Friday, February 14, 2014

Toddler Dress Size 4 - Lavender Polkadots

Since I will be a stay at home mom for the next year or so, I have decided that I need a hobby - a constructive one.  So, I've decided to work on my sewing skills, because I LOVE beautiful dresses - and have really been disappointed with the selections available at retail stores.  They are just so BLAH and sometimes confusing as to what their design idea was because I just don't see the beauty in some of what's available.

I am starting off small, by sewing a little dress for my daughter.  I picked up the pattern from and am expecting my fabrics and notions in the mail from The pattern I am using is McCall's M5793 in size 4.                  
Purchased from

So far I have pressed the pattern, copied it onto tissue paper (so I can use the pattern again in the future in a different size), and cut out the pieces.  I've read through the instructions and looked up videos on how to do understiching since I didn't know what that was.  I anxiously await the arrival of my fabric so I can get started!  I'll share the finished project with you - wish me luck!

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Week's Deals and Steals

If you've got a sale going on this week, link up your store and spread the news! I also add deals that I feel are great to share with you.

Digital Etsy: How To Make Money Without Ever Using A Stamp! Part 1

We as a society are in the "Information Age: characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously." (credit)

More than any other time in the history of the world, our ability to share information has been made so easy and accessible, that it is one of the great defining characteristics of our era.  This is to our great advantage and can be made profitable if used correctly.

To "transfer information freely" is to be allowed to share our information with others without having to jump through loops to get the OK from authorities "above us".  (The only thing that could be considered a "catch" is if you make money from sharing information, you still have to pay taxes ;-)

Information products are a powerful tool to any business.  They have a lot of great, distinct advantages:
  • You don't have to remake it (re-write a book, pattern, ...) every time you sell it.  You do have to re-make a physical product every time you want to make a sale.
  • Delivering the information product can be done for free through free e-mail services while physical products have to be shipped.
  • Information products can be made at no cost to you other than your time and labor while physical products require the up-front cost of materials.
  • Information products can be put on into an automatic delivery system for a small monthly rate so that you don't even have to be involved every time somebody makes a purchase.  (Etsy, Artfire and other similar sites don't have this feature at this time, but other companies like e-junkie do.)
Information is one of those things that keeps on giving long after it's purchased.  You can eat a cupcake once or use toothpaste till it runs out, but information can be used and read over and over.

I love physical handmade goods, no doubt about it.  Nothing is better than getting a quality handmade lip balm or delicious food item in the mail.  We need sellers who are good at and like to make physical products to keep on making them.  There is no reason, however, that they cannot benefit from selling  information products as well.

Adding an information product to your business is a great way to increase profits without having to increase labor and monetary input over time.  Make it once, sell it forever.

In this series I will be teaching you about how you can make your information products starting with:
Choosing a topic or product that will work for your business,
What programs you can legally use to publish your commercial work,
Where you can find free images for commercial use,
And more!

To be continued next week...

photo credit

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bellissima Trucco Minerale: The Essence of All-Natural Luxury

Seller Id: BellissimaMinerals
Etsy Shop:
Products: Handmade Soap, Mineral Make-up, Spa and Bath Boutique

Image from Bellissima Minerals
Seller's Description:
"I know how hard it is to buy soap online. And touching, smelling and testing soap is so important to making a decision... so I'm going to help make it a bit easier for you!

Bellissima is now offering soap samplers including our most popular blends and scents!

This 6-Pack Trial Size Soap Variety Stack includes six individually wrapped bars of a random assortment of soap samples! Each bar measures approximately 2"x2.5"x.5" and weighs a minimum of 1oz.

Or Choose 6 samples from those listed in the Shop - Mix n' Match as you please! Just add a note in t he Message to Seller Box or contact us with your selections

Please see individual soap listing for full ingredient details on each bar.

All products are formulated in a sanitary, smoke-free, pet-free environment and delivered professionally labeled, with ingredients listed and shrinkwrapped for protection!"
I found Bellissima Trucco Minerale during a search for quality handmade soap. They immediately caught my attention with their extra large Rose n Ivy scented soap bar. I knew it was the perfect give for my grandmother for her birthday. I ordered a large soap, cut in half for my grandmother and aunt and a sample pack for myself so I could try out the different scents.
The seller was quick to respond and more than willing to work with me in sending my gifts with personal birthday notes.  Shipping was quick and the whole transaction was smooth and friendly.

I received my soaps and excitedly started trying them out.  The first thing I noticed was how rich the lather was.  I felt like I was giving my hands spa treatment with every wash.  After I washed the suds away, my hands felt smooth and there was no residue left behind from the soap.  The soap's wonderful natural scent would fill the bathroom and it was very relaxing.

My hands are sensitive to harsh fragrances and suffer from dryness.  The natural fragrances in these soaps didn't bother them at all and I loved how the soaps natural oils moisturized my skin without leaving any oily films.

I have to say this soap is of excellent quality and would recommend to anyone, including those with sensitive and/or dry hands.  This is a great seller and I look forward to trying out more of their products.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

E-Mail List: Why Your Business NEEDS One

Mad Mimi Email Marketing

The golden percent in business - 20% of your customers make you 80% of your profits.

When you're a seller you will notice that a big source of your income is from repeat customers - (the 20% in the online handmade marketplace).  That is why building positive customer relationships and keeping in touch with your buyers is important. 
Once you have made a sale, it is your time to act and make sure that you give your customer every reason to buy from you again.  One great way to do that is through an e-mail list.

Building a voluntary e-mail list with your customers is going to give you a huge advantage as a seller.  You can keep customers up to date with your latest goods, sales and promotions.  When it comes to selling product, if they don't know it exists than there is 100% chance that they won't buy it!  Keep your products and shop out there to remind people that yes, you still exist, and yes your still selling your top quality goods.

Now, how do you to turn customers and would-be customers into subscribers?  Here are several suggestions:
  1. Make it easy to subscribe - put a subscription sign-up box in plain site on your site or blog.
  2. Offer exclusive coupons and discount codes through your newsletter when customers subscribe, and let them know you do!  Offering one that subscribers will receive immediately (like through drip mail) is a great incentive for would-be-customers to subscribe and make a purchase.
  3. When you ship product, make sure to include among the cute packaging a card or something with your newsletter subscription information - and if you give product discounts through the newsletter, make sure they know!
  4. When you do promotional giveaways of your products, make signing up for your newsletter on of the entry options.
  5. Send valuable information in your newsletters and make every letter count!  You can send them different ways you have found to use your product that will make their life easier and such.  Make the time they spent reading your newsletter worthwhile for both parties.
There are lots of ways to build a positive e-mail list.  Get creative, but stay authentic.  Don't overdo it either, because that will put off your customers, not make them loyal fans.

Now, you can manually send out e-mail letters to every subscriber yourself if you want - but this is a big waste of effort and time.  There are a lot of good free programs out there that offer to manage your accounts for you.
One I recommend and use myself is Mad MiMi.  They offer a free start-up program that I feel is preferred over most others because its based on the amount of subscribers instead of a trial period.  When you're first starting and building an e-mail list, you really don't want to have to pay a lot of money to keep an account after 30 days.  Instead you want to build your list up until you have enough subscribers that you can upgrade your account. 

This makes more sense, because if you have to pay $10 a month and you don't even have 10 subscribers by the end of your trial period, that just isn't going to be very profitable.  Mad Mimi has one of the best free accounts I have found and they make everything from layout to sending very, very easy.

So, you really don't have any excuses to put off using this profitable marketing technique any longer!  Set up your account and add your subscription box to your blog in just minutes and get your list to work for you!

*Disclaimer - an e-mail list doesn't guarantee increased sales, it just improves the likelihood when your customers receive continued exposure to your products and sales.  If your newsletter happens to not generate any sales for whatever reason, I cannot be held responsible.  I am an affiliate with Mad Mimi and my links are included in this post.  Rest assured that if I'm promoting a product, even an affiliate, I believe that what they have to offer is beneficial for my readers.*

Branding 101: Label Your Products

Make Your Life Easier: Print Postage Online!