Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Etsy Shop

Ever since I became involved with sewing for Handmade With Love my daughter Ros aka Fangirl, has been suggesting that I set up an Etsy shop to sell our goodies. People have been asking if they can purchase our things online but it always seemed too hard. 

In September I ran a stall for Handmade With Love at Brisbane Comicon.

I shared the stall with Earthyyou

We did okay for first timers, but I sold almost as much online via my Facebook page, to my friends (and their friends). I also got asked numerous times if people could buy our stuff online. Directing them to the Public Album on my Facebook page was my only option and to be honest that was a bit awkward. With my friends (and their friends) I could post and then tell them what the postage was and then they paid me. I wasn't sure I wanted to do that with random strangers.

Cosplayers at Comic Con. It was an eye opener and to be honest I had to ask my younger family members who the characters were many times.

 I did recognise this guy

So I asked Fangirl if she would help me set up an Etsy shop. She sells her wonderful patterns and kits (she designs geeky cross stitch patterns - see my side bar) But to do that we needed decent photos of my stock and we didn't have time to take all the photos.... so we left it. I was sure I could do it on my own - it was supposed to be very user friendly.

Eventually we arrived home from our gadding about and after a week or so to unpack, settle in, sew the orders that I had received post Comic Con (from friends via Facebook ) I decided it was time to conquor Etsy.

First I had to take those photos and to do that I needed to make a light box. (Essential for good photos Fangirl told me). Pinterest here I come. I found a number of good tutorials, and as we DIYers and makers are wont - I ended up with a mishmash of several blogs. I was going to photograph my process and write my own tutorial - but why bother when there are a number of excellent free tutorials out there already. 

Before I photographed all my stuff I thought that I would set up the shop. I got as far as name and thought "Do I put my name or the name of the group? Should I use my email or set up a special one..." panic set in. Well not quite panic but worry so I messaged Fangirl Like the sweetheart she is she ended up ringing me back that night (I had by this time messaged her about 4 things to do with the shop). She sent me a link to set up a shop (by using it we both got some free listings so that was good) and then stayed on the phone and stepped me through the whole process. What a treasure.

Lightbox made it was time to photograph. I only have my Iphone camera these days and it did a pretty good job. I took a photo, sometimes 2 (to give the side view) of all my zipper pouches and bits and pieces. Then I edited all the ones of large zipper pouches. I was ready to start uploading them. I put them all up, struggling with the tagging, and the composing of each description (till I worked out that since they were all the same, just different fabrics I could copy and paste each one. I'm not really slow)

Before going to bed that night I posted a link to my shop on Facebook and announced the opening of the shop. Once more my friends were so supportive. (Yay friends). I had asked for feedback and they gave me lots of positive stuff and a few suggestions for improvements. I especially appreciated the feedback I got from a couple of regular Etsy users who gave me ideas for tags. One suggested that I tell people that the bags were lined and to include a photo of the lining. Great ideas... but it meant I had to photograph everything again.

When photographing the interiors I decided that including some props would also show their uses and give an idea of size. So that meant photographing everything several times... which meant lots more photos to edit and upload.

However the effort has been worth it. The shop entries are looking more professional than ever.

I got the shop up and running in time for Brisbane Supanova in November. I got more help from Earthyyu who designed a business card for Handmade With Love and all our links. 

I felt very professional handing out these spiffy little cards!

Mr Bean! I recognised him at Supanova

Had to take a photo of this cos player as they were one of the characters that my talented Earthyyu had produced a picture of. I admit to not knowing who they are. Bad stall sharer that I am

Getting things uploaded has taken a long time. Initially I only uploaded the things I had made for Handmade With Love, the things I take to Comic Con and Supanova. Now that I am now co-ordinator for Handmade With Love in its entirety I have all the stock at my place and my next project is to photograph and upload more of our stock, including some jewellery made in the village that our school is in. 

just 2 of the bangles already in our Etsy Shop

The earrings will be added shortly. The Bangles and the earrings are $8 each.

Please go on over and check out the Etsy shop for Handmade With Love. Its called Handmade With Love ORH as Handmade With Love was already taken. (ORH stands for Our  Rainbow House) All profits from the Handmade With Love go to Our Rainbow House, the school in Zambia that we support.

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