Wednesday, September 2, 2009
First love by jenzet.etsy.com
I had a wonderful time in Singapore and truly enjoy meeting my friends and family ! But I too miss my Beautiful Geek loads! I hate being away from him for so long. I would be back in Shanghai this Sunday and I am looking forward to see him and also my shops!
I am very well rested and thank you mum for all the bird nest!
An update of my stores! Time to CELEBRATE!!!!!
a) I had moved my fabric button shop to http://en.dawanda.com/shop/OldFashionButtons , I had always like DaWanda and decided to try it out. So far, I love it! Fabulous customers and good selling features!
You can see some of my buttons on the right hand side of the blog. I simply love making them and do look out for my new additions!
b) I had over 4000 sales on Etsy in less than a year and honestly, I am blown away. It is suppose to be a small venture but the support of my regulars and truly nice buyers ever encounter has made selling on Etsy such a joy! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I am very excited to welcome my baby girl in January and I am preparing to make more room for my nursery ! It is time to clear my inventory as I will be on 2 to 3 months maternity leave.
c) Christmas is coming and I thought it would be nice to help you guys save some money when shopping for craft items or gifts.
Therefore I am throwing a huge sale!
*·.♥.·*´¨IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE SALE!¨*·.♥.·*´¨
Buy 5 to 19 mix items and get 20% off!
Buy 20 mix items onward and get 25% off!
Do go to my store front page www.retronana.etsy.com and read the announcement or store policies for full details.
Lastly ... you know how I do love to blog but ... seems like China likes to block blogger sites , Facebook and sometimes also Twitter. I am really sad about this as this means I can't blog as much as I like to.
I am still going to keep trying though and hope one day I can blog as often as I want. Meanwhile, I thank you all who visited and shown your support. HUGS!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Can you imagine the last time I blog, it was approx 3 months ago??? I was still happily blogging in Melbourne on my birthday ( 18th May) then. I was so excited to be home on the 19th to upload all my find purchases to show you guys. Then... China blocked blogspot.
I just about to have it with the Chinese government sometimes, I mean, there was the Xinjiang situation up north and they told us they have to block Facebook, Twitter and all blogger sites as the "fighters " there seems to use these channel to organize meetings and riots! I do understand how it is vital to contain all the fighting and cut short all communication but seriously ... this is too harsh and too much! I almost cried in exasperation as I love my blog and I had so many fun plans for it!
Now I am in Singapore , resting because *cough* I AM PREGNANT ( YEAH!). I am 5 months and 1 week along now with my baby girl nesting nicely in my tummy. I love being pregnant, I love the process so far and she is such a dear, nary a problem! She is due on the 2nd Jan 2010!
Naturally I am busy resting and planning my nursery and birth plan.
This being said, one can foresee I would be quite away when precious is borne next year. I plan to rest for 2 to 3 months and hence would put my store on vacation mode ( though I bet it is anything but a vacation!).
Prior to that, I will be holding a sale when I am back in September! Look out for my store announcements at www.retronana.etsy.com
I will be back soon to tidy my blog and post some updates! Thanks to those who continue to follow me! I really hope I can continue to blog about my Etsy fabulous finds and more! HUGS!
P/S : Really sorry for any typo or grammar mistakes! Since I am pregnant, it is getting harder and harder to think clearly! LOL. All I want to do is sleep! UURGHS
Monday, May 18, 2009
What can I say. I am totally bliss out these 12 days in Melbourne. 12 days of gorgeous weather, beautiful people, fabulous food and awesome shopping!
I can't wait to leave, because it is all too good !!!!! I can feel myself looking at apartments and asking about migration procedures because it is just so easy to live here! Shanghai would bring me back to reality fast with the crazy traffic, loud talking and all the vehicles honking.
I am all packed, looks like 35 kg! For some reason, I got a student air ticket and I can have 40 kg!!!!! Betcha all I make sure I utilize every gram!
I can't wait to see Beautiful Geek and Halley Boo. I did not think I would miss my kitten but I did very much! I want to hug him ( still the kitten) so badly! I really really am amaze by my husband who actually called me everyday to chat! This is not our style but I feel really nice to hear his voice every night before I sleep. Thanks baby.
Loads of work to do too. Let's see by 25th May..
1) Unpack, wash, clean
2) Pack orders and ship orders.
3) Loads of new inventory to list!
4) Make appt with my beautician for my facial
5) Do my French homework!
6) Prepare for my next English class
7) Pay bills!!!!
8) Buy groceries
9) Book appt for Halley's vaccination
Hmmm..... maybe.... I should take a longer vacation!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Hello all!!!! I am still in Melbourne and really having a fantastic time! This city is awesome awesome awesome!!!! I shall blog my heart out about my finds next week with all the pictures!
Meanwhile since the shops close at 6 pm, it gives me some time to tidy up all my stores inventory and do some work. I would be holding a 15% off Good Thing Comes To Those Who Wait Sale! from 15th May to 20st May.
The catch is that I can only ship your items on the 21st May.
This is my third such sales and I am always glad to hold it! I mean, I have quite a few emails this time asking when my stores would be open. I always thought it was nice of buyers to remember me! This 15% is a way of thanks for waiting!
So do drop by my two stores on the 15th May !
If you are buying from my two stores reassures I will combined shipping. All the due discount and shipping would be refunded to you within 24 hours via Paypal!
So, hope to see you guys and thanks to all the lovely emails!!! *HUGS
Sunday, May 10, 2009
HUGS ALL! I am in Melbourne for the 4th day now and I must say I am so busy shopping here ( loads of great buys!) that I almost forgotten about Mother's Day.
So to all of you guys, I wish you and your family a great day.:)
I am exhausted ! Just shopped straight for the last 6 hours! Don't worry, I will show you guys what I have bought when I get back!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Love this luggage bag! So quaint!!! She as loads of even prettier ones in her store!
Ok, flying off to Melbourne today. I am all packed and very excited! I feel young again. Yes, I know I am not that old but I felt like 20 years old again, with my trusty backpack! Ever wonder what does a Singaporean pack in her bag? *smirk* Tell you, Singaporeans have got to be the best packer ever!
Consider the case of my mother dearest. This lady had never once flew on an airplane all her 55 years of her blessed life. Her first trip was a grueling 14 hours flight to Paris on a a wintery January for my wedding. I was worried to death about her and keep nagging her to pack more warm clothes and heat packs. Well, I should not , see my mum WITHOUT advice , WITHOUT A GUIDEBOOK, on her OWN , packed the usual and
a) rubber bands
b) loads of safety pins which she use to pin her money packed in a small plastic bag to the inside of her pant's pocket.
Honestly, this bracelet is really way cool. I can look good and if I need a safety pin, voila !
c) 2kg of rice which honestly guaranteed the survival of my father, auntie too. I mean, they cannot eat bread everyday like the French! LOL!
I love these pretty rice bags! Another good travel item! I can first use it to rest my neck or back. Then if I am homesick and miss rice, I can open it and cook the grains inside!
Moi, for my Australia trip, I always am very proud of my packing skills and this time I would be staying in a mix dorm hostel ( I told my God sister this is like a fabulous opportunity to observe various human behaviors and learn about one's own too). I had
a) 3 different sizes of locks for locking my valuable in the lockers givens.
b) 3 universal plugs. Why 3 if it is already universal in the first place?Anyway I am lazy to remove the other two from my backpack.
c) Loads of plastic bags and ziplock bags
SnackSleeve- aGreenSleeve, snack bag, reusable bag, baggie, fabric bag, lunch bag- Alexander Henry's Folklorico MINI Calaveras Pink by agreensleeve .
Next time, I swear I would buy these reusable bags! I never though it can come in so many colors, prints and awesome prices!!!!
d) a pair of flip flops for those shared bathroom. It is important to really air your feet and keep them dry at a shared bathroom!!!
Pretty pretty pretty! It is always nice to have something pretty to wear on travel.
e) First Aid, I have enough to treat for insomnia to gonorrhea ( I do not ever have gonorrhea but someone else might) . LOL!
f) A cloth mouth mask to protect myself from , heard that whooping cough is doing it's round there. I know I know there is little chance of me catching it but I have a responsibility to make sure I am healthy. After all, there really isn't that much true blooded Singaporean on this planet you know.
g) I always believe when backpacking, one should allow oneself one luxury item. Once I pack my LV small handheld tote as my luxury item to Nepal.. yeah... not smart.. but because it can be frightening at night ( gunshots heard!) , I hug it for comfort.
I also once packed my favorite diamond ring on a trip to Europe, did not wear it at all, everyone's seems to have bigger diamond ring than me. LOL. This time, I am bring my hair dryer!!! Honestly, to be able to have warm wind blowing around my head for 5 minutes after shower in winter is like the greatest treat of all!
So sweeties, thanks for checking in and for reading my blog. I would try to update in a few days with my fab finds on this trip.
Oh yes, look check it my store in 16th May , if all goes well, I should have my 3rd Good Thing Comes To Those Who Wait sale. If I can't find very secure internet access in Australia, I might not hold the sale. We'll see but either way, check in and see the store announcements. Have a good day all!:)
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Today, the weather is typical of Shanghai, grey, rainy, cool and misty. This is the kind of weather I like to sit in at home , wearing my favorite mismatched tee shirts and pants , hang out with a cup of coffee, some cupcakes ( like the ones below!) , a kitten sleeping on my lap, keeping me company. I feel lazy and am already in a holiday mood ( yes, 4 more days to my Melbourne trip).
Chocolate Cherry Cupcake Soap from Scratch - REAL Handcrafted Soap--Limited Flavor by LilyBaySoap.etsy.com
Seriously.. this has got to stop! I want to eat them all!!!!
This might be the first photo which you have seen of me! LOL! Yap, I am an internet slob and slop! Halley Boo loves hanging around my lap while I worked. Too bad he can't spell check for me!
I also itch to browse through Etsy. Often, I worked so hard for all my stores, I barely have time to really have a look at all the fabulous sellers and their beautiful wares.
Etsy has many tools to help one decide how to look for items. I use Favorite Sellers most, I have over 500 favorite sellers and it is sheer joy looking at their stores. Today, I thought I try one tool which I have not use for a long time. POUNCE , this a super fun tool on Etsy would randomly show a list of either Undiscovered Shops or shops which had Just Sold something.
Honestly..... I kind of am ambivalent about this Undiscovered Shops feature. I mean.. I feel it might make potential buyers wonderful why these shops have no sales and perhaps subconsciously avoid these stores. Well... they shouldn't. *Smile. Today I pounced and was really happy to undiscovered some gems!!!!
Yes, I do agree that most of these stores does not have the greatest pictures, the greatest range of items or many listings ( average 10 listing for these shops). I mean, come to think of it. If there are no sales, it is really hard to be motivated to list more. Some of them might just dipping their toes and see if the response is optima for them to continue listing. Some might not have that kind of capital to list a lot. Nonetheless, I feel all of us at Etsy has an obligation to help new sellers .
I try to buy from newbies as much as I can but one other common problem I see is that new sellers are always almost ship to USA only. I know I know, they just want to ship internally first to get a hang of the shipping process but they do kind of isolated a lot of international buyers ( like moi). SHIP TO ME!!! I CRAVE YOUR LOVELY STUFF! I GOT 99.9% of my packages delivered safely to me!!!!!! I AM RICH AND I LIKE EVERYTHING!!!!!! SHIP TO ME! LOL!
So, this Finder's Keepers below is dedicated to new sellers who just started selling on Etsy. Let me tell you, looking at their items, photos and prices, they would soon be on Etsy top seller list. So grab them before they are all gone.:)
FRONT PAGE WORTHY!
From top, center, bottom, left to right ::
Lovely lovely polymer clay brooch set on umber leaves! I love how it sit so nicely on a coat!
I have seen many of these kind of boxed frames but this piece is really gorgeous. I felt it is really made with care with wonderful color combination. It is not too "artsy" or too "put together". You know, like some pieces looks beautiful but lack experience or personality. This piece would be perfect for my mother-in-law's beach house.
I generally do not browse through kid's shops as there is no need for it yet *smile. I do know children's shops on Etsy offers one of the best selection of clothes and toys. This onesie makes me smile. I often imagined my perhaps future son to be a geek ( I love geeks!) . This onesie would be perfect for him! LOL! There is a nice selection for pretty baby girls too!:)
I am starting to develop a serious liking for magnets. I use to think they are pretty redundant until I had my own fridge ! I love sticking photos, postcards, letters, notes, scrapbook pages on my fridge, it is so enjoyable looking at friends and family when I make a cold sandwich. My fridge is also my Hall Of Fame. Only people I like goes would be stuck on my fridge doors! That is why I love this set of magnets, so zakka, so positive and lovely colors!
My "Hall Of Fame " !!! LOL! Yap, I need to replace those ugly green and yellow magnets with prettier ones soon!
I love this pair of sandals! So cheerful and looks comfy! Good prices too!
Simply beautiful quilt. Made of designer cotton fabric and I love the ragging look to it! This store has more lovely quilt too! Check it out!
This set of figurines made me go WOW!!!! I love them all! Nice combination! It would make such a nice decoration for those who wants a frou frou touch! At only USD 5 each or USD 40 for the whole set, it is such a wonderful deal!!! Quick grab it!
I love wood, I begin to seriously take notice of wood craft on Etsy these days. No longer boring wooden bowls or kitschy keychain holders, one can find really designer quality and designs these days on the ever growing wood craft category. This airplane wine holder is one case. Simple, classy and a touch of fun!
Feathers are in now and looks like it would be going strong until the end of this fall. Why not? Look at this piece, elegant, bold and great colors. This shop has great great pieces which is not the usual ones you would see flooding Etsy now.
I love this bag! For some reasons, I always find Australian sellers has a very distinct style of their own. This bag kind of proved it for me. When I first see it, I know it is not made in USA or Europe. I love the little pleat details and the shape of the bag! I always love it when crafters make a point to add interesting details to their items. It really stands out.
Ok, the pink got to me first. I am totally addicted to pink. How can one not? Look at this bold, shocking pink soap! Perfect for my bathroom! Love the originality of the design too! LOL!
At first, I thought nothing ( pun intended ;p) of this shop .I thought "another photography shop" , don't get me wrong, I LOVE photography but sometimes after browsing through shops with loads of fruit, flowers , skies photo etc, I am kind of bored. Why would I buy a photo of an apple or a bunch of rose? I do love this print though! I like the colors and the texture of it. A good shop for those who wants something different !
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Yes, that is how I felt often! Well there is always the honey.
I bet you guys had forgotten about me! I don't blame you! I am so freaking busy these days ( then again I am kind of always busy!). Let's see what I had been up to ::
♥ I am spending a lot of time with Halley Boo (my 9 weeks old kitten), brought him to the vet and yes I know I told you guys it is a female but the vet felt his miniscule testicles and happy told me "It is a boy!!!!" ( after all, we are in China). I was shocked! GOODNESS!!!!! I had been raising him like a girl all these weeks! I had been combing his hair 100 times before he sleeps, accessorizing him with little clips and ribbons ! His litter box is pink, his small cushion is pink , his food bowl is pink and his nail polish is pink ( just kidding but THERE IS nail polish for kittens!!!!).
Duhz... well, at least that explains his super speedy growth, his pretty aggressive nature and his sloppy eating habit! LOL! I am not too bother really, he is such a fun and affectionate kitten, it is a really pleasure watching him grow!
I love to watching him sleep. It is nice when I can see he felt safe with us and love sleeping near us!
My friend bought her cat over for a play date. Dimanche is a four year old handsome tom cat! You can see Halley is trying to steal the food! LOL!
♥ I am preparing my trip to Melbourne ( YAH!!!!!) , gosh I need a break so badly! I am a little worried though because I am not sure if it is easy to get around there. I need to Google abit more. Anyway, the idea of chilling out with Lilien, my super fun God sister really makes me very happy! I know the both of us is going to hunt down the best bargain in town and make everyone back home super envious!
Lovely necklace ! By Arete
♥ I am finally able to find a decent supplier for my deco tapes! Perhaps because I am an expat here and my Mandarin is not very good, I might been deem as not one of the local hence the suppliers are abit wary to deal a lot with me.
After 6 months of spending a lot of money at their stores, I am so happy to say I had established a good relationship with many of them! The last batch of tapes, I manage to get it at wholesale prices! God, that means, approx 40% to 60% off!!!! Yeah!!!!!! It sure took awhile but perhaps I did not buy in bulk so that is why they are reluctant to give wholesale prices.
I am in the mist of reducing my prices for my deco tapes and changing my listings. I hope to complete it by 30th April but changing 1800 listings can be a daunting task! Lucky for me, I have loads of coffee, cds and a warm kitten to keep me company!
♥ I had been officially selling on Etsy for 4 months and it is really an experience for me. I find this site to be really quite different from eBay in all ways pleasant. Etsy buyers are much more polite, friendly and positive! I truly enjoy selling on Etsy.
I do learnt a lot too. I mean, I had used various ways to give discount to buyers and it did worked but after doing some serious calculations and studying the buying trends in my store. It seems that 75% of my buyers typically buy less than 10 items. They buy 6 to 8 items per order on average.
I received approx 21 convos asking me to explain the old discount rates. I do not blame them really, it is really quite confusing even to me. 21 convos in 6 months is not good, I know I need to do something about this.
So I was brainstorming and with the supplier's wholesale discount, I gathered I can merge these two events together. I can lower my prices and this would benefit 75% of my buyers who buys less than 10 items.
For those who buys 10 items, I can give them a 10% discount and if they buy 20 items, it would be 15% discount. Just giving two discount rates, I hope it would help to make it easier for buyers to calculate and more free ways to include any items, instead of specific categories.
I have approx 30 IHeart members now and I really appreciate them a lot! They should not be to affected with the new rates. I hope this would make them happy too! :)
This cartoon is taken from http://www.shannonburns.com/cartooncatalogbusiness.htm
♥ As I had mentioned I would be on holiday soon and my stores would be closed from 4th May to 21st May. I am using this time to recoup, regroup and re-troop ( I don't think there is this word but it kind of rhythms so I use it). I have many many plans for May to July, read on ::
a) There would be a Featured Seller here every weekend till July. I am reviewing the sellers as we speak. I love doing Featured Seller posts and I hope it is a way I can help give back to the Etsy community.
b) The last Blog Giveaway was really a lot of fun! The next one would be in June. Do look out for the details here late May.
c) This blog is about 3 months old I think and I also want to use my vacation time to see which direction I want this to go. The purpose is to promote Etsy and it's sellers , I want to see if I can do a store directory here . Perhaps a weekly update about each store's special offer or new items.
d) I am going to source for more stuff for my IHeart eCrater store. I love listing there! So easy and I am starting to come out of the Handmade/ Supplies mentality and see if I can list more categories like headbands, hair clips and more household items!
Indeed, I am blessed to be in this place, this time, this era and this body! Thank you all for being so nice and read my blog!
COMING UP THIS WEEK :: I am featuring a vintage seller and look out for the next Finder's Keepers !
Saturday, April 25, 2009
T♥DAY IS ETSY DAY!!! Finally someone took the brave initial and after a lot of hard work and positivity, thanks to schugirl!! Etsy now has her own day! Etsy now has approx 200,000 and more sellers and is home to thousands of wonderful stores!
There are a whole lot of threads on the forum, everyone is busying twittering, blogging and doing their part to let more people know about our beloved site! I thought I would join in by Twittering and blogging about this day.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
As you all can see, I do love to feature Etsy sellers! I always have a lot of fun and I learnt many things from them! I get a lot of insights into their craft and life. I am always glad when they agreed to be interview by me!:) I plan to have a featured seller every week now and I sincerely hope somehow this would let more people see not just the products but to understand and get to know the artist behind each piece too.
I am thrilled today to have Jane , Etsy store owner of Jacarandadesigns this week. I am not very much a jewelry lover and personally I am fussy as hell when it comes to them. I like my jewelries clean, fuss free and in the other words, I quite boring. So Jane really amazed me with her range of lovely earrings, bracelets, necklace , rings and more! I mean, she uses such a wide range of beads, crystals and metals! She does not seems to be confined to one style at all and I bet her mind run as free as horses on a wide plain. I felt caught up in her world and yes, indeed, it was quite a journey as I shop through her store!
Clockwise : Pearls and Swirls Brass and Pearls Maple Leaf Necklace, Blue Egg Birds Nest Earrings, Green Tea Pearl Bloom Brass Necklace and Dancing Flower Silver Earrings .
♥ When I first enter your store, I was amazed by the wide range of jewelries you had created! I can see that you really make a lot of effort to makes these lovely items, can you tell us when you started making jewelries and what motivated you to open a store on Etsy?
I've always been creative, dabbling in all kinds of crafts and arts and I've always loved wearing jewelry. A few years ago, I went to a beading class with a friend and I was hooked. At the time I was battling an illness and I found jewelry making very therapeutic. I made so many items that I gave to family and friends but then I found many people asking me to sell them pieces of jewelry that I had made. It just took off from there. My sister was one of the first sellers on Etsy. She convinced me that Etsy would be a wonderful place to sell my jewelry.
♥ How does each creation comes about? For example, do you start with an idea, then source for the material or the other way around?
I wouldn't say I have a set process. Whenever I see beads and findings that I like and can imagine in a piece of jewelry, I snap them up. When I make jewelry, I usually start with a base color and then put tons of my beads on my table where I can see all the colors and then pick certain ones that complement each other. About twice a week, I take out all my photography equipment and take tons of shots of the new pieces. I like to list something new on my shop almost every day.
♥ I see you uses many different types of media for your craft, which is your favorite ? Can you recommend us something pretty to wear for a) a date b) a family outing c) an anniversary ?
I enjoy working with all forms of beads and beading materials but I think I'd have to say Japanese Miyuki and Toho beads. That is the type of bead I used for the Love Knot Bracelet. They come in so many different colors and they retain their color over the years.
For a date, make an impression with Tons and Tons of Gorgeous Pearls Necklace
For a family outing, maybe one of my posy bracelets. The Shades of Green Posy Bracelet
And for the anniversary, definitely the Love Is In The Air Silver Love Knot Bracelet
♥ And yes, we love to know more about you too! Tell us a little about your childhood, your career, your likes and dislikes.
I am 42 and married with two very energetic boys. We live just west of Toronto, Canada. I was in the IT industry for twenty years before packing it in and pursuing my passion, making jewelry. I’ve always been quite creative, dabbling in sewing, embroidery, painting, drawing etc. but for a long time, these hobbies were left on the backburner. Like most moms, my life is fairly hectic but very rewarding. I love cooking. I have a huge collection of cookbooks so I’m always experimenting with new recipes. I love gardening, photography, cross country skiing, cycling and traveling.
♥ I am sure, like a lot of us, you love Etsy too. Want to share a few of your favorite sellers with us?
I have mostly bought supplies on Etsy but the store that I keep going back to look at and hopefully will buy from is catherinereece.
♥ Lastly, please let us know what other fun sweet creation we can be expecting for Spring and Summer!
I'm inspired by the colors in the natural environment that surrounds us. I love gardening and take loads of photos of my flowers and others each spring, summer and fall.
When I'm creating jewelry, I often go back and look at many of these shots and draw inspiration from the hues, shades and shapes. So I will be continuing to create
jewelry that draws upon the colors and elements of my garden.
♥ Do you sell your wonderful accessories in any other site or places other than Etsy? Where else can we find you?
Not currently. But hopefully once I am more established on Etsy, I will be able to branch out to other sites.
Thanks again Jane for letting us have a peek into your life and enchanted world. I personally am in love with all the beautiful Love Is In The Air Silver Love Knot Bracelet above! Do spend sometimes in her store! You would come out soothed, calm and refreshed, I did.:)
♥ Jane's Etsy Store
♥ Her Sweet Blog!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Running an online business can be tough, seriously tough. I can assure you many sellers would tell you that. I am by no means experienced but I had served over 2500 customers over the past 3 years ( two and half years on eBay and six months on Etsy) and I think perhaps I should recorded some of what I had learn these years. It is purely subjective and don't drink in everything I said, it is just for my own record too. Perhaps I can look back at this post 2 years later and laugh.
♥What you love, most probably another 1000 people would hate and vs versus.
It is always wonderful to sell what you personally like. I started this way with headbands, I had the widest range of headbands on eBay back then. I choose to sell what I like, the colors and the designs.
Then I realized that most people still prefer basic earthly colors ( which I dislike). I was reluctant to add dull colors and prints but hey they are the ones that sold out the fastest. Buyers still likes to buy items that has more mileage in terms of cost and fashion changes.
This store and her items totally made my day! So cute and original!!!! Why choose black when you can be erm .. birdbrain for a day ?LOL!!
Slowly I learn, that even if I do not like the items, many people out there does. I have to balance my passion with making money. I made enough off the basic colors headbands to indulge in the more unusual prints and colors, hardly sold any but made me happy to have them in the store. Then sometimes, sooommmeee timeesss ... a buyer would come and buyer 10 of your favorite prints, it is the best feeling most of all, finding a person in this big world who loves what you love.
♥Tools , Stools And Loos
B) Expect to work your ass off for the first 6 months when you have a new store, cancel all holiday plans, all sick plans, all long weekends, take a long hard look at your loved ones as you may not really "see" them for a long time, they load your vitamins, eye drops, coffee coffee coffee and invest in a super thick, duck / goose feather cushion , your back will thank you for all the hours on your chair. Find a good chair with some holes on the cushion, you will need loads of ventilation over that area for the hours you put in . If not, there is always cream for Nappy Rash.
Get a decent camera. The pictures are crucial to selling online. Pray for sun everyday ( especially if you stay in UK or Shanghai) , really items photographed with good sunlight always turns out wonderful!
Honestly.. if I have this chair, I would not be weary of work at all!
Wow, awesome prints and it has duck feather pad!!! Grab it!!!
Load your Ipod with music ( don't even think about putting them in your hard drive , unless you own several, the stock photos would overtake them very soon). A good selection of Jazz, Bossa Nova, French music always helps me relax and makes me feel really positive when I list. I choose Techno or Hip Hop when I am really sleeply, helps to perk me up a little. I never listen to sad ballads because the few times I do so, I describe everything as dull, dark, mustard, mud etc...
Buy a good weighting machine, best if it can weigh up to 5 kg. A big calculator, set the decimal points to 2 spaces , by the 18th hour of working, you tend to see more zeros than usual. A measuring tape with inches, foot, yard, cm readings on it. Buy a good one, it will last you forever unless your rabbit chewed into half ( like mine did).
Fill 2 liters of water everyday when you first start and position yourself near to the toilet if possible. When you are in the excitement of listings and selling, you tend to forget to drink and pee. You end up a power seller but look like a raisins by the end of 6th month.
In the end, if you can still see the A or E on your key pad, if your doctor declare you a strong physically and mentally healthy person, if you still cannot convert inches to cm in seconds, if your right thumb does not start twitching involuntarily sometimes , you are not working hard enough.
Ass sore from listing and promoting? Betcha Love This Cool Bath Soak!
♥ If your family, friends, colleague, mother-in-law like your wares, you might be doomed.
Yes, again, we love to think our wares are the best on earth and everyone would love them like you do. Think again carefully how many people are like you? Do not confuse them liking your stuff with them being alike with you.
I got a big lesson, I had always been a fan of those sweet Japanese eco bags. I always carried one with me and got a lot of nice compliments from friends, strangers, colleagues etc. I though WOW, it should sell like hot cakes if I got some! I sourced for them and well, they did not so much fly off the shelves as crawl off like a snail.
So I thought, perhaps well since my friends and all love them, I should give them as gifts! They should be happy! Well... guess what, they did not want them.. I mean they politely refuse. I realized then yes they like it but it is not their style to carry eco bags. They like it on me but they do not want to use one ( citing awkward handles and troublesome origami style folding which they find it hard with their clumsy big hands ).
Yes, I end up with enough eco bags to change one every day for 3 months and ironically that makes me not eco friendly at all. I learned to take the praises and compliments of my loved ones with 3 scoop of salt and dilute further with a gallon of bleach.
The rule of my twitching thumb is : if my loved ones oohhhh ahhhh woooowwww wwwweeee over my items BUT do not rush in line to buy ANY of Them. I think twice before selling them ( the items not my loved ones).
Erm... the title is really given in the listing! Not by me!
♥ The Customer Is Always Right *Bah
Honestly I wish I can kill the cow who coin this phrase. We all know it is not true but since we had been so brainwashed by society to believe it is true, we just accept it without much thought. It is so not true. I do get really awful buyers who are just so demanding, I even include the moon a few times but still they are not happy. No, customers are not always right. Forgive them if they insult you, your family, your lineage and your dog. They had been brainwashed too. They think " I think I order black but this is charcoal black, I think I am in the wrong but since they always says "Customer Is Always Right", I am the customer... hmm..Gee! I MUST BE RIGHT!"
Elegant and soothing scrabble tile necklace.
It is a good thing I do not encountered them much but when I do, I get upset, I felt insulted, wronged, there are no justice on earth, I am the most pitiful girl on earth, where is my silk robe, my feather boa, my long couch and really where is my Ben And Jerry's?
Then I get mad at myself for feeling this way. I am not in the wrong, really, she ordered charcoal black, not black! Even if I got it wrong, can't she tell me nicely, I would have sent the other piece for free immediately! I used to whined, pined, dined ( eating has always been important to me) , sighed for a few days. I do that, rudeness affects me deeply. Why can't people be civil? There is no need for name callings, dig up my old ancestors sexual history,unusual and disturbing accusations and a 3 paragraphs email over a $3.95 headband ???
Now after 3 years, I learnt to take it all in perspective and more time efficiently. When I encountered one, I would write the buyer's name and hit it with a soft pillow 1o times , in 1 minute I am done and life goes on.
Seriously, you will meet one one day. If you do, you will get upset, maybe cry a little, feel worthless a little but you will be fine. Don't let someone who did not raise you up, put you through school, take you to the prom , hold your hair when you puke ever put you down and out.
♥ I Love My Regulars
You know who you are :). I really do appreciate my regular buyers, without whom I cannot sustain my business. Every first customer who buys from you has the potential to be a regular. Hence it is very important to be absolutely nice to them ( and sincerely too). Sometimes, you have only one chance to impress, dazzle them with your packaging, your emails , shipping time and remember them by name when they come back.
Fabulous Set Of Tags to Make Your Customers Smile!
I do not profess to do all the above but I tried my best whenever I can. I mean, I am honored they actually trusted their hard earned money with me and buy my very lovely things from my very lovely store ( sorry, self promote a bit). I once had a customer who told me she got USD 100 as a birthday gift from her parents and she promptly spend it in my store. That really touches me very deeply. Even now, I just feel so... thankful and grateful for that. ;p
Cheerful and pretty buttons any Etsy lovers would love! A very nice way of sending as small gifts for your customers!
♥ I Am A Lover Not A Fighter
I hate competitors. I am a coward, I always profess not wanting to join any contest, games, TV reality shows, to be Paris Hilton BBF is because I am a lover, not a fighter. *Bah. Truth is, I hate losing. I hate to compete with others. I hardly played well with others, how can I then even compete?
Lover or Fighter? You can be both!
Still, competition is inevitable on online selling. Even if you have a super duper unique product that only you have, you will still find copycats copying your duper product ( since it had been copied, it is no long super nor unique). I try to steel clear as much as I can but I do can caught up going all paranoid over what others are doing, selling. I became for awhile, angry, bitter and total stress out trying to think of ways to beat the others at this game. Well, seriously it is difficult. I wasted a lot of time being angry and raising my fist to heavens so many times had rendered my right hand numb for 2 minutes once.
I learn to let go. I mean, seriously there will be competitors but why should I expect it to be different from retails malls? I mean, in malls, there are so many stores competing for businesses, it is the norm. On the flip side, I too , am deemed a competitor in some other sellers' eyes, I too, had been their source of right hand numb syndrome. I realize then to be a business woman, I have to always calculated my potential competitors in the equations.
They can be of help too in my decision making. I am always trying to price my items the best I could, sometimes I overpriced without knowing since I tend to compare it with the prices in the Mall. When I studied my competitors' prices, I can then make a better decision as I have an idea what the market is. Sometimes my competitors undercut my prices a lot, I have to be careful not to follow suit. The problem is , once I lower my prices, they might further do so too. Then I would if I am foolish enough to lower my prices to match theirs and in the end, no one gets a decent profit margin. I have to make sure first that I am comfortable with my prices. No point making loads of sales, look good on Etsy sales number and earn only $0.50 in each transaction. Been there, done that, I am done with making $0.89 an hour.
♥ Not Making A Lot Of Money But It Is Because I CHOOSE NOT TO ( really..)
I observed a lot of sellers over the last 3 years. I guess we all admire those that constantly have fabulous sales and wonder if we will ever be like them. I use to dream about being like them and fancy hiring an assistant to help me ship and packed. Well, now I do not think I would ever be. I tried, trust me, at one point, I had 6 stores selling different things. I Squidoo, Twitter, StumbleUpon, MySpace, Facebook, spray my store names on a wall in Paris, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai and even the parallel Universes , whatever it is , I had tried them.
I was exhausted.
Yes, it yield results, I do have great sales but the constant updating, listings , sourcing for inventory and trying to have a life burns me out. I was depress even though I have a lot of digital money on Paypal. I was miserable. I am too afraid to hire anyone to help me as I know I have my slow sales months, I might not be able to pay him/her. This is kind of stupid honestly because in retrospect, no good business person would ever think like that. I mean, to be successful, one has to think far, be disciplined and I believe at that point, if I hire an assistant, I would be making more money and two heads are better than one.
Anyway, I decided to close 3 stores, sold one, left 2 and I am much much happier. I have lesser money but at least I do not get startled when I see Beautiful Geek's face and remembered I have a husband.
One day, my kid will wear this!
Lesson learnt. I have to admit to myself that I cannot be a 5000 sales a month seller. The most I can handle is 500 sales a month. I also have to admit I am not that much of a foresight business person and I guess I would always earned just enough to put in my retirement fund ( GOTCHA! See, I am farsighted! I had already thought about retiring in style !LOL!)
Oh my goodness! This post is so long! I must have got carried away again. Oh wait.. this is my blog so I can talk as much as I want! Dang , right thumb twitching again. I will continue the second part next time! Again, the above post is my own experiences and my point of view. Please forgive me if I incidentally offend anyone! You know I love you all!:)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
You know 1 year ago, if I mention Etsy to my friends or family members, I would not be too bothered when they told they did not heard about this wonderful site. 1 year later, NOW, if they still had not check it out, I would look at them with pity in my eyes. I mean.. oh man.. they are so MISSING OUT.
They would retort with one can buy things easily in one's country , after all , everything is Made In China. If I heard this complacent sentence one more time, I would... look at them with even more pity and sadness. Everything is SO NOT CHINA MADE! Anyway, I will blog about China Made stuff next week.
Today I am going to introduce a seller whose items I can't find in Singapore, in China or in my dreams. Not too bad really, cause they exist in real life. I want to show you someone who created such inspiration and unique dolls. Everytime I see them, I smile and start to think who should I buy them for! It is definitely a store I would check in very often when I need a special gift!
I am thrilled to feature Nunofakind ( yes, all the puns are intended!) today! It's owner and creator Linda is such a positive and friendly lady! She makes beautiful Nuns dolls and her word play is wicked too ( check out her listings titles!) . I had a really nice time reading her interview she had so kindly granted me. I wish I can load all her dolls on my site ( I would feel blessed barnun ;p). Nuntheless (I am getting good at this!) , I know where I can find her anytime anyway.:)
1) Every time I see your Nuns dolls, I remember my encounter with some of them! They ( the Nuns) are indeed very human and very fun people to be with. How did you come up with such usually and very inspiring dolls ?
The “Nun of a Kind” collection began with the creation of an ornament made for teachers who had presented their version of “Sister Act” at my son’s school. That, along with the fact that it occurred to me that like the “Sisters”, we all share different “habits”, was the beginning of the collection which now has around 80 different “Sisters”! Some of my teachers at elementary school were nuns, and I remember them fondly. My music teacher, Sister St. Louis, was also a wonderful influence in my life.
2) How does each creation comes about? For example, do you start with an idea, then source for the material or the other way around?
Often, the idea begins with a request from a customer. For example, a customer wanted something for her hairdresser, and “Sister Curlotta” was “born”. In some cases, I do find items which I think might be a nice “fit” for the characters, and then I go about creating the name. It is choosing of the name which is the most fun….. I love puns and word play, so this challenges me in that regard.
3) Do you sell your sweet dolls in any other site or places other than Etsy? Where else can we find you?
I do have my own personal site www.nunofakind.com in which customers can see the nuns in their “habit-at”! There are 50 sisters pictured there at the moment, and also some items in the “Nunderware” section for other ‘nun” items. My Artfire site is www.nunofakind.artfire.com as well, and as Artfire grows, it will be another great venue at which to sell. "Etsy", (www.nunofakind.etsy.com) of course, is an absolutely wonderful place to sell....and to buy!
4) Do you accept custom make orders and normally how long it takes for you to complete a doll?
Custom orders are my specialty! Customers contact me with their request, and through email, and digital pictures, we are able to create their custom nun together, as they give approval before the final item is shipped.
5) I am sure a lot of us come across Nuns in our countries, can you tell us some stories about them?
I have had several letters from nuns from all sorts of religious orders, and their message is that they are happy that the “sisterhood” is being kept alive through the creation of these nun dolls and others. There have been a few new sisters to orders who have received these as commemorative gifts. Also, sisters who are celebrating anniversaries of their entry into their vocation have received their personalized “Sisters”. However, the intent was that women in general would buy and receive these sisters to remind us that we are all sisters of sorts, and all types of interests, occupations, etc. are addressed in the "Sisterhood".
6) And yes, we love to know more about you too! Tell us a little about your childhood, your career, your likes and dislikes.
I have created items, particularly characters, for many years, and usually exhibit at art and craft shows. My entry into internet sales started about a year ago. I have an interest in knitting, crocheting, painting, and quilting, but for the most part, I am devoting most of my time to this business. This is what I hope will be my full-time career at this point in my life!
7) I am sure, like a lot of us, you love Etsy too. Want to share a few of your favorite sellers with us?
I am especially drawn to the jewelry that is sold on “Etsy”. I have purchased some unique gifts for friends on the site. There are so many fantastic sellers on “Etsy” that it is difficult to “narrow it down” to just a few favorites. I love looking at the “Pounce” section and have discovered many new shops that way.
8) Lastly, please let us know what other fun sweet creation we can be expecting for Spring and Summer!
There will always be more “sisters” joining the collection. In addition, there will be many “one of a kind” angels, Santas, and ornaments added to the shops.
For new items, and news from the “Sisterhood”, please visit the “Nun of a Kind” blog at www.nunofakind.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nunofakind
I had loads of fun doing this post! I like Nuns, I always feel there are more to them under their "habits" and thanks Linda for affirming that. In this sometimes crazy and sad world, I feel good, calm, soothed whenever I see them, like everything is just going to be alright. I will think about what doll I would like one for myself. Once again, she loves to do custom listings (yay!!!) and super reasonable shipping rates! You can hang out with her at :
♥Her Twitter :
♥Her Super Cute Blog!