Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Etsy Success Part II - Pinterest

This is our 2nd part of the Etsy Success Symposium Series.  Pinterest!  If you haven't heard of this site yet, you need to get an account ASAP.  If you need to sign up, it is best to find someone already on there to send you an invite.  Otherwise it can take a long time to be accepted.

Here are a few stats to help you understand how valuable this site can be to your networking:
• Etsy's Pinterest page has over 70,000 followers!
• Their "cool spaces" board has over 95,000 followers.
There are 1.2 million unique Etsy items on Pinterest and they have been pinned 4.5 million times!

If this doesn't grab your attention and help show you the amazing power of Pinterest I don't know what will :)


So first off it is important to understand you have 2 types of followers on Pinterest.
1.  Account followers - these are people following all your boards, anything that you post.  Your entire account.
2.  Board followers -  These are people interested in specific boards you have.  These followers give you a good indicator of what is popular and helps you find your target market in specific topics.

Make sure you import your facebook and twitter followers to help build a following quickly.
Start building boards that tell a story, give life-inspirations, cover hobbies, materials etc.

• Beautiful editorial style photography
• Collections
• What inspires you to Craft?
• Hobbies
• Create a color palette
• Build boards on themes and keywords, and trends.

Make sure you use keywords in your titles, and descriptions.  Keywords are going to help you get found through a search.  And place your boards into categories to help get found easier.

File name - This is really important for SEO.  Most personal websites use the file name in search engine optimization, but on Etsy they don't.  So many Etsy users may not be familiar with this tip.  When you upload pictures to your computer and you give them a name, that name is used for keyword placement in your items on Pinterest. This can be time consuming when taking 100's of pictures but if you can put keywords as the titles on these files you will get better results in searches!

Comment on other pins - You have to be visible and supportive to others and they will usually do the same in return.  

Pin it button on other sites - don't just pin Etsy items.  Get creative and pin all over the web to gain more followers & Repins!

Tweet and facebook your boards

The title of your pins is your URL - make sure keywords are in your titles.


Peak pinning time is Monday through Friday  4 - 11pm EST.  This means that you will have a higher chance of being seen during those hours.
The expert in the Etsy Symposium highly recommends you put the price in your pins.  They say this will help your exposure because it helps you get into their gift guides.  They were asked if it hurts the look of the board and they strongly felt it did not.

We hope this helps motivate you to use more Pinterest and to start optimizing your boards for better visibility.

Please share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments.


Check out the Mother's Day Challenge Board on Pinterest

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Learning to Nurture the Creative Process

The creative process is a deep and mysterious thing ... more so for some than others, but we all know how exhilarating it is when we have those Ah-ha Moments!

As kids we enjoyed the luxury of slowly waking from sweet slumber, while simultaneously calculating the possibilities of the day ... and all this before our feet even touched the floor. We were still innocent enough to feel a giddy excitement about what the day had in store, never doubting it would be brilliant!

Happiness is ... knowing that every day I will be Brilliant!

Picasso said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

I wasn't intimidated by the box of 64 Crayola colors, worried about what to sculpt with my play dough, and lord knows, as soon as I could get outside to greet the day there was no need for Nintendo to facilitate my game playing adventures. I made up my own games and more importantly, my own rules. I was not in survival mode back then, life was easy ... life was fun.

When we become adults, the times seem to change. Corinthians puts it much better than I ever could ... "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." What a shame!!!

The creative spirit resides deep within, even as a young child. But as grown-ups with lots of distractions and the stress of daily life, what happens when we become scattered and our creative juices suddenly and unexpectedly run dry? As a jewelry designer, I ponder this dilemma, albeit only momentarily. I have several quick fixes under my belt. Here are some suggestions to help you through those unproductive periods that haunt us all.

Sometimes it can be hard to get your act together ...

• Commit to taking time out of your day, maybe early in the morning before anyone else is awake, to be quiet and at peace, even meditate if the spirit moves you to do so.

• The space in which you work needs to be comfortable as well as inspirational. Hang pictures of images that kindle the imagination, paint the walls your favorite color, and place your special pieces in prominent locations throughout the space.

• Go for nature walks, they are refreshing and you will be surprised by the things that inspire you along the way.

• Engage in artistic pursuits other than your chosen medium. Even though I am passionate about jewelry design, I also write, play the flute and shop ;D

• Go with the flow. Creativity is a mysterious process that ignites unexpectedly and if you allow it, will flow continually all your days. When an special idea explodes let it take you over ... It's not about you, it's about the process. Creating really is a form of surrender. For me, it often takes place in the early hours of my day, while I am putting a bead on, taking a bead off, until I am no longer thinking, just doing, and that's when something fresh & unique just might become form. Once the trance is broken I may as well walk away until the next urge to slip back into my studio takes over. I live for those moments.

It is nice to remember the days of our carefree childhood and how much easier it was to 
"let our freak flag fly", but I sure would like to believe it's still possible to live that way each and everyday of our lives. So, even though the restrictiveness of our daily schedules try to crowd out our precious play time, it is important to take the time for creative pursuits and conceive the impossible!

Contributor: Jill Q of jQ jewelry designs

Photo Credits:
Happiness is ... Sarah Jane Studios

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Keepin It Clean ... Caring for Your Jewelry

Caring for Your Jewelry

You can just never have enough jewelry!

Jewelry is one of our favorite and most personal accessories. But did you know that chemicals found in everyday substances like hair spray, lotions, perfumes and other cosmetics can permanently damage the luster of pearls and the shiny finish of silver and gold? Exposure to chemicals, even household cleaners and chlorinated swimming pools, can damage and discolor precious metals and may harm some colored gems. The sulfides in air pollution will cause silver to darken, and the more humid the climate, the faster sterling will tarnish. Knowing how to care for your jewelry can make all the difference in keeping it beautiful for generations to come.

Perfumes & lotions can be very harmful to jewelry, especially pearls ...

The most difficult is cleaning jewelry that includes gemstones within the piece. If your sterling silver jewelry begins to show signs of tarnish, simply wipe it clean with a silver cloth. Most cloths come in two parts: a cleaning cloth and a polishing cloth. A chemically treated cloth, makes the job a lot easier and faster. The Sunshine Cloth is one of the best known and is great for sterling silver and won't harm gemstones. I would avoid silver dips because some may take the color and polish off many gemstones. Special cloths are also available for cleaning gold.

Considered the best ... Sunshine® Polishing Cloth for Sterling Silver, Gold, Brass and Copper Jewelry

Some stones are notoriously delicate:
Foil-backed glass stones
Mother of pearl
Unstabilized turquoise

These delicate gems need VERY gentle cleaning. They should not be exposed to silver dips, ammonia, hot solutions, ultrasonic cleaning or any abrasives. Due to their organic nature, these gems are both soft and porous. Be careful about chemicals in hair spray, cosmetics or perfume. They can damage pearls in particular. Opals also require special care. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or ammonia, and avoid heat and strong light. Opaque gemstones like lapis lazuli, turquoise and malachite require special care because they are rocks, not crystals. They should just be gently wiped clean with a moist cloth. These gemstones can be porous and may absorb chemicals, even soap, which may build up inside the stone and discolor it. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia or any chemical solution.

Compact-size Ultrasonic cleaners are available for at-home use ... but Be Careful what you use them on!!!

Liquid silver jewelry is very difficult to clean. You can use a soft cotton cloth or a Sunshine Cloth. Avoid dips. They leave residue deposits between each bead and make the necklace stiff. A good alternative is to take dry baking soda (or baking powder) and rub it on the liquid silver beads. Then pat and brush off the dry powder.

Now that your beautiful jewelry is clean, the question is how to keep it from tarnishing and becoming dull again? Put your jewelry on after applying makeup,lotions, perfume and hair products. In a perfect world, after wearing your silver jewelry, take a few seconds to wipe it off with a soft clean cloth. But that's in a perfect world . . .

I recommend keeping jewelry tightly sealed in ziplock jewelry bags with no-tarnish strips (available from most jewelry suppliers) inside with the jewelry. Change the strips every 3 to 6 months, depending on where you live and how fast jewelry tends to tarnish. Common blackboard chalk will also help prevent tarnish, as well as activated charcoal. Pacific silvercloth is embedded with thousands of particles of silver. These silver particles absorb tarnish-producing gases, keeping your sterling silver clean and shining between uses.

May be cut into squares and stored with individual pieces of jewelry in a plastic baggie

Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked. Jewelry should never be tossed into a drawer or thrown on top of a dresser - that's just asking for scratches and cracked gemstones. Almost every gemstone is much harder than the metal it is set in. Gems can scratch the finish on your silver and gold, and the harder stones can scratch the softer ones. By storing each piece of gemstone jewelry separately in an airtight baggy, you can prevent scratches and wear, as well as tarnish.

Keep your special jewelry safe for generations to come!

WOW!!! The Ultimate in Jewelry Storage ;D

Contributor: Jill Q of jQ jewelry designs

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge

We plan on holding many different challenges, like our first ... the April Trend Challenge.

This time we want to see what you have specifically for MOTHERS DAY!

Wikipedia says, "Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society."

For this challenge, please post your submissions in the comments section.  Give a link to the item you have specifically for Mother's Day.  Please make sure you tag and title it so that everyone can find your gifts!!

These must be NEW items to be entered in this challenge.

SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY:  May 4th Midnight Eastern time.

On May 6th we will put all the submissions up on this blog for people to vote for their favorite submission for Mother's Day.  Voting will end on Mother's Day May 13th, Midnight Eastern Time.

We will give a blog feature to the winner.  The Feature will be posted May 18th, contingent upon the winner responding with the information necessary :)

Below are ideas for what would make lovely Mother's Day Gifts. 

Popular Mother’s Day Flowers

                                                                        ● Callas  
                                                                        ● Freesia
                                                                        ● Gerbera Daisy
                                                                        ● Hydrangeas
                                                                        ● Irises
                                                                        ● Lilies
                                                                        ● Orchids
                                                                        ● Roses 
                                                                        ● Tulips

Mother's Day Flower colors

Pink is the traditional favorite for Mother’s Day flowers. Other colors to wow Mom this Mother’s Day include:
● Monochromatic (flowers in the same color)
● Blush pink, antique ivory and cream tonesHot Pink and Orange Mother's Day Flowers
Hot pink and berry tones combined with shades of red

New emerging trend this year for Mother’s day are bold, vibrant and exciting color combinations including:
                                                 ● Hot pink and orange
                                                 ● Citron and purple
                                                 ● Shades of orange hues - tangerine to peach
                                                 ● Purple accented with bright green
                                                 ● Purple and lime green and magenta
                                                 ● Pink, coral and turquoise together

Popular Mother's Day Floral Designs

● Monochromatic (flowers in the same color family) floral arrangements
● Floral arrangements designed in baskets
● Strong botanical or color groupings surrounded by beautiful smaller flowers and foliage
● Natural, earthy and garden-style arrangements in vintage style glassware
● Soft and feminine mixed flower combinations
● Simple, mono botanical (one flower variety) designs in clear glass vessels

Popular Mother's Day Plants

                                                                    ● Azaleas
                                                                    ● Chrysanthemums
                                                                    ● Dish gardens
                                                                    ● Gerbera Daisy
                                                                    ● Hydrangea
                                                                    ● Kalanchoe
                                                                    ● Orchids

Think family trees, family birthstones, stamped jewelry that is personalized.  Charm bracelets.

Perfume, candles, Beautiful handmade, thoughtful cards!

Any item you are making specifically for Mother's Day -  post a link in the comments below to enter a chance to win a blog feature.


********** WE ARE POSTING ALL ENTRIES TO OUR PINTEREST MOTHER'S DAY BOARD.  Please check it out and help repin and follow it.

Peelirohini was the very first winner of our Blog Feature Challenge!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Etsy Success - Blog & Magazine Features

Etsy Success Symposium ~ Part I

Recently Etsy did a series of online labs to help Etsy sellers learn ways of boosting their businesses.  It was  10 hours of information!  Amazing tips and tricks by many experts and on tons of topics.
They covered topics like Pinterest, to how to get found in Etsy searches!
Etsy created a Workbook for these symposiums.  The workbook has some worksheets you can use to help implement a lot of what was discussed ...
You can find the workbook here
They also created a website for the topics here

I would like to share what I found helpful during these labs.

Blog Feature and Magazine Features

One of the real keys I heard is that the editors are looking for unique items with good value.  The reason this is significant is that if you create nothing but one of kind items you will probably NEVER see a feature in a magazine.  The editors said their readers get really upset if they read something, go to a site all excited to get one, and there are none available.  This kills the article and feature and hurts their readers.  

Since we are artists and we all take pride in our designs, and MANY shop owners strive for one of kind items I found this a critical point.  That even if you make one of a kind items you really need items in your shop that can be reproduced, and that you can sell a good quantity off.  Not just for a big magazine feature but also to keep your shops stocked and looking full.  To help you remain visible in searches too.  This is really key to build inventory.

Tips to Get Featured

1.  Know the magazine you want to be featured in.  Learn their demographics, and the type of items that are featured to see if you are a good fit before contacting the editors.   They mentioned a site called compete that helps you find the readership of a publication, demographics etc. Make sure your target market matches with theirs for the greatest success.
2.  Research a season in advance.  For instance, right now magazines are looking for Seasonal fall previews.  If you send in a Spring themed item you won't get the feature.  Their spring stories are already done!    
3.  They said having a cohesive look in your shop is very helpful.  They look for the same style of lighting, or color palette, backdrop, photo's.  She used an example that if you take pictures on an all white background, then make sure you crop them all in the same spot so that there is a distinctive style for your work.  I found that tip very helpful since I do use all white backgrounds, this will help me find a style.
4.  These editors specifically mentioned several sites that they frequently look through to find items they want to feature.  So being on these sites with your products would increase your odds of getting found.
a.  Polyvore
b.  Pinterest
c.  Etsy
5.  For your listings they prefer to hear a story behind the product.  They realize that we can't write a book in our listings because customers won't read it and we have to get pertinent information out to our customers.  But when they are doing an article or feature for a magazine it is the STORY that sells.  So if you can tell a story in your profile and in your product listings it will help them build a story for a feature.
6.  Make sure your listings are extremely clear about the products, supplies used, length of time to produce or mail the products etc.  They don't want to work with a business that won't follow through and will upset their readers.  So they need very clear information.
7.  Value and Quantity - They mentioned that they want a well stocked store.  As for value the one editor said it would be rare to sell high end items through a featured article.  Now this depends on the magazine, but most readers are looking for "value" she said.

How to Pick the Right Blog

They described ways for you to find the BEST blog or magazine to contact.  The best thing you can do is to research each venue.  Find out their website ranking, so you know the type of traffic they have.  But traffic isn't the end, it doesn't matter if they get a ton of traffic if their traffic is inactive.  Meaning, look to see how engaged the readers are, do they tweet the articles, do they leave comments... the more active a blog page is the more engaged readers are.  This means if you were featured on there you would get better exposure.  

Tips for Contacting Editors or Blogs

EVERYONE wants to know what are they looking for, and how to stand out.  They get 1000's of emails a day of people wanting to get featured.  So some tips to help you stand out and make an impression.
1.  Subject Line of your email  - This should be a sentence or a question.  Not just one word, Feature, or something.  They say the more specific the better.  So if you have a specific feature or section you want you should put that in the subject line.
2.  Have high resolution pictures to provide at least 300dpi they mentioned.
3.  Tell a story.  Help them understand why their readers want this product.
4.  Pick a Theme:  Again they are looking for Fall items now, so make sure your email will fit in with a subject they are actually looking for to increase your odds of a response. 
The last tip I took from this was, KEEP trying.  They don't mind getting emails from you more than one time ... they have rarely been annoyed by entries and unless you are told not to submit again, you should keep trying.  BUT when submitting another time, switch it up!  Try a different angle, a different picture to grab their attention, a different story line.  Don't keep submitting the same thing. 

I hope this helps everyone feel more comfortable to contact and reach out for extra exposure.  I know this motivated me and definitely help me feel more confident in what I should be doing!

Good luck.  If you have had luck getting into a popular blog or magazine we would love to hear about it.  Please post a comment and link!!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

1st Frenzy Trend Challenge Winner

Enjoy some of Peeli's beautiful work!

The Promotional Frenzy Team on Etsy recently held its first trend challenge.  Everyone created a new item for their shop based upon trends for April.  We are pleased to announce our first winner, chosen at random.  Peelirohini won with this item:

We will have more challenges in the future.  Here is the lovely story of Peeli.  Hope you enjoy her shop!


I am Priya from Peelirohini. My store was born after and named after my baby girl, whom we call 'Peeli' at home -'Peeli' means 'Peacock Feather', and Rohini is a star in Indian astronomical tradition .. I have been using the name Peeli so as to not confuse my customers - our lovely Indian names are confusing enough without me adding a double dose of that :)

I am so thrilled to have an opportunity to be featured in the PFT blog - And before I go any further, let me tell you PFT is hands down the best support team you will find anywhere and I am glad of the day I joined this fabulous Team ! I think we can start our own chapter of AA or NA or anything anonymous really, the support system we have is so amazing and so warm, it feels like family to me !! So Thank You PFT, not only for this feature, but for everything !!

Now back to moi. I lived the first two decades of my life in the lovely and vibrant Kochi - rightly called the queen of Arabian sea - which has a rich and colorful culture and smells like cardamom and cinnamon on warm days and is located in the extreme southern part of India. Kochi being one of the most famous seaports of yester years attracted trades-people from all over the world - Romans, Arabs, Greeks, Europeans. They all left their indelible prints in this land that influenced the way the culture in India and particularly our tiny state evolved! I was lucky to move around to different places in India too, where each day has been an experience and for which I thank heavens every day. My work took me to US and I got another look at a wholly different way of life, a very open and fearless outlook, that I have come to love as much as the life in my little corner of India! I love the openness of this country, how our many friends here have made us feel so warm and wanted and welcome all these years, how this country and its people have embraced a whole lot of different cultures and absorbed them to form this living, pulsating, thriving fabric of humanity, creating perhaps the finest and strongest texture of life ever to be seen, anywhere in the world!

Peeli has amazing pearl designs too! Somebody I know has her eye on this ;D

I have always made things from the time I was a little kid, neither studies nor anything else could keep me from making things when the mood was right; it was perhaps when I was around 10 that I started working mainly on jewelry pieces. This continiued thru highschool, college and even after I became a computer engineer.I always found something to do. However, It was after coming to US that I started creating jewelry with the correct components, ie from components that are meant to be made to jewelry and not perfectly good pieces broken down by me to be reconstituted again!

My husband one day gifted me with this little set of three jewelry making tools and that was the starting point of my creations in a streamlined manner. I started making them as gifts for my friends and the feedback and appreciation they showed in addition to the fact that I had begun to take this very seriously led me to open my own store in Etsy where I have been active since Feb of 2010. I had some local sales before that too but Etsy has given me a venue to reach out to a wider audience.

I initially worked a lot with sterling silver and gemstones, however felt a lack of control on the designs. To have more of that, I tried doing metalwork with Precious metal clay, but found that I was wasting more clay than I should and then turned to Polymer clay to learn the techniques of molding the precious metal clay effectively. That was the end of my work with metal clay ( I still have this one pack of copper clay sitting untouched and that I may perhaps open one day )

I was blown away by the versatility of polymer clay. It took me a couple of tries to get the settings right, the first day I tried it my husband thought I had set our house on fire! I have gone over every book I could lay my hands on in polymer clay and it has been a long learning process, there are a lot of things I need to try.
I absorb the learnings from these, and try to use them in my own way in my design process. My intention has been to create the bigger sized clay sculptures in a wearable form. Right now I am focusing on florals, but plan to branch out to more topics. For every piece listed in my store, both in sterling and clay, there are about 2-3 pieces thats gone unlisted.. I do a lot of the inital designs on paper, however I need to do it once for real to be fully satisfied with the piece, many times, I need to do it again to get the final right look, I know it may not be the most effective way, but it goes for me:). Sometimes, my clay pieces just feel right and get to their final form in a matter of hours. Some take me weeks to complete even after my clay beads are done; they feel just not ready to be set into an earring or a necklace! In such cases, I just let them be and I go on to the next piece and some times, just out of the blue, I find the perfect partners in gemstones for those and I have found that waiting for them are really worthwhile in how they turn out!!

Everything and everyone inspire me to create, the different world cultures, their visible influence in the way of life, the clothes, the jewelry from different ages and times, etc; it may even be just the way someone has draped a fabric over their shoulders! Then nature, the places we visit or see in magazines or tv, sometimes its a picture my now, almost 5 year old draws (by the way, she is amazing with her color skills; I know I may be biased, but I already have plans for us doing clay work together :)

I have this lovely painting of a garden she made for me in a gorgeous sage green and a stunning mellow yellow that I am dying to do in clay! I have kept that right on my work table so when the mood strikes me and I feel a design is just right, I can go ahead and make them! She constantly surprises me with her paintings and use of color ... I mean, when I was her age, I knew nothing about mixing colors, she has already started mixing colors like Teal and others like -Chartreuse which I only recently learned was a color :)

I believe every place that a person has been, every one a person has met , and every second a person has lived, however inconsequential these may seem to be at the time, do leave a mark on the person and adds a little bit to the wholeness that is him/her!! Every bit and piece you find in my store has a memory or some incident associated with it ! I cannot make jewelry for the sake of creating it, I have to feel it !! Its not a business for me, its a part of my life and soul ... its been very therapeutic to me when I needed it, especially this past year when I lost my greatest champion ever, my dad, to cancer. Jewelry making and sculpting beads with clay gives me a way to focus on the good things in life ! Its something that I hold close to my heart and will be thankful always to have.

Its been lovely chatting to you! I hope I haven't bored you much with all this talk. (I have had people say about me, "she writes novels where a sentence would suffice!" ... well, that's me alright !! )

You can see me here - www.peelirohini.etsy.com

Priya's beautiful family!

"Veni, Vidi, Vici" ...

We came, We saw, We conquered!!!

~ Page One ~

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Rainbows Are Coming!!!

WHO: The Promotional Frenzy Team

WHAT: Rainbow Treasury Event

WHEN: Wednesday, April 4th

WHERE: Etsy Treasury Pages

WHY: PFT Will Be Creating Our Very Own Rainbow!

Be watching tomorrow afternoon for our Rainbows on the Treasury Pages of Etsy 

A Rainbow is a Beautiful Thing ... Enjoy these!

And my personal fav ... Emerald City in OZ ;D