Saturday, June 11, 2011

Etsy Seller Confessions: Day 13

Hi dearies!

I've been an avid Etsy seller since December 2010. When I first opened my store, AnotherUse, in December 2009, I had no idea how to sell my items online. I thought all I had to do was take a couple of decent photos of my items and post them, and people would buy. How wrong was I? I never sold my first item until December 11, 2010. What a shock that was! I actually forgot that I even had items for sale on Etsy. 

Photo of my first item sold. My photos have improved!

All of a sudden one day I'm reading an email stating that I have money waiting for me at Paypal. In the times of desperation when you're wondering how you are going to make enough money to pay your bills, money falls into your lap just like that. What a feeling! From that point on, I vowed that I would work harder on making more out of what I loved. It hasn't paid for all of my bills yet, but a couple are better than none. 

Makin' sure my babies get to eat plenty!

In the past 6 months, I have learned more than I could imagine about how to sell through Etsy and online. It involves so many elements, the whole time I've had to tell myself the work will pay off. Plus I love learning new things! Once I started subscribing to the Etsy Success newsletters, and blog, the knowledge became endless. I spend 10-12 hours a day, sometimes, just updating, taking photographs and notes, reading and typing, watching videos, all to understand just how you get people to notice my idea on the internet, as well as in person. 

Braving the rapids in life.

I believe that after all I have learned, the most important component of owning a jewelry business involves networking. If you don't have a well-structured social network, you will have a hard time selling items. I've been given some excellent advice from other Etsians just because I asked for it. That is a big step; just being able to ask for help when you need it. I'm always willing to share what I have learned so far. Anyone feel free to leave a comment if you ever have questions about Etsy and upcycling.

Thanks everyone!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Join Teams on Etsy: Day 12

Hi dearies!

When I first started learning what Etsy was about, one tip I was given was to join teams in order to get more exposure and further help. This sounded like a fantastic idea, so I went ahead and searched through some of the teams on Etsy. You can find teams for specific regions to specific topics. 

Today I wanted to focus on the team Upcyclers

"Upcyclers are artisans who repurpose existing materials or post consumer waste to create fashion, art or products with a new value, purpose or aesthetic appeal, thereby reducing the consumption of raw materials, energy and resources that must be conserved for the environmental health of the planet."

Their blog is Love 2 Upcycle and facebook fan page. There are over 930 members. Check them out and join!

Vintage Inspired Flower Earrings

Also head on over to my etsy store, AnotherUse, and check out the 50% off sale going on.

Thanks everyone!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Advertise on my blog: Day 11

Hi dearies!

Love this blog and believe in its potential? Advertise on my blog and share the love. I'm offering advertisement for just $5 a month! That's so affordable, how could you say no?

New for sale! 50% off!

At this time, I have 41 followers, a facebook fan page, twitter, an etsy shop, flickr, deviantart, and pinterest page. I'm also a member of 15 teams on Etsy where I promote my blog. You can also find me on Etsypreneur. 

Romantic flower earrings

Ad sizes should be 150x150 px. Can be in jpg, png, or gif format. If interested, leave a message on my blog or email me at Payments made via paypal to, or if necessary, we can set something else up. 

Dangly flirty flower earrings

Thanks everyone!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

San Juan River Music: Day 10

Hi dearies!

It was a success on Saturday when I volunteered at the San Juan River Music Festival. There was a decent crowd for the first year running, and I was glad to be apart of it. I was in charge of the kid's tent, which consisted of painting and whatever else I could think of. I love coordinating events because I get to choose crafts I enjoy just as much as the children do. 

One of the craft projects. 
A majority of the day was spent painting huge canvasses that we had no trouble filling up. The turn out was perfect. Not too many kids, but not too little. The day ended at just the right time, and I even sold a necklace and a pair of earrings at the end. It truly makes my day when I sell something.

Sold on Saturday!

On top of that, I went with my boyfriend and his brother camping on Sunday afternoon. We came back home today around 3pm. In the 2 or so days that we spent camping, all four weather seasons were experienced. You always have to remember to bring layers when camping in the mountains. I'd post pictures, but I completely forgot my memory disk for my camera before we left. =(

Sold today with coupon code!

When I got back home today, I was very happy when I checked my phone and I had received a text message stating my mermaid ring had sold! I was so glad that someone utilized the sale I had. This week I am having a 50% off sale at my store AnotherUse. Half of my pieces I have had for over a year. I am hoping to get rid of a good chunk in order to make room for more. Now that I am back to civilization, I will be updating more jewelry in the next couple of days.

Thanks everyone!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Etsy Business Help: Day 9

Hi dearies!

I was having some technical difficulties this past 24 hours, but I just figured it out. Oy! Anyways, I've been making a lot of updates on my Etsy site, AnotherUse. I was waiting on some supplies that finally arrived, so I've been able to put together about 10 more pieces. Head on over to check it out! I have a 40% off sale going on now with coupon code AUSAVE40. Use it at checkout.

Eco Friendly Sparkly Ring

In this blog post, I wanted to share a number of useful websites that have been of great use and help to me. I am a huge fan of Everythingetsy and Handmadeology. They have awesome advice and links to many other awesome blogs. A very important tip that I firmly believe in is leaving comments on other blogs. This has definitely helped to bring viewers to my blogs, and I am learning so much by looking around at other blogs.  

Vintage inspired mermaid ring

If you join Everythingetsy, I highly recommend checking out Etsypreneur. At Etsypreneur, you can add your shop or website to the Everythingetsy Directory. I've only recently started learning how to utilize these sites, but they are a great way to get your name out there. 

Vintage Inspired Flamingo Ring

Etsysaver and Heartsy are wonderful places to advertise if you are having a sale or want to host a sale. Heartsy offers items up to 60% off in featured shops. You can vote on stores you would like to save money at, as well. There are many stores working on being featured, so it may take some time before getting a sale offer. Etsysaver also offers coupons and shop owners to post their coupons. Click on the About section to learn more about this cool site.

Thanks everyone!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mermaid Cameo Ring: Day 8

Hi dearies!

Here is my newest favorite ring. I finally was able to assemble this beauty today, and I am so happy I did. This gorgeous vintage inspired mermaid cameo ring by AnotherUse is adjustable, which means it will fit just about any finger. Cameo measures 1" wide.

Angle 1
Angle 2
Adjustable filigree silver plated ring

Thanks everyone!


Monday, May 23, 2011

40% OFF End of the World Sale!: Day 7

Hi dearies!

I'm featuring an item from my etsy shop today for my End of the World 40% OFF Sale. Below are pictures of my upcycled fairy green necklace. 

Use coupon code AUSAVE40 at checkout.

Upcycled components

Approximately 16" in length

Braided green faux leather strap

Lobster claw clasp with 2" of chain for adjustment

Statement necklace
Find this and many other one-of-a-kind pieces on sale in my etsy shop, AnotherUse. Everything will be 40% off until the end of the week. New sale starting next week!

Thanks everyone!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blog Button Tutorial: Day 6

Hi dearies!

I sat in bed all evening yesterday and worked on trying to figure out how the heck to make a button for my blog. It was very frustrating, as I am terrible with html. If you make one mistake, the whole thing won't work. I'm not so great with that. But after many attempts, since I am very persistent, I accomplished my goal. I found this wonderful video to share with you on how to make a blog button. 

Here is mine so far:

blog button

Button HTML code from video
Button with code:
<a href=""><img src="" /></a><textarea rows="2" cols="20" readonly>
<a href=""><img src="" /></a></textarea>
Button Only:
<a href=""><img src="" /></a>

Buttons made from personal images/photos would have to be my favorite option for making banners and buttons. If you don't have any photos that you are satisfied with, try looking at There are so many awesome png files, I was so excited to see what I could play with. I made three banners last night with these images in the free editor, GIMP. 

Check out my store, AnotherUse, for one of my other banners. I'm having a 40% off sale right now with coupon code AUSAVE40. It's the End of the World Sale!

Thank you so much!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Upcycled Finds: Day 5

Hi dearies!

I recently found a store, HotGlueHangover, I really like because it is funky and she includes upcycled items. Check out her shop!

When did you open Isabellaphenix? 

So I just opened this new shop HotGlueHangover (transferring from isabellaphenix) and I opened it May 19th, 2011 (it's a girl!) My old shop was opened March 19th, 2011.

How long have you been making art?

I have been making art for as long as I can remember, maybe because it was free and kept me out of trouble. In fact the last time my husband and I went home to my parents house he got the joy of seeing my fabulous 1996 Olympics Scrapbook...It was pretty incredible. 

When did you start reusing components in your artwork?

I love the idea of reusing what is already beautiful and already available. Being a history teacher there is something about the history of old jewelry or fabrics that is just so interesting to me! it's not just a brooch anymore it may have been someone's wedding piece or someone's favorite shirt. The possibilities are endless. 

What do you find hardest about running your own store?

The hardest thing about running my own store is that unfortunately Angelina Jolie will not adopt me and let me just craft all day. Multitasking is hard and being creative and "crafty" is not really how I feel everyday. It's about finding the balance between doing what you love and staying on top of your game.

What do you love most about running your own store?

What I love most about running my store is the networking. i love being inspired by other people's work and seeing the new ideas pop up on my newsfeed. It makes me push the boundaries of what I was originally thinking or would be inclined to do. Plus custom orders are always fun! Its like a puzzle - trying to find the perfect mix of your style and their ideas. Plus growing up it was a family rule to never leave a puzzle unfinished so I basically think about custom orders day and night until they are done.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

I would say my biggest accomplishment in terms of crafting would be finally taking that step to do what i really enjoy. I love teaching, even though their hormones drive me crazy, but what I tell them everyday is to make a goal and go for it. What kind of educator would i be if I didn't follow my own words. It's mighty scary to start your own shop but i've found that Etsy provides you with such a support team that once you get connected you really don't feel alone. It has not been easy and very time consuming but there is something about putting your heart and soul into something and it being recognized that really there are no words for. You like me, you like me, you really like me!

What advice can you give others about making and selling their artwork?
I would gives these words of advice for future sellers on Etsy:

a. Pick a catchy shop name that people will remember - watch your spelling (made that mistake the first time =)
b. Coupons and discounts - think of why YOU would shop somewhere.
c. GET CONNECTED - join circles and teams - support your friends and they will support you!
d. Make Treasuries - It's FREE advertising, plus it opens your eyes to new shops, circles, and items that will push you to be better.
e. Customer Service - always thank for inclusion in treasuries, messages, circles, teams, etc. Customers remember if your nice. 
f. Be Creative when you can fully be creative. What I mean by that is don't force something. I can tell when I made something to just make it and then when I made something because i really wanted to. If you are no enjoying it or it is not "speaking" your vision you need to find something else to make / do.

- Natalie (HotGlueHangover)

Thanks Natalie and everyone else!


Rapids and Rhythm Festival May 21: Day 4

Hi dearies!

Tomorrow is the Rapids and Rhythm Festival in Pagosa Springs, CO. It has been a couple of weeks since I was able to setup and sell my artwork with Jen. Now we are back at it, with a little rocky start. The event is from 10am-6pm. From the looks of the forecast, we should have the sun I was hoping for. After all of the clouds and rain this week, I am looking forward to a little sun.

There will also be the San Juan River Rod Run Car Show. This time of year the town is flooded with over 100 cars. The town is buzzing this time of year, and a great way to check out Pagosa Springs.

Hope to see a wonderful crowd!



Vintage Inspired Betty Boop Steampunk Necklace: Day 4

Hi dearies!

Because I am so proud of it and it is my first attempt at steampunk design, I wanted to share my vintage inspired Betty Boop steampunk necklace with you. It took several weeks for this project to transpire, but I am finally satisfied with it. Betty Boop is an upcycled piece actually used as an ornament, and the chain is handmade with upcycled beads and vintage clock parts.

Vintage Inspired Betty Boop Steampunk Necklace

Betty Boop is about 4" in length. The necklace has a length of about 17" and there is about 3" of adjustment for comfortability.

This project was a lot of fun for me because I had to hunt out a clock in order to find these wonderful gears. I participated in the Community Rummage Sale here in Pagosa Springs, CO and found a wonderful mini mantle clock that looked quite old for $3. I'm horrible at bargaining, so that's what I paid for it and my friend, Mike, who has a love of taking clocks apart, worked diligently as I watched him pull away beautiful part after beautiful part. 

What do you think of my Betty Boop necklace?

Thanks everyone!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Continued Collaboration for Music Festival: Day 3

Hi again!

As plans have continued to grow, I am learning more about how the kid's tent at the San Juan River Music festival is going to run. Supplies are mostly covered at this time, and it appears that our largest project is painting beautiful 10x4' canvasses. It is very exciting to be working on such a big project. Many ideas are running through my head, but I can't seem to decide what will be the best idea for painting these canvasses. I would love to have the kids paint with their fingers and/or feet. These ideas have yet to be approved. =D In the meantime, I have been hunting out more Marilyn Monroe photos in my magazines and am in the process of constructing 10 necklaces!

Weminuche Wilderness

Pagosa Springs, Colorado is such an inspirational place for creativity. It makes me wonder how so many people don't know about its splendor, and how I was once one of those people. Never had I heard of Pagosa once in my life until a friend moved here, and now I feel, sometimes, that I never want to leave. I was sitting in the parking lot at the City Market grocery store yesterday when I heard a woman tell her husband as he came back to the car that there is a falls here in Pagosa. I wanted to run out of the vehicle I was in and tell her that there are actually four or five, at least, here in Pagosa. If it wasn't for the intensity of Anna Karenina, I would have.

Four Mile Falls

I am truly confident that finally, after so many years, the Chimney Rock natural stone structure will become a national monument. It would be nice to see this area receive the recognition that it deserves. Although I would love to keep this spectacular place all for myself, the many people struggling in this economy could use more people coming through this area. Let's hope it gets the recognition it deserves.

Chimney Rock silhouette.
Thank you so much!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Donations Needed By May 28: Day 2

Hi Everyone!

I am volunteering my time on May 28 at the San Juan River Music festival in the kid's tent in order to get my face out in Pagosa Springs a little more. Jen and I will be trading off throughout the day coordinating kid's activities and selling artwork at our booth. Working with children is something we are both very good at and eager to plan.

Indian Head near Pagosa Springs, CO.

We have never been to this event before, so we are unsure the amount of children that will be there. At this point, we are to obtain supplies that are red, white, and blue themed, such as paints and crayons. The children will be painting 4x12' canvasses, and we need to collect paints and paintbrushes. If anyone is willing to donate, please let me know. Items can be mailed to Stephanie Casey:

875 Cloud Cap Ave
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Mountain range near Silver Falls outside of Pagosa Springs, CO.

I was also thinking we could make recycled magazine or newspaper bead necklaces, along with painting rocks. I have hosted these projects before and they turned out successful. It's also important that since most of mine and Jen's items are recycled, we pass on this trend to others. We could also use donations for this project, as well. Tape and glue are also required for these projects.

Four Mile Falls outside of Pagosa Springs, CO.

Thank you!

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Twitter: anotherusestore