Friday, July 22, 2011

Goodbye Virtual Labs

And hello, Livestream. It's a sad day, but the Etsy Virtual Labs are offically retired. 

You can read the announcement here

Friday, July 8, 2011

Feature Friday, ImpossiblyAlice

Please welcome fellow Lab Rat, Sheryl, from ImpossiblyAlice, who is our Feature Friday Artist of the month

Where can we find you?

My Etsy shop is You can also find me on twitter @impossiblyalice or on my facebook page:

Please tell us about yourself, your shop and what brought you to the Etsy community.

I discovered Etsy last spring while I was on maternity leave and I became OBSESSED with it. I needed to be a part of it. I also needed a creative outlet because my little girl had waaaayyyy too many clothes!

What does a typical day in your life look like?

My maternity leave ended in January of this year and I had to return to work. My workdays now start with my alarm going off at the horrible hour of 5:30 am (I am NOT a morning person). I allow myself to snooze my alarm once so I can wake up slowly. I quickly get eat breakfast and get ready in a rush and go to work. My work day is usually done around 3:00 pm and then I get to pick up my daughter from daycare. We play, have a snack, whatever until my husband comes home. Then we do something together or I make supper. My little girl goes to bed around 7:00 and I have 2.5-3 hours of awake time (if I am lucky!) after that to take care of things. Knit, cross stitch, clean, run errands, watch TV, etc.

We try not to schedule our weekends too much because our weekdays are so hectic. This summer we are planning to spend every weekend that we can at my family cottage.

Name your top 3:


My top 3 books is a hard, hard question because reading is something I have always loved to do. I love the novel Portrait in Sepia by Isabelle Allende. I really like most of her books. On the flip side I also love the author Marian Keyes, I am hard pressed to pick a favourite though. A book I always turn back to is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. (And I may also have a *slight* obsession with Sweet Valley High.)


Music is another hard one, it varies so much depending on my mood. Jack Johnson, Robbie Williams, and Michael Buble can pretty much satisfy me any time though!


Hands down the best TV show ever is Lost. Ever. I also love So You Think You Can Dance (both the Canadian one and the American one even though I find the judges too nice on the Canadian one) and Modern Family.


I don't know if I have any 3 websites that I am super loyal to. Obviously I love Etsy. For knitting camaraderie I like Ravelry. Other than that, I am a freakishly obsessive Googler. I probably Google way too many different and random things in a day.

Etsy shops

* - when we are ready to have our second child this will be the first place that I buy maternity clothes from.
* - she is local to me, she is an amazing sewer, and she's super nice!
* - she has a great idea and uses recycled materials. What could be better?

What are you currently working on?

Currently I am working on a personal project in the rare free time I have (work is a bit hectic right now). I am cross stitching my daughter's Christmas stocking.

Where do you hope your shop to be in the next year?

I hope to have an active shop within the next year. Sadly, I haven't been able to focus as much attention on my shop as I would like to since I returned to work. I need to find a good work/family/Etsy/social life balance.

What suggestions/tips would you offer to someone new to Etsy?

I don't know if I am the best to give advice to new people since I haven't managed to find that magic formula for success on Etsy but I would advise new people to list as much as they can, connect with as many people as they can on a genuine level (don't just drop your link on other Etsy seller's face book walls and hope that they follow you back or spam people on twitter!), and learn as much as you can about how successful Etsy sellers became successful and what works for them.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us and welcome to the team!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Life of an Item with Jackthemanabouttown

Well I am so happy to be contributing to the "Life of an item".

One night while picking up my order from The Red Dragon, I noticed a ceramic Fortune Cat at the register. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm - now that would make a unique hat.

Between munches on my egg roll I began to sketch the idea out. What does the paw symbolize? Google it! The most common belief is that the left paw raised brings in customers, while a right paw brings good luck and wealth.

After the hat is sketched and the idea brews in my cranium it is off to the yarn store for just the right fiber. A sweet brass button looks like the charm on a cat collar.

I have sold these in infant sizes to adult sizes. Fortune cat has been featured in 6 treasuries as well. Fortune cat makes me smile!

Friday, June 17, 2011

July's Etsy Merchandising Desk

July is on the way, sure to bring a busy season. Our goal is to create a healthy balance between promotions for traditional holidays, seasonal changes, cultural events, and lifestyle trends. It's also a great way to change up the way you approach managing your Etsy business.

We are continually looking to highlight the stories of the people behind the products. Including your name, in addition to your shop name, will not only help personalize your work, but also help Etsy admin looking for shops to highlight. To update your name, go to Your Account > Profile and edit the name section.

Holiday Tip: Think it's too early to begin listing your 2011 holiday line? Think again! Now is the time media and press publications are finalizing their print plans for the holidays. Take advantage of this knowledge by listing your holiday line now with clear seasonal tags. To keep things looking in line with the current season, use Etsy's Rearrange Your Shop tool to move these holiday items to the final pages of your shop.

Summer: Summer travel, outdoor activities, community events & fairs, open air soirees, summer fashion, and lighter, brighter colors. Emphasis on outdoor entertaining, hostess gifts, bath and beauty, and clever ways to stay cool all summer long.

Fashion: Emphasis on swimwear with NY Fashion Week 2012 taking place. Broader options for summer focus on showing some skin, open toed shoes, lightweight materials, and sun protection: sunglasses, sunscreen, makeup, balms, hats and coverups. Summer dresses, shoes, accessories, and options for hair are key. Design labels are already launching previews for for fall lines and lookbooks.

Weddings: At the height of wedding season, think about how your line can offer or evoke outdoor options for both the ceremony and after-party. Additional highlights on warm weather honeymooning and early preparations for fall and winter celebrations.

Outdoor Travel: Think in terms of the beach, countryside, forest and mountains. Outdoor activities on the rise include camping, biking, hiking, fun at the beach, fishing, and water sports.

Christmas in July Community Sale 2011: Get involved in this year's community driven sale by tagging your sale items with the terms "christmasinjuly" and/or "CIJ" between the dates of 7/14/2011 through 7/24/2011. All shops are eligible to participate and sale items do not have to be holiday themed. Be sure to add promotional details to the item description of each item you tag. For additional questions about how to get involved, contact the Christmas in July community sale leader, DesignedByLucinda.

Collecting: Summer months bring an opportune time to take advantage of antiquing, collecting, flea markets, outdoor bazaars, and vintage renewal.

Ruby is July's birthstone; July's astrological signs are Cancer and Leo (June 22 - July 22: Cancer, July 23 - August 23: Leo).

Trending Topics:
Vampires: They're back on the radar with shows like HBO's True Blood and the recent movie trailer release of Twilight's Breaking Dawn.

Sports: Tour de France trends including biking, the French countryside, and France.

The Typewriter: With the recent closing of one of the last typewriter manufacturing companies, these nostalgic forms of technology are becoming hot commodities.

Colors: Summer color trends include honeysuckle pink, neon, coral, and orange. Pantone's color trend report for fall 2o11 includes quarry, cedar, and teal greens, nougat and coffee browns, orchid and phlox purples, bamboo mustard yellow, honeysuckle pink, and ember-glow coral.

The Local Artisanal Shop and the Speakeasy: The butcher, baker, ice cream shop, patisserie. Barware, mixology, nightlife, live music, and secret passwords.

The Garden: Indoor, outdoor, community, and rooftop gardens. Glass domes, terrariums, air plants, window herbs, succulent plants, garden markers, planters, tools, buckets, baskets, gloves, organic seeds, and boxes.

Fashion: Slim clutches, espadrilles, wooden platforms, maxi dresses, stripes, tribal references, tailored classics, full short skirts, retro swim, summer scarves, circle lensed sunglasses, and sweetheart necklines.

Vintage Designer: Authentic fashion, collectibles, bikes, and auto accessories.

Writable surfaces: Chalkboard and whiteboard.

Letters, Numbers, and Symbols: Large vintage signage letters, letterpress blocks, monogram housewares, and typewriter keys.

Personalization: Monograms, initials, text, numbers, zodiac, constellations, portraits, custom labels, stamps, fingerprints and family trees.

Natural History: Woodland forest themes and animals, namely birds, owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, feathers, nests, eggs, acorns, leaves, trees, branches, woodgrain, and natural colors.

Lockets, secret hiding places, skeleton keys, arrows, diamonds, paper cuts, silhouettes, fortune cookies, wishbones, constellations, fortune telling.
Large scale vintage and handmade paper maps, botanical and anatomy charts.
Upcycled lights and lamps, specifically with exposed bulbs.
Feather hair extensions, earrings, and accessories.
Gadget cases, docking stations and accessories.
Scandinavian patterns and motifs.
Facial hair, beards, mustaches.
All things steampunk.
Wall decals.

If you'd like to stay engaged and involved with the approaching merchandising themes, use them in your own artistic voice as you add to your shop. They can be translated in your listings, photos, shop announcements, descriptions, tags, titles, sales promotions, and more.

If you make items that would fit well with the themes outlined, try stocking up and listing them in advance to take advantage of potential shipping deadlines and site features. Do you already have items in your shop that meld well? That's great! Now it's time to revisit those items to make sure your tags, titles and descriptions reflect keywords that shoppers might be looking for during this time of year. This is also a great opportunity to revamp your item photography with a new look. Check out some great how-to's for item photography to get started.

Edited by Jacqueline Gikow at ChelseaRainbow. Thank you to everyone whose images I used.