Saturday, July 30, 2011

Images and Inspiration

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  ~Clay P. Bedford

Friday, July 29, 2011

Team Contest: Back to School

As August gets ready to roll in, it's time to start thinking about getting kids back to school: five year olds need pencil pouches, safety scissors, backpacks, your high schooler needs new clothes, notebooks and a scientific calculator, and that tall eighteen year old eating everything in your fridge is going to need things for his dorm.

Besides thinking of what to get your own kids, it's time to be thinking about what to do in your Etsy shop to prepare for back to school. Is there a better way to prep than a contest? I think not.

Your task is to create something relates to back to school for any age group. According to Etsy's Merchandising Report for August these are the things to be thinking about, "College dorm room, organizational essentials, gadget and computer accessories, notebooks, writing utensils, cases, book bags, backpacks, satchels, lunch carriers, and fall fashion."

Some more ideas for Back-to-School items:
-writeable surfaces for dorm doors
-party supplies (don't pretend you don't know that college students do this)
-bedding for twin beds
-dorm decor
-locker decor

1. You must be an AAG team member

2. You must tag your entry items with the tag Back2School so that we can find them

3. Your item may be vintage or handmade and must abide by Etsy's TOUs

4. You may enter as many times as you would like

5. Your item must be listed by August 26th at midnight in your time zone

6. Your entry is not valid if it is inactive or sold, so make sure you relist if it sells.

The top 10 entries will be selected on the 27th and voting will be open until September 2nd for a winner.

If you are an AAG member and would like to donate a prize for the winner's package, please contact TuckooandMooCow. Prizes can be anything you'd like and do not have to come from your shop or be handmade.

TGIFT - Happy Birthday Leos!

If you're looking for the perfect gift for a Leo, here are a few Etsy finds that may make you say : "Thank God I Found This!"


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Images and Inspiration

Silence is also speech.   ~Proverb

Friday, July 22, 2011

TGIFT - Back to School

Can you believe that it's almost that time of the year already? 
If you're doing some early back to school shopping because you and/or your kids can't wait to go back, here are a few Etsy finds that may make you say "Thank God I Found This!" And if on the contrary you think that school is not cool, you may change your opinion after seeing these awesome Etsy items!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Simpsons Already Did It: a word about copies on Etsy

When cruising through Etsy it can be extremely frustrating to suddenly come across something that is very similar in appearance to or presented in a similar way as your own item. Your first reaction may be to jump up and yell, call your friends, post on your team's wall, or even fire off an angry message at the sellers, but before you act on your anger (the jumping up and yelling is fine) step back, pause, and think for a minute.

First of all, the world is a big broad place and many creative minds from all over it are funneled into one hallway that is the path to Etsy success. Before you accuse someone of copying you, stop and think about where your inspiration came from. Here are some questions to ask yourself before getting too mad:

What is it that is similar about this item or shop?
Is it the photo layout, the descriptions and titles, or the item itself? HOW do these seem like copies? What are the DIFFERENCES?

How common is the subject matter depicted?
Is this a common animal? Did you recently see a special about this on the animal planet that they advertised heavily? Were these lyrics from a popular song? Does National Geographic regularly write about this location? Be honest with yourself. If you know about it, chances are someone else does too.

What is the likelihood that this is a copy?
Is there only one item in this shop that bears a resemblance to one of yours? How well viewed are you really? Are there any other sellers on Etsy and beyond selling items like this? Be honest with yourself here too. Go do some research. If your item is 100% really-truly unique, you may have a case, but if you find that 30,000 other people have thought of this too, maybe you should step back and ask yourself if this person is just one of the 30,000.

There is a reason the phrase "Great minds think alike" is a common one. The real fact of the matter is that this phrase should read, "Human minds think alike," because anyone at any time is capable of striking the same instance of brilliance you did. Whether they really do or not is the question, but it is an almost unanswerable one. Obviously, there will be legitimate moments when someone is copying another person's work, but this simply won't always be the case.

If you're still not convinced, pop over to and enjoy the episode "The Simpsons Already Did It."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Images and Inspiration

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.
            ~William Faulkner

Friday, July 15, 2011

TGIFT - It's Christmas in July!

All these items come from amazing shops that are offering sales and specials from 7/14/2011 to 7/24/2011! Be sure to check out their shops to learn more, and see this post to see more wonderful shops participating in the Christmas in July Sale!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas [in July] Sale

Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho! It's that time of year again: the annual Etsy Christmas in July Sale running between the dates of 7/14/2011 through 7/24/2011! Some of our Aspiring Artisans are participating in this shindig and we want to share their sales and specials with you. So while it's as hot as Hades outside and you relax in your freon scented abode, browse through these amazing savings and do some early Christmas shopping!

Letterhappy is offering 20% her entire shop with the code HOTCHRISTMAS

CornflowerBlueStudio is offering 15% off her entire shop with the coupon code VERYMERRY

Flowerleaf jewelry will be offering 15% off select items HERE

Leanimale is offering 10% off in her entire shop with code LEANIMALEXMAS

LauraJohnston photography is offering 30% off all archival prints

DovieMoon is offering free shipping on all photos

AeridesDesigns jewelry is offering 15% off, shop wide with the coupon code AERIJULY15

Barkingbirds is offering 15% shopwide with the coupon code MERRYJULY

Galejade jewelry is offering free shipping with the coupon code HAPPYJULY and 15% off with the coupon code HAPPYJULY15

MyOliviaJewelry jewelry is offering 20% off with the coupon code JULY20

CarlaDyck is offering 20% off shop-wide with the code MERRYMERRY .

Monday, July 11, 2011

Setting Goals for Your Small Business

Making plans for our Etsy shop or small business can be one of the most fun and challenging responsibilities you face. It's a great time to dream big and think about all the possibilities, everything you would like to achieve in the next year and beyond. It can be intimidating, too - an entire year to plan for! Not to mention the future of your business. Take a deep breath and listen up - you can totally do it if you break the task into small steps and take one step at a time!

The first step to planning out a year's worth of objectives is to create a "Big Picture" list. This is a great way to get your goal-making juices flowing! Sit down with your notebook or computer and write a list of all the things you would like to accomplish in the next year - business goals and personal goals, too. Choose a few BIG goals that will take the most time and energy (like setting up an online shop, participating in a big craft sale, or launching a new product) and include more small goals that will be less time consuming (such as using your Twitter account, organizing a supply area, or planning a weekly coffee date with your BFF).

After you have finished your "Big Picture" list it's really helpful to break it down into a month-by-month schedule. This way you can see which goals are time sensitive (like planning for holiday season sales or scheduling a trip) and you can give yourself deadlines for completing other projects. Start with your BIG goals, plugging them into each month, then fill in the smaller goals.

For example, my big goals for July have been to develop items to market for back-to-school season and to create a new crochet pattern to sell. Those goals have taken up the biggest percentage of my time and energy this month. I've also plugged in quite a few small goals like stocking up on packaging supplies and making a simple tutorial to post on my blog. Next month I have one really big goal of moving into my new apartment and getting settled, so I balanced my list by including a bunch of small goals that I know I can accomplish!

Here are a few more goal making tips:

Keep Your Goals Handy: Keep your list in a spot where you will see/read/review it often.

Add Details: The more details you use the more focused you will be.

Celebrate Your Achievements: Get excited when you accomplish a goal! Cross it off the list, tweet about it, tell your friends!

Contributed by Rachel of Cornflower Blue Studio

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Images and Inspiration

Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.   ~ Author Unknown

Friday, July 1, 2011

TheAngryWeather is an Etsy Featured Seller

Congratulations to our very own Iveth Morales of TheAngryWeather on being an Etsy Featured seller! Her unique style is instantly recognizable in her her lovely shop. You can read more about her in the Etsy feature here.

The Miniature Refuge/Home Necklace

TGIFT - Stars and Stripes

To all of you who celebrate : Happy Independance Day!