Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to get your customers coming back for more!

When selling your hand crafted items online, you need to take customer care into consideration. You want to be the best in your line of artwork and adding a few personal touches to your customer service can make a huge impact on the reputation of your online shop.

Here are a few ways you can take care of your customers:
1) Make your customers feel appreciated, go above and beyond what they expect. This means making their shopping experience with you one that separates you from the thousands of other online shops out there.

I had a repeat client who bought a hand created bangle from me, I know she adores earrings so I made her a pair to "Match" her new bangle, she was thrilled and to this day is one of my best customers!

2) Always welcome customer feedback, this can be your best friend and give you an edge in the handmade market. I find that my clients have some really great ideas that I can easily implement in my business. Dont be afraid to ask customers what they want, run a survey on your website or your Facebook Fan Page you never know what great ideas they can suggest that will end up boosting your sales. .

3) I find that when handling custom created orders that adding a few days additional time is a smart thing to do. You never know what unexpected issues can pop up at the most in-opportune times. Another plus is when you can actually deliver your custom order earlier than quoted or exactly on time. This is extremely important to the reputation of your online business.

4) Dont be afraid to extend a courtesy to another shop or business if you don't have or can provide what your shopper is looking for. I have found that when I refer my shoppers to other online shops they go above and beyond to reciprocate! Plus, I have made some very amazing friends through doing so.

5) I always spoil my customers with "Extra" goodies with their purchase. I usually make up extra earrings and keep them on hand to include as my way of letting my customer know they are appreciated and special. My customers love that I take the time to create something extra and the positive feedback is so very worth it!

Pricing your handmade items made simple

Selling your handmade items online can be hard enough without having to worry about under or over pricing. I have spent years creating jewelry and pricing was always something in which I knew I had to come up a solution. I can say that having a successful Artland shop consists of many aspects, such the will and determination to make your shop a success, hard work, and tons of social networking (Yes, where you actually have to go out in the "REAL" world and interact with actual people!) and of course networking online with such places such as FaceBook, Myspace, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg... Etc. You really have to work at promoting your shop. Your efforts will not only increase your sales, but also increase your brand awareness and your shop name!
When wondering about profit you are probably wondering how to figure it into your price. Pricing your products for too low a cost can have a disastrous impact on your shop. You must remember that shoppers want to feel that they are getting a quality creation. The same goes for overpricing a product, it can be just as detrimental in a sense that the shopper will be looking at your competitors pricing. You must also take into consideration if you are targeting a high end shopper or a "Bargain" shopper.

Next, you will want to be sure that you take into consideration any expenses that you can such as rent, artistry tools and equipment, repairs, telephone, cell phone, electricity, water, internet, subscriptions and memberships, artistry supplies, advertising fees such as business cards, online venue fee's, craft fair entry fee's, instructional classes and insurance to name a few.

If you are working from home you may will need to calculate a percentage of your utility costs. A safe percentage to claim when running a business from home is 10% of your monthly utility may be applied as business related when considering electricity, water, gas or phone. You can claim 100% if you have a personal business phone line and internet that is strictly used for business purposes. You can also find out what your state tax requirements are as per costs of doing business.
How can you determine your prices?

First you must figure your profit as minimal and your overhead costs maximum. To do this you must take into account your cost of supplies and creating shop inventory (your actual created goods) I suggest beginning with a profit margin of 50% . This is a pretty fair assumption of profit.
Lets use this as an example:
1. Overheads: $10,000
2. Profit: $5,000
3. Overheads + profit = $15,000
4. Divide $15,000 by 50% = $7500 ( You are using your profit margin of 50% to gain this estimate)
Now we need to work on figuring your retail price: Below is a very simple formula for determining retail prices.
Cost of Goods + Markup = Retail Price
Retail Price - Cost of Goods = Markup
Retail Price - Markup = Cost of Goods

Pricing your items doesn't have to be scary, it can be a simple process once you know what you are looking at. When running your own shop it is very easy to track your inventory and all your expenses. Working for yourself as an artist can be fulfilling in so many ways, and profitable once you learn how to set your prices.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fabulous Fridays

Fridays are more than fabulous when you get to shop with these awesome shops from Team Elite! 

Give any outfit a touch of rustic elegance with this beautifully created necklace from Gendrea  This necklace has a combination of brass and antique copper chain and links. I wire wrapped two swarovski crystals inside the heart for some color and sparkle. The necklace measures 24 1/4 inches long and the earrings dangle just under 3/4 inches long.

. *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ * ˚ *

Wire wrapping is a true work of art as is this ring created by CoparAingeal  This is an asymmetrical wire wrapped adjustable ring made with a black coated copper wire. It features an 18x13mm Oval Agate and 20 Trans Olivine beads around the edge of the stone and down the band. Agate is the stone for self-expression, creativity, health and good fortune. It makes it much easier to open up oneself. Soothes emotions and pain. Sensitizes and attunes senses. Helps to develop powers of eloquence, self-confidence and public-speaking. It is believed to be of special benefit to athletes and to those taking any kind of examination or test - mental or physical. It eases a sore throat and takes away the hoarseness. This stone also works directly with the nervous system to alleviate physical tension and is said to be a treatment of arthritis, skeletal conditions, and as an aid to digestion. General healing, reduces fever, hardens tender gums, gives courage and banishes fear.

  *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

Fridays are the perfect time for spending time at the beach especially with this cute sarong cover up from  pippisLongstockings   I crocheted this beach wrap skirt from 100% cotton yarn as a single seamless piece. It has two flower-patterns, one on the front and the other on the left side. One size fits most. It is 36 cm / 14 inches long, and 120 cm / 47 inches wide. On the front end there are two plastic rings -crocheted all over- which work as D-ring closure. On the other end there is a 90 cm / 35.50 inches long tie which enables adjustment of waist measure. 

  *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

Dont forget to play up your eyes in one of this summers hottest trending colors from SMASHME  A pretty brown with a lot of gold in it. Wear it dry or wet to make the color and gold stand out even more *all my photos are worn dry*. Comes in a full 10 gram sifter jar that will last you a super long time. All first time buyers will receive a 15% off coupon towards their next purchase. 

 *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

Add a touch of copper beauty to your Friday night ensemble with this beautifully created earrings created by TattooedTinker  These earrings have been forged out of salvaged copper telephone line. They are 100% recycled metal! There are no connections in this piece, it is continuous from the petals of the rose to the curve of the spiral.

 *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

Wrap your wrist in this beautiful vintage Mexican copper bracelet from TheButterflyBoxdeitz  This is a stunning massive piece featuring four large panels of heavy copper, edged with brass scroll work. The center of each panel showcases a carved agate mask held in place by a brass rivet. Each panel is connected by double linking brass rings and closes with a brass tongue and groove clasp. This is a bold and beautiful example of mid-century Mexican artistry. Stamped Mexico on the back of the bracelet it measures 2" x 8".

 *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

Play up your hair style with this gorgeous hair fork created by our featured guest shop of the day MairzyDozy  Copper metal wire has been hand-shaped and hammered to form this elegant hair fork accented by hand-wrapped copper wire branches blooming with delicate glass seed bead blossoms in light pink.  Our metal hair forks are designed to be functional and decorative, securely holding up your long hair in a bun or twist. They can also be used as an accent to adorn many up-do hair styles. Each piece has been hand-formed and hammered, creating a rich pattern to catch the light. 

 *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

Get ready for a fabulous Friday Night out in this beautiful from FrancineElizabeth  This stunning strappless dress is a mixture of golden natural silk, a black cotton blend and a faux suade. This dress has a corseted back detail that ties in a bow just above the waiste. The Hem line comes to about the knee and the dress is finished with an invisible zipper along the side. 

 *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ˚ ˚ 

To purchase any of these fabulous items, please click on the BLUE shop name which will redirect you to the artists shop.

Wishing everyone a fabulous Friday from everyone here at Team Elite! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weekly Thursday Treasury Challenge 6/28/12

Weekly Thursday Treasury Challenge

Team Elites Treasury Challenge will be held every Thursday and is open to EVERYONE,  not just team members so feel free to join us! This week’s theme is  "Hypnotized"    it can mean anything to you. This Challenge will run until Saturday at midnight, your treasury must be created within that time frame.

Voting will be held on Sunday on our team blog, so be sure you vote for your favorite one. You must have all 16 items in your Treasury on Sunday to qualify as a finalist, if there are any missing items in your Treasury it will be disqualified.

The Winner of the Challenge will be the featured shop in the next weeks challenge as well, they will win a featured blog post including an interview with photographs and shop links to their items, and will also receive a spot on the side bar of the team blog for one full week! The winner will also receive an original piece of jewelry created by Aimer Le Terre Jewelry!

Challenge Rules:

1) You must follow this week’s theme  “Hypnotized"

2) You must not include an  item from your own shop and one item per shop, please.

3) Must include 8 Team Elite members, the rest are up to you.

4) Must include 1 item from each of this weeks featured shop:   BagsByHags45

5) Include the Team Tag: teteam

6) Include that you are participating in Team ElitesTeam weekly treasury challenge somewhere in your treasury description with a link to our Team Blog:

7) Post your treasury's URL here in the link up on the team blog  to enter in this week’s challenge.

8) Promote your treasury, the more you promote the better chance you have of qualifying for the top three in the voting round!

9) You can enter as many treasuries as you like, the more you create and enter the more chances you have at winning!

Highly Recommended (not required)...
* Become a follower of the team blog to stay in touch with each new challenge, challenge winner, announcements, etc.
* Replace missing items in your treasury. Don't replace sold items.
* Tweet, Facebook, Blog, etc to spread the word about your treasury and our Challenges.
* Convo people that you included in your treasury.
* Come back next week to participate again!

Time to make some treasuries!
Good Luck & Have Fun!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This weeks treasury Challenge winner is BagsByHags45

This weeks treasury challenge winner is Marsha from BagsByHags45, her shop is full of handmade Denim Purses, Bags, Bible Covers, & Home Accessories

Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

I was born and raised in Texas, I am a former Police/Animal Control Dispatcher, My husband was in the US Army and we spent 6 years in Alaska. After his time was up in the Army we decided to return to Texas to be closer to family. Once we returned my Mom needed more care I now take care of her, once we moved her in I needed something to keep me busy so my husband bought me a new sewing machine and Bags By Hags was born.

When did you first discover your creative talents?

I have always love to create things, I get that from my grandmother I used to sit at her feet while she sewed. I loved it! But through my adult years as I worked outside of the home I really didn't have the time to spend creating. The past year has been great for this as I have really been able to see my creative side come to light with my business. 

Could you tell us about some of your work?

My Bags and Purses are the core of my product, the bigger bags are made from recycled denim jeans and the smaller purses are made into a Tie Bag Style. 
The Potato Bags and the Pot Holder Handles are my most popular items. But my very favorite items are my Bible Covers. Each Bible Cover is unique and made with the most of my Love. 

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?

Faith inspires me, I pull on it daily, it is very important to me. If I am having a day where I don't feel very motivated, I usually take a step back and take a break for the day. I think it is important to revive and renew every now and then. I love to take evening walks, but what revives me the most is spending a day with my 3 beautiful grand-daughters!

How will you describe your style?

My style is Western, I love everything about it, however I try to expand my designs out to be a little more funky as well. 

What is your approach to design?

I actually will lay my material out on my work table and say I see a ***** out of this I then take off from there deciding on coordinating fabrics, embellishments , and finishing touches. I pin a note to the material with all the information then move on to the next. 

Describe your workshops for us: 

I turned the Breakfast Nook area in my Kitchen into my workshop. I have my cutting table, sewing machine, dresser for fabric storage, and a shelf for extra storage. I also have an extra bedroom that I made into my "Shipping Area" All finished items are stored in a sealed container and I have a little dresser with all my shipping items in it. I love that I have a designing area and a finished area!

Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?

I am always asking myself, how would Memaw (my grandmother) have put this together? 

What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

I hope my audience can see the love and faith in every stitch I make. I want to make unique items that are both beautiful and affordable. 

How do you bridge the gap of the business side of designing?

I have a calendar on my desk, I make a list of all the business things I need to do, I work on those in the morning and the afternoons are when I spend my time designing and creating. 

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Honest, Faithful, Humorous, Loving, Hardworking 

How has your experience been selling online? 

It has be great! I am learning something new everyday and look forward to watching my business grow!

What has been your most exciting moment as an artist? 

The most exciting thing for me is to look back and see how far I have come in just 1 year. 

Do you have any advice for new artists?

Never give up! Keep working and give it all you have, have faith, be positive, and live your dream! 

Where else can we find you online?

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you Marsha, your shop is beautiful!

Tuesdays to Treasure

Tuesdays are easy to Treasure with beautiful handmade items from these wonderful Team Elite shops and our two guest shops of the day! 

These wine cork name place holders created by thewoodenhinge would make the perfect accent for any special occasion!

NAME CARD HOLDERS (10) wine corks custom colors

NAME CARD HOLDERS (10) wine corks custom colors vineyard shabby chic
Tuscany style place card holders made from what else, but wine corks. This set is from a red wine (14 Hands) and each cork has a slight red tint on the end from the wine. They are wrapped with a beautiful red ribbon and are ready to adorn your table. Because corks are lightweight they work best with a small (business card size) name card, and may not work well for an outdoor wedding where there may be wind

.                              ¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º¨¨¨ 

A beautiful gift this crocheted name doily created by crochetby51bebe would make for a newly wed couple or even for yourself! 

Crochet Name Doily 

Crochet  Name Doily Unlimited Letters Great Wedding Gift Free Shipping Heirloom Made in the USA

These earrings from xxyz would make a beautiful gift for a bridal party that would be cherished for years to come! 
Bridesmaid gift ivory pearl wedding earrings 
bridesmaid gift ivory pearl wedding earrings designed with swrovski rondelles and clear cubic zirconia simple tie hook ear wires
Wedding jewelry bridesmaid gift ivory pearl bridal earrings designed swrovski rondelles and clear cubic zirconia simple tie hook ear wires.

.                           ¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º°¨¨¨¨¨°º♥♥º¨¨¨ 
This wine bottle tote bag from  LJDBags would make the perfect gift for any hostess or happy gathering! 

Wine bottle tote bag hostess wedding gift felted wool

Wine bottle tote bag hostess wedding gift felted wool

Currently offering free US and Canadian shipping on this item
The perfect bag/tote to carry your favorite bottle of wine. It is the perfect all occasion gift for any wine lover. Monogrammed with "Forever" makes it a perfect way to give a bottle of wine to the bride and groom. Made in wine and natural color.
This item is crocheted with pure wool and then felted, which created a thick seam free fabric which will both insulate and protect bottle of wine from breakage.

Save the date with these wonderful button magnets from birdsnblooms

Remember - Save The Date - BUTTON MAGNET- Custom Sample- 2.25 Inch

Remember - Save The Date - BUTTON MAGNET- Custom Sample- 2.25 Inch
+ Button background color is for display purposes only. + I design each 2.25” custom button magnet and professionally hand-press each one. +Button magnets for the frig are a great way to remember those important dates and special occasions, such as anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc.
Give a sweet gift of scent with these aromatic jasmine natural soaps from sestras.
Wedding favor jasmine aromatic soap 50 pieces aromatic natural 
wedding favor jasmine aromatic soap rustic handmade 50 pieces aromatic naturel soap wrapped with white lace purple lavender organza ribbon
Wedding favor jasmine aromatic soap rustic handmade 50 pieces aromatic naturel soap wrapped with white lace purple lavender organza ribbon.  
Any wedding guest would LOVE these vintage wedding spoons from our featured guest shop of the day HomespunSprout!

Vintage Spoon Wedding Favors Set of 6

Vintage Spoon Wedding Favors Set of 6
Give your wedding guests a charming vintage piece to remember your perfect day. Place the spoons in a small plant for each guest, or simply tie each with a ribbon or a piece of raffia and place one at each setting. Your guests can place it in their own garden or houseplant when they get home. These favors are sold in sets of 6. 

These Scrabble Magnets from our featured guest shop of the day  RememberMeEmily would make A beautiful sentimental gift for your guests to remember your special day. 

Wedding Favor Scrabble Magnets in Shabby Cream White Ivory Decorated Slide Tin

Wedding Favor Scrabble Magnets in Shabby Cream White Ivory Decorated Slide Tin

Adorable wedding favors that your guests can actually use once they return home! Sweet little Scrabble magnets placed in a slide tin decorated with a gorgeous creamy white ivory highly embossed textured paper. I added a little paper-punched flower & a vintage button. Tins measure 1 3/8 " x 3 1/8" (3.5 cm x 7.9 cm) and have a slider top that is completely removable. Sweet, sentimental.....memorable.
To purchase any of these lovely items click on the shop name in blue.  Wishing everyone a Tuesday to treasure from everyone here at Team Elite!