~Breaking News~ Baby Laith Dougherty


I can not begin to explain the joy that has filled my heart for a baby and a family I do not know, to read on their site today that their story got to Pittsburg Children’s hospital where Baby Laith has now been transported awaiting a transplant. I checked on this link since I first stumbled on it yesterday at 3pm PST regularly. I wrote to Katie Couric after reading the letter in hopes that they could air the link. I am just so overwhlemed that a broken health care system could of prevented this child from a full life. There will be recovery ahead for this child, but at least this child now has a shot at life.  It makes you stop and think that there still is good in this world, that a community of people who don’t know this child can step forward and give donations to save his life. Good luck to the Dougherty Family — you will always be in my thoughts and prayers, and a constant reminder that someone needs to step up and start making a change to a health system that puts money on the price of life.


I often times use my blog to promote ETSY and my ETSY shop but today I learned a 10 week old needs a new heart. Please follow this link to read his story, and help this family raise 1.5 million dollars to save their child. Their health insurance does not cover it. Please read his story. Every penny helps.




ETSY 101: Lets Talk Free Shipping

Dangling Gemstone Earrings


Attracting new customers on ETSY can be hard, especially with the abundance  of talented handmade and vintage sellers who have shops on there, so what can you do as a seller to build more of a customer base?  Often times I try to experiment with different ways to attract new customers, recently I have added free shipping and low cost shipping to Canada and International customers as a way to bring in new buyers to my shop Natural Amber Designs. This could be a great way to being in more sales, but I also suggest caution before implementing free shipping into your shop policies. Please keep these in mind before deciding if free shipping would still make your shop profitable:


1. “Weight is Important”  When determining whether or not to have free shipping (and low cost shipping internationally) it’s important for you to take in consideration the weight on your items. If your shipping costs are more then a few dollars then the venture may not be very profitable and you may want to consider just having a lower cost for your shipping without eating too much into your profits. Free Shipping is perfect for shops that sell light weight items such as jewelry and greeting cards since the cost to ship these items are usually under $2.50.


2. “The Current Cost of Your Items” Many ETSYsellers have already discounted their handmade and vintage items to be more competitive, before considering if free shipping would be beneficial for your shop look at the bigger picture. If free shipping and a discounted item leaves you closer to cost and with no additional profit youa re going to be having a problem. You may want to raise the price of your items do what you initially want for them and then consider doing the free shipping.


3. “Don’t Forget to Tag” One more helpful and important thing to remember when offering free shipping is letting those customers who look for free shipping in the search field know your items are tagged with Free Shipping. ETSY gives you 14 tags for your items and I would strongly suggest making sure free shipping is one of them.


Whatever you decide to do, just remember to look at the bigger picture and do what is right for you and your shop. You don’t want to be selling at a loss, but you don’t want to miss out on potential customers as well.


To learn more about me and see some of my unique and natural gemstone jewelry please visit my Jewelry Shop on ETSY at: Natural Amber Jewelry

2009 and Your ETSY Shop



ETSY is a wonderful place to sell your handmade items, but for those of you who have sold on there or who are currently selling on there you know how competitive it can be to have you items seen. That’s what I love about starting a new year, its a time to reflect on your handmade shop and really figure out the direction it is going, try new business marketing strategies, and cut out the fat (the strategies that have not been working so well). If you have not had a sit down or haven’t taken your small business that serious I think it’s a great and wonderful time to. So what can you to get yourself organized and focused for 2009?


1. “Cut Out the Fat” This is so important when starting a new year, and should be something you look at all the time with your handmade shop. If you are pouring time and money into advertising and marketing that is not working you need to consider dumping it all together or at leat tailor down if you are holding out hope.


2. “Try Something New.” Perhaps there are some venues or sites you have heard of that could bring more potential customers to your shop but you have not had the time to invest in promoting your shop there. By cutting out those avenues that are not working you are opening yourself up to new ways to get your name out. So research that new social network, join a new team on ETSY, try a place called Project Wonderful where you can advertise on other sellers sites.


3. “Consider Paying for Advertising”  Many of us ETSY sellers will pay to renew our items several times a day at $.20 an item, sometimes spending dollars a day on those fees for hope that you will be seen on the first several pages. Consider cutting those daily expenses and throwing them into some paid advertising. Craft Cult offers low cost advertising, Myspace offers advertising, and even Google offers advertising. Some people even pay for advertising in the local magazine or a local magazine. Experiment, and find what works for you. Paid advertising may be worth it, especially if you are already paying that much in renewing fees on ETSY!


Whatever you choose to do, it is so important to find ways of promotion that work for your handmade shop, and to not focus on the avenues that aren’t working so well.


Please come visit my handmde jewelry store to learn more about me, Natural Amber Designs