Friday, May 29, 2015

T.E.S.T. Interview: 9ineto9ine

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 81st in our series and is with Ay GG of 9ineto9ine


Tell us a bit about yourself and where do you get your inspiration from?

Hi team! My name is Ay and I was born and raised in Toronto. I have always loved creating and crafting; from drawing to sewing. I am inspired by people -- the many differences and similarities between us all.  

What are your favourite materials to works with? And how long does is usually take to create a piece?

 My favourite materials to work with are actually found objects and paper -- I am somewhat of a stationary hoarder. On any given day, I have 3-4 pieces in process; some I know exactly which direction I want to take, others I leave around my workspace to contemplate. So some pieces I can complete in 24 hours with mad fervor, others can take weeks.

Did you receive any professional or educational art training? How does that influence you work?

I have no educational background in art. I have always created out of catharsis -- the need to purge emotions through art. During a recent battle with depression, I rediscovered how throwing myself into creating helps me generate positive feelings and I wanted to give more focus to that aspect of my life.

Do you have a day job?

I currently work in Finance for a non-profit organization, but more recently I have been thinking about teaching yoga full-time.  

How do you envision you and your creative business growing in the near future?

In the very near future, I plan to offer more personal pieces (as I slowly emerge from my own insecurities) as well as more fun items like t-shirts and stickers for the everyday art collector.  

"Helen III" (2014)
What piece are you most proud of, and what piece gave you the most grief? And why?

I am most proud of this piece I created in 2014 for my first art show, "Helen III". I love this piece because the confidence I felt in creating it was unparalleled at the time -- I think I drew and painted the image within 2 days. My sister is now it's proud owner, so I am fortunate enough to visit it often.  

And just for fun, tell us one interesting, funny or unique fact about yourself?

I wear at least one article of green clothing EVERY DAY.





Check out the other items available from Ay GG in her 9ineto9ine Etsy Shop!

You can also find her at:
Instagram: @deadtherest
Twitter: @dead_the_rest





















Interviewed by Victoria of WildOakStudio, May 28, 2015 in Toronto.

T.E.S.T. Interview: Wild Oak Studio

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 80th in our series and is with Victoria of WildOakStudio  

Tell me a little about yourself...plus one interesting fact. 

From a young age, creativity has always been a significant part of my life. I have an educational background in horticulture and floral design. However, I grew up with strong influences from my father who was a carpenter; and my grandmother who loved gardening, and truly appreciated all of Mother Nature's creations. I'd like to think that Wild Oak Studio is a collaboration of these influences. Another important aspect of my life, would be my dog Khloe. I adopted a husky mix from a local shelter two years ago- I may be biased, but she is beyond perfect. When I'm not working away on Wild Oak, or playing with fresh blooms, I am usually found at one of the many dog parks within Toronto. Rain or shine, we're two girls who just love being outdoors. From time to time, Khloe makes an appearance on my Instagram page.

Do you have a separate day job? How do you balance the two? 

By day, I work as a senior floral designer and event coordinator at a trendy floral shop in downtown Toronto. Since I am so passionate, hard working and goal driven, it's not a tough balance. When you love what you do, it never feels like work.

How did you begin working in wood? What is the appeal for you? 

As a florist and creative person, my mind always brewing my next project or creation. I adore flowers, however they are perishable. So I was inspired to create more lasting artwork. I have a keen eye for detail and interior design. My style is fairly rustic. So it just felt natural to begin working with wood. With each piece I create, I utilize my educational background and elements of design.

What led you to open the shop? 

I have a dream to open my own floral boutique, and craft shop. I opened my Etsy shop as a way to promote my business, and bring in extra income to bring me closer to achieving my goal.

Do you make any other crafts/items? 

Sure do! I create botanical wreaths, plant wall mounts, preserved floral arrangements, pressed flower designs, along with a wide variety of home decor items. As well, I do local garden and plant installments within our city.

What has been the biggest challenge as an Etsy Seller?

As a fairly new Etsy seller, I’d say the biggest challenge would be standing out in the crowd. Etsy is very populated with talented crafters; however, I am proud to say I am finding success. I promote myself on social media and create quality products. As a rule of thumb, I think "is this item something I would purchase?" If you would be willing to purchase it, there's a good chance there is a lot of other who would as well.

Check out the other items available from Victoria in her Etsy Shop! You can find more of her work on:
Twitter: @WildOakStudio
Instagram: @WildOakStudio
and at WildOakStudio.com






Interviewed by Ay GG of 9ineto9ine, May 13, 2015, in Toronto. 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Etsy Craft Party


Since 2010, every year there's an Etsy Craft Party, a global celebration of meeting and making. This year’s Craft Party is happening on June 6 in homes and event spaces all around the world. You can find the DIY instructions for this year's craft (Kaleidoscope: Paper Taking Shape) here. This year, T.E.S.T.'s own Michelle Maynard from SimonesRoseBoutique is teaming up with Sew Be It Studio who is sponsoring the space, to host their Etsy Craft Party! Sign up to join the party at the

Sew Be It - ETSY Kaleidoscope Craft Party page


Here's a link to the Etsy craft party page as well if you want to find a party that is in your area - or if you want to host one!

www.etsy.com/craftparty/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ONE THOUSAND TESTY MEMBERS!



It's official. We're now over one thousand members strong. We think that's a milestone worth celebrating. Congratulations Toronto Etsy Street Team! Woohoo!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Etsy 30 Day Challenge

 
Etsy Canada is offering a new online program on called Etsy: 30 Day Challenge - the goal is to help those new to the platform open a quality Etsy shop in 30 days - just in time to apply to sell at Etsy: Made in Canada.

It's FREE and easy to sign up! 

1. Open a draft shop to start the Challenge - Use Promo code 'EtsyChallenge' at etsy.com/promotions and get your first 20 listings free (Listings are normally 20 cents). If you already have an Etsy shop but are looking to improve or grow your online business, you are still welcome to join the program.

2. Join the facebook group between May 19 and June 15 to receive daily inspiration and tips from successful Etsy sellers and stay on track with the 4-week lesson plan. You can post questions here too, and get them answered directly by mentors.

3. Tell your community that you're taking the #EtsyChallenge and inspire others to join! @EtsyCA 
 
And remember,  TEST ♥ Newbies... so you can also sign up for our TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp and check out all our classes, listed on the sidebar.


Friday, May 15, 2015

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 22 Automate it

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!

We have new sellers joining our Bootcamp all the time, so even though this is Class 22, you can join now or anytime! You can complete the classes at your own pace. The first 8 classes will take you through opening your shop to shipping your sold items:
Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 6, Class 7, Class 8.  

Check out the subsequent classes at your own pace to upgrade your shop when you find the time: Class 9, Class 10, Class 11, Class 12, Class 13, Class 14Class 15, Class 16, Class 17, Class 18, Class 19, Class 20 and Class 21.   The trick is to continually improve and you'll find your business can grow, become more efficient and professional as it evolves. 

We haven't had a newbie bootcamp in a little while, and as always, Etsy keeps changing and evolving. Since our last class was posted, Etsy has gone public, the Seller Handbook has a brand new look, and the Listing Manager has been completely updated. Today, I want to talk to you about the tools which help automate the regular tasks you need to perform to run a successful Etsy business and how automating task (both with the Listing Manager and other tools) can help make life easier. 

The New Listing Manager Nuts and Bolts

 

You got this. Stay calm and wear an Afrodelik Buddha Head tee.

Now when you navigate to the Listing Manager you'll see somthing like the screen above. You can opt to view your listings as a grid or a list using the two icons next to 'View:' at the top. You'll also find a link to stats, quick edits and adding a new listing right there. On the left sidebar you can filter the complete list of all listings you've ever made, including those that have sold, expired, or are inactive or in draft mode. You can choose to only look at, or manage your featured listings. You can choose to look at any one of your own categories, your own shipping profiles or your own tags. 

These new means of filtering and sorting, along with new bulk editing tools makes it very easy to update your Etsy shop. You can renew (or deactivate or delete) all selected listings at once, by ticking the tick boxes and pressing the button (see red arrows above). You can make bulk edits to Shipping Profiles, Listing Variations, and Sections, and Categories; simply tick the tick box next to each pertinent listing and then press 'More Actions' at the top of the screen. You can edit the amount of stock or the price in-line; hover over quantity or price and a pencil icon will appear. You can click this, edit the field and press enter to save. 'Quick Edit' (at the top) will also let you edit stock, price, titles, section and shipping profiles. As soon as you click it, each of these fields are editable. If you want to to the same thing to many different listings, filter your listings to those of interest, then press 'Quick Edit'. If you’re editing the same attribute, such as stock, on multiple listings you can continuously hit Enter to move down the page.

Sing it now: fine silver custom audio pendant from DesignByBullsEye
Most of the other features of the Listing Manager should be familiar. Check out our Class 4 on how to make listings tempting, to learn what should go into each lisitng. You can read more in Introducing New Listing Management Tools for Your Shop.

Using the New Listing Manager to automate tasks and make life easier

Etsy's blog post on 5 Ways to Save Time With Etsy's New Listings Manager lays out some of the great ways you can take advantage of these tools to streamline your workflow... and trust me, once you get to have dozens of listings, you'll want to streamline as much as possible! Here are their time saving tips and more:


  • Finding and reusing your own content. Since you can search through all your listings, by key words (or sections, shipping profiles, or whatever makes the most sense to you), including those that have sold, are still in draft or are inactive, you should never need to recreate the same things. You can relist, copy or copy and edit previous listings, to create a new custom order, or simply rapidly list something similar to an existing or previous product.
  • Use Quick Edit to update a common property on many listings at once. As mentioned above, in Quick Edit mode you can change the quantity, price, titles, tags, shipping profiles and sections of several itemsin bulk!
  • See Stats at a glance and make informed decisions rapidly. Every listing now shows not just quantity, but how many times it has been listing and how much revenue you've made from selling a given product. You can tell which listings are really performing and choose to relist accordingly! You can also click on the Stats button at the top of the page to see the up-to-date in-line stats for all your listings without leaving the main Listings Manager.
  • Skip steps. You can now edit Sections and Listings from a single page. You can also spot check and filter by 'No section' to see if you've forgotten to add an item to a section. You you opt out of previewing a listing, which can save time if you relist often. Likewise, you can now adjust each item's thumbnail image without going through the preview step. Now you can adjust your thumbnails from the listing images section of the listing process form. The new photo cropping tool allows you to crop right in the listings process without having to delete, edit and re-upload.
  • Automatically relist. Those of us who have been selling on Etsy for a long time have seen the hows and whys or relisting evolve. One of the things I've heard from Newbies is that they list an item, it expires without selling and then they feel rejected and give up. This is nonsense. Do not fool yourself into feeling bad or limiting your own chances to sell your things. There is no rule which says that any given product must sell within x amount of time... and giving your products an arbitrary limit, based on when listings expire is just that: arbitrary. Your 20 cents is renting you online space in your shop for 4 months. Now, new listings will relist by default and you can opt out any time. So in a year, you can spend a whole 60 cents to keep something in your shop. Evey time you go to relist your items you can make the choice to automatically renew, or not. Since you can now see your stats at a glance, if you have something which keeps relisting without garnering revenue you'll know. So automatic relisting is a great time saver. You don't have to keep checking what has expired, what's available and what's not. You can keep all available items available for sale and increase your chances of a sale. If you're worried about the relisting fees, you should probably check out Class 10: The Dark Art of Pricing. And remember, you can opt out anytime.


Relax, and enjoy a lovely pillow cover from AvantgardeStudio
So, prior to these changes, my daily maintenance of my shop consisted of checking my expired listings, relisting and then using social media to promote my newly relisted items. If I had a new product, I would list and promote it. Then I would do any other updating, like choosing more seasonal featured listings, or making whatever tweaks to titles, tags, and text which could improve search engine optimization or any necessary changes in pricing. All of these tasks are made easier with the new Listings Manager. But here's how automation has really streamlined my workflow.

First, my listings now automatically relist: no more manually checking and relisting.

Make child's play of your blogging and social media jobs &
get your favorite wee one this graphic camera blogger
onesie from eleandela
Next, I use some 3rd party tool to simplify and automate promotion and social media tasks.

If This Then That  is a free service which connects your various channels. (For a primer on using social media with your shop see Class 9 Social Media). For instance, you sign up, activate your various accounts (such as and including Etsy, Facebook or Facebook fanpage, Twitter, Instagram and more) and then set recipes in action with the format "if this" [trigger] "then" [do] "that". So, as soon as I post or (automatically) relist a listing, I've set up this tool to post an image and title of the listing on my Facebook fanpage and my twitter stream.  So, without lifting a finger, on any given day, I can have renewed listing and have shared them to multiple social media channels! I've also set up recipes to save me time and effort my sharing content across multiple channels at once; for instance, if I post to Instagram, I can automatically re-post to a photo and text to Twitter (and, it will display properly as a photo, not merely as a link to Instagram). If I make a blog post, I can automatically post an image and title to Twitter or Facebook. There are many, many options and combinations and ways you can use this versitile tool.

Scheduling posts in advance can allow you further automation. Most blogging services will allow you to write a blog post and then schedule when it will be post. (We, for instance, use Blogger and can schedule posts tied to specific events, like sales, shows or holidays). There are a number of services which allow you to schedule social media posts. These services have a free version and pro version; a fair amount can be done without investing in the pro version. For instance, I use Hootsuite to schedule tweets and facebook posts for both my shop and the Toronto Etsy Street Team. It even allows me to simultaneously schedule the posting of the same information across more than one channel. I can then use IFTT to trigger other re-posting to other channels. Buffer can be used to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and can be intergrated with IFTT. I use Latergram to schedule Instagram posts. You see how this snowballs? Setting aside a small amount of time to plan future posts and mean a lot of promotion for a little work.

All of this automation can free up time for making (or curating) more things for your shop, and for life in general!

Like having your own footmen to work for you... The Footmen by ThreeOnTheTreetop


p.s. you can find other nifty tools on 300 Awesome Free Things for Entrepreneurs. (Thanks for the tip CampTech!)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vendor call: Pink Market, LGBTQ-oriented craft, fashion, art & literature fair during Pride

PINK MARKET is a craft, fashion, art & literature fair. Bringing a handmade touch and DIY ethos to Pride Toronto 2015, the first-ever Pink Market will showcase the work of 25 creators during the massively popular festival's closing weekend.

JUNE 27 + 28
ARTSCAPE YOUNGPLACE
180 Shaw St.

Vendors will be announced in May!
APPLY: http://www.pinkmarketto.com/
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