You know the Shop; Now meet the Crafter

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review it!!

~ Feature Friday II~

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 101 items, Faithlinks Jewelry
Opened on Jul 25, 2011, and almost at 250 sales. So far first impressions tell me tell me that this is going to be a natural shell jewelry shop based in Hawaii.

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/natural 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 photos that I saw were shown using either natural light or what looks to be in a light box. My only issues that I really have are some of the photos are too dark, a listing here or there doesn't use all of the photo slots, and I'm not liking the coins. 

Now let me explain. Natural light is fantastic, but if you still don't let enough light into your image, your photos won't pop. It will also give dark spots to your listings. Consistency is key. Please try to use all 5 slots, not using all of them isn't a big deal, no points deducted for slots. I don't use all of mine, usually. Next the coins, using American currency is perfect to show sizing, but removing them out of the shot fully to keep the viewers eye on the item. Please keep using your coins! 30/50 points, By fixing the small issues, and brightening up your photos a tad more views will come to your shop. Views = Sales.

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

I really hate being bearer of bad news, but while looking at the tags, and titles I did come across some spelling errors, and many, many sad tags.You want to add tags that one would actually type in the search bar. Many people don't know this, but it will boost your sales. Try putting: "Handmade in Hawaii", "seashell earrings", "beach wedding", and "seashell jewelry", instead of just one word per tag. Also, capitalization, and pluralization does not effect the tags affect. (Example: Title: Create you[r] own -black sand white sand [bottle] clip + Tag: sand in a bottle. = fewer views than you should get.) 0/10 points Fixing these tags, and reviewing your spelling will boost viewers into wanting to purchase. No one wants to deal with anyone lazy, and even accidental misspellings will lead viewers to thinking just that about the seller.

Descriptions should tell you even more information about the item you're looking at. If you are looking at a necklace, or natural shell earrings, 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 Faithlinks doesn't link to her policies, she does talk about her packaging, and does a great job detailing the size of the item you are viewing. A suggestion; giving more than one type of measurement for all those across the globe, doesn't hurt. Also, telling your potential buyers about the items, not the photos. 15/20 points; I didn't want to take points off, your descriptions are fantastic, just lacking in detail about why the item is so great. (Which is one of the main reasons of a description). Fan favorite? Great, but why? Telling about how you trekked out to find these near volcanic rock, and telling us about how you took the photos on a volcanic rock will have two different outcomes. Make your items sound enticing, not the photos.

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.

Faithlinks makes sure to fill all 4 spots, and makes a sure to use a variety of different pieces that she offers. All photos are bright, and draw the eye to the item. 5/5 points; Suggestion: try aligning your last thumbnail in your featured items. The Flip Flop Key Chain is a tad cut off.

Shop Sections: I want Mother of Pearl earrings, a stone necklace, and a gift for natural crafts lover. 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.

Faithlinks' sections were easy to understand, and navigate to what I was looking for. Even a sale 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.

Faithlinks' prices vary from $1 - $40, (including sale items). But is this reasonable for the items she offers? Absolutely, her prices reflect the quality of item you're looking at, plus the time spent making and finding her materials. 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 Faithlinks. 20/20 points

When it comes to reviews they speak for themselves:

Lastly, I popped into the review section of the shop, and found 6 pages of 5 star reviews. Two of the things that caught my eye in the review was those raving about her fast shipping, and product quality. 5/5 points

So, with all of that said, I give Faithlinks Jewelry, a 115/150 

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 Becka, the faces behind Faithlinks, 6 questions here is what she had to say:

1.) Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Becka Jones
I live in Oahu, Hawaii with my husband and little dog, Bella.
I love everything about the Islands, I love walking the beach looking for shells, swimming, camping, hiking and photography. I am writing a memoir about my life in Hawaii and I love to create Hawaiian and beaded jewelry

Mother of Pearl Teardrop Earrings

2.) What first made you want to become an artist?
Living in Hawaii, I had a longtime friend named Allen who made Hawaiian bowls and Hawaiian jewelry. He was a homeless man who was creative in all he did. He found out he had colon cancer in 2008 and knew he had only a short time to live. He taught me how to make jewelry and gave me so many beautiful gems, shells and jewelry accessories to start. Before he passed away. He wanted to make sure I would keep making Jewelry and that his memory would live on. I told him he was "Ohana", Ohana means family, and I promised him I would make jewelry for the rest of my life and he would not be forgotten. He had such a peace about that. I started making jewelry and turned it into a successful business being thankful that I had such a good friend to guide me and care enough to pass his talent on. I realized I love creating jewelry pieces and that it gives me so much peace when I am working on jewelry.

3.) Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I have a work desk that I sit at with pieces spread out over the table of lovely shells and jewelry pieces to put together. I love combing secluded beaches for lovely shells to find and make jewelry with. I also shop at small trinket shops around the Island that have unique pieces and I love finding Mother of Pearl cabochons and shells that I or my husband will drill to make into a pendant for a beautiful necklace or earrings set.
I have a lot going on with my Etsy shop with wonderful customers wanting custom orders. I love creating something out of nothing, 

Hook Necklace - Mother Of Pearl

I have an assortment of shells, mother of pearl, assorted stones and charms, I can pretty much make anything. Every single order is different and that's what I love about my work which doesn't seem like work at all, I love it.
I recently made a Mother of Pearl bright ocean blue necklace, bracelet, earring set for a customer and when I posted it, I had 3 other customers want something similar, and even though cannot duplicate any custom orders, I can make some similar items. That's what is nice about Faithlinks Jewelry, it is one-of-a-kind unique jewelry.

Twitter: Faithlinkbeads
Facebook Page:

Mother Of Pearl White Shell

5.) What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
If you are just starting on Etsy, don't give up. I see a lot of new Etsy sellers give up after only a few months because they are not getting the sales they expected. Any business online or anywhere takes time, effort, lots of promoting, and patience. In an online world of competition, you need to sell something that stands out to customers. Sell something that is different than what others are selling and always be polite to potential buyers, bend over backward to keep up with messages, and questions any buyer may have and just HAVE FUN!

6.) How do you promote your work?
I have a website, Facebook, Twitter and Etsy,
On Etsy I go in the forums to learn more about business and success 

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. Becka's items are beautiful! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

  2. Thank you for the review of FaithlinksJewelry! You gave me a lot of insight and things I can do to improve my shop, I appreciate it. I am having a lot of fun with my Etsy shop, always strive to improve it!!

    1. You are very welcome,

      I'm glad my review could help with a different point of view. Your shop is great, let's make is fantastic!

      Keep having fun and making what you love.


  3. A reader without an account to comment messaged me this to add to the post:

    'Congratz Becka for having nice shop:) I hope one day I will have sales like you:)'

    Monika K

  4. Nice review Ashley. I agree on the dark photos next to the light ones keep the dark ones from popping. Photography is tricky, but with jewelry consistency is key. Beautiful of luck with the shop!

  5. Very nice review. Love the fresh designs!!