Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Plodding along….

Okay, so here I am plodding along learning about how to market my shop! New day, new blog and I guess I am off to a good start! I am new to blogging , so bear with me for this one! I am going to try to make this blog interesting and informative for my followers! Stand by for more!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Getting "found" on Etsy!

I didn't know it would be so much work promoting my Etsy shop! But I did know that I had to do something to increase traffic and sales!
I opened my shop "Elemental Nature" in 2008. I was working full time as a medical technologist and I did very little other than post items to my shop. I didn't know anything about Etsy Teams,or BNR/BNS, or Treasuries. I really didn't know much about what it takes to be seen on Etsy! I thought you just listed your stuff and people bought it! Silly me!
 Well, in 2010 I stopped working due to health issues. Now I have time to spend on my jewelry and my shop. Earlier this year, I started looking for info on how to increase traffic to my shop and how to get "found" on Etsy search engines! SEO , teams,treasuries! Who knew?!

I started out reading all that I could find. First, I needed to change the name of my shop! No one knew what the name meant and it didn't tie into what my shop sold! So I changed the name to Simply Beaded Treasure.Okay, so now my shop name leads to thinking about jewelry! Great!  So, now what?

Next, I joined a few teams and started posting to discussion threads! WOW! The traffic started to jump! I was getting "faved" like never before! Okay, I know, the people were "faving" me because I was "faving them, but I found out some very interesting information! The more "faves" you have the more you are "seen" by Etsy search engines! My jewelry was coming up higher in the search pages! WOO HOO! Here we go! On the road to sales!!!
Well, not yet...
I signed up with a team that said it did shop critiques! Just what I needed! What was wrong with my shop? Why wasn't I getting sales? The girl who did my critique was wonderful and I learned so much! She told me how to change my titles, descriptions and tags to be seen! 
Here is how it goes:

1. You have 140 characters to use in your title, USE them!

  Example: Old title -Rhyolite Heart Earrings

 New listing: Natural Rustic Green Rhyolite Gemstone Heart Earrings   ~GemstoneEarrings ~Gemstone Heart Earrings~Rhyolite Earrings~Chunky Rustic Earrings 

This new title has "tags" that the search engines will pick up! Also, you don't want to use "artsy" titles that people won't be searching for! Ex: I was using names for my jewelry pieces like, "Woodland's Heart Earrings". Who would search for that? Add your names in the later part of he description!

Look at the Google preview as you are typing your listing. It will show you how your listing will look in a Google search.

2. The first 160 characters of your description are added to your Google search listing too, so make these characters something that will grab a buyers attention! 
For the Rhyolite earrings:
Beautiful natural colors mix together in these chunky,rustic gemstone heart earrings! The main component of these great earrings is the awesome multi-colored  

A short summary of your item that tells the buyer what you are selling and why they want it! Some gets cut off, but the important part is there!

3. Tags! I was using one word tags like "green", rhyolite,earrings etc. NO NO NO! These won't work!
Too general!

Tags for the Rhyolite Earrings:

Two word tags are better when possible. Add your shop name in case someone looks for your shop by name. Add team tags so team members can find your items. Tags like "gifts for women" will bring up your items on that search page. Be as specific as possible!

All of these things have made a huge difference in the traffic to my shop and my placement on search pages. 

The another and one of the most important things I did was start making Treasuries!  Since you can't add your own shop to a Treasury, you may wonder how this works. Well, when you make treasuries, the people you put on your treasury will often (not always) put you on their treasuries! Everyone on a treasury helps to promote the treasury, and in so doing are helping to promote you!  I joined a few Treasury teams that have treasury making games. Lots and lots of promotion!
Most of the teams that I am on also have a thread for posting treasuries. More promotion!

Another form of Treasury is the BNR and BNS. (I won't go into these in this post, but look for a upcoming post for these!) Basically for a BNR (Buy and Replace) you purchase an item from one of the shops on the Treasury and you take their place in the treasury. You stay until you have a sale and someone replaces you! For a BNS (Buy and Stay) You buy into the treasury and you stay for an alotted time until the next round. Both of these are highly promoted and you are seen by many! 
Promotion is the key to getting seen on Etsy! Networking with other sellers is the key to promotion!

I am now a member of 21 teams and I am active on all of them! I have the time for that, but you only need a few to get started! With a little time and effort on your par you can inprove your traffic and sales! I had been getting a sale here and there, but went months without any! I have gotten 4 sales in the past two weeks, and I know that it is due to all my efforts in promoting my shop!
Look for upcoming posts here on BNR and BNS, and I will also be doing one on Social Media. Check back fo these!

Here is a list of links to the Etsy teams that I am on. Check them out! Join a few! It really helps!

Treasury Teams


Social Media Teams


Promotion Teams


Other teams 


Try it out and good luck!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Ricks Beading Loom

I bought myself a new loom! 
I sold one of my turquoise loomed bracelets

and I used the money from that to buy this wonderful loom!
It is called "The Ricks Loom" by BeadSmith.

The reason I bought the loom is that I saw a YouTube video about the loom and I liked that you ended up with only two threads to weave in at the end. My old loom left many threads to deal with and that can be a real pain!

The loom is wooden with metal warp rods. It can be adjusted to the finished length of the piece you are doing with the wing nuts on either side of the tailstock.  There are wooden pegs to hold the threads in place.

This loom is so much easier to warp than my old loom!  It is a little more difficult to start the piece you are working on due to the way the threads are set up, but after the first two rows it gets a lot easier! I really love this loom!

I started using the loom as soon as I got it!

I love Native American Beadwork and I love to adapt patterns to my jewelry! Here are some of the latests pieces I am working on!

 This was a "trial" piece. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the length and the piece is uneven! I am working on a way to fix it!

 This is a new piece that will be like the one I sold recently. I love using silver,black,red and turquoise with Native American patterns! I love turquoise and these patterns work well!I will be posting the finished bracelet when it is done!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

And the "bead" goes on....

A new day and a new project!
Spring is here and I seem to be bursting with new ideas for jewelry pieces. My latest project is a piece that I call "Gifts from the Sea". I had a similar idea many years ago, but never go around to working on it. 
I love the ocean and we get so many gifts from the sea! I love to work with shells and pearls in my jewelry making! And I love ocean colors! This project puts all of this together to create a wonderful new bracelet  for my collection! 

Here is my palette:

I usually begin a project with a focal piece and then set up a palette of beads and embellishment like a painter sets up his paint palette.

 I "sketch" out a general idea of what I want to do, but this changes as I work on the piece. 

I really enjoy working on a piece and seeing it develop! I love he creative process and I am always excited to see the final outcome! 

I have been working most of my pieces directly on ultrasusede fabric, but I have noticed lately that the fabric pulls out of shape as I am working. I don't like to work with "Laceys Stiff Stuff" like a lot of beaders  do. I like the look of the ultrasuede on the finished beadwork. I am going to try to use some heavyweight fusible interfacing and see if that helps. 

I did a simple beaded bezel around a pale peach calcite donut. I added beautiful pieces of "everlasting" shell  to the center of the donut. These shell pieces are in shades of beige , pale peach, white and brown gave me the colors that I wanted to work with. And I knew that I wanted the "waves" on the bracelet to be turquoise blue/green with white "breakers". I am happy with the colors that I have chosen and I think that the piece will turn out beautifully! I will post the finished piece when it is done!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

And the color is....

 And todays color is ..... YELLOW!

I am working on a new bead embroidered bracelet!
I have been putting it off for too long! I have so many really great focals for the center of bracelets, I needed to start putting them to good use! So here is what I am working on:

My work space! I don't really follow any set pattern when doing bead embroidery. This is my process:
1. I choose a focal for the center of the bracelet. In this case I picked a beautiful, hand painted Czech glass button!

2. Next, I pick out seed beads, and other embellishmen to compliment the focal. Here, my focal is yellow, red, orange and green with gold accent. I picked out seed beads in opaque yellow, transparent  yellow ,trans red, trans. orange, opaque medium green, trans. med green, and silver-lined topaz in 11/0 seed beads and silver-lined topaz in size 8/0. I also picked yellow pressed glass flowers, green pressed glass leaves in two sizes, white, yellow and orange glass hearts, brass daisy spacers and brass round "studs". 

I had a number of other glass beads out, but ended up not using them.

 3. I bead a bezel on the focal. I used 8/0 "gold" around the button and then rings of the other colors (except red) and ended with 11/0 "gold" as the final ring.

4. This is where I start adding embellishments and see what happens! I added glass flowers and leaves around the button. I penciled in a vine on either side and added the "gold" studs. In the center of the studs I added a vermeil bead cap and a red seed bead.

More leaves and heart beads that look like flower buds!
  I added daisy spacers with yellow, red and orange seed beads in the middle (not pictured) . Now I am working of filling in the rest with green. I had to order some more trans green seed beads, so I have to stop til I get them!

The backing is yellow microsuede and I will be mounting the bracelet on an aluminum bracelet blank, backing it with more yellow microsuede and edging it with silver-lined topaz seed beads. I can't wait to see how it looks when it is all done! I will post more about this tomorrow! Have a great night!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beading needles and new projects...

It has rained all day, so it was a good day to write a log entry and work on my latest project!  I found this pattern on a blog called Beads Magic. This is a necklace called "Teresa".
The original necklace is done in black white and gold seed beads. I decided to try it with Spring colors and this is what I came up with!

 The pattern on the blog was just drawn out diagrams with no real instructions or list of supplies, but it was not too hard to follow. I made my own drawing for the blog pictures!

And  I designed a pair of earrings to go with the necklace!

I am enjoying working on this necklace! It looks floral and great for Spring!

In the past couple of days, I have been working along and all of a sudden my needle breaks! Annoying! Well, I decided to say a little about beading needles here for new beaders who might experience this!

I use a size 12 beading needle. I find that most of what I do requires many passes of thread through the beads, and a larger needle just would not work. 
I use two brands of needles. Each brand has it's issues and I will share this with you.

The first brand I use is John James.

 These needles are English nickle-plated steel needle. They are very good quality and have a larger eye that is easier to thread. They are the more expensive of the needles that I buy.
 The issue with these is that they seem to break easily!
If you put too much pressure on them or bend them too much, they just snap! I use these with projects that I know I won't have to do a lot of manipulation of the needle.

 The second brand of needles I use is Lance.

 These needles come from India and are also nickle-plated steel. They are much thinner than the John James and that must be why they are much cheaper! 
The issue with these needles is that they bend out of shape very easily. This keeps them from breaking as easily as the John James. You can straighten they  by holding near the eye with flat nose pliers and then pull the needle between your thumb and finger.  They usually don't stay straight for very long, but you can still work with them curved!

I switch between the two needles depending on the project and they seem to work well for me!

I am going to go back to working on my necklace and blog again later!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

 Okay! I am back and ready to post again!

I have not posted on this blog for many years. I am not in good health and much has happened since the last time I posted. I won't get into all that! Everyone has their own lives to worry about.

I have decided to get serious about my beadwork again and one way to do that is to post my "works in progress" here!

Right now I am doing bead weaving again. I am trying to get a collection of "Spring" jewelry together to post in my Etsy shop. Here is what I am working on right now:

So here is the work space set up for my "Spiraling into Spring" Necklace and bracelet set.

This is a spiral rope with 8/0 yellow core beads, and a combination of  3mm opaque white bugles,8/0 pink opal beads, 10/0 2 cut Sol Gel beads in Kiwi green, and 11/0 yellow-lined crystal seed beads. I am using white Nymo thread size D and a John James 15 beading needle.

                               Spiral taking shape

Here is the bracelet that is already done:

I am really happy with this pattern! I love the spring pastel colors. I should be done with this tonight. I am going to try to list the set in my shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ElementalNature) tomorrow! 

I am really enjoying beading again! My next big project is to do inventory of my stock. I have moved since my last post and I have jewelry supplies in boxes. I need to get it all organized again so I know what I have to work with!

I hope everyone enjoys the pictures!