You know the Shop; Now meet the Crafter

Friday, August 29, 2014

Double Feature!!! (Part 2)

~ Feature Friday VI~

Last week lots of things that happened in my personal life, so I missed a feature, but I refuse to get behind. I decided instead of delaying the reviews, we will have a DOUBLE FEATURE!

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 improvementblue meaning no improvement needed.

Without further ado let's get this review going.
What we have up today is the wonderful little shop, with 42 items, CraftyGirlMerch Crocheted Gifts & Housewares Opened on September 27, 2012 and is at 25 sales.

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.

While browsing the shops photos, I found that all of the digital art listings were spot on, being clear and crisp. But every picture, that was a physical item was lacking. 

Harsh shadows, glares, blurred, or low quality images, are not only sale killers, but view killers. I would not click on a blurry image or on a amateurish photo listing of anything. Backgrounds, and light flow can also make or break your listing.

Also, if you're going to use fabric as your background, make sure to iron out all the wrinkles first. Even if you are proud of your products, and your photos, it will seem to the viewer that you "couldn't be bothered to take the extra effort." You never want to seem lazy.  High quality photos are the only way to get views, and views = sales. 10/50 points Google, or search in Pinterest for free DIY instructions on creating your own cheap lightbox!

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 a smile forming from ear to ear. Though I did chuckle at how you just rearranged the words in some of the tags. Tags are meant for what you personally would put into the search bar. "Beard Hat Men" isn't usually my 1st, 3rd, or 10th thought when searching for a Bearded hat, for a guy. (Example: Title: Yellow White Cotton Wash Cloth + The tag: cotton wash cloth = A more viewed, favorited item.) 10/10 points Also, many people don't know this, but pluralization does NOT matter when adding tags. Which means you can add even more tags. So be creative!

Descriptions should tell you even more information about the item you're looking at. If you are looking at a purse, it should have the size, or size 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.

While Katie doesn't link to her policies, or talk about her packaging, she does talk about her creation process. This can be good and bad. She does not mention sizing on the ornament listing, but does on the other crochet listings. Consistency is key.

When talking about your items quality, make sure you use better, or "fancier" wording. Instead of the word 'glued', try 'adhered'. Also, you do not need mention your materials used, unless they are upcycled, recycled, all natural, or organic. Be sure to make your items sound appealing.  15/20 points "I didn't know what to make, so I just hacked away until I figured I was done." & "While waiting for inspiration to strike, I decided to push on through and let the piece lead me. I only stopped once I felt my creation was at it's natural stopping point. Each stroke was free form, making it OOAK. I am so proud I let myself go on an unbounded journey." Both statements, are saying the same things, but one has meaning, and depth, you want this with your descriptions, too. Take the extra time to give your listings the respect, and meanings they deserve.

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.

Katie makes sure to fill all 4 spots, but 3 of 4 are of crochet items, and with the diverseness that is Katie's shop, there are many different, and better choices to have featured3/5 points I can't tell a shop owner what their favorite pieces are, but I can suggest picking out a favorite from different categories.

Shop Sections: I need a want a home item, sale items, and a gift for myself in the winter. 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.

Katie's sections were extremely easy to navigate, and she has a destash, and sale section too. (Destash is under the code name of "Craft Supplies")  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.

Katie's prices vary from $0.75 - $50. The time and the craftsmanship, plus the love put into each piece make this a very reasonable amount for the product offered. At the same time, your smalls can be too small, try making multiple smalls and bundle them together, give the buyers more variety. 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 Katie20/20 points

When it comes to reviews they speak for themselves:

Lastly, I popped into the review section of the shop, and found 2 pages of 5 star reviews. Two of the things that caught my eye in the review was those raving about her super fast shipping, and product quality. 5/5 points

So, with all of that said, I give CraftyGirlMerch Crochet Gifts & Housewares, a 93/150 

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 Katie, one of the faces behind CraftyGirlMerch, 6 questions here is what she had to say:

For all blog readers, this weeks featured shop would like to offer all of you a code for 20% off your purchase:

I have a coupon code currently available! The coupon code is 20OFF and it's for 20% off any order.

1.) Tell us a bit about yourself.

 I'm a 26 year old stay-at-home wife who loves to craft and create. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and a degree in Business. I started my Etsy shop as a way to bring in a little extra income and to express my creativity! I've always loved to craft and create things, especially cooking and baking. I made my first complete Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 8! (Overachiever, much? :) ) 

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

I've always had a love of crafts and an overabundance of creativity. When I was younger, I used to enter crafts into the state fair, and I received several blue ribbons for my work. Opening my Etsy shop was a way to express my creativity, and supplement our income in this tough economic time. I've also found that it's a wonderful way to connect with other artists and artisans, and it's opened my eyes to a wonderful amount of creativity in the world. :) 

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

My creative process varies, depending on what I'm making. When it comes to crocheted items, I love using bright colors and fun patterns. For digital downloads, I usually do a quick sketch to get the idea of what I want, and then work from there. I would say that my favorite, though most time consuming, things to make are Christmas ornaments. Painstakingly placing over 400 pins and sequins takes forever, but the end result is beautiful! I'm starting on some ornaments this weekend and I can't wait to see what they look like. :)


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Check out the shop blog for great Etsy shop reviews!
Tweet me on Twitter, @CraftyGirlMerch ... I'd love to hear from you!
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Of course, you can find me on Etsy at:

Set of 25 Bright Orange Hang Tags

5.) What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

If you're new on Etsy...Welcome! I think the best advice I can give you is to never give up. A lot of people (myself included) tend to get discouraged when they don't have as many sales as they *think* they should. Constantly try to improve your shop, pictures, items, and be open to constructive criticism. Do it because you LOVE it!

6.) How do you promote your work?

I promote my work via Facebook, Twitter, Wanelo, Pinterest, Tumblr, my blog (CraftyGirl Creates), and through word of mouth..which is quite possibly the BEST promotion tool you can use!

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 comment:

  1. One of my readers that hasn't the means to comment sent me what they'd like to say.

    "Katie - brill baby crochet, love them! Wish you lots of sales :)"

    - Monika K