Friday, October 31, 2008

First Etsy Sale

Still reeling from the great turnout at the holiday show on Saturday, I opened my email on Sunday morning to find that I had my first sale at etsy. I did a happy dance down the hall and gave my husband a high five. I have been listing my inventory slowly and working hard on promoting my shop. I wondered when/if a sale would happen. I realize it takes time and considered that maybe people don't want to be your first. (For example, at ebay I would hestiate to buy from a new seller) I was so excited when I saw the email. A pair of my holiday Christmas tree earrings sold. Woohoo!

Not long ago I made some purchases from etsy to see how the process works when you are a buyer. What I noticed is there wasn't a lot of communication. I didn't get a confirmation from the seller when I placed the order, when I paid for the order, etc. This was a good exercise because I realized how important it is to communicate with buyers. My first buyer may get tired of hearing from me, but I certainly plan to keep the lines of communcation open.

I was curious about how she found my shop. I am in KY and she is in PA. I asked her about it and she told me that she likes shopping with etsy and she had purchased some holiday earrings last year from a particular shop. Her friend wanted a pair like them and she went to the original artist and found the shop was no longer on etsy. She then did a search for "Swarovski crystal" and "Christmas tree" and found a bunch to look through. She told me that mine were the "nicest and a good buy." And because they had a green bead at the top and all the others were red, her friend liked those the best as green is her favorite color. I thought that was a cool story!

Part II

The buyer received her earrings on Wednesday and emailed to say she wanted a pair for herself too. So Wednesday night I made another pair, posted them and sold them. Thursday I shipped the second pair to her.

It reminds me of my friend Lisa. When we see something that we love, we buy it for each other. And then we buy one for ourselves too. I know if I love it, Lisa will love it too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My First Show of the Holiday Season

On Saturday I set up at my first holiday show! I was excited and nervous about it. I wasn’t sure if I would have enough things, if there would be a lot of competition, if people would buy because of the economy, if my prices were right, etc. Things started out a little slow as this was a new venue for the show. But then it picked up and stayed steady the rest of the day. To the point it was hard to get a bite to eat or take a bathroom break!

Here are some photos of my setup. I received lots of nice comments on my table and display. Several people picked up my Halloween/fall displays and I wondered if I should have had a price on those! People were fascinated with the little battery operated tealights that flicker like candles. Those were a hit, so I plan to use them in my Christmas displays too. I had a matte glass votive from Big Lots with a skeleton leaf and twine tied to it that people loved.

I was told by one buyer that my prices were too low. That was flattering and something to think about. I like to have a variety of items, with most of them moderately priced so that the jewelry is affordable. On the other hand, there were people that really deliberated spending $5 on a cell phone charm and $10 or $15 on a pair of earrings with sterling earwires. So there were all kinds. I think you’ll have that at any show.

I received lots of questions about how to care for sterling silver and keep it from tarnishing. Based on that I plan to have polishing cloths available at the next show and have a little care sheet put together on how to store sterling and clean it.

It was fun meeting everyone and helping them with their decisions on which bracelet to buy, etc. Several of my friends showed up to support me which meant a lot. All of the vendors were really nice. Some were willing to barter which is always fun. We traded business cards and discovered new friends by the end of the day! Overall, it was a fun experience. My next show is on November 7-8 at the Nunnlea Craft Fair. I am looking forward to it!