Etsy Makeover: Am I Tipping the Scales in My Favor?

This post is an aside from the Etsy Makeover series, because it's more about business mindset and acumen than best practices and branding.During this makeover journey, I fully expect there to be detractors and doubters. Sometimes they will come at me directly with disdain, and others will bring up negative points of view for the sake of finding answers to the questions they wrestle with in their own business. There is nothing wrong with that; it's the nature of some to come looking for an abundant answer to their scarcity problem. I'm ok with it. After my last update went live, I posted the update to the Facebook page. My friend and reader, Maria Featon, shared in that update, "I really want to buy those scarves now! You're doing it right." That made me smile because it knew I was onto something special with this whole makeover. I'm creating a buzz around the whole series, but also creating a buzz around Michele's scarves. Then I recalled one of these scarcity questions I got … [Read more...]

Etsy Makeover: Product Offering and Pricing Overhaul

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In our very first conversation, Michele and I sat down and talked about what products we should be selling in the shop, and what should we be charging. At the time, Michele's pricing was all over the map, as was her various product listings. Just like many other creative business owners, Michele didn't know how to price her goods in a way that best suited the items. In no uncertain terms, Michele's work is art. She paints her inspiration upon silk canvases, but no matter how much she told herself that she was creating wearable art, she viewed the art as a scarf, a shawl, or a wrap. She didn't know how to price based on it's artistic and intrinsic value. Instead, she went with the pragmatic approach, and priced based on costs (materials+labor+markup). It's not an uncommon situation; thousands of sellers on Etsy are in the same boat. The obvious problem with this approach is that it drastically undervalues the work. Michele looked at her costs, compared them with others in the … [Read more...]

Jen Murse of Plastique and Papertrail Fights Battles on Two Fronts

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==  Go Direct to the Interview  == I've known Jen Murse of Plastique for a few years now, built a friendship over several meetings during local art and craft shows. Her jewelry designs are unique and resonated with me because of their graphic art themes. Who wouldn't want to wear a Golden Rectangle ring or ⌘Z necklace?  Ok, maybe not the first thing you would expect me to wear, and I haven't, but I did ask Jen to make a knuckle duster that says CMYK. Just when Jen was getting comfortable with her success, she decided to up her game with a second company, completely unrelated, with a whole slew of new products—this time, all stationery goods. On top of that, she jumped into with both feet and took her line to the National Stationery Show in New York City, the largest stationery expo in the country. Not bad for someone who had no orders placed yet. This take charge attitude is only one of the reasons I brought Jen onto the show. The rest you'll just have to find out for yourself, … [Read more...]

Etsy Makeover: Quick Update About Names

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I don't have a lot to report this time around, but I wanted to share with you that we decided on a name. As I mentioned in the last update, we were leaning toward some sort of name that reflected the artistic nature of Michele's work. Important aspects are that we want a higher end product, one that feels handmade, and also luxurious, but those are all secondary to the art. Escape Fine Silks is where we started, but then we thought about how to incorporate Michele's name into the product to showcase the artist. Escape Art Silks by Michele Morgan was an option, but it was long. The more I thought about it, the more her name became important to the brand. It's only natural for a fashion brand to be named after it's creator, right? The same goes for art. So, why not name the brand after the artist? Ladies and gentlemen, I present Michele Morgan Art Silks. Now that's out of the way, time to get nitty gritty. Expect a more robust update soon. This post is part of our Etsy … [Read more...]

Grace Bonney of Design Sponge Gives Advice on Going Pro

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Go Direct to the Grace Bonney Interview We're trying something new this time around, and it may seem a bit repetitive, but I'm playing around with the show notes for the podcast. You see, with every podcast published through Wordpress, you need a plugin that allows you to embed the audio file into the post. When I first started, I was using one plugin, but was getting some very buggy response, so I switched. The new plugin works great except for one small detail change—the posts never made it into my regular RSS feed, so anyone who subscribed to the blog via RSS never got the updates of what was happening on the podcast. Some of you may not even know that I have a podcast, but I do, and it is great (at least I think so). Now, with 70+ episodes in the archive, it would be a real pain to try and switch the plugin again, and repost all that content. It would also have the added effect of sending out all those posts again to my RSS readers, which might be a bit of a shock, … [Read more...]