Monday, 13 January 2014

Etsy - be proud of what you do!

I launched my Etsy shop back in November 2013, it is still only a baby, less than three months old. However I have learned so much in this time.

I was proud and excited about the products I had to sell, although to begin with I only had a couple. I knew their benefits and worth and expected a lot of interest very quickly. However this was not the case. Just because I enjoyed creating them did not automatically mean that everyone would want to buy them.

But when my first sale came through I was over the moon! And before Christmas I got quite a few sales under my belt and only positive feedback. Fantastic!

Convey your enthusiasm, as well as vital facts. I focussed a lot on letting the customers know what the product was and the specifications of each gift. However, my creative writing took a back step and my enthusiasm wasn't shining through. It is kind of like a blank piece of card. If there are a few words on a card in black lettering stating the item, details, and price then that looks pretty dull in a market place filled with lights, bright colours and shouting proud voices. So, be the excited, enthused shop keeper who brings you into their world and makes you become excited about the product too. If a customer feels excited and interested in a product they are more likely to buy it.

I realised this key ingredient yesterday when I set myself the task to re-write my product descriptions using emotive and exciting language, almost boasting about my product and letting my passion for my craft shine through. Not only did it turn those descriptions into bright, interesting pieces, it re-ignited my passion for each product and made me think "why not be enthused and excited, I worked hard on those pieces and should be proud!"

Setting a price. This was tricky for me. I could work out what each product cost to make, but how do I factor in the effort put into making it. Looking at other shops for inspiration was tricky and the more advanced the shop was the higher the prices were. I decided to think about it from a buyers point of view. What would I pay for that product? I believe if you start off pricing your products with that in mind then you can come up with an honest figure that takes into account the materials and skills, at a price that is acceptable to your target audience. Discussing it with friends or family will also provide a realistic outlook and expectation.

Pictures: A BIG deal, and one that I am still perfecting. A few tips I have is photograph your pieces on a one-colour background. This will draw the customers eyes to the product and make it the focal point of the picture. When I shop online I want to see details in pictures and different angles, just as you would look at a piece if you picked it up in a shop, so make use of the 5 picture spaces available. Finally tinker with the picture before you put it online, I don't mean fake it, I mean brighten it to accentuate detail, crop it appropriately, use the sharpening tool to bring out details and improve the quality of the picture. Use a good camera or tripod, and ask for help if you know you have friends with photography or design skills, a valuable asset!

Etsy is an online market place that is different to other faceless sights. By this I mean that you have the opportunity on Etsy to introduce yourself as you would in a physical shop. Be friendly, take the time to fill out the 'About' pages. Be yourself, using descriptive language, and communicate your passion for your product. Take the time to plan what you are going to write, check it, and look at examples that you like from other shops. I always find it nice going into friendly craft shops where you can feel the positive energy from the creator of the crafts, it makes for a much more personal atmosphere which is what you want from your Etsy store, however do maintain professionalism.

Finally don't get carried away. At first I bought lots of bits in anticipation of sales. DON'T! Wait for your sales to come in, once you have used materials for one or two items then buy in again for one or two (Unless you get a great bargain for bulk buying). This way you will keep costs down on your end and also save yourself  a load of space. Plus seeing all those materials waiting to be used can be a little disheartening in the days when your waiting for a sale.

Have fun with your shop, stick with it, don't be discouraged. All the stores on Etsy began one day and have the potential to grow into something amazing for you and your family. Dream big, its important and not far fetched. I believe if you want to achieve and work hard at it then you will get there. Be creative, accept custom orders if you can, and promote promote promote!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Getting too old to celebrate your birthday?

"Oh god, don't remind me, I'm getting old now."

SO WHAT! and for the record 30years plus isn't old, I'd say 80 was old, but my word 80 year olds can be fantastically spritely :)

My Grandad lived till over 100 and the last family gathering he tookh is deckchair to the spot he wanted to sit by carrying it on his head. My Fiance's nanny is 80 this year, as is my other Grandad, and I hope to be as active as them when I'm their age. But that's 50 years on those that complain of old age at 30. I hope I never get too old to celebrate my birthday or find the need to complain. Balloons, cake, cards, music, the lot please. Just... when I get to 80, maybe someone else could arrange it for me lol.

Speaking of birthdays, it's my Dad's and Fiance's today, and would have been mine if I was born on my due date. As my Fiance works away he's not here today, but I am planning Saturday for him to celebrate. Cake included and a banner. Lol least he'll remember it and feel special. I don't think anyone wouldn't like that now would they even if he might feel a little silly.

So in future if I hear anyone say that, I will roll my eyes, embrace their birthday, create a new product for their present, and wish them a very happy birthday, and even though I can't spoil everyone like I do my family, I will hope someone does it for them! And does it for me each year of my life. One day to feel extra special, surely everyone deserves that?

Living on the apparently inaccessible Planet Mum

I know it's not just me, but some times I get so pee'd off with people. My youngest is nearly 3, and in these 3 years some friends have totally disappeared, whilst others seem to believe that as I have a child I have no social life and don't need to be considered a part of any arrangements. Granted, many a time I would have to decline an invitation due to no childcare, but I would still like to be included in the invitations!

Then there's the friends who just disappear off the planet and never contact you again - odd!

And those that have all the opinions under the sun about raising your child, but no experience of their own!

Can you tell I'm venting, I already feel better about it. How do you cope, or have you all found this not to be the case. Maybe I should just take the hint and realise they're all trying to tell me that my having children has put me on a different planet to them all together and integrating is impossible..

One way I've combatted it is inviting friends over when my daughter is in bed and having a general catch up, take away, and a glass or two. That's nice, but rare. Some times I would really love a surprise visit from a friend, one of those that live on the other planet. They would show up and say "Hi, long time no see. *insert genuinely brilliant reason why they disappeared.* Here's a bottle, and I have food, lets catch up!" How amazing would that be, a visitor from the old planet I used to live on!

Don't get me wrong, I don't envy their supposed freedom, I love Planet Mummy. It's just in those moments when the kids are sleeping and I'm sat watching shite TV and talking to no-one, that I realise the other planet on the horizon, and that no rockets loaded with those friends are on their way.

BUT, Planet Mum also has those amazing residents who stay your friends weather they have children or not, who chose to be-friend and listen to the stressed, emotional, child-centered, unkempt inhabitants of Planet Mum, and probably don't even realise what a strong part they have to play in that natives life.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New Products!!

New Products today, and three or four more this week. If I can finish the prototypes on time.

So excited, can't wait for orders!

Personalised Drawstring bag
Magnetic Wooden Alphabet

Handcrafted letters
Any design you can think of!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Years Resolution/ Goal!

Well we arrived home about 1hour ago after driving home from Wales. It's quite bitter sweet coming home. Nice to be back, back to my bed and routine, back to our things. But I miss our family in Wales and the family feel and care for one another in Wales. I love families living together but its the one thing I haven't had apart from when we visit people. Also Simon is back to work on Saturday, so back to missing him a lot during the week and living for the family weekends.

However, it's 2014! Our year, we are moving house, getting married, I'm finishing uni, going to work hard on The Blossoming Workshop, and hopefully the year will end with us knowing we have a new addition to the family on the way ;)

As for The Blossoming Workshop I have lots of ideas that I hope to begin making tomorrow or the day after. New for Valentines Day, for birthdays, for everyday gifts, and handmade sensory toys for all young children.

Any New Year Resolutions? To be honest I dont think I've ever stuck to any I've made. Do I want to give anything up? Nope. I like chocolate, tasty food, a nice little drink occasionally, I do enough walking, I like cake, I dont want to run a marathon, and I plan to make the most of the year anyway. Perhaps creating a realistic goal is the way to go. Working hard for me and my family, being a good fiance and becoming a good wife. And making sure I have fun and smile alot. I know it all sounds a bit arty farty, but I'm that kind of person, and it's not a bad way to be if you think about it.

I wish you all a wonderful 2014, filled with smiles, laughter, colours, daft silliness, and good food. Make realistic fun goals, don't restrict yourself and be unhappy. Spread the good vibes, and be arty farty cos it's really not so bad! Mmmmmwah! xx

Monday, 23 December 2013


It's Boxing Day evening and here I sit in my new t-shirt, cuddled up with my gentleman, very content. An empty tin of Roses sits between us, we had turkey & stuffing sandwiches for lunch, then turkey risotto for tea. A clear sign it is the day after Christmas.

We went for a walk around Roundhay Park today, second year in a row, perhaps it'll become a Boxing Day tradition of ours :) With all the children happy with their presents, the family came round for a lovely Christmas dinner, and me spoilt like never before I feel like the luckiest woman right now.

A very merry Christmas to all reading this. I hope you were as spoilt, as happy, as lucky as me, and are also feeling Christmas cheer & slight indigestion ;) Roll on 2014!