Two Crafty Ladies

Two friends on a mission to start their own Etsy shops share ideas, inspiration, and encouragement.

Never Satisfied July 17, 2008

Filed under: Business,etsy,Marketing,Projects — ollie & junebug @ 1:20 am
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So…yeah…I know I had decided on a banner.  But I hadn’t even really launched my shop yet and I wasn’t completely happy with it.  So, last night, I started from scratch.  I think I’m almost there.  One more night’s work and I’ll be satisfied with it, me thinks.  But, then again, I’ve thought that before.  I suppose we’re never fully satisfied with things we produce, are we?  There’s always something we want to look better…

Meanwhile, have you all seen this list of the 100 new classic books (1983-2008)?   It’s pretty interesting.  There are things on there that I knew would be (i.e. Kite Runner, The Road), and then there were ones I was rather shocked by (i.e. DaVinci Code, Bridget Jones’ Diary).  I was sad a few of my favorites didn’t make the list.  I think Time Traveler’s Wife and Water for Elephants are definitely some of my favorite books of recent times.  What would be on your list?  Here are the top 20 from the list to get the ideas flowing:

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)

I’m going to try to make my way thru the books on the list that I haven’t read yet.  I read Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (#30) last weekend.  It was good…not top of my list though.  Now I’m on On Beauty (#19), which will be followed by Blindness (#12) once Hubby is done with it.  I’m kind of scared to read that one, but the movie is coming out soon and it has Julianne Moore AND Mark Ruffalo….so I’m definitely going to want to see that…and you have to read the books first, right?

Alright, on that note, I leave you with a sneak peak of things to come in terms of my branding.  Night, night!


Inspiring Me: Jig. July 16, 2008

Filed under: etsy,Fellow Craftsters,Inspiration — ollie & junebug @ 1:02 am
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Well, I got the merging of posts to go away, I think, by deleting a recent post, but I still have pictures randomly missing. I’m not sure why it’s some and not others. Perplexing. Ah, the joys of technology. If only I could mend a blog with needle and thread!

Anyway, I want to tell you all about this wonderful shop I came across, and hopefully I’ll be able to post some pictures with it.* The shop is Jig.  Alyssa, shop owner extraordinaire, makes cutiful onesies, tees, and even “mommy calling cards“. I really love the presentation of the gift sets in wooden boxes, and that everything can be personalized. What a great gift for a new mom–three beautiful onesies with her new little ones name on them…or seven Days of the Week onesies…or how about both!

*O&J Note: I can’t post pictures now, but hopefully I’ll be able to soon.  For now, please check out Alyssa’s shop thru the text links!  It’s worth it…I promise!  Hooray for pictures!

Mommy Calling Cards by Jig.
Mommy Calling Cards by Jig.
Personalized Onesies by Jig.
Personalized Onesies by Jig.

Back to Business July 8, 2008

Filed under: Business,etsy — ollie & junebug @ 4:03 pm
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Okay- so after a long hiatus, I’m back.  The busiest part of the basketball season is over, the in-laws have come and gone, and summer Fridays are beginning soon.  Woo hoo!  Hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July.  I was down camping with the in-laws near Washington, D.C.  It was fun, but buggy.  The first night, my whole left arm was on fire…I think I had at least seven bites on it.  Blah!  Oh well, that’s what you get campin’, I guess!

Anyway, I was just catching up on my Storque reading and thought this article was really useful.  Check it out:

Service Tips for Sellers: Creating Policies That Work

Dear Sellers,

Recently, a shop policy section has been added to shop profiles, creating an easy to find, centralized place for individual shop policies.  Although creating shop policies is not mandatory, it may be a good option for you. Clear policies let your customers know what to expect; it’s is a good way to earn trust and confidence.  Specific information about shipping, returns, etc. will help customers feel at ease. 

The following are some tips, advice, and seller testimonials on how to craft a shop policy that works:

  • Create fair policies
    Offer a policy that you yourself would most appreciate as a customer.  Policies are meant to protect both you as a seller and your buyers as well.  Consider that a customer who is reading your policies is looking for assurances that it is safe to do business with you.

    • jenngee uses her shop policy page, “…but I’ve felt free to ‘break [my policies]’ when needed (accepting a return long after the return window closed, for example). The rules simply give me something to fall back on, but if I feel that good customer service requires that I bend the rules a bit. I’m not afraid to do that at all.”
  • Stay positive
    Steer clear of negative or concerning phrases like “buyer beware,” or “I don’t take any responsibility.”
  • Keep policies simple
    Policies that are overly wordy can sometimes be confusing and may turn a customer away.  Craft your policies in clear, concise sentences.  

Click here for more!


Inspiring Me: IsaFerreira May 11, 2008

Filed under: etsy,Fellow Craftsters,Inspiration — ollie & junebug @ 3:48 pm
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It’s Mother’s Day!  Ah!!  I haven’t been able to do anything for weeks.  It’s the busiest time of the year at my “real” job.  I don’t know how I thought I could work 60+ hour weeks and get all my crafting done!  Mom’s gifts are in the works today…ON MOTHER’S DAY…so bad. 😦  But hopefully she’ll like everything once it arrives down south on Tuesday.  Hopefully once I’m at home more, I can get back on track. 

Here’s a fine art photograph from IsaFerreira.  I love the feel of her work.

I hope everyone enjoys their Mother’s Day!!!


Fellow Crafters: 2nd Annual Softies Awards April 19, 2008

Filed under: etsy,Fellow Craftsters,Inspiration — ollie & junebug @ 2:53 am
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Alright, well I have five pillows all set and ready to be sewn up tomorrow.  And I have five more designs in the works.  I think I might just pull this whole thing off.  Hooray!  Of course, Sunday I have to clean the house in a MAJOR way.  All my craft stuff is everywhere, and Hubby returns on Monday night! 

In other news, check out the amazing entries for the 2nd Annual Softies Awards.  There are tons of entries from Etsy crafters.  It’s really amazing to see what they can come up with.  Here are just a couple of my favorite entries (seriously, it was really hard to decide which ones to post here!):

 scraps by i piccolini di gaia

 loricus the elefoof by julie of gleeful things

Definitely check out the flicker group.  There are so many softies to fall in love with there!



Inspiring Me: Eninaj April 18, 2008

Filed under: etsy,Fellow Craftsters,Inspiration — ollie & junebug @ 1:18 am
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Thanks for the comments about the moo card designs!  I can’t wait to order them on Monday.  I’m actually using the ordering as a bribe.  I set a goal of 10 pillows by the end of the weekend.  So, now my reward for finishing will be some lovely moo cards.  Hooray!

Before I get back to working on said pillows, I wanted to share with you a little love for a fellow Etsy crafter.  I added Eninaj to my favorite shops list as soon as I spotted one of Janine’s laser cut circle scarfs:

Unique and lovely and warm…a perfect combination in my book!  Janine also has lots of beautiful jewelry available in her shop, including the Green Necklace with Pearls shown below. 

Awesome, right?  Seriously, with the stuff you can find on Etsy, why would you ever shop anywhere else! 


Ollie & Junebug: Moo Card Designs! April 16, 2008

Filed under: Business,etsy,Marketing — ollie & junebug @ 3:47 pm
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So I spent last night working on some Ollie & Junebug business cards.  I want to be able to use them for regular purposes but also as thank you’s and hello’s on my packages.  Here is what I have so far in terms of designs (click to see larger version):


Are they too simple?  I’ll add product shots or something in the future probably, but I was thinking it might be a good idea to focus on branding to start.  What do you think?