Monday, August 27, 2012

New Needle Cases!

Isn't this a fun fabric?
Recently while shopping for fabric to
recover a love seat in my living room,
I discovered it.
While not what I needed for my love seat,
I couldn't resist it.

Since then, I've been sewing Double Point Needle Cases,

Straight Needle Cases,

Circular Needle Cases, and

Crochet Hook Cases.
I've just listed them in my Etsy Shop.

As an aside, I also found just the fabric in which
I want to reupholster my love seat!
It got picked up on Saturday and I just
MIGHT have it back this Saturday!
I am SO happy to say goodbye to the...

...the brown love seat!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Insights on Having an Etsy Shop

I reached a milestone yesterday!
I opened my Etsy shop almost three years ago,
on January 14, 2010.
Yesterday I made my 500th sale!
Woo hoo!!!

Etsy brought me to blogging.
When I started my shop I was looking for
ways to drive traffic to it.
The general consensus was to start blogging.
Since then I realize how many other bloggers
also have Etsy shops.
I know there are many others
more successful than me and
I still have tons more to learn,
but, I'd  like to share a little of what
I've learned along the way.

My first intention for my shop
was to mainly sell my bags and
a few finished knitted items.
I had been wholesaling the bags as
knitting bags for many years prior to
starting my Etsy shop.
I wanted to take them in a whole new direction.
I planned to market them as travel bags
and all purpose totes.
So I set up my shop and waited for the
sales to start pouring in.
I waited, and waited and waited.
The first seven months I had my shop
I had two ($10 each) sales.
And they weren't bag sales.
Then I started listing needle cases,
another line I had also been wholesaling
for many years.
And I started promoting the bags
as what they really were, as knitting bags.
Eureka...I had found my niche!

During that first seven months,
I wasn't only waiting for the sales,
I was also educating myself.
I started this blog,
I set up a Face book Fan Page for the business.
I spent hours in the Etsy Forums
absorbing everything I could.
I worked on improving my photos and listings.
I kept adding more product to my shop.
You must continue to work your shop
when your sales are slow.
Once you start selling,
there's never enough time
for all you'll want to do.

The shop owners who frequent the Forums
on Etsy are a wealth of knowledge.
Many times questions of "how do I..." have risen,
in my shop and I've posted in the Forums for answers.
There has never been a time I didn't
have an answer within 5 or 10 minutes of posting.

You must view your shop as your business
and work at it.
Making new product,
taking pictures,
writing listings,
tweaking existing photos and listings,
answering convos and emails,
shopping for supplies,
making orders, packing orders,
standing in line at the post office to ship orders,
are all part of my job as a shopkeeper
and it's what I spend my time doing.

Don't assume once you're established
and the sales are starting to roll in,
that it will always be that way.
I have periods when I'm exceeding my goals
(an early goal was one sale a day,
or -x amount of money into my
business account every month),
and really working to keep up.
Very easily the next week might
be unbearably slow or dead.
That doesn't mean I'm finished,
just in a lull and everyone has them.
(Use that time!)

One of my earliest custom orders was for
a kind of needle organizer I did not do.
My customer had very good ideas of what she had in mind.
So, we worked together and I made her needle organizer.
She got what she wanted and I got a new item to
add to my inventory.
It has become one of my best selling items
and she has come back several times and
become one of my best repeat customers.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
If I can answer any questions about
getting started
or continuing with your Etsy store,
don't hesitate to email me.
I may not have the answers, but
I bet I can help point you in the right direction.

My Etsy Shop!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Little Tweaks...Big Difference!

When I moved into Buttermilk Cottage,
seven years ago (it's true that time flies
when you're having fun),
I was totally enamored with the house.
Although I still love the house,
I'm afraid it's become a little stale to me.
Time for a little tweaking.
I discovered by just turning a couple of pieces of
furniture on an angle,
everything became a little unexpected,
a little fresher.

My living room is a long, narrow room.
Therefore, I've created two seating areas.
This is my "den" area.
This is where I sit to watch TV, knit, read, etc.

I've angled the couch just a bit
and look how more open the room looks!

Why stop with the living room?
This is how the dining room looked,
before tweaking.

My dining room is not large.
Previously I couldn't keep the two chairs at each end.
Just by angling the table a bit, I now can!
This table has a slide out leaf at each end.
I can even use them and have enough
space to seat eight at the table.

This arrangement also echos
the new angled grouping in the living room.

These were extremely small changes,
but I can't begin to tell you how much
they've improved my attitude toward the house!
But, that's not to say I'm done.
I'm itching to do some redecorating.
The first item on the list is getting
the brown couch reupholstered.
I think I've found the fabric I want and
am in the process of finding
the person to do the work for me.
More to come about all that later.
But, in the meantime...
change is good!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Introducing The Pillow Vest!

Have you ever added a vest to an outfit
for a whole new look?
Now you can do the same with your pillows!
I've just added my brand new
to my Etsy Shop.

I'm showing the pillow vest over
off white canvas pillows,
but they would work equally well on
patterned or colored pillows.

I've designed three collections
of Pillow Vests.
The first are fabrics and give you an option
of three different looks,
the front, the back and flipped to the inside
for the third fabric used to line it.

The second collection consists of
hand knitted cables and braids and is called
The Celtic Collection.

They carry the vest theme a little further
and all have buttons on one side!

And finally you'll find
the Fusion Collection,

knitted with my boutique yarn FUSION.

Pillow Vest are a fun and easy way
to change the look of your pillows!
Hope you'll visit my shop and take a look
at the other fabric choices, designs and colors.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's Only Tuesday...

...and What a Week We've Had!

We had rain Sunday afternoon and evening.
A LOT of rain.
This was a shot I snagged from FB of
our downtown area,
within walking distance of
Buttermilk Cottage.

Is it any wonder we had water in our basement?
LOTS of water.
Water was gushing in from under the outside door.
Sorry no pictures of all that,
for some reason, blogging wasn't
foremost in my head!

Our first response was to shift everything standing
in water to a dry area of the basement.
We set up card tables to get boxes off the floor.

I must tell you the basement was a mess before this,
but with everything shifted you can see what
a clean up we had in front of us.

We've been saying for months that we need to
tackle the basement and get it organized,
so this was certainly the motivation we needed to
jump start us.

All day yesterday was devoted to the job.
The first order of business was to get the
basement dried out.
We were able to sweep a fair amount
of the water to the sump pump.
We discovered that old newspapers are
wonderfully absorbent for mopping up!
We've had fans blowing nonstop since yesterday.
I just checked it and the basement is getting dry.

Sadly, the most damage was to Kate's books
which I was keeping for her.
A few had to be thrown away.
My dining room table has become a
"drying-out" station for some.

Happily, many were untouched
and only need to be repacked... plastic bins this time!

I heard a wonderful segment on NPR last week about
being "mindful," or finding the upside of bad situations.
This is mine--
a totally organized corner for my things.

By the way...
more rain predicted for today.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...