Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Bazaar and Craft Sale at the Janetville Community Centre

Check it out this Sunday, November 25th from 10-3 atthe Janetville Community Centre.  Over 25 vendors, FREE admission, FREE door prizes, FREE colouring for the children.
Snack bar will be open as well as additional things for the children (craft, face painting, glitter tattoos, feather & glitter hair extensions) with Face It by Christy
 Vendors include:
*Kindred Krafting  
*This Gal Makes Cards 
*Face It
*Frash Scents 
*Juice Plus 
*Erin’s Goodies To Go  
*Chicks With Nuts
*Farm Girl Creations 
*Lia Sophia 
*Terri’s Krafty Korner 
*Epicure Selection 
*Images by Alice 
*Little Jenny Wren
*Pampered Chef 
*Silpada Designs 
*Mary Kay
*Nature Photography by Linda Snider 
*Little Bitty Bath Boutique
*Amedaya Handmade Bath & Body Co. 
*ALT Plus Custom Sewing

Monday, November 12, 2012

Check out Kawartha Beads in the Simply Frugal Holiday Gift Guide

I'm thrilled to announce that Kawartha Beads has been included in the Simply Frugal 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Etsy. Be sure to stop by and check out all of the talented artisans, enter for your chance at a $40 Kawartha Beads online gift certificate AND grab a special coupon code just for Simply Frugal readers! This is one of my favourite blogs and I'm so honoured to be included. Happy holidays!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kawartha Beads at Lindsay Mom2Mom Sale Tomorrow!

Be sure to stop by the Lindsay Boys and Girls Club at 107 Lindsay Street South tomorrow, Saturday Nov.10th between 930-1230 for the Christmas Edition of the Lindsay Mom2Mom Sale. Featuring a wide selection of gently used childrens items, plenty of handmade and mom business vendors, a petting zoo, balloon animals and more there is something for the entire family. A great chance to have some fun and get a start (or finish) on your holiday shopping. Admission to the show is $2 or a donation to the food bank.

Remember this is the ONLY show Kawartha Beads is doing this holiday season so if you are wanting a chance to visit us in person I hope you will stop by! Can't make it to the show? Shop my online store this weekend and use coupon code MOM2MOM at checkout to receive 15%off your online order.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Order early to ensure you get all of your Kawartha Beads treasures in time for the holidays! The International shipping deadline (for everywhere other than Canada and the US) is November 30th.
My Etsy Shop will close for the holiday season at noon Eastern on December 8th to allow me time to finish up orders and enjoy some time with my family for the Christmas season. I will continue to take local orders until December 14th. My shop will reopen on Boxing Day with an end of season clearout special so you can treat yourself to a Kawartha Beads treasure if you didn't get one for the holidays!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vendor Call: Peterborough Craft Market

Peterborough Craft-Market Sell your handcrafted accessories in the heart of Peterborough on Saturday June 8, 2013, 12 - 5 pm. Peterborough's first Bling & Bags craft show! Booths are $35 but the early bird special is only $25! Apply now @

Monday, October 8, 2012

Vendor Call: Christmas Edition of the Lindsay Mom2Mom Sale

I'm happy to announce that there will be a Christmas Edition of the Lindsay Mom2Mom Sale to be held on November 10th from 930-1230 at the Lindsay Boys and Girls Club. Mom Tables for selling gently used clothing and toys are $10 each and if you are a local artisan there are also vendor spots available for just $35. Your table fee also includes lunch (pizza and pop) for one person. Spaces are limited so be sure to contact the show organizer ASAP if you are interested in a space. You can email her at

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shabby Chic Mason Jars

I finally got a chance to put these Mason Jars that I picked up awhile ago to good use! This one just looks great in my kitchen and it was nice to do a project just for me!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Local Vendor Call: Janetville Christmas Bazaar

Janetville Christmas Bazaar: vendor call!!!  
Sunday November 25th cost per table will be $25 each. Please comment over on Kindred Kreations Facebook Page if interested. She will be getting contract/registration page done up over this weekend. This completed form with payment is what will secure your space.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Local: Vendor Call

Vendors Wanted for the 14th Annual Christmas Crafts and Collectibles Show
Booth Rental $45.20 (inclu. hst)
All tables must be prepaid at time of booking

Show date: Saturday November 17th, 2012
Moose Lodge, Lindsay
Call  705-324-8600 to book your spot

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Introducing: Karina Made This

Talented local artisan Karina has been a loyal Kawartha Beads blog follower for some time. I'm thrilled to introduce her shop Karina Made This, home to fun and whimsical costume jewellery for all occasions. With earrings that are sure to be the talk of any party to charm bracelets for the die hard Hunger Games Fan there is sure to be something for even the hardest person to buy for on your holiday list. Be sure to stop by and check out her Etsy Shop.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Free Ebook: The Arts and Crafts Movement

Here's an interesting read for the crafty minded. Grab your free copy of The Arts and Crafts Movement for your Kindle today! Be sure to check its still free before you order.

Don't have a Kindle? You can download the latest Kindle for PC here (I love mine!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Preparations for the Holidays Continued

So my original get prepped for the holidays plan didn't quite work out. Not surprising with two little ones but now that my oldest is in kindergarten and my youngest sometimes still naps I'm making a bit of progress.

I'm back up to 170 listings in my Etsy shop AND almost all of those are already made and packaged. I'm now working on multiples of my most popular items. While I love the look of my new packaging it is much more time consuming so I'm trying  to get extras made in advance. I also have pre-return addressed a bunch of envelopes and customs forms. Last but not least I've been trying to stock my freezer so that I don't need to worry about cooking dinner (for the most part). I've detailed a bit of those endeavours on my other blog Kawartha Bargains.   No sense in wasting those hard earned dollars on tons of takeout because I'm too busy to feed everyone!

I've been asked by a couple of readers what they should expect for the next couple of months. The answer to that is that I have no real answer. If you are already selling steadily on Etsy then be prepared to continue with that trend and I suggest having a couple of your most popular items ready to ship quickly. If you are not experiencing frequent sales then take this time to review your tags and photos. Also don't forget to tap into your local market via Facebook, craft fairs, etc. AND as always seek fun ways to promote your shop at the prime shopping time of the year. REMINDER: I am happy to feature fellow handmade artisans on my blog so feel free to let me know if you are interested!

Monday, September 3, 2012

New for the Holidays!

I'm super excited to get some new treasures created for the holiday season. These beautiful snowflake charms make great necklaces and earrings and give you a great accessory to take you from November all the way through February! They would be a wonderful addition for anyone who is having a winter/snowflake themed wedding.

Click here to check out the details of my Snowflake Charm Necklace.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Organizing my Office Space with Yard Sale Finds

My hubby and I are thrilled to finally live in town and love getting up on a Saturday morning to wander the Farmer's Market and yard sales in the area. Here are a couple of finds that we have used for my office space and I'm SO in love with them! The first is an old mail holder. I love how it has oodles of slots and I've decided to use it to store all my jewellery cards, customs forms, business cards and anything else of that sort. Now I just have to finish getting it loaded up! Cost: $5

Almost everyone I know (or their mother) has had one of these at some point. The wooden shelf with a heart in it (this one happens to be a plate rail) but I love that it is both long and thin and perfect for displaying my product. At some point I'm going to put a dowel underneath to hold all of my ribbon (add it to the project list!) Cost: $1

Now all of my product and my packaging materials are within reach above my packing table and are no longer taking up valuable space ON TOP of the table!

What are some of your favourite tips for organizing your office space/studio/craft room?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Custom Order for the Golf League

These fabulous zipper pulls are heading out to be gifts for a golf league. They easily clip onto a golf bag (or purse or backpack in off season) and are topped off with beautiful striped oval beads. Such a fun order to create!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My preparations for the holiday shopping season: Week 1

I can hardly believe it but I have already begun holiday preparations for the upcoming season! Over the next four weeks I'm hoping to have my wheels in motion and be prepared for a stress free and hopefully busy season. Week One: Order supplies...alot of supplies! I just finished a big charm order, am getting stocked up on chain and findings and other creating goodies as well as bags for packaging. This week I also hope to order another case of envelopes and get some new colours of cardstock for making product cards. With everything on its way I guess I'd better make Week Two organize my studio/office space! Stay tuned to see how that works out!

How are you getting your handmade business ready for the holiday season? What do you expect this year to bring?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Custom Order for some talented horse lovers!

I was so excited to create this special order for a wonderful group of hardworking riders in Junior Showmanship (they just don't know it yet!) It's always such a pleasure to work with a repeat customer on something near and dear to their hearts. Have I said how much I ♥ my job!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Local Event: FREE Craft Party

Craft Party is a global celebration of meeting and making. It’s a time to get to know your neighbors and exercise your creative spirit. Craft Parties take place around the world when communities come together to participate in art, craft, design and DIY in every form.

Etsy and special sponsor, Michaels, will provide a box of craft supplies to every party with at least 25 participants that have signed up by August 12th. The more people who sign up for the party, the more generous the box of supplies! This years theme is Wish You Were Here.

When: Saturday August 25th at 2pm
Where: Crow In White Creative Studio 130 Kent St. W. Lindsay
This is a FREE EVENT, just pre-register and then bring your creative ideas and desire to have a great time the day of the event!

Friday, July 27, 2012

9 Big Businesses That Began in College

There's a fun post over at that will test some of your trivia knowledge. I knew a couple but others were a surprise to me. Check out  9 Big Businesses That Began in College and let me know how many you knew!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Save at Delmar Creations Etsy Shop!

If you love crochet and you love handmade and have yet to stop by the fabulous online shop of Delmar Creations, here's your chance!

Delmar Creations is running a sale in her Etsy shop from July 23rd to Tuesday, July 31st, 2012.  You will receive a 10% discount off your purchase (excluding shipping) when you enter the Coupon Code LASTWEEKOFJULY10 at checkout.

Here is your chance to get yourself a “Delmar Creation”!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Canadian Bloggers: Swagbucks wants YOU!

Search & Win
Swagbucks is looking to add overseas bloggers and that means YOU! I've greatly enjoyed my experience as a Swagbucks blogger thus far, sharing new promotions and contests, gaining new referrals, offering tips for earning more bucks, special Swagbucks bloggers surveys and chances to win some fun prizes!

If you are a Canadian blogger and would like to join the Swagbucks blogger team simply email with the Subject Line "Intl Blogger referred by KAWARTHABEADS" - make sure you include your location and the URL of your blog, Facebook Page or YouTube channel (or all of the above). If you are approved you will be contacted by Swagbucks within 24 hours.

STILL not a member of Swagbucks? Get started earning gift cards, paypal cash and more today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Music Theme Wedding Shower Favors in Tiffany Blue

I just finished these fabulous music themed wedding shower favors in pretty tiffany blue! Do you know someone who needs favors for an upcoming wedding, shower or birthday party? I hope you will mention Kawartha Beads, I would be honoured to work with them on creating the perfect piece for their special occasion!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Check it out! I'm Today's Featured Entrepreneur!

I'm thrilled to be featured as today's entrepreneur on InRDream. I hope you'll stop by and take the time to find out more about me and my business AND there is a super special coupon code for my Etsy shop within the post!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lindsay LipDub

On May 31st thousands (about 9300) of people gathered in my hometown of Lindsay, Ontario, Canada to take part in the World's Largest and Canada's FIRST City LipDub. For those who aren't familiar with the concept it is a video shot in ONE continuous shot and it brought young and old, locals and visitors and tons of smiling faces together in an incredible achievement. The day finished with the Concert for Change featuring Hedley, which I had the pleasure of attending with my amazing nephew!

Check out the Lindsay LipDub here 
and for more on the journey behind the scenes click here.

Congratulations to organizers and the community on coming together for a job well done!

Your Wedding Colours: Tiffany Blue

Thanks Jennifer of Little Jenny Wren for this week's wedding colour suggestion: Tiffany Blue. I would love some more suggestions for next week's treasury, feel free to leave them in a comment below or on my Facebook Page. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Your Wedding Colours: Coral

Thanks so much to beautiful bride to be Sarah for this week's colour suggestion: Coral. Congratulations on your engagement and I hope you find some inspiration here for your special day! Stay tuned next week for Tiffany Blue!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bulk and Wholesale NOW AVAILABLE

I am pleased to announce that I am now offering bulk and wholesale options on most of the products in my Etsy shop. These fun and affordable charm creations including keyrings, bookmarks, earrings and necklaces make for fantastic wedding favors, bridal or baby shower favors, birthday parties, or buy wholesale and sell them in your own retail shop. Charms that are currently available are
*Ships Wheel
*Music Note
Additional charms are constantly being added and if you see a charm in my shop that is not listed here feel free to contact me, it may just be that I have a limited stock or need to reorder them. I am happy to work with you to create the perfect collection! Click here to check out some of the options currently available.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

FREE EBOOK: 101 Ways to Recycle Everyday Household Items

I'm always looking for new crafty ideas, not just for business and for gifts but also for everyday life. Get those creative juices flowing with this FREE Kindle edition of 101 Ways to Recycle Everyday Household Items.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download this software for free (only works on a PC). This will enable you to read Kindle books on your computer.

Keep in mind that this book is $0.00 right now, but the price could change at any time.

Monday, June 11, 2012

9 Tips for Opening Your Own Etsy Store

Are you a handmade artisan ready to take the Etsy plunge? The popularity of Etsy continues to grow and there are a ton of resources for those aspiring to open their own store. Online Business Degree just recently posted a blog article to help get you started called 9 Tips for Opening Your Own Etsy Store with tidbits on everything from choosing a name to photography to promotion and more.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Treasury: Your Wedding Colours

Welcome to a new weekly Kawartha Beads feature entitled Your Wedding Colours. Each week (through the end of Sept) I will create a treasury in some of the most popular wedding colours this season. First up: Dark Purple and Light Grey!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

5 Links Worth Reading for your Crafty Business

I'll be enjoying a fun filled day with my boys and my sister today so I'll have to let the creative juices percolate until tomorrow! In the meantime here are some links worth reading for your crafty business:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A treasury inspired by Kawartha Beads!

I'm so honoured to have inspired this lovely treasury by Paula of OMGILoveYourJewelry! How are you going to celebrate Canada Day this year?

Monday, May 28, 2012

FREE postings of sales, promo's and coupon codes

 If you are a handmade business or Etsy shop owner I am also happy to post your sale, promo or coupon code on my crafty blog Kawartha Beads! You will also receive a bonus listing, also for FREE, on my deals/money saving blog Kawartha Bargains.

All you have to do is send details of your sale or promotion (don't forget to include start and end dates) and a picture if you have one to kawarthabeads(at)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wee Piggies & Paws Business Opportunity

Know of a Mom from the
Lindsay area
 who wants to work from home
 creating unique
 Baby impressions?

 Wee Piggies & Paws is looking for a Franchisee to purchase and maintain the Lindsay location.

Wee Piggies & Paws™ is a nationally recognized brand of personalized,
one-of-a-kind custom-framed Shadowboxes of children's hands or feet castings or impressions.
It is the market leader in baby memorabilia in Canada and
one of the fastest-growing home-based Franchises in Canada.
For inquiries of becoming your own boss,
contact Sherri-Lyn for more details.
Tel:  705-786-7968

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Etsy Treasury: Pinch a Penny

The past couple of weeks have had me sharing the quest to "Save $1000 This Year" blog series on my deals blog Kawartha Bargains. Today I wanted to combine my love of handmade with my love for money saving and created this fun and funky treasury. Enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY TEN: Advertising

Welcome to the final day of my "Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop" series. If you have missed any of the previous posts you can catch up here. I hope that over the course of the series you have had a chance to think about what direction you would like to take your shop in, I know I sure have, and it has given me lots of things to work on to achieve that goal. The final topic that I wanted to touch on was advertising and promoting your Etsy shop.

Project Wonderful: Project Wonderful is a great way to start to advertise your business with many FREE options available. You create your chosen size of ad (I find that square is most popular amongst handmade blogs) and then search for blogs to place your ad on. You can refine your search terms to include an amount between $0-$0 and all of the free spots will appear. It is a good way to start to get your name and/or brand out there for people to start to recognize. Often people will need to see an ad 10x or more before it even registers so frequency is key. If you want you can add some money to your project wonderful account and create an ad campaign for your budget. As a side note whatever image you are currently using for your Etsy avatar is usually a good size for a square ad.

Blog Features: Having your story and your products featured on a blog can be a great way to connect with potential customers. Often this is a much more personal experience with bloggers posting an interview and pictures of your product and most handmade bloggers will do this for FREE. Some blogs require you to do a giveaway to their readers but this is a personal choice that you will have to make.

Purchasing Ad Space: There are a ton paid options to suit every budget from buying ad space directly from blogs to Craftcult to google ads and Facebook ads. It is not NECESSARY for you to purchase ad space but is something to think about when you are looking to take your business to the next level. Currently I only have experience with purchasing ad space directly from bloggers and through Craftcult. With regards to blog advertising I suggest looking not just for handmade bloggers but perhaps a specialty blog that is in line with your products. For example if you make facecloths and scrubbies perhaps try looking for a site that focus's on spa and/or beauty tips. If you make pillows look for a home decor site. I have found that sidebar ads work best on Craftcult and it brings in a lot of traffic. While the site is geared towards Etsy shop owners don't forget that these are potential customers as well. It is a bit more of a financial commitment though.

Ready to give advertising a try? As a special thanks to all of those who have followed along in the series I am giving away a ONE month sidebar ad on both Kawartha Beads and Kawartha Bargains, along with a blog interview about your business. You do NOT need to have an Etsy shop to enter the giveaway, just a family friendly small business. Good luck! 
Giveaway ends May 28/12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY NINE: Make Something New

I hope that everyone is having a productive week getting in touch with your Etsy Shop! If you have missed any of the post's in this series you can catch up here.

After working hard all week on the nitty gritty of our shops its time to get back to being creative! Today's topic is Make Something New! As I have discussed in several other posts I found that once I cleared the 140ish listing mark I saw a drastic rise in the frequency of my sales. My attempts to reach and maintain 175 listings (my own personal "magic number") seem to be a constant battle but introducing new and fresh items keeps return buyers interested and helps to bring new buyers in. I've been planning on adding more charm bracelets for months so I sat down and got to work. Here is my newest creation, perfect for summer! So tear yourself away from the computer and go and MAKE SOMETHING NEW TODAY!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY EIGHT: Tagging Your Items

Welcome to Day Eight in the Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop series. If you have missed any of the previous posts you can catch up here.

I thought that tagging deserved its own post. While it seems easy....Etsy gives you 13 tags to use to describe your item...I find it a bit more complicated than that. I can never seem to find enough tags and I'm certainly always afraid that I am breaking the tagging rules. However, it is the way for people to FIND your items so it is certainly something I want to focus more on.

If you go to your Etsy shop stats and scroll down you will find a list of keywords that people have used in search and found your shop. I have begun to review these frequently and to find out if I have these keywords in all of my listings. Here's my example for you: When I create a listing for a charm necklace in Etsy there is an option to choose Jewelry>Necklace>Charm for a category. Since I had already chosen this option when I created the listing I didn't think I needed to use it again in my tags. However, unless a potential customer uses the categories and clicks on Jewelery then Necklace then Charm my item my not show up. I think that alot of people use the search function and actually type in what they are looking for so I've begun to add "charm necklace" as a tag and if my shop stat keywords are any indication...its a good thing I did! You can also start to type in the search bar and it will provide you with a drop down menu of suggested searches. If you are stuck these can sometimes be a good idea booster, plus they are recent searches by actual customers so it gives you an insight into HOW THE BUYER searches for items.

Here are some other questions to ask that can give you some tag ideas:
  • what is it?
  • what colour is it? Not just "blue" is it denim blue? navy blue? royal blue?
  • is there a special technique that you used in it?
  • types of materials
  • who will be using it-not just man or woman...teacher, artist, crafter, sewer, painter, bride, bridesmaid
  • does it fit with a particular time era?
  • themes/motifs
  • patterns
  • is there a size?
  • where will the item be used? garden, kitchen, bathroom, etc
  • is there a synonym? babies-infants, handbag-purse
  • consider adding your shop name to a couple of listings
  • consider adding your country or location to a couple of listings
***Todays assignment:  Take some time to review 5 shop listings. Are there any tags that you can be adding? Need some help? Feel free to post a comment below or on my Facebook Page and lets see if we can help each other out!***

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY SEVEN: Shop Review Part 2

We have almost completed our 10 day journey to Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop. If you have missed any posts you can catch up here.

Yesterday we examined the overall appearance of your shop so today I wanted to focus on the actual listing. A potential customer is browsing around your to get them to focus in!

Photos: As I mentioned in my Treasury post I'm not entirely happy with the current state of my photos but they are more in line with what I want then when my shop began. The type of background can be an important factor both in highlighting your item that is for sale AND for helping to create a mood within your shop. I've experimented with different colours and patterns of paper as well as props. The camera angle and type of lighting are also factors to consider and of course crispness and clarity. As for photo editing programs since Picnik has been absorbed by Google I have been using

Item Description: There are some sellers who have a knack for storytelling and have the most interesting stories that they incorporate into their item descriptions. I have a more straightforward approach myself although I think that is more in correlation with the amount of time I have. Be sure to include colours and measurements in your description as well as any other relevant info. I have begun to add a link back to my shop in case someone has discovered me through search or google. I personally feel it encourages customers to further browse my items. There is a great Etsy blog article for those who want to further develop their Item Descriptions which you can check out here.

***Today's assignment: Are your pictures/descriptions all that they could be (I know that mine sure aren't)? Rewrite even one description or retake one picture to see what kind of an impact it can have on your shop.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Getting in Touch With Your Etsy Shop: DAY SIX: Shop Review Part 1

I hope that everyone had an amazing weekend. The weather was beautiful so I'm not going to workspace organization did not even begin (except in my head!) but I guess having a plan is the first step. If you missed last week's post's you can catch up here.

Today begins the first of two parts where I wanted to examine our Etsy shops. When a customer visits your Etsy shop for the first time you never know what is going to grab their attention. There are, however, a couple of things that we, as shop owners, can do to make sure they stay and visit for awhile.

Shop banner: My shop banner has gone through a makeover a couple of times and I also have seasonal ones to help shoppers get in the spirit! I'm not saying that this is necessary for your shop but I do think that having a banner is important and it can be a great tool in setting the overall tone for your shop. Since I feel that my products are "collectables" for those who have a particular passion or profession I wanted my banner to somehow reflect this. I hope that the shabby/chic sort of perisian design help to translate this. What tone/message are you trying to reflect?

Shop announcement: I think that it is important to put something here although there is great debate as to how much. Some believe in a simple message, some great detail, for me its somewhere in between.

Profile: Having a completed and up to date profile allows customers to relate to you on a personal level. Part of the experience of buying handmade is knowing a bit about the story/artisan behind the work to give the buyer an extra connection to the piece they are purchasing. There was something that circulated on Facebook recently that I thought was a perfect reflection of this point:

Policies: It is important for buyers to know how things work and that they have options and information when purchasing. They want to know how things are shipped, how long it will take and what will happen if they aren't satisfied or run into a problem.  Make sure you can answer these questions for them.

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY FIVE: Your Workspace

Welcome to Day Five in my blog series "Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop". If you missed anything we have covered so far you can catch up here.

Today I wanted to talk about workspace. When we first moved into our new home I was so excited to have a dedicated space for my creative work. But of course life gets busy and my once organized space now looks like this!
 Regardless of whether you have a whole room, a corner of a room or just a box of supplies, it is important to try and stay organized. If you spend extra time looking for product and shipping supplies, searching through inventory and asking "where did I put that darn camera?" it can be both creatively stiffling and lead to mistakes.

I was also surprised when I set up for my mini open house yesterday that I didn't have as much physical product as I had thought. I keep everything stored away in plastic containers until a show or an order so while I maintain an inventory on paper VISUALLY seeing it all laid out made a big difference for me. As I begin to make multiples of popular items I need to figure out a way to organize and visually display my inventory within my workspace (SUGGESTIONS WELCOMED!) Being able to find a way to organize your inventory and your workspace will save you time (and perhaps money by not buying new items that you just couldn't find) and allow you to devote more energy to both your creative projects and your Etsy shop.

***Todays assignment: Spend 10 minutes organizing your space (I am going to spend 10mins/day for the remainder of the series...lets see how it looks by next Friday!)***

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY FOUR: Make a Trade

Welcome to Day Four in the Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop series! In case you missed the first few days you can catch up here

Still waiting on your first sale? Been awhile since your last sale? Looking to grow your sales numbers? Considering doing a trade might be your solution. Instead of purchasing an item with cash you are trading your goods (or items from your shop) with theirs. Here are some of the benefits that I found through my trade experiences:

*Someone who may not have otherwise stumbled on my shop is exposed to my products. A trade can turn into repeat business as well and your new customer may share their new goodie from your shop with their friends, thus in turn sending more people your way.
*It helps to increase your number of sales. If you are still waiting on your first sale this is a good way to get the ball rolling. It may surprise you to know that my first 12 sales on Etsy were actually trades but this helped to grow my sales number and create a good feedback score. New customers coming to my shop saw that I had sales and felt more comfortable purchasing from me.
*If you have yet to make your first sale it familiarizes you with the checkout process
*It gives you something to relist

*It is a way to see what items people are drawn to in your shop (by what they choose to trade your for)
 *It is a chance to treat youself to something 
*It is a chance to practice/ work with your packaging
*You are able to give and receive feedback

For new sellers especially I think that trades are an excellent way to practice and refine your online selling experience. It is important to know how the process works so you can assist a customer if they need it and when those orders start rolling in you will have an idea of what to do. And of course you get to choose something wonderful to enjoy as well! There are plenty of trade friendly shops on Etsy which you can find through searching "trade" and "tradeaholics". Do remember that it is also ok to say NO to a trade but always be sure to answer an inquiry.

Have you had any experiences with trades on Etsy? What are some of your favourite things to trade for?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY THREE: Treasuries

Welcome to Day Three in my blog series "Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop". If you missed my previous posts you can catch up here. Today I thought it might be fun to get those creative juices flowing again by taking a peek at Etsy Treasuries!

While being featured in a treasury that makes it to the front page is a dream of mine (and I'm sure many other Etsy shop owners) Etsy treasuries can serve several other purposes.

First, they are a great way to expose your shop to other shops. I know that I always take time to explore the shops of those who feature me in their treasuries and I've found many new fav's this way. Secondly, both admiring and creating Etsy treasuries is a great way to keep in touch with Etsy trends such as those mentioned in the Etsy Merchandising Desk. Click here to check out the May 2012 edition. Keeping abreast of new and frequent trends can give you an indication of what's selling on Etsy, what customers are looking for and perhaps give you new creative inspiration. I like to keep in mind the trends for the month when creating a treasury as it is more likely to be featured if it fits a theme that Etsy is looking for. Last but not least, creating treasuries gave me an unexpected insight into my own shop. In my quest to create a treasury that was front page worthy I realized something....that my own product photos were NOT front page worthy! Creating treasuries has allowed me to realize what types of shots, angels and backgrounds catch my immediate attention. I do not want to copy anyone's photos but it has given me pause to think about my own. I have been spending some time revamping my product photography and must admit I'm still not happy with it but at least I am AWARE (but alas photography could be a whole series on its own!!!) Of course I couldn't talk about treasuries without sharing one with you! Thanks so much to Amanda of Beautypops for the colour suggestion!

***Today's assignment*** If you have time today grab a cup of coffee and enjoy creating an Etsy treasury. I hope you will post a link to your treasury below so we can all take a peek!***

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Getting In Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY TWO: Social Networking

Welcome to Day Two of Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop. If you missed Day One: The Plan you can catch up here!

In today's technological world social networking can be a useful tool in growing any kind of business. Whether you choose Pintrest, Twitter, Facebook or blogging you are connecting with people worldwide and sharing not only your products but things you love, your creative process and inspirations.

Regardless of which avenue you choose it is important to A) Enjoy that form-if you don't enjoy posting your readers will know it and B) post frequently. If you have a blog or a Facebook page but only post on occasion your followers will stop checking in. Become an active participant in whatever social networking site you feel suits you best.

Today I wanted to specifically address Facebook. I will admit that for a LONG time I fought the creation of my Facebook Fan Page. That being said, creating a fanpage and actively participating with my followers has been fantastic. I feel as though I have gained insight into my followers and that makes me a better designer, being more in tune with what my customers are looking for and I continue to find it inspiring and rewarding to be directly interacting with those who are my fans (so THANK YOU!)

One of my recent experiences on Facebook has been to participate in a couple of networking ladders. Basically, here's how a ladder works- the hosting page begins the ladder. You LIKE the hosting page then add your own Facebook page in a comment under the ladder. The next person to join the ladder LIKES all of the pages above their own and so on. So how does this help YOU? Gaining new LIKES helps you to connect with potential customers, network with fellow business people and artists AND generate interest in your business/page. I know when I stumble upon a business page with a lot of LIKES my own interest is perked and I too want to hop on the band wagon and know more about that page/business (do we hear a psychology lesson approaching!) So I figured lets see if a networking ladder would work for us...head on over to my Facebook Page and join in today's networking ladder! Great for ALL businesses not just Etsy shops.

***Today's Assignment***Post something on your Facebook wall (or twitter, blog, etc) EVERY DAY for the remainder of this series. It could be a new product, something you like, something you are thinking about, something you are in the process of making, anything!Feel free to add a link to your Facebook Page, blog, or twitter in a comment below. What do you find works best for you?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY ONE: The Plan

For some of us our Etsy shops started as a hobby or a way to destash some of our extra goodies. For others we dove in intending to make a fortune and retire to the Bahamas. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. But how many of us actually went in with A PLAN? (if you did good for you!)

Business plans come in many different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of great resources for creating an in depth business plan, or if you are more like me, than answering a few questions can give you some great direction. Also setting monthly goals/plans can be an important tool for keeping organized and monitoring growth, seeing what may or may not have worked and developing a strategy for long term. Since I began writing my month round ups I have found that I am much more focused on what I am trying to achieve every month. Here's a peek at my April Round Up post if you aren't familiar with them.

Now back to the long term plans. When I began my Etsy journey I was in partnership with my mom at Bijoux Designs For You. Initially I just enjoyed the time that it gave us together and the common ground to bond over. Making a couple of extra dollars was just a bonus. As our creative sides took different directions I branched out on my own in 2010 and began Kawartha Beads. It was at this point that I hoped that by the time I had my second child that I would be able to make enough of an income to cover my own personal bills and the groceries. And that was the plan....period.

Now here are the questions that I have since asked myself (and my answers) to help grow and further my business. For the record my second child just turned one and I feel comfortable enough with my business growth now that I officially call it my job!
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your Etsy shop creatively (your focus)? Kawartha Beads will offer affordable handmade necklaces, earrings, bookmarks and keyrings with a charm theme to the overall shop.
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your Etsy shop financially? This is not just a hobby for me. I am looking to make more than just money to buy more supplies or things I want from Etsy. By the time my second child goes to kindergarten I want to be earning an amount at least equal to a full time minimum wage job (NET).
  • How am I going to accomplish this? While growing my business in the online community I am also trying to be heavily involved in the local handmade/craft scene. I have joined a wonderful group of artisans to help grow our business/spread the word, I am active in several local Facebook groups and have done several local events (and will continue to do so) to share my business with the community. In order to achieve my financial goals I am also eventually looking into displaying in some stores/boutiques and perhaps wholesaling.
  • How many listing would you like to have in your shop? How many can you comfortably maintain? This is a tough one. For me personally I notice a big difference in sales now that I have reached 140+ listings. My current goal is to reach 175 listings and maintain that number. With two little kids at home I am finding that this is all I can comfortably manage at this point. In the fall when my oldest goes to school and with the holidays approaching I am hoping to be able to carry 250 items. I will need to review this point post-holidays.
  • How are you going to spread the word? (aka marketing and promotion) Maintain a large amount of listings on Etsy, create Etsy treasuries, blog, facebook, twitter, have a local presence by joining a craft group, doing some local events (mom to mom sale, Early Years Centre, craft shows), approach some blogs about featuring Kawartha Beads, word of mouth.
This is just a very basic set of questions, but once you really sit down and start to think about them (and others) it helps to focus yourself and decide where your direction is going. As I mentioned earlier I also find sitting down at the beginning of the month to break things down into smaller goals has helped me immensely. 

***Today's Assignment*** Try and take some time to sit down and answer some of the above questions. I hope you will come and share with us here where you are headed with your business.

Join me tomorrow for Day Two: Social Networking

Friday, May 4, 2012

10 Days to Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has scoured blogs and online guides, creeped the competitions shop and down right prayed to the Etsy gods for a front page appearance...or heck even a sale! I wish I had a magic formula to Etsy success but the potion seems to be a tricky one to mix!

I have, however, learned a lot along the way and I wanted to share/challenge you to join me over the course of the next 10 days to "Get in Touch with Your Etsy Shop". Perhaps you have lost focus (or maybe never had it). Maybe you are in need of some inspiration or a bit of motivation or maybe you just want to know where to go next. Over the next 10 days I will examine my own Etsy shop along with you and share what I've learned (and some of the mistakes I've made along the way). Hopefully when all is said and done both you AND I will feel back in tune with our creative endeavors and redirected towards success! Even if you don't have an Etsy shop many of the topics can translate to any small business.

Topics to be covered will include business planning, treasuries, shop critiques, social networking, trades, getting a blog feature, a creative boost, advertising/marketing/networking, and workspace organization. Are there any other topics that you would like to see covered?

Join me for Day One: The Plan on Monday!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

6 FREE Products from Vistaprint (shipping extra)

Here's a great offer from Vistaprint for any small business! Currently Vistaprint has 6 free products available that you can utilize to grow and market your business. They include:
  • 250 free business cards
  • Free rubber stamp
  • Free tote bags
  • 4” x 6” photo flip books
  • Free t-shirt
  • Free sticky notes
Shipping is an additional charge.  Click here to shop online at Vistaprint!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Round Up

I can't believe that it is May already! Where did the month go?! In case you missed it here was what I was hoping to accomplish for the month of April.

I had a wonderful time at the Mom to Mom sale and was thrilled to meet many new fans. Shannon of Baby Bum Cakes did an outstanding job organizing the show and the Easter Egg Hunt.  Later that month I had the pleasure of exhibiting for a wonderful group of ladies at the bookclub jewellery party. In attendance was even the owner/designer behind Moxy&Toots fresh from the One of a Kind Show in Toronto so it was wonderful to hear about her adventure. The hostess with the mostess Little Jenny Wren was also a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. I did not, however, get my travelling jewellery bucket back out in time for Mother's Day. I decided that I needed to sort out my stock and do a good inventory before tackling the month ahead.

What's up for May?
  • I am currently working on some custom orders for Mother's Day! Thanks to everyone who has thought of Kawartha Beads for their Mother's Day gift giving. Stay tuned to my Facebook Page to see these creations.
  • I have been working on a blog series (still nameless) focusing on a 10 Day Etsy Shop/Business Boot Camp. Hope you will join me next week!
  • I have oodles of wonderful new charms to work to find the time! I did not hit my 175 items for the month of April so I'm hoping to for the month of May. 
  • Work with the Kawartha Lakes Artisan Collective to start planning our first craft show in the fall!

Total number of sales for April 2012: 22 on Etsy plus lots of offline orders (thankyou!)
Total number of sales for April 2011: 5
What's on your agenda for the month of May?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Mother's Day Wishlist

Here are some of the items from my wishlist. If you happen to know my hubby please feel free to send him in this direction!
I just love this Khaki and Cream Shoulder Bag/Purse from PWOriginals. It has enough room for a couple of diapers and some wipes, my wallet, coupon organizer, snacks, keys, drinks AND its beautiful! This would certainly be a bit of a splurge for me but would be well used!

I have wanted this fun Scissor Craft Shirt from theboldbanana for as long as I can remember!

This Retro Tea/Coffee Print from handz would certainly bring a smile to my face when getting the coffee going at sometimes VERY early hours of the day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Team Abnegation $100 Giveaway

Harry Potter - Twilight - The Hunger Games 

What is the next big thing?

Divergent by Veronica Roth!
All throughout the month of April fans of Veronica Roth's Divergent series are promoting the upcoming release of her book Insurgent through various contests, group efforts, and more!

If you have never heard of the Divergent Series you are missing out.

Learn more about the series on the Publisher's Website.

This $100 Amazon Gift Code Giveaway was organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and is brought to you by a large group of Bloggers who are showing their support for the Faction Abnegation by posting this giveaway on their blog.
All entries are done via the Rafflecopter Form. (Yes I know it is ridiculously long. We had a lot of people sign up to support Team Abnegation! There is a +25 Clicking Bonus if you make it all the way through the rafflecopter and follow & like everyone). 

Open to anyone 18 or older who can legally receive and use an Amazon Gift Card Code. The Rafflecopter accepts entries from 12:01 AM on April 18th to 11:59 PM on April 30th. 
Enter daily to better your chances of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Treasury Inclusion:Thank You for my Wings Mom

I am honoured to be included in this beautiful treasury! Don't forget that Mother's Day will be here shortly and to pay tribute to all of the wonderful moms out there!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

5 Links Worth Reading for Your Crafty Business

I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger this week! Been busy and crazy (and totally fun) so now that things have calmed down a bit I have a great lineup for you coming up this week. In the meantime grab a coffee and check out some of these great links this week:

Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Links Worth Reading for Your Crafty Business

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Thanks to everyone who came and visited me at the Lindsay Mom2Mom Sale, its always great to put names to faces. If you are lucky enough to have today off as well here are some fabulous links worth checking out: