#happyhandmade week eighty-seven

Hello & welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms - all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

This collective generates over 2,500 click-throughs to participants shops every month! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 


How to Add Custom Blog, Gallery & Other Pages to Storenvy

 Did you know Storenvy allows the ability to add pages to your store front? I have added an About page to my shop that you can check out to get an idea what the new pages you can add to your shop will look like!

You can embed your blog, Instagram feed, create a photo gallery, sizing chart, and so much more! Just log into Storenvy.com and head to your admin panel, then click "Design". Then click "HTML pages".


Next, you will want to click on "+Add a custom page".


This will open a blank page that you can title, and fill with text and images to create stunning About Pages, sizing charts, photo galleries, and more - or with a little coding knowledge you can dive into the HTML and embed your blog & other feeds. Below, I have broken down some of the features available & how to use them for anyone who may need help! :)


To add images:

Click the graphic in the tool bar that looks like a small photo. It will open a pop up box to insert the photo URL. You cannot upload photos directly to be hosted on your custom pages, so they will need to be posted elsewhere, Facebook, your blog, Flickr, etc. Simply right click the image where it is hosted and click "Copy Image Location". Then paste that text into the image URL box and click insert. Viola! You've added a photo!


To add video: 

The video icon is directly to the right of the photo icon. Click it, and you can embed videos. Again, you can't directly upload them to this page, but you can easily upload them to Youtube then embed the code from there into your custom page.

To add sizing charts, color charts, etc:

The button to the right of the video button is a "table" button. You can use it to create charts, which you can use for color or sizing charts. Click the box and chose how many rows and columns you need, then just type in your information! Super easy!


To make links clicky: 

Make your about pages and more look snazzy by embedding the links rather than copying the URL into the post (IE, my shop vs http://luanded.com). To do this, type your text as you want it to appear, then highlight the part you want to link - for example, if you donate a portion of your sales to a Susan G. Komen, you would highlight the charity name, then click the icon that looks like a chain link. Type in the URL there and click insert, and ta-da! You have inserted a link! :)


For directions to embed your blog in a custom HTML page, follow these directions posted by Storenvy.

I hope this mini walk through was helpful! :)


What do you think of the new Storenvy pages? What will you be using them for? 

#happyhandmade week eighty-six

Hello & welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms - all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

This collective generates over 2,500 click-throughs to participants shops every month! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 

Speak plainly, so that many will listen - and please, ditch the lingo & abbreviations!

"RTS sale on OOAK clippies on FOE headbands. All prices are PPD & paid through PP."

What the literal beep does that even mean? (I actually had to ask for translation on this, it was an advertisement apparently, for ready to ship sale on one of a kind hair clips on fold over elastic headbands. Price includes postage for domestic orders and you will be PayPal invoiced for payment).

Ultimately, I ended up not purchasing from this maker, mostly because I couldn't understand half of her listings. I ended up buying a half dozen other hair accessories for my niece from another maker who had better verbiage in her listings instead. I shouldn't have to ask for a translation before making a purchase, and neither should anyone else.


You are the maker, it's your job to know the lingo - but it's not your potential buyers or your social media followings job to find a translator for your listings, social media posts or sale terms. Speak plainly, in all your communications, as if you were talking to someone who has NO idea what you make and sell - because in order to grow your community of potential buyers you have to reach people who have no idea who you are yet, what you offer, or how you do it! Demonstrate your products by showcasing your work with beautiful, high resolution images of your products that demonstrate the purpose of your products, and use very plain verbiage that even a child could read & interpret as exactly what your product does, what the sale entails, or what you are trying to convey. Avoid using anagrams, shorthand or "lingo".

You need your community to talk about you, your brand & your products in order to drive new interest. If your community has no clue what you are talking about or the people they share with don't understand what you are trying to say, how do you expect them to spread the word about your business, products, sales and opportunities?

Instead, the seller above could have tried:

"Hey guys, isn't this headband & hair accessory cute? I'm having a sale on this style this weekend - plus free shipping! Tell all your mommy friends - they won't want to miss out!" (and for an added dose of professionalism and to make it easier on your community to share, include a link to the collection in your store, already discounted, as this tends to generate more shares through your community and more sales).

Resonating with your audience is all about the verbiage you use and creating content that is easy to understand & share! So ditch the lingo and shorthand and work on creating well-worded descriptions of your products for listings and carefully craft your social media posts to sound inviting & friendly, so they are more likely to entice customers to click through to your shop!

Which do you think would result in more sales? All the lingo & abbreviations, or the well worded  sales pitch?

Handmade Goodies for Every Walking Dead or Zombie Fan

The Walking Dead is kinda a big deal. I'm still about 3 seasons behind, but since it's premier I've been seeing tons of zombie goodies & wanted to share some of my favorites with you! 

Wee Amigurumi Zombie by Crafteroni & Cheese - who knew zombies could be so cute!

Baby Zombie Sock Monkey by Stacey Jean 

Zombie linen sachet by Winter Solstice Dreams - bet these smell better than real zombies!
Undead Bread by Saint Angel Productions - bread that bites, look out! 

Zombie T-rex shirt by Krmbal - now THAT is a zombie to be afraid of! 


Are you a Walking Dead fan? If so, who is your favorite character? 

#happyhandmade week eighty-five

Hello & welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms - all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

This collective generates over 2,500 click-throughs to participants shops every month! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 


Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 

It's not Storenvy vs Etsy

There seems to be some line drawn where handmade people think you have to either sell on Storenvy OR Etsy.

Total myth.

You can sell on both. They work well together. And it's easy. Storenvy never set out to compete with Etsy. They just wanted to create a place where indie artists and creative entrepreneurs could open a free online store and enjoy the benefits of being part of a marketplace full of other creatives!

Here is some blunt perspective on this non-existent Etsy vs Storenvy war and how they can actually work hand in hand:

Say you are already selling on Etsy and you want to expand to reach a new market and build your own branding identity by having a fully customized shop, but you're all like "Ugh, I have eleventy billion items listed on Etsy, it's just not worth it to me to spend time setting up on another site" you can start jumping for joy right now because Tonka Park has built an Etsy to Storenvy importer that quickly and easily copies over listings, product photos, descriptions, tags and prices. Pretty awesome, right?

And if you are worried about selling an item on Storenvy that you have listed on Etsy and then that same item selling on Etsy and you're all like "Oh noooooooo, what do I do if I double sell?!" stop worrying and set up an account with Stitch Labs to easily, seamlessly manage inventory on both platforms. When you sell an item from Storenvy, the identical item will be automatically removed from your Etsy shop. Boom. It's that simple. Check out their Storenvy and Etsy integration to learn more.

Then there's the people who think Storenvy doesn't have a place for handmade shops - not true, they have an entire marketplace set up just for handmade shops which makes up a huge chunk of their total number of shops. And I have heard "But I see resellers" - well, yeah. I see resellers on Etsy too, but if you're already selling there, I don't quite understand that concern regarding Storenvy's handmade market, you know? I think as artists all we can do is create beautiful, quality wares - because realistically, true artists are not competing with resellers. But that's a whole different topic altogether. 

And of course there's the concern you can't print shipping labels straight from Storenvy like you can from Etsy. Not directly from Storenvy, but they integrated with Shipstation so their users can print shipping labels for Storenvy orders quickly and easily!

So what have we learned?

It's easy to have both Etsy and Storenvy shops. There's not battle between the two sites. Etsy provides you with a great audience and buyer visibility whereas Storenvy provides you with the ability to create a brand for yourself by allowing total shop customization and the ability to domain host (so you can be yourshop . com). Storenvy is also backed by a powerful search engine within it's marketplace that ranks products in real time popularity base on recency of listing, Envies, and purchases so you also reap the benefit of your products reaching a new audience in a much less saturated market, allowing your products to really stand out and evolve.

There's one thing I want to say though - I've helped a lot of people set up a second shop on Storenvy.com and usually, three months later they say it's not working for them. Why? You have to promote it as much as you promote your Etsy shop. You can't just open shop, import products and leave it - you have to market it, talk about, drive your clients to or else how can you expect it to be a success?

What do you think? Will you be taking Storenvy for a test drive?

Meet the Maker - Alison of Petit Cadaeu

I'm Alison Butler, a part-time maker/creative from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (basically I live on a island jutting out into the middle of the North Atlantic) - it's rugged and beautiful and I would never choose to live anywhere else. I'm a mom to my three and a half year old daughter (the best job in the world!) and I work full time for a local non-profit for the past nine and a half years. I'm really passionate about my day job, BUT I also LOVE being creative, and can't imagine a life without it, so I started my blog, and my shop!


I started The Petit Cadeau blog about 3 years ago while I was on maternity leave with my daughter. I wanted to write about pretty packages tied up with string and other creative projects for thoughtful gifting. From there, my shop seemed like a natural next step, making products that fit with my ideas about thoughtful celebrations and thoughtful gifts. In 2014 I launched Petit Mail because I LOVE snail mail, and I wanted to share that love of something fun in the mailbox with children like my daughter. This Fall, I'm starting to sell at local markets and am really looking forward to the experience of interacting with customers face to face!


My business name has a fairly simple story. Petit Cadeau is French for small gift, and it seemed to fit the idea of small, thoughtful gestures that I wanted to convey. While I'm not fluent in French, in Canada we study French as a second language throughout school & so the name came to me very naturally.


Selling products hasn't been easy - when you are really passionate about your product, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea that "everyone is going to buy this!". It takes time and ongoing energy to put yourself out there. I've had other bloggers tell me "no" to featuring my products (rejection stings a little no matter where you are in your business journey) but I keep going based on the positive feedback from my customers and keep growing the business one day at a time!


My biggest achievement to date has been really investing in my business (branding, photography) for a professional look. It was a scary risk to make up front, but I really believe that it set me up on the right path for my business, and I was able to identify and work with some other amazing creatives to bring my professional look together. I've been featured by several other bloggers this year as well, including Let's Lasso The Moon, Linkouture and Oh My Handmade and I am beyond grateful for the exposure that these interviews bring to my business!


Currently I'm planning to take my business to the next level with some wholesale orders (Oh My Handmade Maker Mail, and at least 1 local bricks & mortar shop). I would love to see Petit Mail really take off - I believe so strongly in this product, I know I can take it far as long as I keep putting myself out there and believe that the right opportunities will come along at the right time!

Words of advice to fellow makers just starting out: Be patient. Make connections with other creatives. Find a community of support that makes you feel good about the work that you are doing. Ask questions & don't be afraid to BE YOURSELF!

How to create a photo shoot survival kit

This post is brought to you from Melanie of Violet's Buds. Melanie has Bachelors of Science in Photography and provides product photography advice and services to entrepreneurs.

Preparing for a photo shoot? Can't find your lint roller? Getting annoyed that the light isn't just right?

Gather supplies into a box, bag or even just a remote location so they will always be at hand when it's time to photograph products! Here are a few essential items you may want to consider adding to your photo shoot survival kit. Many of these are items you may have around the house & already use, but by creating a photo shoot survival kit, gathering them all up makes photo shoots run smoother!

Most importantly, you should have a reflector or two (read here for more info on reflectors). Bring along some clips- binder or strong chip clips- to help you position the reflectors. Alternatively, spring clamps are a big help. You can purchase them at most hardware stores.
A photo shoot survival kit should have one or more of the following items that can help with pesky fibers, stray hairs, smudges, etc. 
  • Wet wipes and facial tissue
  • Towel/cloth
  • Lint roller
  • Small scissors
  • Safety pins 
If you are photographing models, you can also include these in your kit:
  • Comb
  • Hairspray
  • Bobby pins
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
 Other items you may want to have handy are a tripod, and books, blocks or canisters for various height placements & objects to be used for positioning your products.

Spending time putting together a photo shoot survival kit will eliminate any undue stress during a product photography session & help it run without a hitch, meaning fewer reshoots & better quality photos! 


What must-have items do you need in your photo shoot survival kit?

#happyhandmade week eighty-four

Hello & welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms - all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

This collective generates over 2,000 click-throughs to participants shops every month! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 


Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy!