Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Etsy, Why Handmade Left

My originally idea was  to blog about all the changes on Etsy over the past three years and the  impact to those sellers I have met.  I decided the post would be extremely long and might not be red through by most visitors. The topic will be broken up into several posts over the next few months.

They redefined handmade or change the legal definition of a word to suit themselves.   I believe they wanted to make more money so they decide to change their site TOU(Terms of Use) to reflect the new influx of sellers with commercial items that drop ship form foreign countries.

quote from Etsy's blog "HANDMADE items are designed and created by the shops that sell them. Because transparency matters on Etsy, we ask sellers to list shop members and share information about manufacturers involved in creating their items."

 I certainly can not speak for all of the sellers on Etsy.  I can speak for myself and the friends I have made there.  Yes I still know a handful of handmade shops on Etsy. Most I know have left the sinking ship.

As I used the site search by topic, key work and tag , I noticed hundreds of pages of items that were not handmade.  I started to discuss this on several of the teams I belonged to.  My discovery of the commercial items was not unique.  We being good site members reported the shops to the site as not in compliance with their TOU.  We waited a few days then weeks and the odd thing was the shops were still there.  In one case, the shop was on the front page of the  handmade section.  Many sellers had gone to other sites as a back up plan because they were afraid the buyers would leave Etsy.

I have a great group of friends and small business people I have became close with in the past few years.  We are online promoting each other through social media.  The group is Sellergroup.  We are a group of handmade, vintage and supplies buyers and sellers.  Please follow these links to learn about us.
Sellergroup  Pinterest

There are many sites the Hand made sellers have moved to.  I have tried several sites myself and now use my stand alone website as my main place I sell my work.   Here are a few of the options my friends have chosen:  Zibbet, Artfire, Indymade, Shopify, Bonanza, SupaDupa, Ebay, and Facebook groups. 

 To expand the audience of my sales and increase my customer base, I even tried selling jewelry supplies.  I listed my extra beads as destash supplies on Etsy.  The majority of my sales were during buying blitzes with the teams I was part of.  The impact has not been positive for myself, my sales or the majority of the seller of handmade I know.  This all began in 2012 when the site redefined handmade.

Hopefully you understand why many of us handmade artist have left Etsy.  Feel free to do an Internet search on Etsy, their stock and re-sellers (commercial items) to learn more.

My shops:  Panda Wear Website
                   Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook
Twitter:  Panda Wear Gems  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vera Jayne - Handmade with Love

Vera Jayne
Handmade with Love

Vera Kirkpatrick started her business, Vera Jayne as a way to work from home while she home schooled her 5 children. Vera has had numerous handmade businesses before that but all of them involved craft markets and selling in brick and mortar stores.

Blue Baby Shoes


She wanted to start selling her handmade goods online. She wanted the freedom and flexibility of choosing her own working hours and still having time to do the things that she thought were important in her role as a mom.

Vera Jayne sells hand knits – scarves, hats and accessories for ladies and children and crocheted baby shoes. Vera has always loved creating and she started making these particular products as there was a demand for them.

As for advise for someone starting out in her line of work:
  •  Running a handmade business is hard work. You start off creating and doing what you love but when the orders start rolling in, you need to move from a hobby (creating and selling the few things you create which brings a little income and job satisfaction) to running a business! 
  •  Use all free social networks. Her favorite is INSTAGRAM and she have gotten many sales and wholesale orders through this venue alone. It is free! Vera also use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Wanelo, We Heart it, Keep, Polyvore
  •   Keep learning – She reads as much as I can about handmade businesses and small businesses. There is a lot of information out there! Vera is constantly self evaluating her product photos and trying to better her skills as a crafter.
  •  Interact – She interacts with many handmade businesses and has formed good friendships. We support and promote one another. We pool resources and help each other succeed.

 As for where to one can find Vera Jayne products,  several places.  At the moment, she sell on Etsy, Storenvy and a South African online site.    She also sell her patterns on Craftsy and Ravelry. Vera supplies a local wholesaler who buys her baby shoes and sells them along with a baby outfit (sold as a set) that sell in Brick and Mortar stores all over South Africa.  Her baby shoes are sold wholesale to an online shop in the US that stocks brands

Chartreuse hair elastic

Vera love custom orders! At the moment her turn around time is 7 days but with wholesale orders (big numbers), depends on the amount required.  During the busy months her turn around time may be 2 weeks.  Her most popular item is baby shoes. 
To contact Vera of Vera Jayne

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Short and Sweet

Happy Hump Day.....  a few gem trees and geodes for you to enjoy. 

What's new in my studio?  There are some new copper pieces and a few pieces with some hand made glass beads. Also, working with another of the artist on my team.  The feature will be up this week. 

Here are a few Fathers Day gift ideas for you. Geodes are from $10-15 and the Gem trees are $15-20.  all prices are plus shipping.  

What topics would you like to see in future blog posts?  Looking for suggestions from my fans. 

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Early June Garden Progress

Happy garden is part of a happy home and provides a healthy harvest.

It is early June and my garden is doing great.  I am enjoying lettuce, chives, snow peas, cilantro, swiss chard, kale, collards and radishes. We are enjoying growing many new crops this year.  Surprised some of them are quite easy. We are avid gardeners in my house.

Clematis vine in my climbing rose bed. The roses are slowing budding. 
For those wondering my Square Fair was great.  Many of families spending quality time there.   I plan to go back next year and enjoy the event.. 

Can anyone tell me what this plant on the right is?  It is edible and easy to grow.  raw or cooked it is delicious. 

One of my miniature roses showing off  it stunning color.  Gardens are pretty and enjoyable.  Feel free to start you own garden.  it is really easy and the most important thing its to keep the new pants well watered until fall.  this means water the day you pant and every day it does not rain for the first two to three weeks.

The summer and fall crops of tomatoes, peppers, leeks, carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, beans, and broccoli and doing well.  It went for a dry spring with excessive heat to a super wet late spring. the temperatures seem to yo yo from 80's to low 60's when it rains.  Weather has been great for the greens and the cooler spring crops. 

This is an older rose bush next to my back deck.  it was severely damaged by the strong winter we had this year.  I am surprised to see it loaded with blooms.  Wish I could show the whole plant but rain knocked the petals off several of the flowers. This rose bush is about two feet tall.  It was over four feet all last year. 

One of my favorite plants.  This is a Peonie flower over some hosta leaves.  My Grandmother had two in her garden.  I am delighted to say I have had a second volunteer peonie of the single blooming type come up.
Happy growing to all of you.

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook
Twitter:  Panda Wear Gems  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Square Fair this Saturday

Preparing for my first show of the year & 1st show of the season.  So busy packing and sorting this week.  Making the lists of what to bring, make and leave home.  Never enough room for everything.

This is the flyer for the event.For anyone local, in Monroe County NY or the surrounding area.

FB event

I will be demonstrating earrings and rings at the fair.  bring you friends for a great event.  Support small business in Rochester, NY.   Many one of a kind creations need new homes.

 One of many earrings style for sale at the event. 
great time to shop for your summer styles.  Orders will taken and free delivery if paid in full at the Square Fair. 

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook
Twitter:  Panda Wear Gems  

We will have the featured artists and the etsy affect on handmade coming soon.