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  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!!!

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.

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 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.  - $30 dollars in Crystal Jewelry

2.  $15 dollars pair of Earrings

3. ~ Premade Banner set plus color/font customization $30 value

4.  - $30 worth of jewelry supplies

5.  - $16 - includes (shipping) shop Gift Certificate

6.  - One Medicine Rock  ($14 - $18 dollars)

7.  Wax seal pendant. Choice of color and letter.

8.  - One set of Poofy Piggie Bows OR one Diva Dazzle Bow

9.  - a pair of cluster earrings, $29

10.  - Hot Cold Therapy Rice Pack

11. - 2. Polymer Clay Pens!!

12. - spa package Soap, Scrub and Lotion ($23 value)

13. digital stationery pack ($10 value)

14. - 2 free necklaces Up-cycled Bottle Cap lines ($10 value)

15. - Handmade Women's Top ($25)

16. - $10 gift certificate

17. - choice of any item in my shop up to $15.00

18. - A blue Beanie Hat

19. -  set of two coffee aceos  Value $9.00

20. $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! 

Winners will be announced within 1 week of this giveaway ending here on this blog.

We appreciate all the help and support.
Janet - Button, crystal, and Pearl jewelry - Jewelry supplies - 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 :)))


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:

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.


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.


Sunday, June 12, 2011


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!

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.

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!

Thanks everyone
Janet - Crystals, Button and Pearl Jewelry - Beading supplies - crafting books and ebooks