Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Featured Seller: Roanne from Grandma Grizzly's Teddy Bear Wear

This week's featured team member is Roanne from Grandma Grizzly's Teddy Bear Wear.

I learned most of my basic sewing from Grandmother. She was quite the homemaker/craftsperson. Then all the other sewing and knitting skills (good, bad, and otherwise) I just kind of learned on my own by trial and error--mostly error!

A good friend of mine started on Etsy about 3 years ago and I had no idea what Esty was all about. When she explained it to me and said that it may be a great way to get my teddy bear wear in front of a new audience, I got interested. I had virtually no e-commerce experience, but Etsy makes it so easy. And you can't beat the fees! I have decided that Etsy stands for "Easy To Sell Your (stuff)." I wouldn't conduct my business through Etsy if I had anything other than good experiences from it. Sure, it can be a bit time consuming to keep up with the marketing, but I get to stay home--in my pjs if I want.

The gospel keeps me on track with my everyday dealings with customers, suppliers, and the Etsy community in general. I can immediately detect if someone is misrepresenting what they're selling or if they're dealing with someone in an unethical way. But I'm glad to say that I've seen very little of that on Etsy. In my own business I strive to provide good value, positive and beneficial service to the customer, and an honest days work for an honest days pay ("By the sweat of thy brow")!

Check out Grandma Grizzly's Teddy Bear Wear for more cute patterns for your (grand)children's teddy bears or for personalizing a teddy bear for a gift!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Etsy Talk: Coupon Codes

Now is the perfect time to offer coupon codes as you try to get last-minute Christmas sales. Some tips to remember when creating coupon codes:
  1. You cannot use the same coupon code twice, so be wise choosing coupon names. Keep them short, simple, and easy to remember.
  2. Make multiple codes of the same discount but each named after a different source so you can track where people are finding and using your codes the most. For example: Facebook10 (Facebook page), shop10 (shop home page), thankyou10 (thank you/business card), etc. And don't worry about people trying to take advantage of them all; they can only use one coupon code at a time.
  3. Be generous! I cannot stress that enough. I was thoroughly disappointed in the low discounts offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday of all days. The point of coupons is to encourage people to buy something they otherwise would not buy. And honestly, most people don't even use them, so you won't be losing money but gaining some return customers. If your coupon codes are used often, take that into account when you price your items.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Featured Seller: Tera from Tera Cheri's Baby Boutique

This week's featured seller is Tera from Tera Cheri's Baby Boutique. Her unique story:

My dad taught me the basics of crochet when I was about 15. I made one scarf with that knowledge and then didn't touch it again until about 8 years later when I first found out about Etsy. I would see all the super cute crochet baby hats and wish I could make all the cute stuff I saw. Back then I was addicted to browsing Etsy and I’d use it as inspiration for craft projects. Then I wondered if I could take what my dad taught me and learn how to make a hat on my own. So I did some Google searching and YouTube searching and eventually I figured out how to make a hat. I was so excited! And from there I have just tried different things until I found a look I liked enough to stick with.

I hadn’t really thought about selling on Etsy until I saw what I could do with crochet. When I would finish a hat, I couldn’t believe that I was the one who made it. They were just too darn cute! Then I thought, “I bet I could sell these!” So I decided to give it a shot and opened up shop on May 26, 2011. It has been a fun experience for me and so exciting every time I sell one of my hats.

I really feel like Heavenly Father has blessed me with this gift. Not really to make money with it, even though that is a nice plus, but as a way for me to express myself. I feel like if I couldn’t make things pretty, I would just go crazy. Not just with crochet, but in my life. I love to organize, and make my home look pretty, I love to dress up my son really cute, and I love to crochet really cute things for my family and friends, and of course, for all of the lovely people on Etsy who also like what I do!

Check out Tera Cheri's Baby Boutique for more adorable hats!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Etsy Talk: Feedback

Reviewing Feedback
When you want to buy from a seller, it is important to review their feedback first. One or two negative comments out of a hundred good ones is usually not cause for worry. It's usually a customer who always finds fault (even if the order was fine or the seller fixed any problems) or a one-time, bad-luck deal where everything went wrong for the seller. If the comments are really old, the seller has most likely improved since then. Problems to look out for are bad communication and refusal to refund incorrect, late, damaged, or lost orders.

To look up feedback left for a buyer you are wary of, enter their username on the Tools 4 Etsy site.

Leaving Feedback
Because it usually cannot be changed, be careful leaving feedback. As a seller, wait to leave feedback for buyers until they leave you feedback. If they don't, then wait until you know for sure they have received the item. You can then assume that no news is good news.

As a buyer, try to work out any problems with the seller before leaving negative feedback. Give the seller a chance to explain or correct the problem. If everything works out, you can then include in your positive feedback that although you had a problem, the seller fixed it. Other buyers like to know that if anything goes wrong, the seller is able and willing to make it right.

If you had a positive experience but have suggestions for improvement for the seller, send them a private message instead of including it in your feedback. If your experience was okay but nothing to rave about, not leaving any feedback is a kinder option than giving a neutral. The feedback option for the item/buyer will disappear after 120 days.

Asking for Feedback
If people are not leaving you feedback, include a message in the note to buyer, your policies, and/or your business card included in their package that says something like, "Thank you for your purchase! If you've enjoyed our interaction, I would really appreciate you leaving me feedback. If there were any problems, please let my try to fix them before you leave a negative comment. Thanks!"

Remember that some people don't leave feedback because they will only return to Etsy when they plan on buying something again, they might have had a neutral experience but don't want to ruin your perfect feedback score, or they are simply unaware that they can leave feedback or don't know how to do so.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Manly Meatloaf Recipe from BreeAnna

My husband loves meatloaf, and not just any meatloaf--his mother’s meatloaf. Thus begins the time-old story of a poor wife trying to outdo her mother-in-law. (Not really, but it was a good hook right?)

When my husband and I were dating it didn’t take me long to learn his favorite dish. This guy could finish a 13 x 9 pan of meatloaf by himself! I knew this was something I would have to learn how to make well because I would be making it all the time. So I gave his mother’s recipe a try. It was, for lack of a better word, inedible. And I’m not talking the left-it-in-the-oven-too-long-and-it-burned inedible. I’m talking the flavors not mixing properly, someone using salt instead of sugar, kind of inedible. I’m still not sure why her recipe didn’t turn out right, but I decided I needed to create my own.

I started asking around, “How do you make your meatloaf?” I got a few suggestions but none that I was really happy with, so I decided to start back with a very basic meatloaf (bread crumbs and meat) and added seasonings I thought would make it better. Not often do I get lucky with just throwing stuff in a bowl, but this time it was a hit!

With winter hitting hard and snow on the ground, I thought some warm comfort food might be just the ticket, so if you can’t decide what to make for dinner tonight, you can give this a try.

  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion (fresh would work too but dried is easier)
  • 1/2 loaf of bread broken into small pieces (I just use my blender, or my daughter if she’s not napping. Hehehe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 packages Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Mushroom Soup Mix (there are 2 in each box)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste (since you’re not actually going to taste it before it’s cooked – yuck!- I would say 1 tsp. is a good place to start)
  • milk
  • ketchup (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Break bread into large bowl. Add onion, soup mix, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour in just enough milk so that it covers no more than half of the bread and other ingredients.
  4. Add eggs and meat, and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Everything should cling together in a ball without being soupy (add more bread) or too dry where it won’t cling to itself (add more milk).
  5. Put the messy concoction into a greased 13 x 9 pan.
  6. I add ketchup to the top of mine because I like it caramelized and cooked on the meatloaf. We only put it on half, though, because my husband doesn’t share my ketchup enthusiasm. Either way works.
  7. Cook for 1 hour and enjoy!
String with Style

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Featured Seller: Kristin from Treehouse Illustrator

 This week's featured seller is Kristin from Treehouse Illustrator.

Although I went to art school, a lot of what I do for my shop is self taught. I've always been an artist, so the years of practice certainly help. Many times, I'll think of an idea or product, and I'll have to figure out how to make it. Wood burning was something I had never tried until after I opened the Treehouse Illustrator shop.

I had been reading an article about how to make money with your artwork and it led me to Etsy. Soon after, I signed up and listed a few of my illustrations. I read a lot of the "Quit Your Day Job" blog posts on Etsy, along with a lot of other articles for sellers. It wasn't until I started making my wooden spoons that I got any sales, though, and I was thrilled when my shop did well for the Christmas season. Now, I keep trying to come up with new ways to expand my shop -- new products, variations, etc. I'm blessed that my sales have increased, and I hope my shop continues to grow.

Even though I don't have many LDS-themed goods in my shop, the gospel has everything to do with my work. I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mommy and supplement our income with my art. I've prayed long and hard and have received blessings for guidance. I believe it's only because I ask what Heavenly Father wants me to do and I obey whatever answer I get -- no matter how scary it is. I trust that He'll help me to be able to stay home with my children. Plus, I dress my son, Liam, in my tie onesies for church.

Check out Treehouse Illustrator for more fun wood-burned designs!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

To Renew or Not to Renew?

When a listing expires, do you wonder whether or not you should renew it? I do! Here are some guidelines I follow to help decide:
  1. Is it a seasonal item? The best time to initially list seasonal items is months before. That way they're available for early shoppers and expire right after the holiday. If the item can double up for other holidays or seasons, then renew away! If not, keep it expired until the next year.
  2. Is it an inexpensive item? Twenty cents may seem small, but if you keep renewing a low-cost item that doesn't sell, you'll lose money on it, even if it eventually sells. Instead, try pairing it with another item or increasing the quantity (and thus price) of the item.
  3. Has it been renewed 2 times already? Every listing stays active for four months, so after 2 renewals, it's been up for a year. If it hasn't sold in a year, then leave it out and try selling it somewhere else or using it as a gift or for a giveaway.
  4. Has it already sold? If an item sells, usually renewing it (if applicable) is a great idea! However, if it's been one of those items that has been around forever and then finally sold, be happy it's gone and move on to listing something new (or at least improved).
I hope this helps! Share any other tips you have.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Google Shopping Policies

A highlighted thread in the Site Help forum reads:
On Oct 17, Google replaced Google Product Search with Google Shopping, and -- at the same time -- replaced free syndication of listings with all paid ads, called Google Product Listing Ads. We announced the change in this blog post.

Knowing how important referrals directly to listings are during the holiday season, Etsy made the decision to purchase ads on Google Shopping on behalf of sellers through the end of the year. Our goals were to maintain traffic from the Google marketplace through the holiday season, and to better understand ad performance when we evaluate whether we should use these ads in the future. We’ve been working closely with Google, and we’re excited to see how this progresses. Most of all, we are committed to understanding the value these ads provide to sellers.
An Etsy seller commented on the importance of following Google Shopping Policies in order to be included. The most common mistakes sellers make are in their titles and descriptions. Google's policies are as follows (read their policy site for further explanations, examples, and exceptions):

Google Shopping doesn't allow product listings with titles or descriptions that use excessive or gimmicky capitalization. These guidelines also apply to promotional messages.

Punctuations and Symbols
Google Shopping doesn't allow product listings that uses gimmicky or unnecessary punctuation or symbols in title or description, including promotional messages, like the following:
  • Exclamation mark in the product listing title
  • More than one exclamation mark in the product listing text
  • Repeated punctuation or symbols
  • Symbols, numbers, and letters that don't adhere to their true meaning
  • Bullet points
Google Shopping doesn't allow text that uses gimmicky repetition of words or phrases.

Google Shopping doesn't allow text that contains inappropriate spacing between words or punctuation, like the following:
  • Extra spaces that make the text difficult to read
  • Extra spaces between letters when used in a gimmicky fashion, like "G r e e n R u n n e r s"
  • Missing spaces between words or punctuation, like "TheEnd" or "GreenRunners"
Grammar and Spelling
Google Shopping doesn't allow product listings with incorrect grammar or misspellings in title or description. These guidelines also apply to promotional message. Examples include:
  • Wrong words
  • Wrong verb tense
  • Incorrect subject-verb agreement
  • Misspellings
We do allow certain exceptions, for example:
  • Common misspellings that the majority of users would understand (like "nite" instead of "night")
  • Abbreviations that the majority of users would understand (like "info" instead of "information")
  • Commonly used informal words or phrases (like "lovin it" instead of "loving it"
  • Misspellings used as puns (like "grate savings on kitchen utensils")
Relevance, Clarity, and Accuracy
Product listings must be relevant, clear, accurate, and descriptive of the products offered. Requirements:
  • Product listings must directly relate to the content on your landing page. When users see your product listing, they should be able to understand what kind of product they'll find on your site.
  • Product listings shouldn't include additional details about free shipping, billing information, promotions, stock information or your store's policies.
  • Product listings shouldn’t contain any promotional text, boilerplate text or simulate email inbox notifications.
  • Product listings can't use call-to-action phrases such as "click here" or "click +1" that could apply to any product listing, regardless of content. This includes phrases in the third line of your product listing that lead into your display URL, such as "See this site."

Review these policies and make any necessary changes to ensure your listings appear in searches in preparation for the holiday season!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Featured Seller: Tammy from Honey Suckle Cabin

This week's featured seller is Tammy from Honey Suckle Cabin. Here's her crafting history:

I learned to sew from my mom and 4-H leaders.  I've had an interest in crafts since I was very small. My mom taught the "Firelight" girls in Primary and was teaching them to knit. I was 6 years old and watched the whole process, and to my mom's surprise, taught myself to knit. I made knitted slippers for myself and for the rest of my family too! I learned to crochet after that, and I spent my time making stuffed animals, mainly turtles. When I was in 5th and 6th grade, I made most of my own wardrobe. What a dork I must have been!

Santa brought me a Bernina sewing machine when I was 14. I have been a sewing fool ever since. I made dancing costumes for my Jr. Drill team! When I was 16, I had a YW leader who was in the local quilt guild. She helped me make a trip-around-the-world quilt, which I gave to my auntie for her 50th birthday. Next I made a double wedding ring quilt for my older sister's wedding and an Irish chain quilt for my brother's wedding.

After I married and had a child, I started sewing quilt tops for Mormon Handicraft. I stuck with that for a lot of years. When my oldest daughter got married, I made her a quilt but didn't have time to hand quilt it, so I paid someone to machine quilt it. After that, I was hooked and bought my own quilting machine.  My old Bernina started having troubles, and the company told me it was on its last leg. I purchased the latest and greatest embroidery machine from them, the 180. (My old Bernina still works great and I do most of my straight stitches on her still!)

I don't remember how I heard about Etsy, but when my youngest daughter started first grade, I knew I needed to keep myself busy and contribute to the family fund, so I joined Etsy in 2008. I didn't list anything because right after that I applied for a job at the school and have worked there ever since. My oldest daughter has 2 girls that I sew a ton for, and she suggested last summer that I do Etsy. I told her I already had a shop! Since it was summer and I wasn't working, I decided it was a good time to start again. I took pictures with my phone and uploaded them and suddenly I had orders!

Everything I do has gospel influences. Through Etsy, I feel I share the gospel with each baptism towel I make. I thrill in my God-given talent and feel that it is a blessing given to me. I feel that the little quilts and blankets bless the homes they go to. I particularly enjoy making traditional scrap quilts, because they share my pioneer heritage with others!
Check out Honey Suckle Cabin for more pretty items!

Friday, October 12, 2012

God Is in the Details of Our Lives

Wasn't General Conference wonderful? I really enjoyed it. I especially love this quote from President Monson.

"God is in the details of our lives."

I have found this to be so true. Our loving Father in Heaven truly does care about the big things and the small things in our lives.

This summer I went on a trip to Utah with my Mom. One night, we decided to explore the new mall built close to Temple Square. As we browsed through Macy's, I found a dress that I wanted to try on. It was kind of just randomly placed in the store--there weren't any other dresses like it I could find. Because it wasn't where it was supposed to be, I didn't know if it was on sale or not. I decided to try it on anyway and it fit really nicely. However, when the cashier checked the price for us, it was nearly $100 dollars. Don't get me wrong, it was cute, but that price was a little bit out our budget. I hung it back up and decided I'd check my local Macy's Outlet store later on in the season to see if one turned up on clearance.

When I was returned home later in the week, I found myself running to the mall to pick up a blouse for a family portrait. I ended up looking in the Macy's Outlet store. I felt strangely prompted to look at the dresses. It was weird, since I was there for a blouse, but I went anyway. As I glanced through the racks, to my surprise  the exact same cut and color of dress I had tried on in Salt Lake practically fell into my hands. I checked the size, and it was perfect. I was stunned. I hadn't expected it to be in the clearance center so soon, let alone to find the exact same color and size! I looked at the price tag and it was 75 percent off the price it had been in Utah. I know that God was looking out for me. He knew that finding that dress would mean a lot to me. Amidst the billions of things He had to do that day, he took a moment to let me know that I was special to Him.

I know this is sort of an odd example and some of you might think this was just a random coincidence. However, I know that this was a tender mercy of the Lord. He truly is "in the details of our lives." He loves us and He knows our hearts. When we make the effort to build a relationship with Him, God will bless us in ways innumerable.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Featured Seller: Holly from Hollyberry's Dolls

This week's featured seller is Holly from Hollyberry's Dolls, a cute shop selling clothes and accessories for girls and their American Girls dolls. Here's how she got started:

I first learned to sew in high school in my home ec class. It wasn't until I was married and had four daughters that I really tried my hand at sewing again. My daughters loved American Girl dolls, so after watching them play with their dolls for a while, I decided that it might be fun to make clothes for their dolls. I remember my mom making clothing for my sister's Barbie dolls. Once I started I found that I really loved to sew and create different outfits. I started with doll clothes and quickly moved on to matching outfits. I loved seeing the excitement on my daughters' faces when they would see the new outfits. 

I first started selling on Etsy after a friend saw my clothing and told me I should try to sell on Etsy. I was a little skeptical at first but decided to give it a try. I soon found what a wonderful place it is for handmade items. I love it!

When starting our family many years ago, my husband and I wanted me to be able to stay at home with our children. Having my shop on Etsy allows me to be able to do just that. I am able to work from home and be here to take care of my children. When making my doll clothes I try to keep all of my designs modest. I want the doll clothing to reflect how my daughters dress. It starts at a young age. If they grow up with certain standards it will be much easier to keep those standards as they get older. 

Check out Hollyberry's Dolls for more cute items!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Come Listen to Living Prophets

Come listen to living prophets

I absolutely love this time of year, especially General Conference. In preperation for the meetings tomorrow, here are some tips from President Uchtdorf on getting more out of General Conference.

1. "Members of the Church are entitled to personal revelation as they listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference."
"As you prepare for general conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. For example, you might yearn for direction and guidance by the Lord regarding challenges you are facing."
I know it's been said many times, but I hope we will all try to go to General Conference with a question in our minds and prayerful hearts. I know that when we do, we will find answers.
2. "Don’t discount a message merely because it sounds familiar."
Prophets have always taught by repetition; it is a law of learning. You will hear repetition in themes and doctrines in general conference. Let me reassure you: this is not due to a lack of creativity or imagination. We continue to hear messages on similar issues because the Lord is teaching and impressing upon our minds and hearts certain foundational principles of great eternal importance that must be understood and acted upon before we can move on to other things."
3. "The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months."
"Our merciful and loving Heavenly Father has not forsaken and will not forsake His children. Today, as well as in times past, He has appointed apostles and prophets. He continues to reveal His word to them.
What a marvelous privilege it is to hear God’s messages for each of us during general conference! Let us prepare well for this great blessing of divine guidance delivered by His chosen servants."
General Conference truly is such a blessing. I hope that as we listen this weekend and study the messages throughout the coming months, we will be blessed.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Taste Test

I just discovered Taste Test through my shop stats. It's a little test you take on Etsy to find things that match your taste. I took the test twice. The first resulted in mostly baby items, the second in bridal accessories. Okay, so maybe it isn't all that accurate (in fact, there was hardly anything I liked), but it's fun! Try it out for yourself: http://www.etsy.com/tastetest

Saturday, September 29, 2012


In the world around us today there is so much confusion. We live among so much noise and heartache. At times it is hard to feel a connection to God, our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful that God has provided us a means of communication so we can stay close to Him. As His sons and daughters, every person on this earth can receive revelation for his or herself through prayer.

Prayer has been around since the beginning of time. Moses 5:4 says,

“And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them”

The beauty of it all is that God still cares. The Heavens are still open. He wants to hear us and He wants to answer us. Matthew 7: 7-14 reads,

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

I love those verses. God is our loving Father. He knows what is best for us. He hears our prayers and he answers them. Sometimes the answer isn’t what we want, but it always brings a feeling of peace and comfort. Galations 5:22-23 reads:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

When we receive revelation it helps us feel peaceful and comforted, not scared or worried.

In the video at the beginning of the post, President Monson said:
“My beloved brothers and sisters, communication with our Father in Heaven—including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us—is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life... The Lord invites us, 'Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me.' As we do so, we will feel His Spirit in our lives.”

Those words are so true. I know that when we make prayer a priority in our lives, God will open the windows of heaven out to us and help us. He has a plan for us, and as we counsel with Him, He will guide us safely back to Him. He loves us and wants to help us. We just have to ask and then let Him.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Take Interest in Pinterest

For those of you who have not yet joined Pinterest, here are three reasons to have an interest in Pinterest.
  1. You can create leads back to your store by posting pictures of your items in your store.  You can upload every photo by the web address where it resides, and when people click on it, they are led to that site. If you have a blog, you can lead them there as well. 
  2. You can connect with other like-minded people and invite them to like the items in your store. The more visible you become on the web, the greater your chances of being successful in your business.
  3. You are able to create files from the photos of others and thereby be inspired by their creations.
The one drawback is that to join you need an invitation from someone who is a member. If you need an invite, just convo me your email address and I'd be happy to send you one. In my humble opinion, it is worth it!
Happy marketing, everyone!
Linda from www.ruoiled.com
Note from Francesca: Include in your shop policies whether or not it is okay for others to pin (post) your photos to Pinterest and if they need your permission first. Do not pin other sellers' items without asking; some people are not okay with it. Be very careful what you put on Pinterest because you take all responsibility for copyright issues. For more information, read this article.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude

In the world we live in today it is so easy to focus on what we don't have instead of what we do. Our society puts so much emphasis on having the right clothes, the newest electronics, and the coolest gadgets. At times it can seem like we are at the bottom of the totem pole. In reality, we truly have so much to be grateful for.

I love this quote from Elder Bednar's talk in the October 2008 General Conference.

"As we strive to make our prayers more meaningful, we should remember that “in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (D&C 59:21). Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude. Ask for nothing; simply let our souls rejoice and strive to communicate appreciation with all the energy of our hearts."
When I am good about frequently offering prayers of only heartfelt gratitude I am happier and feel more joy.
"Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings. This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.
We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
When I went to Time Out for Women a couple of years ago, one of the speakers had us do an activity that I found quite profound. First, she had us write down five things that we were grateful for. Then, she put a twist on it-- she had us write down who we could thank for those blessings. Doing this helped me cultivate an attitude of gratitude toward those around me. If you've never done an activity like that before, I challenge you to do so. Writing down my blessings and whom to thank for them helps me realize how much we truly do have.
We are so blessed to have a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to know that we are sons and daughters of God and that He has a plan for us. I hope that we will all take more time each day to remember our many blessings. I know when we do, we will truly feel more joy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Etsy Talk: Choosing Shipping Services

Knowing which shipping service to use is vital in saving money, both for you and your customers. Here are tips I've learned:

Measure your packages
  • Envelopes thicker than 1/4 inch or uneven in thickness by more than 1/4 inch are considered packages instead of letters.
  • Small bubble envelopes, if flat and light, can usually be sent as letters in the U.S. (only once has one of my customers had to pay extra postage, which I reimbursed), but are always packages for international shipping (I've lost money twice because I forgot this!).
  • Large envelopes that are flexible (for example, holding a paperback children's book) can be mailed at a large envelope price instead of a package.
  • Boxes longer than 12 inches on any side cost more to ship regardless of low weight.
Weigh your packages
  • The biggest mistake sellers make is sending everything Priority Mail. Packages lighter than 13 ounces qualify for First Class parcel, which is just as fast as and sometimes faster than Priority Mail but considerably cheaper. 
  • Heavier packages are mailed Parcel Post, which takes about a week. If the price difference between Parcel Post and Priority Mail is minimal, go with Priority Mail to ensure faster delivery.
  • UPS and FedEx are best reserved for extremely large, heavy, valuable, or fragile items.
Read more about saving on shipping and packaging.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Featured Seller: Brittney from Felt for Less

This week's featured seller is Brittney and her family from Felt for Less. Here's her touching story behind the shop:

Felt for Less started because my husband and I wanted to find a way for our five children to help pay for their missions. Good jobs with a positive work environment are hard to find here. So we started to think outside of the box.

My daughter and I love felt. It's colorful, versatile, forgiving, and soft. We've been selling felt hair flowers at local craft fairs for three years, but we decided to think bigger. I've been an Etsy shopper for many years, so I was already an Etsy fan.

We used the money that we had in the college savings fund to order a bunch of felt from China. This felt is made by the kindest, sweetest, most humble people. They live near where my parents are serving their mission right now in Hong Kong. Their felt is super soft, thick, and high quality. I've never seen a polyester felt like this before. It's lovely. Plus, it's made from recycled plastic bottles. We love that.

Now our basement has been converted into a fabric shop. :) My kids help me take and fill orders. My boys do the heavy lifting. My girls make the color charts that go out with each order. It's much busier and much more work than we expected, but it's also much more fun.

Some days I think we're crazy, but then I see the kids get excited about each sale, and I see how proud they are to watch our little savings account grow. I hope it's teaching them to save money, work together, and prepare for the future.

Check out Felt for Less for a variety of beautiful colors of felt!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Choose Etsy?

Some time back I went to our Facebook page and read someone's entry that they were thinking about joining another crafting site. I checked out the site and wasn't too impressed, and since then I have been thinking about the benefits of joining and selling on other sites that are similar to Etsy. Here are three reasons why you might want to choose to stay connected with Etsy.

First thing I did to find out how well Etsy is established on the search engines was google the phrase, "Best sites to sell your crafts on." The first thing that popped up was a direct link to Etsy.
The second was a Yahoo article talking about the 3 top sites and the third link listed 29 craft sites, both putting Etsy in the #1 spot. What that means for your business is when people search for a particular item on any search engine, the first place the search engines will look is Etsy.

The second thing to consider is if you choose to open a shop on other sites, include a link back to your Etsy store [Note: Make sure it is allowed on those sites. Etsy does not allow you to put links to your other off-site stores.] The fact is the more places you are located on the web, the bigger your personal web presence becomes, which enables you to attract more customers and be noticed by the masses and search engines. Just remember to keep your style and brand the same because others will recognize it and come to rely on it.

The third point is that there are over a million people who are connected on Etsy: you can never run out of leads for potential customers. Learn how to engage with other shops so they come to value you and know you as a friend they may eventually buy from or refer their friends to, even if you sell similar items. I realized this when I asked one shop owner if she could help me with some illustrations and she said she was too busy, but referred me to another shop who did similar stuff.

Hope this helps clear things up for some of you who may have questioned the value of joining another craft selling site.

Happy marketing, everyone!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jesus: An Example of Balance in Life

I was listening to a church lesson on Wednesday and loved how the teacher explained a scripture. It left such an impression on me that I would like to share it with you.

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." -Luke 2:52

This is one of the only scriptures we have mentioning the Savior's childhood years. I love that it mentions that he had to increase and grow too, just like all of us. What surprised me is when the teacher drew on the white board a diagram similar to the one below:

He then went on to explain that, as the scripture says, Jesus developed and grew in four areas:
1. Wisdom
2. Stature
3. Favor with God
4. Favor with man
We too must strive to grow in all of these areas. It is really easy to get fixated on one, however. For example, some people spend too much time in the "stature" area and focus mainly on their appearance or physical fitness. Some people spend too much time in the "favor with man" category focusing mainly on social outings, conversations, and text messages. Some people spend too much time seeking wisdom and don't interact with others as much as they should. I suppose you could even spend too much time in the "favor with God" category if you never helped or interacted with other people. The list of possible imbalances goes on and on.
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was the perfect example of true balance in life. He served others, sought wisdom, kept his body healthy, and had a close relationship with God. I know that as we strive to keep our lives in balance, we will be blessed.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doing Good While Doing Marketing

Teaming up with a non-profit organization is one way to attract the attention of potential customers, but is often not considered something small businesses do. Many of us are barely selling 10 items a month; however, with a little word of mouth, that can definitely change by deciding to bless a non-profit with a percentage of your net income.

One idea is that you could do a benefit by yourself, or join up with some of our team members and blast the word on all the social media sites, as well as in your community. A lot of papers, such as the Penny Saver will advertise for free, if you are doing a benefit. The way I saw one person do it is he said he was trying to raise money to buy computers for a children's school in Ecuador by selling hard copies of his book. People had the option to download the book for free, as well as choose to donate money to the non-profit without buying anything. I think he raised close to $100,000 for the non-profit and made close to a million on his hard copies of the book in over a period of 12 weeks.

Many of us are not equipped to make something that big go forward; however, that doesn't matter because just being able to bring attention to a chosen organization as your goal to support them will start the ball rolling to increase your business because most of us want to do good when we spend money for the things we like.

A few weeks ago I called a person about advertising in her magazine and as we got to talking she brought up an auction she was part of for a non-profit and asked me to put together a course for them to auction off. She said that she would love to share what my business was about and that she felt my course would be something of value to benefit not only the organization, but also the people who heard about it. I never thought about providing a specific item for donation for the benefit of an auction, but I share it with you so that maybe you too can find ways to do the same.

These are just some ideas to consider as you seek to bring income into your home from your Etsy store.

Happy marketing, everyone!
Linda from www.ruoiled.com

Monday, September 10, 2012

Etsy Talk: Save on Shipping & Packaging

The hardest part of starting an Etsy shop for me was figuring out shipping, both prices and packaging. I did a lot of research before opening my shop and still made many mistakes. I would like to pass on what I learned so you don't have to make the same mistakes and lose money!

Buy a Scale
The best thing you can do to ensure accurate shipping prices is buy a postal scale, the weight capacity depending on what you sell. Buying from Amazon.com is cheapest.

Calculate Shipping Online
With your scale, you can accurately calculate shipping costs on the USPS site, including international rates. Play around with package weight to estimate secondary shipping costs (how much it costs to ship something with another item).

Print Labels from Paypal
Print shipping labels from your paypal account and receive a significant discount on postage for packages (for any domestic service, but only Priority or Express for international). If the person paid through paypal, you can go to your account overview and click "print shipping label" next to the transaction. The address information will automatically load. Just input the package weight (rounded up to the nearest whole number) and service type (First Class, Priority, etc.). If the person didn't pay through paypal, you can still print the label by adding the address on paypal.com/shipnow. Print the label on fast draft to save ink.

With ready-to-ship packages, no need to wait in line at the post office! Just drop off or request pick-up online if at least one of your packages is Priority Mail.

Be Creative with Packaging
Some shops only charge postage price, while others include packaging costs. Either way, be creative to save on packaging expenses and lower your shipping prices.
  • Reuse boxes if you can. All previous postage must be removed or covered. You can cover non-postal boxes with brown kraft paper.
  • Don't send free gifts. Most of the time, they're cheap things the buyer doesn't want or need but are still included in the shipping and packaging costs (or if not, they come out of your pocket). Most people would rather not get a random free item and pay lower shipping!
  • Only use necessary, protective wrapping; no need to be super fancy unless you sell expensive jewelry or the like. 
  • Make your own thank-you notes or write on the back of your business card.
Remember,  packaging ends up in the trash, so be wise where you spend your money and what you charge people for. I would rather get a less fancy (but still professional) package if it means I pay less shipping. However, you can include a note in your listings and policies about requesting free gift wrapping.

Add Shipping Information to Your Shop
Include shipping and packaging information in your policies, and your listings if you sell various items that require different packaging and shipping methods. Buyers like to know what they are paying for and when they can expect to get their items.

What shipping and packaging tips do you have?

Read about choosing shipping services.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bloom Where You're Planted

Photo (C) Sally Hipwell
May be copied for personal/church use.

I took the picture in this post while I was visiting Minnesota. I was walking through a park and as I went over a bridge I noticed a tiny plant beginning to grow between the boards of the walkway. It was small and vulnerable, yet sure and strong. It was blooming where it was planted, even though it wasn't necessarily the best place for a a seedling to take root.

I love the quote by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in his talk during the October 2008 General Conference.
"Come What May and Love it."

Notice, he didn't just say come what may and endure it, or come what may and somehow survive. He said come what may and love it. The phrase bloom where you're planted takes on a whole new meaning for me after pondering this quote.  The plant wasn't just surviving in between the two boards or barely hanging on. It was thriving, growing, and developing even when it wasn't in ideal circumstances.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't love adversity. Sometimes, I even cringe at the sound of the word. I find these words from Elder Worthlin very encouraging.

"I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life. If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times
of greatest happiness. . . .
"Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives.
We can learn to love it."

I hope that with the help of our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, we can find the strength to not just endure, but to love whatever comes our way. God has a plan for us. He is mindful of us and He will bless us.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Featured Seller: Alyssa from Katydid Designs

This week's featured seller is Alyssa from the adorable shop Katydid Designs.

My mother tried teaching me to sew when I was younger and I just didn't care for it. I didn't have the patience. However, as a mom, I found myself needing things (mainly burp cloths) that I knew I could make on my own. So I just started! Once I realized I could sew straight lines and make something useable, I started branching out and teaching myself more techniques. I still have plenty to learn, though!

With my second child, my sister-in-law made me a gorgeous carseat cover. And, seriously, everywhere I went, people were asking me where I got it. I love my cover; however, there were a few things on it that I wanted to change. With my sister-in-law's blessing, I made my own pattern and started my shop. My sister helps with the shop as well, and it's fun working with her.

How does the gospel influence my work? I'd say being able to be a stay-at-home mommy but still contribute something to our financial bottom line and working on self-improvement. I've grown a lot in the year and a half that my shop has been thriving. I also think honesty and integrity play a big role in my shop. I know that I could make a lot of money on items using copyrighted fabrics, like many shops already do. However, I just can't bring myself to do it, knowing that those fabrics are not to be used for personal monetary gain. I just have to trust that my little shop is being blessed in other ways for my decisions! :)

Way to go, Alyssa, for choosing the right! Check out Katydid Designs for more of her cute creations.

Monday, September 3, 2012

How to Use Your Personal Facebook Profile for Business

Because much of Facebook is used to connect with family and friends, many of us don't know how to approach them to buy our products. Here are a few tips to help you move forward in sharing what you do with those close to you:
  • Share the personal story behind your creation or vintage item.
  • List the ways it will help accomplish some goal for others.
  • Explain what your goals are in selling items in your store, such as saving for college or a mission. [Avoid sob stories or mentioning charities, as those may make some people believe you are a scammer. -Francesca]
  • Share when you get a heart or someone features your item in their treasury list.
  • When items have been in your shop for a while, ask for opinions of the photos or advice on how to market the product better.
  • Always remember to keep things light and friendly so that others will enjoy talking to you and you will be a welcomed contact. 
  • Never be afraid to share; get rid of the fear that others will steal your ideas and customers. Who knows--maybe sharing your talents with others will cause someone to gain the courage to share their talents as well.
  • If your items are pricey, go into detail on the time it takes to create an item as well as the quality of the materials used. Once people understand what it takes to create your items, they will understand and value them.
  • Offer to give your contacts a break in the prices, but make sure you include directions on contacting you first so that you can create a special listing for them with your new price that is just for them.
  • Offer to put their name in a drawing for free products if they share your store on their wall. Have them contact you back with the listing once they have done so.
These are just a few ideas I have found to work well in sharing with my contacts on Facebook. Happy sharing everyone!

Note: Many of these tips work well for business Facebook pages too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Overcoming Digital Overload

It has been said that we live in a day of "digital overload." It is so easy to spend too much of our time in ways that lack productivity and purpose. As we are all aware, the internet, television, video games, and many other electronic devices can all have the ability to be used for good or for evil. However, sometimes even too much time spent using media in wholesome ways can be bad if it takes away time from our family or weakens our ability to serve the Lord.

In a May 2009 CES Fireside Address given at BYU, Elder David A. Bednar gave us two questions to consider when choosing our media.

"For your happiness and protection, I invite you to study more diligently the doctrine of the plan of salvation—and to prayerfully ponder the truths we have reviewed. I offer two questions for consideration in your personal pondering and prayerful studying:

1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?

2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?

You will receive answers, inspiration, and instruction from the Holy Ghost suited to your individual circumstances and needs."
As I watched Elder Bednar give this talk in the Mormon Message found at the top of this post, I was astounded and realized I needed to make some changes. It's not that what I do on the internet is necessarily bad. It's not. But sometimes I spend too much time doing unproductive things when I could be serving or helping those around me.
One thing that has really helped my family cope with digital overload is ending screen time at 7 pm. As soon as the clock changes from 6:59 to 7:00 family time begins. We exercise, play outside, do chores, play board games, and sometimes even go shopping or go out for ice cream.

We don't always follow this perfectly-- sometimes on Friday or Saturday nights we watch a movie after 7. Sometimes other exceptions have to be made. But the majority of the time we abide by this rule, and it has made all the difference. We now spend more time together as a family and less time "sucked in" to our screens. We interact more and are more productive. Limiting our use of electronic devices during the evening even helps us sleep better. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep." By turning off our screens at 7 I have noticed a huge difference in my ability to fall asleep faster. Overall our lives are more balanced and we are much happier.

If you haven't already, I challenge you to do as Elder Bednar says and ponder the questions regarding media use listed above. I know that as we seek to make changes and are willing to sacrifice everything we can for the gospel of Jesus Christ (even our precious screen time) we will be blessed.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Make Marketing Manageable: Twitter

Many of us get overwhelmed when we even think about marketing. So often we think we will pay the extra money to Etsy so that our items will get more views in hopes that will equal more sales. This is not necessarily true because you are tying to appeal to what marketers refer to as your cold market.

The best way I have found to make sales happen is to connect with the different social networks. Today I just want to give you a few pointers about the platform Twitter.

  • I have found that the best way to grab the attention of my followers on Twitter is to assemble a newsletter on the different products I sell and how they can benefit from them. Then I tweet about the value it contains and I allow it to do the work for me. One month I received a $250 order from doing this, just to give you an idea of how well this works.
  • Some points to write about in your newsletters are the trends your items address, or how your items address emotional or physical needs. People buy what makes them feel good, either about themselves, or about you, so allow yourself to share in your newsletter what compelled you to create your product.
  • I have found that the less tweets I do a day, the more attention I get when I tweet because my followers have found that I only talk when I have something interesting to share.
  • Did you know that you can connect with the contacts that you follow on Twitter simply by going to their websites, if they have one, and finding their contact information?  This is something that has been helpful for me when I've wanted to increase my followers. To make the connection a good one, make sure you have something in common that your conversations are ones you can build a relationship on.
These are just a few things to try, if you haven't already. There are a ton more ideas coming as I really find joy in marketing! Just remember to relax and enjoy yourself as you share your items with the public.
Have a blessed day,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Faith in His Timing

Photo from lds.org
I've never been good at fishing. My problem is I just can't sit still long enough for that moment of excitement when a fish finally bites after two-and-a-half hours of agony and torture. I have trouble being patient enough.

Sometimes I'm like that in my life, too. I want what I want and I want it now. I want the blessings God has set aside for me given to me on my time table and in my way.

I love this quote from Elder Maxwell.

"Faith in God requires faith in his timing..."

Is that true, or what? In order to have true faith and trust in God, we must trust his wisdom and knowlege and accept that He knows more than us. Our all loving, all powerful Father in Heaven knows our needs. He knows our weakness. He knows our struggles. He has a plan for our lives, and we must trust that He will guide us and direct us back safely to Him. But, first we have to let Him.

Another favorite quote of mine is from President Benson.
" Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He can deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, and pour out peace." 
There's a popular phrase that holds a lot of truth to it. "Let go, and let God." Even when it's hard, it is my hope that we will do just that. I know that when we do, we will be blessed beyond measure.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Featured Seller: Cindy from Moon Beans Gifts and Jewelry

This week's featured seller is my friend Cindy from Moon Beans Gifts and Jewelry. Her story:

When I was a little girl, I loved looking through my mom's jewelry box. She had so many pretty things! Most were inexpensive, but they were amazing treasures to a little girl's eyes. When I got older, I still loved the way a new piece of jewelry could lift my mood and enhance my outfit. When I was looking for a new craft I could do at home and one that I would enjoy, I knew that making beautiful and affordable jewelry would be something I could be passionate about.

I loved shopping on Etsy - the amazing range of products and talents that are all showcased on one site! So it was a natural for me to open my own shop here.

I'm not sure that the gospel influences my jewelry designs, but it definitely affects the way I do business. "We believe in being honest," is not just something I want to practice on Sundays. I think offering a well-made product at fair price, treating my customers right, using my own original designs, and building relationships with my fellow crafters are all ways to live honestly and practice the gospel.

Check out Moon Bean Gifts and Jewelry for more lovely items!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Featured Seller: Camille from Not So Modern Millie

This week's featured seller, Camille from Not So Modern Millie, has the most unique and humorous items in her shop. Here's how they came about:

I have always wanted to work with my hands. As a child, I would watch my mother and grandmother sewing for hours. My father was a carpenter and I loved to hear about the process of building. I eventually learned to cross stitch and sew and went on to earn my bachelor's degree in Architecture. I suppose, in my case, being a craftsman is genetic!

I discovered Etsy, as a consumer, five years ago. I was overwhelmed by the unique ideas and talent! Last year I decided to open my own shop. I had been making homemade gifts for family and friends for years - whether they wanted them or not. I needed to expand my audience! My items aren't aimed at the mass market, so it's immensely gratifying to know that my buyers appreciate my work... and sense of humor.

Because of my values, I am careful that the work I produce, although silly and off-beat, is never offensive. I am always disappointed when I discover a wonderful talent on Etsy whose work includes vulgar or distasteful items. I want every person who visits my shop to feel happy and uplifted, even if they don't purchase anything. Although I wish they would... :)

Check out Not So Modern Millie for more fun and colorful creations!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Temple

With so many temples under construction or being renovated, my heart is turned towards the meaning of temples in our lives. I love this quote from President Packer:
May we each dedicate ourselves anew to the service of the Lord. 
Say the word temple. Say it quietly and reverently. Say it over and over again. Temple. Temple. Temple. Add the word holy. Holy Temple. Say it as though it were capitalized, no matter where it appears in the sentence. 
Temple. One other word is equal in importance to a Latter-day Saint. Home. Put the words holy temple and home together, and you have described the house of the Lord! 
May God grant that we may be worthy to enter there and receive the fullness of the blessings of His priesthood. (Boyd K. Packer, "The Temple, the Priesthood," Ensign, May 1993, 20-21)

In the March 2011 New Era, the story "Breaking New Ground" by Breanna Bennett Olaveson really touched me. Breanna describes how she was able to attend the groundbreaking of the Rexburg Idaho Temple. As she stood there reflecting on the ceremony, she "realized they were doing more than moving dirt around. The hardened ground needed to be softened before there could be room for the temple, and [she] knew [she] could learn from that." She decided that her life needed some changes so she could be ready for the temple when it was finished. Breanna started to better herself by finding new friends who made better choices and reading her scriptures more regularly.

In February of 2008, Breanna was able to attend the temple's dedication.

She said, "...I didn’t feel like the same person. As I sat beside my parents in the newly completed Rexburg Idaho Temple, I reflected on how far I’d come in the years since the groundbreaking. I sang the hymn “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, no. 2), and I knew that unimaginable blessings still awaited me in that holy house.

"The temple was ready and dedicated to the Lord. And so was I."
Whether we live near a temple that is being dedicated soon or not, may be strive to align our lives with God's and prepare to be worthy to enter Heavenly Father's Holy House, today.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


In Doctrine and Covenants the Lord tells us that we are to forgive all men and that the Lord will choose whom He forgives. Some posts back I wrote of a sister at church who had hit my daughter. About a month later I was in Nursery with my son and she came in to assist. I went to tell her that she was okay not to sub, but before I could get more than her name out of my mouth, she shut the door firmly in my face. That hurt more than I can put into words. Since then I have cried for strength to really forgive and allow the Spirit to move her into forgiveness as well. Last Sunday she gave my husband a bag of scraps left over from her sewing projects for me. I have since decided a thank you card is in order. That the Lord works miracles in our lives when we sincerely pray for them is my testimony.

Last Sunday a sister shared a poem with us that showed the effects of sin when we judge and do not pray to forgive others.

The Cold Within
Six humans trapped by happenstance, in bleak and bitter cold,
Each one possessed a stick of wood, or so the story’s told.
Their dying fire in need of logs, the first man held his back,
For of the faces ‘round the fire, he noticed one was black.
The next man looking cross the way, saw one not of his church,
And couldn’t bring himself to give the fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes; he gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use to warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned from lay, shiftless poor.
The black man’s face bespoke revenge as the fire passed from sight,
For all he saw in his stick was a chance to spite the white.
The last man of this forlorn group did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave was how he played the game.

Hope this gives you strength.
Happy creating, everyone!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Featured Seller: Ryan from Ryan Wordsworth

This week's featured seller is Ryan Walker from Ryan Wordsworth. His story:

I have enjoyed graphic arts as long as I can remember. I knew I must be smarter than my 1st grade teacher when I pointed out to her that you can make a lowercase "a" more than one way (as you can several letters). I was always noticing how printed materials, billboards, etc., were laid out.

I started my Etsy shop not too long ago when I saw how easy it was to offer my designs to a wide audience who may enjoy my designs. It's been the best online method for me so far.

I really enjoy using my talent to present the gospel message in an attractive way. One of my callings in my ward is to do the Sunday bulletin. I have a scripture or conference quote on the front each week. From those designs, I share many on my tumblr blog, ryansLDS.tumblr.com. I also have had a book published of designs that dovetail with the LDS Young Women's values, called Values: Illustrated Scriptures for Latter-day Saint Young Women. I've been working on another book of illustrated scriptures with a Christmas message—no date for release on that one yet.

We look forward to learning more about it! Check out Ryan Wordsworth for more inspiring and customizable prints.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Helpful Etsy Apps

There are many Etsy apps (applications) out there to help make running a shop easier. Here are some of the more popular ones:
  • craftcult.com: for making widgets displaying your shop and treasuries on your blog or website
  • craftopolis.com: for recording shop analytics and editing multiple listings at once
  • etsyonsale.com: for running sales easily (not free, except for 5 credits to run 1 sale; use the referral code 3BC8YJD7U5 for 5 bonus credits)
  • fotofuze.com: for improving photos
  • shmetsy.com: for easy treasury making and contacting featured sellers
Find more Etsy apps here or share your favorite ones in the comments. The ones you use will show up in "Apps" under "Your Account."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why Treasuries?

I've written two posts on treasuries: how to be featured in a treasury and how to make a treasury. But what's the big deal about treasuries anyway?

Treasuries get you sales!
  1. Attractive treasuries, especially for holidays, get high views and hearts. Even mediocre treasuries will get high views and hearts if they are made by people in lots of circles or promotional teams.
  2. Treasury views get you clicks: people clicking on an item or shop in the treasury.
  3. Clicks get you sales! Even if you don't get an immediate sale, clickers are very likely to heart your shop or item(s), making it more likely for them to return for a future sale and promoting you to other potential buyers.
Several sellers have thanked me for featuring them in treasuries because they resulted in sales. So please don't write off treasuries! Help each other out by making them. And show support when you are featured; it only helps you and you can always un-favorite it later.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Who Am I?

The question, "Who Am I?" is a powerful question that burns within each one of us. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are so blessed to have a knowledge of our divine heritage.

"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are achildren of the most High." Psalms 82:6

"The Spirit itself beareth awitness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" Romans 8:16

"All those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom." Doctrine and Covenants 25:1

I believe that God is literally the Father of our sprits. We are His children. He loves us and cares about our lives. He wants the best for us. We can pray to Him and He will hear and answer us.

Sometimes the world tries to make us forget this important truth. The media makes it appear that our true value lies in how we look and how much money we make, but this is not so. Our real value lies in our character.

Says President Monson in the June 2010 Ensign:

"In our world, moral character ofttimes seems secondary to beauty or charm. But from long ago the Lord’s counsel to Samuel the prophet echoes: “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7)."

Isn't that wonderful? We are children of an all loving and all powerful God who loves for who we really are. May we always remember our infinite worth and divine potential.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Make a Treasury on Etsy

One of the rules of our team is to make a team treasury once a month. Leisa from Can Do Stitching is our top treasury maker! You can be, too. If not knowing how to make a treasury is holding you back, here is a five-step tutorial to help you. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

How to Make a Treasury

1. Sign into Etsy. Scroll down the home page to "More Ways to Shop" on the left sidebar and click "Treasury."

2. On the right, under "Curator Tools," click "Create a List."

The draft page looks like this:

3. Open a new window or tab and find items you want to put in your treasury. Once you find something, copy the url. Do this by right clicking the title under the item's photo and then clicking "Copy shortcut" (or "Copy link location"),

or you can click on the item, right click the url at the top of the page, and then choose "Copy."

4. Paste the url into a box where it says "Listing URL" by right clicking and choosing "Paste." Then click "ok" and the item will appear.

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the treasury is complete. Rearrange the order of the listings by dragging the boxes around. Remove an item by hovering over the top of the box and clicking "remove." Make sure you have included a title, description, privacy settings, and tags (add "lds team"). Remember to feature at least 4 team members. You can feature sellers from other teams as well if they allow it. For our team, make sure all items meet LDS standards. When you are done, hit "Save" at the bottom.

For even easier treasury making, check out shmetsy.com, which allows you to click on an icon next to an item to send it to the treasury instead of copying and pasting, to save a draft to finish later, and to send a mass message to all the featured shops.

After You Make a Treasury

Your published treasury will look like this:

The curator is you, the person who made the treasury. Stats will show you how many views, listing clicks, and admirers the treasury received. There are buttons to share the treasury on Facebook and Twitter. You can also edit or delete your treasury.

Post the treasury in our team's discussion thread by copying and pasting the url as explained in steps 3 & 4. The treasury will also show in the activity feed of those who follow you and of those who are featured in the treasury.

People can comment on the treasury. Those who are featured will have a yellow "featured" box under their photo, allowing you to see which sellers appreciate treasuries they're featured in so you can keep featuring them instead of those who are not supportive. Sending sellers a message that they are featured is helpful in gaining support.

To access other treasuries you've made or make new ones, go to the right on the treasury you just made and look under "Curator tools". To make a new treasury, click "Create List." To see your treasuries, click "Your Treasury Lists."

You can also click on your name at the top of any Etsy page and see your treasuries on your profile if you have it set to show them.

If you have not and would like to, click "Edit Profile" on the right of your profile page. On the bottom of the settings page under "Include on Your Profile" choose "Treasury lists" and hit "Save." Now they will show up on your profile!

I hope this tutorial was clear and helpful. Leave a comment if you have any more questions. I hope to see more team treasuries now!