Tag Archives: etsy business

New Website on Squarespace

3 Jun

I am so excited to bring to you the new and improved Itty Bitty Bag dot com.

I am so very thankful to my husband for creating my first website but as the technology was changing, my business was growing and changing, I needed updates faster than he could make them. I needed to be able to have full control of my website and able to make edits or updates whenever necessary.

The world of selling handmade is also changing. You might ask why two websites. If you’ve ever attended one of my classes then you should know that you should always have your own dot com. What if Etsy vanished tomorrow…what would become of your business? How quickly could you respond?

For me, my business is a divided between to specific areas: Custom Made & Ready to Ship. I’ve found that the newer visitors to Etsy.com are not the same as the first visitors. In the beginning I received many convo’s asking me to do custom work and now the visitors seem to think that what they see is what they will get despite the text below the images saying that the items can be customized.

I’ve launched my new site with the hopes of making the custom order process easier and my website is now mobile friendly.

 

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Thanks so much for all of your continued support. If you have any suggestions, changes or items you think I left out of my site that customers would want to know, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below.

Notes: If you are seeing the old site, then clear your browser history & that should refresh what you are seeing.

xo, Jen

Quest for 1000 Sales!

25 Oct

2013 has been a rough year for sales for me.  Last quarter, I had a total of 5 sales. I had more than that in my first week on Etsy.

I need your help more than ever. I am on a quest for 1000 sales. I know it doesn’t seem like far to go but if I continue at the rate I had last quarter then I may not make it this year.

I’d like to blame my health but honestly every Etsy seller I know that is a true handmade artist is struggling.

While we are struggling….Etsy is reporting record profits. Something isn’t right here. I am continuing to make items and we’ve all been doing some wholesale work on the side to try cover business expenses.

How can you help?

If all of my followers were to buy just one item in my shop as a gift for someone this year would be amazing!! I know many of you have done this especially with my keyfobs. It makes it hard to give out the same gifts each year. No worries. I am going to be offering something new very soon.

I have many items in different price ranges. And I am offering Free Worldwide Shipping through the holidays. So if you forget something…that is ok. You can come back and buy as often as you need without worry of paying more shipping charges.

I often have seasonal promotions that you can share with one person that might appreciate a good recommendation. One friend took office orders on my keyfobs and I am eternally grateful for this.

I make my items to last and so I don’t expect repeat business but telling one person about me is better than me spending $1000 in marketing. Another friend had tweeted about how much she loved her baskets, which resulted in three more sales in my shop. That simple.

I appreciate all of your support. So even if you don’t find that you can do one of these…you should know that I am still so thankful for all that I have and for our friendship. Thank you all so much for getting me to this point.

Let’s bring it home!! 1000 sales.

Here is a quick link to my shop.

xo, Jen

2012 Year in Review

31 Dec

It is quite therapeutic to reflect on the past year. It is not so much about looking back as it is preparing yourself for the next step. Learning not just from mistakes but also by your choices. This past year had several thrilling moments & just as many set backs.

My health through the past year was probably my biggest obstacle and much of which still remains unknown. I shared some of these items through social media and yet other parts I’ve kept totally private. Family, Friends & even the world around me have had just as many. The only part that helped me get through this year was a huge effort on my part in trying to keep it all balanced.

I know in past years I’ve created so much more but this year I spent more quality time with my family in the way of vacations, being present when the kids get home not just trying to squeeze in one more work project & even spending an evening or two relaxing on the couch with my husband.

Here are my Top Five Best Moments, Mistakes and Favorite Pictures:

Top Five Best Moments

5.  Teaching: 4 Etsy Classes (101 & Beyond Basics) and two children hand sewing classes

4.  Featured on Venture-Mom.com & a Guest panel speaker “When a mom starts a business”

3.  Becoming a Certified Etsy Educator

2.  Martha Stewart All Etsy Show

1.  Woman’s Day Magazines 75th Anniversary

Top Five Mistakes

5.  Making items was not first on my list. Bogged down in other business chores.

4.  Not keeping up with my Newsletter.

3.  Making items that will not yield a profit.

2.  Etsy changing their search engine optimization & it taking me months to figure out the changes.

1.  Losing my syndication on Etsy, thereby losing 2 months of Etsy Sales. The entire January & February did not exist.

Top Pictures of 2012

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The Not So Itty Bitty Mom Bag

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Hand Painted Mustache Bags

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Renegade Craft Fair – Brooklyn New York

Oliver & Adelaide

Oliver & Adelaide Gifting to Yahoo CEO

Woman's Day

Woman’s Day Magazine 75th Anniversary

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Best Seller – Monogrammed makeup bags

Cross Stitch - Letter A

Teaching Hand Sewing – Cross Stitch – other embroidery projects added to my website.

Singer Collage

Finding this Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Itty Bitty Bag Studio

Redecorating a room in our house to make a new larger Studio.

92" Curtains

Custom Project for a Darien Designer – 8 Linen Drapes / Curtains

Martha thanking us for coming to the show. We weren't allowed to photograph during the taping, no video & no cell phones.

Martha thanking us for coming to the show. We weren’t allowed to photograph during the taping, no video & no cell phones.

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Creating custom upholstery for my breakfast nook.

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Hand Sewing Class – Darien Girl Scouts

This captures the essence of our trip. The water was so amazing. I could sit for hours and just watch the waves. It wasn't hot either...quite breezy on the gulf. My girls loved the warm water.

This captures the essence of our trip. The water was so amazing. I could sit for hours and just watch the waves. It wasn’t hot either…quite breezy on the gulf. My girls loved the warm water.

Isn’t She Lovely? Vintage & Spectacular!

29 Sep

I don’t have to be jealous or envious of my sewing friends who own a vintage machine any longer. I found a beautiful one. It is in amazing condition. It is shiny and in great condition making it hard to believe she was made in 1956. I’ve seen many that are very worn and rusty. I guess they were not stored properly and not in its original case. Many have the 1950′s sewing cabinet and it quickly became a display piece contributing to its demise beccause it breaks down the machine.

I have named this machine Joan. After the dear woman who sold it to me on Craigslist. The history of this machine is that it owned by Joan’s mother-in-law, who was in fact a seamstress. I am hoping it will allow me to add leather features to my repartoire. Joan never learned how to sew & just held on to the machine after she passed away. She stored it deep in a closet, until today when I made the trip up to Ridgefield to see the machine. I am hoping Joan will take the time to share her MIL’s story with me, as everything has meaning and a history that I long to share with my girls.

For now…enjoy the pics. I’ve enjoyed having it with me. I feel inpsired to do more!

This week I am busy getting ready for my big show but soon enough I will bring this machine to life but first it needs a well visit at the repair shop for a tune up.

Stop by Singers Website. They are looking for you to share your singer story to help them celebrate 160 years!! Wow, that is amazing.

My Design Studio – Itty Bitty Bag Company

16 Aug

My Design Studio, Stay at home Etsy business, Itty Bitty Bag Company

Today I wanted to open my home studio doors for you and share my secret obsession with interior design. It is full of storage ideas and I disclose where I found all these amazing items.

I can take no credit for the glass french doors that are the gateway to my creative space. These have been here since 1926 when the house was built.

Here is my sanctuary. It is my office & creative studio. I spend many hours of the day here and it is a favorite spot for my girls, puppies & husband. It is a very large space for my small business but is centrally located in our house making it easy for this work at home mom.

I tried to make it as cozy & inviting as possible. I want to spend time with my family but between the chores, errands, and kids activities, I have to try to squeeze in minutes here and there throughout my day in order to make this work.

My office before was cramped & was hard to have clients over, it was approximately 7′x7′, it was at the top of the stairs, down the hall from my girls bedrooms, and made working late into the evening quite a challenge. Not to mention awkward to have a clients go upstairs. Now throughout the day I can be in my office & the girls no matter what they are doing, are always close to me.

Here are the four corners of my office.

I selected the color for my office because outside I am surrounded by green. Here is the view from my chair and why it is so peaceful.

Here are a few closeups of the most significant items in my office & the pieces of furniture that really make this a dream studio.

Here are the details:

The Walls – are Behr paint in Fashion Gray Eggshell. You should always grab several paint swatches as the room lighting really changes a color. Also, you want to view the paint chip in both natural light, darkness & with artificial lighting (lamps, ceiling).

The Desk – what a beauty she is. After many weeks of stewing…I found this seven foot table at United House Wrecking Antiques in Stamford, CT. They were so helpful & delivered this very old & very heavy table. It has natural dings so I don’t worry about my scissors or pins scratching it up…and it can be refinished.

The Oversized Chair – is from Pier1 Imports. I love the seersucker stripe fabric & it is quite cozy to sit in. I must confess it is the most expensive dog bed I’ve ever purchased.

The Suede Desk Chair – complete with rivots, scored at Home Goods.

The Curtains – are a gray/blue linen/silk combination and purchased at Target. They let in just enough light but give me privacy in my sea of windows…ah my windows. This room the windows were painted shut until last summer when we replaced them all. They are made of wood & were custom made to fit the old window sashes.

The Cube Storage – The shelves are Ikea & the boxes are Target.

Light Fixture – my husband pride & joy find…every night, sweetie turn on your light please, you’re killing me. This was from Pier 1.

Oversized Storage Woven Baskets and Carpet - are both from Home Goods.

Now that you know where to begin your shopping spree…let’s continue. If you see something I haven’t mentioned, let me know and I’ll try to relay the information to you.

Here are some other angles of my storage in action: close at hand the items I use most, my shipping scale, iron – scissors, more mailing supplies, etsy class supplies, close up of my most used, and my heavy fob materials now easily accessible & better organized for reordering inventory.

And the original antique shelving that is home to my inventory & fabric. This is to the left of my chair, beautiful & ready to inpire creativity.

My inventory on display in case a client wants to pop by and is nice to quickly see what I have available for shows & reminds me of how much  more I need to do to be ready for the holiday season.

Well I hope you enjoyed the tour of my studio and hopefully I will get to share some of my other rooms in my home with information on those design projects as well.

xo, Jen

Photo Montage of my trip to the Etsy Symposium 2012

1 Apr

Driving to Brooklyn. Ride was a breeze. Car service…passing by the Worlds Fair.

I was too nervous to drive & park. I usually take the train to the city but was nervous about the subway. Also Friday traffic can be brutal. So I opted for a car.

Brooklyn Bridge…very cool view from the front steps at Etsy.

Welcome to Etsy!!

Cool signage in the lobby.

Here is your sign…I mean badge!! Translation Jen @ittybittybag not ditty. Was the first to put her shop name. I don’t know many by their street name & figured the same.

My packet of wonderful treats & my notebook for the day.

Fun in a photo booth – all work and no play…well you know what they say.

Thank goodness I told them ahead of time…lunch was a yummy baguette or my gluten free a salad with grilled asparagus. Friends had lunch envy. 4 of us requested gluten free ahead of time.

I met so many fabulous creatives in addition to all the rock-stars at Etsy. Everyone was so thoughtful, helpful & kind. I was nervous but I gather so were they. Thanks Etsy!! I had a fabulous day. I learned so much and can’t wait to make improvements to my shop.

Thanks!!! JSJ

2011 in review

8 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,700 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year 2012!!

1 Jan

Happy New Year!!

It has been a while since I’ve blogged. I promise to have some articles written soon. I had a very busy November & December. Lots of custom items that I created during that time that I want to share, I have some shop stats and an overview of this past year.

During my time off my sewing machines are being serviced and I am finishing up some home projects that were pushed to the side because I was busy with my shop.

I’ve taken my girls skiing, baked, cooking up a storm, and just had a ton of fun.

It will be back to business soon and looking forward to creating my Spring collection!

Photoshoot with KVON Photography

27 Apr

This morning started like any other morning. Coffee (first things first), then onto making lunches, fixing breakfast, walking the dogs and it goes on. Take one to the bus, the other to school, dogs to the groomers… but after all that, I had to get ready for my photoshoot. The morning started off humid as all hell and those who know me well, know that humidity and me are like water and oil, remember Monika’s hair (from Friends) when they went to the Caribbean? That is me. I was so nervous about the shoot anyway, this was not helping. Hair up or down? What to wear? I put on makeup (but not enough – Kvon sent me back upstairs to put on more), and I was wearing my peace love and happiness shirt but the pressure of the morning got to me, so I had to change out my shirt too.

So when the photographer arrived, I was still getting ready, running around like I usually do. It is funny, talking on the phone is nothing like meeting someone in person. Our conversation before hand was great and I felt comfortable having him on location. Keyvan Behpour (Kvon)  arrives and immediately the conversation is light and funny.

First things first, where to do the photoshoot. We headed up to my studio and he was happily surprised at my 6×6 studio; this is where all the action happens? This is it? I laughed, yep, this is it. It is so bright and amazing that you do everything right here in this little studio?

We talked about all my recent orders and my “problem” of having too much work. Kvon quickly spoke of a similar story about a family friend, one that most of us are familiar with, especially if you watch Seinfeld or if you live in the NYC area…the Soup Nazi. Did you know that the Soup Nazi is Iranian? And Kvon goes on to say and he is also Iranian…so the mannerisms and the accent were perfect for the story he was about to tell me. The Soup Nazi calls him on the phone and says “5:00 turn on your TV, click (phone hangs up), so Kvon did and at precisely 5:30 the Soup Nazi calls back and says, did you see that? And Kvon replies, yes I did, this is good and the Soup nazi says, NO this is NOT Goooood. This means that I will have to be up early and at my store at 7am and there will be a line and I will have to make twice as much soup. This is NO good, this is terrible. (I am laughing hysterical at this point). He also told me of the Japanese tourists coming straight from the airport and sitting outside his the Soup Nazi’s shop to wait until it opens but the Soup Nazi says…”Goooo! And go now and don’t come back until my shop opens.” This was Seriously funny stuff!

We continued to walk around to find the perfect spot and he loved my kitchen. It is a bright orange pumpkin spice paint with white trim and it is very cheerful and sunny (same corner of the house as my studio). So we decided to move my studio into my kitchen. We used a “strobe” which is a fancy word for soft light (see I’ve been reading too many Fancy Nancy books), which is something that I do not own but should probably purchase at some point. It really does an amazing job at lighting up a product and people.

We set up the shot and take some test shots and we are off! Click…Click. He continued to soften the situation by making me laugh and getting me as comfortable in front of the camera as he could. I am so overjoyed with how the photos came out. Here is one of my favorite shots. I hope you enjoyed my story and please, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Peace, Love and Happiness (even if it is not on my shirt), Jen

It is my 2 Year Etsyversary!

17 Apr

I can’t believe it is my two year Etsyversary. I was not feeling very well this morning and completely forgot. The past 2 years have been very exciting and I hope this next year is no different. I have had busy times and slow times. Going through seasonal changes, feeling summer slow downs but pressing onward, adapting my products, fine tuning details and working hard to find my niche. It has been fun watching my company unfold and I have enjoyed my journey along the way. The support and feedback have filled my heart with joy! My company is as much about me as it is you. You’ve held my hand and pushed me and challenged me every step of the way. So thank you! Happy Etsyversary Itty Bitty Bag friends.

Fabulously yours,

Jen

P.S., my sweetie took this amazing photo of me this morning. You can see more of his work at http://shawnkristofer.com so lucky to have such a talented family.

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