Thursday, February 17, 2011

Etsy Teams

I've finally discovered the community of teams on Etsy. 
I am currently a part of the teams, Native American Forum: Walking The Red Road 

I've never come across so much support and praise for crafters in one place before. 
Etsy has helped provide a wonderful place for artists to come together and share their sales, joys, triumphs, tears and frustrations. I've asked questions about running my shop, and given advice when I can. Teams are more than just a resource for sellers, some teams
make their groups to anyone with common interests. 

One of my favourite parts of the teams, are the wonderful treasuries they create to support each other. I have seen a wide variety of collections from creative minds from across the continent. Today I was ecstatic to find that I was picked in treasury 

So for any seller, that has yet to check out the Community link on Etsy, I would highly recommend that you browse through everything they have to offer. They have teams with common interests, from moustaches, photography, animals, to location, you'll be sure to find something that speaks to your liking.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Learning Never Ends

My granny and mother are the ones I thank for introducing me to the world of handmade jewelry and crafts. From a small child I began beading bracelets and necklaces for them to sell at local shows. I was always super excited because it gave me pocket money to buy myself items from other vendors. (No wonder I'm such a shopaholic, I started so young!) I remember following the Pow Wow trails in the summer and meeting all sorts of fascinating people. Dancers, Drummers, Singers and other Pow Wow trail followers, I was deeply exposed to parts of my culture.

While my family doesn't pack up for every Pow Wow anymore, we do participate at events when we can. This weekend up in Moosonee/Moose Factory, Ontario there is one taking place. (I also understand there is a hockey tournament happening!) My mom is up there visiting from Toronto and staying with my grandmother. They asked me to send up jewelry for the sale. I had happened to have a hand beaded basket in my inventory that I knew would get a lot of attention, so I sent that as well.

Now let me share that my granny is a very good business women. She's worked with other well known Aboriginals in Toronto and when she was still living there had made a very good name for herself (especially as a moccasin maker.) So when she saw the basket, her immediate idea was to have a raffle for it. I had valued the basket at $60 and she has already exceeded that amount of raffle tickets for it. Of course I am aware that many people use raffles to fundraise for their events and such. But taking a hot item out of your shop and raffling it off can really improve your profits, and something other shop owners can consider during slower sale periods.

Granny's Work
Most of my business practices come from my mom and granny. We make and sell a fair amount of dreamcatchers and medicine wheels, so along with every purchase we include a little description of what they mean. My granny also purchases Tamarack Birds from the men in her community. These items have a history to them as well, but of course, leaving them on display for their natural beauty isn't always enough. Adding a little ribbon to these tediously handcrafted items give them a little extra. Majority of the bead stores and resources I have now, are the very same from when I little and watched my family make their purchases. Even my customer service skills are rooted from my experience with family. Smile! Be friendly and helpful no matter who is looking at your product (even if they are 5 years old or giving you a hard time)

Tamarack Birds
Although I do feel I have a fair amount of my own experience with selling my product, I still have a lot to learn. My family is not familiar with setting up shop online, which is where I have the most learning to do. As I've shared before, I'm working my way through the countless amounts of information online to make it in the online world, word by word, sale by sale, I know I'll get there!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Featured in a Treasury!

I've been featured in my second Etsy Treasury today! My pieces have been
gaining more attention, and I hope this is cause and effect of my trying to 
promote myself online! Things can only get better from here. I do realize
I've been on a bit of a Treasury frenzy in the past couple of days, this should
subside shortly (maybe!) Untill then, take a look at the other artists featured:

Be sure to leave a comment to let me know that you've stopped by!

Update: My featured necklace sold a couple hours later, I really
did the happy dance all over my room!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A month late, New Year Resolutions!

I've made a promise to myself this year. Read More, Do More. I love to read and my 
ever expanding collection of books can attest to that. This year I wanted to make sure 
I read at least one book a month, and I've been looking for recommendations. Thanks 
to Christmas, I also received a few books that I'm just dying to read: 

Lullabies for little criminals - Heather O'Neil
As well as:
Motorcycles & Sweetgrass - Drew Hayden Taylor
 But the real reason I've written this blog, is to talk about my effort to expand
my jewelry business. I've been telling myself that I'm going to school to learn
how to make a business women out of myself. Well I can hardly call myself that
if I'm not going anywhere with my business. During my "time-off" 
(aka. Recovery from surgery) last year, I was able to get things off the ground, 
including this blog. But once classes began, I became so involved with social
and volunteer activities I pushed my work aside. 

So little by little, I've been making a daily effort to expand my "business."
I ran my very first Craft Show at the Student Centre at the University, 
which I think turned out quite well. A lot of planning, but well worth it!
I've developed a rappoire with a few wholesalers back in Toronto, one who
is even willing to do COD's to me in Windsor. I've also finally updated
my Etsy with a few items, with the promise of more coming soon!
I've also just made my first Treasury on Etsy, that I feel quite proud of
and am completely in love with. (Do you think my fiance will know if I buy
everything I listed?)
Light as a Feather Treasury

I've got lots more I want to do and am doing, but of course, there are
only so many hours in a day. Balance in any life is important!
So for now I continue working on the many things that keep
me busy and hope to hear your suggestions on good books!