I posted last year about my Etsy shop, so it's a good time to give updates while I get the blog back into real time.
As of right now, I've made about 200 sales, which I'm happy with. I'm concentrating still on making beads and other small jewelry pieces, like pendants. The biggest problem with Etsy is there is SO much great competition on there. But, it is the place where everyone tends to go to find handmade, artisan items. I noticed in my post last year, I was struggling because no one had purchased any of my beads. I'm very pleased to say they've been selling nicely, and I now even have regular customers who purchase every month.
There are amazing artists out there making incredible beads, and I can only drool over them because I am not that talented. And I don't steal anyone's ideas, as tempting as that sounds. I desperately try to avoid the "oh I can do that" mimicry. I'm still just rolling round beads, stamping a few, and glazing them with whatever color combinations I think will look nice. I have a number of bead sets that, despite being listed for a long time, haven't sold so I've been confiscating those and now I'm making a few pieces of jewelry for myself. I've also been using recycled materials as well, and I'll write about that in a future post because I'm excited about it.
And of course, I also opened up a second shop earlier this year, specializing in vintage finds. James and I continue to go to auctions and estate sales and flea markets in the Atlanta area, and if I can find a nice small item (that's easily shippable) and I can get it at a great price- I'm in! I'm very picky, I buy only what I like, and only what I feel is good quality. I'm not interested in "yard sale" junk- I've already got plenty of that in my basement that is waiting for the next trip to Goodwill. I've made 35 sales so far, and I am not unhappy about that. I try to price my items fairly. I don't want to give them away or lose money on them, but I also don't want people to get sticker shock when they look at them. I prefer small things so I can keep the shipping cost low. There's nothing worse than finding a great item you love at a great price, then have the shipping cost make you say NO WAY!
It takes a long time to list the vintage pieces, because I try to research each piece as best as I can. Perhaps no one out there is taking the time to read my long-winded listing descriptions, but I feel as though it's important to convey as much detail about an item as I can. The item above is just a simple miniature plate I picked up at a thrift store, but I was able to go online and find the history of the company that made it, the year, the country, etc. I try to buy items with identifiable characteristics and markings, so I can easily trace it online. It's been a lot of fun so far. Of course, most of the items I buy at auctions are for ME, but whenever I see a nice little piece, I have to consider it for the online shop.
Etsy has been great, but I am ready to branch out for 2015 and do some local shows. I will post more about that in the future.