lucky fridays

Last Friday I was ecstatic to make Etsy’s Front Page, and now after returning from my awesome Maritimes vacation, this Friday I find that I’m in the latest Etsy Finds newsletter. The theme was “Let’s Move to the…”:

That’s my “Nowhere Better Than This Place” print in violet being featured! I’m so flattered, and of course very happy. Feels like I’ve made it to the big leagues, even though I still have miles to go.

Vacation post and pictures still to come!

front page!

Earlier this morning I was excited to find a Statsy email telling me that I had been featured on Etsy’s Front Page! Although it wasn’t during a “peak hour”, it’s so immensely exciting.

It was a lovely treasury featuring shops participating in Christmas In July, an Etsy-wide event from (officially) July 14th-24th where stores have special offers or sales to encourage gift-shopping for Christmas early this month. Some shops run their sales for the entire month.

I’m participating with the code “CIJSHIP” for free international shipping on your prints! The code will be good until July 31st.

I will be leaving for Halifax tomorrow morning for my 6-day Maritimes trip; I will definitely come back with lots of pictures! My Etsy shop will be staying open so you can take advantage of Christmas In July, and I will be answering convos at least once a day, but all orders will have to be shipped after I get back in Toronto. Better get back to packing!

 

looking to july

As June comes to a close, the summer is halfway over for me. I will soon have to start thinking about school again, selecting courses for my second year and moving furniture into my new apartment.

June has been good to me, even though starting a business can sometimes be an emotional rollercoaster. For those who know me well, I am infamously a Type A personality — I don’t just work on a project, I attack it. And I expect it to be successful. Immediately.

And so I’m continuously learning, and cultivating patience: patience with my work, patience with myself, and patience with the universe in knowing things will always turn out all right.

I am grateful for the successes that I have accomplished this past month, and grateful for everyone who has been so supportive.

Alright, end the sappiness!

A piece of exciting news, which I had alluded to earlier: my prints will be available at Dots & Loops Handmade when they open this July!

I was lucky to be able to meet Melanie and Stephen, the lovely folks behind Dots & Loops, earlier this week when they were in Toronto for the Design Edge Awards. I handed them a stack of INK ! STOMP prints, and am excited about their journey to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia!

Prints for Dots & Loops!

Dots & Loops will be the first consignment I’ve done, and I’m very excited about it — especially about the wonderful location, and other talented artisans who will also be represented there. In fact, I hope to be able to visit later this summer, as a trip to the Maritimes is in the works! It’ll be my first time in the area, and I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures to post.

Well, that’s all from me now — Happy Canada Day!

no day but today

My business cards from Vistaprint arrived! (#57 on my list)

Yes, I really do like it simple and minimalist! I was very pleased with the print quality, as well as the paper thickness. The cards themselves were quite affordable, but the shipping fee in comparison was high…

I’ve also gotten some new print designs done; the new listings will be going up over the next few days.

No Day But Today

I printed almost 30 prints for four designs, and it was nice to be able to get the photography session and editing done in one day, instead of two long days for the first nine designs.

Here’s what I was munching on as I did some photo editing for the new listings —

Sweet potato fries sprinkled with seasoned salt, and a blend of garlic and herbs. YUM.

In other INK ! STOMP news, I’ve been approached with some lovely consignment opportunities. It’s exciting as I didn’t expect this to happen so soon. Will keep you updated!

miss malaprop

ETA: I now have a press page!

***
I am so honoured to be featured today on Miss Malaprop. Mallory runs a wonderful blog, that is all about giving back to the indie handmade community, and there’s even a picture of her kissing a dolphin on her About page. Come on — how can’t you love that?

Thank you again to Mallory!

I am also going to be revamping the look and feel of this blog these few days. I’m not great with coding, so please bear with me if things look funny!

in challenge lies opportunity

Last night I was working on a new design — writing it out, transferring onto the linoleum block, and carving away. And of course, it didn’t occur to me anything was wrong.

Do you see it?

The problem is — you can read it, and you’re not supposed to. When creating the master from which your prints will be made (be it a copper plate, linoleum block, or wood block), the design you carve must be the vertical reflection of the design you wish to make. It’s common sense. Unlike previous designs, this time I had handwritten the words instead of using a computer program, and flipping the image on the computer.

And I didn’t notice it for over an hour.

I got upset. Much too upset. The boy tried to cheer me up, and I tried to stay positive, but for some reason it just got to me. How did I make such a stupid mistake?

I didn’t want to waste a piece of linoleum and thought that I should carve on the back of the block. However, I couldn’t do the same thing of carving around the letters again due to the block’s shallow depth, and simply didn’t have the patience.

So I decided to carve in the words, instead of around. This isn’t my usual style, and I was afraid it would look horrible.

But I tried it.

It turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined before.

Every challenge is an opportunity.

P.S. I’ll be listing this print, and 2 other designs, in lots of colours this coming week! Very excited. ETA: This print is listed and available for purchase here.

P.P.S I just started my Facebook page!

a treasure indeed

Since opening my Etsy store about a week ago, I’ve been busy adding listings, contributing to forums, and — the most fun — making treasuries.

A Good Book is the Best of Friends

I was ecstatic last night when my newest treasury made it to page 1 of the Treasuries feature. This was done by increasing the “hotness” of the treasury; although I do not know exactly what algorithms determine hotness (for it’s not in order of the number of views, numbers, or comments), I will share what it is I did to get my treasury to the first page:

1. Use a strong colour combination

As an artist, this is the most important to me. Treasuries are intensely visual. For this treasury, I started off the with the 3rd piece from the left on the second row, which has the two main colours purple and yellow.

I then sought out other pieces with those colours, in more muted tones. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out!

2. Find an interesting theme

A lot (a majority?) or treasuries have some sort of colour theme, or colour palette, so for your treasury to stand out it needs something else too. You could use a popular/trending theme (such as Father’s Day or geometric shapes), or just use a theme which intrigues you (TGIF, butterflies, mix tapes, etc.).

I picked the theme of books because I’m nerdy literary like that!

3. Post in treasury promotion teams!

I’m currently in 4 of the largest treasury promotion teams on Etsy. The way these team works is a simple pay-it-forward structure: for getting the chance to share and promote your treasury, you must promote those of others by viewing, commenting, and clicking. The average number of treasuries you have to promote is 7-10.

I’ve found that this really makes the difference between being a well-liked but not very influential treasury, and being a very “hot” treasury.

4. Create a treasury at a time of high site activity

This makes common sense — when there’s more people on the site, there is more chance for your treasury to collect views, comments, and clicks. Of course, this also means that you could have more competition, but doing the other points of this list right should give you an advantage.

I created my treasury at around 7PM EST. This is usually the time people hop onto the internet after dinner.

5. Use your circle

While your treasury promotion teams will get you a great number of hits to get rolling, I find it’s usually circles — which is an indicator the number of connections, and influence, you have on Etsy — that keep it going. This means adding people to your circle who have good taste and influence, and getting added back.

If you made a ripple in the pond, the wave will only propagate because each ripple is the source of new ripples (makes sense even if you’ve forgotten your high-school physics!).

5. Use a mix of well-known and lesser-known shops. 

This simply means that not all of the items you showcase are already well known on the site, and so gives the Treasury a sense of novelty and discovery, which adds to the handpicked nature of the feature. By lesser-known, I mean shops with less than 100 or less than 50 sales.

And that’s it for now!

I’ve been working hard on some new designs for the store, and am also resolving to post at least once every two days. Let’s hope that goes well!