Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Etsy Experience Thus Far

There are not many arts and craft show in the area where I live. Churches and city events have their crafts shows annually. There is one juried show in my area and one in two small towns nearby. Juried shows are very expensive and the judging is very stiff. Through research and my
own situation I decided an on-line business.

My daughter sent me a timely newspaper article about a network for selling handmade items only. When I typed into my computer the world opened up for me.. Etsy offers easy uploading templates to list your items, a very affordable fee, forums, workshops, a community newsletter, treasuries, showcases, Etsy Labs and many how to articles. This impressed me greatly.

My learning experiences with etsy began immediately. My writing skills began to improve by writing my profile, descriptions of my items for sell, and store policies. I found many useful tips in the forum posted by different shop owners on making your shop inviting. Next I went on-line with Hewlett Packard's free classes.I took a course on using my digital camera beyond pointing and shooting. Next I learned how to download the pictures from my camera. Sizing the pictures
became another lesson. Templates are used when uploading and require the proper setting in pixels in order to upload. Shipping was the next lesson . Many vendors again posted to threads in our etsy forums. It is there and Etsy's How To's that pointed my way to shipping. Also we learn from one another the best and reasonable suppliers for packaging and commercial supplies needed.

My computer skills have grown. From the Etsy forums I gained short cuts and knowledge from
split screens to cut and paste to designing a banner.

The one thing I am most proud of is the fact that I have joined a wonderful community of shop owners, who can share problems and solutions in a forum They share ideas, and information. What network like this has seasoned shop owners who volunteer to mentor what they call "newbies" Where else can you share news of interest, the successes of our network and our vendors? Where else can you call meetings in the chat rooms, and attended on-line work shops?

And the beat goes on. But let me warn you! As great as it is you have to work hard to keep an interesting shop and promote, promote, promote. No one is going to know you have opened up a shop unless you let them know you are open.

Next my products.


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