Saturday, July 31, 2010

My etsy shop is (almost) open!

I'm very excited. The other day I received the graphics from Lynda, of ExquisiteExpressions (, for my Etsy shop. She surpassed my expectations, and I would therefore recommend her to anyone starting or revamping their shop. I sent her some product photos and some notes on what kind of style and tone I wanted, and she nailed it. The day that I uploaded my banner and avatar to my etsy shop finally made the whole venture seem real. Never mind that I don't have any items listed yet (small detail). Check out my banner:

She captured the elegant, feminine and classy look that I wanted and maintained a custom look by using my earrings. The business card is just as lovely and I can't wait to get them printed:

The other shop that I have (sort of) opened is called MyFirstJewellery and focusses on birthstone and heirloom jewellery for girls. For these graphics I sent her a few photos of my daughter Lauren, taken a couple of years ago. She was spinning around in her fancy dress before we left for a family wedding. I thought these pictures would evoke the spirit of this shop perfectly. Here's what she did with the banner:

And the business card:

Wow. What talent. Paying for graphics was some of the best money I ever spent. After all, I know what I am good at, and it is not graphic design. I see sellers in the etsy forums all the time, asking why they have no sales, what can they do to improve their shops, and when I look, their shops have banners that are obviously made themselves or cut-and-paste banners with no originality. Now, I'm not saying that a banner will make or break your shop, but it IS the first thing that customers see. Why would you not pay the $20, $30 or $40 to have an expert make it right? I'm so glad I did.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Safe for Kids?

So for the last while I have been making cute little necklaces and bracelets for little girls as well as grown-up ones. My plan was to market these on etsy as well, under the name Jigglers (an inside joke between my daughter and I). So here I am, buying up silver-plated chain and charms, really cute lockets, some swarovski crystal and handmade lampwork beads, thinking I have a plan in place. Then I realized that children's items need to be tested for safety. Duh. Didn't know that part! From the etsy forums, which I have a new addiction to, I learned that any item marketed to children and sold to the U.S. must only use tested materials and/or be tested by a lab. Well, I bought these materials from other etsy sellers, who may or may not have intended them for children, so there is no way that they have completed this testing. And for me to send each and every necklace and bracelet to an independent lab for testing is a bit out of my budget, especially when I look to make about $10 profit, if any. (This was going to be more a labour of love than a money-maker for me).

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for safe products for our children, and would not want to potentially harm anyone. I just see my dream of a cute, colourful little girls' etsy shop sort of blowing away in the wind.

So . . . on to Plan B. Now I am going to shift to sterling jewellery for little girls. No silver plate, no glass beads, no enamel, no Swarovski (which does contain lead). On to "my first jewellery", with only solid sterling and real stones, birthstone jewellery and sterling charm bracelets. (Sterling silver is exempt from this testing and deemed to be safe). Stay tuned for my first designs . . .

As for now, help me say goodbye to my old favourites that *sniff* will never be sold: