Archive for January, 2010

There is no better place to explore a theme than on Etsy.  Valentine’s Day and love are themes that Etsy sellers do right.  What a better way to express my love for Etsy than to display the love on Etsy?

I begin with a poem by the Persian poet Hafez of Shiraz, and then give you my Valentine’s Day favorites:

Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights up the Whole Sky.


Romance Blouse by CowgirlHeaven

I think the back is a place of often overlooked beauty.  This blouse does such an elegant job of displaying it.

I have a Pink heart- Double Brooch by krize

Gotta go with the cute.  This guy would jazz up any Valentine’s Day cardigan.

Love Card by Wheeler Studio

Love is girls and boys and boys and girls and girls.

Haute Couture Valentines Day Dress by Nostalgia

The fabric is covered in little tiny hearts!  It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day date dress.

Interlocking Garnet ring by onegarnetgirl

This double ring blows my socks off.

Dancing Bears- Waltz Print by amberalexander

Absolutely nothing says true love like this watercolor print of waltzing bears.  I love the sincerity in the bear’s face.

❤   ❤   ❤


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Haiti Relief Benefit Concert

A flier I drew for it:

If you, dear reader, live near Amherst, Massachusetts, consider joining us on Thursday, January 28th, for a concert to benefit Haiti relief.  Bands Bella’s Bartok, Grex, and the Fine and Dandy Trio will be playing, starting at 7pm, in Earthfoods in the Student Union.

*** Last night was a complete success, with happy people dancing all over to the music and contributing over $600 to the UMass Haiti Relief Fund.

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As I mentioned before, Regretsy, the site that brings the “WTF to DIY“, coordinates drives for certain charities.  After reaching a certain amount of money, Regretsy hires an Etsy seller to contribute to the charity.  The latest charity the Regretsy community is raising money for is Project Linus.

I conducted my own drive for Project Linus in high school, so this project is close to my heart. The women in my community really came together, pulling out crocheting hooks and knitting needles, and contributing to my drive.  It was amazing to be the center of such a positive energy: I got to gather up all of the blankets, hard work and love, and deliver them to my local chapter.

Project Linus collects handmade (and handmade only!) blankets to distribute to ill children, traumatized children, and children otherwise in need.  The organization began in 1995 with one woman, who read an article about Laura, a little girl undergoing years of chemotherapy and getting through it with the help of her blankie.  The reader, Karen Loucks, decided to donate her handmade blankets to her local cancer hospital.

You can read a little more about Laura here.

Project Linus is organized by local chapters, so that each blanket and its maker (referred to as a “Blanketeer”) doesn’t have to travel far.  The blankets then are given to local area hospitals.  Find your local chapter: http://www.projectlinus.org/chapter.php

As an healthy, happy little girl, I absolutely loved my blankie.  I can’t even imagine how much one would mean to someone in need.

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My next Etsy Favorite comes in the shape of this uber-cute skirt by MyLolaFashion.  It reminds me of a tulip by the way it wraps around and softly separates at the bottom.   The color blue is especially eye-catching.  Spring is calling my name in the form of this skirt!

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Success on Etsy. It’s seemingly everywhere!  Yet there are thousands of sellers who never make a sale.  The Storque, the Etsy blog, has many articles with tips on improving one’s store. Here is a helpful article for new sellers:

Success for Beginning Etsy Sellers

I’d like to take a look at three successful shops.  What do they have in common?  What seems to be their key to success?  As a buyer, what attracts me to these shops?  I’m looking at:

ImYourPresent BoyGirlParty WhichGoose

SHOP APPEARANCE- First Impressions

When I browse through a shop, I look for a creative banner (nothing stock), and then I immediately want to look at what is being sold.  If I don’t see something I that catches my eye, within about twenty seconds, I bounce.  How do these sellers draw people in?

WhichGoose– Her banner is clean, balanced and clear- an image of her product, and the name.  Below, she succinctly describes her product and in the shop announcement, lists her blog, twitter, video links, etc.

ImYourPresent– Her banner reflects the colors and style of her product.  Like WhichGoose, below the banner is a basic description of her product.  ImYourPresent is hooked up on Facebook, MySpace, and has a mailing list.  In her shop announcement, she also mentions shops of her friends and assistants.

BoyGirlParty– Like the other two, this shop’s banner is reflective of her color palate and style, and there is a short description of what she sells: “quirky + useful     art + gifts”.  Her popular owl drawing balances the banner by sitting in the middle of the banner.


What do these photographs have in common?  They’re not cropped too close, or shot too far away.  They are full of light, and shot at interesting angles.  There aren’t any distracting backgrounds or backdrops.



BoyGirl Party


People are inclined to buy from you again if you treat them right the first time.  So prompt shipping and a willingness to communicate is a must.  That’s what I look for in a seller.

As for product:  Even if you have beautiful photographs and an attractive shop, the product is what matters!  I would never sell what I wouldn’t buy myself.  Quality and attention to detail is essential.

WhichGoose– Her crowns and combs are all beautiful, delicate pieces.  Everyone who leaves feedback agrees with this and adds that the packaging was both protective and elegant.  It is encouraging to read, as a buyer, that all the other buyers are absolutely thrilled with their purchases.

ImYourPresent– Feedback for her items was a constant “sooo pretty!”  and “well made”.  One customer loved her earrings so much that she wants to marry them.  ImYourPresent sends little extra surprises with her orders!

BoyGirlParty– This seller is constantly complimented on her fast shipping.  I love that I can browse for a favorite drawing among jewelry, paper goods and clothing.   BoyGirlParty also has a fully functioning website, where you can find bio info, her blog, and where her items can also be purchased.


The style of the artists is apparent in each piece: consistency in work creates a cohesiveness in the presentation of the shop.  Amazing work, ladies!!

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I am so in love with KnockKnocking‘s White Chocolate Wreath.  Her sense of color continues to dazzle me.  The felt roses appear to be plucked from a cake.  There is even a stripe of chocolate drizzle!


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Handmade:  Creating opportunity where the once was none.

Marketplace: Handwork of India is a non-profit that does just that.  Starting out from SHARE, a non-profit in Mumbai in 1980, the organizers realized that there was a market for handmade clothing in the US, and Marketplace was born in 1986. 

It’s not about turning a profit.  It’s about empowering women and giving them opportunity and financial independence.  On their website, Marketplace describes their “model of supported self-help, which involves the artisans directly at all levels of decision-making as they form and manage their own independent cooperatives.”

The motto sewn into each piece of clothing is: “Dignity, not Charity”.

Marketplace now works with over 480 artists, from 14 cooperatives. The clothing and home products are hand dyed, sewn and embroidered.  You can even find out about the specific dyers and their methods online under Artisan Profiles>Suppliers.

The cooperatives engage in what they call Global Dialogue.  This involves communication between the customers and artists, as well as whole cooperatives exploring social themes together, in personal reflections as well as discussion.

Memuna, from the WARE Cooperative, said:

“I always felt that there was a bird inside me which was caged for many years but today it wants to be free, to be allowed to fly from the cage and soar high. As my children are becoming independent, I am also beginning to feel free.”


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