Marketing Monday: Is Use the Best Form of Marketing?

Military style top with Epaulet accentuated shoulders

I read this post, Is Use the Best Form of Marketing? sometime ago.
But just last week, I was out and about & talking about my jewelry....
And was not wearing a single piece of my work.

Bertoia necklace - mid century modern - vintage and recycled jewelry

I believe the message should be repeated and
knock me over the head with it, would you please?

Chicky Upcycled Tote Bag

Wear your work:
  • It's free marketing.
  • It's an icebreaker.
  • It's market research.
  • It's product testing.
Record Vinyl Inlay Belt Buckle

I liked the last paragraph, too, which addressed those that
do not make wearables.

Hang this up!
Record Album Clock - Country

Use this at your next party!
Slumped Wine Bottle Cheese Plate with Red Flowers

Take this bag to the store!
Tan V Reusable Tote/ Bag

Pull this out of your handbag!
Necktie Billfold

And put this on your table!
Sienna Mandala Record Bowl

Put these on gifts and packages!
Gift Tags from Upcycled Chip Board and Recycled Card Stocks

But you are already doing that, right?


Feature Me Friday: Anyone's Guess

This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Nancy of
Anyone's Guess from Forest Park, IL.

Who is Anyone's Guess?
I upcycle a variety of materials into creatively designed,
fun to wear jewelry.

Land Of Lincoln Charm Bracelet

What’s the first thing you remember making?
When I was in grade school, I made some stuffed animals for my
brother and myself from printed fabric patterns that I cut out,
sewed, and stuffed with old nylon stockings. That was also my first
use of recycled/upcycled material. I still have the stuffed horse I made.

Why work with recycled materials?
I inherited the recycling gene from my parents, who grew up during the Depression and taught me the value of thrift and re-use. As an adult, I became concerned about being a good steward of the earth’s resources. I also love the surprise of the unexpected- wearing trash. This is why I like using things that are still recognizable as trash, even though they have been transformed. It's a metaphor for life and reflects my belief - and my own experience - that God can transform
even our worst experiences.

Where do you work?
I work in a spare bedroom - a.k.a. 'the junk room' - for more reasons than one! I am always accumulating more "raw material," and have a hard time keeping up with organizing and storing everything.

How do you get from A to Z?
I start with something discarded and begin playing around. My workspace is usually pretty messy, so I'll see something lying out in the open and get an idea about how to use it, or what things might work together. Just sifting through things generates more ideas.

What are your favorite tools?
My chain nose pliers. I have them in my hands at one time or
another every time I work.

What music do you listen to while you’re working?
I prefer quiet; background music distracts me.

What are the best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?

"Trashion" bookmarker from naturemadescents

recycled record earrings from misscourageous

a bottle cap horse from embarkingdog (my favorite)

and my newest purchase, a recycled T-shirt scarf from ragsbysockmonkey

Reel to Reel Upcycled Audio Cassette Reel Earrings

Read any good books lately?
Son of Hamas by Mosab Yousef; The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin;
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon; The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis

Been to any great exhibits?
I enjoyed touring the American Precision Museum in Vermont
this summer. It's full of interesting early machine tools.

Who inspires you?
My grandmother. She had elocution lessons as a young girl and gave a recital. She talked about the fuss people made over her after her recital, but she never let it change her. At the age of 92 she performed a poem from memory that she had done over 70 years earlier. I hope I have that kind of energy and recall at 92!

Seven Seas Upcycled Bottle Cap Earrings

What do you do for fun?
Read, sing with our church praise team, and of course, make jewelry!

Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
I recently starting posting photos on Flickr, and I do a Christmas
show locally at Pleasant Home (house museum) in Oak Park, IL.

How do you promote your work?
Some of my pull tab earrings appeared in the August 2010 issue of
Greencraft Magazine. I also get some business from wearing my
work. I've found being part of the Etsy Trashion team a big help;
participating in our combined Earth Day sale helped me reach new
customers, and I'm currently participating in the Trashion team
promo. I'm also considering expanding my use of social media.

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Upcycled Bottle Cap Earrings

Have any words of wisdom?
Do what you love, do it wholeheartedly, and don't quit.

What’s in your future?
I'll continue to use a variety of upcycled materials in my work,
always looking for innovative ways to transform my trash into
someone else's treasure.


Marketing Monday: Wider Shop Pages on Etsy

Last week, Etsy created wider shop pages.
Here's the tech post and a forum announcement.

Here's a screen shot of our team page.
Note the change in the placement of the banner.
I believe it is the same size, just moved over a bit.

There are lots of changes in the shop announcement,
with a run - on structure and a pop - up box.
If your announcement is longer than space allows, you will have
a 'read more' link. Links in the announcement do not work until
you click on the announcement and get the pop - up box.

Sellers have been deleting their banners, changing their
announcement to fit the space or deleting that, too.

I also just noticed with the team shop, that when you have no
sections, the avatar is closer to the top. If you deleted your
banner, would you delete your sections, too, to get your avatar
closer to the top?

For further discussions, take a look at 'wider pages' in the forums.
How have you changed your shop?


Feature Me Friday: Metamorphosi

This shop supports completely the Organization Progetto
Metamorphosi which promotes the use of recycled material
to create art and design and opportunities of work.

"Beside our studio in Calcata, we started in 1997 an organization
to promote the work of artist and artisans using recycled material."

Meditation Eco friendly Windchimes Sea water eco friendly necklace Like a Sea Goddess, eco friendly necklace Recycled glass necklace/Collana in vetro riciclato

Run by Ilaria Sadun, Metamorphosi sells unique creations made
with recycled material.

Fireworks and summer nights Eco friendly windchimes Little Azzurra necklace Stunning unique installation Glass Waterfall Recycled glass Crystal Green necklace

"We do projects with schools and events with public or private
organization. We have an ongoing project in Valença, Bahia, Brazil,
to support a group of talented women who are otherwise unemployed.
We initiated it in the year 2007 with the ONG Banca Comunitaria
Mais Vida, a project for street kids and poor family kids. 70% of
the sales of their creations go back to them."

Recycled textiles beanbag Recycled textiles beanbag Pink Lady

Recycled textiles beanbag


Marketing Monday: Selling the Handmade Way, Wider Shop Pages & Pocket Shop

Selling the Handmade Way

Bonnie of Going Home to Roost is starting an e-course on
Selling the Handmade Way. She is also offering a free guide
you can download. It is a shop help guide, with a lot of
information targeted to newer shops. But it doesn't hurt
to give yourself a refresher every now and then!

"making readers of your about or profile page feel important,
cared about, and well educated on you and/or your business
is a great starting point on building a relationship with them."

"use your shop title wisely- make it short and sweet, and what
you most likely think your customers will search for."

"the first bit of your shop announcement is the most important.
you want to open here with your ‘hook’ "

"make your space inspiring. one of the quickest ways
(i’ve learned) to kill my motivation is to have a messy workspace.
sometimes i try to work through the clutter, but it never fails to
effect my inspiration, and nag on my motivation. surround yourself
with things that make you happy like flowers, artwork or pictures
and reflect on them when you’re feeling a little bogged down. it’s
also helpful to just take a break and change the mood. go for a walk,
open the windows, fix some lemonade, or anything that will help
rejuvenate your spirits."

And did you see The Storque last week?
The tech post about wider shop pages?
Now is a great time to get your sections in order, and edit your shop
announcement, as it will be shortened on your page. The part that
doesn't fit can be read in a pop up box.

A new widget was also mentioned Handmade Code: Pocket Shop.

From Craft Cult, it reminded me of this post and the widget from Cr8tivity.

What are you doing this week to promote?


Feature Me Friday: Rags by Sock Monkey

This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Molly Kay of
Rags by Sock Monkey and Petite Dancer 25 from Chicago, IL
and Minneapolis, MN.

Who is Rags by Sock Monkey?
Rags by Sock Monkey is a eco-friendly, recycled clothing design
mini-business run by the one and only Molly Kay. It was inspired
by my sock monkey, Ginny, who really “embodies”, as much as
a sock monkey can embody something, the philosophy behind
my business. Sock monkeys were created from old socks to give
enjoyment and comfort. So, Rags by Sock Monkey is about taking
a piece of clothing that could end up as a rag and make it into
something beautiful and enjoyable to wear.

Eco-Friendly Recycled T-shirt Scarf- In a Knot

What’s the first thing you remember making?
Ooof, that is a hard one. I’ve been creating things since before I
can remember. One thing that sticks in my mind is a little drum
made from an old cardboard oatmeal container, which I painted
blue with red stars. I also still use the first thing that I ever created
from old clothing- a bag made from a pair of old jeans. I made it
in seventh grade but I still get compliments on it everyday.

Why work with recycled materials?
I think that recycled materials, besides from being good for the
environment, give specific parameters which I can work within.
Having parameters actually allows me to be more creative. It’s
easy to become overwhelmed with choices, but when one is given
a t-shirt and asked to created something new from it, it suddenly
becomes more of a puzzle-solving challenge. That gets my creative
juices flowing!

Where do you work?
Right now, in Chicago, IL! That is, in my tiny studio apartment
in Chicago which I share with my fiance, Brandon. My workspace
consists of a desk which we found in the lobby of our apartment
when we first moved in. I don’t know what I would do without this

How do you get from A to Z?
Right now, I travel on my Freespirit cruiser bicycle most everywhere. His name is Baby Blue. I like to think that he is a dreamy movie star with sparkling blue eyes. Yes, I did just call my
bicycle a dreamy movie star...

What are your favorite tools?
My favorite tool to use in my work is a tiny pair of scissors originally intended to cut thread, but which is now used to cut out the patterns that I sew onto my shirts, skirts, and other items. However, I also enjoy my large pair of shiny fabric scissors. I think I just enjoy chopping up fabric in general! It’s my favorite part of what I do.

What music do you listen to while you’re working?
It’s always different. I’m currently inspired by The Bird and the
Bee but often just turn the radio on to NPR and listen to the news
as I sew.

What are the five best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?

An urban holster (really, a fancy fanny pack) by Utilitywear, a shaving brush by craftiness as well as an Atari ductape wallet by jDUCT both for my fiance (he’s a lucky guy), a sparkly headband (the most comfortable headband EVER) I wore as a bridesmaid by chastina, and my absolute favorite are a pair of wood and pearl earrings which I wear everyday by my good friend, Allison, at potpourri4.

Custom Made Recycled T-shirt- in stitches

Read any good books lately?
YES! Everyone must read Eating Animals by Johnathan Safran
Foer, he’s changed my life forever. Whether you do or do not eat
animals, you must read this book!

Been to any great exhibits?
I’m not much of an art exhibit person. I’m more of a
music-in-the-park-free-event kind of girl... However, I love
museums, and particularly loved seeing the Adler Planetarium
in Chicago, IL. Super informative and fun!

Who inspires you?
My grandmother, who was born the year the Great Depression
began. She knows how to make something out of nothing, and
also makes some delicious canned peaches!

Eco-Friendly Recycled T-shirt Mini-Banners

What do you do for fun?
Dance, a lot, and take yoga classes. I also love seeing movies in
the theater with my fiance. And, I'm also part of a burlesque
troupe in Chicago called A & M Burlesque. I love performing
with them for fantastic audiences!

Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
In a lovely new shop in Seattle, WA called Reconstructed Clothing, Inc. Check out their website at, and if you are in the area, you should definitely stop by! You can also find me on Facebook and on Twitter- just look for etsysockmonkey!

Eco-Friendly Recycled T-shirt Scarf- In a Knot

How do you promote your work?
Usually on Facebook, on Twitter occasionally, and on Etsy through an occasional showcase. I do like to put new items that I've created on my blog as well. And I wear my stuff around town.
I think that is the best way to promote it, show everyone how great it is to wear!

Have any words of wisdom?
Believe in what you create, but also have the sense to receive
constructive criticism. Always strive to be better in what you do!

What’s in your future?
Moving home to stay with my mother and father, so that I can
sew more and work less!


Marketing Monday: A Postcard - The New Business Card

Etsy Book'marker

I have posted about business cards before
here MOO and Super Friendly Paper ,
here Business Cards and Getting Them Printed , and
here DIY and Recycled Business Cards.

Heart Shaped Embellishments made from Reclaimed Gift Cards  (qty.12)

But what about a postcard? Last week Eco Etsy posted
Business Tips: Creative Marketing & Promotion.

Price Tags - Upcycled Vintage Postcards

One of the tips was to:
"Create a Killer Ad & print it on small recycled postcards."
It was suggested to mail postcards to a target market and to ask
business establishments if you can leave them on their counters.

MOO suggests using postcards as a business flyer or even a
gift certificate. Many artists seem to have a postcard
with a bio on the back to present to the public at fairs & shows.

Why not use a postcard as a business card?
You could print the same information as you do on your
business cards and use the postcards for everything:
thank you cards, flyers, coupons, gift certificates.

How do you use postcards?