Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Distillery District and polka dot beads

This long Easter weekend was a complete blur. It went by so fast. I did however manage to squeeze in a visit to The Distillery District in Toronto. A former whiskey distillery that stopped operating in the 1920s. (Trivia: The movie "Chicago" starring Catherine Zeta Jones was filmed there because of the 1920's feel of the place). The district is a vast area of cobblestone brick paths and an assortment of newly renovated Victorian Industrial buildings transformed into posh restaurants, cafes, artisan shops and artist's studios. You can even go for a tour of the grounds on a Segway.

I especially enjoy going to The Distillery for my fix of Soma chocolates. Pricey? Yes! Delicious? YES! Olive oil, salted caramel and pecan butter crunch are just some of my favourites. No chocolates were consumed on this visit since I had another purchase in mind.

A trip to The Distillery is not complete without visiting some of the in-house artist studios, and getting a glimpse at their crafts. There are several jewellery studios over here. Need I say more?

One such venue is TANK fire + metal. This place is like eye candy for a jeweller or bead collector. It has so many stunning hand crafted glass beads and yes, some beads can be extremely pricey. They also sell their own line of jewellery using these handcrafted glass beads. Drool...

On this particular visit, I perused the bead selection and spotted these lovely polka dot beads. I love polka dots. Red polka dots especially. There is something very spring like and playful about them.

I purchased them. Ouch! A painful purchase when you aren't working. There goes my eating out budget for the month. But you see, I was smitten with these glass beads and gosh darn it, they are SO cute!

Being the proud owner of these happy beads, I have already come up with several ideas as to what to create with them. I will be eventually selling the end result on Etsy so stay tuned for that.

UPDATE! Have a look at the earrings I designed with the above glass beads. Now available on my Etsy shop.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back on Etsy

Over the past year I have been asked repeatedly by people if I would ever sell on Etsy again.

I would reply with a quick "no."

People could not understand why I was against setting up shop on Etsy (again!)
Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy! It's great! I have purchased many items on there. And I still do on occasion. But, well, let's see...6 sales in 4 years? Hmm, not a good sign!

It's just a lot of leg work photographing and posting new products, typing up all kinds of info and listing and re-listing with zero return. I'm not sure where and why I failed but Etsy just wasn't working for me.

Seems no matter where I went, people would ask me if I had a website to showcase my work. They wanted to see my jewellery designs on-line. They would often mention Etsy to me as if I had no idea that it existed. "Yes, I know all about Etsy," I would say, adding that I had signed up back in 2005. "It's just so saturated with jewellery sellers and there is a LOT of competition," was my often repeated excuse.

Then one day, I heard through the grapevine about a site where I could create an on-line portfolio easily along with a monthly fee - of course. So I decided to do just that. The site is called wix.com. I spent hours and hours uploading images and typing text into my soon to be new on-line portfolio. I was so excited and really keen to get it done. This wasn't going to be an e-commerce site. It would just serve the purpose of displaying my work. I really enjoyed the easy to use web tools and all the interactive widgets on there. And I really liked hitting preview and having a glimpse at what the end result would look like.

Despite the extensive work I did on that site, I was still not 100% happy with it. There were constant technical glitches and often my hard work would disappear (by accident) into cyber space and I had no idea why and then I'd have to begin over again. How frustrating!

Weeks and months came and went and still I had not launched my new site. I desperately needed to set up a site to showcase my jewellery. Etsy came to mind. I toyed with the decision daily. A photographer friend of mine wanted to provide a link to my jewellery site from his photography site, yet I STILL had no site set up. "Just get something up there," he said..."a site of some kind or whatever." "Just do it!"

Becoming impatient with myself and the situation at hand, I sat down earlier today and spent 2 hours uploading images and typing out descriptions. Yes, I re-launched my former Etsy site.

I'm not expecting much this time around. I just want to have an on-line reference for anybody that may be interested - now or later - to see what I've been creating. If I do happen to sell something along the way...bonus!

Anyway, If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to improve the selling power of my Etsy shop, please let me know.

You can find my Etsy shop widget on the right hand side of my Blog.