Sunday, 8 March 2015

Find Your Niche


Large Alice in Wonderland Key Necklace by absolutemarket


Take the test below to see if this will help you find your niche?

Ask yourself a few questions:

What can I do for hours and be happy doing it?
What were you great at when you were young?
What are you great at that others find hard?
What have your friends asked you for advice about?
What would you do even if you didn’t get paid for it?

By answering these questions you may find your Niche.

Let’s take the first question?

“What can you do for hours and be happy doing it?”
Let’s say your answer is working with your hands, that’s fine! Now ask yourself what do I like making using my hands.
Let’s say you like making hats with your hands, now break this down again and ask what type of hats?
Now you got the type of hats.
What’s the hat made of?

Let’s try the second question now?

“What were you great at when you were young?”
This may be hard to think of because some may say: “I was not great at anything...”
If you think more you will see you were great at a lot of things, so make a list.
See if any on the list tie into your answer to the first question?

Let’s try the next question now? 

“What are you great at that others find hard?”
Again some people will say I am not great at anything. You are wrong again.
If you look once more, you will see there is a lot of things that come easy to you that other may or do find hard to do.
Again make a list and see if any on the list tie in with the answers to the first and second questions.

Let’s try the next question now?

“What have your friends asked you for advice about?
This also looks hard to answer at first but as you think about it a few areas will become clear. Again make a list.
Now see if any on the list tie in with the answers to the first questions.

Let’s try the last question now?

“What would you do even if you didn’t get paid for it?”
This is really asking you what you love doing.
This should be easy answer as most people only have a few.
Again make a list and see if any tie in with the answers from before.

By now you should have picture of what you are great at, what you like making and what others know you are great at doing.

Now all you have to do is put your angle on that product and make it your own and this will be your niche.

by William Doherty

Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/absolutemarket



Sunday, 1 March 2015

Gilly Thomas Sculpture Gallery Opens to the Public


One of our Etsy Ireland team members, Gilly Thomas, who has been trading on Etsy under the name SilkandGold, has finally fulfilled a long-held dream. She built a studio and gallery next to her house in rural Wexford, where she now produces bronzes and work in crystacal (a very hard type of plaster).




Describing how she works, Gilly says on her website: 


'When I am modelling a piece I allow the lines to flow so that the eye takes in the shape calmly and the hands move over the piece gently bringing quietness to the spirit. My main interest is in figurative simplicity. Looking at natural forms I capture the essence; the underlying emotion of the animal. I look at the shape as the horse turns his head to me; I see the elegance of him, simplify it and bring that attribute to the finished piece. I want my sculptures to be touched. So let your hands roam over the shapes and feel that peaceful calm quietness.'





The multi-talented Gilly also makes pen and ink drawings which evolved from her life drawing sessions. 

Gilly Thomas Sculpture Gallery  is now open on the 1st Sunday of each month. Do drop in when you are in south County Wexford. The gallery is two miles from Ballinaboola on the way to the JFK Arboretum. A map can be found here

For more information, check out:

www.gillythomas-sculpture.com
www.facebook.com/GillyThomasSculptureGallery


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wish List



'Flow' card by Mindful Productivity on Etsy

As some of you know, I am involved in politics, and with the General Election in the UK on 7 May, fairly busy. Yesterday, the Labour Party released a document on improving access for young people to the creative education they need and succeed. It also talked about the creative industries, and how important they are for the country.

“If you believe in social justice, if you believe in a more equal society, then access to the arts and culture is not an optional extra, it is essential - not simply because of the worlds it opens up, but because of the wider impact it has." *

It made me think about how I did not enjoy any arts and craft education in school, because the teachers mainly focused on the ones who they saw as very talented and gifted, and the rest fell by the wayside, left to muddle around unappreciated. The pure enjoyment of art, creativity and craft –if you weren’t on genius level – was not seen as important. It was always about this grand outcome, this exceptional piece – and exceptional is often in the eye of the beholder, here the teacher – never about 'worlds opening up' or the moment of ‘flow’ ie when you forget everything and are just involved in creating something, and sort of...well, float on a cloud of bliss!

I find that when running a creative business, it’s a bit like that, too. You try to produce, and anything handcrafted takes time, so you focus on getting things done, and the lovely feeling of flow falls by the wayside. I knit on the hoof, during meetings, watching TV, and while my computer is uploading something, but only when I am not at home, for instance, when travelling by train and in no rush to do anything else but knit and look out of the window and drink coffee, do I get my flow back.

So it is hard to just live in your happy craft flow when you are running a business and trying to make a living. You may feel like you are battling against the world or closed doors, rather than worlds opening up.

Coming back to the political, I wonder what you – the reader – would love to see done by a government – any government – to improve our playing field as a creative (often one person-) business? What would be the one - or more – thing/s, that you want a government done for small independent creative businesses? The thing that open doors?

Then maybe, we would get our flow back more often...

Tell us your wish list in the comments!

Purls

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Adding variations to your listing to get more sales.



 Red guitar pick necklace by Absolutemarket on Etsy


Adding variations in to your listing is a great way to get more sales of your Etsy products if you are making your products in other sizes, colours, materials or even finishes.

I found this out very fast when I added variations to size to a few of my listings.

The main size I was selling before turned out not to be the most popular size, but once I added variations, some buyers started buying larger or smaller sizes.
These are sales I would not have got before adding variations to those listings.
Buyers would have said to themselves “it’s nice but not the size for me” and moved on to the next seller.

Now 90% of my listings have variations in them.

If your item comes in different sizes, materials, colours, finishes, or other variations, then variations in your listings are a must.
You can add these in the variations section of any listing.
You can choose up to two variations per item.

How do variations work?

Once you add variations, a buyer will be required to select an option before purchase. You’ll be able to view the options they’ve selected on your Sold Orders, Receipts, and transaction emails.
Properties and options are not incorporated into Search.

When buyers purchase your item, they’ll need to choose from the options you set in the “add variations” section of a listing.
Click the “select a property” drop-down list and choose the correct property you want to use.

You have:
Colour
Device
Diameter
Fabric
Finish
Flavour
Height
Material
Pattern
Scent
Size
Style
Weight
Width
Couldn’t find a property?
Add a new property

In my case I picked size, and because I picked size, the Etsy system asked “what scale are your sizes in?"

I could have picked from:
Alpha
Inches
Centimetres
Fluid ounces
Millilitres
Litres
Other

I picked inches this time.

You will be asked for options, and because I am doing size this time I added 11” in the box.
Now click the add button. 

That was my first variation set up (that was easy) but I wanted more sizes. Luckily, that's easy too as all you have to do is repeat the same, and I added 5 options.

If you don’t see the property you want you can add a custom one.
Click the Select a Property drop-down list,
Choose “add a new property”, type the name of the property, then type the options you offer in the box and click the add button. Repeat as necessary.

Don’t forget to preview the listing before going live.

Have a happy time adding variations to your listing and I hope it brings you more Etsy sales.


William Doherty

Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/absolutemarket



Thursday, 29 January 2015

Spring Craft Market in Dublin


 Knitted Tea and Mug Cosies by the Crafty Shamrock


Etsy Ireland seller the Crafty Shamrock is organising a Market/Craft Fair on Sunday 15 March 2015 at The Green Door Market, Dublin 8. It is the St Patrick's weekend, and Dublin will be buzzing with tourists!

There will only be places for 24 crafts on the day, not duplicating either, first come first served. We will also have two food trade stalls, for coffee and snacks. On the day, the market will open at 10am for set up. Trading will take place from 11am-5pm.
 
If you want to take part, applications for places is by email please to thecraftyshamrock@gmail.com You will need your own table & public liability insurance. Cost for a stall/place is €38 via paypal/PO.

There is plenty of free parking.

Closing date for stalls is the 14 February 2015.

This is a great opportunty for Etsy Ireland team members to showcase and sell their products, also to network and talk to prospective clients! Don't miss it!