Etsy is Getting a Facelift!

A couple of months ago I created an editorial calendar with topics to write about so that I wouldn’t struggle to keep up with my blogging commitment, and one of the items I wanted to touch on is my love for Etsy. Besides the benefit of the platform over every other e-commerce site out there (in my humble opinion), I truly believe that Etsy is always in touch with its community of sellers, and tries to do right by us as well as by buyers. I’ve participated in multiple surveys and I’ve seen implementation of changes I’ve written to them about (probably along with a few other sellers), and the improvements just keep coming.

Then, two weeks ago, sellers were notified that Etsy shops were getting a makeover, and I was like “HA! Perfect timing!” Let me tell you, I’m apprehensive about change, but this is a GREAT one! The new shop look is much more modern, clean, manageable by sellers, and easy to navigate by buyers. It’s definitely in line with the wave of “power pages” (basically, having the bulk of the information about the website in one single page where you just scroll down instead of figuring out the menu) and I for one can’t wait until it launches for everyone on April 5th. Here’s the detailed breakdown of the most noticeable changes:

Etsy Shop Looks - Before and After

Etsy Shop Looks – Before and After

First of all, the new look will allow sellers to choose between having no banner, a small banner (which will not be mobile-optimized), or a cover photo (mobile optimized!). As you can see, I’ve already gotten a head start on mine, and I’ve chosen to use this set up because I think it’s a great opportunity to showcase my items being used by my customers, which buyers don’t really see unless they’re following me on social media (::cough cough:: Facebook, InstagramTwitter). It’s a little overpowering on the screen, but I really think it does more good than harm (if done right).

Second, hello modernization! I never really noticed how “old-school” the current look is until I saw the new layout. The set up is fresh, and I think they got it right by emphasizing the shop itself over the owner, which is currently reversed.

Third, sellers can choose the order of their listings and OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH ETSY!!! It was so frustrating to feel like my shop was “disorganized” because right now the items show up in the order of “recent purchases,” and to my OCD self, it throws off the vibe. We can also choose to feature certain listings that will show up above the full shop. Where is my ::hands in the air:: emoji when I need it?

Fourth, the listings themselves are bigger, which is a great way to show buyers more in less time.

Fifth, the reviews are right under the listings. This is going to be YUUUUGE for buyers (#Elections2016!). As a frequent shopper myself, I know how much reviews influence my decisions to make a purchase, and having this information so visible is definitely going to make the process much quicker.

Sixth, the Shop Updates. I think I need a separate blog post to explain these, but basically, Etsy is going social on us! Through the use of the “Sell on Etsy” app (which is absolutely necessary if you’re a seller ::ehem:: customer service), Etsy has created a new way to push content through the platform and out onto other channels like text messages and the aforementioned Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, and going as far as Pinterest and even WhatsApp! These updates are going to tip the Etsy algorithms in favor of active sellers, as they’ll showcase more of the shops that use them, and honestly, it’s a great way to post different angles of our products by stepping out of the 5 picture limit. When sellers post these updates to their social media channels, they work as a cute little hooks to bring perspective buyers directly to each listing. In conclusion, if you’re a seller and haven’t posted your first Shop Update yet, get on it!

Seventh (and last one I’ll include here because I’m running out of screen), sellers now have a chance to upload a video of themselves and up to 5 pictures of their work spaces (or whatever they want) to help buyers fall in love with them even more.

Maybe I’ll have to make this post a trilogy or a Harry Potter-sized novel to cover ALL of the great new features Etsy is rolling out, and all the reasons why I already love them, but the point is, April 5th, check out my new swagged out shop and buy something from me 😀 Kidding, but really, SO excited for this. Thank you Etsy for being so awesomesauce! T – 1 week!

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Beyond Photo Booth Props… WCB Event Packages!

I’ve been an avid crafter my whole life (hard to notice, right?) and even though they say to really be an expert at something you must do it for 10,000 hours, what I tend to enjoy the most are new challenges and brand new projects I haven’t tried before. On the business side, this has turned into an actual “craving” for opportunities to bring people’s visions to life, and do something brand new to add to my portfolio – and this is a legitimate business move as well, because some people are very clear about what they want, but others need and want guidance on what to do and need a visual aid to understand the concept. So, whenever someone inquires about a custom item (especially if it’s something I’ve never made before), I’m EXTRA eager about turning it into a project.

Because of this, I wanted to look back on the events and items I’ve done so far (other than photo booth props), as a sort of recap. This is a really good reminder for me too, because I sometimes doubt myself and when I haven’t done something, I let the fear of taking the leap hold me back. Without further ado, here are some items from custom orders (which I probably had little to no idea of how I’d tackle them when I first said “YES!” but took the plunge anyways 😀 ), which together make quite the spunky “event packages”:

  • First, everything I made for my friend’s nautical baby shower, I’d never made before. This was my catalyst.
  • Diana’s Superhero Baby Shower was a HUGE project for me to take on, especially because it required a lot of digital production, which I’m not an expert in, but I figured it out nonetheless:
  • Emily’s Alcohol & Drinks “Baby is Brewing” Baby Shower (have you noticed the baby shower theme here? Pregnant customers really trust me! lol)

Beer Tap & Beer Pong Banners, and custom-designed photo booth props

  • Decorated letters. These have taken over my life and I absolutely love to make them. Diana (from the Superhero baby shower) asked me if I could make them, and I promise I had no clue where I would even start. In each name, there’s usually at least 1 letter that absolutely terrifies me and I leave it for last… and so far, that one turns out the best! Here is the first letter that terrified me and I fell in love with:
Oh Bruce, how I love thee. Thou helped me discover some abilities I did not know I possessed. Marry me?

Oh Bruce, how I love thee. Thou helped me discover some abilities I did not know I possessed. Marry me?

  • Reserved Seating signs for Wedding Aisles – a panicked event planner with a last-minute bride request and a deadline is a crafter’s best friend. I said YES to the, er, Reserved Sign challenge (which she had an ultra clear vision for and I had to replicate them EXACTLY to the T, and she LOVED!)
Down to the thickness and style of the ribbon, these were exactly to the bride's standards!

Down to the thickness and style of the ribbon, these were exactly to the bride’s standards!

 

  • Bridal Suite door sign for a pretty in pink Bride! Glitter and everything, exactly what the bride wanted 🙂
A bridal sign to keep male guests/friends from entering the bride's quarters without permission!

A bridal sign to keep male guests/friends from entering the bride’s quarters without permission!

And many, many more! That’s the good part about having such a baby business: pretty much everything people request is a brand new concept I haven’t worked on before. I hope to continue growing more and more excited every day, and I thank Pinterest for giving people ideas they want to trust me with ❤

 

A Superhero Baby Shower Out of a WCB Comic Book!

When my friend Diana approached me about doing some items for her baby shower, I never expected what would come out of our first meeting. At that point, I had mostly only made photo booth props, and was itching for someone to request items I’d never made before to start building a portfolio of my work, and in turn, feel a little more empowered when asked if I could do something. Saying “yes I can” is cool and all, but saying “yes, I have!” has a very different ring to it, and it can really influence the outcome of the conversation.

So here I am, expecting Diana to ask for some photo booth props… And that turned into a two and a half hour meeting! Truth is, when she started naming each item, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what it would even cost to make them, or what price they went for because she gave me no insight prior to the meeting so I couldn’t research them, but I was still so excited to do this!

After that meeting, I did the research, shopped around for prices and options, did a digital design, created my first official quote and invoice templates… It basically legitimized my process for custom orders and gave me a lot of perspective on working for all future orders, especially custom ones. She requested:

  1. Superman Style Banner
  2. Cupcake Toppers
  3. Candy Bar Signs
  4. Veggie/Fruit Station Signs
  5. 8 x 10 art
  6. Centerpiece Accents
    1. Comic Book Thought Bubbles
    2. Superhero Babies
    3. Baby Oliver Stars
  7. Photo Booth Props
  8. Superhero Logos

And a few other things we went back and forth on but due to the event location restrictions we weren’t able to do. Like I said, I got to work right away investigating every item (commonly used materials, price points, production time, etc.) and once Diana approved, I started the assembly. I had a few challenges, especially with some of the digital stuff (I usually work a lot with my Cricut machine to design, cut, and layer items. When it came time to print stuff, it was hard to figure out/find items with good resolution, and I had to come up with ways to fix them once printed), but thankfully, it all worked out!

Here’s the gallery with all the items in their final look 🙂

 

And for the moment of the delivery, I added a little something to my standard Thank You sticker, you know, for the super occasion 😉

Photo Aug 05, 6 32 02 PM (1)