Showing posts with label Etsy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Etsy. Show all posts

Friday, February 13, 2015

A little update…

Happy Valentines Day!

I'll start with, I'm still alive!  I've taken a little time away from the blog to concentrate on my Etsy shop.  I've enjoyed the time away.  I admit I had a little writer's block.  I've been doing a lot of thinking as to where and how blogging will fit into my future.  I want to get back to a place where my topics are what I'm passionate about and what I'm learning and creating.  Lately, my time has been devoted to my shop, which I love.  My shop is something I spend a lot of time on and I'm loving all the aspects of exploring my new adventure.  

Etsy shop

Here is what I’ve been up to… Just a few days ago, I re-shot all the photos of my essential oils for the shop using my lastest background.  This week I'm doing some revamping and bringing in a cohesive look and feel to the shop.  I'd love your opinions or suggestions.  

Baby Gift Basket from

Over the last few months, I've worked on bringing new products into the shop.  

Essential Oil Starter Kit from

I've expanded my essential oil line, created some gifts and gift baskets, listed new supplies, and wound a ton of dryer balls.

Natural Wool Dryer Balls from

Currently, I'm working on a large order of dryer balls which are set to be sent to the east coast in the next month.  I'm very excited to work with this group, thank you for this opportunity!

Lavender from

I'm also hoping to restock lavender buds very soon.  I'm just waiting for my supplier to get them in.  I'll let you know when they are back in stock!  Be sure to follow me on Facebook for updates and behind the scenes -!

I also have a huge accomplishment that will soon be public and I can't wait to fill you in! 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Behind the Scenes: Shop Studio

I’ve wanted to do a post about my Etsy shop studio for a long time now.  After finally taking photos of the space, here it is!  My studio is always a work in progress because I am continually adding stock to my Etsy shop and need to move things around to get the best fit.

Here is a tour of my studio…

My Etsy Shop Studio
One of my favorite things about my studio is the space gets lots of natural light.  Working in natural light makes it enjoyable and easier to work.  My office in the old house was in the basement and I’m so thankful that in this house we had space available above ground for my studio area.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Desk
My studio functions as my home office, sewing room, paint studio, shop stock room, inspiration and creating area.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio China Cabinet
I use my grandmother’s old china cabinet to hold essential oils.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Lavender
On top of the cabinet, I keep my lavender in sealed glass jars to preserve the freshness.  I use lavender in sachets and I sell it by the pound in my shop.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Pom Pom Vines
Hanging above the china cabinet, I have my paper pom pom vines.  Sarah from Paperwhite Designs created them for me, and I LOVE them!  I originally got the vines to help decorate my table for my next craft show, so until then I have hung them above the cabinet until they are needed.  I love the colors she suggested, thanks Sarah!

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Shelf Styling
I used gift wrap to line the back of the cabinet to brighten it up a bit.  I used the same process I used in the kitchen.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Inspiration Board
My inspiration board is in between the storage/filing cabinet and the desk.  I recovered the tack board on the desk with drop cloth earlier this year.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Light Box
Here is my light box and I use it photo shoots for my shop and blog.  To make your own light box, check out my tutorial here.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Light Box Setup

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Serving Tray Tower
I use my DIY serving tray tower to hold my thread and other sewing items.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Packing Area
Don’t get me wrong.  My studio is not always this neat and tidy.  I admit I picked up and dusted to take these photos.  But I do find that I work better in a clean and organized environment and this photo shoot gave me a push to take a look at my space in a new light.

I find it easier to snap some pics and then take a look and see what is looking “off” in a space.  Photos don’t lie and if you are looking to restyle a room I always find that taking a few pics and then analyzing them helps to find out what is working for a room visually and what is not.  Don’t be afraid to move things around in a room.  If the item is not working in its new home, you can always move it back.

Here is what the studio looked like shortly after we moved in:

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Before Photo

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Before Photo
After a year of living with our new office furniture, I love how the space turned out.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio After Photo

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DIY Light Box

I have wanted to make my own light box or light tent for a while now.  Since they are so expensive to buy, I wanted to try to make my own inexpensive version of a light tent.

Make a DIY Light Box or Light Tent -

I finally found a light box tutorial that would work for me.  Be sure to check out Cara’s blog to find out how she made hers.  I used Cara’s light box for inspiration and also used the instructions she linked to in her light box post.

DIY Light Box. Light Tent
Here is what I used:

Light Box Supplies
-1 Cardboard box, I used an unused wardrobe box I had left over from the move.  it is 24” x 24” x 34”.

-Scissors and exacto knife

-Tape (masking tape and I also used white duck tape)

-Glue stick

-White Bristol board or poster board, I used 3 sheets to cover the inside of the box and one sheet to place as the backdrop.

Sheet to cover light box
-Fabric, I used a bed sheet from Wal-Mart, on sale for about $8.00

Clip light

Clamp light for Light Box
-Lights, definitely the most expensive part of the light box.  I had trouble finding the lights I wanted.  I originally wanted 3 smaller reflector lights, similar to the large reflector light I ended up purchasing.  But unfortunately, Home Depot was sold out.  They only had one large clamp light (300 watt max) left, which I snagged.  Then, I also purchased 2 small clip lights (60 watt max).

Light bulb 60w

Light bulb 150w
-Light bulbs, also can be expensive.  I used two 60 watt, daylight (6500K) compact florescent light bulbs in the clip lights.  I used one 150 watt, daylight (6500K) compact florescent bulb in the large clamp light.

Here is how I made my light box:

I measured 2” from all edges, marked with a pencil and cut large holes in the four sides of the box, leaving the 2 inches along the edges of the box intact.  I didn’t cut anything on the bottom and I cut off the flaps of cardboard that make the top.

Light box construction
Next, I lined the inside with 2” strips of white Bristol board, gluing them to the inside of the cardboard box.

Light box construction, taping fabric
After I finished lining with the Bristol board, I started to attach the fabric.  I ironed the bed sheet to get most of the wrinkles out.  I tacked the fabric to the box using masking tape then I used white duck tape to fully secure it.

Light box construction 3
I left the top until last.  I attached the fabric the same way as on the sides.

White Duck Tape
The duck tape worked really well to attach the fabric.  Plus the white duck tape covered up the cardboard box so no writing was showing and the whole box was white.

Use Duck Tape to hold down material

Light Box Completed
Next, I needed to install the lighting.  Tricky.  I used a coffee table we had stashed downstairs to place my light box on to make it easier to take pictures.  I’d like to have something more permanent, but for now my steamer is holding up 2 lights and the kids’ chair is holding up the other light on the opposite side.

Since the large clamp light doesn’t have an on/off switch, I plugged all the lights into a power bar.  This way, I only need to turn on the power bar and all 3 lights come on.

DIY Light Box

Light Box Completed 2

DIY Light Tent

I used the metal piece that came with the wardrobe box to place across the top of the box so the large clamp light could lean on it and not touch the fabric.

Light box inside

So far the light box is working GREAT, last night I was able to take some photos for my shop.  I never would have been able to do that before!  I was always waiting for the perfect sunlight during the day, which really limited when I could take photos.  Now I have a lot more freedom!


Here is how my light box looks currently.

I clipped both the bottom lights to the table below the light box, and they are working well there.  I added a 4th light, which has also helped to decrease shadows.

As Always,

I shared this post at A Bowl Full of Lemons, Clean and Scentsible, Morganize with Me, Satori Design for Living

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What To Take To Your First Craft Show…

What to Take to Your First Craft Show
My first craft show was a learning experience.  Since I like to be prepared, I have made a list to make packing for your 1st craft show easier.  Here are some items to take with you…

Inventory – make sure you have plenty of inventory already tagged with prices.

Money for float – lots of low bills and coins (if needed, depending on the prices you set)

Extra price tags

Bags or gift wrap options

Business cards and holder

Signs and display props


Safety pins

Zip ties




String / twine / cord


Super glue – in case something breaks, like it did for me!

Phone and phone charger (for pictures, calculator, credit card reader)

Calculator (or use your mobile phone app)

Credit card reader

Carbon receipt book

Custom order form or some paper to write custom order requests on

Band Aids (because I’m a klutz)

Headache/migraine medication

Snacks and bottled water

Business License or Permit – depending on where you are selling

Extra clothes – keep some extra clothes in your car in case you get spilled on or if the show is outside and weather changes.

Be sure to check out my other advice for your first craft show!  Happy selling!

As Always,

Friday, January 24, 2014

First Craft Show Do’s and Don’ts

First Craft Show Do's and Don'ts
Here are some lessons I learned from my first craft show.  I had many fears going into my first craft show… Would people buy my items?  What if a part of my display gets broken? (This actually happened to me, be sure to bring super glue!) How do I talk to customers?  How do I take payments?  Here are a few things I learned along the way…


Plan and Do a Little Research.  Get ideas for craft show set ups.  Pinterest has lots of images to get ideas from.  Catshy Crafts blog has great ideas and links to help with your first craft show.  Since I hadn’t been to a craft show in years, this really helped me.

Prepare using items from around your house.  I didn’t want to spend a whole bunch of money on my table set up so I used items I already had around my home.  I gathered photo frames and baskets from around my house to use for the day.  One item I did purchase was a clearance priced white sheet set, which I would use as my table cloth.  My table was 6 feet so the bed sheet worked well to cover the table.  I safety pinned the pillow cases to the side ends of the table so the table sides were fully covered.  I made sure to hide all the safety pins so the table would look clean and neat and not look pinned together.  With the side edges of my table covered, I could pile my containers under the table and no one would be able to see the clutter of my packing containers.

Taking Payments.  I looked into taking credit card payments and came across ‘The Square’.  I highly recommend getting this tiny credit card reader (swiper) that plugs in to your phone or ipad.  It takes a little while to get your reader in the mail, so make sure you give yourself enough time to receive it, set it up and customize your items on the application.  It costs 2.75% per swipe, but no set up or monthly fees.  Giving your customers the option of paying by credit card gives your shop/table a more professional look.  Plus, many people don’t carry cash with them even to craft shows, believe it or not.  So giving them the option of credit card payments can increase your chance for sales.

As for cash, keep a variety of bills and coins on hand to make your change.  To keep it easy, make sure to round all your items prices to the nearest dollar.  Example – don’t use $1.25 use either $1 or $2, unless you want to make change using coins, which is a huge hassle.

 ‘Square’ does offer the option of having a receipt emailed or sent as a text message for a credit card and cash sale transaction.  But in case someone insisted in having a paper receipt, I purchased a carbon receipt book from the dollar store.

Decide if you are willing to take cheques from people.  I personally decided against taking personal cheques as a payment unless I know the person.  (But this might just be me being over cautious, since I used to work in a bank).

Make Product Inventory.  Make sure to have lots of inventory made and displayed.  I found the tables that were successful had lots of products organized on their tables.  Make it look plentiful and like a mini store.

Lavender Sachets

Make sure to have different price points.  This is one thing I need to improve on.  I received some advice from another vendor at the craft show and they told me that I should try to have a variety of different price points.  Sometimes only low priced items will sell (eg. $1), depending on the buying crowd at the show and this might be how you cover your table fee.

Display Your Business Cards.  Whether you make your own business cards or have them made, you should display them and have them available for potential customers to take home.  I purchased my business cards from  For a box of 250 business cards it cost me $26.74 (approx. $0.11/card) including shipping.  Vistaprint has frequent sales, so keep your eye out and you might be able to save a little money if you can wait to receive your business cards.  Another great source for business cards is, a little more pricey but lovely designs.

Manage Your Time.  Try to start preparing for your show early.  I started preparing for my show right after my application was accepted in October.  Start getting ideas and gathering display items early.

Don’t wait until the night before the show to start planning your table set up.  Allow yourself some time to play around with table set ups and different signage options, especially if this is your first show.  Take pictures of your practice set up with your phone so you can see at a glance how things were placed in your set up at home.  That way, you can replicate your practice display at the craft show easier.

Be sure to plan your driving route to the show and give yourself enough time to arrive early.

Be Organized.  I can’t stress this enough.  Make ‘To Do’ lists of all the things you need to do before the craft show and make another list of all the things you need to do/bring the day of the craft show.

Give Yourself Enough Set Up Time.  If your event allows it, try to set up the night before the show.  You never know what could happen the morning of the show (for me it was freezing rain and icy roads) and having your table already set up for the day makes things a little less stressful. Give yourself lots of time to pack your vehicle.  Since I used baskets to hold many of my items, luckily many of my baskets were able to be stacked inside each other to cut down on trips to the truck when I was hauling things in to the show.

Plenty of Signs and Price Tags.  Not many people want to ask vendors for a price on an item.  Make sure you have all your items clearly priced by placing price tags on the front of all your items.  Some people don’t want to pick up items and flip them over to find prices.  They will simply move on to the next table.  This is one of my fatal flaws.  I placed the prices on the back of my tags or back of the items.  Although I had a price list on display, many people did not read it.  But I still recommend having one, as it helps some people understand what the items are for sale.

Say ‘Hello’.  Simple isn’t it?  Not really, if you are shy like me.  But I put on my big girl panties and tried to say ‘Hi’ to everyone who stopped at my table.  I found from observing other tables and trying it out on my own, that if you try to initiate a conversation, most people will get scared away.  Say ‘Hi’, but wait for the customer to ask a question or further the conversation or they might get frightened and leave your table.  Some people want to look at your items and not be bothered, but saying ‘Hi’ lets them know you acknowledge their presence and you are open to answering questions.  Don’t forget to smile!

Things I’d like To Do Next Time:

Find Out About the Show.  Many things contributed to how my first show turned out.  Some things were out of my control, like the weather.  We had a freezing rain warning in effect the whole day, which drastically dropped the expected attendance.  After the show, the parking lot and roads were crazy slippery.  The ice in the parking lot made taking my set up to the truck at the end of the sale a very slow process.

This show was also scheduled the day after ‘Black Friday’.  So there was was a ton of competition from retail stores and internet shopping.

The people at the show were not my target market.  I found it to be an older crowd.  I also had lots of competition from non-handmade shops.  Lots of tables were filled up direct marketing companies like Tupperware, PartyLite and Scentsy.  Next time, I hope to find out more about the potential craft show and if it draws in my target market or not.

Incorporate Lighting.  I was not near any electrical plug-ins for this show so I didn’t have any extra lighting.  Lighting at the show was actually not bad, but I know some lighting will definitely help next time.  Next time, I would like to look into battery powered options for lamps and candles to draw a little more attention to my items.

Use Vertical Table Space.  Next time, I would like to try using more vertical space on my table to make my items more visible.  I had a small 6 foot table and I was placed next to large tables.  As a result, my display did not standout.  Small 6 foot tables, seemed to get lost if they were beside 8 foot tables or beside vendors with two 8 foot tables together.

For this show, the vendors were limited to using the assigned tables only to display their products and could not have items on other displays in front or beside their tables.  I will need to work on staggering heights of my display props and making my items more accessible for people to see and pick up.  My table was in a center isle on a corner, so I could not utilize any wall space for my set up.  So utilizing graduated heights in my display really would have helped.

Ask For Help.  I was stressed.  I was doing this craft show on my own.  Everything was new to me.  Next time, I will try to have my husband drop by or hopefully a friend because it would have made the show more enjoyable.  Although, I made friends with my neighbour and he and I would watch each other’s table when we took breaks.  I found the set up and take down of my display challenging as I was hauling everything in and out myself, an extra set of hands would have helped enormously!

Take Pictures.  For this show, I didn’t take any pictures of my table at the show.  I think I was scared of getting a person in the shot who didn’t want to be in a picture and they would get mad at me.  I know, weird fear.  If someone was upset at me, all I would need to do is delete the picture they were in.  Oh well, gotta love irrational fears!  Next time, I would like to take pictures of how my table looked at the craft show.  My table set up was basically the same as what I practiced at home but I did take down the ‘Simple is Pretty’ sign at the back, I found it to look cheap and it was in the way for me when talking with potential customers.

Enjoy It!  Now my first craft show is out of the way!  Looking back, there is lots I would change, but I’m glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  Next time, I hope to be a little more comfortable and take some time to enjoy the day.  To see more pics from my first craft show, click here.

As Always,

Monday, January 20, 2014

My First Craft Show

My First Craft Show
At the end of November (2013) last year, I attended my first craft sale as a vendor.  In September of 2013, I was approached by someone on Etsy to join a craft show they were organizing.  I thought I would give selling at a craft sale a try.

I didn’t plan to have my Etsy shop open before the end of 2013, but I opened in September.  I decided to open my shop before everything was fully ready. I was still figuring out and learning things about my shop when I was invited to join the craft sale.  But I figured I would give the sale a try and I hoped to gain more knowledge and see how the public responded to my products.

I went back and forth about whether I should write this post or not.  The truth is the craft show was not a financial success for me so I was not sure if I was ready to share that or not.  I didn’t want my shop or my first craft show to be a failure.  But looking back on my first craft sale, I learned so much.  I felt I needed to share my mistakes as well as what worked well for me.

Here are some photos from a practice set up for my show, which I set up in my office/studio…

Craft Show Setup

Display Props for Craft Show

Wool Dryer Ball Craft Show Display

Business card holder

Wool Dryer Balls in basket for craft sale

Wedding Favor Lavender Sticks

Lavender Sachets

Lavender Sachets and Lavender Buds

Lavender Sachet Display for Craft Show

Coming up, I’ll share my advice for getting ready your first craft show and sale, as well as what I will do differently for the next craft show I attend.

As Always,