Posts from the “Etsy Shop” Category

Busy with buttons

Posted on 22 January, 2015

You’ll never get rich with buttons is a phrase that I’m sure somebody has said once.  Nevertheless it’s  vintage buttons that I have been spending my time with. As I’ve mentioned before I have stopped buying things for the shop until I manage to list everything I have. This means figuring out how best to list, manage and post some of the heavier, delicate or glass items I’ve brought into the house with the intention of selling.

The reality is that somethings become so costly to ship safely that not only would it be difficult to do but no one would be willing to pay the cost. So I have taken the advice given to me by some of the readers of the blog and followers of the shop and focused on the smaller items that would be easier to ship.

I’m aiming to have my collection of vintage buttons, packaged and ready to go. I realise that the button market isn’t a huge money spinner but right now I’m just experimenting with the shop and trying to see what I can do to change how the shop works to make it more managable. Plus in January no one has a lot of money to go around so buttons would make a nice treat without breaking the bank!  To present the buttons I’ve been getting busy making custom made cards.IMG_9223 less mb

 

 And these are the results.

IMG_9240IMG_9283 I’m pleased with how they look. Some are already listed in the shop with more to come. So if you have a boring cardi that needs a lift or a craft project on the go then be sure to pop over and have a look. With leather, glass, metal, plastic offerings there is (or will be) something for everyone’s taste.IMG_9270

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 What do you think?

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Etsy Madness

Posted on 30 November, 2014

Things were quiet  on the blog this week because over in the shop things have gone bananas!! Properly, bananas!

First, there was a run of orders….

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I thought to myself that was great but that’ll be it for the week now. Then, more orders flooded in.

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Just when I thought I was finished, you guessed it, more orders arrived over night.

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I realise shops get busier over Christmas but I didn’t think mine would get that busy. Especially because everything seemed to have ground to a halt for a while. I have no idea what has changed but it has been amazingly busy. Thank you to everyone who has bought something or  visited the shop to have a look and thank you to everyone who gave me words of encouragement when it wasn’t going so well!

After all that wrapping and packing I’m excited for all these pieces to reach their new homes! Long live vintage!!

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Busy on Etsy

Posted on 17 November, 2014

At the weekend I put the head down and started doing some work in the shop. It felt really  good to tackle my to-do list. I’m still not close to having everything listed in the shop but I am certainly an incy bit closer than I was this time last week and that feels really good.

The shop is now filled with everything from 1930’s snack sets, to a cosy house , to the very latest Arklow Pottery installment!

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I have also had a few trips to the post office to say goodbye to a few vintage treasures so pop over to the shop to see if your favourites are still there!

 

Etsy lows

Posted on 20 October, 2014

 

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Like many things in life when all is well you don’t question it. So when my Etsy shop was doing really well I went with it. I added items to the shop, I bought like vintage was going out of fashion. I wrapped, packed and ran to the post office.

But when I did some maths I realised that the effort that goes into it hasn’t yet resulted in any profit. This gave me quiet the kick in the teeth. I felt that because I was busy I must be in profit. When I added up the price of boxes, packaging materials, business cards, under priced postage, the trip to Berlin to find treasures, Etsy costs, Paypal costs, Facebook promotion ( I will never do that again!), the cost of the items themselves, it just doesn’t add up. I had some big expenses that didn’t pay off. For example, early on I was eager and I had postcards made of a photograph I had taken. They turned out to be a mistake. I love them but there is no market for them (or none on Etsy anyway). Although my mum did buy some! Thanks Mum.

On November the 11th the shop will be open a year and so far it doesn’t look like I am going to break even. I had never hoped to be in profit in the first year but I had hoped, and even presumed, that I wouldn’t be at a loss. that was until I sat down and did the maths.

So to try and get things in order before November I put some of the prices up. Unfortunately everything then grounded to a halt. Sales stopped, I went for 14 days without selling anything. I even thought the shop might be broken! Even the numbers of people viewing items dropped.  Instead of continuing to list new items I stopped too.

After a month of thinking what am I going to do in the future with the shop  I am still no closer to a decision but I have decided one thing.

I really believe that you get out of things what you put into it and for a few weeks I had given up. I didn’t want to check the statistics of the shop, I definitely didn’t want to list items, I didn’t want to know anything about it. Well, it turns out that just made me feel worse about it so now I’ve moved to Plan B.

Plan B is to put more effort into the shop. The first part of this is to keep listing new items. My shelves are lined with things that I haven’t listed in the shop so EVERYTHING is going up. I know you’ve heard that before but this time I’ve used block capitals so this is now super serious!

If I’m still at a loss by the end of 2014 then I will think again but at least I will know that I have really tried. So keep your eyes peeled on the shop because I have got my serious game face on and things are going to get real around here! Urrgghhh!!!

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(Well, maybe not too serious!)

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A corner office

Posted on 18 August, 2014

Since I’ve opened the Etsy shop I’ve been a bit of a shop keeping  hobo. The typewriter lives in one press, the boxes for packaging in the upstairs hallway, the bubble wrap under the bench in the kitchen. Well not any more. I shoved my sewing machine over and claimed the rest of the desk in the spare room as my office.

I started by buying two wall boxes and painted them with left over tester paints. Before Ewan was born we considered nearly every colour for the baby’s room. We were convinced we were decorating for a girl! As a result of our colour experiments we have lots and lots of paint tester pots which get put to use every now and again.

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Once the wall boxes were drying I decided to tackle what I was going to do with the postage forms, custom declaration stickers and general bits and bobs. To manage these I used all my DIY skills and cut up a cereal box and covered it with glue and paper. Voila! It’s not the sturdiest thing you’ve ever seen but it does the job nicely.

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That all was pretty quick but deciding what looked better in which book involved much more thought and faffing about.

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The end result is I’m thrilled, I have my own corner office (well, in the corner of the spare bedroom at least) and I love it:)

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Bad shop keeper

Posted on 14 August, 2014

Tonight was meant to be  “sit down and do some shop maintenance” time.  That has since been abandoned.

See the problem with the shop is that people buy things and then all of a sudden it starts to look empty. The truth is our hallway is full of stuff that is waiting to be in the shop.  But it has come to light that the shop doesn’t seem to be able to manage itself. This is an Etsy design flaw clearly:)

Instead of uploading items tonight I’ve opted for uploading one item to relieve the guilt somewhat and comfort eating with crisps. I’m generally not so lethargic but today has been trying and an evening of nothing too taxing is called for. So instead I’ve browsed my shop which is fun and I don’t really do that often.  In doing so I’ve noticed that I definitely have a red thing going on. I’m a fan of red I just never realised how much that influences what I buy for the shop.

You have to admit it’s pretty damn cheery though!

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While tonight calls for crisps and tea (not together I haven’t lost my mind entirely) I have plenty of items, photographed, measured and weighed ready for uploading super soon so stay tuned.

 

Etsy 101

Posted on 22 June, 2014

The shop has been busier than normal. I’m not sure why I actually stopped advertising on Etsy a while ago so it doesn’t make sense to be busy now but I’m happy and delighted I stopped advertising!

More sales means a good kick up the behind for me to put more things in the shop!! So when the sun was out, Ewan was sleeping and the stars aligned to get things ready out I went.

So here is how I do it.

First step is cleaning, this can take ages to do right but it makes much more sense to spend my time doing this rather than photographing the item, putting everything away only to realise there was some blemish I hadn’t noticed and I would have to start all over again (I’m speaking from painstaking experience on that one!).

Once clean I get all the bits and bobs I need.

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-Baby monitor to make sure sleeping baby is still sleeping

-Camera

– Digital weighing scales

– Measuring tape

-My trusty note pad and pen. Here I take notes of how much I paid for the item, the measurements and the weight of items.

-Background card or material

-Tape to keep the background in place

-Light. Luckily, it was yet another sunny day today so nature provided. Without sunlight I have an elaborate series of lamps and it takes an eternity to make it look anyway natural.

The digital scales is brilliant and worth investing in if your starting an Etsy shop.  I need to know the weight of each item so I can price postage. Some people wrap and then pack each item before weighing it.

I don’t have that kind of patience so I weigh the item, I know the weight of the boxes that I use, I estimate the weight of the wrapping  and I price shipping based on the total weight of those added together.

I have got it wrong on a good few occasions and under charged for postage but when it hurts my pocket I learn pretty quickly and I mostly have it sorted now!

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Some people try and eliminate shadows and use board reflectors to bounce the light. I’m partially to an old shadow or two so I haven’t seen the need to buy one yet.

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Once everything is photographed I head to the laptop. Nap time is only so long so I aim to do about 2 or 3 items in one go. I crop the photos then upload them to Etsy.com. Here you categorize, sub categorize and sub sub categorize. Etsy like their drop down lists!

The longest bit of this for me is deciding the price.

I still struggle with pricing.  Etsy have lots of guidance on pricing including formulas but I’ve found none of it really works for me. So far I’m going by my gut and what I’ve paid for it. I reckon the longer I have the shop the more naturally this will come.

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Once I’ve uploaded, filled in all the details, paid the piper (Etsy) then that’s it. Job done!

These three items are my latest additions you can check them out here if you’d like.

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The blue lights on the baby monitor let me know it’s time for more truck fun so if you’ll excuse me I’ll be off. I hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes peek.

New Etsy obsession

Posted on 29 May, 2014

One distinct feature about having an Etsy shop is that you spend a lot of time on Etsy. Today I put up one new item in the shop and then spent an hour looking at vintage fisher price toys. I had such great plans for Ewan’s nap time but instead the colourful world of vintage toys sucked me in.

But in fairness when given a choice between looking at these or packing which would you pick?

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Where I found them: Music box, tv,cash register,record player.

I’ve decided I love all things fisher price after all they gave us the chair we christened “the magic chair” .The magic chair almost never failed to lull Ewan into a snooze and we loved it so dearly we even brought it on the ferry with us to Heir Island.

There was a time when I would have walked through flames just to save the magic chair.

Once it became cruel to squeeze him into the chair we invested in fisher price jumperoo. We got the magic chair for free so buying jumperoo came as a shock to the pockets but it was worth it. Hours of jumping fun were had but then again the time came when it seemed cruel to put him in it and I worried that he’d get dodgy baby knees if we kept using it.

Today I invested in yet another fisher price toy. This time a 1980’s tape recorder with 11 tapes. The next logical step from jumperoo I felt. It was the last of my Etsy voucher and I am so excited for it to arrive (I mean excited for Ewan of course!).

Do you have any vintage toy crushes?

Splurge

Posted on 14 April, 2014

Last Friday I met my previous work colleagues to say an official goodbye. Although I’m meeting them again soon socially this nevertheless marked the end of my time with them as a colleague. Today my P45, Cessation of Employment Form, arrived so it really is very official. I’m no longer an employee. I am now a stay at home mum.
For those of you that read the blog you’ll know that the decision wasn’t an easy one. If you missed the post about deciding to be a stay at home mum you can read it here.
So on Friday as I packed up my toasted sandwich maker, my pig cup, thank you cards,photos and name badge it felt weird but right. Strange to be leaving such an amazing group of work colleagues but right to be driving home to Ewan and Steve.
In proof of how amazing they are they got me a stunning bouquet and a very generous Etsy Voucher.
The Etsy voucher was the perfect present. Since I opened my shop on Etsy I have been extremely diligent not to buy anything. Etsy is full of beautiful things that people have made, found and restored and I have previously splashed some serious money there.
As an example in one sitting I spent a whoopin$565.95 USD on 5 vintage dresses!! I will admit that even by my standards this was shocking. I was fueled by pregnancy hormones and sat at the computer eating a toffee crisp thinking when I’m not pregnant I will need something pretty!
 
I digress let me distract you from that tale of excess by showing you pretty flowers again.
 
 
Now that I’m no longer gainfully employed, money is more precious and spending my hard earned Etsy shop profits ( I use that term loosely!) in another Etsy shops seems crazy.
 
So the voucher was a perfect opportunity to splurge once more guilt free. I have lots of things marked as  favourites but as I tried to click my way to buying I discovered that a lot of what I had book marked did not ship to Ireland 🙁
 
So I focused my efforts on Irish Etsy shops.
 
There are some beautiful Irish Etsy shops. I was particularly alarmed at how lovely the Irish Vintage shops are. Not only am I not the only show in town but these shops are so pretty, well presented and have stock I love.
 
Trying to remember that comparison is the killer of joy I kept looking and then got spending. Here is what I’ve bought so far…

Starting at the top I got this beautiful tea set from a great Dublin based vintage shop called Mungo and Midge.  I’ve decided it’ll be my “bad day, need a slice of  lemon cake and a pick me up” tea set!
Next up is my only non-Irish purchase from Rank and File a Minneapolis based shop.The shipping cost nearly as much as the cushion which is why I had dismissed it before but normal rules don’t apply when you’ve a voucher so now it’s all mine!

In the corner is a pretty leather bag from the Cork owned vintage clothes shop called Turquoise Flamingo. I also follow her blog diligently so it’s great to finally get a chance to buy something from her shop.

Next up is a beautiful print from Jokamin. I got lost in this shop. I was so excited to discover she is from Cork. Such pretty prints on my doorstep. I love them all and had a problem picking my favourite but this red haired beauty won out for me.

Last but not least is this little Carrigaline Jug from Galore Galore. The eagle-eyed among you might remember that I had the same jug in my shop. When it sold I missed it so much. So despite the fact that it makes no sense to buy an item from another vintage shop that I sold myself I’m leaving my head aside and claiming this little beauty all for myself.

Even with my splurging I’m still have only used half my voucher (I told you they were good colleagues!). I’m keeping the other half safe and staying alert ready for my next vintage must have!

How about you? Have you come across any Etsy shops that have stolen your heart recently? (Other than Thrifty Amos, obviously!)

 

Plans ahead

Posted on 19 March, 2014

So far I have spent my days thrifting and I have found all my stock close to home. It’s a slow but rewarding process. This is getting harder to do. The older Ewan gets the less he is inclined to be wheeled from shop to shop and I think that’s fair enough. When he was younger he would get the sleep he needed and I would go to every charity shop in walking distance in the process.

Now this just won’t work for us. I’m still using my Sunday mornings for car boot sales but I’ve decided to experiment further afield too. I’m going to where the streets are filled with vintage wonders (or at least that’s how I imagine it!) So if you are in Berlin this weekend you’ll find me prowling the markets for vintage home-ware treasures.

I’ll be leaving my two men behind and even though it’s only a weekend I know I’m going to miss them.
I have no idea if the trip will yield any good returns but I’m feeling adventurous and hopeful!

I have been so busy planning that I have forgotten to share with you some vintage successes from two car boot sales last weekend but in unprecedented fit of organisation they are in the shop already!

After talking about how I have been searching for Hornsea I then find this blue and white Hornsea beauty.

It turns out that Hornsea pottery is just like buses you wait and wait then two arrive at once.
Another unexpected find are these mushroom glasses.
 I had a set of these years ago! But between various house moves and being clumsy the disappeared over the years. They bought a smile to my face to see their bright cheeriness again.
When I look at the lovely vintage finds I have found here in Cork I wonder what Berlin will have to offer. Time will tell and I will share it all with you once I’m home.
In the mean time my little man has woken up so there’s a window for extra snuggle time. I need to stock up and much as I can before Friday.
If you’ve an Berlin travel tips I’d love to hear them:)