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    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    The Tragic Loss Of My Little Brother

    I know that everyone reads my blog for my business life but this time I am blogging about my personal life. On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 I tragically loss my little brother. My brother, Ryan, was only 22 years old when he lost his life but will live on forever in my heart.

    Like any family with kids, Ryan and I fought and bickered but loved each as much as a sister and brother could. We are 4 years apart and lived a very tough childhood together and as adults became so close that we even worked together (which most siblings cannot do).

    Over the past few days I have been consumed with guilt of not being a better sister or being there as a more of a friend. I now that I cannot blame myself or anyone else because when it is your time to leave us then there nothing to change that. I am just feeling blessed that I had Ryan as a brother and all the smiles he put on my face and laughs that he gave me.

    I will miss you until I see you again.

    **I will resume my blogging on Tuesday

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Red Hot Hooker Night---Street Team Monday

    As a way of showing my appreciation and promoting my street teams, I am making Monday's Street Team Mondays. I will be featuring different street teams and promoting my fellow shops in different ways.

    The first street team I joined when I got serious about selling on Etsy was the Etsyhookers Street Team. They are a caring group of crocheters who love to support one another. A few months ago we tried our very first Red Hot Hooker Night Sale. It was great fun and a few of the Hookers got some sales out of the night. The best part of the night was getting to know one another better.

    Well tommorow, September 23 at 5pm EST will kick off our 2nd Red Hot Hooker Night. The promotional thread will start in the etsy forums and anyone who buys from a Red Hot Hooker just needs to put RHHN in the notes to seller to take advantage of the great sales going on!

    I am asking one and all to take a look at our thread and our shops and support fellow etsyians on their quest for succes.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    Coffee Cozies, Bookmarks and More

    The past few days I have been keeping myself very busy. I have been crocheting and knitting like crazy! My biggest creative problem is that I always have more than 2 projects going at the same time. Sometimes this is a good things because I need to walk away in order to re-think my process or because it is taking much longer to finish than I expected so I am getting bored. So this weekend I worked on several small projects that I knew I could easily finish and photograph for listings on Sunday or Monday.

    The first project was making bookmarks out of yarn that I knew was to small of a quantity to make anything larger. I crocheted 2 bookmarks out of my peppermint twist yarn.

    The next project was to make face scrubbies out of the rest of the peppermint twist yarn. So I made 3 face scrubbies, which there was just enough yarn to finish the third!The last project started out as mock-ups for my fellow Challengette: themagpiesdaughter. She was looking for a knitted coffee cozy for herself, so I started doing some mock-ups. I tore them out several time (yes I am very critical of my work). In the end I really like knitted cozy I made to show her. I also crocheted a coffee cozy to list, just to see how it does.

    I figured these small projects would be great for stocking stuffers for the upcoming holidays.

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Fab Finds Friday-Challengette Style

    I have blog a bunch of times about the Bittersweeets One A Day Challenge and I wanted to feature them in Fab Finds Friday. I wish I had the room to inculde them all but here is a few and check back for more of them in the future. So check out each of these marvelous ladies and their fab items!

    Kristin - Fluorite and Sterling Silver Necklace by CoryellDesign

    Blazing Sunset Skinny Scarf, hand knit wool scarf in orange, purple, and charcoal gray by iWunder

    Ocean Paradise by jjewelry1

    Earth Bound - Resin and Timber Necklace by earlybirdcreations

    Vintage quilt w butterfly collage ACEO original by Yarrow1

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Myspace Experiment Week 1

    A week ago I decided to start my own experiment, which I like to call Myspace Etsy Experiment. I am go through different stages of advertising on Myspace and seeing what is working and what is not working for those who use Myspace as a marketing tool. When I set out on this journey, I figured that the only thing that I would lose is my time, if it fails.

    So this is my Week 1 of the experiment...
    Previously I had joined the I love to Crochet Group and add a few people from there but now I was on a mission. At the start of the week I had 224 friends (personal friends, mostly etsy friends and a few of the group members). Everyday I set out to friend request at least one page of group members (approx 30-34 people), so over 7 days I friend requested about 300 people. I now have 440 friends, an increase of 216!

    As a way of getting their attention, I started posting bulletins 3-5 a day. The bulletins were mainly of my blog postings and trying to get more readers. That was successful! I increased my blog numbers by 15-20 per day. A few times I posted bulletins about my newest creations but that didn't really result in much (yet!).

    With my picture section looking very outdated, I uploading about 50+ new photos of my items. I tried to space them out about 5-10 each day so that everyday people had something new to look at. I got a bunch of compliments and comments on my photos.

    In response to my friend requests, people were sending me messages or leaving comments about how they loved my work or how beautiful my items were. They were also thanking me for the add.

    Sadly, there has yet to be any sales from my experiment.

    Last week I set up a poll here asking people whether they use Myspace as a marketing tool and if they were successful. The overwhelming majority (50%) said they don't use Myspace and don't plan on it, next was (28%) said they do use Myspace but are unsuccessful and lastly (21%) said that they use Myspace and are Successful.

    More plans for Week 2: add more friends, leave comments for friends, add more picks and maybe a few other things so check back next Thursday for an update!

    Changing Anything for the Upcoming Holiday Season? (with poll)

    All over the etsy forums I have been seeing people either have listed holiday items or are gearing up for the holiday season. There have been non-stop posts about the holidays, like people with questions about the holidays and etsy, people giving tips for the holidays or people telling others don't bother to change anything cause etsy is to over-saturated and it won't change anything.

    So this got me thinking of whether I should change anything up in my shops for the holidays or should I concentrate on certain marketing strategies. Honestly, I am at lost right now since this is my first "offical" holiday season as a seller. I was thinking of renewing more of listings in a day but all over etsy that strategy seems to not be working. Then I was thinking of where I could do some marketing. With my myspace experiment going on(blog post on that tomorrow), I am going to try and use myspace and a few Project Wonderful ads. Other than that I am really not sure of where else to advertise my shops to bring in the holiday shoppers.

    So I am setting up the poll for everyone to take and looking for anyone with special tips of how to survive the holiday season as a seller.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Using Myspace as a Marketing Tool

    Since I am just starting out my business I am looking to utilize any free advertising as possible so someone suggested setting up a Myspace page just for my business. I set my page up about 4 months ago and really didn't do much with it. Well that is all about to change.

    I have my Myspace set up with Etsymini's for both of my shops so people can see a live feed of what is going on in my shop. Since I am apart of different groups, I have badges telling people I am a member of each group and a badge support etsy and handmade items. The page is a simple background without alot of flash to slow the page loading time down.

    With that all set up, next on my list is friends. I have slowly added about 200 friends from etsy but I wanted to reach a wider group of people. So I joined the I love to crochet group and a parenting group. I am requesting about 25-30 of the group members as friends, which I get about 10-15 added a day. I go to the forums and commented and let people know I am around. I am at 360 friends now!

    I am trying to comment on each person's myspace page about once every 2 weeks and let post bulletins about my shop or my blog a few times a day. I add new pictures of my items from my shops so that they gain more exposure. I usually get about 2 comments for every 5 pictures I upload.

    I haven't gotten any sales from using Myspace yet but I am patiently waiting to see if all the hardwork pays off.

    Do you use Myspace? Is it a success? Any tips?

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Please meet my fellow EtsyHooker: NoraDora

    When I joined the etsyhookers street team about 6 months ago I met a wonderfully, nice lady Nora and here is my feature on her Etsy shop: Noradora

    Nora likes to say she is a crocheter by nature because she is a mother of 2 and grandmother of 2. Growing up in Ohio and relocating to North Carolina in the 70's, Nora started crocheting in high school and as she raised her children it became a relaxation tool. She started by crocheting dollies, cloth edgings and afghans. Once her children started school, Nora put down her hook but inspired by her granddaughter to pick that hook up once more. Nora started crocheting doll clothes for her granddaughter, which has now become a passion of hers. She crochets cloths for all size dolls, trolls and lately has been obsessed with the Blythe doll.

    A ball or skein of yarn is the simple inspiration that Nora needs to just start crocheting. Nora does not use a pattern but the simple passion of the yarn and hook. She starts to crochet and never knows where it will lead her but in the end she creates amazing things.

    Etsy is an important venue for Nora. Etsy is more than just the selling, but her memberships with the Etsyhookers, WWWG team and EtsyFast team and consistent contributions to the etsy forums that helps Nora promote her shop. Renewing and listing in her shop daily helps to expand her exposure. Beyond Etsy, Nora sells her creations on Ebay and at an occasional local craft market.

    All of Nora's creations are wonderful and it is hard for her to choose just one. The adult and doll Snoods are very popular and given the challenge Nora will try to create anything with her hook and yarn. Be sure to check out all of Nora's wonderful crocheted creations in her Etsy shop: Noradora or her blog: Noradora blog