Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New sites, New Opportunities & Hope that the Show Season Finishes Strong

First off, a Happy B-Day wish to my 12 yo son Eric!!

So things have become hectic over the last 5 or 6 days. It started with a phone call asking if I'd be interested in a space at a craft show last weekend. I had been a bit hesitant, because recent shows have been a bit disappointing (and I was all set for this weekend's show) and almost turned it down.
I accepted and I'm very happy I did. The show went well, I met a few sea glass enthusiasts-which turned into at least one wire-wrapping job (and possibly a couple more to follow) and perhaps a few of show's customers will find their way to my Etsy shop.

I spent Sunday taking pictures and trying to replenish my now depleted Etsy shop and scrambling to build up inventory levels. I had forgotten that this weekend's show is a 10x5 space and not a 6 foot table, which means more displays and of course, more inventory than I planned for. I may have to break out my scarf display and load up whatever scarves I have (which may not be a bad idea as the temperature has turned cold very quickly in New Jersey)

I was not only taking pictures for my Etsy shop, but also for a new site that has been running for a short while... 1000 markets. ( http://www.1000markets.com/users/creationsbyrobin )
Of course with a new site comes all the fun of adding an avatar and banner and getting used to navigating a different site.
I like the site at 1000Markets, it's a fun site and looks nice. It doesn't have the ability (as of yet) to promote items on the site, so it's going to take a lot of promoting and word of mouth to drive new traffic there. Since items can quickly get lost on Etsy, especially this time of the year, this site is much smaller and it may offer a viable option to Etsy or at least another avenue to sell my creations. Of course, Etsy is still my main site and will remain so, but it's nice to have a second option, even if it is a little more work.

Speaking of other avenues, today I received an email on the 1000Markets site about another possible opportunity. It seems this new site is geared more towards fashion, but it does have a jewelry category and it didn't seem to overloaded. I'll take a better look at the site later this week and see if anyone I know is familiar with the site... hopefully in my next couple of blog installments, I'll have some good news about this site.
I've also been invited to display some of my jewelry at an upscale boutique this spring and summer at the NJ shore. I'm really going to need to build-up my inventory to do this because I'm pretty sure they are mostly interested in my sea glass creations. (hopefully, the next "spring tides" wash up many jewelry-quality gems!) The boutique is located in one of the more ritzy areas on the Jersey shore and from what I can tell, the boutique looks very nice.

I spoke with a few non-Etsy crafters and they all have been mildly surprised with their recent craft shows. It seems that as Thanksgiving edges closer, the people are looking to buy handmade items, even if they are buying at the middle to lower end of the price scale... they are buying and that is an improvement over what I experienced and had heard during the month of October.
Maybe it has to do with having a new president. Maybe it's because people feel better that our President-elect is being open with the country, or people are feeling a bit better about the economy. Perhaps people are just looking to make this a nice holiday, while cutting back on their spending.
Whatever it is, I hope everyone doing craft shows the rest of this holiday season have terrific shows. Would having more than expected sales online be too much to ask for too? : )

'til next time...

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