I had a busy weekend. I have noticed that, for the most part, Etsy becomes a sort of ghost town over the weekend. There's just not as much activity as I see during the week. I understand that- weekdays are for working and weekends are for family- but I am drawn in to the Internet no matter what the day, and in trying to make my fledgling shop successful, I do what I can whenever I get the time.
That being said, I had been feeling for a while like I wanted to re-vamp and spruce up my shop somewhat. When you first open your shop on Etsy, at least I found, you don't really know what to do and how to best do it, so you put things up just to get it done so people will come and look at (and hopefully buy!) your things. Then you go back and fix it. I wasn't unhappy with the shop, but I just wanted to make it better. So I made some decisions about all the maybes that were floating around in my head.
First, I made a new banner, which I had been wanting to do for awhile. I liked the photo that I had up- it showed off some of my bookmarks (ones that actually sold! Hooray!)- but it was a little bit dim and the photo didn't fill up the whole space. Nothing tragic, but not entirely pleasing to my eye. I liked how I had my shop name in the corner, so I decided I was just going to have that. But then I thought it would look a little bit too blank, so I added on some words for the things I hope people will do with the items that I sell. I'm really happy with how it turned out.
My husband, who is, by all accounts, wonderful, does not like it. He immediately said, "You should take it down and put the old one back. There's too many words." He thinks there should be a photo of my work. Or, if I really want to keep the words, then use a different font and less words. I know he wants to help and really does want my shop to look good, but I really like it! I feel like it's closer to all the stuff I've been seeing about branding lately. I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think. I am still trying to decide if I should also change my avatar. I like showing off one of my bookmarks, but I think it would be nice for it to just say "by the book paper", too. However, someone did say to me, "Your avatar is interesting. It made me want to click on it." I may just keep thinking on that one for awhile. [P.S.- since writing this, I made another banner change based on team feedback, but you can check it out and comment anyway :)]
Then, the big news: after careful consideration and some research at good old usps.com, by the book paper on Etsy is now going to ship internationally. Wow. I had been throwing the idea around for a little bit. I knew it would open my shop up to a whole new group that couldn't purchase from me before if they wanted to, and I can certainly use to expand my market. I checked out some other shops who sell similar items and saw that there wasn't a huge change in the shipping cost for international sites, so I made the leap. I figure if it doesn't seem to be working out, I can always switch it back. I have a hard time with that- I always think if I do something, it is permanent. Anyway, I spent a chunk of time updating shipping information on all my listings, plus making a few price changes here and there, rearranging my shop, and updating the welcome under the banner and my shop policies. Phew!
I also got seven new items finished and got pictures taken of them. I managed to crop all the photos I took, though I have yet to make listings. Honestly, I feel happy just to have that much done. I had a lot of combinations planned (and more yet to do), but I needed some time to actually execute them. If I'm not in the mood to work on them, it's just not going to happen. And so, because I really do want you to stay tuned and read Susan's interview below, I'll leave you with a few preview pictures.