Friday, 26 July 2013

North East Landmarks

This week I have been on holiday from the day job to spend time with the kids and to do a bit of sewing too.  As we have been out and about, I have been trying to look at views and landmarks from the perspective of whether I could produce a textile picture from them.

The first piece I did was a general amalgamation of a number of landmarks - the ones that I think make this area identifiable.  I produced a 12" x 10" picture which I have been extremely lucky to sell straight away.  It will be mounted this weekend and then posted to its new home in Stockton-on-Tees.

I am quite happy with how it turned out and will hopefully get some high quality photos before it is posted off so that I can get some greetings cards printed.

A few days ago, my youngest daughter and I went out for lunch at the coast and took this photo.

Although the light wasn't great I thought this was a great subject for a new picture. I finished this one yesterday and am quite pleased with the result.

This one has a lot less patterned material so that you can see the stitching. I also consciously used coordinating thread colours rather than my usual black and am pleased with the result.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Etsy Shops

Today I thought I'd do a post about Etsy.  Although I have known about it for some time,  those who are not crafters seem to be relatively unaware of it.  

I opened my shop, Ruby Patch, in August 2012 and have had between 5 and 15 items up for sale for most of that time.  To date I have had a total of 4 sales!  Not a great outcome for the period of time I have had the shop, but when you compare the cost of putting the items up for sale, the minimal effort it takes to do the admin and the subsequent income earned, I have had a good return.

I have spent approximately £10 in fees for £100 of sales which isn't too bad in my opinion.  If only I could get more sales though.  

I have therefore decided to invest some time and effort in my Etsy shop and will share my experiences with you in future posts. 

My first improvements were completed today and consisted of:

Designing an eyecatching banner 

Your shop's banner should catch customer's attention and make them want to see more.  Here is my original banner - a plain reflection of my logo and name.

Although it reflects most of my branding well, I have changed it as I felt it was leaving too much of the banner blank white. Here's my new banner.

I don't imagine that this will make too much of a difference, but it looks more balanced on the page.

Standardisation of Photography

Last month I did a lot of work re-photographing my products inside of a whitewashed wooden crate.  I uploaded these photos to my website but hadn't got round to doing this on Etsy.  

Photo of Travel Journal

Unfortunately, I then discovered that plain backgrounds are more likely to get your products included in treasuries as they will blend well with other people's products if all of the backgrounds are similar.
New photo of Travel Journal
Personally I like the first version, but am willing to try the plain approach to see if it affects sales.

Uploading More Products

I am adding a lot more products, the total is currently standing at 29, and intend to add even more.  As it only costs $0.20 to list an item, it seems silly not to have had everything on here from the start.  After all, people are never going to buy products that aren't being advertised as being for sale are they?

Joining Teams

As with most other selling platforms, Etsy has very active seller groups, called Teams.  I have joined a few and will try networking on here for a while to see if this has any effect. 

So that's been today's progress.  I will update on any other adjustments I make and also on the astronomical increase in sales as a result!!  :)