers and feathers, antique skeleton keys and decorative conchos.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I wish to share a glimpse of my soul through my pieces and hope it strikes a common chord with people who share the same values and lifestyle as I do.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

Using the hide of a once living animal implicates huge responsibility for me. It is my mandate to create something beautiful and functional celebrating the animal’s life. I work to minimize the wastage in my process, utilizing the smallest leather scraps to create flower shapes and accessories in my Heart ’n Soul Handbag’s collection.

You can find Heart N Soul Handbags here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-n-Soul-Handbags/137645313020982
Instagram: @heartnsoulhandbags
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heartnsoulhandb/

heartandsoul
heartandsoul2
Next up we have Christine from ImPaper.

1. What do you make/sell?

We sell graphic designed greeting cards, art prints and home decor products that make a difference.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

We bring forth a line of interior decor in hopes that our products will not only add that special touch to your business decor, office, desk space or room, but also reach out to our customers whether it be an inspiration, amusement or kindred-ship. Graphic design and being socially responsible has always been a passion of mine. Through ImPaper, I’ve been able to tie the two together and this has allowed me to share my passion with others.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

ImPaper was founded on the premise of using business as a means of social change.
Every product purchased contributes to a specific cause ranging from tree planting, diseases, providing clean water and more.
We are socially responsible and operate our business with the environment and carbon footprint in mind.

You can find ImPaper here:

Instagram: @impaper

Website: http://www.impaper.co/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/impaper.co

Impaper2
impaper

Finally for today we have Christine of Quirefly.

1. What do you make/sell?

I make jewelry and accessories. My favorite materials change depending on the day and the inspiration, but some of my favorites include annealed steel, copper, semi-precious stones of all sorts, and czech glass. I also work with repurposed fabrics, such as sari silk, to make something new and fresh and interesting.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I am an art historian, and as such I am trained to look for the connections between the things that people make, and the reasons why they make them. I look for symbols and subjects, styles and stories and connect those to the events and concerns of artist and audience. It tells me what is important to them, and suggests why. In our own age, I see a strange and curious duality of progression and retrogression, of modern and vintage, of forward and back.

In our world of facebook, twitter, google and email, we can reach incredible places and people without ever leaving our home. There is good and sad in that, I think. This modern age, while opening our virtual doors, can also remove us from the tactile, hands-on experience of the world around us. I think that this, in part, encourages the current drive to make things with our own hands. Although we may embrace the advantages and opportunities afforded us through modern technologies, we still feel a need to connect to each other in a physical way.

This is certainly an influence on me, and the media I choose. I bend wire, knot yarn, stitch fabric (by machine and by hand), and punch thread. My media can be found in the earliest chapters of my art history books, and the most contemporary web galleries.

I know this sounds cliche (what isn’t, these days?), but really my art is a selfish indulgence in creativity. It satisfies my need to be doing something with my hands, to make things that I find interesting and (or) beautiful, to experiment with different techniques, and to combine old and new. It gives me the opportunity to create something personal, and to interact with the world in a simpler, more intimate way.
I love what I do, and I hope you will too.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I have seen a great deal of support for hand-crafted and home grown in Calgary in the last few years. This is really exciting, and I am so happy to be a part of this terrific group.

You can find Quirefly here:

Twitter: @quirefly

quirefly

quirefly2

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
post

Getting Started on Etsy: Part 5 – Promotion

It’s Part 5 and the final post in our Getting Started on Etsy series. You’ve got everything set up, your shop is filled with listings, it’s time to let people know that you’re ready! One can not rely on titles and tags alone so today we’re going to talk a bit about promotion!

There are many avenues to explore when it comes to promoting your shop. I am by no means an expert but I am going to touch base on a few places that have really helped me along the way.

Teams – there are many different kinds of teams on Etsy. Teams can be based on geographical location, products, promotion, Etsy help, support, etc. No matter which kind you join, Teams are a wonderful resource for support and promotion. I’ve made sales through my teams, business connections and collaborations and lasting friendships with people all over the world that I would have otherwise never met. Teams also provide opportunity to be involved with Etsy on a different level like test groups or even becoming market organizers! Be active on your teams. Post in team threads, respond to team convos, participate in team promotions or sales. The more active you are the more likely you will be to make connections and help build a shop following on and off Etsy. Explore the thousands of Etsy Teams to find some that interest you or become a Team Captain and start a team of your own!

Social Media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are kind of like the big four but there are many others. Social media is a great place to communicate your brand. Post about your process, when you’ve added a new listing, what market you’ll be selling at next, etc. Be sure to include some posts about your personal life such as family, hobbies, travels, etc. so that buyers and followers can feel more connected to you and the items they purchase. Also within Etsy be sure to activate Facebook and Twitter so that buyers can follow you directly from your shop page! Go to Shop Settings and then Info & Appearance. Social media is great because it’s a convenient place for buyers to follow you and keep up to date on your shops happenings (new listings, sales, vacation dates, limited edition products, etc.).

Don’t forget to follow Etsy and Etsy Canada, Etsy Teams you belong to, potential markets in your area, other sellers, etc. on social media too. Like teams, social media is a great place to make connections and keep up to date on what’s happening. Be sure to like and comment on others posts. Think of it as virtual networking!

Blogs – Find blogs with similar themes to your shop and start commenting on the posts. Offer to write a guest post for the blog such as a diy or product roundup. Typically at the bottom of your guest post you would include a short bio about yourself and you can include a link to your Etsy shop. Doing guest posts on blogs can give you some weight as a professional and expert in your field which attracts buyers to want to know more about your products and possibly even buy from you.

Another great way to utilize blogs is to create one of your own. You can show behind the scenes photos of your workshop/office as well as info about the process that goes into make your products. Just like social media be sure to also post about your personal life too. Include recipes, photos from your travels, diy’s and tutorials, your hobbies. These posts allow buyers to get to know you better and feel more connected to the purchase they’ve made or are thinking about making.

About Page – On Etsy be sure to fill out your About page. Tell the story behind your shop and how you started. Share how you came up with your shop name. Explain why you use the materials you do or where they’re sourced from. Add a personal touch to your About page by including some family details or tell why you live where you do. The About page is the best place within Etsy to really tell your story to potential buyers and followers. Use all 5 photos spots to show pictures of your products as well as behind the scenes photos of your workshop and process. Include yourself in some of the photos too! It’s always fun to see the face behind the products. Finally, add your social media and blog links on your About page too so people can follow you off of Etsy as well.

 

Final Tips:
Sign up with the same shop name on every site (social media sites and blog for example) so that people can find you easily and there’s consistency within your brand.

Maintain a well stocked shop (at least one page of listings). Having a well stocked shop gives a professional and organized feel to your shop, it offers variety and provides more opportunity to get featured both on and off of Etsy. As someone who features a lot of shops nothing bothers me more than finding a great shop only to discover that they only have 3 or 4 listings. Buyers will feel the same way!

Photos, photos, photos!! Sometimes it’s the mood or emotion that the photo evokes that pushes a buyer over the edge when it comes to committing to the sale so spend some time and really perfect your photos. Use natural lighting and make sure to be consistent with your photos. Use the same setting or similar backgrounds and photo props to create a cohesive look throughout your shop. Good photographs give off a sense of professionalism so use them to your advantage.

 

We’ve covered a lot in this series. We wanted to give you a general overview of how to get started on Etsy but don’t be afraid to click around the site yourself. Explore what other tools Etsy has to offer such as Vacation Mode, Etsy Widgets and Badges, Coupon Codes, Stats, Gift Cards, the list goes on! Check out the Etsy Seller Handbook and Etsy Help to find out more about the topics we’ve covered and many other areas of Etsy. Hopefully after reading through this series you can feel confident about starting your shop and seeing where your business can go!

Don’t forget to use our code CALGARY on the promotions page to receive your first 20 listings free! If you have any questions about anything in this series please post a comment! We’d love to hear from you! Happy selling!

Lindy, Hilda and Jillian

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Forage Photo & Design

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
post

Getting Started on Etsy: Part 3 – Photography

Photography is king! Shop photos are your number one tool for attracting and engaging buyers. With roughly 32 million items for sale on Etsy your photos have to stand out. They have to attract the attention of your buyers and then hold them. In todays post we’re going to go over some helpful tips for getting the most out of your photos.

Tip 1 – Good Lighting – Good lighting is so important because it’s pleasing to the eye and it’s the best light for showing off the details of your product. The best way to achieve good lighting is to use natural light when taking your photos. Indirect natural light is the best in order to avoid harsh shadows. Stay out of the sun and instead set up beside a window where there’s no direct sunlight. The indirect light will hit your item on an angle and really help get the most out of your products and photos.

When at all possible use natural lighting but it can be tricky so another option is to use a light box. Because the sunlight is constantly changing throughout the day the light is different all the time. Building a light box is incredibly simple and it allows you to take photos at any time of day because your light is always constant. You can look up light box tutorials online. It can take as little as 10 minutes to make one. Hint: Make sure you purchase bulbs that give off a white light (e.g.. OTT Lights) to achieve the best natural light look.

Below are some great examples of good lighting.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: WoolyGems, Bird Blue Design, Trashtiques, SIDONIEYANG.

Tip 2 – Photo Editing – No matter how great your lighting is sometimes your photos need a little help and that’s where photo editing comes in. You don’t want to alter how your product looks but sometimes your photos just need to be cropped or brightened or maybe you want to create an overall feel for your shop by adding a filter to your photos.

There are many programs to use, Photoshop being one of the most well known but you can also find free programs online like Picasa and my personal favourite, PicMonkey. Below is an example of what my product photos look like straight from my camera and what they look like after I’ve cropped, adjusted the temperature and brightened and highlighted my photos. A few simple steps can make a huge difference! Play around with your photos to figure out what you like best.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3

Tip 3 – Neutral Backgrounds – use simple, neutral backgrounds to really let your products stand out. Fabric, stone, wood, white poster paper and black chalkboards make great neutral backgrounds. They add visual interest to your photos without distracting from what’s important.Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: OHDEER Shop, A Second Time, A Pears Vintage Goodies, Kiwi Tini Creations.

Tip 4 – Photo Props – use props in your photos to enhance the look of your products or show how they can be used. Sometimes the buyer needs to see how a product can be used in order to really understand if it’s the right purchase for them. Below are great examples of how photo props can really enhance your photos and engage buyers.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Billie Boone Vintage, IM Paper, Kiwi Tini Creations, Stone and Tree.

Tip 5 – Use all 5 photos spots in each of your listings – shop photos are incredibly important because they tell your buyer visually what your product is all about. Colour, size, scale, texture, material, detail, use, branding, packaging, can all be portrayed through your photos. Use all 5 photo spots in each listing to really give the buyer a sense of what the product is really like. Here are some examples of photos you can take to fill up all 5 spots.

Macro shots – get up close and personal with your products. It makes for an interesting picture and can help show the products features like texture and material. Many cameras have a macro setting but you can also achieve the look by just getting up nice and close.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Splurge, Handmade Therapy, Elle Bee Tree, Marian and Hazel.

Packaging – fill one of your 5 photo spots with a shot of what your product will look like when it arrives to the customer. This is a great way to brand your shop and lets be honest, we all love pretty packaging.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Soph & Oh, Splurge, Medicine River Soap Co., Yarn Ink Studio.

Models – use real life models to show scale and use of your products. Plus it gives buyers an immediate sense for how the product can look on them. Using models can also add some personality to your products and shop.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Khokho Designs, Bubblegum Sass, Handmade Therapy Kids, Maple and Oak Designs.

Options – If you offer your buyers a choice in materials, size or colour for example use one of your photo spots to show the different options. This way buyers know exactly what the final look of their product will be.

Imperfections – if you offer a vintage piece that might have a chip or show some wear be sure to include a photo of the imperfection so your buyer is well aware of what they’re purchasing.

Different Angles – Don’t just show the pretty part of the necklace but include a photo of the clasp as well. Show the back of the headband not just the front. If you print your logo on the back of your cards show a photo of that too so your buyer knows what to expect. Top, bottom, front, back. Think about all the different angles you can take a picture from.

Really think outside the box when it comes to your photos. Think about what you as a buyer would like to see. Photos can be a lot of work but they’re so important so take your time and play around till you’re happy with the final result.

Lindy, Jillian and Hilda

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Billie Boone Vintage

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail