Monday, December 28, 2009

Must- Have Mondays - New Year's Resolution Helpers

With the end of December, we find ourselves at the conclusion of another holiday season (hopefully intact, albeit a little less rich) and the beginning of a new year. And as ritualistic as it may seem, we all have a tendency of making ourselves promises of great changes and new endeavors, fondly acknowledged as New Year’s Resolutions. These great finds from some Etsy Homefront Team Members, may help you ring in the New Year with an artistic flair, and hopefully motivation to get your resolutions in gear.

Keep Calm Carry On Glass Pendant

This pendant is a perfect way to be stylish, with a cool reminder to have a less stressful year.

Mallory Flower Shortie Bobies

Maybe a new ‘do is in your future plans, and these cute bobby pins would accent that new look for you.

Mix N Match Recycled Notecards

Keep better in touch with your friends and family during the year with this striking image notecards.

Kawaii Summer Treats Pacifier Holder Clip and Toy Leash

Organization is key, when trying to keep children tantrums at bay and stress at a minimum. This pacifier/toy holder is a great way of starting out small.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Mod Square Candle

Remember to sit back and pamper yourself, light a comforting smelling candle and take a few minutes to breath and relax.

Belgian White Chocolate and Crème De Menthe Candy

Indulge a little this year, especially if the title says “Begian” and “Chocolate.”

Homemade Granola Bars – All Natural

Or maybe you are trying to watch your sweet intake, this year. Of course healthy eating doesn’t mean tasteless food; just yummy good for you goodness!

Nautical Nonsense Reusable On the Go Sandwich Bag

Take a step into the world of “Green” (if you haven’t already) and find functional, yet stylish reusable bags.

Prince or Princess Crown Crochet Pattern

Learn a new craft this year; and have fun while doing it!

Pineapple Orchid Flower Bath Fizzy

A nice calming bath, after a long day of work or dealing with unruly children is perfect for putting the day back on track.

May your journey into the New Year be fruitful and continually propserous!

For more great finds from Etsy Homefront Team - just type in "homefront team" at!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featured Artist - Baby Love Blankies

Our last featured artist for December is Jamie from Baby Love Blankies, a shop full of the coolest I Spy bags (along with other cool stuff for kids).

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Jaime, I am a stay at home mom to my 3 handsome little boys! My oldest is in Kindergarten, my second is almost 4 and my youngest one is 2. We are stationed at Kings Bay Naval Base here in Southeastern Georgia. I found Etsy through a friend of mine and have been hooked ever since! My Husband is serving on board the USS Georgia, he is the LSC. His submarine is currently deployed for a 4 month mission. We are hoping he gets home in time for Valentines Day!

What do you think lead to the success of your Etsy Shop?

I'm not sure why my shop is so successful. I am not very good at promoting. I have had a few bloggers contact me about doing giveaways with my items, and if I like their blog I always say yes. I know that has brought in at least 20% of my sales. I have a Facebook fan page and I know a lot of people found me through that site. I started off real slow. My sales were okay, about 14 in the first 4 months. I was happy with that. Over the summer things picked up, every month my sales would suprass the last months sales. Last Christmas was my first one here on Etsy, my goal for the year was to make 100 sales by New Years and I sold 200 items in 2 months! I couldn't believe it! This year has been great! My goal for New Years was 1000 sales, and I have passed that with time to spare!

What advice might you have for those shops new to Etsy or low sale shops?

If you like what you are doing stick with it! When people offer to blog about you let them! Get a Facebook fan page, its free, so why not! Answer every convo, try to keep your customers happy and they will come back and bring a few friends with them!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me, I am convo friendly!

From everyone on the Homefront Team: Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Must-Have Mondays: Stocking Stuffers

Time has seem to flown by this season, with only 11 more shopping days before Christmas. And with the addition of online shopping, which has made a lot of our lives for gift giving A LOT easier, that even narrows the day margin by a few days for shipping!

This week's Monday Must-Have focus on the last minute Stocking Stuffers, all from the talented Homefront Team! I just used the search "homefront team stocking stuffer" and this is what I found.

Reusable Gift Card and Cash Holder

Teri's Treasures has a collection of these stylish gift card holders, that can be used for cash, business cards, etc after the gift card is used.

Sterling silver guitar pick with leather case - pouch - keychain

The Taffy Box has some pretty cool handstamped guitar picks, but this one is tops because it has a guitar pick pouch to attach to your keys. What a great idea!

Animal Finger Puppets

Babynme's 4 pack of fingerpuppets are great for any kids stocking - from ages 6 months to 92!

Skating Penguin Adjustable Ring

Made with Our Hands has a wonderful selection of stocking stuffers, great for any member of the family, but I thought this cute penguin ring encompasses the holiday cheer!

Santa Claus Creative Color Crayons

Stellar Trends' Santa Claus crayons are perfect for coloring holiday pictures or pictures anytime of the year!

These are just a sampling of some of the stocking stuffers that Etsy Homefront Team offers. There are still so many great different stocking stuffer ideas out there, just search Homefront Team for the perfect one for your loved ones!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Featured Artists - Heidi's Handmade and Two Seaside Babes

December finds us in full swing of the shopping season, and we can see this through the number of sales from our shops. Homefront Team's theme for our featured artists in December encompasses our fellow members with the highest number of sales, and maybe some of us that are feeling a bit of the Blue Christmas, can get some great advice and maybe even a little inspiration!

First up is Heidi Price of
Heidi's Handmade, who has accured 1172 sales (as of 12/7/09) of her wonderful natural bath and body creations.

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Heidi Price and I currently live near Pensacola, FL with my Marine hubby and 3 kiddos. I've been making soaps since I took a class in 2000. At first I mostly made soaps with my kids to use in the tub. Then I began making gifts for friends and family. Once my kids got a little older I decided to start my own business. Someone told me about etsy and I opened a shop in 2007. I have loved etsy, it has been a wonderful selling venue for me!

What do you think lead to the success of your Etsy Shop?
I really value my customers. I give my repeat customers special deals or enclose special little gifts with each order. They keep coming back for more and more. I think customer service is very important. As a buyer I have come across shops that have no communication, and late shipping, boring packaging, no thank you note, etc... and I don't want to be that kind of seller. I want to be a shop that buyers enjoy, along with enjoying my products.

What advice might you have for those shops new to Etsy or low sale shops?
All of the things I just mentioned. You have to go the extra mile if you really want to be a success. Make your best products, take your best photos, write your best listings, communicate your best with customers etc...

Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you feel burned out or overwhelmed, take a break. Your customers will understand. Take a few days off from your shop. If you feel bummed that your items are not selling... stop beating yourself up and DO something about it. Go make some new products, advertise your shop at the forums, run a sale. When things were slow for me at first I used to go and play the BNS and BNR games (Buy and Stay, Buy and Replace) at the forums. Those were fun, I go to know people, and they got to know me, and I have gotten lots of repeat customers that way! Overall, if you love what you do, your joy will come through in your work and your shop. So, make sure you love what you are doing!

Our second featured artist is Jessi from Two Seaside Babes, who has amounted 982 sales (as of 12/7/09) of her much desired crochet hats and gifts.

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Jessi and I am the owner/artist of Two Seaside Babes. I am a stay-at-home, self-employed, single mama to two bubbly tots, alas endeavoring to keep temper tantrums at bay. Outside of the small amount of free time that presents itself when I’m not kissing scraped knees, crying over spilled milk, and sopping up an entire bath’s worth of water off the bathroom floor, I create crocheted pieces from my own patterns. I personally and solely make all of the pieces found in Two Seaside Babes.
We are from a small, middle-of-nowhere town, set amongst the cornfields of Indiana. Really, we like to call Indianapolis home more than anything. We like to consider ourselves a military family, despite my no longer being in the service. I have deployed to both Kosovo and Afghanistan and hold those experiences deeply in my heart. Those two deployments, although entirely different, have shaped me, and hopefully my children, into who we are today. While I no longer have a direct affiliation with the service, I now consider the Homefront Team on Etsy my military family.

What do you think lead to the success of your Etsy Shop?
I believe there are many things that have lead to the success of my Etsy shop. The most important thing though is treating my shop as a business and not a hobby. As soon as I did this, my views, hearts, and eventually sales increased dramatically. I had always turned a small profit each month but it wasn’t until I approached this as a 40+ hour a week job (trust me, it’s WAY more than that), that I started seeing tremendous results. You can’t expect to sell without putting money into it first…I spent a lot on supplies to build up my inventory. You can’t expect to sell without putting in the work…I spend at least 40 hours a week creating my product. You can’t expect to sell without doing all the other grunt work…I spend over 20 hours a week packaging, shipping, listing, photographing, getting/maintaining contacts, and SEO’ing. If you want to reap rewards of a business, then you have to accept the fact that doing something you “love” is not necessarily something you’re going to want to like to do every single day.

There are other things that need to be done, which anyone can do. First and foremost, you need a signature product, something that is entirely your own. It can be anything that you put your own “little spin” on. It has to be something that is recognizable and stands out from the thousands upon thousands of other similar items on Etsy. Secondly, you need to have good photos. While I am far from an expert, I’ve found tons of tricks to help me…knowing which light helps certain colors, adjusting exposure/color/cropping, and having different views/angles of the product. These two alone are what help me to stand out from other “similar” sellers.

What advice might you have for those shops new to Etsy or low sale shops?
For those shops that are new to Etsy or that have low sales I recommend going OUTSIDE of Etsy to promote. Everyone believes that you need to stick around in the forums to see results. This is only true if you belong to a team or if you need help. Promoting yourself and your sales does virtually nothing by going into a forum and trying to do the same thing that thousands of other sellers are trying to do. Admit it; once you go into a forum to promote yourself, you most likely never go back in. Virtually everyone else is doing the same thing. You hardly ever see a “buyer” (one that is strictly an Etsy buyer and holds NO shop) in a forum.

You need to market outside of Etsy. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are a few of the social networking sites that I use. Using these sites, and hundreds others like it, allow your store name to be seen in search engines. If you do it correctly, the results can work dramatically in your favor. A lot of people think that I just create a product, sit back, and let the sales roll in. This is absolutely untrue. I blog. I Tweet. I get contacts through Facebook and MySpace. I’ve registered my store name for every social networking site under the sun. 35% of my traffic comes from outside of Etsy. Which may not sound like a lot, but that is 35% of people that would not have found my store otherwise.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Always remember to never hope more than you work. Hoping that you will make a sale today; hoping that you will make the front page of Etsy; hoping to be picked by admin as the featured seller. Hope will never get you as much as hard work will.
Wow, great advice from both of these stellar Homefront Team shop owners!