Monday, January 28, 2013

Bearfoot Art Glass Back on Etsy! First Listings Today and More To Come Daily!

We've decided to move our selling efforts to Etsy.  This photo shows our listings from today.  Click HERE to visit our Etsy shop.  My goal is to list five items a day.  Now that Scott is freed up from hand making tools all day, he is back on the torch and ready to get the glass inventory going again.  I can't even tell you how excited I am about that.  Our tools are now being made by Studio Pro in Florida.  They are now called Bearfoot Tools by Studio Pro.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Far We Have All Come ... and ... How Fast, But Slow.

I took this photo over the weekend at the Island County Fair on Whidbey Island, WA.  This was in the antiques building.  I was shocked and cracked up at the content of my shot.  I was going for the old wagon and it took me a minute to feel the irony of the phone booth lurking in the background.  I'm sure I just liked the vertical and red or something for my composition.  Think of the actual time period between these two items.  Really not that long!!!  But yet, a really long time!  I am the queen of fragmented sentences in case you haven't noticed, but I type as I think.  I guess I must be a fragmented thinker as well.  Anyway, it makes me think how far we have come as Americans and how much has been accomplished in an actually short period of time.  My son gets a kick of asking me "Did you have this or that as a kid?"  What a lifechanger the internet has been, when I didn't even have computers growing up and now I am able to market our goods around the world because of it!  I am in awe when I think of the future and the rest of my lifetime.  What has yet to be invented or cured?  What will I witness in history?  It seems to all unfold slowly, but boy does it go fast!

Here is some eye candy that Scott has been working on.  Right now we sell all of these individually in our retail studio/gallery, but I'll set some aside soon and list them up so you can get your hands on them if you want to.  Ciao for now!  Monica

Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Studio and The Weird Radar Thing.

In an effort for you to learn more about us, I have posted a recent photo of our retail studio/gallery in downtown La Conner, WA.  We are right on First Street, so if you're ever in the area, be sure to stop in.  We sell Scott's lampwork beads, my jewelry, other beads, and some gorgeous batiks.  I learned to batik in high school and I love it.  I'm about to try another project.  I'll post a photo when complete.  Here is a link to learn more about our hours, location, etc.

We spent some time on Whidbey Island, WA this weekend with family and we had the odd pleasure of seeing the strange radar thing go by on it's way from Seattle to I'm not sure where.  It actually went by pretty fast!  Just strange.  I like how my photos turned out though.  Here is a link to an article so I can learn what it is and you can too if you are interested.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Two E's. Etsy and eBay. I'm going for it!

A while back I tried giving it a shot at using these two services instead of selling beads and jewelry from our website.  Back in the year 2000, acutally on New Year's Eve 1999-2000, we listed our first eBay auction.  After learning the ropes and building a good customer base, we actually sold Scott's beads on eBay full time and did ok at it!  Not a huge income, but definitely decent.  We rode that for a while and later we focused on doing more shows and ultimately opening a retail gallery/studio.  eBay started to taper off as more and more artists flooded the pages and China also began flooding the market with pretty decent basic beads.  Then eBay ditched the feature of being able to Feature something.  It would cost about $20-$25 or so and then you'd have a featured listing that would stay among the front pages until it ended.  I loved it.  I would list a heap of auctions and then feature something to let my buyers know that we were there.  Once eBay stopped doing that and did not offer a comparable alternative, our sales on eBay went down and our focus was going elsewhere. 
  Since then I gave it a shot here and there on eBay and wasn't too thrilled with the results.   Our buyers were either not there anymore or we were just too lost in the sea of pages and not being seen.  After a couple times of paying hefty eBay fees and not seeing anything come from it, obviously I put my efforts into other avenues.  HOWEVER, now eBay has stopped having a listing fee (I think for the first 50 items per month).  That has suddenly made it more attractive to me, and I'm sure many others, to go for it again since most of the cost will come now only if the item sells.  They take a cut on shipping now though, so keep that in mind. 
  I had a lightbulb moment the other day that I need to go for Etsy (mostly for my jewelry) and eBay (mostly for the beads), but to once again put a full time effort into it.  I had tried Etsy a while back and I'm sure I gave up too easily and quickly.  I weighed selling from my site to selling our work on these two sites. 
Pros:  eBay and Etsy - I don't have to resize and rename my photos or create thumbnails.  (huge time saver) AND I can easily show multiple angles (many photos) which I can't do on my site without tremendous effort and chaos on the screen.  I can have way better SEO with reaching my customers.  Cool Apps to help keep customers informed and good Analytics to see how things are going.   Each site has online forums which help to learn more and "get out there".  The fees are now more easy to swallow if things don't sell. 
Cons:  I'll miss my website shopping cart which enables people to use Visa/MC/Discover/Amex OR Paypal.  Maybe most people in the world have a Paypal account by now, but I wonder if I will lose or annoy customers by now ONLY taking Paypal.  I think I saw on eBay that you can take cards separately of Paypal, but I need to look more into that. 
Basically, I want our work to be found "out there" and I think using these two sites will now perform better than my website has been.  There are such good options to tag and use keywords and reach people that I would not have been able to otherwise.  It's time to try to find more customers since we haven't done shows in forever!  The kids are old enough now that I think we can get back on the ciruit hopefully next year.  Even if you practically break even at a show, the chance to pass out that many business cards often has translated to "being found" and the chance to run into editors of magazines was also a great benefit. 
  Ok, so you're in my brain now.  You know my thinking.  I will be vistiting tips, hints, videos, forums and getting back up to date as to how to make these sites work for me.  Yes, things have changed.  I also need to regain my Power Seller status on eBay which will likely take a year.  Oh well, better get started now then.  After reading extensively in the forums on each site and on Lampwork Etc., I have found that it can easily take 5-6 months of not much selling to finally getting a good customer base going and getting found.  I think it was two months at each site when I had tried on other occasions and got fed up.  I will keep it steady this time and not give up no matter what.  It just takes that and I'm going to do that!  Oh and I also learned that one should try to have over 100 items up on Etsy.  I don't think I was near that before.  I have enough inventory to do that and will list it all over time so I can have new items show daily in the Newly Listed pages. 
Here's to going for it!!  May my efforts to build our customer base and keep our work "out there" perform well and catch on.  I can see it.
By the way I only have one item up on each at the moment as I spent all day creating templates, adding preferences, etc.  I will add daily as I plan to schedule a weeks worth at at time.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Heap of New Work Added to our Website. New Newsletter too!

Today I have added this lot of beads plus a bunch of jewelry as well to our website.  There is also a new tool on there which you can find featured on our homepage below the graphics and some of the videos.  It is a new switch system for our electric mandrel spinners.  I have also just sent out our monthly e-newsletter.  There is a coupon on the bottom of it that expires tomorrow night!  Have a great Saturday night!  Ciao, Monica

Friday, July 29, 2011

No Comment(s) - Change That and Win

Ok, so in an effort to see a 1 instead of a 0 next to my comments section below each post, I am offering a one time prize to the first person to leave a comment. Let me know you're out there. I also want to see how I am notified when someone does leave a comment. The prize is a coupon for 30% off of your entire order from anything on our website. It will have a one month expiration date.

Since I posted this blog post, someone has notified me that there is a problem with leaving comments. I urge you to still try since I tried to leave one and it worked for me, but then I deleted my comment so the comments number would be true.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Jewelry Portfolio Revisited for Inspiration

I am gearing up to make some more elaborate pieces as one of my last in the store just sold! With the kiddos it's hard for me to take a lot of time on one piece, but they are surely my favorite pieces to make. I looked to my portfolio page on our site and that helped me remember some ideas I have been wanting to try. Most of our new work recently has been put out for sale at our studio and I wanted to see how that went before taking all of the extra time to photograph them and get them up online. I'm due for a photoshoot though, so I'll post new work soon. In the meantime, perhaps you'd like to see some of my more elaborate pieces in my online portfolio.

Or look below to view my fancy slideshow.

Thanks for looking! The last couple of weeks has been camping, swim lessons, and day camp. That seemed to all come at once. It was fun though, but I'm glad things are getting more settled down around here.

Ciao! Monica