Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fall Cleaning....

I'm not like others who tend to tackle their household cleaning in the cleaning clock hits right before fall for some reason. So that's what I've been doing all :) I've been cleaning out my closets, getting rid of everything that I haven't used or looked at in years...holy hannah I didn't realize I had so much stuff.

I also have an ulterior motive for starting this cleaning jaunt, I want to create space for my work studio. I have a huge unfinished part of my daylight basement that has been used as a catchall since we've moved here...well no more! All of the walls are framed and ready for insulation, the floor is concrete, there are 2 large windows (one on the north side and the other on the south side) to allow a lot of light, and a door to the back yard. It's very rustic feeling. Soo...I was thinking that I probably won't change it much. I may stain the concrete, hang some sheer curtains, lay down some large area rugs with large pillows (just a little relaxing area where I can plop down and read if I'd like). I'll probably hang some prints and various other objects that I've purchased from fellow Etsians. I also want designated areas, on for beads, metal, photography, shipping, and storage. It's about 600 sq.ft. so I should have enough space for all the things that I want to do. Just the thought of having a designated area to create is so exciting!!

Well I'm off to draw up the layout...I'll be sure to take a picture of my plans, then a before and after of the area for you :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Woohoo...I hit 100!!

I couldn't be happier and it was from a wonderful customer! Really all of my customers have been wonderful, but this one has always been a pleasure to work with!!

It feels exhilarating to reach the goals you set for yourself. At first I wasn't really interested in setting any goals, mainly I think because I didn't want to set myself up for failure. BUT early this year I threw caution to the wind (LOL...I know...big leap huh??) and decided what the heck. Well I've accomplished all of the goals that I set for myself this far as my Etsy store goes...and now I have to figure out what kind of goals to set for my 2nd year on Etsy.

I didn't make anything new today as I spent it with my children before they start school next week. We spent a lot of time just reminiscing about their childhood, reliving moments they remembered and laughing hysterically about ones they'd forgotten. I'm a proud mom, most definitely! Though they're only seniors in high school, I'm proud of their accomplishments thus far. They've had a couple of mis-steps along the way, but what teenager hasn't?? Ohh by far they are little angels compared to how I was, and what I was doing when I was their age!

They paid me the best compliment tonight that warmed my heart...they said, "Mom, you're the best and you want to know why? Because you love us unconditionally...even when your mad and do you want to know how we know this? Because you tell us every chance you get!" They're right, I do tell them that I love them all the was something my parents did when I was younger, and still do to this day, it's something that I hope they do with their children. The one thing I really love is that they say it back to me no matter where they are or who they're if that doesn't warm your heart, I don't know what will. Those three little words sure carry alot of power behind them and I'm more than happy to share it :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oohhh so close!

September 1st is my one year anniversary with Etsy. My goal was to reach 100 sales by then and I'm 1 sale away!

I've been thinking a lot about what to do for the person who makes that 100th purchase. I have a little gift box ready to go that includes a pair of my GRACE earrings adorned with Labradorite, tea, and a coupon for 15% off of their next purchase in my store along with the item that they purchased. I figure it's my way of showing my appreciation for making my 1st year at Etsy a memorable one! So visit my store if you'd like to receive this free gift!!

Below are my 3 newest listings!
ORBS - Coral and Sterling Silver Hoop Style Earrings

CHARMED - Aquamarine and Sterling Silver Charm Necklace

WISHES - Sterling Silver Wishbone Style Earrings

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just a quick one tonight...

I've got to be up early so I'm just posting the new earrings that I listed today. I'll write more tomorrow!

COMET - Black Tourmaline and Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings

ORBS - Garnet and Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings

ORBS - Pearls and Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Upgrading, Updating, Forever Changing

I very rarely if at all look at other jewelry shops on Etsy, nor do I keep up with what page my pieces show up on. There are a couple of reasons for that. The main reason is that I don't ever want to be accused of copying another sellers design (I'll touch on this further in my next post).

When I first started, and sales were slow (I was a newbie and expected my items to fly off the shelves...LOL....ohhh c'mon you know you did that too!), I definitely checked out the other sellers. I was inspired for sure, on many different levels.

  1. The quality of their work. This made me fine tune my technique, making sure there were no sharp edges, and all of the wire ends were tucked away and out of site. I pushed myself to provide a better quality than what you can find when you buy mass produced jewelry.

  2. Their photography was amazing, which made me strive to learn how to take better photos. I've learned all I need or want to know about the Macro setting :) I've been back and forth between my light box and natural light...I prefer natural light, but once I get off of work I'm left with a very limited amount of time to take photos.

  3. The packaging, many show pictures of their gift boxes in their listing. Instead of purchasing boxes I wanted to make my own, so I learned how to make origami boxes just to add that additional personal touch. I may change this in the near future because it's actually more cost effective to order boxes, but I will continue to make my boxes while I still have the paper to do so.

  4. Last but not least, the shop appearance (below you'll see the different banners that I've had for my shop). was a little intimidating to see the store fronts of these shops, especially for a newbie like me. Beautiful banner, great photos and the introduction on the front page of your shop is the first thing a buyer sees when they happen upon your little corner of the world. This is a time when first impressions really mean something. I used to have a short novel (not really but close) as my introduction, I changed it so I don't lose the interest of a potential customer.

Sept. 2007 banner (I made)

March 2008 banner (I made)

Aug. 2008 banner (made by decafjnr on Etsy)

A superb graphic designer, well priced, and wonderful to work with!

August 2008 banner (I made)

I know that I've made a lot of changes within this year, especially in such a short amount of time that it may confuse some of my buyers to the point that they don't recognize my shop anymore.
I have been working diligently over this past year to fine tune my techniques and to learn new ones, as I grow and change so does my store.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Updating Photos

I've not only been changing things in my life but I've been updating the look of my shop on Etsy. The first thing was finding a banner that was me, something feminine, inviting, earthy, and Goddess oriented. After testing a couple of banners that I purchased from some great graphic designers, it still didn't represent me the way that I wanted it to. So after literally spending hours making around 50 banners, running the gamut of colors, fonts, designs....I've finally found something that represents who I am. I couldn't imagine putting someone else through all of my wishywashiness....they probably would've refunded my money and ran as fast as they could...hehe. The banner on my blog is the same banner that I use in my Etsy store. I'm pleased with what I accomplished and it's actually rewarding to know that I made it myself.

Along with changing my banner and business cards to match, I wanted to change the background that I use for my photos for continuity, something rustic and earthy. What I had in mind was granite, but unfortunately none of the local home remodeling stores here or around my area sell small slabs of polished granite or natural stone *sigh*. BUT...what I did find was a great piece of wood that has a rustic texture of paint and works. And so far I've been completely happy with the pictures that I've taken using it. It's a slow process, updating all of my photos, but I should have them all updated by the end of the week.

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to work on some wire wrapping projects that I've had on the back burner for sometime now. Oooo and my dad picked up some great cabochons for me! I'll be sure to take a pic of them and post them here for everyone to see. So many ideas and so little time to create them, but eventually I'll get to them!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Turning of the Wheel

As summer is coming to an end, and fall is nearing, I'm finding a need for changes in my life. The changes are more spiritual then anything else, but in the end it affects all of my surroundings.

This summer has been very trying for me spiritually. I found myself disconnected, alone, angry, sad, pretty much just feeling lost. Somehow I lost the careful balance that I hold between my spiritual life and my material mundane life. I was being sucked into everything that I've always been able to keep at an arms length. Maybe that was the problem. Maybe I needed to experience all of those challenges to realize and reaffirm the path that I'm walking.

It really all came to a head after going to FaerieWorlds. The festival was all that is magickal in this world. It was a truly enchanting 5 days that I got to spend in Eugene. I spent those days reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones and just enjoying my time with so many wonderful souls. I danced, hugged, frolicked and just reveled in the freedom of self expression. I was me.

When I arrived at home, it felt like I left part of myself in Eugene. Home didn't feel like home and the world felt like it was suffocating me again. I soon realized that I had been feeling like this for awhile. After a lot of soul searching and finally feeling connected again, I'm making changes. Cleaning house so to speak. First was relearning how to create that balance in my life.

I'm a tree hugging, Goddess loving, hippie at heart, and I no longer want to keep that side of me in the broom closet. Don't worry, I'm not an in your face kind of person so I haven't swung to the complete opposite side of the spectrum. I'm slowly working my way to the middle, where I can enjoy the best of both the mundane and spiritual worlds. I'm not there yet, and I know that I still have a few bumps in the road ahead of me before I get there, but I'm at a place in my life where the path has been laid and I'm happily reclaiming it.