Friday, February 27, 2009

What is Etsy?

There is a growing presence for Dolls and Miniatures on Etsy of late. There is now a category for us. Some of you may or may not know about Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade. Are they say: "Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers." I personally joined August of 2007, not for my fabrics, trims and other doll making realted items but my other creative half, my Jewelry:
I have found it a bit challenging as you need to develop a niche to become REALLY successful on Etsy. Plus I do not have a ton of time to devote to it. But it is a great avenue especially if you do not have a website, an option to Ebay. I thought I would tell a bit about the basics of what I have learned. It is very easy to open a store. Make sure you think about your name because you can't change it. The name of your store can be anything, your address will then be "yournamee" Just got to the Register on Etsy page and fill in the blanks. Then you need to create fun things like you Avatar and Title box. I have been told from those most successful on Etsy that your avatar should be a snap shot of your product. An avatar is a 75 x 75 pixel size "picture". I started out with this avatar:

It matches my website graphics very nicely, but have since changed it to this:

This i
s a signature piece of enameling I do. I think it better represents who I am or who I want to portray in a tiny little box.
You want people to get to know your avatar and associate it with your store. If they see a close-up tiny picture of a fantastic miniature hat then
they will associate that avatar with you and your store. Myself..."Oh that's the artist that does those interesting enamels" or sells that fabulous miniature flowers, incredible tiny fairies etc.
You also have to have a banner. A Banner on Etsy is 760 x 100 pixel picture that appears at the top of your store. Again..It should tell who you are as represented by your product.
This is what I started out with:

Again very nice. In fact I paid someone to create it for me(before I learned photoshop)
But I have since changed it to:

I feel that this better represents my product and helps develop my persona on Etsy.

You have to have Shop Policies including Payment Methods and Shipping info. You can tell a little about your self too.
I think the most important thing is to have GOOD pictures. You have got to have good pictures. You HAVE TO HAVE good pictures.
I now have 3 Etsy stores and if I had time I would probably open a forth for fabrics and trims as a crossover. Being my first priority as a business is and of course 3 children...there is just not enough time in the day....and Etsy is on the bottom for me. But it is a great avenue.
Before I close I wanted to mention one other cool thing you can do with your Esty store. They have a thing called Etsy Mini. It allows you to take a portion of your store and put it somewhere else like" myspace, blogs...etc. I really like these feature because it is connected so it changes and is updated as you update Etsy. It is great advertising in other places.
Here is an example of Etsy Mini for my

Buy Handmade
I just love this as it is so easy to do.
Let me know if you have any questions!!
Michelle Mahler Doll Artist's Workshop,

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