Thursday, April 28, 2016 Now Requires Facebook Registration

In an attempt to reduce fraud at their listing site, now requires that visitors join through a Facebook account. They explain it this way in their FAQs, "In an effort to improve the protection of our users from scammers and to weed out the people who are not actually intending to buy or sell, we do not allow anonymous users. Facebook helps us to identify real users who are real people." Facebook login is required for selling and shopping. 

The site was made over a year or so ago, after I closed my short-running shop there. They encourage selling geared towards your local market, though you can also list items to ship. Listing is free and there are no stats.


Monday, April 25, 2016

ArtYah ~Vs~ Aftcra

Looking forward to opening a new shop, Paper Nirvana, at ArtYah. Been looking at another handmades venue, Aftcra, for a couple of years now, but it does not have a community forum. ArtYah has one at G+. This is a great feature that I always appreciate.  It's one of the reasons that I like​ so much.

Aftcra has a feature to fav and wishlist products, and ArtYah allows watching a product. Neither offer faving/connecting to shops though. Etsy and Artfire still offer this fast-disappearing venue feature.

Searching For Norma's Shop: First I typed in Norma's and another shop, Natural something, came up. Then I searched Normas and this came up: From there I went to her shop.

I like that shop policies at ArtYah open in a popup window. One thing I don't like is that from the product page it seems a little difficult to find the shop/gallery name to click on to see all of a shop's products (unless I'm missing something). From product page I don't see the shop banner/avatar anywhere. Instead, there is a colored tab beside the "Listing Details" tab.

Visitors are used to seeing at least the shop avatar on each product page. Makes it easy to click to go to shop home, and it's an obvious reminder of which shop you are browsing. This is an important branding feature. Also, the shop name on the tab is all run in together AND in lowercase, such as with Norma's gallery, normasbathandbody's Gallery. When I went to review Norma's feedback, there was no link on the page to return to her shop home. I had to use the browser back arrow. These little annoyances won't stop me from opening shop though. I DO need to send them as suggestions to admin.

Don't forget that all products listed at Aftcra must be priced at $10 or higher. This venue inspires developing product packs versus single-product listings; especially for paper-crafted handmades.

Friday, April 22, 2016

No Shop Headers At Scott's Marketplace :(

I know the product is the most important thing, but my shop banner is a major part of my brand. If I'm going to invest time to list, I want my banner in place.The main thing that I don't like about Scott's is that they do not offer the feature of adding a shop banner/header. Sellers are allowed a small shop avatar with the shop name text beside it. It's really small; only enough room for a couple of initials or one simple motif. I wrote and asked about a header, and they said maybe in the future they will offer that feature.

I like the simple layout, abundant white space, good search feature and ease in visiting other shops. No stats though, that I can see, but I don't have a membership so can't see an admin panel.  Saving the link for future possibilities. Michelle T. from admin was quick to get back with me when I asked my question. Great first impression, Scott's!

Here's one nice shop, Ross Creations in Burlington, NC. Nice bookmarks and other personal accessories. Finally, a shop with an avatar! I must have looked at at least 6 shops before I found one that is taking advantage of this promotion opportunity. So many with the ugly, well not really ugly, but you know what I mean, stock avatar.



Thursday, April 21, 2016

PaigeeWorld Seems Big On Anime

Not with the anime' (Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation) stuff, but if you are here it is: PaigeeWorld. Reminds me somewhat of Deviantart, which I left. PaigeeWorld slowed down my computer big time. Facebook and Pinterest don't even do that, lol. According to the email, it's not just a site for anime artists, but that's mostly what I saw on the homepage. I got this email msg:

@colorstarjo has invited you to PaigeeWorld.

PaigeeWorld is a social network for artists and art enthusiasts.   Showcase your art, get feedback, get inspired by your favorite artists and meet friends from around the world. Come join the PaigeeWorld community!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Estrina: New Selling Venue Requires Euro Pricing

This new handmades selling venue,, reminds me somewhat of Ezebee. On the marketplace page you see mostly products from overseas, with prices in euros (EUR). Unlike Ezebee's set up though, Estrina, based out of Barcelona, Spain, requires that all text be in English, but all prices must be in euros. The euro is the 2nd most traded currency in the world, after the U.S. dollar.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Create Success Through Innovation And Creative Marketing

Through innovation, sisters Andrea and Natalia Tovar have addressed a niche market where they can sell $9+ bags of canine treats.  Names such as chicken cordon bleu and Truffle mac and cheese rival delicious-sounding people foods. Bocce's Bakery makes all-natural, preservative and chemical free biscuits, in delectable flavors. These human-grade dog food treats are regularly eaten by the staff for testing and quality control. 

Bocce's Basics is their newest treat: "all with less than 4 ingredients. All-Natural, USA, Wheat-Free, Single Protein, Human-Grade. Over 100 biscuits in each box" (Bocce's). The company has sold about "8 million" (CBS) dog biscuits, which possibly makes it a million dollar-grossing company. I couldn't find out how many biscuits average each 8 oz. classic bag, but estimated about 25. In addition to all-natural and wheat-free doggie cuisine, another focus is pet food that helps control weight.

One way to be successful: develop and creatively-market an innovative product. Notice the basic box design, white with gray horizontal lines and an arch-top peek window. Isn't that reminiscent of a classic, white backyard dog house? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

Bocce's Bakery: Our Story
CBS Sunday Morning: Taking the dog biscuit taste test.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Great Tips On Handmades Selling Success By Jess

From Jess' Create & Thrive Blog

This is the best post about tips on increasing sales and growing your handmade business that I've ever read. Jess Van Den is a  jewelry artisan who lives with her husband in the Brisbane, Australia area. Along with subjects like creating something that people actually want to buy, why you should make items that can easily be reproduced, and the importance of developing a mailing list, she talks about how vital is it to register your own domain name.

Some of her tips, like having beautiful photos, we hear over and over (and hearing it again is never too much either!). Overall, her post is a pleasant refreshing of the subject of growing sales. You should read it.

10 Things you MUST Do to Have a Successful Online Craft Business

Her shop is called Epheriell. Watch this fascinating, short video on how she makes her silver cloud earrings.

Jess says, "I believe in handmade. I believe in the power and the goodness of the micro-economy. I buy handmade and vintage wherever I can. I believe that the more of us who succeed, the better our world and our lives will be."

Monday, December 14, 2015

Waxing Papers: Quick, Easy, Fun!

Thanks to DesignMatters TV for sharing this craft technique. It can be done on any type of paper that is porous, even copied images. Supplies are simple to assemble too. Make up a supply to use in future projects. Just don't store them in a very warm place, or they may melt some and stick together. Of course, savvy crafters would quickly find a way to incorporate the fused clump into a project, but I wouldn't want you to lose a prized image to the accident.