Sunday, November 21, 2010

500 Sales in 10 Months...and I Need a Nap!

magnetic necklace
Hi all! I hit 500 sales yesterday!

Here are my top 5 tips to creating a successful shop here in the land of Etsy:

1. Find your niche! Figure out what you want to do and then EDIT it down. Create a product line that is cohesive and specific. Shops that are full of lots of different handmade things are overwhelming for shoppers. Do one thing really well rather than lots of things kinda sorta ok.

2. Create a brand! Find a graphic artist and have them create a logo for you. Use that logo on everything, packaging, business cards, stationary, etc. Soon people will recognize that logo and associate it with your product. Tada, you are a brand! I simply posted my need for a logo in alchemy and found someone who shared my vision. My vision was fat blue birds but I'm guessing yours is different.

3. Work hard! Some people start shops on here, list some stuff and then sit back and wait for sales. Gonna be a long wait, homeslice. This takes WORK. A lot of it. I'm not sure I have worked harder on anything in my life. And I have the excuses, too. I have a full-time day job, a five-year-old daughter, a house to clean... that whole life thing. But I was determined. So, I pretty much gave up sleep for several months. Stuck Together blossomed in the wee hours of the morning for months. Does that suck? Oh yes, total suckfest. But I wanted this to work. I wanted it to work more than I wanted to sleep 8 hours a night. So my nights were spent perfecting pictures, promoting, drafting press releases, facebooking, etc. You have to make time for that stuff... and for me, I had to find time where I thought there was none.

4. Learn how to take a picture! This is still a challenge for me, but I have come a long way. If all those other people can take good pictures, then so can I.. and so can you. I use a light box because most of my pics are taken in the dead of night. Also, use editing software. Crop! For the love of Pete, CROP! If you don't know how to do any of this... learn it. There is info all over the internet about lighting and how to make a homemade light box. Google mofo!

5. Embrace the internet and social networks! I am not a tweeter by nature and I am not really a fan of Facebook. But I use them as a means to an end. I get a lot of traffic from Facebook... therefore I use Facebook. I use the internet to bring people to me. This is where people are... roaming around in cyberspace. They need magnets, I know it. So, find out where your customers are and waggle your tail feather on that corner. There is no shame in self-promotion. If you love your brand, share it proudly with people. How can they love it if you don't?

Hope this stuff helps anyone who may need it. I love Etsy and am so happy to be there... even if it is at 3am.

Peace, love and magnets!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All Things Cupcake!

Check out All Things Cupcake, a blog dedicated to... well.... cupcakes. How could you not love that? Cupcakes are heaven! They were kind enough to feature on my Cupcake Magnet Favors! They are also doing an awesome giveaway for Diva Entertains, an online party favor store.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Party Favor Magnets are FUN!

party favor magnets
I am expanding my line of magnets to include party, bridal shower and wedding favors. And, they are FUN! They are all personalized and customizable. I am very excited about it. This new line has reminded me of how important it is to keep growing and expanding your business. Customers love NEW stuff. I love NEW stuff. Everyone wins. Progress keeps people interested and coming back for more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Big Cartel - Same Eggs, New Basket

I have been thinking about starting my own website with my own domain name since the beginning of this venture. It just seemed soooo overwhelming to me. I know very little about html and I am not really web-savvy. Because of that fear, I had been putting it off for some time. Then... THEN.... I found! So exciting! It is a stand alone site, so you are not competing with other vendors like on etsy. You do have to drive your own traffic to the site, but that seems like an interesting challenge to me. I am researching how to do that now.

Big Cartel is a site that hosts your shopfront, provides a shopping cart and allows you to have a custom url ( But, it is easy to format! Trust me, if I can do it, so can anyone. The only tricky thing is that you need to find a host for your domain ( or You buy your domain name and then point it to your Big Cartel shop and there it is. I used Network Solutions and I called them to get help with the technical details of redirecting my domain. Took all of 10 minutes.

As a result, I now have my own website! I will not leave Etsy because that is my bread and butter. But, another basket for my eggs... can't be a bad thing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Know what I love?


I'm just sayin....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sleep is Overrated!

So, let it be known that I am a horrible blogger!! I have been so busy with my first craft show, keeping up my etsy inventory and custom orders that I have not had a chance to update. But I always feel better when I blog... so here I am....

The first craft show was.... interesting. I was very happy with my booth set up. All the ideas I had in my head came together nicely on the day. Very valuable lesson learned is that the wind is an evil, evil skank. It was such a windy day and it took its toll for sure. At one point my tent took flight and my displays hit the ground. And I didn't even cry! Sales were ok. Traffic was not great, but I made my booth fee and little extra. People seemed to really like my stuff and it was great to get some feedback face to face. I really enjoyed talking to people while I held onto my flying nun of a tent all day. I have another show coming up on June 5 and I can only hope that all I learned will make show number two better.

Hope you all are well!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My First Craft Show.... EEEEK!

Sooooo, my first craft show is in less than two weeks. I imagine it will either be a smashing success or a tragic train wreck. I am trying so hard to be prepared, but I feel like I could never do it all in time to be ready. I went to a show yesterday to look at booths and try to get some ideas. Here is what I learned:

1. Color matters! The booths that had color, either in product or set-up decorations, had more traffic. I think I am going to get some of those strings of colored flags for my tent. My product is colorful, but it is small, so I need some help making my booth stand out.

2. Fill er up! Some of the booths had very sparse product. They had tons of space and not nearly enough product to fill it. This will be an issue for me because my product is so small. I am trying to make a huge inventory push over the next few weeks to make sure I can fill the space.

3. SMILE! I really liked interacting with the vendors as a seller. I plan on being interactive, even if it just a simple "hello." A smile goes a long way.

4. Bring a friend. Set up and break down seem like they would be very tough on one person, so I'm bring my boyfriend to help. It gives you another set of eyes on the booth design and a potty time backup. I knew he'd come in handy one day ;)

5. Make friends. Other vendors are a source of information like no other. I'm gonna make nice with anyone who will hold still long enough!

Fingers crossed that my first show will be a success!

Anyone have any words of wisdom?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Eat, Tweet, Sleep, Repeat

Sooooo.... promoting your shop seems to be an very active topic of discussion in the forums. How? Where? When? WHY Lord WHY? Are you at a loss as to how to promote and get people looking at you? Let me give you the short version of this so you can sift through all the el crappo and get to the meat and potatoes of this promoting thing.

Twitter ( This is my go-to site for promoting. It is free, fast, user-friendly and it works...but only if you have followers. How do you get them? Well, luckily there are many twitter hack sites out there that can help you find people to follow without harassing them in the etsy forums or bribing them with free stuff and your first born.

Try these links:
Good post in etsy forums that can help:

Facebook ( I have a facebook page. I don't use it because the interface is ridiculous and you have to beg and plead your way to fans and followers. My advice, use twitter over facebook all day long!

Craftgawker ( I highly recommend using this service. It is free!!! Check it out if you have not. Register and submit to this site. They change their front page listing every 2 days or so and people DO look at this site. The trick with craftgawker is that you need GREAT submission pictures to get accepted. Trust me that it is worth it to spend some time making your pics great. People will dismiss your shop immediately if they enter and see sub-standard photos.

Craftcult ( - This is an etsy support site. Etsy shop owners use it to check their shop and items hearts as well as any featured exposure they may have had recently. The advertising on craftcult is not free, but it is reasonable. You can get a week long sidebar ad for $15.00. You do have to design your own ad and submit it, but it is worth the exposure every now and again. I have run two craftcult ads recently, and they do increase views substantially.

Craftopolis ( - This is also an etsy support site. The best feature of craftopolis is the Treasury Clock which counts down the approximate time until the main Treasury and Treasury West opens up for submission. Very handy!! This site also has affordable weekly sidebar advertising. I would recommend craftcult over craftopolis though, simply because craftcult gets way more traffic.

Project Wonderful ( - This is a unique advertising tool that is not free, but can be very cheap. Basically, you deposit money from your Paypal account to your Project Wonderful account. You create an ad and then bid to place your ad on various blogs and websites based on criteria you choose. The concept is a bit abstract, but you can often advertise on some smaller blogs and sites for very little. Worth checking out.

These are just a few of my favs, but if you want to see much, much more...take a look at this list of 50 FREE sites to promote your shop:


Sunday, March 7, 2010

From Start to Finland - A Tale of Alchemy

Just wanted to share a little light with you guys and maybe some insight if you are not already bidding on alchemy requests. Had such an amazing experience!

I have been checking alchemy regularly just in case someone has a magnet emergency. I bid here and there if I think I have what they are looking for. Yesterday, I bid on a request for small items for a shop's customers. Appreciation gifts and the like.

Long story short... they accepted by bid. They ordered 60 custom magnets with their logo on them BUT .... BUT... that is not even the moral of the tale. That bid has also turned into my first ever wholesale client. She also bought 17... 17!!! sets of my premade magnets to sell in her store in Finland. She was lovely and paid and everything!

I am over the moon!

So... if you are not checking alchemy... DO IT! It is so worth the time to bid.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Little Piece of Heaven

This is my little workspace! What a mess! But, this is my favorite place to be. Yes, that is a legal pad! I am a paralegal during the day, so it just kind of wiggled its way in there. My day job is so icky and most nights I can't wait to get right here so I can create and hopefully work hard enough to quit my day job. One day I will have a real studio, but for now my dining room table will have to do. Hope you all have a fantastic day!

Monday, March 1, 2010

For the Love of the Logo

How important is a logo? What purpose does it serve? Where the heck do I get one? I found myself conflicted over the logo issue several weeks ago. Why can't I just get a cute banner and call it a day? Let me tell you why.... because that banner, while cute, represents nothing. Branding your image is all about identity creation. I found myself asking questions about my product, values, goals and ideal clients. The answers to those questions led me to the development of my Stuck Together identity. I want my brand to be FUN, lighthearted, bright and accessible with universal appeal.

The two "stuck together" bluebirds are the logo I had created to represent the identity I want to convey to my customers. I did a survey... absolutely everyone in the world loves fat bluebirds. Now this logo appears on everything I put out there. Soon, if my evil plan works, people will see my logo and recognize it and associate with my product.

Want a logo of your own? Find a graphic designer that can read your mind. Really. I put out an alchemy request with a description of what I wanted. I received countless bids of people trying to make my logo what they wanted it to be ("I can totally make this all sketchy and retro...blah blah blah"). One designer ( listened to what I wanted, worked with me on the colors and placement and POOF... fat bluebirds. I highly recommend the alchemy request for finding a graphic designer rather than searching listings for logo design. You can get exactly what you want and often times for less $$ than you would spend if you purchase a shop listing.

Once you have your logo, you will love it. You will look at it all the time and feel proud and productive and.... ready.

Welcome and Look Out Here I Come!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my new blog dedicated to my new handmade magnet EMPIRE! Yes, empire. Nothing wrong with a little empire. I opened my shop, Stuck Together, just a few short weeks ago. Check it out over there to the right ----> and I am truly in love with what I am doing. I have made some great contacts and had some great feedback from people throughout the etsy community, so here I am, out in the open... blog blog blogging. I hope you come back to visit me now and again. I am going to post about my journey with creating a brand and breaking into the handmade marketplace. Follow me... bring pie and punch.