Friday, October 29, 2010

A Human Face

One of the improvements that I've been trying to make to the site is taking pictures that display the products well.  It's always difficult to judge your own pictures, but one strategy that I've been finding helpful is to consider which pictures I choose for my own treasuries.

One of the commonalities amongst the photos that I choose, especially for knits and crochets are images that show the product on a real person.  I think that a human face, as well as a little context greatly helps a product photo.

Rachel (my sister in the ajoeynamedroo team) and I took turns taking pictures modeling the products.  Rachel looks so great in all the pictures.  This one is one of my favorites.  It features Tilly the cat!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Human Voice

I've been working hard the last few weeks to improve the way our new etsy shop looks and feels.

First, I read an article about turning the product into a story, instead of just a description.  It has been difficult to do for all of my products, but a few of them already had a story waiting to be written.  Here's my favorite one, it's about my raspberry necklace:

"One day in early summer I was walking home from class. I noticed that the leaves of the vine all around me looked very familiar. I looked closer, and there were tiny green berries waiting to turn red. I watched them for the next two months, and had the privilege of eating the first ripe little jewel on the bush.

The hidden jewel of a tiny raspberry, and the very idea that you can find such a beautiful and yummy fruit growing wild inspired this necklace.

The necklace captures the first raspberry of the season, surrounded by the vine's flowers, which will soon be berries as well.

The small raspberry is strung together in a circular pattern out of tiny seed beads and topped with a silver accent. The raspberry hangs in the center of the necklace, surrounded by two handmade polymer clay blossoms in pale white.

The center piece of the necklace hangs off of a lovely spiraling rope that I made by methodically crocheting seed bead by seed bead. It is an incredibly time-consuming process, but it produces a lovely & delicate (yet sturdy) chain. The chain combines shades of green, cream, and raspberry red."

I love the idea of selling a story as well as a product.  That's what handmade is about.  I'm not sure how many people will read the WHOLE story.  I'm working on cropping it down a little, but hopefully even in skimming it I will come through to the reader.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Podcast Loves

Although crafting does take a lot of concentration, I find it's one of the few things that I can multi-task on.  I think it's because I sink into a timeless zone, where it's best if I don't think too hard.

Anyway, there's nothing that I love more than going on a craft binge while listening to podcasts.  If you're looking to expand your brain and be entertained while you create, try out my top ten favorite podcasts

1. This American Life
It tops all the podcast lists, but what can I say... it totally deserves it.  Absolutely THE BEST!

2. Radio Lab
It makes me feel like I understand science!  Also challenges the way I look at the world.  I really like the topics and studies they cover

3. Stuff You Missed in History Class
I love history, as readers might know.  This podcast fills my need for crazy and interesting historical topics.  Also Katie and Sarah are super cute and personable.

4. The Moth
You never know who will be talking about what, but the stories are ALWAYS entertaining.

5. New Yorker Fiction
Authors pick their favorite short stories, read them, then discuss what they like about them, and why they find them valuable.  The stories are always so well picked, and short stories are where it's at!

6. Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
Always funny and informative.  Where would we be without zany news stories?

7. Stuff You Should Know
More funny than informative.  Chuck and Josh are great together.  Their personalities fuel the show.

8. Studio 360
Great interviews with interesting people.  I also love the focus on art and design in many of the shows.

9. All Songs Considered
The first place I hear most of the music I end up loving.  Start with one of the round-table discussions.  You won't be disappointed.

10. Selected Shorts
I love short stories!

This should be a good start for the avid crafter in search of knowledge and entertainment.  All of these podcasts are available on itunes.  Also, if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.  I'm always in search of a good podcast.

Happy listening!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

0 Sales

Our newest etsy store, ajoeynamedrooTOO has been open since July, and we are still sale-less.  I've tried improving pictures, and I've started listing almost everyday, but the wait has been difficult.

I wish that I knew why my jewelry isn't selling.  I like my products, so it seems like someone else out there must like them too.  I think that they are unique, and reasonably priced.  There is A LOT of handmade jewelry out there, which I know makes it hard to compete.

One of my goals for the holiday season is to create products that are uniquely me.  Things that are unmistakably ajoeynamedroo TOO!

How many sales do you have?  What have your strategies been for success?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cranberry Orange Available for Purchase!

The wonderful flavor cranberry orange as selected by Julie in our flavor contest is now up on etsy, and ready to be purchased.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and all of the great suggestions.  So go and check out our newest listing brought about through the suggestions of our readers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Etsy Holiday Success - Week 3 (& more)

Week 3 of Etsy Holiday Success has a few good tips.  I'm not going to post pics of my tiny notebook this week.  I'm just going to tell you the interesting parts this time!

1. Fill in the Blank

Basically this is a to do list.  My to do list is a 2 parter.  The first part are daily etsy activities

  • take pictures
  • improve pictures (using models)
  • edit descriptions (make them a little more engaging and interesting)
The second part are ideas for the shop that I need to start working on.  This part of the to do list is project oriented
  • create a jewelry tree for craft fair display
  • create gift boxes from greeting cards, and handmade paper to accent

 This article basically argues that success comes from listening to your real wants, and believing in yourself.  My favorite quote from the article was

"Be the you who doesn't go for perfection, but

 goes for authenticity and uniqueness."

3. Get a head start on your holiday stock

This one's pretty obvious, but also difficult.  Right now I'm working on a few recycled pendants using bottle caps and a more moderately priced cowl.  

One of the most difficult things about maintaining an etsy shop is creating while marketing, and this is even more evident during the holidays.  I think success is about planning and perseverance, which can be more difficult than it sounds!

I also came across Timothy Adam's 50 Questions For Etsy Sellers

Here are the most valuable things I found in this long questionaire:

Friday, October 8, 2010


If you love color, here are a few great sites for creating palates and color names.  Could be great resources for creating treasuries! palates and patterns, name newly created colors couldn't get the search bar to work on this one, but it's still visually appealing and an interesting concept

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Etsy Holiday Success

I'm participating in etsy success holiday boot camp for our new shop: ajoeynamedrootoo.  This year I'm really going to try to ramp it up for the holiday season.  I'm keeping up with the weekly emails in a tiny notebook dedicated to the purpose.
  I'm going to share my progress with you, so maybe it will both inspire you to rethink the holidays, AND keep me accountable.

The first 3 goals:

My "mission statement"

Most Popular and new products

I went through my shop and selected items with more than 30 views.  Then I brainstormed similar seasonal items, and new ideas.