Friday, March 20, 2009

Featured ETTEAM Seller

Contributed by: NiftyKnits

Are you ready? GO!

Cats or dogs?
I'd have a hundred cats if my DH's motto wasn't 'moderation in all things'

Star Wars or Star Trek?
I'd Trek to the ends of the final frontier!

Fruit or chocolate?
Dove Dark, yummmm, which reminds me, I'll be right back!

I had to google this, I don't think it's a brand we know in the UK...unless it's just me?

Favourite colour?
I always say yellow, my quilt guild would say purple and turquoise, but like your children, how can you have a fave? I DO not like brown, though (except if it is a Dove Dark!).

Favourite meal?
Hmm, does chocolate count? Actually, I have passed on my chocolate obsession to my daughter and she made a chicken dish with chocolate and homemade ravioli pasta with chocolate.

City break or weekend in the country?
I'm a country girl, (not the music), so give me a horse to bury my nose in and a barn of newly baled hay! I love sunshine and flowers and growing things, so country it is!

Soaps or documentaries?
Soaps! I watched them until I found Etsy, then gave them up cold turkey after 25 years!

Bath or shower?
Shower - long, hot and steamy!

Now we’ve got you warmed up…

What brought you to Etsy? Tell us about your shop (or shops) Do you sell anywhere else?
I first heard about Etsy on Martha Stewart's show. Rob was on with one of the top sellers, I don't remember who it was. I lurked a LONG time before joining. The treasuries were a favorite place to hang out, but I also spent a lot of time in the forums and reading the Newbie Guide. This is my only venue right now, and that's fine with me. I schlepped stuff around a few times several years ago and don't care to do that again!

What’s the favourite item you’ve made so far?

Well, I have 3 shops. Only one is handmade, although I do have a few handmade in my wearable vintage shop.  In
ByTheBy I have girl's jumpers/sundresses and I just love the ones with the cute little shoes on them. It's a Daisy Kingdom print. 

ByTheBy is temporarily closed until the CPSIA situation gets resolved, but here's the lovely little dress for you to admire:.

ByTheWay, my first shop, which is wearable, mostly vintage, I also have a few handmade and a few upcycled items. My fave in there is a cute little black velvet swing dress.

ByTheWayside, which is nonwearable vintage, I guess it would have to be the hammered aluminum ice bucket. We had one as I was growing up, and I think it was used primarily as a cookie tin!

I think
ByTheWayside is my favorite shop. I love finding goodies to list, but then again, I love finding stuff for ByTheWay, too! There's that favorite thing - I can't decide!

What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt (about Etsy) so far?
Write everything down (that's my life lesson, not just Etsy!). If you have a question, there are a ton of people who will help you in the forums. But please, check if your question has been asked before, or some of them will get upset.

If you could start again, is there anything you’d do differently?
Work on my photos more. There is a lot of good info out there, but mostly for jewelry and small items, and my photos of real models are still a work in progress!

I think you've got it sorted now! This is one of my favourite product photos. I was quite convinced it was a trendy leather bra at first!

How do you see your store developing?

I have already changed focus. I originally had my
ByTheBy girls' things in with the vintage at ByTheWay, and that just didn't seem to work, so I split those items off. I like what each shop is now. I would like to add some altered clothing to ByTheWay, there are so many beautiful items you can pick up dirt cheap, and I hate seeing anything go to waste. I also have a collection of vintage fabric that I plan on making into garments with vintage patterns. Mostly 1970's double-knit polyester - fun bright colors!

What have you been doing today that I’ve interrupted?
Well, actually, I put this interview on hold to go to the gym and grocery shopping. I dislike both, but if I sit in front of the computer all day, I gotta move sometime! Then I am also in the middle of redoing all my tags and rechecking sizes of my vintage clothing in ByTheWay. I have most of it done, but with 12 pages of items, it takes a little time!

What’s your top marketing tip for today?
Marketing tip? Well, I guess it would have to be join the best team on Etsy - the Treasury Team! I have met so many nice people there! There is so much competition on Etsy, but ETTEAM is a very sharing and supportive group. The team exists to support each other and we do, not just in treasuries, but in lots of other ways. I am impressed that members that are selling the same type of items help others on our team who are selling the same type of items improve their shops and also promote the others's items in various venues!
Contributed by: NiftyKnits

Heather, thank you so much for featuring me in your blog! I really do love the sense of community, helpfulness and acceptance we have on our team :)

My pleasure - thanks for taking the time to answer so many nosy questions! I can only agree with your comments above about Etteam - our team rocks!


About the author: Heather Leavers has a lovely Etsy shop Nifty Knits, where she sells the most charming hand knitted "critters", beautiful flowers and fabulous knitwear!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taking Great Pictures - Photo Makeover Series

This is the first in a series of Etsy Photo Makeover discussions. Contributed by: Charmed by Karen

Essential to appearing in treasuries, appearing on the front page of Etsy and, ultimately, to selling our products are great photos. Photos can be our greatest online sales tool and the key to great photos is an inquisitive mind. There is so very much to learn about photographing for Etsy sales and all of us are continually learning. I'm not a photo expert, just another Etsy shop owner who has a lousy camera with which I am determined to make due. I am convinced that all of us can create beautiful photos with mediocre cameras and no fancy light sources or contraptions. Natural light is your best friend here on Etsy. It's all a matter of learning about your camera, setting a beautiful & intriguing stage and having fun in photo editing. Taking photos for Etsy is different than taking photos for other venues. There is an art, a style and even a science to taking successful Etsy photos. This ETTEAM Photo Makeover series is an opportunity for all Etsy sellers to learn more about creating photos that are appealing to treasury curators and buyers. Any and all comments are welcome.

Our first makeover is Midnightcoiler. She had been displaying and photographing the thumbnail (first photos) in her "3 medallions" series flat on the ground, separately arranged and shot from the top. While this thumbnail shot gave some good visual information, it didn't have much of a "clickablitiy" factor.

The thumbnail/first photo, which appears in the search pages, serves primarily to draw the shopper off of the search and into your store. The thumbnail need not convey anything more about an item other than the feeling that something wonderful awaits the buyer after the click. Photos 2,3,4 and 5 are informational in nature, but your thumbnail should always be inviting and intriguing. It doesn't necessarily have to be a close-up. Anything goes, as long as the photo invites the buyer to click, to step into your shop.

For a new, fresh approach, we changed Lynn's arrangement to give it some depth and to highlight the texture of her medallions. Arranging the medallions in a scattered pile gave them a more natural, inviting feel - almost as if the viewer had found them on a mountain path and was free to just scoop one up. She re-shot her new grouping lower to the ground and more from the side, to give the picture more texture and movement. We cropped the photos to feature each medallion and chose to center this thumbnail shot on the circle medallion because it was the most comfortable shape for the eye to focus on at first. The subsequent photos give more information, but our thumbnail is our "glamour shot," whose purpose is to attract, attract, attract. We finally showed the group as a whole. This is the "strip tease" method of presenting items. We show the parts, little by little, gradually revealing the "full monty" at the end. Voila!

Here is the
new listing, along with the "before" photo in the fifth position:

About the author: Karen's fabulous Etsy shop is
Charmed by Karen

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tagging for Maximum Exposure in Etsy Treasuries

We are all looking to gain the most exposure possible for the listed items in our Etsy shops. One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is through multi-tagging using relevant terms/words.  Many team members, as well as others in the Etsy community, search for tags when composing their treasuries. The more descriptive the tags we provide, the easier it will be for treasury curators to find us.

The following list of colors and synonyms should be a helpful starting point, but doesn’t come close to exhausting all the possibilities. If you don’t find the exact shade you need here, try looking in your garden, refrigerator, make-up bag and even your child’s jumbo pack of crayons.

Be sure that if you are using multi-tags, that your words are all relevant  to the item being sold. There are 18 character spaces per tag line (including spaces), and if you plan carefully you may be able to fit a related color phrase into a tag, such as lime green or turquoise blue. Besides colors there are also a variety of alternative words that we listed below in the general tags section.   We hope this helps people find your Etsy shop and the fabulous items you have for sale! Happy tagging!!

Tagging Terms - Colors

For colors, the first alternative is French. Remember, you get 18 spaces in a tag.

RED – rouge, wine, burgundy, ruby, maroon, terra cotta, rust, fire, blaze, flame, auburn, bay, bronze, chestnut, cinnamon, copper, hazel, henna, mahogany, russet , sorrel, rust, jasper, brick, cabernet, blood, pomegranate, apple, cherry, tomato, garnet, raspberry, strawberry, paprika

PINK – rose, cerise, fuschia, magenta, blush, flush, mauve, cotton candy, bubble gum, ballet, petunia, carnation, shell

ORANGE – peach, apricot, mango, tangerine, coral, salmon, pumpkin, squash, rust, mandarin, cantaloupe, paprika, carrot, copper, melon, bronze, flesh

YELLOW – jaune, gold, oro, lemon, sulfur, citrus, topaz, canary, sun, mustard, amber, ochre, tawny, saffron, citron, citrine, jasper, butter, daffodil, popcorn, champagne, sunshine, lemonade, sunflower

GREEN – vert, emerald, jade, moss, peridote, olive, lime, mint, apple, grass, Kelly, loden, avocado, fern, leaf, chartreuse, lichen, honeydew, forest, evergreen, bottle, seafoam, kiwi, pea, sage,

TEAL – sarcelle d’hiver, aqua, turquoise, robin’s egg blue, blue-green 

BLUE – bleu, beryl, cobalt, eggshell, marine, indigo, midnight, azure, navy, royal, sapphire, sky, denim, cornflower, periwinkle, coastal, ocean, pool, lapis, cyan, peacock

PURPLE – pourpre, violet, lilac, amethyst, plum, orchid, grape, wisteria, periwinkle, lavender, eggplant, mauve

BLACK – noir, ebony, coal, ash, cinder, carbon, onyx, jet, midnight, raven

GRAY – gris, grey, silver, dove, ash, mist, fog, taupe, titanium, charcoal, granite, smoke, slate, dusk, steel, haze, platinum, gunmetal, pewter

WHITE – blanc, cloud, vanilla, pearl, sugar, powder, snow, chalk, milk, opal

CREAM – ivory, ecru, pearl, opal, natural, parchment, bone

BROWN – amber, cafe au lait, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, fawn, tawny, topaz, umber, ochre, brass, bronze, copper, espresso

TAN – beige, khaki, ecru, taupe, oatmeal, natural, parchment, sand, camel

CLEAR – crystal, transparent

MULTICOLORED – rainbow, iridescent, chromatic, variegated, aurora borealis

Other Tagging Terms

OOAK – unique, artisan, exclusive, original, novel, atypical, exceptional, handmade

MATERIALS – names of stones, type(s) of fiber or fabric, weave or fabric, types of wood

GENERAL – Punk, steampunk, nerd, geek, science, modern, midcentury, funky, dramatic, romantic, whimsical, artisan, edgy, bohemian, boho chic, shabby chic, fantasy, Victorian, prom, contemporary, mystical, mythical, magical, witchcraft, Christian, earthy, antique (over 100 years), vintage (over 20 years), retro (made to look old), heirloom, southwest, old world, Americana, rustic, ethnic, primitive, folk art

OLD – olde, vintage, antique, fossil, patina, old world, primitive, old-world

ECO FRIENDLY – recycle, reuse, up-cycle, refashion, earthy, vegan, environmental, organic, repurposed, natural, earth friendly, earth-friendly, earthfriendly, slow food,

TEXTURE – smooth, rough, pebbled, matte, shiny, sandy, loose weave, tight weave, braided, laced, plaited, lattice, webbed, patina, gossamer, delicate, pointy, sharp, hard, spiny, puffy, patterned, bold, ruffled, frilly, velvet, silky, gnarly, old world

ELEGANT – simple, refined, aesthetic, tasteful, graceful, luxurious, classic, polished, chic, sophisticated

ROMANTIC – erotic, fanciful, amorous, love, flirtatious, dreamy, passionate, darling, precious, bewitching, alluring, seductive, enchanting, kissable, huggable, feminine, flirty

COZY – cuddly, snug, comfortable, snuggly, huggable, warm

SHAPES – geometric, structure, block, symmetric, square, triangular, angular, round, spherical, ovoid, egg-like, irregular, cubic, cuboid, bold, concentric, free form

CIRCLE – loop, hoop, round, ring, spheroid, pouf, halo, bulls eye, doughnut, donut, disc, link

SPIRAL – twist, double helix, swirl, whirl, whorl,

LIGHT – sun, beam, streak, shine, radiation, luminescent, glare, glow, halo, aura, corona, bright, luminous, radiant, luxe, bright, cheerful, breezy

SPARKLE – glow, prismatic, shimmer, prismatic, sheen, gloss, flash, brilliant, iridescence, luminous, glint, glitter, glisten, gleam, starry, faceted, bright, cheerful

HOT – zesty, pungent, racy, peppery, passionate, fiery, torrid, steamy, thermal, blazing, flaming

COLD – frigid, icy, chilly, cool, frozen, bleak, wintry, frosty, arctic, glacial,

NIGHT – shadows, scary, evening, darkness, twilight, dusk, (see black),

CLOUDY – foggy, wispy, vaporous, vapor, smoky, filmy, hazy, murky, shadowy, dusky

FLOWER – bloom, bud, blossom, bouquet, boutonniere, buttonhole, corsage, festoon, garland, lei, nosegay, posy, spray, vase, wreath, stem, floral, flora, weed, garden, nature, vine, wildflower

OCEAN – sea, beach, tidal pool, coast, lagoon, tide pool

BIRD – avian, sparrow, robin, songbird, warbler, nestling, flying

JEWELRY - jewellery

FLUFFY - downy, fuzzy, feathery, soft, puffy, airy

The pictures in this article are some screen captures of some recent ETTEAM Treasuries that made the Front Page of Etsy. Thanks to the following Etteam members for their contributions to this article: Sharon of KnotOriginal, Jaci of By the Way & By the Wayside, Sinta of Art by Tanja Lichtensteiger , Lynn of MidnightCoiler, Sandie of ZaftigDelights.