#happyhandmade week sixty

Hello, maker buddies!

If you are new here, welcome to the sixtieth installment of #happyhandmade! This is a social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops and platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! :)

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 guys 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!

This Week's Staff Picks:


Sugar Skull Cross Stitch by Craftypodes
Ice Cream Brooch by Rebel Skein
Frowning Green Lymph Node by Mixed Martial Arts & Crafts (ps, if you click through the pictures real quick it looks like it's dancing!)

This Week's Most Viewed:



Love Bracelet by Carrie's Creative Chaos
Sterling Silver Teepee Earrings by Gorgette Frances Jewelry
Mini Braid Ribbon Bracelet by Hailstorm Creations

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. This 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. 
 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)

  • Tell at least three people about this link up!

{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!
Click "add your link" - 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. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!


#happyhandmade week fifty-nine

It's a beautiful Spring day here! I hope wherever you are you are enjoying sunshine on your face and happy thoughts in your head!

If you are new here, welcome to the fifty-ninth installment of #happyhandmade! This is a social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops and platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! :)

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 guys 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!

The Staff Picks for this week:

Pocket Bunny Totem by Amazing Caitlin
Mutlicolor Braided Hair Barrette by Black Sunshine IOW
Mint Furry Stuffed Monster by Wonky Critters

This week's Most Viewed:


Kate Dollie by The Mollie Shop
If you were a flower... Hand Lettered Art by Bugaboo Bear Designs
Normal People Scare Me pendant by Mizzie XOXO

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. This 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. 
 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)

  • Tell at least three people about this link up!

{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!
Click "add your link" - 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. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

unplug and make stuff - free printable

Anyone else need this gentle reminder sometimes?


I started thinking about this post and designing a printable last night and reached out to Chelsea from Crafteroni & Cheese for some help making it a reality and she blew my mind - this is exactly what I had envisioned! I immediately print it out and hung it in my studio - directly in front of my sewing machine, as a constant reminder to put down the phone because no, seriously, I really don't need to instagram every latest plush in all it's stages of creation.

I feel like as makers sometimes we get so caught up in the web - comparing, connecting, conversing, contacting, consuming, crafting our next update - that we forget that in order to make it, sometimes we simply need to unplug and MAKE stuff. In order for a maker to thrive we must devote ourselves wholly to our trade and  always be creating and churning out new ideas, new methods, new processes and products.

You can download the free printable created by Chelsea with or without spots & hang it as a reminder that to make it, sometimes you have to just MAKE. Really invest your whole self in your artwork, with no distractions.


Do you ever feel like you become too invested in the internet? How do you combat these feelings?

#happyhandmade week fifty-eight

Happy April, maker-buddies! I woke up (at 4:44 this morning) to a raging thunderstorm - hello, Spring! I am so excited for warm weather and colorful flowers, green grass and crafting on the porch. Last week you makers shared so much Spring-inspired handmade awesomeness in last week's collection that I think your will alone ushered in Spring! At least here, in Kansas City - a few friends of mine still have snow on the ground (I don't even them a bit, hehe!).

If you are new here, welcome to the fifty-eighth installment of #happyhandmade! This is a social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops and platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! :)

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 guys 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!

Since Spring is on my brain, here are my Staff Picks for this week:



Burlap Bunnies by Rustic Romance Crafts
Like Riding a Bike Envylope Wallet by Yo Sew Designs
Bella the Bunny by The Plum Papaya

And here are this week's Most Viewed items:


Amigurumi Lamb by Crafteroni & Cheese
Sherman Character kids tee by Anomic Apparel
Cetch the Cottontail signed art print by Pinecone Grove


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. This 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. 
 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)

  • Tell at least three people about this link up!

{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!
Click "add your link" - 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. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

increasing visibility on facebook & using it to capture useful data

There is a lot of murmurs in the indie community about Facebook reducing the amount of people who see your posts. I personally love my little community of monster lovers that gather on my page for my shop, Lu & Ed but I am not altogether too worried about Facebook's changes.



The amount of posts inactive people who like your page don't see doesn't worry me because I engage my community. The more people who interact with posts on your fan page, the more it will appear in the news feed of people who have liked your page. The Facebook algorithm is really complex, but the brute of it is that simple - if you are creating great content that people are responding to, it will be shown to more people. And not only do I engage my community on Facebook, but I listen to them and convert their responses into useful data to make my business even better.

Using this method of creating community-building conversations, I doubly benefit because I increase the amount of people seeing posts from my shop's Facebook page and I am able to capture data to convert into graphs that help me make better products. How do I do it?

I post a question on my Facebook page in the morning, between 8-9 (my personal peak time to post). A simple question that requires one word or one sentence answers, that almost anyone can answer. You can see an example question here.

Then I create a Google doc & a color graph. I make columns for all the answers (for instance, this question I will make two rows, boy and girls & ages unknown - 0-18). I will use my graph to determine my audience – if I have a staggering amount of girls vs boys, I would know I should incorporate more girly colors and prints into Mon-stors, for instance. Or if I have a large amount of followers who have babies/toddlers, I could try to reintroduce my monster face lovey blankets to generate more interest from that crowd, or tweak my marketing a bit more to show more Mon-stors being used for storage in nurseries.

Since the question is so easy to answer, it gets a lot of replies – the more replies the more reach. In 24 hours the post reached 1230 people (About 62% of my audience), received 77 comments and my fan page received 6 new "likes". The number of your reach continues to tick up as the post appears in people’s newsfeeds as their friends comment on it.

When I post content like this, I tend to get 5-15 new followers and my reach gets a boost that lasts about a week – so I try to publish data capturing content like this once a week or every other week.

Examples of other content I have posted to capture data and encourage conversation in my Facebook community:

What is your favorite color, what is your LEAST favorite color, what is your kids favorite color, their least favorite color (all broken up over several months) – then I turn all the replies into a graph. I now know that blue, green and pink are the most popular and best selling colors for my products, while brown, black & yellow are my least popular.

Where are you from – this was my MOST popular post ever, reaching over 1700 people when my fan page only had about 1450 fans, and resulting in almost 70 comments. I collected this data with the intent to book craft shows in bigger cities where I had the most concentrated audience, but haven’t yet used it.

And miscellaneous monster related posts, like what is your favorite number of eyes, favorite color combos (pink and black was a big winner, followed by purple and yellow), what do you use Mon-stors for (I used this data to determine new ways to market Mon-stors in ways people hadn’t thought of yet to show how versatile they are).

Super easy, right? Obviously, when you first start publishing this type of content you won't get very many responses, because it takes time to build engagement. Be patient and just continue publishing great content and conversing with your community on Facebook! Reach out in your communities and engage with other maker's page posts - most likely they will reciprocate and become one of your brand's biggest supporters, sharing, liking and commenting on your content!

The best part, is like I said above, you doubly benefit from this activity on Facebook because you can collect valuable data from your engaged audience, at the same time as boosting your reach and widening your engaged audience for a short period of time. The next best part, is it’s free!

What have you found to help your posts reach more people on Facebook - without paying for an ad?

#happyhandmade week fifty-seven

If you are new here, welcome to the fifty-seventh installment of #happyhandmade! This is a social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops and platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! :)

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 guys 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!

This week's  Staff Picks:

Blue Druzy Necklace by The Prettiest Star
Sweetheart Stamped Wrap Ring by Mystigail Adornments
Pocket Owl Totem by Amazing Caitlin

This week's Most Viewed:


I Got The Moves Pin  by Little House Crafting
Night Out Unpaper Towels by Nature Junkie
Simon the Sloth Wooden Peg Toy by Landon's Toy Box

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. This 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. 
 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)
  • Tell at least three people about this link up!
{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!
Click "add your link" - 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. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

#happyhandmade week fifty-six

Welcome the the 56th week of #happyhandmade! I love seeing the community come together each week and shop handmade, share for one another and make connections! It's probably one of the biggest highlights of my week, for reals, y'all!

 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 guys 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!

 Here is this week's splendorous Staff Picks:



 Oh, The Places You'll Go by Bugaboo Bear Designs
Pure Kanzashi Flower Flip by Violet's Buds
Headwrap by Frenchie

And this week's Marvelous Most Viewed:


Anime Inspired Necklace by Mizziexoxo Boutique
Shop Indie Print by Krmbal
Do Something Creative Every Day by Be You, Not Them

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. This 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. 
 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)

  • Tell at least three people about this link up!

{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!
Click "add your link" - 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. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

mixing wholesale merchandise into my handmade biz

Hello! I’m Alicia from Zeeuh!

As some of you know, we welcomed the newest addition to our family about 7 months ago. With change comes taking the time to adjust. Boy, have we overcame many changes! Not just having a new baby, but husband’s new job, him returning to night school and a decision to start homeschooling this upcoming school year.

There has been days that I felt I have been struggling to get through. Feeling as if I could not keep up with the never ending to do list. Some days I’d go to bed thinking “Where did my day go?” Yes, my children were fed, clean, happy and rested. The house, most days, was clean. So this is good right? Yes, some days my husband had to tell me that I was doing great! But it wasn’t good enough for me. I’d go weeks having a sinking feeling that my online business had been neglected. And in some instances, Zeeuh is another child to me. So I’d try a day or two to focus on my shop. Goal to get it stocked. As a result, the dishes were piled high to the ceiling, laundry overflowing and smelling the closets and my 5 year old would be snacking on the fastest thing I could find.

Inevitably, I came to a cross roads. The dreaded question “What am I going to do with my business?” As I had many heart to hearts with my husband, I over and over stated “I’m not ready to close this chapter!” I refused to lose Zeeuh. I wasn’t and still not ready! Finally, we had an answer! We decided to expand the merchandise offered. And what pairs well with handmade accessories? Made in America clothing!
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Zeeuh is now taking a journey down new territory--- Wholesale! In previous months, I’ve released collections on the site. And for Zeeuh, it works great! So to keep the momentum I have chosen to do a total of four collections a year. One for every season (spring, summer, fall and winter.) With each season comes different styles, prints, and colors. Picking fabrics to make the accessories, and using that for the foundation and inspiration for the coordinating clothing.
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When shopping wholesale these are the things I considered:

1.) Quality: The reason I am ordering clothing is because I am loosing my time to hand make my entire stock. So I want merchandise in my store that I am proud of and take ownership of. If you are considering mingling manufactured goods to your handmade business, do your research, it could be a long process but well worth it. If you can, ask around. Get a word of mouth referral. Also check the websites’ reviews. Maybe even BBB. 

Another big thing to consider to is made in the U.S. or overseas, and how they are manufactured. I am proud to say “Hey, though my new line is not hand made by me, it is made in America!”
600tank1_5
2.) Your Image: What is your store’s style? I live in the Southern/East part of Texas. There is tons of Southern influence here. I am inspired by the country chic gals. But I also have a retro flare. With Zeeuh I have these influences into the fabrics I use. It isn't any different when choosing the clothing collections to add to my shop.

3.) Cohesive: Number two ties into number three. You don’t want to stock your shop "just because". Everything should flow. Zeeuh has always been a shop of colorful, feminine accessories. The clothing will be there so the two can go hand in hand. There will be choices to pair them together.
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Zeeuh is on a new adventure, but a grand one! Our goal is to be a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.

I hope if you too have thought of expanding your shop to include manufactured wares, that these tips helped you!

 Zeeuh's new line launches March 17th, 2014. Click the link below to visit her shop!
zeeuh_logo200x200-01-01

Let's discuss in the comments. How do you feel about makers incorporating mindfully manufactured goods into their brand? Do you actively purchase locally made or ecologically made clothing over other options?

#happyhandmade week 55

Hello, maker buddies and lovers of handmade! Things have been kind of quiet around here this week - but with good reason! I am working on some exciting new posts about upcycled craft show displays for you guys! Eek! I can't wait to launch this series - it's double fun as I am preparing for my first show of the season, March 28th - it's Zeleny's first mini eco market in Parkville, MO. I will be there with my Mon-stors from Lu & Ed - if you are local to the KC area come out and say hi!

New here? Join in on the fun! Share three of your products with the InLinkz widget below, then share this post with your Etsy teams, Facbeook groups, friends and family - encourage them to link up and shop handmade through #happyhandmade! :) The more people seeing this post, the more people seeing and sharing your products - everyone wins! ♥ 

Without further ado, let's show off the picks from this week!

 This week's Staff Picks:



Mini Yarn Ball Earrings by Crafteroni and Cheese
Rainbow Bellied Monster by Wonky Critters
Rainbow Connection Hair Clip Duo by Violet's Buds

This week's Most Viewed:

The Silver Collection Bracelets by The Prettiest Star
Batman Unsponges by Nature Junkie
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcake from Aufa Handmade

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. This 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. 

 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)

  • Tell at least three people about this link up!

{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!
Click "add your link" - 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. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

new art for my studio!

I received my new art from Bugaboo Bear Designs yesterday! I am in love! I need to find some thrift store frames and paint them to hang these beauts in. They are hand lettered on chalk board paper with silver ink. So dreamy! Which is your favorite? 


View Amanda's full line of hand lettered original art here