Bright, NEW MONTHLY GOALS…April Evaluation.

April is coming to an end and it begs that I evaluate my April Goals and contemplate new ones for May.  My April goals were to:

1. Get 350 hearts on Etsy (Check!  Accomplished today!)

2. Reach a total of 30 sales…still have 7 to go…anyone want to buy?  Go to my shop now!  (NO MINIMUM PURCHASE…BUY before April ends and get a FREE PAIR OF EARRINGS!)

3. Drive more traffic to my blog…sporadic.  I tried some new things and although I still have traffic, it is up and down.  Some days I have TONS and other days nothing…I suppose most blogs have that though – up and down.  I’m going to keep at it, but am open to any suggestions to keep traffic flowing.  🙂

4. Get something in a new local boutique – one shop has agreed to carry my wine glasses! (check!)

5. Make new items every day and post new items in my shop regularly.  (I consistently made new items, but was not as consistent with listing as I would have liked.)

6. Post in the forums, blog every day and stay active on Etsy, building relationships and getting to know other crafters. (Well, I almost blogged every day and stayed active on Etsy, though not as much in the evenings as I used to.)  

7. Gain as much exposure as I can. (check!)

Special news…
  I had a really nice thing happen yesterday!  If you follow my blog, you may remember Shannon from greenbelts.  Well, yesterday, Shannon had the honor and privilege of being selected as the featured artist in Etsy’s “Etsy Success Stories!” AND she wore my Lemon Drop earrings in the pictures that they used!!! 

 Yippee!!!  She also included my new “Jonquil Delight” earrings as a favorite of hers below the article!  How sweet is she?  Very!  🙂  So, it goes to show how important it is to develop relationships!  It’s all about networking!


So, for my May goals…I’m giving them thought, with regard that I will need to embrace the challenges that warm weather will brings.  I’d like to hear your goals!  Let’s help one another take off!  =)

 

Advertisements

Introducing Greenbelts…

coolring2.jpgfunkybuttonbunch.jpgleathercuff.jpgpinkring.jpg


I enjoy introducing artists now and again, who really spark my interest, and I’ve found someone who not only makes astonishingly original pieces, but she does it using recycled materials that we all wear out and throw away – belts.

greensuedebandcuff2.jpggreensuedebandcuff.jpggreensuedebandcuffback.jpg

Her name is Shannon Ritscher.  She is from Seattle, WA.  Shannon is a part-time graphic designer and part-time crafter (Greenbelts), but she is also a full-time, stay at home mom to her 4 year old son – Henry.  (Round of applause for balancing all three and rockin’ it out on Etsy at the same time!)  She’s awesome, is an inspiration, has a ton to choose from on Etsy and I seriously have so many favorites, it makes my head spin!

coolring.jpgcurlyring.jpgblueandwhitering.jpgbostonring.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I think the growth process of artists, when they work from the ground up, is a beautiful thing.  Shannon started listing on Etsy in June of 2007.  When I asked her about her early beginnings, she recalled, making collars and cuffs for friends and family for Christmas presents just 6 months before she opened shop.  She said they liked them so well that she thought she’d try her hand at selling them.  As Shannon thought back, she said, “I worked out of my neighbors basement for one full year before my husband finally built me a little work space (shed) on our back porch just a few months ago. Yea!”  If you’re a crafter, you can likely relate.  I know I started working at the kitchen table, which was followed by a relocation to our home office, with yet another bulge into our guest bedroom.  I don’t think the growth and development ever ends. 

cuffandcollarset.jpgcuffandcollarset2.jpgcuffandcollarset3.jpg

I asked Shannon what her favorite material or materials are to use.  I’ve already said belts were one, but you’ll see from her work, she also enjoys working with buttons, found objects, and bottle caps and humorously, a favorite of most but not often thought of, Shannon’s other favorite thing to work with is “time.”  🙂 

heartband2.jpgheartband.jpgheartbandback.jpg

Shannon’s personal favorite of the items in her shop is a toss-up, but here was her response…  “The first one is a cuff made from a very cool weathered leather belt, a giant metal washer, and an amazing vintage dark abalone carved button. The contrast between the materials makes my heart flutter. I also have a soft spot for the red, white and black large cut flower cuff and collar setthat I have listed right now. I just about go cross-eyed every night, sitting and cutting out flowers (TONS of flowers!). I think they look adorable though – especially on. I love things that are girly but without all the frill.”  I’m sure there are lots of people out there that share Shannon’s taste!

whitebluecuff.jpgreclaimedring.jpgvegancuff.jpg

When I asked her what she loves about handmade items, Shannon said she loves the unexpected aspect of handmade items.  Wonderfully said, Shannon’s additional comments were, “when you see something fantastic that is made from something else (recycled) and/or something that is uniquely beautiful – Well, there’s nothing better.”  She also added, “I do tend to gravitate toward recycled pieces because I love things that have a story behind them.”  I too love stories and because I’m a talker, love things that generate fun conversation!  Shannon’s items are and do, exactly that, which may be why I love them so much!  Plus, I’m an animal lover with three dogs – what fashionable, dog owner girl wouldn’t love having a matching dog collar and owner cuff set?  They’re sweet!

reddogcollarcuff.jpgreddogcollar.jpgreddogcollar3.jpgreddogcollar2.jpg
redbelt.jpgdogcollarmatchingownerbracelet.jpgdogcollar2.jpgdogcollar.jpg

For all of our Etsy readers out there, I always think it’s good to know how other Etsians are promoting.  I’m a firm believer in working smarter, and not harder, so I’m regularly looking to borrow ideas from other successful people.  Shannon’s success has come primarily from promoting her items through her website, a blog, her Etsy shop, Myspace, and similar web based opportunities.  

Even though we are pretty much saturated by technology these days, I know some people still don’t realize the power and marketing potential of the Internet.  With 386 Etsy items sold and having 100% positive feedback, Shannon is one to prove that it works! 

leathercuffback.jpg

Shannon says that most of her promotional efforts have been put on hold until her son starts school next year and she has a little more time to give it a good effort.  Currently, she has products in 8 stores, from Seattle to the UK.  She has a portfolio on TrunkT, her Greenbelts are featured on www.seekingdesigners.com and various blogs like www.pupstyle.com, itsthedogslife.com, www.treehugger.com, www.ourgreatgreenglobe.com, etc.  She is also gearing up to attend some local art/craft shows this summer.  Jeesh!  For having her promotions on “hold,” I’d say she’s pretty active and thriving!

daynightcuff.jpgdaynightcuff2.jpg

Shannon had some kind words for me for featuring her in my blog, but after learning about her, her talents, and drive, I have this to say to her: Shannon –>YOU rock! 

highfive.jpg
High Five!

And lastly – one more thing about Shannon — she’s great because her birthday is the same day as Anthony and I’s wedding Anniversary…December 17th.  🙂