Friday, September 18, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival - interviewing the storybeader

In this week's carnival, hosted by Edi at Memories For Life, one of the topics is:
"1) Show your face! I love to know the artist behind the work. Show us a picture of yourself and talk about your work, life... whatever. Interview yourself if you like."

That got me to thinking... what if I interview myself, with my new Internet Artisan Interview?
  • What's the name of your business/shop?
  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Yes, my domain name address and blog address are one and the same:

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I sell one-of-a-kind (OOAK), handmade jewelry with an ethnic flare. I love treasure necklaces, with all sorts of gemstones and fetishes in them, and have an affinity for turquoise and Tibetan silver. I'm planning a new line of handmade products - books! I've always been interested in paper and words, so I think it will all work out well.
  • Show us a piece you recently finished
This is my Christmas Tree Lampwork Necklace. I bought the pendant from islandgirl, and have been holding on to it, for the fall season. All that time, I've been looking for beads to match... chose to use a mix of glass and crystals. Keeping in the Christmas spirit:

She crept downstairs to
Find the treasures under the
Lighted Christmas tree.
  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I'm working on the bookmaking side of my business. And I love the Japanese Washi papers that are available. I might wait till the spring to use this one, but it was so beautiful, I had to buy it. Hmmm... I see a problem developing here....

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
My favorite online advertising sites are Entrecard and Project Wonderful. I try to use only two different images for advertising: my turtle treasure necklace and my tipi treasure necklace. Hopefully, this gives me some visual recognition. I've been trying to think up a new name that I'll need for the books I'll be selling, since storybeader is not too descriptive of paper. So far, I have "storyland journals" to complement my blog, "Stroll Through Storyland."

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
That's a really hard question, because I don't have a favorite. I love my etsyblogger list (at right) and the EtsyBloggers box, since they're easy ways for me to get to my friends. I think the e-mail postcard is so cute - a fast and easy way for YOU to contact ME personally! And has everyone seen the new Artfire Coupon?
  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
Oh Boy! This is a loaded question! I have three major online selling vendors, where I spend most of my time.

1) Etsy - I think the whole teaming approach is a great idea. There are so many different kinds of teams, but I love my etsybloggers team. (Hi Everyone!) Just recently I joined FFEST (Facebook Fans on Etsy) and think that's going to be a great team too. Congrat. for all that are involved.
2) 1000Markets - what I like best about this site is their professional attitude. But there are a lot of things great about it, and I'm thrilled to be with them. One plus is their approach with marketplaces, which gives a seller like me, who's involved with jewelry, a chance, at least, to be seen. They have a great marketing tool, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) code box, to fill out, when you're first listing your product. Sounds technical, but it isn't. AND then, every store gets their own website! That's pretty cool, and very helpful, I would think, for sellers without an blog or website of their own.
3) Artfire - I think Artfire focuses on the vendor with an on-line presence. And that's great for me (though I haven't sold anything there yet...) They have the best marketing of the three venues, with the Rapid Cart available on your blog and now, with their new coupons.
  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!

I like Facebook, because there are so many opportunities to communicate with others. I set up a Fan Page, that's attached to my personal page - don't understand this all yet, but that's OK. I have the FFEST team to fall back on. I also am on Twitter, but I think it's too large and impersonal. Maybe I'm wrong.... And Plurk, which is fun - but I don't spend enough time there to get more smilies, which I really love!

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Let's see... business tip? This might sound too general, but keep yourself organized. I find that once my paperwork gets messy, then it takes me twice as long to do things. I have folders for purchases, sales, bank statements, taxes, and more. Then there's my ALL Trusty Notebooks, complete with photos of every piece I've made, what I used and how much the materials costs, and if/when it sells. That's me in archivist mode!

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
My formula is Products + Labor + Fees + S/H = Price
I don't know if this is actually a good model. I've seen others, where people add a percentage of the final product. I'm afraid I wouldn't sell a thing if I really paid myself properly, but I try to be fair for the buyer AND me.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.

I've shown some photos previously of my workroom, which is our living room. They're lost in my computer somewhere... Here's some new ones - please excuse the mess! I've taken over the whole area! Not sure where to put all my paper supplies yet...

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I've got big plans! Like I've been saying, I'm going into bookmaking. Don't know what's going to happen to the storybeader - she might just stick around, and another artisan join her. Two's company, they say. Maybe I should have a contest for the new naming! I'll keep one blog though, and maybe, if I have enough journals, open a second shop on Etsy.
  • Should I do a favorite?
Well, let's see.... I love my treasure necklaces, and I love my turtles.... So I'll say my Turtle Treasure Necklace:


BeadedTail said...

Fabulous interview Story! I really enjoyed learning more about you! I love your business tip too and I wish I was more organized to do notebooks like that!

Judy Nolan said...

I really enjoyed this post, and loved seeing exactly where you work. I wonder how many of us really work in ONE room...maybe not too many. Handcrafts take up the entire house!

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Love the approach you took with the carnival topic :) Great interview :)

PurrPrints said...

Great tips--I should get organized. Of course, I've been saying that since I started...who knows if it will ever

Splendid Little Stars said...

Really enjoyed that, Deb! I like your organization of everything you've made--photographed and journaled.

djStoreRoom said...

Great article!~! Love the part about keeping yourself organised!

Anitra Cameron said...

This was great, Deb! I'm bookmarking it, because you have several things I really think I should copy--your photograph/materials/sold notebooks, for example.

I'd like to know more about Entrecard. I have an account, but I really don't know what to do with it!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

You way more organized than I am :P

cindy said...

I love the Turtles Treasure necklace too!

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