After a lot of research I decided (well my husband got me for Christmas rather) a Cricut Expression 2. I have had a few bumps but after running the sync software and updating the system then doing a factory reset I think it is good to go! I am pretty excited about this machine as it will open up so many more possibilities in my shop like paper banners for parties and such!
I am just two days away from being in my first craft fair at Lynnwood Elementary School on Saturday November 16th, 2013. Details for this event are here. It occured to me, and I wish I would have thought about this sooner, to see what is some of your craft fair follies and sucesses?
Even if you see this post after the 16th I would still love to hear from you since I do plan to keep doing these!
I am so excited to be in my first ever craft fair. Sure I have gone to a few but have never been a vendor. I am lucky to have some good friends who also make cards so we are going to share a booth. I think this will be a wonderful opportunity to network a bit and get my name out in my own community. I have been making Christmas related items with all my free time (sorry to my wonderful husband)! Luckily he is a good sport and is very supportive of my efforts. All the information is on Vandicrafts Facebook as an event which is public so anyone can join! There will be a lot of wonderful booths to see and I will of course be posting pictures from this. Click HERE to go to my Facebook page and don’t forget to like my page!
Not too long ago when I was browsing treasuries on Etsy, I found a treasury that had “BNS” in the title. Since I had never seen that before I felt compelled to check it out and see what it meant. Reading through the lengthy thread of comments I saw the normal “Thank You for listing my item” from the featured shops, but noticed that it also had a lot of chatting from the curator, who was calling out deals, reposting coupon codes and even hosting games (which can be just about anything). In a way it reminded me of a game show where the contestants are not only the shops being featured but also the people in the “lobby”.
It became clear to me that this was what I have been looking for! I, like many fellow Etsians, work hard to ensure I have a good product, but lack in exposure. I had been diligently working on my exposure using my blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook. Although these did bring me some likes and fav’s on Etsy, they hadn’t resulted in any sales. I knew more effort was needed on my part but my biggest dilemma was working out exactly what I could do.
For those of you that don’t know what a BNS is, BNS means Buy and Stay and the general concept is pretty simple. You buy from a shop and then in return you’re featured “x” amount of times in up and coming treasuries. I had the honor of being a spot light shop for the BNS picture to the left. Clicking the picture will bring you to the treasury. The team that produced this treasury can be found here.
So far I have participated in four BNS’s, which have resulted in four sales for me so far. Each time I “bought in” I earned more than one feature spot. I have more people who follow my shop which means when I post a new item, more people will see it. I think it is important to keep in mind that your fellow Etsy shop owners are also potential customers! We all make different products. I have been making sure to shop on Etsy more, as I see no reason not to support the very community you are a part of. If we were all shoppers then the Etsy economy will only thrive which is exactly what we all want!
Thank you for reading.
When I was blog surfing recently, I came across a blog called Crafting Creatures and was blown away at the work that must have gone into this gorgeous card (tip: click on Crafting Creatures to see it). After staring at it for a long while and watching a few you tube videos (naturally I didn’t want to do it wrong!), I decided to incorporate this technique in my cards. I probably should also mention that I have been exploring exploding box cards which look like presents and are beautiful and fun to make! I created this card for a card challenge at Crafty Cardmakers which is another fabulous site I found surfing for blogs to read so check them out!
- Quilling wiki (souqa3.wordpress.com)
I am starting to realize how important interacting in the Etsy community really is. Recently I have begun following group boards and stores such as; Christmas in July and Get Noticed. The Get Noticed team in particular has a fun and unique system called “Buy and Stay” which really gets you involved in a great community of like minded crafters. I have noticed my views/followers have begun to increase. While I haven’t had a sale in a few months, I still remain hopeful. Everyday I gain a couple of new Pinterest and Twitter followers, and in the last 48 hours have gained almost 10 new “Likes” on my Facebook – (though not a big deal to some, it’s exciting to see this really start to work). Though the end goal is to cultivate my crafting into a viable income, the going is slow and the key is not to get discouraged. At the start, I worried over too many tiny details and didn’t take into account that growth and the social networking that is vital to it, was a process. I became too wrapped up in critiquing my work and was missing out on actually enjoying creating things to share with others. It wasn’t good for my ego or self-esteem. However lately gaining followers steadily has been enough to make me happy. I am excited at the potential success that will come from it and I hope anyone else who may be discouraged discovers we all have to start at square one and it’s the journey to our goal that gives us our own amazing experiences and fantastic friends!