Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chat Tip #1 - Avatar Order

In the wonderful world of Etsy chat, we learn to recognize familiar "faces" in the form of their avatars. And the order of those avatars tells us something too.

Here's the same chat room, seen from outside:
And seen from inside:

The difference? When viewed from outside, the avatars are arranged in order of how long the Etsian has been in the room (longest first). From within the room, avatars line up based on how long the person has been an Etsy member with that ID (again, longest first). Cool, eh?

Learn more about using chat in Chat Tip #2 - Names Auto-Complete

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Glamorous Whites" Treasury by ticc

Team member ticc has embraced the fun of making Treasuries featuring Chat Team members. This beautiful selection is live and ready for your visits, clicks and comments by going to this link, any time through Saturday morning February 27.

Congratulations to all the chatters in this Treasury!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chatters' Treasury by elephantwalk

She's on a roll making Treasuries, and this new one from Team member elephantwalk highlights some of her "chat-addicted friends."

It's open for Etsyluvin' visits, clicks and comments through Monday morning February 22. To get to it, just click here.

Five Questions for...AuntKarensCreations

This time Team member AuntKarensCreations answers five (well, make that six) questions from our previous interviewee, heartsabustin.

Q. When did you learn to sew, and who taught you?
A. I started sewing when I was 14. I flunked the sewing class that they taught in Junior High but was determined to sew anyway! My mom had always sewn our clothes (We always had friends wanting to borrow what we wore to school.) I would sit by the hour and watch her sew. One day I sat down and made my first piece of clothing all by myself...that started me on a lifetime of making clothes!

Q. What are your best inspirations?
A.'s a combination of things, I suppose. I'll see a color and think "Wow, that would look great in a blouse!" Or I'll see a funky fabric and think "Hmmm wouldn't that make a great purse!" Then I start laying out the pattern or drawing my design for a tote. I can tell I have a winner when I just can't quit grinning when it's done.

Q. What do you like better, apples or oranges? And why?
A. Oh, an easy one! I prefer oranges over apples hands down. I just don't like apples. Except for their terrific color range, that is.

Q. Who has been your favorite US President, and why?
A. I think that Harry Truman is my favorite President. I have lived in the Kansas City area for most of my life. He lived and returned to Independence, MO which is about 20 miles from where I grew up. My Godfather, a photographer, was Harry's official photographer whenever President Truman was home. He would tell the best and funniest stories about his times with the President. So I got to know Harry Truman vicariously. Harry Truman was also a strong, straightforward man, and when he told you something you could believe what he said.

Q. What's the best thing about selling on Etsy?
A. The Etsy community! I think that is why I cannot stay out of the Newbie Labs! It's truly a wonder watching all of us grow in our art. The Etsy community is generous with sharing their experience, sharing their business methods, sharing themselves.
To me Etsy truly wants us to be successful and does their utmost to help. What other venue is available to help with whatever problem you have in a one-to-one basis? It's so fun to watch the scared newbie blossom into a wonderful seller! Hey, we were ALL scared newbies at one time or another.

Q. Bonus Question: Money no object, who would you buy from on Etsy?
A. I get to go shopping??? YES!! Honestly I don't pay attention to the shop, I look at items. That's why I use my Favorites, because I forget who had that "I can't live without it" item...LOL. We all search just to browse the shops and I decided one day to just shop by price, looking for the most expensive item and found a watch for $22,000. I hearted that sucker just because it was so expensive!

Then I found the funniest item...exploding frog soap! It's a gel soap that when it gets soft enough it erupts in foamy bubbles, and I laughed until I cried at the concept...I kept thinking of the poor kid in Harry Potter who couldn't get anything right!

I love doors and faces too. I love things that make you smile because you saw them. The first shop that I remembered the name and products of? I just fell on the floor laughing when I saw a BuyMyCrap post in the forums. His avatar is a roll of toilet paper! He makes beautiful polymer rings, not the kind of thing I would purchase for myself, but would make a terrific gift at some point.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Rainbow of Colors" Chatters' Treasury

ticc is one of our newest Chat Team members, and she has created a brand new Treasury featuring some of the most colourful work from the Team. Visit it live through Monday morning February 15 and show it some Etsylove with your clicks and comments, or click the image for a larger view.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Five Questions for...heartsabustin

Team member heartsabustin has taken on a handful of question about life, art, and business!

Q. What are your inspirations?
A. I love nature - God was the first artist, and I think he did a pretty fine job. ;)
I also love walking into a fabric store and letting the color combinations I see in there inspire me. Going to the mall for me is research - I like to see what clothes are out for a season, what colors designers are using, and how I might be able to complement those colors in my jewelry.

Q. How do you balance your family life and personal life with your work responsibilities, including running an Etsy shop?
A. It's not easy, because my family is demanding! Seriously, I try to make sure the computer is turned off when my husband gets home and I make efforts to get up and play with my kids. It's so easy to sit here and *will* sales by staring at the screen. LOL
We have homework now, and they love to play games, so I get up and do that stuff with them. The crafting takes place when I can work it in.

Right now, I'm trying to concentrate on my newest love of working with precious metal clay. That's slow going because the supplies are not as readily available as I would like them to be!

Q. How do you promote your Etsy business? What types of promotion have been most successful for you? Least effective?
A. I run ads on Craftcult and Craftopolis, I have Twitter and a Facebook Fan Page (highly recommended if you don't already have one!), and I lurk in chat (obviously!!!) and the forums a great deal. (JS notes: heartsabustin has a blog too.) The more places you are and the more active you are, the better your exposure is. The least effective thing I've done is take out a Showcase on Etsy. For the same money, I can get a whole week of advertising on Craftcult.

Q. Knowing what you do now, is there anything you would have done differently when you first opened your shop?
A. I would have researched the photography part a little better. My pictures have improved by leaps and bounds since I've been here. And I would have relaxed a little bit more. I was terrified at taking such a big step into running a business. I would never have made it through if it hadn't been for my mom and my husband. Great supporters are they!

Q. What are three Etsy items you would buy today if you could, and if money was not an object?
A. Anything from TheLeatherStore.
One of WickedSoaps gift sets - for me! - in White Raspberry Truffle. Yum!
The vine necklace in MangosteenJewelry's Etsy shop. Gorgeous! She's one of my new PMC friends. What a sweetheart!

Next time...heartsabustin asks another Chat Team member five questions of her own!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Time to update your Shop Announcement?

This week I clicked on every one of our Team members' shop links to cull closed shops and be sure all our new members are included too.
Something I noticed while scanning the Shop Announcements is that some are a tad behind the times. I spotted notices about sales that ended last year, plenty of Christmas references, long-past away-for-vacation announcements, and even a mention of Halloween!

In the fine Etsy tradition, there's no "calling out" or naming of names here, but more a friendly reminder that everything from the Shop Announcement to individual listings and Policies needs an occasional review.

Image of a vintage desk calendar from ExpressionsDesign, thanks!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"My EtsyChat Valentines" Treasury

Team member and chat regular heartsabustin has made a rich-and-rosy Treasury featuring some of her fellow chatters, and inspired by Valentine's Day. See it here, and leave your clicks and comments live through Thursday morning February 4.