Summertime Treats

EtsyMCR teamie Sophie Heywood Illustration shares some of her favourite summery Etsy picks

Hey everyone! My name’s Sophie Heywood and I am a freelance illustrator making lots of colourful prints, greeting cards, badges and more. I’ve had the pleasure of selecting a few items that have caught my attention from fellow team members.

After this summer’s fantastic heat wave, I have gone with a theme of sea, sun and all things summer! Whether that’s with colour, subject matter or function. Let’s have a gander at some wonderful makes!

 

 

We all need a good notebook in our lives, right? I’m always writing lists; I’d forget everything if I didn’t. This one by Lydia Meiying serves up tropical realness with this fabulous flamingo pattern.

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love a good pun? Nicole Julia perfects them with her super cute illustrations.

This card is simply mer-mazing! Perfect if you have a wedding anniversary this summer.

 

 

Let’s just talk about how amazingly detailed this embroidered wall art from Beth of Yellow Fred is. This really reflects how much work this teamie puts into her pieces! Plus you’ll never be without the sun with this hanging in your home.

 

 

It can be hard to keep our poor little plants alive in this heat. (I struggle enough as it is…) But fear not! Kim of Northern Sun Art Prints has this plant print that you can keep alive forever and ever. Plus those colours just scream summer vibes!

 

 

 

Speaking of plants, how amazing is this copper plant hanger made by Alex of Plank and Pipe? Perfect for any home or garden this summer and indeed, all year round. The copper finish will go with any décor style and is perfect for any season!

 

 

This photo from Eyeshoot Photography reminds me of family holidays as a kid!  You’ll never be without the seaside with this high quality photography print. I can almost smell the sea air! It’s available in a different range of sizes too.

 

 

 

Summer florals and cats? What’s not to love! This vegan suede cushion is sold by Wraptious and has been designed by Kat Baxter. This would make the perfect gift for the animal lovers in our lives.

 

 

 

Nothing says summer like sunflowers! I can just imagine being sat in the garden with a bit of shade, a cold drink to my side and this embroidery kit from Natalie Gaynor Designs for the ultimate relaxing day.

 

 

I’m sure this print by Adam of Paper Sheriff is a lot of people’s summer mantra! This colourful typographical print is also available as a digital download so you can deliver printed goodness to your home printer!

 

 

And last but not least, we have this intricately designed wood placemat from Simon of Denvers Designs. Inspired by the spiral patterns found in sunflowers and cacti, this would be a perfect addition to any home.

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Father’s Day 2018

Our top 10 picks for our top 10 Dads!

Our newest Team Leader, Sally – aka The Lobe Wardrobe – has picked some of her favourite Father’s Day cards and gifts made by the EtsyMCR Team.

1) First up, something for Dads who just never seem to grow up… introducing the Big Kid Dad! Treat both your little monkey and your big monkey (!) this Father’s Day to these matching t-shirts by DadsAndKids – they are hand pressed in Cheshire, and are available in several sizes and colours.

 

2) Next we have a gift for any New or Soon-to-be Dads; these beautifully simple card packs by IsabellaandUs would make a lovely gift to Dad from Mum, baby or the bump! The pack includes 20 “Daddy” cards, each have messages to remind and reassure new Dads that they’re doing a brilliant job.

 

3) Now we have something for perhaps the most prolific Dad of all… 

Pun-loving Dad! Using sustainably sourced materials, KatherineCoryDesign offers a variety of pun-tastic greetings cards such as this eggs on toast design – you might find they’re toastally perfect for your Dad this Father’s Day (hmm… maybe the puns should be left to Katherine!)

 

 

4) If you’re looking for something extra special for your Sophisticated Dad, we think these fine wool and silk blend scarves might just do the trick! BronwenSimpson offers a variety of styles in their shop, but this burgundy ponte fabric scarf in particular would make a stunning gift for Father’s Day.

 

 

5) If you have a Sweet Tooth Dad (also known as Always Hungry Dad, or Third Helpings Dad), we reckon you can’t go wrong with these personalised sweetie hampers! HarlieLoves offers two hamper sizes to best suit your Dad’s appetite, and you can add a personalised message to the gift box and individual sweetie labels.  

6) These illustrated cards by sophieheywood would be adored by just about any Dad out there, but particularly loved by any Nature Loving Dads! Blank on the inside, with the beautiful image of a baby fox cuddling into their parent on the front, we think these cards would be perfect for any child to give to their Dad this Father’s Day.

 

7) Spoil your Sports Mad Dad this Father’s Day with a “King of The Road” cycling themed mug! In addition to mugs, TailoredChocolates offer several other cycling themed gifts, and various other sports themes, including rugby and golf. The mugs hold a generous 11oz (ideal to quench the thirst of any particularly dehydrated Sports Mad Dads!) and are dishwasher safe.

8) Though very similar to Pun-loving Dad, may I introduce a new variety of jokester… Crude-loving Dad! This type of Dad will particularly enjoy these humorous (and sometimes a little bit naughty!) cards by HelenDodsworthDesign – with so many cheeky designs to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find one that will make your Dad chuckle on Father’s Day.

9) The penultimate Dad on our list is Outdoorsy Dad! SimplyImperfected has used the tricky decoupage method to expertly decorate this piece of slate, and we think the campervan theme would make an ideal gift for any Outdoorsy Dads for Father’s Day. The slate comes with two stands, so your Dad can display this lovely slate piece pride of place on his window sill, or even in his actual campervan!

10) And last but certainly not least, an adorable gift for any Family Man Dads… a set of three hand painted penguin pebbles by TheRaspberryCat perfect for indoor or outdoor decoration in a family home. We think these would make a lovely little gift from any child to their Dad this Father’s Day!

EtsyMCR visits the British Craft Trade Fair 2018

This April saw the British Craft Trade Fair set up for its three day event in Harrogate. This prestigious show, now in its 44th year, is a specialist event for artists and makers wishing to showcase their handmade products to a select group of retailers and galleries.

This year a number of EtsyMCR team members exhibited, some for the first time, others as established makers.

After having time to recover from the weekend, Charlotte Verity Jewellery Designer; Catherine (aka Swifty) of Swifty Bell DesignsSophie Cunningham Illustrator; and Kat Pearson Designs have taken a few moments to reflect on and share some of their experiences and advice with the rest of the team.

Charlotte Verity Jewellery at BCTF

Charlotte, our most experienced exhibitor, told us, “I’ve done this show for the last 8 years and the last 2 have been particularly quiet. I chose to exhibit at BCTF because it is a high quality show featuring UK made, handmade craft items from lots of different disciplines. The show has a good reputation and it’s a good way to meet new galleries and shops. I chose to do it expecting to get a few exhibitions, maybe some new shops, and hopefully a couple of trade orders.”

 

Swifty, who exhibited for the first time in 2017, had graduated to the Post-Newcomers area. “It’s been really good for me. Probably my most stressful time ever, especially in the run up!” Her reasons for choosing BCTF included first-hand experience of being told by retailers that they didn’t like being approached directly by makers, preferring to choose artists from trade fairs. Taking part in the event also enabled her to talk directly to shops and galleries to find out what they were looking for, and what sort of customers they have.

Both Kat and Sophie were Newcomers this year; both a blessing and a curse if all the advice and comments from experienced exhibitors were to be believed! The Newcomers Area is for first-time trade show exhibitors, who may not necessarily be new businesses, and was made up of a good mix of artists and makers at various stages of their careers.

Kat Pearson Designs’ Stand

Kat and Sophie found their first Trade Fair experience ‘a little disappointing, and an expensive experience’, however Kat added that it was “a huge learning opportunity”.

 

Kat and Sophie opted to try BCTF this year to develop the Wholesale side of their businesses, in a hope to cut down on the number of markets they needed to do. Sophie got off to a good start with an order in the very first hour! All Newcomers are warned not to expect sales at the event, but to chase up leads afterwards. One buyer even commented that, “Newcomers is the first area buyers visit and the last place they buy”. Not exactly reassuring, but made Sophie’s sale even more of a triumph!

 

Emma Darbyshire, team member and owner of Wilton Street Craft Co., went along for a visit and said, “It was worth visiting if you’re thinking of doing the fair, to see if it’s a good fit. Lots of the makers were approached and willing to chat freely about their experience and their learning points.”

Sophie Cunningham Illustrator’s Stand

And finally… Would they do it again? “Overall, the show was too quiet, not enough visitors, “said Charlotte, something many other makers agreed with. “Possibly won’t be back next year,’ said Kat, ‘but never say never. If I’m honest I wasn’t really ready for the step up to professional level but it was a great place to learn what I need to do next, I met some fantastic people and I would certainly consider going back as a visitor next year.”

 

We asked Sophie, Kat, Charlotte and Swifty for their Top Tips for exhibiting at BCTF and other trade fairs:

  • Make sure of your pricing, that it is consistent and that it is clearly marked on your price lists.
  • Have clear, consistent branding on your stand.
  • If possible, have some lower priced items, as these might encourage initial sales with first-time buyers.
  • Don’t expect to make your money back at the event and do chase up any leads as sales often occur after the event.
  • Don’t be put off by buyers ignoring your stand! They know what they want, and with so many stands they can’t afford to get distracted.
  • Be prepared! However long you think it will take to getall your products, pricing, catalogues etc. sorted, double it (“at least!” says Kat).
  • Only take your best work, and remember, Less is More. Don’t overwhelm your stand. Think carefully about what your key items are and make them the focus.
  • Take buyers’ details and make a note of what they’re interested in, so you can personalise any follow-up communication you have with them. And even if they don’t stop, many have their names/shops on their badges. There’s nothing wrong with making a note of them to research them further, with a view to contacting them in the future.
  • Plan your stand; they’re smaller than you think, and invest in ‘S’ hooks to hang work, as nothing sticks well to the walls.
  • Consider applying to put larger work in the Exhibition Area, as this can attract buyers to your stand.

Find out more about British Craft Trade Fair, and how to take part in future shows at www.bctf.co.uk

Thanks to contributors Sophie, Charlotte, Kat, Swifty and Emma for their help writing this article.

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Etsy Made Local 2017

Etsy Made Local returned to Manchester, bigger and better for 2017!

Etsy Made Local: Manchester came back home to People’s History Museum from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd , brought to you by the Etsy Manchester team.  Visitors who attended over the weekend found unique, personalised, one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts in a beautiful location from artisans and designer-makers who put their heart and soul into everything they make.  There were even more sellers than in 2016 and more visitors attended, too.  We had a fabulous weekend!

 

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SEO Magic: Tags and Titles

Titles and keywords can seriously affect your listing rank. A good, well thought out tags-and-titles strategy can help your listings leap-frog your competitors and will appear much higher in search results. In this article we give you an overview of what Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is, how it can benefit your bottom line and what you can do to improve.

SEO, to some a complete mystery of the internet age but, if understood and implemented well, it can help you to climb up those listings, ensure you get found more easily and regularly and, critically, can put your products firmly in front of customers’ eyes…and we all know that can’t be a bad thing!

So…how about that SEO stuff, huh? Yup, I’m sure at some point we’ve all had a head-scratching moment trying to understand what makes the world of internet searches work. Just me then? Okay. Fine!

SEO explained! Kind of.

What does SEO stand for? Why, Search Engine Optimisation of course. Yes! Ten points to Gryffindor! Google is a search engine. Yahoo is a search engine. And Etsy has its own search capabilities. It’s all about making sure your tags are relevant and both human- and machine-readable. Etsy will take those tags that you apply to your product – yes, make sure you use every last one of them! – and will match those with the searches being performed by those thousands of lovely potential customers who are looking around on etsy.com each and every day. If your tags (and titles) contain words and phrases that most closely match the shoppers’ search terms then, hey presto, your product is more likely to be at the top of those glorious results. What you’ll end up with is that golden opportunity; eyeballs looking at your stuff!

Research is the key to finding great tags. Ask friends, ask family, ask random people on the street. Show them your product and ask them to describe what they see. Use this as your base. Record your findings and implement them.

Gettin’ it now? The upshot is that you’d be mad not to take this stuff seriously. And you’d be mad to ignore it. Yes, it can be slightly technical and not everybody’s cup of tea but if you take your business seriously and you want to make some coin from your shop, I think you should, at the very least, pay attention to the following tips.

The skinny

The Etsy Manchester leaders have all sat down (there was wine on the table!) and we’ve come up with some fabulous SEO tips for your consideration that, if researched properly, can help your items more favourably in Etsy’s (and other search engines) rankings.

  1. Think like a buyer.
    Step outside of the creator mindset for a little while and think about what your customer would be searching for to find your items. What words would they use?
  2. Review your stats.
    Go to Your Shop » Stats, choose a time frame such as Last 30 Days and scroll down to ‘Top keywords’. These are the key terms people are using to find your items, add these to your titles and tags to get more views!
  3. Do your Research.
    Start typing your keyword/s into the Etsy search and Etsy will show you a list of the most searched for terms which use your keyword. Use any that are relevant in your title and tags.
  4. Ask family and friends
    Give a group of family and friends an item of yours to look at and ask them to describe it and tell you what they would search for if they were looking for this item. For a bonus tip, don’t forget that age and gender differences can really affect what terms people search for! The youth of today will often come up with a word you never thought of!
  5. Research the competition.
    Type your key terms into the Etsy search and choose a selection of the top items to look at. Try to spot patterns of words that are used in their titles and scroll down to the bottom of the listing to see what tags are being used to get ideas for your shop.
  6. Remember to use key terms.
    Use “Coral Blue Necklace” instead of just “Necklace”.
  7. Forget duplicates
    Try to use all of the available characters and don’t worry about variations in UK/US spellings. Etsy automatically shows items that use both variances of a spelling e.g. when searching for “jewellery”, items with both “jewellery” and “jewelry” will appear in the search. However, if your item is named something else in US English, be sure to include both keywords to reach a wider audience e.g. “Handkerchief” and “Pocket Square”.
  8. Mirror, Mirror!
    Mirror your title key terms in your tags. Whatever key terms you use in your title should be replicated in your tags. If a key term is too long to fit as a tag, break it down into smaller tags. E.g. “Funny Anniversary Card” can be tagged as “Funny Anniversary”, “Anniversary Card” and “Funny Card”.
  9. Keepin’ it real
    Don’t add tags that are not relevant, you’re only fooling yourself! Don’t try to appear higher in the search for terms that are not relevant to your item. If a customer is searching for something specific and your item doesn’t match what they’re looking for, it’ll stand out, but not in a good way.
  10. Promo
    Don’t forget to tag your shop name and, if you’ve got a spare tag to go, add the #EtsyMCR tag so that we can find you and get yourself onto our regular treasuries.

This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list but it’s a good, solid start. Go through your listing and slowly make the changes.

Think like your target audience. Always keep asking yourself “Is this tag relevant to my product?” and “What is a customer expecting to see?”

You may have the expectation that your stats will uplift. You may not observe an up-turn in your stats for a few weeks as, well, the internet is chock-full of data and this stuff simply takes time to filter through. Don’t be disheartened if you’re not propelled to a level of rockstar seller. Be patient. And until that happens there’s always more products to be made, more kick-ass product photographs to be taken and product descriptions to be spruced up. An Etsy seller’s work is never done, am I right?!

Links

In need of more help? You can check out the Etsy Seller Handbook, specifically their Getting Found section.

Etsy: Made Local – Christmas 2016

The table cloths are now stored away, the festive music has fallen silent for now and the Etsy Made Local extravaganza has, for 2016 at least, become a treasured memory. But we’ll be back in 2017 for more…bigger, better and shinier than ever!

And that’s a wrap, people!

In December 2016, the Etsy Manchester Team hosted our first ever Etsy Made Local Christmas market. After months of planning, numerous team meetings and hundreds of social media posts, we opened the doors to People’s History Museum’s beautiful Engine Hall on the morning of Thursday 1st December and held our breath as we hoped for lots of visitors and sales for all our lovely stall holders.

We didn’t have to wait very long! Straight away there were visitors popping in to take a look around, stopping to look at each stall, having a chat and buying gifts, before heading off to explore the museum exhibitions.

On Thursday evening, People’s History Museum held their annual Winter Warmer event. Manchester’s SHE Choir entertained shoppers, museum visitors and the Etsy Manchester team with their heavenly singing.

Over the course of the four days, there were some sellers who were with us for two days, and some stayed for all four. On Saturday morning, we were joined by several new faces who set up their stalls for the weekend. We had a very busy Saturday and Sunday, as many determined shoppers arrived looking for those perfect gifts. Emily Dean from Etsy’s UK team came to visit us on Saturday and chatted to everyone, as well as picking out her favourite items.

Over the weekend there were also workshops run by members of the team. Visitors popped upstairs to make their own enamelled keyrings and felt Christmas tree decorations with Ruth and Laima.

After four days of hard work, our sellers packed down and headed home for a well-deserved rest! Thanks to everyone who took part, helped out, visited, and supported us in the weeks and months leading up to our first ever Christmas market.

Peace out, y’all!

Our heartfelt thanks to all who participates and helped arrange this fantastic event, from the incredibly accommodating and helpful People’s History museum staff, the SHE Choir, the energetic and highly creative sellers and, finally, all the wonderful shoppers, who let their festive curiosity get the better of them and came along to see us.

Take a look at a few highlights from the weekend! 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester’s SheChoir entertained visitors at the Winter Warmer night!

 

Visitors took part in festive craft workshops too.

 

 

 

Etsy Social: Selling in Person

Come and join in at our Etsy Manchester social meeting – titled Selling in Person – where we’ll be sharing our advice, hints and tips on selling in the real world; at markets and craft fairs. We’ll share some knowledge to help you and your business make an impression. From adding personal touches to great in-person customer service, we can help you shine, gain and retain customers and hopefully turn a nice profit. Be there or be square! MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, M4 1HN, Manchester from 6.30pm.

The Etsy Manchester social is upon us again this week, starting at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 25th May 2016. This time the social is titled “Selling in Person”, and it does exactly what it says on the tin!

We’ll help you and your business shine at craft fairs and markets with our collective array of knowledge and friendly, practical and straight-forward advice.

We’ll also have both good examples for you to follow, innovate customer service technique to learn from and try out, and we may share some stories about things that went wrong along the way so you don’t make the same mistakes. We’ll discuss the latest in payment taking, from handling cash and taking electronic payments via PIN devices li If you’re looking to start trading in person then this is a must for you.

Come along to MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, M4 1HN, Manchester, United Kingdom, starting at 6.30pm.

Creative Wedding Fair at The Whitworth Gallery

On 30th of April 2016, Etsy Manchester – in association with the Whitworth gallery – launched its inaugural creative wedding fair in Manchester! An event for people who want a wedding that is as unique as they are!

On (11am – 4pm) Etsy Manchester, in association with the Whitworth gallery, brought the Creative Wedding Fair to Manchester!

An alternative wedding show

The wedding show was for the alternative and quirky, for those that value handmade integrity and local craftsmanship. An event for people who think outside of the ‘big corporation’ box and want a wedding that is as unique as they are!

The Whitworth gallery, exterior front view
Exterior front view of The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Held in the stunning Whitworth Art Gallery on the , The Creative Wedding Fair showcased the best handmade, individual and personalised wedding-related products and services. Organised by Etsy Manchester, which represents more than one thousand sellers, The Creative Wedding Fair was all about human relationships and interactions which shape and enrich the big day. Entry was free and 35 individual sellers – coupled with the ambiance of a lovely live band – helped to make a magical event.

Keep your eyes open for this event in 2017!

Pictures from the day