Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All of the Christmas Trimmings

Today I am sharing some lovely Christmas trimmings for your home.  All of these items are found on Etsy and are also seen on Etsy Lush.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Deals on Etsy

It's Cyber Monday and I'm here to share some great Cyber Monday deals available at several shops on Etsy.  Enjoy!

Cyber Monday by Color
Curated by The Shutterbug Eye

Cyber Monday Deals
Curated by The Shutterbug Eye

Think Photography
Curated by The Shutterbug Eye


Friday, November 25, 2011

From jewelry to knitwear, an Etsy success who still finds time to help others

I had the delightful opportunity to chat face to face with Sandie of ZaftigDelights and KnitzyBlonde on Etsy to discuss her work, teams and her top tips for Etsy shops this holiday season.  

After working in the fast paced fashion world as fashion editor of a magazine, Sandy started her online selling journey when she started her own clothing company and sold her designs on Ebay.   She moved to Etsy when she discovered it as she felt it was a better fit with less stress and lower fees.  She also moved away from her own clothing line.

On Etsy she moved away from designing clothing and started to list her handmade jewelry and knitwear which eventually developed into two distinct shops:

ZaftigDelights is the home of her romantic jewelry line where she sells a variety of jewelry ranging from vintage styled to glam Swarovski rhinestone earrings for bridal parties and so much more.   Here are a couple items you can find in her shop.  On the left is a pair of beautiful vintage Swarovski crystal, emerald cut rhinestone earrings and on the right is a Parisian earring and necklace set featuring altered art of the Eiffel Tower.

Sandie's other shop, KnitzyBlonde, features a variety of knit items including baby hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, hats, pouches, bags and more.  Here are a few knit items you can find in her shop.  On the left is a set of fingerless gloves and matching headband ear warmer and on the right a delightful baby hat with bow.

Sandie also started a new shop for vintage and destash and hopes to fully stock it soon. 

When not working on her own shops, she tirelessly works to help other shop owners through leading a variety of Etsy Teams.  She runs the Sellers Assisting Sellers team and the Sassy Critiques team which are both for assisting new shops or those who need help and providing shop critiques and she is a leader on the Etsy Treasury Team which is a group of supportive shops that help promote each other through treasuries.

As leader in these groups she has found that artistic people often have difficulty with promoting themselves.  She promotes her work online mostly through a variety of social networking sites such as facebook, Google+, Twitter, her blog, the teams and more (see complete list of where to find Sandie below).  The spends a tremendous amount of time interacting with people, building relationships  and chatting with people.  She said it's not a hard sell but about gaining interest.

Sandie also said that even with the economy the way it is, there are still people shopping online and it's important not to give up.  "There are still people with money, people who want to spend money in the United States on quality items" Sandie said.  She emphasized the importance of being persistence, continuing to better oneself and working hard.

The two pieces of advice she would offer a new shop owner are:
  1. Have good photos.  She recommends all shop owners look at the front page of Etsy and to look at the quality of the photos.  "If your photos are not that good, then you need to improve." she said.
  2. Understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Etsy Relevancy.  Without understanding and using this, your work will not be found.

Sandie is online at the following places:

Etsy shops:

Social Networks:

Etsy Teams:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Thanksgiving Feast:  May you enjoy your time with loved ones and family and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Curated by The Shutterbug Eye

Curated by The Shutterbug Eye

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday

As the holiday weekend fast approached and shops both brick and mortar and internet prepare for big sales, I thought I'd share some collections these next two days focused on the black Friday and cyber Monday theme.  Today's theme is Black Friday.  Enjoy!

Curated by Moonlightphotography

Curated by Callooh Callay

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beautiful Collections

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  Today I am sharing three treasury collections form Etsy that I found particularly beautiful.  I hope you enjoy the beautiful shades of lavender, red cherries and dramatic black and gold.

Curated by The PDX Photographer

Curated by jpg Photography

Curated by Urban Poppy Photography


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Uniquely Christmas

Some holiday collections I put together that are not standard or traditional, yet still uniquely Christmas.
Enjoy and start planning your holiday shopping.

Green and Red

Rustic Antlers

Have a great weekend! Thursday is Thanksgiving and then the big holiday shopping rush begins. Remember to buy from handmade, local and small business whenever you can!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Green and Red Gifts

Today I share some lovely gifts for you and your home in pretty green and red.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gifts for him and her

Today I am sharing a few gift guides, some for him and some are for her.  Enjoy!

I will start with two gift guides for him. Find a great gift for the man in your life right here!

curated by Alice's Closet

curated by Trudy Ann Designs

Now I will share two gift guides for her.  Find a great gift for the lady in your life.

curated by NatureLook

curated by Carolyn Cochrane


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today, I'm featuring one treasury of beautiful stars.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Help Launch Method Press, A New Indie Art Magazine

Method Press is a new magazine celebrating low-fi thinkers, art and the method behind the art.

Founded this year by Katie King, and brought to life by her and talented team from the female Photographers of Etsy, Method Press became a reality.

Method press is an entirely volunteer-run operation.  The magazine features well known artists and lesser known artists and each issue has a unique theme that pulls the issue together.

To help get off the ground, Method Press has launched a Kickstarter Campaign and they need your help.

Donations can start as low as a dollar but if you assist more than that, they have some great deals for advertising, free issues and more.

Money raised will help allow Method press to 1) pay their writers, 2) send copies of the magazine to artists that are featured and 3) purchase better software.

You may wonder why you should help.  Why is Method Press important?  Method press is important because in this modern hi-fi, fast paced internet and smarphone centric world, it is crucial to keep in touch with the lower-fi way of being.  To keep recording art and culture as it happens, not just in the inter-webs but on print, in a beautiful bound magazine.

The mission statement sheds light on what the magazine means, just read it here:

Method Press is an art-filled idea magazine celebrating lo-fi thinkers. It is a consensus-based, not-for-profit, member run/owned, collectively managed magazine madly tracking down art as it moans to record its progress in history. We are not only interested in the making of art but in the art in the making.

Check out issue one and two here:

So visit the Launch Method Press Issue 04 Kickstarter and show your support.  Spread the word to others.  Tweet it, share on your Facebook page.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Gift Guides, The Etsy Way

A collection of gift guides from the Etsy Treasury Team!  Enjoy and happy shopping.

Curated by Bay Moon Design

Curated by Christines Jewelry

Curated by LinDesigns

Curated by Primitives and Folk Art


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Beautiful Jewelry Finds on Etsy - Part 2, Earrings

Today I conclude my three part jewelry series with some lovely earring finds that are all available on Etsy.

The first pair is a beautiful lampwork glass earring set by Glass River Jewelry.  These handcrafted earrings feature topaz, silvered ivory and amber glass rectangle etched lampwork beads, sterling silver and Swarovski crystal elements.

These next earrings, by Abacus Bead Creations, feature blue sky jasper 12mm gemstones that are covered with an antique brass bead cap.

The next earrings, by Jaros Designs, are a small silver hoop earring with a golden ruffle of petals.  They are perfect for casual wear.

These next earrings are a silver post earring with a gold glitter star dust face and the creation of Ashley Spatula.  They feature 10mm hand painted glass cabochons in sparkling gold.

Last, but certainly not least, are these aqua blue quartz post earrings by aubepine

I hope you enjoyed my three part jewelry series and maybe even found some gift ideas.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Marketing your Etsy Shop: The Total Package

I have had my shop for around two years but it was only this past summer that I became interested in making it work as a business. I have learned a lot about marketing in a short time from experience, from reading and research in addition to studying public relations and over the longer timeframe taking many marketing classes in college way back in the day.

Having read so many posts about low sales, little to no views and many comments refer to sites like Facebook and Twitter as being their only promotion and that promotion being mainly posting new listings; I thought I’d share what I’ve learned from a lot of research. I am just starting to put this all in practice and while my Etsy sales are very modest, many of them have been recent and they don’t show other opportunities that are arising. My views are improving. Time will tell if it’s a success as one can’t judge that from such a short time span. Slow, steady persistence is what counts here.

So these are my thoughts on the total marketing package and in one way or another you should incorporate all of these into your marketing plan. Enjoy.

1. Branding - Branding is not your logo and it’s not your banner. Branding is the essence of what your business is. It’s the values, the emotions it brings up. It’s what you sell but it’s not specifically what your product is. Think about what you sell and how a person visiting your shop or browsing your items will feel. Would they feel you offer good value at an affordable price or exclusive luxury at a premium? Is that scarf offering soft cozy warmth or is it just a scarf? Or is it offering reused materials for the eco-conscious? Go beyond your product and figure out what makes you stand out and from that write a short slogan or catch phrase to summarize it.

Once you have figured out what you are all about, you should decide on your logo and banner because these are tools you use to tell the world about your brand, to express who your business is and without first answering that question, these other tasks are difficult. Once you have this, use your logo consistently, with your catch phrase if you can. Create your shop banner and other marketing materials in line with the brand you have created. Think about your company’s core values in your product descriptions, welcome page and company communications. Let it guide you.

2. Merchandising – This is all about what you sell, your product and how you present it, price it and display it. Use your brand and values to help you. So if in section 1 you decided you are the exclusive premium store, you should price higher than the value at a bargain store. Display your items attractively as well. If you sell online, this means pictures and they better be good . . . really good! If you don’t know how to photograph and get the result you want, take a class, read and practice, or hire a pro but if your pictures are not good, you will have trouble selling online.

You also want to think about how you organize your shop, have categories that make sense, internal links in product descriptions to help your customers make their way through your shop. Promote items that match the season in your featured items section or in the search ads if you use them. For example, a month ago I was pushing and showcasing my macabre photos but now I’m focused more on dreamy winter scenes, autumn color and jewelry which makes a great gift. What are you promoting now?

3. SEO and Etsy Relevancy – Love it or hate it, search engine optimization is a must if you want to be found in Google searches. Now Etsy uses relevancy as the main search tool, which I know some hate, but it really is better for the shopper.  The good news is making your shop relevant will also improve its SEO. So what do you do?

Write relevant keyword rich titles that say what it is you are selling. (i.e. For a photo of a pink peony use something like “Modern Home Décor, Nature Photo,  Pink Peony” and not “pretty dreamy pink peony flower” which doesn't even tell you what the item is or what use it is for, or even worse some abstract name that is artistic in nature like "purple haze". You can still have arty names, but put them in the description.

Once you have that good title that is focused on keywords that your buyers would likely use to look for an item like yours, it’s time to write the description. Reuse your main key words in the first line or two of your description. Include more descriptive information as well. You can include the more routine, non descriptive but important information after that, as well as any arty title you may have.

Next you need to tag your item. Reuse your keywords again. Reuse them exactly as they are used in the title. So if I put “modern home décor” in my title, I have a tag for “modern home décor”. This helps with Etsy relevancy a lot. Use all 13 of your tags. I’m always amazed when I see shops that don’t, especially when those shops said they did everything they could and people still aren’t finding them. If you are not using all of your tags, you are not doing everything you can.

Last, monitor your stats. Use Etsy stats, use Google analytics, and check to see what keywords get people into your shop. Craftopolis and Craft Cult have a tools to help you sort through the data as well. Make adjustments as you learn.

4. Social Media Marketing and Networking – and notice I don’t call it advertising. I don’t consider this advertising. It’s networking. It’s relationship building. Just posting ad type content will not get you far. How many posts have you seen saying they promote and they promote by posting all of their items to Twitter. Why aren’t they getting sales from this? Because that doesn’t work. These sites can be a powerful way to drive sales but they do that by letting you build relationships with people. Let your followers get to know you. Post about more than just your shop. Ask them questions and respond to their comments. Comment on other pages.

I am more of a Facebook user than a Twitter user.  I have a Facebook business page, DK Miller and The Shutterbug Eye that I use to promote my work, primarily on the DK Miller page. I try to use Facebook as my page and visit other pages I’ve liked. Comment on their work, be sincere. Don’t be the person who posts irrelevant comments to posts with a link to your page or shop. Post sincerely and get to know people. Like pages that you sincerely like. Aim to build followers who are real fans. Get to know people.

This is true on any of these sites. As a photographer I have a Flickr account also and the comments that are just a link to the person’s photostream do not make me want to check out their photostream, even more-so if the comment doesn't make sense to the image posted. I had one of these yesterday in response to my posting the picture of the box with all of my prepped butterfly photos that will be going gift bags at GBK’s Academy Awards Gift Lounge. That picture isn’t an amazing picture; it was a quick picture taken with my phone in the bad light of my kitchen; it was the text and what it was for that was impressive. Insincere comments can hurt you more than not commenting at all.

5. Advertising – This encompasses the paid or free ads on blogs, for search results, in print media, the postcards you tacked to the bulletin board at a local gathering place, etc. Sponsorships fall under this category too. Advertising costs money but done well it can reach a broad audience of your target market. Different types of ads and some places to consider advertising with include:
  • Project Wonderful – allows you to advertise on a wide variety of blogs with prices ranging from nothing on up. It’s a good place to start playing around with ads and get the hang of making good blog ad buttons and banners, etc. At a low cost before putting more money into it.
  • StumbleUpon Paid Discovery – I use this and the campaign gets smarter as time moves on. You can get views as low as .05 each. My campaign costs me $1 a day and as it gets smarter about who to share my site with I am getting free stumbles as well. It is a very beginner friendly platform.
  • Facebook Ads – these allow you to set a budget and target very specific markets which is great if you have done the research to know who your target market. Go back to step one as that will help you define your market as well.
  • Google Adwords – paid search results with Google. I’ve only used this with a free gift card but it did get me Google results. You can set a budget and costs vary based on keywords. It is more complicated than the above options but if done right could prove valuable as where do people go first when they look for something online.
  • Paid blog ads – advertise on blogs whose readers match your target market. The cost varies on the popularity of the blog. Do some research before spending money here as it can be more expensive.
  • Etsy Search Ads – Pay by impression and these work best if you focus on a narrow slice of product that contains keywords that are similar. That is the key to being a relevant result in these. Don’t use keywords like “red” as you will show up in any search that uses red. Use keywords that clearly are what your item is. So for one of my photos I’d accept: “home décor”, photograph, photo, “nature photo” (if a nature photo, portraiture (if a portrait). See why you want to use narrow segments or sections. I would not use: red, black, woman, spring, etc. I will promote a small number of items. Right now it’s five of my top recently viewed nature photos that are winter or seasonal. Nothing else. Keywords are “Christmas Décor”, “home décor”, “fine art print”, “nature photography” and photograph. That’s it. I will always be relevant now won’t I?
  • Other ad ideas – if you blog, share links and trade links with other related business who blog. This helps SEO and maybe someone will click on the link, post to various directories.
Direct Marketing – I’m going to include that under advertising as well. This is your newsletter you send to those who subscribe as a way to keep in touch with customers that want to hear ongoing news or possibly just fans. It could be a physical mailing you do. It’s a good way to keep prior customers engaged or get new people interested if you have a good mail list. Be careful with email mailings to ensure you follow CAN-SPAM laws and regulations.

6. Public Relations – This is getting your name out in the public in a good light and managing media relations etc. It involves getting the word out about what you are doing through the media in regards to articles and features, not paid ads. This type of promotion is viewed as more trustworthy by the public than paid ads and it’s free to you. Public relations also involves the handling of crisis to minimize the impact. Think about the response to a political scandal.

Since we are not politicians we are more interested in using Public Relations or (PR) to get the word out about us. How does one do that? First, become newsworthy. It’s pointless to reach out to the newspaper if you don’t have an actual story, a relevant, newsworthy story. If you do have a story, put together a media list. Go online, look up all the local media and other media that might be interested in your story and send them a press release. Google how to write a press release and you will find lots of advice. Then follow up. Hopefully a reporter or editor will like your story and you’ll get a call and an article.

What if I am not newsworthy? Become newsworthy. I know that sounds trite, but get involved with something that is newsworthy. Donate some product to a big local fundraiser event. That is newsworthy, if for no other reason than the event itself is newsworthy. I joined The Artisan Group and as a member I will have my product in swag bags that are being given at GBK’s Academy Awards Gift Lounge. My initial press release for that resulted in a story in my local paper. People have recognized me from that article. Pretty cool. So look around your town, local is easier to get recognition in. Find events or organizations that will give you something to write about. They also will give you networking and other opportunities. Then send your press releases.

This concludes my very long feature on marketing for Etsy stores. I hope it’s helpful. Send me a message or leave a comment if you have further questions.

DK Miller

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Female Photographers of Etsy Are Holiday Ready

The Female Photographers of Etsy is a group of talented women photographers.  Ok, that's pretty straight forward.  It is one of the groups I participate in and they have done a wide range of projects from creating books on Blurb (just go there and search "fPOE") to sending a masks traveling from woman to woman to  be photographed, this diverse group is full of talent.

If you are looking for a great holiday gift this year or want to treat yourself, photography prints, especially the smaller sizes, are an amazing way to get some unique, original art pieces.

The team is hosting a group Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale where those shops who wish to participate offering various discounts ranging from 25% - 50% off, some have free shipping, and more.  Some may be store wide, others may require the code FPOE2011 so I suggest you follow the Female Photographers of Etsy's Blog as a list will be posted in the near future.

Here are a few all fPOE collections so you can see the beautiful work this group produces.  Some of these shops are participating in the sale while others might not be.  Check the fPOE blog, read shops welcome sections to make sure you are not missing any discounts.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The first snow of winter

I believe someone told me snow flurries were in the forecast.  From  fall to winter the seasons go.  Enjoy these snowy collections.

curated by Baymut

curated by juleezjewelz

curated by 4TasteofShabbyChic


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For the Baby

Today I'm sharing a variety of items for the baby, some for the nursery and some are cute cloths but all are guaranteed to be adorable!

curated by evihan

curated by mishshell

curated by Sem4188

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gifts under $5

Between now and the Holidays, I will be sharing a variety of gift guides, curated on Etsy.  Today I'm sharing small gifts, under $5.  Good for stocking stuffers, the office secret Santa and more.


Curated by Ordinary Mommy Design

Curated by Wylde and Sweet

Curated by Tineseile


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beautiful Jewelry Finds on Etsy - Part 2, Rings

Today, I continue my 3 part jewelry series by sharing some beautiful rings that can be found on Etsy. Enjoy!

This first ring is a silver and 14k gold ring and features a beautiful purple chalcedony stone.

This next ring features genuine cobalt blue sea glas set in sterling silver.  It is made from genuine Maine sea glass that was found locally.

This next ring is actually a set of three rings, two are hammared 14k gold filled bands and the third features mother of pearl.

This is a made to order adorable sterling silver ring that features a starry eyed bird in the garden.

This next ring features a beautiful lampwork bead set in sterling silver.  

The following adjustable ring is made with ceramic that uses a thick glass giving it a crystalline water appearance.

This concludes Part 2 of my 3 part jewelry series.  Next week you can see a variety of earrings.  If you missed week one it can be found here:  Part 1.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's getting cold outside

The temperature is heading down and the holidays are right around the corner.  Now is the time to make sure you are ready for winter, if you aren't already.  This collection of winter coats and outerwear accessories are sure to keep you warm.

Winter coats:

Hats, scarves, gloves and boots:


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today I am featuring one treasury by CoolFunkyGifts because her quote of the day stuck with me and inspired me.  "What you plant now, you will harvest later".  So true.  Enjoy!

curated by CoolFunkyGifts



Today I am featuring one treasury by CoolFunkyGifts because her quote of the day stuck with me and inspired me.  "What you plant now, you will harvest later".  So true.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hello November

Halloween is past us now and it is time to think of cooler days, giving thanks and deep rich colors.  Hello November.

curated by asuhansupplies

curated by Lisa and Glen Monaghan

curated by Waterrose