Sunday, December 21, 2008

Keeping My Eggs In One Basket, Sea Glass, Holiday Sales & Shows

With only 3 more delivery days until Christmas, it's safe to say my holidays sales have come to a close. I have a few packages in transit and I hope they get there on time... even with Priority shipping, it seems the mail is moving pretty slowly.

With the end of the holiday sales (except for a last minute multiple scarf order later today) I've been contemplating how to approach 2009. With the current economy, I wonder if keeping all my eggs in the Etsy basket is a wise move, or should I broaden my horizons and expand my limited amount of OOAK jewelry to other ventures?

Back in mid November, I opened up a shop at 1000 Markets. I liked that the site is juried and found the site to be visually appealing. At the same time, it has been tough to promote the site much and there seems to be very little traffic outside of those registered on the site. To this point, I haven't made a sale... but at the same time I have only listed 6 items and currently have only 4 listings in the shop (2 of the items sold at craft shows) Right now I don't know exactly how I'll use 1000 Markets in the coming year.

The reason of my future use of 1000 Markets is because I also signed up for ArtFire. ArtFire seems to have quite a bit more outside traffic than 1000 Markets and they have been advertising in the trade magazines. The site does offer a few ways to promote outside of the site when compared to 1K Markets. I signed up for the $7 a month plan (which is scheduled to go up to $20 sometime in 09) I like the idea of ArtFire offering decent stat info and I'm intrested in seeing how that info can be utilized to improve my promoting.

Most of my "eggs" will be kept in the Etsy basket. To think that in 2007, almost no one had ever heard of the site and now just 12 months later, a great deal of my craft show customers not only knew about Etsy, but several claimed to have visited the site. Many others had heard of Etsy, and had questions about what the site was about. I did notice a couple of "follow-up" sales the week or two after a show.

All of this leads me to believe that the branding of the etsy name, in the publics eye, is underway. People are more secure in ordering handmade items from the site and in my opinion, Etsy may have a huge year in 2009. Since I feel I've done very well with Etsy, my main focus will remain on my shop there.

I don't see the popularity of any of the online sites coming close to rivaling the Etsy name in the coming year. I have been building a nice little following on the site, especially in the Sea Glass category. So while i may spread my "eggs" out a bit more this coming year, the bulk of my work will remain where the public seems to be

I just received a new batch of necklaces, so I will probably be adding a few more wire-wrapped sea glass creations over the next few days (as long as I can get one semi-sunny day to photograph the finished product) I'm also experimenting with sterling silver bracelets and I have several pieces of sea glass drilled and ready to go.

Yesterday was a bust for sea glass hunting. My hubby hit the beach at low tide and found the combo of wind and cold to be too much. Beach reconstruction during the week buried whatever was lying on the beach and blowing sand covered up whatever the tides left behind yesterday. I wish we had the money to spend for a trip to Puerto would be nice to do a little sea glass hunting on a warm sunny beach (not to mention lying in the sun, soaking up some warm rays) but I think I'll have to wait for spring and summer to hit any warm sunny beaches this coming year.

Holiday sales were very good compared to last year on Etsy. I seemed to have follow-up sales right after shows and a couple repeat customers and word-of-mouth sales. New listings sold quickly compared to last season. All in all , a big improvement compared to 2007.

To all of my followers... if i don't get back to my blog this week... have a Happy Holiday and a happy and healthy New Year!

'til next time...


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