Monday, April 30, 2012

Tips for Using Pinterest to Promote Your Shop

Is Pinterest the Next Social Commerce Game Changer?Monetate Marketing Infographics

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012 - Shop Hop


Do you have an online shop?  Love to check out other shops?  Then you are in the right spot!


Just enter your shop name and link the item you would like featured.  No rules, just click on the other shop links to connect and get inspired!


This linky will change every Wednesday, so be sure to come back and add your shop!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Home Decor Spotlight: Bits of the Past


This week’s Home Decor Spotlight features an interview with Suzanne from the Etsy shop Bits of the Past Antiques and Crafts. I am thrilled to share Suzanne with you because this is our first vintage store spotlight and I adore the items that she carries and I'm sure that you will too!

Tell us about your business, how you got started & how long you’ve been in business.


I have always had a love for vintage and picking. I was raised in a family of pickers. My aunt owned an antique shop and would wake up at three in the morning on weekends to find great deals. She was my biggest inspiration. I opened Bits of the Past a year ago when I had to stop working as a teacher. We adopted our third child, and I needed to be home. I had a difficult time transitioning from working full time to stay at home mom statuts. I am a mover! I cannot sit still. Starting Bits of the Past made sense. I had a hobby that I loved, and decided to turn it into profit. This was truly a great decision to follow my heart and begin selling. I am inspired daily by the amazing items I find, and I truly love what I do.


Do you have favorites in your shop?


 I love my metal crate! Even though I am selling it, the crate is currently in my bathroom being used as a shelf!

Vintage Metal Crate

I found these recipes in a cookbook dated to 1901.  I know that they are not this old, but the paper is yellowing and you can tell that whoever it was made the dishes a great deal.  Folded edges, fingerprints, etc. I love the history and the story I think of when I see these frames.
Vintage Recipes in Vintage Frames


Where do you get your inspiration for new products or items? 


To get my inspiration, I have to go looking. I get up early on the weekends in the Spring and Summer, and hunt. If something catches my eye, I buy it. If it is something that I can sell as is, I put it right into my shop. However, I sometimes find material remnants or old recipes. When I do find these, I snatch them up quickly. Some of my hottest items have been my handmade vintage chenille pillows and framed vintage recipes. If you like it,buy it. Chances are, someone else will see its beauty as well.

What’s coming up for spring? Do you have new products on the horizon? 


My goal for Bits of the Past this spring and summer is to add at least 3-4 new items weekly and promote. Mothers Day is coming up and I sell quite a bit around this time, so a sale is on the horizon as well. Finally, more chenille pillows are being made!

What one tip do you have for others who are thinking about starting their own businesses or are just starting out?


Only one! Patience is the key to an online business. It does not happen overnight, and many times, I was concerned that I would never make my first sell. It takes time to promote with blogs, teams, twitter etc. If you do all of these things and have patience, you will be successful.


Connect with Bits of the Past: 
Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BitsofthePast
Blog: http://bitsofthepastantiquesandcrafts.blogspot.com/
Twitter:  http://bitsofthepastantiquesandcrafts.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BitsofthePast/132623850149529


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012 - Shop Hop


Do you have an online shop?  Love to check out other shops?  Then you are in the right spot!


Just enter your shop name and link the item you would like featured.  No rules, just click on the other shop links to connect and get inspired!


This linky will change every Wednesday, so be sure to come back and add your shop!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Home Decor Spotlight: Quiltsalon from Russia


In this installment of the Home Décor Spotlight, I 'd like to introduce to you Faina with Quiltsalon from Russia, where she sells beautiful quilts.  Let's get to know Faina!

Tell us about your business, how you got started & how long you’ve been in business.

Well... I have been making quilts for more than 10 years. I began to sell my items 3 years ago. I opened my own internet shop on Etsy in November of 2011.

Here are some of our favorites in her shop:

Quilt "Rabbits"
Quilt "Red Butterfly"

Quilt "Hunting Lodge"


 Where do you get your inspiration for new products or items? 

I also find variants of my future works in special literature (magazines and booklets).  

What’s coming up for spring? Do you have new products on the horizon? 

Frankly speaking, I have some interesting variants of future blankets of quilt technique for (this) coming spring.

What one tip do you have for others who are thinking about starting their own businesses or are just starting out? 



And one tip for those who are thinking about starting their own businesses or are just starting out: set your works for sale. It may turn out that your work will be very necessary to someone. 
Just try it. Go ahead!

Connect with  Quiltsalon:




Friday, April 13, 2012

Want to Promote Your Shop? Start Now.



Social media, where to begin?
While perusing social media articles I ran across an article from Chris Brogan.  Just to pull a bit from his website - Chris Brogan is president of Human Business Works and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine.  OK, so maybe he knows his stuff, huh?

You're OK.  I'm OK.  We're OK.
Anyhow, this article speaks to my philosophy on developing a social media strategy - Start where you are.  Take just one small step.  All of the applications, newest trends, and sites promising to get your views and more importantly views that will convert to sales can make you dizzy!  This article reminds us to take a breath and accept ourselves right where we are.

The article will only take a moment to read.  I encourage you to read it.  You'll thank me.

Be Where You Are by Chris Brogan

Sales success!




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012 - Shop Hop


Do you have an online shop?  Love to check out other shops?  Then you are in the right spot!


Just enter your shop name and link the item you would like featured.  No rules, just click on the other shop links to connect and get inspired!


This linky will change every Wednesday, so be sure to come back and add your shop!


Grab our button and linky codes to share with all of your blog, Etsy, Artfire, etc. friends!








Monday, April 9, 2012

Home Decor Spotlight: MeKaRo Gallery


In this installment of the Home Décor Spotlight, I have a chance to introduce to you Tameka with MeKaRo Gallery.  MeKaRo Gallery showcases home décor wall art and jewelry. Intriqued?  Excited?  Read on to learn more!  

Tell us about your business, how you got started & how long you’ve been in business.

I have been painting since 2002 and I have sold my work on other sites such as Overstock auctions. My Etsy site was opened in 2009 but I didn't put any inventory into the shop until about October of 2011. Painting and creating jewelry is a joy of mine.. I am an artist. In some respects I wish I could give my art away. However, supplies can be quite expensive so I decided that I wanted to share my work with people, so I opened the Etsy shop.

Do you have favorites in your shop? 

My favorite piece right now is this abstract:

Original Knife Painting_MeKaRoGallery


Where do you get your inspiration for new products or items? 

Inspiration comes from what I am going through in life and what I see those around me going through. At this time many people are dealing with a great deal of stress as a result there are pieces that serve as reminders of God’s grace and his love for us. Such as these pieces

Love_MeKaRoGallery


Grace_MeKaRoGallery


In addition I try to create pieces that are calming and there are times that pieces reflect a certain frustration or torment that people are feeling at this time with the lack of jobs and the overall condition of the economy. I also love to make home decor signs.

What’s coming up for spring? Do you have new products on the horizon?

For spring you will likely see a great deal of Teal and Green in my shop especially for my signs and jewelry. I am also a poet and I plan to incorporate some of my poetry into my paintings in the near future.

What one tip do you have for others who are thinking about starting their own businesses or are just starting out?

 I am really just starting my business and I only have a few sales under my belt. My main advice would be to follow you passion and use every tool at your disposal to make your business successful. Don't get discouraged because it will take time and a great deal of effort. Building a business is not for the faint of heart.


Connect with MeKaRo Gallery.:
Shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MeKaRoGallery
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/scribe2me



Friday, April 6, 2012

Twitter Tools



I use a variety of tools to tweet. There are pros and cons to each. But here's a list of my favorite tools.

Timely


Even though I use HootSuite as my main social media management tool, I use Timely because this application analyzes my previous tweets for engagement and then schedules my subsequent tweets during the best time for social interaction.  I get a weekly report on my tweets showing my total reach, retweets, responses, and link clicks.  



2013 UPDATE:  Timely has been retired - Twuffer is a great alternative.  

Buffer

Buffer is similar to Timely but the free version only allows you to schedule up to 10 tweets. So I use it for blast out tweets.  There are several Blast Out teams on Etsy.  Bascially these groups pick one day a week and everyone on the team blasts out each team members product via social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Wanelo, StumbleUpon, Blog posts, or Treasuries.  By participating in these types of teams you get a TON of exposure, increased views, and it helps your shop's SEO!



#FollowFriday


I use FollowFriday Helper for #Follow Friday. You can log in via your Twitter account and the application lists the folks that interact with you the most and when they last tweeted.  You click their Twitter username to add them to an auto-generated #FollowFriday tweet.  


Tweepi

Tweepi is a Twitter follower management tool.  Tweepi helps me eliminate folks that aren't active on twitter or folks that I have agreed to network with, but haven't followed me back.  It is a great comparison tool and helps me organize my Twitter followers.  

Now, as I mentioned before please don't feel like you need to use ALL of these tools.  The purpose of this post is to show you that there are a variety of Twitter tools available.  You can provide consistent and relevant content to your Twitter followers.  

Do you use any Twitter tools?  If not, do you think you might try any?    

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012 Shop Hop


Do you have an online shop?  Love to check out other shops?  Then you are in the right spot!

Just enter your shop name and link the item you would like featured.  No rules, just click on the other shop links to connect and get inspired!

This linky will change every Wednesday, so be sure to come back and add your shop!

Grab our button and linky codes to share with all of your blog, Etsy, Artfire, etc. friends!


Home Decor Spotlight: ThumbAlinaLane




In this installment of the Home Décor Spotlight, I have a chance to introduce to you Alina with ThumbAlina Lane, where she sells children's wall art and fine prints.  Let's get to know Alina!  


Tell us about your business, how you got started & how long you’ve been in business. 


I started my Etsy shop as a branch off of my career as a graphic designer. Just over I year ago I realized that I really love designing and illustrating children's artwork. I opened my shop close to four months ago, December 6, 2011. I sell children's personalized wall art along with printable baby shower kits. In time, I hope to add more new artwork to my etsy shop, as well as create new product lines for kitchen and bath.


Do you have favorites in your shop? 


Right now I love my new Bumble Bee Baby Shower Printable Party Kit, as well as my Alphabet Animal Silhouettes Art Print, and my Birds on a Wire Counting Poster. 




Bumble Bee Baby Shower Printable Party Kit  
  

Alphabet Animal Silhouettes Art Print 

Birds on a Wire Counting Poster  

Where do you get your inspiration for new products or items? 




I am constantly looking at art blogs, artist blogs, and other websites that sale children's prints and invitations to keep on top of what is in style at the moment. I also love Pinterest, you can get lots of great inspiration on there!


What’s coming up for spring? Do you have new products on the horizon? 


Well, for now I'm slowing down a bit in preparation for the arrival of my first baby in a little over a month, but I do plan to add at least one more printable baby shower kit (maybe two along with another poster or two.) I also want to convert some of my wall art designs that I currently have into printable cards as well as making my wall art available for a lower price if you want to print it at home. If I can accomplish all of that before the baby comes, I'll be very happy and then hopefully I can start working on new lines in the late summer/fall.  


Congratulations!
What one tip do you have for others who are thinking about starting their own businesses or are just starting out? 


Go for it! It takes some time, research and work, but it feels very rewarding once you have it up and running. If you plan on starting small (without your own website or a real storefront,) like I did, Etsy is the place to be.


Connect with ThumbAlina Lane:
Shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThumbAlinaLane
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ThumbAlinaLane
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ThumbAlinaLane

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