Friday, April 10, 2015

Let's Talk Etsy and Visit Some Favorite Shops

This week I thought it would be interesting to focus my blog on Etsy. It's truly amazing to me that there are so many people who still haven't even heard about this wonderful Internet site and it's been around for almost 10 years now. Truth be told, Etsy had been around for about 5-6 years before I even heard about it. It was crochet and knit night at the Purple Iris, our local yarn shop. I was there with my daughter when someone in the group mentioned it.  It wasn't until a year or so later when I registered to become a member and then another year before I opened up my shop, Purse O'nality by Mary.

Etsy is an e-commerce website that was launched in 2005. It is comprised of handmade and vintage items as well as supplies. The original founders of Etsy were Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik; however, they all have moved on to other opportunities.

Etsy is a marketplace where its heart and soul is the global community. It is comprised of individual shops and buyers searching for something unique. You could think of it as one huge craft fair on the Internet where each shop, with its own character and appeal through shop banners and photographs, tries enticing shoppers to buy from their shop. The shoppers, on the other hand, have plenty of choices since Etsy has something for everyone. In fact as of December 2014, Etsy has currently over 1.4 million sellers and almost 20 million active buyers. There are over 54 million registered users. In my opinion, it's a wonder how people even find my shop!

Etsy differs from EBay and Amazon in that the latter two don't restrict what one can sell. As stated earlier, a viable Etsy shop falls into one of 3 categories: 1) handmade by the shop owner or a member of the shop; 2) vintage items that are at least 20 years or older, and 3) a supply shop. A supply shop has tools to help make something or a basic supply to do the handmade project such as zippers, purse frames, beads, etc. Etsy doesn't allow resellers. In other words, you can't buy a scarf and then turn around and sell it in your shop. Also a shop must disclose everyone who is associated with the shop.

Etsy has some truly wonderful and amazing shops. I thought I would post some of my favorite shops this week and believe me, there are plenty to choose. So from time to time I'm going to post some of my favorite shops and tell you why I chose them. Here are some of my favorite shops in no particular order. 

1. On my list is Upstyle, which is a supply and purse shop. I chose this store for a couple of reasons. I did a blog tutorial with some modifications based on a design that Robin had created and with her permission. I have bought several purse frames and chains from her. She has always given me outstanding customer service and answered any questions I have about her products.  

Large Box Clamshell Minaudiere Clutch in Various Chain Lengths $60.00+

2. When I first opened my shop on Etsy, I discovered this wonderful shop. I love to knit and crochet, although sewing has been more my passion. Camille of by Camille Designs, has some wonderful crochet rugs. They all remind me of the doilies my grandmother and mother had decorating their end tables and dresser tops. I believe doilies are truly feminine and now I can have them on my porch, deck, entrance ways and other places throughout my house. However, every time I say I'm going to buy one, I just get overwhelmed at all the choices and can't decide which on I want. 

 Turquoise Patio Porch Cord Crochet Rug 35" Round Pineapple Pattern $80.00+ 

3. This next shop is also works with the art of crocheting. It has been only recently that I discovered this shop. I had a jaw dropping moment when I saw her designs. The shop, Strawberry Couture, is owned by Lenore Berry-Zargosa and has ready made items and instant download patterns available in her shop. This is one shop you're not going to want to miss.

Hand Crochet Kentucky Derby Hat $85.00

 4. My go to store for whenever I need some zippers is Zip It. I was using this store before I even knew it was an Etsy shop. Since I live in a small town it isn't easy to find assorted zippers in various sizes and colors. I have to drive over an hour just to find a good fabric store. So when you consider the cost of gas versus shipping. I don't mind waiting a few days for my zippers. Furthermore Zip It has set up a coupon for all of my readers for 15% off. This coupon is good for the entire year. Just use coupon code: TalkingShopWithMary.

9 Inch Brights YKK Sampler Pack of 10 Zippers $5.00

5. I ran across this shop when I was chatting in Etsy's forum a little over a year ago. Her photos are absolutely AMAZING! I can't think of a better name for this shop than Country Dreaming. I had tried to set up a meeting with Patty, the owner of Country Dreaming, last summer when I was vacationing with my family. Our schedules didn't match up. I considered it a real opportunity loss. Every time I look at her photos, it sets me dreaming. I keep wanting to purchase something from her shop, but again, I get so overwhelmed by all the choices that I just can't decide. To add to all of that, Patty keeps adding more great photographs which doesn't help in making my choice.

Fall Photography 8 X 10 Reflection of Trees $24.95

6. This next shop is a truly a family enterprise. Polder's Old World Market are crafters of gourmet wooden kitchen utensils. Everyone has a role from carving the utensils to packaging to taking care of the technical side of the business. My first encounter with this shop is when they asked for an SEO review from an Etsy team in which I am a team leader. I did the a lot of the review. Since then I have kept track of their shop. It has really taken off since last year and I can see why. There items are truly beautiful works of art. Furthermore, they even have left hand utensils for people like me.

Best All Purpose Wooden Spoon $42.00

7. When I needed some tags for my purses, I searched many different shops. Stephanie the owner of Tags To Go was very helpful and quickly responded to all of my questions. She gave great customer service even when I needed to buy some different type tags from another Etsy shop.  The only thing one needs to know is that from time to time her shop does go into a "returning customers only" mode. That being said, I didn't have any problems the first time I ordered from her shop.

60-1000 Pieces of Precut Folded Custom Clothing Labels $20.00+

8. My last shop is SEO Web Design. Mary, the shop owner, has been instrumental in helping me with my own SEO. She has taught me a lot, and I'm still learning from her. Her success guide book is simple to understand and can be easily put into practice. It also makes a great reference. In addition to this, she does custom web designing and shop banners. If you want to know more about SEO, this is the go to shop for online Etsy success.

Etsy Shop SEO Success Guide $14.90

As I stated earlier, Etsy has much to offer. I hope you will take the time to visit these shops because all of them are a 10 on my list. Even you will perhaps find something unique for yourself, a friend or a family member. No doubt, there is something for everyone.

Your Mood, Your Style, Your Personality