Tuesday, December 6, 2011

EggNog Cake

This is a super easy recipe and so in the spirit of the holiday season.

I used Southern Comfort eggnog, any store bought brand will work.

You will need a 10 inch fluted tube pan to bake it in.
ONLY 8 ingredients.

1 Package (18 1/4 oz) white cake mix
1 package (3.9oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup eggnog
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons rum extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

GLAZE Ingredients:
1 cup confectioners' sugar (10x sugar)
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
3 to 4 teaspoons eggnog


1.  In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, eggnog, oil, rum extract and nutmeg.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

2.  Pour into a well-greased 10 in. fluted tube pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 38-41 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, extract and enough eggnog to get a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over the cake once it is completely cooled.

TIPS:  I found you need much more eggnog for the glaze then called for.  So I would recommend adding 4 teaspoons of eggnog and the 1/4 tsp of rum extract, then slowly add the 10x sugar until the right consistency.  It was very sweet to me.  It took closer to 41 minutes for mine to finish and get that really golden color around the edges.

I hope you guys will try it and let me know how you like it.  I am not even a fan of eggnog I made this for my dad and I LOVED it.


Janet
www.galla15.etsy.com

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Questionable Ethics

I would like to start out by giving a frame of reference, a little insight into me personally.

When I was growing up I had an extremely creative mom and sister.  My mom could knit, sew, quilt, paint, ceramics, wreaths, decorate, stage, throw parties you name it this woman could do it and do it VERY well.  My sister was the same way, she would come home from school with beautiful pieces to show my mom from art class.  Now my dad really couldn't barely draw a stick person LOL  My dad was on the more analytic side, he loved to build things and was very good at drawing up plans.  My point is I grew up thinking I was not creative at all compared to my mom and sister, that I took after my dad.  It was only in the last 6 or so years of my life that I discovered my creative side through jewelry.

It is one of the ONLY things I can say in my entire life that I truly feel creative, and absolute love doing.  So with this history I take a huge amount of pride in my work.  I strive to create truly unique items.  With all of this said, I know that in jewelry just about anything and everything that can be done has been done at some point in time... and that we all get inspired by one another at times.
But I strive to put my own personal touches on each piece, and to create my own niche in the market, and feel that is the ethical way to handle any craft or business. 

So the drama from yesterdays craft show actually started an entire year ago.  These 2 older women selling jewelry (a vendor at the same show) came to my booth wanting to know if they could buy the pattern for some of my bracelets.  I told them the patterns were not for sale, that I didn't want them or other vendors selling my creations.  They continued to pick up each piece and put their glasses on and examine them very very closely.  Later that day I had someone buy 4 of my bracelets, I was thrilled until I saw them later at the booth with these 2 women.  They had sent a friend in to buy the bracelets from me since I told them NO.  These things happen quite often but usually it isn't done in such a blatant manner.  I bet this happens at most shows but we just don't know about it because most people have a little more sense about them, that this is WRONG to do so don't be obvious if you are going to do it!   I tried to not get too upset, but decided I would talk to the event organizer.  I have been a vendor at this show for 5 years now and felt strongly this wouldn't be the type of vendor they would want to have if they knew the things they were doing.  The organizer said she wasn't happy with them either, there were other problems apparently and she wouldn't be inviting them back.

Flash forward to this past Friday at the same show just a year later and these 2 older women were back at the show!  Not only were they back but they had a prime location near the entrance, AND they had EXACT copies of my bracelets!  I was furious and immediately went to the organizer to complain.  It is bad enough they are copying but to now sell it at the SAME show and for me to not have a better spot in the show as a long standing vendor was upsetting too.  The organizer said I needed to talk to the copycats myself and make it clear that I wasn't happy with this, but I should wait until the end of the show so that it doesn't cause a problem.  I agreed to wait to the end of the show to handle it.

So the show starts and these 2 women immediately come to my booth and start examining more bracelets.  They want to know where I get my displays from, where my bracelet trays came from... Of course I just said ONLINE!  Where else do you think I got them from?  LOL
They walked away finally.  All day Friday I had customers who have come to this show for years to see me.... come up to my booth to warn me that someone has copied me.  I have some loyal customers which I love them all dearly for. 

Near lunch time on Friday my mom and dad came up to let me use the bathroom and get a drink and they brought me lunch.  As soon as I walked away from my booth these 2 women came flying over to examine more of my items.  I guess they thought my booth was unmanned, but my parents were there!  These 2 women made VERY bold and blatant moves the entire day Friday wanting more and more information on my pieces in order to copy not only my jewelry but my displays too!

Saturday comes around and I am really started to get worked up, this has been going on since the previous year, it is becoming more disruptive where I feel I can't even leave my booth.  Friday night into Saturday I had to put my entire display away because I knew they would come in early or stay late to stare at my booth!  Throughout the day Saturday more customers were noticing the copycats and saying more and more too.  Other vendors around me starting commenting, as I was talking to one of my neighbors the copycats came running up behind me trying to look again... until the my neighbor pointed it out to me.  One of the other vendors actually went up to these 2 ladies and asked them, so who is copying who, you copying that girl in there or is she copying you?  Apparently the lady refused to answer and just changed the subject to explain their designs. 

My mom and grandmother came up Saturday to shop around and they gave me a short break again.  Again as soon as I walked away these 2 women came flying up to my booth.  My mom told me they were whispering and pointing at everything, picking up more bracelets and looking and then she heard one of the ladies say those button necklaces would sell great we can do those!  So now the bracelets weren't enough, trying to figure out my display isn't enough let's rip off ALL her designs.  I am a person of principal and this to me is so very wrong, I was fuming inside.  But I wanted to try to maintain my image and reputation at this show and with my customers so I just kept waiting for the end of the day to talk to the copycats.

Finally around 4pm on Saturday I was with a customer who was buying earrings from me when the taller of these copycat ladies came up to my booth.  She had her hands on her hips and this stern look I quickly glanced up to make eye contact and say HI, and she started screaming at me.  I honestly don't know what she said because I was so concerned about my customer, that I just looked up at her and said can this wait I have a customer and she yelled NO it can not wait.  I took my customers money and slowly packaged up her item and tried to keep a smile and be as calm as I could as to not scare my customer away.  And as soon as I gave her the item this woman was screaming.  She said how dare you tell others we are copying you.  Honestly I don't know what triggered this I had been biting my tongue the ENTIRE day to wait for an appropriate time to confront these women.  My only guess is the combination of my customers giving her a hard time and the other vendor at one point flat out asking who is copying set her off.  None of which is my fault, I didn't copy, I didn't ask people to do these things, and really don't know what was done or said.

It got really bad, to the point where the woman was leaning over my table with her finger in my face and I said I am not talking to you about this now.  I just kept repeating as calmly as I could I am not doing this in the middle of the show.  I said can we handle this later, she yelled you better believe we will handle this later, I will handle you.  I said is that a threat, she said you better believe it.  Mind you this woman is at least in her 60's!!  Finally my neighbor vendor came over, and chest bumped the copycat and said that is enough walk away.  So the woman left.  Now any customer that was in our aisle has gone RUNNING, it is a ghost town in here.  I asked my one neighbor to please go get the organizer, that this had crossed a line and was not acceptable.  She came back to tell me the organizer was busy but would be over shortly.

I just tried to calm down at this point and keep a smile for any customers nearby and to regroup.  15-20 minutes went by and I had another customer at my table when the 2nd shorter copycat lady came to my table SCREAMING.  She talked about how if she had the jewelry they had bought with her she would return them, honestly I don't know what she was saying.  I tried for about a 1/2 second to talk and it was obvious they weren't reasonable and weren't going to listen.  So when I couldn't even say one word, I dug my heels in and said I won't talk about this now.  I am not going to discuss this now.... finally I said please leave.  She said NO.  I said leave my booth, she said no.  I repeated myself at least 10 more times, she refused.  So I felt I had no choice at this moment but to call the police.  The organizer had not made it over to me yet and this woman was scaring away my business and I had been threatened and she would NOT leave..... I told her if she didn't leave I would call the police, she said go ahead and call.  I got my phone out, not really wanting to call, because I did not want a bigger scene then this had already become... so I warned her one last time, I am calling now if you don't leave and she stood there.  So I had to call the police.   The entire time I was on the phone she was yelling in the background. I could barely hear the guy on the other end.  WHAT A DISASTER!  The police hung around to escort me to my car at the end of the show and these women didn't say another word after that.

****  So the bottomline to me.  These are experienced women, and I don't just say that because of their age.  These are women who have clearly made a living out of doing this.  In my personal opinion people do not get that bold, and don't have such an elaborate system in place by accident.  It is from years of doing these things, and literally being BULLIES to other small crafters.  I bet most crafters ignore their antics, most crafters don't know what they can do, what they should do, and these women are so dominating in their actions that I bet most don't stand up to them.  These women have been able to get away with this behavior for so long that it has become more and more aggressive.  I let them get away with it for over a year myself because I didn't think there was much I could do, these things happen in the craft world etc. etc.

But these women will continue to do these things until something is done about it, obviously.  Even with the idea of the cops coming they wouldn't leave my booth.  That woman just flat out did not care.  And I am positive it is NO coincidence that each time they came to throw a fit was when I had customers.  They realized at this particular venue the GIG WAS UP for them and they were pissed and trying to do as much damage as they could on their way out.  That is my honest opinion, when they realized that there were other vendors and so many customers protective of me and commenting to them, and that they weren't getting away with it they threw a temper tantrum!

They did do a lot of damage, but probably not like they had hoped.   They succeeded in making themselves look like complete asses.  They were able to flaunt their selfishness and their unethical behavior to my entire customer base, and to all these other vendors.  They were banned from this venue again in the future, and my customers clearly know me and my work and wouldn't give them the time of day and certainly never will now either!

And they have been successful in motivating me to take the next step with my business.  If this is something I deeply care about, and treasure my creations and my hard work and time then I have to do more to protect them.  I have contacted a lawyer, and I have copyrights, trademarks you name it, all in the works for my company.  So I should be thanking them to a certain extent because my business will be elevated now due to their unethical behaviors. 

In all the years of doing craft shows I have never even seen a conflict let alone been involved in one.  And I hope for the rest of my years doing craft shows I won't have to deal with something this ridiculous again.

Thanks for reading my book.

 And I really want to thank all the other vendors who were supportive to me, protected me, and all of my very loyal customers :)

THANK YOU!
Janet
Trinkets N Whatnots - Crystal and Button Jewelry

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Social Share Button

Everywhere you turn there is a social networking site that people are using.  Each site has their own "button" for you to put in your toolbar of your internet screen so that you can share content with that site.

For instance, Stumbleupon has a green share button with SU on it for your toolbar.
But if you are trying to grow a business using social networks it can be hard to keep up with all those buttons!  Your toolbar could look quite the mess, and very hard to manage right?

So I discovered a universal SHARE button.  It isn't perfect, for instance it doesn't have some of the newer sites like Pinterest just yet.  However, it has tumblr, stumbleupon, kaboodle, linkedin, facebook, twitter,  google buzz, digg, and many other options!

Once you have this green universal share button you can use it to pick which site to promote too.
 
Here are the directions for firefox installation.

Here are the steps.

1.  Click the orange Firefox button at the top of your internet screen, you will see a series of menus CLICK Add- ons


2.  You should now see a page with a search bar near the top right.  Type in "Share" into that search.


3.  Now you will see a bunch of results, at the very bottom of the result page is Show More Results, Click on that.

4.  The 2nd result on the page should be a green Shareaholic add on.  The 1st result is also a share button but it isn't as popular and I prefer the one in the 2nd result.  If you put your mouse over that 2nd add-on you will see "Add to Firefox"  Click on that to install.


5.  Now that it is installed on firefox, you will need to restart Firefox by closing it completely out and reopening it.  If you don't see the green share button right to the left of where you type in a URL on the page then you have to adjust your internet menu.

Click the Orange Firefox menu button top left, move your mouse over the menu "options" and you should see "Add-On"  Click on it to make sure a check mark is next to it.


6.  Set up which social networks you want to have available through this button.
To the left of where you type in the URL of a webpage is the Green Shareaholic button, there is a little green drop down arrow... click on there to see a list of choices, and click on MORE OPTIONS.


7.  Now you will see a screen with sites on the left and right.  You click a site you want that is on the left and then click ADD to move it to the right.  All sites on the right hand side are ones that will show under your button on the toolbar.  You can remove them or add them through this menu.


******  HERE IS A LINK TO GET THE DOWNLOAD FOR INTERNET EXPLORER ******


Now get sharing on all these sites :)

Have fun.
Janet

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SPECIAL Baby BNR Bash!

WOW!   The Promotional Frenzy Team had a special BNR on Tuesday the 18th.   And we had 189 sales in one single day!!

I want to give some special thanks out to those that organized this BNR.

Crystal Photography - She is pregnant with twins and realized we could have fun trying to guess the date of birth for her twins and turned that into an amazing theme for our BNR.  She spent countless hours while pregnant with the twins blogging, and promoting, arranging all the details.  She was able to help get all the prizes lined up and all the curator shifts together.  AND donated a prize to this event!

You can read all the details about the BNR and the PRIZES that were over $700 dollars, here at her blog
http://crystalgaylephotography.blogspot.com/2011/10/baby-bnr.html

Check out her amazing shop:

Then there is Camilles Closet.  She really had a lot of ideas to set this up and helped Crystal set it all up.  She had some really creative ideas and incentives to make this such a huge success. 

Her amazing Wax seal pendants I think really make her shop stand out.  She donated a prize to this BNR too!!

Our resident BNR lady:  Crocheted By Charlene  She also donated a wonderful prize and has an AMAZING shop.  She helps make sure all the curators are lined up and convo's them all the details... lots of behind the scenes leg work on her part each week for our team! 
Check out her newest line, crocheted headwarmers!



Then we have a member on our team that is still fairly new but just jumped in with both feet with amazing energy and enthusiasm.  Lost Lemonade  She stayed online for basically 14 hours today to help track all the sales, how many entries each person has etc.  HUGE detailed, LONG day... she gave our preggo Crystal a small breather today.  And I am sure you can start to sense a pattern, we have such supportive members... so she also donated a prize to the cause!

Check out these very cool bath products in a festive Ornament!!


With 189 Sales Total it was obviously a HUGE team effort.  Tons of promoting, donations, and hardowrk that resulted in an AMAZING event.

Obviously I can't thank every individual person that helped us make this event such a success.


BUT A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HAS SUPPORTED THE PROMOTIONAL FRENZY TEAM AND THIS EVENT.

This was the list of curators we had tonight AND those that donated prizes. 

http://www.symbolicimports.etsy.com/  - a bar of oatmeal, milk and honey soap valued at $6.00.

http://www.thechristmascorner.etsy.com/ - a surprise gift valued at $15.

http://www.smileykit.etsy.com/ - a Bird Handmade With Swarovski Crystals in the color of your choice valued at $11.00.

http://www.dellcovespices.etsy.com/ - a 5 pack Pin Up girl spice kit valued at $15.00.

http://www.potsdamelf.etsy.com/ - a pair of hand felted ball earrings valued at $17.00.

http://www.sunnycrystals.etsy.com/ - a glass heart shaped pendant valued at $8.00.

http://www.rooee.etsy.com/ - a pot holder valued at $8.00.

http://www.urdelights.etsy.com/ - a pair of earrings valued at $20.00.

http://www.crochetedbycharlene.etsy.com/ - a headwarmer valued at $14.00.

http://www.calliopeazcreations.etsy.com/ - a pair of earrings that are made of real turquoise and hand worked old carnelian beads. The drop is 1.5 inches. Value is $18.00.

http://www.greenhouseglassworks.etsy.com/ - a Dichroic Fused Glass Pendant valued at $20.00.

http://www.prittyfy.etsy.com/ - a charm bracelet valued at $32.00.

http://www.magdamagda.etsy.com/ - a Chiffon Scarf and Rose set valued at $9.90.

http://www.lostlemonade.etsy.com/ - a bottle of Bath Sea Salts valued at $7.00.

http://www.crystalphotography.etsy.com/ - a 5x7 print called 'Daisy in the Spring' valued at $20.00.

http://www.havendawndesigns.etsy.com/ - a pendant of the winners choice, including the option of a custom pendant design, valued upto $7.50.

http://www.flirtysanchezproject.etsy.com/ - a set of No Place Like Home washi tape deco clothespins and 4 Whisper Neutrals papercraft upcycled mini card gift tags valued together at $8.00.

http://www.yesterdaysmemories09.etsy.com/ - 2 sheets of personalized thank you labels valued at $7.75.

http://www.delightfulprints.etsy.com/ - any item in her shop up to a $15 value.

http://www.galla15.etsy.com/ - a $15 credit to her shop.

http://www.lestroisfleurs.etsy.com/ - a Sunshine eyeglasses lanyard.

http://www.createdrose.etsy.com/ - a Red Flower Print Of Original Flower Painting 5x7 valued at $15.00.

http://www.camillescloset.etsy.com/ - 2 Wax Seal Initial Necklaces valued at $17 each.

http://www.jqjewelrydesigns.etsy.com/ - a Brighton leather accessories are timeless creations assembled by hand and created from fine leathers. Available only in Brighton Collectibles stores and select specialty shops, they are well-known for their heart logos and silver charms adorning many of the products in their collections.

This limited edition case measures 3 by 4 inches and has a zipper closure with pretty silver charm pull. A heart-shaped window is perfect for a favorite photo. It is designed with deep brown fine pebble leather and the famous Brighten croc detailing. Valued at $35 US.

http://www.turtlexiii.etsy.com/ - a pair of pumpkin earrings valued at $15.00.

http://www.nangatesdesigns.etsy.com/ - a wristlet valued at $16.00.

http://www.overthemoongifts.etsy.com/ - a luggage tag valued at $8.00.

http://www.eveyinorbitshop.etsy.com/ - an art zine valued at $3.50.

http://www.grapvineceramicsgft.etsy.com/ - a ceramic sunflower ring marble valued at $12.99.

http://www.photomom101.etsy.com/ - a Genuine European Charm Bracelet with Murano Glass Bead valued at $105.00.

http://www.plarnstar.etsy.com/ - a bracelet made of recycled plastic bags (to be custom made for the winner) valued at $18.00.

http://www.jeannelamp.etsy.com/ - a pair of earrings valued upto $10.00.

http://www.impulsivecrafter.etsy.com/ - a pair of baby leggings valued at $7.00.

http://www.unicornpaper.etsy.com/ - 2 sets of tags valued teogether at $5.00.

http://www.unexpectedtreasure.etsy.com/ - a Elmo Inspired Earflap Hat with Red Fringed Scarf valued at $28.00.

http://www.papermajik.etsy.com/ - a 4 pack of Exclusive Seeds and Fern Handmade Paper Stationery valued at $15.00.

http://www.flutterbyconnections.etsy.com/ - a Christmas ornament of choice valued at $10.00.

http://www.jesseciani.etsy.com/ - a Silk Flower Headband valued at $25.00.

http://www.uglyducklingbeads.etsy.com/ - a pair of Perfectly Twisted Wire Earrings tutorial valued at $12.00.

http://www.lexiekinprints.etsy.com/ - a printable thank you card valued at $9.50.

http://www.nickollette113.etsy.com/ - $15 store credit.

http://www.smileykit.etsy.com/ - curator

http://www.urdelights.etsy.com/ - curator for TWO shifts

http://www.fairladyboutique.etsy.com/ - Curator for TWO shifts

There were countless others who helped convo friends to get the traffic up. 

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL!!!

Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Operation Care Package



I am working with an organization called, "Operation Care Packages" and they are collecting items to send overseas to our troops that will be deployed during the holidays.   I have worked with this organization for 4 years now.  http://www.operationcarepackages.org/index.html

I think about an organization such as Etsy that connects millions of people and can see so much potential to make a difference. If everyone gave one or two items we would easily meet and of course exceed our goals.

So how can we all help with this, in these tough economic times?  Direct donations are of course appreciated and needed but there are MANY ways to help this year.

HOW TO HELP?
1.  Just help spread the word.  Please blog about this, email your friends, tell your co-workers... just help spread the word on this wonderful cause.

2.  Get a local school or church involved.  My mom is a retired teacher and she gets kids at school to draw and paint and send messages.  The troops love to see all of that support.

3.  Look around your house to see what you don't need or want anymore.  Old magazines are greatly appreciated, used books too.  Do you have old games, decks of cards, or movies laying around?   All of these things are keep the cost to you down but would make a huge impact for our troops.  Other than the cost to ship these wouldn't cost you a thing!

4.  Go to the local dollar store and buy 5-10 items which will cost you 5-10 dollars.  This organization loves to send a stocking to every troop so you could buy 5 PACKS of stockings.  Or just some toiletries, or games and books from there.  Very cheap and you can buy multiple items.

5.  Here is a great website with very affordable odds and ends, such as deck of cards, stockings that are only 50 cents each, games and ornaments.. .
http://www.orientaltrading.com/

6.  You can send blank cards so that they have something to send back to loved ones, or a book of stamps.  Just get creative and send something, one thing :)

Here is a LONG list of things they would want and could use:

"Wish List"

The following is a list of items that are especially needed to add Holiday cheer to packages.

Cards & letters of support to 'any hero'

Hot Chocolate & Hot Cider Packets Cookies (small individual packs)

Chocolate bars & kisses

Batteries AA & AAA

Hand held games, dvds and cds

Sweat pants and blanket throws

Socks - Mens - white /black - work /crew

Summer sausage, beef sticks or pepperoni sticks (6oz to 12oz size)

Granola Bars, Trail Mix, Nuts (individual sizes)

Small Christmas trees - 8 to 18 inches tall

Zip lock bags (quart and gallon size)

Popcorn balls / Carmel corn

Phone cards 120 min AT&T

Little Stockings (Approx 10-16 inches tall x 5-6 inches wide)

Hand made ornaments (no glass please)

Protien Bars * Batteries * Jerky

Pre-sweetened powdered Kool-aid, Gatorade

Kool aid singles or similar

Jerky, Slim Jims, Summer Sausage, Beef Sticks

Canned Fruit, Dried Fruit, Fruit Snacks

Canned Hearty Soup, Ravioli, Stew

Cup A Soup, Top Ramon, Dinty Moore

Trail Mix, Nuts, Sunflower Seeds

Pre-Packaged Cookies

Instant Oatmeal, Boxed Cereal

Easy Mac & Cheese, Microwave Popcorn

Canned Tuna, Chicken

Peanut Butter / Jelly (No Glass Please)

Small boxes of crackers

Muti-Vitamins, Tylenol

New/Used DVDs / CDs

Puzzle Books, Pads of paper, Long Envelopes

Qt. / Gal Zip Lock Bags

Hand Held Games, Hand held Mini fans, Misters

Batteries AA/ AAA
Cards games...UNO, Skip Bo,

Yahtzee, Board Games, Sports equipment, Hacky Sacks, X-Box & PS2 Games

Mens White/Black Crew/ Work socks

Under Armour Wear T-Shirts Sm., Med., Lg., Xlg.

Shave towels, wash cloths, Cool scarves

Sun glasses, Safety glasses, Gloves, 72" boot laces

Special Wants

Small Personal or Desk Fans, Hand & Foot warmers, Hot Plates, Small Coffee Grinder, Twin Sheet Sets, Pillow cases, Travel Size Pillows, Cool Scarves, Jogging Pants, Cool Max T-Shirts, Wash Cloths and Bath Towels, Flashlights, Headlamps, Leatherman, New or Good Condition Books, No Romance Please, Mystery, Western, Thriller, Sports, Inspirational

SuperBowl Sunday Help us give them a day every American Loves

Footballs, Nerf Balls, Sports Related Items, New Football or Sports Magazines, Salsa - in plastic please, Totilla Chips, Summer Sausage, Small boxes of crackers, Cheese - Non refrigerated, Plastic Football Bowls for chips, Football Napkins, Football Sports Flags or Banners, Men's Deodorant, Shave Cream, Foot Powder, odor eaters, Small size shampoos, conditioner, mouthwash, Floss, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, nail clippers, Sunblock, Mosquito repellant, Fly tape, Wet Wipes, Anti-bacterial liquid soap

Holiday Needs

Summer sausage, Crackers, Canned Ham (Sm.)

Lots Pre-packaged Cookies, Hot Chocolate, Coffee

Chocolate Candy, Hard Candy,

Handmade or mini ornaments

Small 18-22 inch Christmas Trees (Artificial)

New or Handmade Blanket Throws

Cards & letters of support

Hand made kids pictures/ letters

Small un-wrapped gifts

Homemade / bought stockings / Mini or regular size

SEND HERE No Later Than November 15th
Operation Care Package

611 Wilcox St. 

Joliet, IL. 60435


******************************************************
On a separate note I also collect packages for the local injured troops.  I personally deliver them to the local fisher houses at Andrew's Air Force Base, and Walter Reed Army Hospital etc.


These are people who will be in a hospital during the holidays and can't go home and are dealing with major injuries.  So if you are interested in helping some local injured troops please contact me directly.
I will post updates here as to what we have collected, and hopefully have some pictures of the local troops, and of the donations to post here too.
Thanks.
Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Announcing An Exciting New Etsy Partnership

A very effective way to market a business is to form mutually beneficial partnerships.  To find an ideal partner you have to know your business and who your target market is.

Ideally you can find a business that has a similar target market but is not in direct competition.

For me I am most known for my button creations, and I have been trying to form several partnerships for awhile to fill some unique markets.  When a good friend wanted to send me buttons for a custom made necklace it dawned on me.... I could offer customized button creations for my customers. 

My customers can send me buttons from a sentimental button collection they have and I will work with them on a color scheme and create necklaces, rings and/or earrings for them.

Then I went one step further and found an amazing ceramic artist on Etsy who makes handmade buttons!  It fits perfectly with my unique button creations.  My customers won't be getting any buttons, they will have handmade buttons from:

http://www.buttonalia.etsy.com/



She is willing to make just about any shape, size or color button and mail them directly to me for these custom orders!  I will be referring my customers to her shop, to find the most unique buttons and then they will order a custom piece of jewelry to be made from the buttons.  She will be listing custom listings highlighting the fact that my shop can use her buttons to create unique jewelry creations!  It is a wonderful arrangement, we both have good Etsy traffic, views and sales and have set up our first listings to cross promote!

Here is the listing in Buttonalia's shop for the custom buttons:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/82028138/designed-for-and-by-you-you-choose-the

And here is my first listing for a custom necklace, but I will be doing rings and earring listings soon.  PLUS I am still tweaking bracelet designs with buttons so hopefully an entire set of jewelry will be available soon.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/82148100/design-your-own-customized-button





We both featured pictures of each others work in our listings, and tried to cover all the details for the customer.  Such as the length of time needed to complete an order, including the time to receive the buttons to create a piece of jewelry, links to find the listings, pictures to show examples, etc.

I am truly excited about this opportunity.  It will be wonderful for both of us but best of all is the opportunity provided now to our customers. 

Such a unique product now available!!  The possibilities are endless....

Would love to hear if you have partnered with other shops or websites and what your experiences have been.

Thanks!
Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Update on Lola

I just wanted to give a quick update on Lola!  She is doing pretty good.  She is definitely relaxing and appreciative of being indoors where it is safe and DRY.

She is starting to stretch out and really relax, purring and eating really good.  We will definitely need to get more work done on her, probably some blood work to make sure everything is ok since she is so malnourished, and to get spayed, and the rest of her vaccinations.

Here are some pictures of her relaxing



We received some really nice donations from friends, and it is GREATLY appreciated.  100% of all donations go strictly to Lola's care.  The vet bills and her food, etc.  For her to get healthy and to find a loving home.

If you would like to donate the button is at the top right of this blog.

Thank you everyone for the support.

Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/
http://www.trinketsnwhatnots.com/

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meet Lola An Abandoned Cat

MEET LOLA


She had a home, was indoors, and had a family.  But then the family moved and dumped her in the woods well over a month ago.  She has been outside now for a month, I would rarely see her going through the yard, and the last time I saw her a few weeks ago I could see all her ribs.  I started putting food out to help her when I could.  She was outside during the earthquake and Hurricane we had and now seeing her so skinny and knowing all she has had to endure, plus we are having huge rains and flooding again.... I trapped her in a humane trap last night 9/6.

She was taken to the vets today to make sure she doesn't have FIV or HIV and it was rather shocking what this kitty has gone through.  She is luckily negative for the FIV and HIV!  YEAH

But we discovered she has been biten by another animal and has an infection from it. 


There are 2 puncture wounds on her back and one is pretty large.  She has a ton of little nodules/bumps on her belly and around her hind legs that are her lymph nodes.  The lymph nodes have enlarged in an effort to fight the infection from this bite.

She weighed in at 6 pounds, and is approximately 1-2 years old.  She is very skinny and scraggly.  She was covered in mud last night from the huge rains we are having.  She has fleas and some ticks and she also has a bad case of worms!  They discovered a tooth missing in the bottom front of her mouth too!

It is like she has been through a war!  To top it off it does not appear that she has been spayed so there is a possibility that she could be pregnant.  So for now Lola is in my bathroom with a sleeping bag and warm towels, tons of food and water and love.  She needs a home.  We got her a rabies vaccination today, and she will be on anti-biotics for the next 2 weeks to get rid of the infection.

We have to give her 2-3 weeks to see if she develops rabies from this bite she has on her back, and if she ends up pregnant, also to make sure the infection clears up.  But in 2-3 weeks hopefully she will be gaining weight and healthy and we can get her spayed and placed in a home!

If you would like to help with Lola ... to help her get healthy, get her vaccinations and spaying and placement in a home we would greatly appreciate donations.  Just $5 dollars would be a huge help.  Today's vet bill was $188, and we will likely need 400-500 more for the spaying, vaccinations, deworming meds, food etc.  The donate button is at the top right of this blog, just click donate and you can put ANY amount in you like.  Even $1 dollar!  All donations are greatly appreciated.

Here are a few more pics.






As you can tell from these pictures she is very affectionate.  Despite all she has been through she just wants to snuggle and have love.  She reminds me of the Pink Panther, a rather long, broad nose, skinny, she has a little goofiness to her but is the sweetest cat.  At the vets she never put a claw out, or anything just wanted to have her head and cheeks rubbed and to be wrapped in my arms. 

You can find pictures of many other animals I have helped over the years on my flickr account:

We just helped this guy who had to have a 1700 dollar bladder surgery!  He is doing great now but there are a lot of bills involved.

All support and help greatly appreciated.  I will keep updates posted on how she is doing on this blog.

Janet

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who Wants to Pinterest? All the Scoop

Pinterest is a place for visual bookmarking that you share with others. It’s a great way to keep track of all those things you’ve been wanting to try, and a fabulous way to discover new and inspiring ideas!
It is very addicting the ability to share, and search and visually see everything.

Here is the website:

http://pinterest.com/

You can also follow them on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pinterest

There is also an iphone app if you want to have it at your finger tips on your cell:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pinterest/id429047995?mt=8

1.  Get an invitation:

In order to try Pinterest out you have to receive an invitation.  You can request an invitation through the website itself but most people I know wait forever to get approved that way.  People on Etsy, twitter and facebook seem to be helping each other out with the invitation to join.

2.  Set up your account

You can sign in using your existing twitter account or facebook account. The benefit of using one of those social media accounts to sign in, is that you can find people on Pinterest that you already interact with on those other sites. You also can log in to Pinterest using the email and password you establish when setting up your account. image
When signing up, you will be prompted to create some boards. Pinterest suggests a few basic boards with titles.
3.  Start following others:

This site is like most social networking sites... as you follow people you will see their "pins" and they can see yours.  So following people from your facebook network to twitter and finding others to follow will be important.
You can follow all of of someone’s boards, or just pick a one or a few to follow. You can also unfollow a person or certain boards at any time.
Once you have a few friends to follow, look around their pinboards and see if you can find anyone else who looks familiar or interesting. You can always unfollow them later on.  You can click on who I follow or who follows me to find some fun people.

4.  Create Boards:

You can “like” pins which is liking adding them to a “favorites” file. If you “repin” them, you will want to sort the pins into boards. After browsing through a few pinboards from friends, you will probably have a pretty good idea of what topics you want to focus on. You can always rename and rearrange your pinboards so don’t worry too much about getting them “just right”!

To edit them at any time, I just go to the boards from my drop down menu and I can edit each one individually or even rearrange the order they are displayed in.
It’s also helpful to be be sure each board is categorized properly – this helps others find your pins. Just click on “edit” for each board and select the most appropriate category.

#5  Start Pinning Re-Pinning:

Find the image of photos on a wall that I want to repin to my own boards. As I hover over the picture with my mouse, the option appears to either “repin” or “like” it. I choose “repin” and it prompts me to categorize it to one of my boards. I choose Gallery Walls and click on repin.  I could also automatically share this pin on twitter or facebook by using the buttons at the bottom.

What if you want to pin something you find on another site? You can go to “add a pin” and then enter the url and description.  You can also have a button added to the toolbar on your internet window to make it easier.

The quick way is to add the “pin it” shortcut. It says you can click and drag it to your toolbar, but I couldn’t get it to work. Here are the instructions:

To install the “Pin It” button in Internet Explorer:

1. Display your Favorites Bar by clicking Tools > Toolbars > Favorites Bar

2. Right-click the “Pin It” button and select “Add to Favorites”

3. On the pop-up window, select “Create in: Favorites Bar”

4. When you are browsing the web, push the “Pin It” button to pin an image

As always with any social network basic etiquette applies.  Try to be polite, leave comments, share, but don't spam.

Here is a really nice article with more details on Pinterest:

http://www.sortacrunchy.net/sortacrunchy/2011/05/pinterest-a-beginners-guide.html

ALSO, TurtleXii wrote up a blog post answering specific questions from our team:

http://turtlexiii.blogspot.com/2011/08/pinterest-and-all-its-questions.html

Hope this helps everyone!  Have fun with this site.

Janet
www.galla15.etsy.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your Keirsey Temperament Sorter Results - Personality Test

Well here is a little window into the type of person I am.  I took a 70 question test to determine my personality type.  Although I didn't pay for the details of a more specific answer, this was my general result:

GUARDIAN
Guardians are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services--from supervision to maintenance and supply -- and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.

Guardians can have a lot of fun with their friends, but they are quite serious about their duties and responsibilities. Guardians take pride in being dependable and trustworthy; if there's a job to be done, they can be counted on to put their shoulder to the wheel. Guardians also believe in law and order, and sometimes worry that respect for authority, even a fundamental sense of right and wrong, is being lost. Perhaps this is why Guardians honor customs and traditions so strongly -- they are familiar patterns that help bring stability to our modern, fast-paced world.

Practical and down-to-earth, Guardians believe in following the rules and cooperating with others. They are not very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails; working steadily within the system is the Guardian way, for in the long run loyalty, discipline, and teamwork get the job done right. Guardians are meticulous about schedules and have a sharp eye for proper procedures. They are cautious about change, even though they know that change can be healthy for an institution. Better to go slowly, they say, and look before you leap.

Guardians make up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the population, and a good thing, because they usually end up doing all the indispensable but thankless jobs everyone else takes for granted.

Guardians at Work

As a Guardian, you enjoy working as a valued member of a team, whether you are leading it or following a credible leader. You like to work with people who carry their weight. You appreciate having clear-cut responsibilities and being recognized for your dedication and achievements. Your natural traits are those that employers have traditionally valued - and that successful companies still respect. You are responsible and loyal to an organization once you've signed on.

In any environment, including your work place, you are usually focused on making people happy and facilitating harmonious relationships. You often lend "aid and comfort" by drawing on a combination of tradition, past experience, and the direction of established authority. In your ideal job, people would give of themselves and work toward the good of the group.

GO take the test for yourself, 70 questions with 2 choices each.  Post a comment with your results!!


Janet

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Promotional Frenzy Specials - Our banners, badges and listing pics

Ok guys here are all the pics you can use for this event. 

We have a team banner if you want to use.  All of this is optional but it will help grab the attention of people going to your store and help point out to them that you have a special going on.  It will also help brand out team and help us gain a following!

Here is the team banner:

Here are several listing pics you can use, again OPTIONAL.  IF you have an empty slot and want to help promote more you can use these:








Make sure you promote this to everyone you know, promote the EVENT and how to search for the deals.

Thanks everyone.
Janet

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Facebook "Like" Giveaway!!!

All Winners have been contacted!!
Congrats and thank you to everyone who helped :)

There is a large contest for Etsy promotional Teams on the new site


My team, the Promotional Frenzy Team
http://www.etsy.com/teams/7512/promotional-frenzy-team  has been doing amazing in this contest.  There are 3 things we have to do to win this contest and one of those things we need help with:

We need people to "LIKE" our contest page on facebook.

So if you click like for our Team Contest Page you will be entered to win some amazing prizes from shops on my team!!!

HOW TO ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY
1.  Go to this page:
2.  On the left side of the page are share buttons, click on the blue Facebook logo (you will need your pop up blocker disabled, a pop up window will appear)  Here is a picture of what the buttons look like on the left side:



3.  When the pop-up windows comes up click the top left LIKE button.


4.  Now leave a comment at the bottom of this post with your contact info (email, etsy shop link... etc.)

Please post to your friends and that way they can share and entered too.

WHAT YOU CAN WIN
Our Team shops have donated prizes (although we may have more donations).  Well over $300 dollars in handmade goods up for grabs!!!!
Each comment will be put into a list, in the order that the entry was given... I will then use http://www.random.org/ to pick 3 winners.  1st winner picks 8 prizes, then the 2nd place winner picks 6 prizes, 3rd place winner gets the remaining 6 prizes!!!  (We may change how the prizes are divided if we get more donations for prizes, meaning each winner would get MORE prizes)

Each shop will ship DIRECTLY to the winners.  Shipping is covered by the donating shop.

1. http://www.galla15.etsy.com/  - $30 dollars in Crystal Jewelry

2. http://www.turtlexiii.etsy.com/  $15 dollars pair of Earrings

3. http://www.kellyjsorenson.etsy.com/ ~ Premade Banner set plus color/font customization $30 value

4. http://www.themayflower.etsy.com/  - $30 worth of jewelry supplies

5. http://www.lindab142.etsy.com/  - $16 - includes (shipping) shop Gift Certificate

6. http://www.calliopeazcreations.etsy.com/  - One Medicine Rock  ($14 - $18 dollars)

7. http://www.camillescloset.etsy.com/  Wax seal pendant. Choice of color and letter.

8. http://www.bloomandbling.etsy.com/  - One set of Poofy Piggie Bows OR one Diva Dazzle Bow

9. http://www.prittyfy.etsy.com/  - a pair of cluster earrings, $29

10. http://www.uniquecozytreasures.etsy.com/  - Hot Cold Therapy Rice Pack

11.  http://www.toystorynutty.etsy.com/ - 2. Polymer Clay Pens!!  http://www.etsy.com/listing/76624260/bold-and-beautiful-mokume-gane-polymer

12.  http://www.symbolicimports.etsy.com/ - spa package Soap, Scrub and Lotion ($23 value)

13.   http://www.newcreationz.etsy.com/- digital stationery pack ($10 value)

14.  http://www.laughingpenguin.etsy.com/ - 2 free necklaces Up-cycled Bottle Cap lines ($10 value)

15.  http://www.magdamagda.etsy.com/ - Handmade Women's Top ($25)http://www.etsy.com/listing/70961162/exuberance-top-s-m

16.  http://www.leahrhood.etsy.com/ - $10 gift certificate

17.  http://www.delightfulprints.etsy.com/ - choice of any item in my shop up to $15.00

18.  http://www.petuniaandivy.etsy.com/ - A blue Beanie Hat
 http://www.etsy.com/listing/72698304/blue-button-hat

19.  http://www.crystalphotography.etsy.com/ -  set of two coffee aceos  Value $9.00

20.  http://www.powersoflove.etsy.com/- $10 Gift Certificate to her shop.

WOW!!  Some amazing prices, imagine the jewelry, the supplies, the therapy from the medicine rock to the therapy rice pack, and even Graphic design! 

****ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY JULY 5TH, midnight eastern time.
Winners will be announced within 1 week of this giveaway ending here on this blog.


We appreciate all the help and support.
Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/ - Button, crystal, and Pearl jewelry
http://www.galla15whatnots.etsy.com/ - Jewelry supplies
http://www.artisansbooklounge.etsy.com/ - Crafting books and ebooks coming soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Family Cookout!

Well on Saturday June 18th we had a huge family cookout.  My dad's side of the family came into town, my mom's family was there, and then my sister's in-laws came.  In our family we always have a TON food.  My mom is an amazing cook so is my grandmother... well our whole family.

I make macaroni and cheese from scratch that is required at any gathering we have LOL
I buy 4 different kinds of cheeses in HUGE blocks.  I then shred or cut into small pieces so it will melt easier and smoothly.  Mix the cheese with some flour and butter, and milk, add noodles and voila.  The secret is in the cheese!!  But the recipe I have makes a HUGE HUGE amount.  I think the one pan weighs 10 or more pounds.  It is a ton of cheese, incredibly rich and a family favorite for sure.


It makes 2 HUGE pans full!!!  And that is a very very large mixing bowl filled with cheese!!  There was only a quarter of it left at the end of the day.  One whole pan empty and the bulk of the 2nd one gone!  (I also topped this with crumbled bacon!)

We of course had hotdogs, and then my mom made pulled pork BBQ!  We had amazing fruit platters, that my mom fixed, she is very creative and always fixes visually appealing displays.





We had steamed shrimp!!  I LOVE seafood.



A really good friend of the family that truly is a part of our family makes this amazing taco dip!  It is cream cheese and cottage cheese, taco seasoning, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onions, olives... and you dip dorritos into it.  YUMMY.  I only get this like once a year and it is amazing!



Of course there were deviled eggs, corn pudding, chips and dip, a tomato mozzarella basil olive oil salad, wine, tea, sodas....

The desserts... My grandmother makes a candy bar cake that has chunks of Hersheys bar in with the chocolate cake.  Oh my goodness!  My mom made a lemon lime refridgerator cake, it is cake mix that you poke holes in and you add lemon and lime jello liquid into it, and put cool whip on top..... My dad's side of the family, his in-laws are Italian.  My Uncle's mom on that side of the family made some amazing Italian pastries!  There was a coconut cake.  HOLY COW!  I mean there would be enough to feed an Army.

It was really really nice to decompress, relax, visit.... my parents have a peaceful yard, surrounded by a beautiful flower garden, woods, and then a pool.  It was a wonderful day.



I hope you enjoyed reading about our feast!  LOL  And that you don't get too jealous :)))

Thanks.
Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2nd Heartsy Deal Results

Well I had a Heartsy deal about a month ago, many of you read how that went.  If you missed it here is the information on my 1st deal:
http://galla15.blogspot.com/2011/05/raw-deal-on-heartsy-find-out-inside.html

Monday, June 13th was my 2nd feature.  Heartsy heard my complaints and tried to give me a 2nd experience that would be better.

Was it better?  I really don't think so.  I am trying to be objective and reasonable so let me start out with some positives to give the facts on both sides of this experience.

1st:  John at Heartsy was extremely nice and I think he probably did all he could for me with what he had to work with.  He e-mailed me quite a bit, and called me multiple times.  He tried to offer some special perks to me that I am not at liberty to speak about for the sake of their business.  And I appreciate the effort on John's part.

2nd:  I did sell 10 more vouchers this time than the last.  NOT great at all, NOT more money but at least it was SLIGHTLY better in that one aspect.

Now on to the rest of the facts.  Just like the 1st deal I only had ONE person truly spend over the voucher amount.  Heartsy will tell you repeatedly that when considering a deal with them to keep in mind that most of their buyers do spend over the voucher amount.  I asked John how they know that, because I have personally convo'd several shops that were featured and flat out asked if they had people spending over the voucher amount and most said no.  John said that the majority of the people report back that they had most of their sales over the voucher amount.  I guess I could just be in the minority, but twice now that was not true for me or quite a few other shops I have spoken too. 

The 2 main ways you can make money with such a huge discount is: 
1. hope people spend more than the voucher amount
2. hopefully turn these customers into repeat buyers who will buy full price from you down the line.

 I had a handful of buyers that I had to send an invoice out for $2 dollars to cover some of the shipping charges, but only 1 went over the voucher amount in merchandise.  So based upon my experiences I have a very hard time believing that the buyers on Heartsy will spend money over your voucher amount.  As I suspected in my previous blog post most of these buyers are bargain shoppers and will not be spending large sums of money in your shop.  And I HIGHLY doubt these buyers will come back to buy full price items when there are so many deals on Heartsy each day.  Why spend full price when you don't have too?  So I really doubt I will see future sales from these buyers.

I sell jewelry which is one of the most saturated categories on Etsy.  So I understand that Heartsy probably has a huge amount of jewelry sellers applying to be featured on their site, but the day of my feature there were 4 other jewelry sellers featured.  So 5 jewelers in one day.  I would like to think my jewelry is different than most, but lets face it this is really not the best structure to create sales.

Since this was supposed to be a way for Heartsy to create a more positive experience for me I really would have thought more consideration would have been taken into account.  That didn't help me with sales that is for sure.

It is a lot of little things that (to me) add up to a bigger picture.  So here are some of the details that I wasn't happy about.

1.  I submitted 4 pictures of items for my feature but they show 3 of the 4.  I had 2 amethyst necklaces up with earrings most of the day (until the 1 necklace sold).  Why didn't they show the necklace, earrings and ring instead of 2 necklaces?  Variety is better right?
Or ask me which 3 I want featured if they can't feature all 4 pictures the way I submitted them?  Yes yes I am sure that seems a bit picky but it is the details that will make or break a deal!  A variety of items showing would clearly help more with attracting buyers.

2.  I was e-mailed on the 9th that they would finalize all the details for my deal and e-mail me "tomorrow" with the details (the 10th I should have heard something).  Well on the 12th the night before my feature I had never received that email.  I had to e-mail and ask them.  (And not that they could do this with all features, but I would think since I had such a bad experience the 1st time I would think they would have contacted me after my feature to see if I was happy but they didn't)

I never received the final details, like final tips on how the deal would go down, or what I needed to do to prepare.  I realize I had a deal prior to this one but they are a new site that is changing constantly.  There should be a standard form e-mail they send to every shop being featured with standard/basic instructions.  Their format is completely different this month than last month.  The last deal I at least received an e-mail that stated what I could do to prep my shop for heartsy customers and phone numbers if I had questions the day of the feature etc. 
3.  Their newsletter that notifies their subscribers of the deals was sent out about an hour before the deal goes live.  (During the 1st deal the newsletter went out about 6 hours into the deal so at least this time it went out early!!)  Their newsletter this time only highlighted ONE shop out of 8 of the featured deals!  Honestly I don't understand that, if their goal is to drive traffic to their site and to the featured shops why would they only feature 1 of the deals?  Maybe a coincidence but that deal sold out!  Because they had a lot more exposure than the rest.   The exposure for each of the deals of each day should be as equal as possible since we are all contributing the same thing.  They should rotate the positions of the deals on their site, and include all the deals in their newsletter etc.  Just copy and paste the deal page into the newsletter, it shouldn't take any longer to do that!

Maybe I am being too picky or have too high of expectations... but I am generally an organized person and it seems there is a pattern with my experiences where details keep getting missed that definitely affect the outcome of features.

And these mistakes or things overlooked do add up!

I submitted my deal and waited a month for that 1st deal and then to have all the glitches and problems.  There was a lot of time and effort involved in preparing.  People spend their time and money to list a ton for these deals, buy extra shipping supplies, time promoting Heartsy's site for them!!

I expected above and beyond care for the 2nd deal since they new my feelings on the first one.  If they were trying to change my point of view then I would have thought all these details would be covered.

Maybe it is from my time in the military but we had to have an SOP (standard operating procedures) for EVERYTHING.  It was the most detailed instruction book for everything you could ever think of.  It made sure that everyone knew what was expected, what to do, if this situation arises you do this _______....

To me Heartsy needs a little SOP.  Detailed instructions that prepare a shop for their deal.  It should explain how to navigate their account to find the deals, how to check the vouchers, how to find the money in the heartsy account, how to set up your etsy shop for the deal, a form letter that the Heartsy staff can just fill in the blanks of the date and details of each deal...   It should be clear who handles what details, and who the customer should contact for which issues. 

I think they have tried to break down the jobs, because one person negotiates the details of the deal and another sets your deal up.  But after 2 deals I am still not completely sure who is handling what details, and obviously they don't either since many details are overlooked.

Anyways, I am not an expert on their website and I am not privvy to behind the scenes information but from an outside standpoint there is a lot of room for improvement.

I still appreciate John's help in trying to make a better experience for me but I can't recommend the site to others.  At least not at this point, maybe as time goes on and they get more organized and established things will change.

I stand by my previous statements that these customers do not spend large amounts of money, they will not likely become returning customers because they want a deal.  They are not going to pay full price for anything (most I should say), the only way to achieve high sales is to offer a large voucher amount and have lower priced items.  But you won't be making a boatload of money.
  I did send a list of questions to quite a few featured shops from Heartsy to ask about their experience and very few had large sales and if they did they offered quite large voucher amounts.
PS- There are a lot of other negative things being talked about throughout Etsy teams that would serve as further warning.  The voting system they are using is being manipulated, if you sell jewelry you get all your friends to go through and vote NO for all other jewelers up for consideration (just as an example).  There are teams of people on Etsy doing this!!!  Since Heartsy sends out this information to their frequent buyers and VIP's to determine if your deal will be popular,  I don't think us getting 60 votes for consideration is really a valid evaluation of a shops potential for a deal.  Just because I will vote for my friend to help them, doesn't mean I will actually buy from them.  The voting system is HIGHLY flawed and ineffectual in predicting outcomes of deals.

Also, because the wait can be a month or more to hear back on whether you get a deal with Heartsy, many are submitting multiple times.  That is clogging up their systems with multiple entries, and people are annoyed that they have to vote on the same shop several times. 

There are a lot of things going on that are leaving people feeling negative about the site and so I would just caution you to consider all of this before jumping into a heartsy deal.  Just consider your personal goals when signing up and find out if your goals will be compatible with how the site works.

MY FINAL RESULTS: 



I did have quite a few item hearts but I was listing like crazy to prepare for this deal so I can't be sure how many hearts resulted from my listing efforts or from the Heartsy people that visited.  If you are just looking for a flood of views then this could be ok.  But the VERY next day after your feature your shop will go dead.

There were 4 other jewelers selling my day.... 1 had 10 sales, several others had 30 and 36 sales.  The last one I couldn't figure their sales since it is on Artfire.  The 2 shops that had sales in the 30's offered vouchers for 40 or more dollars!!!  So again I stand by my theory you either have to offer over 40 dollars in merchandise OR have very low priced items so that the buyer can get multiple items with their purchase.

So there you have it.

Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/

Sunday, June 12, 2011

HEARTSY DEAL LIVE TODAY Monday 6/13

So as many of you know I did a Heartsy deal a few weeks back and didn't go very smoothly.

So Heartsy staff has been working with me for weeks to try to come up with a solution that would make a 2nd deal go much better.  TOMORROW is the day.  Although 2 people have already bought vouchers so I think you can go NOW to get a deal!!!

FREE PAIR OF EARRINGS with all purchases over $60 dollars!! 

Click the link below to see the deal!

http://heartsy.me/deals/3823?s=notif

I will definitely be blogging about the results from this deal.  So I hope you will all come by and check it out.

If you can please promote the deal.
Thanks.
Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Opa!! An Amazing Greek Festival

As many of you know I had a huge craft show this past weekend.  It was at a Greek Orthodox church for the annual Greek Festival.   They had amazing food:  baklava, gyro, pastitsio, spanakopita, loukoumades and much more!

Greek music played the entire time, they had dancing throughout the weekend and tours of the church.
Of course to top this event off was the amazing crafters.  There was an amazing woman who made stained glass pieces, lots of jewelry, clothing, even olive oil! 

What a long but amazing weekend!
It was Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Over the 4 days we all worked around 40 hours and well over 25,000 people attended!

It takes weeks to prepare for this type of show.  I try to build up my inventory of course but so much more goes into preparing.  I put all my pairs of earrings onto earring cards and I place stickers of my logo on the back of every card with a price.   It is so important to take advantage of all the people that you will come into contact with, by BRANDING.  I put tags on each individual rings with the size on one side and the price on the other.  Then organize all the rings by size!  This way it is easy for someone to find a ring in their size.  Of course by the end of the weekend they are not that way anymore LOL

Then I take all my boxes that I package my jewelry in, and all my receipt books and put my logo on each and every one!  I use the carbon copy sales books and I put my logo onto the customer copy. 

So the next step for me is to go through a checklist to make sure I have packed everything I need.
I have blogged the checklist before to help others... you can view the checklist here:

Make sure you have your camera and that the camera is charged, I also have a propay reader for my credit cards so I plug that in overnight into my computer to make sure it is ready to go!  The day before I go to the bank and make sure I have plenty of change.  Honestly I have no idea how to figure what amount of change I need but I brought 200 dollars worth of 10's, 5's, and some 1's.  It is always more than enough and this was a very large show so I would think that is a good amount of change for most occassions.

The day of the show I go 3 hours early because I don't want to stress out.  I can take my time unloading the car and arranging, and re-arranging my space.  I have tried to have 90% of the things I bring to the show on wheels.  I have even invested in a small fold up dolly to help carry the things that don't have wheels. 
I have 3 tables that fold in half and can be raised to 3 different levels.  I bring a lawn chair, a fan, all my displays, table covers, packaging and bags... Well here you can see what I bring here: (this is my car packed up)

I have a pretty small car and it is loaded from ceiling to floor, passengar seat, back seat every inch is taken!  

So the day of the show, I set up my display and have 1 table that is just for me to check people out and to be able to work.  That table has a stack of my packaging materials, the receipt books, and my tools and wire on it so that I can re-size rings on the spot or change clasps for the customers.


As you can see everything has my logo and website on it!  I also display my business cards on the table and mailing list sign up sheets too!  Take advantage of the traffic!!!

Here is my final setup:




Overall I found I didn't have a lot of big ticket sales.  Most purchases were one item, which was unusual.  I was very nervous after the 1st day that I wasn't going to be able to do as well as I had in the past but I ended up surpassing my previous years sales! 

I think it is really important to notice that well over half of my sales were done via a credit card!  I have almost $2000 dollars in the Propay account so imagine how much I would have made without being able to process credit cards!!  I had read somewhere that accepting credit cards can triple your sales and I believe it!  And I had almost 60 credit card sales, that is a lot.  I also handed out well over 500 business cards and had many new subscribers to my newsletter.  Even though I am exhausted and having a lot of back pain from this long weekend it was obviously an amazing experience!

So in the next couple of weeks I will be adding my FIRST e-book to my new Etsy shop:  Artisan's Book Lounge  The book will be everything you need to know about craft shows.  From accepting credit cards, to setting up your space, to how to interact with the customers and what NOT to do.  I hope to be able to help others have successful craft shows!  Keep an eye out for my very first ebook!  So excited.

Thank you everyone who supported me through this, and a special thanks to our Etsy Team that has been so positive and helpful!
http://www.etsy.com/teams/7512/promotional-frenzy-team

Thanks everyone
Janet
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/ - Crystals, Button and Pearl Jewelry
http://www.trinketsnwhatnots.com/
http://www.galla15whatnots.etsy.com/ - Beading supplies
http://www.artisansbooklounge.etsy.com/ - crafting books and ebooks