|Photos belong to Vanessa of Etsy Labs|
|Photos belong to Vanessa of Etsy Labs.|
I talked to Sean Flannagan from Etsy for a little while about the new social networking integration on the site, which he helped to develop. I was already posting on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube whenever I posted new items, but being able to do that automatically from Etsy and also have really easy ways for people to follow and like me directly from my shop have been so helpful. We also briefly discussed the PayPal issues and he seemed to be hoping for an alternate on the site in the future as well. It's good to know that the whole Regretsy fiasco has sparked this gradual movement towards other payment options for independent sellers online, even if it may take a little while for something else to acquire the international reach PayPal has.
The location alone would've been worth the trip. This meetup took place at Craftland, a boutique and gallery full of handmade crafts from around the world, most of which are also sold on Etsy. They even had a pretty large section of unique, handmade plush toys similar to mine. The cashier even moved to charge me for Buxton because he fit in so well with their products... which is good to know because I would love to apply to sell my plushies there someday. All in all, the night really was like visiting a real-life version of the site I spend so much of my time and money on. I picked up a few items for gifts and myself, traded business cards with the other sellers, and called it a night.
Pretty much every night since then has contained a long visit with family or friends for the holidays, and our good friends Mike and Nina (of sweatingit.net) came to stay with us for the new year celebration this weekend. During the craziness and the short break from working for long stretches of time, I spent my free minutes thinking about where to go next. I've never really been one for serious new year's resolutions, so these are a few specific crafty goals that I'm hoping to work towards over the course of the year:
- Design and make more plushies for Fairweather Friends. I want people who find my shop to have more things to look at and choose from, and if I have more items listed, there's a better chance that someone who stumbles in may find something they want to own.
- Spend as much time as I can keeping those plushies in stock. Ever since I started this shop, I haven't had enough time to make as many of each plush toy as I've wanted to. While this is far from a bad thing, it's difficult to promote to new potential customers when the shop could easily empty overnight.
- Learn to read knitting patterns and knit in more than just a straight line. My mom bought me a beautiful set of Harmony knitting needles for Christmas and I want to learn to use them. I learned to knit back when I was in high school, but never learned to read a pattern or move beyond just basic, straight knit-stitch scarves. I would love to be able to make hats, mittens, socks, and other small projects this year. Maybe I'll even start knit tagging / yarn bombing.
- Redesign LaurenFairweather.com. I've kind of already been doing this, but I want to finish it and get it up and running with help from the awesome Kyle Barr who isn't quite as baffled by coding websites as I am. I count this as a crafty goal because the design is more illustration-based than websites I've done in the past. It is super cute and I'm excited for you guys to see it.
- Decorate and clean up my craft room. It's a great working space right now, but I'd love to get some color up on the walls and neaten it up a bit. I have a bunch of crafty magazines I've worked my way through and I think I'd like to put pictures from those up as inspiration. I also have a bunch of pretty, antique-looking keys left over from our wedding favors that I'm hoping to tie into a pretty garland to hang up.
- Make more crafty YouTube videos. I've already done time lapse videos and just straight video blogs about my crafts, so I'm hoping to come up with more creative ideas. I've really been liking voiceover-type videos lately, so maybe I'll write something pretty to read over clips of me accomplishing the above goals. I'm definitely up for suggestions or requests if you have any.
- Work on improving my product photography. While I think the plain white background is fine, I really need to take photos of myself holding each plushie so it's easier for potential customers to tell how big it is. This has been difficult in the past because I can't really take pictures of myself with my fancy camera so I need to bother Matt to get them done.
I hope you're all having a lovely 2012 so far! Hopefully I'll have some new plushies to show you very soon.