Ah, it has been ages since I popped on and blogged. Some of that was the insane business of preparing for the two big shows that went by – they were awesome by the way – and some of it was life stuff.
I went and signed up for Lori Anderson’s NEXT bead soup blog hop and she sent around a note to us about posting something. She even gave us a prompt: Why did we become jewellery designers?
So this actually ties back into my life stuff. At the end of April my Grandmother died and, really, she was a big part of the why and the how it all happened. My family is pretty supportive but most of them didn’t understand any of this want to be creative professionally thing. It wasn’t even a disapproval – they didn’t even understand the concept of finding a way to do work that was also creative, it seemed.
My Grandmother would be the last person to call herself an artist – and certainly not a jewellery wearer – but she was definitely a professional creative type. She made and sold her knits my whole childhood and early adulthood. When I wasn’t that old she started letting me go along to shows with her. And that’s where it began. She let me sell my little daisy chains and painted ornaments at her booth.
As time went on, I got a bit more ambitious, made my own beads and we did shows together, our tables side by side. I became more exclusively a bead maker and jewellery designer in order to streamline my offerings not because I had a particular interest in jewellery, to start with. Then the clay bug really bit and that was that. I made and used beads. Lots of ’em.
It’s been a few years since my Granny was healthy enough to do shows with me and I still miss it. Still, doing shows and making stuff has been such a reliably positive part of my whole life that the sadness doesn’t take away from it… just reinforces how important it is to fight for the parts of life that bring you joy and energy.
One of the challenges of selling online for Canadian vendors is the Slot of Doom, the term of endearment given to Canada Post’s requirement that packages be 2cm or thinner in order to get the best rates to destinations. If you can fit it through the slot of doom, you can get your small, light item to the US for $2.11, to Canadian destinations for $1.18.
If it doesn’t fit, you are looking at $6.50 or more to the US for the next best air mail option and a similar price for Canadian mail! Bit of a jump there.
Most of my items happily go through the slot of doom. My beads generally get tucked in a poly bag, several layers of tissue paper and an envelope. The canes were more of an issue.
Canes SQUISH. So I needed boxes that fit. At the time that I originally bought boxes no one I found had small, jewelry sized boxes under 2cm(13/16″ or so) at a price even in the ballpark of standard boxes. And so I bought a couple cartons of jewelry boxes and my boyfriend trimmed them down to 5/8″ (15-16mm) for me.
Voila! It works. And I use it for sending jewelry or more delicate beads as well. It only chafes a bit that I have to gear what I offer online to Canada Post’s restrictions in order to remain competitive with an international market.
The site updating is going pretty painlessly so far! Yay! There’s a few more changes to be made but here’s a post that might be helpful for my Etsy-using friends:
I’ve been selling on Etsy the last 18 months or so and I like the place. It has it’s issues but overall, the price is right. Here’s a few off-Etsy tools to help with your Etsy experience:
More Info Please
- Unofficial Etsy News – these folks take the headlines at Etsy and put them in one spot instead of requiring you to sift through Etsy’s own chaotic and unreliable news services.
- Majaba.org – this site helps you sort through the somewhat complicated ‘favourites’ system at Etsy. It will count up all your item hearts or views for you and display them in a format that’s usable. This is a way to see what’s popular in your shop.
- Pricing Spreadsheets – by Chris Parry is a great answer to: How much should I price it at? There are other excellent posts on the site but this one’s an eye opener.
Help Me Sell
- Let’s Ets – will actually make the file you need to load up the contents of your Etsy site to Google’s shopping listings. Free, simple and super useful.
- We Love Etsy – is a social network (I know, you need another one of those) that is high traffic and regularly updated. In other words, useful. A way to make contacts, network and promote.