David shares what it means to be Etsy-esque

DavidJoaquinHummingbirdI was hired by our county arts council to put together a series of classes on the theme “The Business of Art.”  Along with workshops in digital photography, website design, marketing yourself and organizing your time, I included a workshop on Etsy and arranged for my friend David Joaquin to teach the class.

The “How to Sell on Etsy” class was sold out.  It was by far the most popular workshop in the series.  David brought his computer to demo Painted Moon Gallery, his own Etsy shop, and the Etsy admin interface.  He brought samples of his prints and paintings, samples of the packaging he uses to send orders, and a great deal of enthusiasm.

The two hour class was packed with an amazing amount of new information.  How to set up a shop on Etsy.  The significance of your shop name.  Who is a typical Etsy customer and how they search for things.  The whole renewing products strategy.  The need for low cost items like cards and small prints.  Customer service, packaging and shipping what you sell.

But the most valuable information that David shared was the concept of what it means to be Etsy-esque.  What type of artwork is likely to be successful on Etsy?  What do Etsy shoppers like, what do they love, what will become popular and sell on Etsy?  He challenged everyone to go hang out at Etsy for awhile and view the home page, view Treasuries and the Etsy sellers in our own niche who have the most sales.  Discover for yourself this elusive Etsy-esque quality – this combination of handmade, quirky, unique, elegant, and precious.

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Illustration “Arianna, Hummingbird Dance” courtesy and © David Joaquin at Painted Moon Gallery on Etsy  Painted Moon Gallery.

Live your beauty

Create a work space you love! It can be super organized, or it can be delightful chaos…whatever satisfies your soul! One of the great artists of modern times, Alexander Calder, created his masterpiece mobiles in an amazingly rich and cluttered workshop (see a photo of Calder’s studio at the Smithsonian Magazine’s blog).

April Starr uses a vintage napkin – silverware caddy for storing her shipping supplies.

Your own workspace might be set up in a separate room, even that ultimate dream, a separate studio! Or might simply be a dedicated area of your home where you keep the tools you need to make and sell your work. Fill your space with inspiration, pictures, quotations and memorabilia. This is where you live.  Where you love. Plan it with the same care as you’ve planned the work of your dreams.

One of my favorite Etsy sellers, April Starr, incorporates her own love of antiques into her creative space.  “I love using this vintage napkin/silverware caddy for shipping supplies.”

It’s that attention to quality that informs all of April’s work.  Your own enjoyment of your workspace will spill out into every part of your life, and into everything you make, and sell on Etsy, and ship to your new friends!

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Illustration from April Starr. Visit her Etsy Shop at www.etsy.com/shop/FlourishCafe

Peach is the Color of the Month!

Color plays a huge part in people’s buying decisions, especially for arts and artisan handcrafts.  Customers choose items with colors that fit their personality and match their existing decor.  Certain colors are popular during different seasons.  The Etsy Trend Watch blog posts (at www.etsy.com/blog/en/tags/SH-Trend-Watch) predict colors, items and styles that will be popular in an upcoming months.  And HGTV names a “Color of the Month” selected from a wide variety of  popular online sources.  Just search Google for “HGTV color of the month”.

Pay attention to trending colors and promote your own work accordingly.

Set your 4 “featured listings” to reflect the season’s most popular color theme.  Here’s how….

Rearrange your front page so trending colors complement one another.

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Illustration courtesy and © Kim at BlueOtterArt on Etsy  www.etsy.com/listing/84970976/the-delicate-world-of-the-fuscia?ref=shop_home_active