You know the Shop; Now meet the Crafter

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review it!!!!

~ Feature Friday IIII~

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.
Misala Handmade Bags and Purses: Crafting Since 2010

What we have up today is the wonderful little shop, with 94 items, Misala Handmade Bags and Purses Opened on Dec. 5, 2010, and almost at 1,400 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 lightbox used is apparent, and the colors pop right off the screen. The listings take advantage of all of the slots for the photos. Misala shows you all aspects of the purse, and the last photos show the interior of the bag. 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: Little hot pink piggy clutch purse + The tag: coin purse. = 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 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 Misala doesn't link to her policies, or talk about her packaging, but she does detail the size of the item you are viewing. Also Misala giving more than one type of measurement for all those across the globe, doesn't hurt either. Bonus points for talking about your creations like real little animals. 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.

Misala makes sure to fill all 4 spots, and even with the entire shop is made up of tiny fabric purses and cases that doesn't stop them from putting a verity of different animals up. There is definitely eye candy in this feature. 5/5 points

Shop Sections: I need a want a dolphin, a phone case, and a gift for a hedgehog owner. 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.

Misala's sections were easy to understand, and navigate to what I was looking for. But even though I didn't see a sale/clearance/destash section, that doesn't mean there isn't one. I know I have a "reserved items" section that 9/10 isn't there until I get a custom order. 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.

Misala's prices vary from $16 - $45, (also a bundle option of 5 wallets for $99). The time and the craftsmanship, plus the love put into each piece make this a very reasonable amount for the product offered.  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 Misala. 20/20 points

When it comes to reviews they speak for themselves:

Lastly, I popped into the review section of the shop, and found over 50 pages of 5 star reviews. Two of the things that caught my eye in the review was those raving about her fast international shipping, and product quality. 5/5 points

So, with all of that said, I give Misala Handmade Bags and Purses, a 150/150 

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

1.) Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! This is Michelle from Misala Handmade. I am a designer, sewist and I make bags and purses in all different shapes and sizes. If you haven't noticed from my creations, I use kisslock purse frames in all of them. These are wonderful, nostalgic metal purse parts that were invented before zippers and I would use them creatively in ways that nobody had imagined before.

Originally from Hong Kong, I am now the co-owner of my craft workshop and showroom here in Taipei.

Little cunning red fox clutch purse

2.) What first made you want to become an artist?
I began crafting and selling online in 2010, when I moved to Dubai as an expat wife. Having been unable to adopt to life in a foreign city, my husband suggested me to sell my crafts, seeing that I am really interested in sewing. I did not consider myself an artist then, and I did really terrible in my first craft fairs and the first few months on Etsy. 

Under my husband's help and guidance, I started to explore my creativity. In 3 years, the small home business grew bigger than what we could handle. So we made the decision to move all the way to Taipei to pursue our dreams of living on my crafts. Here I found many talented people starting out with their creative businesses, and I truly felt I am becoming one of them. It is an ideal city for emerging artists in every art as you will find plenty of community support. There is also never a lack of events and exhibitions in the city to explore and get inspired.

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

I keep a small notebook of my ideas and things that I want to do. I would draw on it as an idea comes up and come back to it later. I order a lot of fabrics both locally and from US and UK websites and I haves purse frames in all sizes and shapes so they would come handy when I sit down to create something from scratch. It would usually take a few prototypes to finalize a new, original pattern, taking anywhere from a few days to weeks. Lately I've been working on some larger bags and they are even more time consuming.

Tiny yellow duck coin pouch

Another thing I have been experimenting is designing purse frames. A lot of my items now uses frames that bears the Misala name and are uniquely handcrafted for me at a local metal workshop. By being in control of the frame-making process I can be absolutely sure that my products are of the highest quality standard possible.

I sell mainly on Etsy, but I have an official website at

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

Be patience and try to improve every aspect of your craft and presentation. These really adds up. By doing a lot of things right, people will start noticing you and your wonderful craft or art pieces.

Cute cerulean blue whale clutch purse

6.) How do you promote your work?

Every little thing helps. While I put most of my efforts onto managing my Facebook fan page, I am on almost every social network to make sure people can always find the right information when they search for "misala" I would selectively accept requests from bloggers asking for items to host a giveaway and I participate in Etsy's teams and forums.

Little salmon pink piggy clutch purse

Lately I've been trying to get people to work on artist collaboration projects with me. I believe it can be an unconventional, but viable marketing tactic as both parties in a collaboration will receive exposure from fresh sets of audiences. If anyone's interested in working with me (and having lots of fun in the process), feel very free to contact me at

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. The purses are so cute! I particularly like the little duck. :)

  2. Very cute little purses, love the pig!! Very fair assessment of this shop, two thumbs up!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to review my shop!!

    1. It was a pleasure! I was showing off your shop today while I was out!

      The duck purse is a favorite by everyone that I've shown it too.

      I personally love the fox, but that duck is amazingly sweet, too!

      Thank you for allowing me to review your shop.


  4. A reader contacted me to add a comment, since they don't have a way to do it them selves I will be adding what they wanted to say.

    So beautiful purses:) I love foxy one:) Michelle has real skill in her hands:) Wish her lots of sales!

  5. Michelle you are amazing , I love your shop they are all unique. Ashley thanks a lot for this post.