You know the Shop; Now meet the Crafter

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review It!

~ Feature Friday ~

What's this? Well if this isn't a dusty concept that's been tucked far away in a back corner. It's been all but forgotten, back in the days where I actually posted more than twice a month. Well your eyes don't lie, I am bringing back my reviews/feature Fridays.

Every Friday I will be reviewing a different shop. When inquiring about this type of post, my fellow Etsian's have surprised me with a positive and abundant response to my blog request I sent out.

To better understand the review read this:
*The category I reviewed is the Largest word before or in the bold text.
*The bold text tells what I am looking for in the category for a positive score.
*The red or blue text that follows is what I thought of how the store does in the category, red meaning needing improvement, blue meaning no improvement needed.

Without further ado let's get this review going.

Minimalist Jewelry Birthstone Jewelry Necklace Earrings

What we have up today is the wonderful little shop, with 296 items, Moonlight Designs2.
Opened on Jan. 14, 2010, and almost at 1,000 sales. I must say I'm very much impressed so far...

Banner: Is there a professional looking banner that depicts what the shop is about, or sells?

Yes. 10/10 points

When it comes to the photos it is important that they are very clean and use white light. Which is the best type of lighting to show the items true color. Make sure there are a variety, and shows off all the important parts of the item. The photos are the most important part of your shop.

All of the listings are crisp, and bright, the white light/natural used is apparent, and the colors are what you would expect out of the stones, and metals that are said to be in the photo. Most the listings taking advantage of all of the slots for the photos, and even have photos of a live model wearing some of the jewelry. Moonlight has the necklace paired with earrings, of the same color, in the last photo to show how well they go together. If what I see is what I get, then I am happy to purchase what I see. 50/50 points

Tags: When listing your items it is very important to put what you would in the search bar. Views = Sales.

While looking at the tags, and item titles I found accurate describing words. (Example: Title: Blue Sapphire Pendant + The tag: September Birthday. = A more viewed, favorited item.) 10/10 points

Descriptions should tell you even more information about the item you're looking at. If you are looking for a necklace you should have the chains length, or chain length options listed. You also should also verify what the potential buyer is looking at. Mentioning your packaging and where to find your policies is always an added bonus.

Once again Moonlight has got this down to a science, doing all of the above, and even linking back to similar items the buyer may be searching for. 20/20 points

Featured items: What are featured items, and what items should I feature? You should feature any 4 items that are your personal favorites, and you should pick your favorite from different sections of your shop. Having a variety of different items that all grab your eye will help your shoppers know what they may find while browsing.
You MUST use all 4 featured spots, never letting a slot go unfilled for a long period of time. This makes your shop look unkempt, or inactive.

While Moonlight wins with all 4 spots, and even though I usually love things that match. I personally would choose other colors than red, and have 1 less earring set featured. When looking at her featured listings it took me a moment to realize I was looking at them. I saw red stone earrings, and a red stone necklace, but while browsing I found a blue necklace, and a darling mother daughter set that I fell in love with. Those pieces in the featured listings could easily raise views, and favorite for the shop even more so. 3/5 points

Shop Sections: I need a gold piece, a silver piece, and a gift for a child. Can I find that easily?
With the shop sections I can. Use all 10 sections on your shop, and make sure you use one for sales, clearance, or destashing items. Even if it's not used very often, this will help for the bargain hunters that pop into your shop from time to time.

Moonlight's sections were easy to understand, and navigate to what I was looking for, there was even a destash section. 20/20 points

Pricing is something that is tough for many people, I wouldn't bat an eye dropping $200 on a watch at a retail setting. With the knowledge that others have successfully purchased prior and been satisfied with the quality that was advertised, I wouldn't bat an eye elsewhere.

Moonlight's prices all seem completely fair for the skill and craftsmanship, along with the customer service, packaging, and fast turn around that is offered.  I wouldn't bat an eye at purchasing a $120 grandmothers necklace for a gift. Also there is just a sense of pride that comes with supporting handmade. 10/10 points

About the seller: As long as this newly added feature is filled out, with no spelling mistakes I'm happy with it. This is another MUST DO, you want your buyers to know whom they are supporting with each purchase.

This is true for Moonlight. 20/20 points

When it comes to reviews they speak for themselves:

Lastly, I popped into the review section of her shop, and found over 25 pages of 5 star reviews. A few things that caught my eye in the review was those raving about her fast shipping, and customer service. If you're looking for a helpful seller, and looking to getting an item quickly it seems Moonlight Designs is your go to place.
5/5 points

So, with all of that said, I give Moonlight Designs 2, a 148/150 

1- 30  Not worth my time
31-60  Not worth my money
61-90  Would heart
91-120  Would buy from
121-150  Would buy from loyally

About the seller: I asked Alona, the face behind Moonlight, 6 questions here is what she had to say:

1.) Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a self taught jewelry artist living in the great state of Alaska where I am surrounded by all of nature's beauty which influences the natural stones I use in my jewelry designs. Mother to four grown children and six grandchildren, my life is pretty busy but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love designing jewelry and selling it to buyers all over the world which keeps me motivated.

2.) What first made you want to become an artist?

I have always had an artistic nature as far back as I can remember. From the time I was very young I learned to sew, paint and do pottery. Today I mainly concentrate on creating jewelry and quilts that are actually like paintings I design myself and love giving them as gifts. I started making beaded jewelry for family and friends and was encouraged by them to start selling my designs. I started out doing a few craft fairs and soon learned that people of all ages were buying my items, both men and women. About a year later I taught myself to wire wrap stones and do some metal work and that is the basis of my business today.

Blue Sapphire Pendant

3.) Please describe you creative process how, when, materials, ect.

I specialize in birthstone jewelry and use natural raw stones as much as possible and also lab created stones which I have made just for my shop. I only use sterling silver, 14k gold fill and rose gold fill in my designs because I wanted to create quality products and never use plated materials which tend to wear off rather quickly. Most of my jewelry is minimalist using one natural stone to wire wrap for pendants and matching earrings when possible. I also make bracelets using natural stones and wire wrap them together to form the chain. I do a lot of custom work for people which I love doing, it helps to keep my creativity flowing.


5.) What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
My advice for anyone just starting their own business on Etsy would be to do a lot of research into owning a small business and have enough capital on hand to buy a lot of supplies to get started. Read up on marketing, learning SEO (search engine optimization), take the best photos you possibly can showcasing the item you are trying to sell without adding distracting backgrounds. Do some good close ups so potential buyers can visualize owning that item for themselves or as a gift.

Matching Mother Daughter Jewelry

6.) How do you promote your work?
I use to promote my work more in person doing various events and shows around my state. After three years I was getting a bit burned out and wanted to just concentrate on my Etsy shop and see where online sales would take me. I did not start selling in my shop the entire first year so in the second year I did a lot of research and started promoting on Facebook, Wanelo, Twitter and various online magazines. I have watched my sales grow from the time I started devoting full time to my Etsy shop from a few sales a month to just about daily sales. My income is now quadruple as of this year from where I started and I know promoting my shop has been a big influence in the growth.

What do you think of this shop? Was my review fair and accurate? Tell me below in the comments.

*All participating parties have consented to the review above, along with opinions, and permission has been granted to use likenesses, photos, and links from the shops owner and operator.
*Opinions stated by shops reviewed do not reflect or represent the opinions of AshleysHomeSpun.


  1. Hi! I liked the Moonlightdesigns ,its items are amazing. Your review helps the buyer about what to care when buying.Thank you for that post.

    1. Thank you!

      I hope that the reviews I write, and the featured shop interview would help both sellers and buyers.

      Glad to hear that it is doing just that.

  2. I was contacted by a reader, they do not have any accounts to comment. They sent me what they wanted to say:

    "Hi Ashley! You made a very good and wonderful Review! It paints a really clear Picture of the shop you are introducing and that´s absolutely great ;) Keep up your amazing work!"

    Holz - designs by XTreme Organic

  3. Thank you Ashley for the wonderful review! I love what I do and appreciate all the comments.

    1. I'm so happy you're satisfied with the review and feature.

      I'm sure it's obvious to all the readers that you love your craft. I know it was to me while reading your response the first time 'round.

      Thank you for your comment,

  4. It's an amazing review in an interesting format! Congrats for having a great shop, Alona!

    1. I'm so happy you like the review and feature.

      Thank you for your comment,

  5. I was contacted by a reader, they do not have any accounts to comment. So they sent me what they wanted to say:

    'Amazing review!!! Congratz Alona for having so brilliant shop! Wish you more and more sales:)'

    Monika K - TobisiasLilThings