Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My New Name!

Thanks to everyone who submitted names for my Shop/Brand!

Here is a list of my families favorites!

1. Exit Strategies
2. Accessories2Go
3. Crabby Traveler
4. Destination Handmade

I'm having a contest to pick the name!

To enter leave a comment with your number choice and e-mail if you aren't logged in. UWIB members can also post directly. If you aren't familiar with my shop and want to look first it is www.retrochique.etsy.com. The prize is $20 Free in my shop. Entries will go until December 5th. Winner will be chosen randomly. Thanks for your help!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's In A Name?

I've been thinking about it for a while, ever since I started selling more than a couple of things a month from my etsy shop. My name retrochique doesn't go with my shop. Well, it became even more crystal clear the other day when my prospective "store" was turned down by 1000 Markets. It wasn't my product, it was rather the whole package. My banner, my avatar, etc. They didn't mention my name, but, to me it all starts there. I was a merchandise manager and buyer for 18 years, developing and buying merchandise for high profile companies in the themed restaurant and amusement industries so this should all be just common sense to me!

So, I'm going to rethink what I'm doing. Starting with the numbers!

25% of my sales are passport covers

17 % of my sales are crabby items

The rest of my sales are splintered. If I take into account the wholesale I have done passport covers go up to 33% business card cozies go to 15% New styles that have had great positive reponse this month were a business card case and a key-chain wallet.

If I look at it that way, I sell organizing and travel accessories, nothing evocative of the name retrochique!

I've come up with a few names, I'm taking suggestions, maybe I'll consolidate and have a contest?

So far


Exit Strategy

Out Takes

Anyway, if you think of something, please, let me know. Wish my kids luck this weekend, they are playing in major zone tennis tournament!

Monday, November 10, 2008

UWIB Testimonial

Okay, I know "testimonials" are for things like acne products, but, UWIB, Unique Women in Business is so different it deserves something that testifies to its attributes!

I've been selling online for over 5 years now. First on Ebay and then on etsy starting just a year ago. In all my time selling it has been such an alone experience. You list your items, you take questions, you hope they sell and you deal with sometimes rude buyers. You deal with competitors that spam your buyers, badmouth you and just aren't friendly and then you start all over again when you list another item. Etsy is a little different in that the crafters and buyers are friendlier to one another and you meet people in the forums, but UWIB beats it all. I found them through twitter and signed up being a little skeptical. It seemed like it was kind of like a buying club, but I was going to buy things anyway so what did I have to lose. I have only been impressed with the other members since I have joined.

When you post something in the messages, the members actually read them and they click on your links. They provide feedback and encouragement to the members and sincerely are interested in what is going on. There are opportunities to show your products in chat room parties and the leader of the group is always promoting the members stores and merchandise in every online venue you can imagine. Twitter, myspace and the UWIB blog all are pumping the members items. It is the only thing I have done outside of etsy that I can be 100% sure has increased my sales and not just because other members have bought.

So if you want to become part of a truly amazing group, that is positive and does what they say, this is it, Unique Women in Business http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Unique-women-in-buisness/

Friday, November 7, 2008

Super Supplier!

Have a need for some zippers? I have a great supplier that I found on the etsy heart-o-matic http://www.majaba.org/ . Side Order Crafts sells zippers really cheap! They are from .40 to .70 cents and great quality. You may not find every color there, but if you are like me you don't always know what fabric you are going to be sewing on from day to day so I've gotten into the habit of keeping a group on hand in basic colors, that way if I need a khaki, black, navy or beige I'm ready to go. They ship really quickly too, link directly to paypal and seem to be really friendly, so if you are a crafter that ever needs zippers go try http://www.sideordercrafts.com/

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Twittering or Not?

Since I'm sort of new to the online promotion and marketing of my etsy store, I thought I would review some of the things I come across as I journey along that road. It has been an eye opening experience so far. Today I'll post about Twitter.

Twitter is something I came across in an etsy thread. The author was raving that it was the only thing she could actually say she had gotten a sale from. I looked at it and it really seemed harmless. You make a short profile and poof you are twittering. Like magic people will "follow" you. Basically all that means is that when you make an entry on your home page it will appear on theirs. If you elect to "follow" them back, their entries will appear on your page. You end up with a page full of random and not so random comments on everything from merchandise to what to have for dinner. There is an @ function so you can reply to someone specific but it still appears on all your follows pages.

Entries are called updates and are limited to 140 characters. Most etsy sellers that I have run across use it to promote their merchandise posts, treasuries and blogs. Some are manic about it and definitely tire you out. Some are very sincere and don't overuse it. Then there is a group of "marketing gurus" that tirelessly post useless things that most of us as sellers have already thought of. There is your sprinkling of really scary people too.

Bottom Line - Twitter is a fun social networking thing that can get you clicks if that is what you are after. I haven't had any sales from it, but have met some really creative people and had fun online with it. It tends to suck up time. If you have limited time, for sales, put your time elsewhere: If you are looking for a fun diversion that might help defray stress, intro you to new sellers etc it is well worth it.

First Post!

Well, this is my first post! I am starting to try as many things as I can to promote my etsy shop, or really rather the items I make. I am a SAHM that spent 18 years in corporate America but left when hubby's business ate up so much of his time I couldn't work anymore. I have an 18 year old at Kansas City Art Institute, and a 10 and 12 year old. Now that they are older I have time to craft!

I have joined Twitter, UWIB and am really open to smart things that don't muck up other people's time and mailboxes. If anyone reads this and has other ideas, let me know! Thanks to all the new people I have met and have responded to me in the cyber crafty community!