Julie Ellyn Designs – Jewelry for the Fashion minded

To get sales numbers up many Etsy sellers try to trade with other sellers to both give and receive public feedback. Feedback and number of sales is what makes an outside buyer that doesn’t know you; more comfortable buying from you. My next featured seller is someone that I have done such trade with! Julie gave me a pair of gorgeous earrings (that one of my colleagues is trying to steal from me) and I gave her a print from my shop.

I have nothing but love and appreciation for Julie of Julie Ellyn Designs as a shop owner, artist, Team Leader of the Etsy Team: Daily Dose of Handmade  (where I first got to know here), and as a person – kind, passionate, and a true Etsy soul!

Julie makes earrings for a trend-aware crowd with a clean silver look and some fun sparkling crystals, her bracelets are just as trendy with an exotic urban feel to them.

On the question “What is your most sold item?” Julie answered: “The Cameron Earrings have been my top seller over the last year, but my new big sellers are the gemstone and leather wrap bracelets.”

Many new Etsy sellers have a fear of not getting any sales, what would you say to them, looking back at your own start? “My shop had a very slow start, until I joined an Etsy team. My first team was Etsy Tradeaholics, a fabulous group. My “sales” grew from there as I traded wares with other fabulous shops. Each trade event brought more attention to my shop and other sales began to trickle in.”

Tell us how you try to stand out from all the other jewelry creators on Etsy
“There are a lot of jewelry designers on Etsy. I try to stand out by staying up to speed with styles and keeping my price range reasonable. With the major down turn of the economy over the last two years, I retired a lot of my gemstone designs for more affordable simple sterling pieces. Now that things are looking up, I have brought back my gemstones with full force! 🙂

What got you into Jewelry making?  
“I started making jewelry after I had so much trouble finding the perfect necklace and earrings for my wedding and gifts for my bridesmaids. After attending a gem and jewelry show I had custom necklaces and earrings made for my friends and they were a big hit! I realized that jewelry making was something I really wanted to try! Here I am today!

Inspiration is a big thing among designers and creators, where do you get your inspiration from? “My friends are my inspiration. I love talking to them about what is “missing” from their jewelry box or what they saw a celebrity wear.”

What is your favorite item in your shop?
“I have two current favorites…this amber wrap bracelet that I just made:

And these gemstone earrings”:

Other AWESOME Items from Julie’s Shop

Any last word to other Etsy Sellers? Join teams; I have made some of the best friends on Etsy. They keep me strong and keep my urge to create alive.”

Thank You Julie for sharing your experience with us as well as letting us know you a little bit better. I wish the rest of 2012 will bring you awesome inspirations and new customers.

VISIT JULIE’S SHOP HERE: Julie Ellyn Designs

Scented Candles to warm your heart and soul

By being an artist and creator myself I have a HUGE respect for others that do the same and I really want to bring people I admire forward into the spotlight. When I started this Blog I decided I was going to dedicate many posts to my fellow Etsy sellers to highlight what a great place Etsy.com is and also to show my appreciation and love for these owners and creators. I know there is a lot of hard work behind it, but more so – love and passion!

Let me introduce you to my first Featured Seller: Becky, the owner of Good Neighbors Candle.
Becky’s shop is filled with handmade soy candles and note cards that would fit anyone’s need at one point or another throughout the year. Candles are a great gift for anyone, even without it having to be a special occasion. We all love scented candles that fill our homes with warmth. Becky’s beautiful note cards are inspired by nature with vibrant colors and would go very nicely with her candles if you were to give them away as a gift.

When asked what item she sells the most out of Becky said: “I would say that a very popular item on Etsy is the Baby Shower Favor. They are so much fun to make and I have enjoyed making them in neutral colors as well as a custom order for a giraffe themed shower. Every day there are multiple searches for baby shower favor so this is an area I am actively working to expand.

Outside of Etsy one of my most popular items is the hot chocolate mug. I make so many of these in the fall and winter months. It is so fun with the little soy marshmallows and the hot chocolate scent is very real and lasts through the whole candle.

The number one seller all around is the nine ounce hexagon jar. Very, very popular with my fundraiser and Etsy customers.”

http://www.etsy.com/listing/86290414/soy-candle-hot-chocolate-with?ref=sr_galle…
http://www.etsy.com/listing/84268210/fresh-baked-apple-pie-soy-candle-9-ounce

Tell us about your Etsy Experience
“I was pretty clueless when I started on Etsy. I put up my first listings and then began exploring the rest of the Etsy site. I stumbled upon teams and found a home in the CAST Team. Through participating in the forum I began to get an order here and there. As the positive feedback grew so did my sales. Just before the Christmas season last Fall I offered a deal on Heartsy. While this actually cost me a LOT of money in shipping fees, it gave me a lot of exposure, sales, feedback and repeat customers. Another thing that stirred up sales for me initially was a trade I did with a team mate. She loved the candles and talked them up in our chat thread. Another team member was looking for melters, which I had not done to that point. She became a tester for me and is now a regular customer. Giving her free product in the beginning as it was in development allowed us to build a relationship that is now a very lovely friendship.”

Since Etsy is filled with amazing artists how do you try to stand out from the rest?
“I make every effort to stand out by offering top notch candles. Using quality fragrance oils, pure soy wax and natural wicks I do my best to provide the best candle on the market. I also work hard at the photography aspect of it. While everyone else is chasing the photos on white trend I have backed off to just taking pretty pictures that are clear and attractive. I went through trying to take them on white but it just looked harsh and took so much effort that I didn’t end up getting around to it as often as I needed to list things. Sometimes you just have to be an individual. It is working for me. Since I also offer my own photography on note cards this style doesn’t detract from a unified look in my shop.”

http://www.etsy.com/listing/75672375/photo-note-cards-pack-of-four-herb

What was it that got you started selling Candles?
“In 2005 my next door neighbor had retired from her full time job and was looking for part time work. I knew that she enjoyed making candles and suggested that she might enjoy starting a small business. I was working in finance at the time and suggested I could keep the books. That was the beginning of a very fun and intense time of learning. i often feel that I should track down those customers from the first year or so and offer them replacements….we had so much to learn. However, in the years since then the candles have improved to put it mildly and most of my business comes from repeat customers. I love making new friends and creating fresh, quality candles for them.”

Every artist gets inspired by something, what is your biggest inspirational source?
“Much of my inspiration comes directly from my customers. This is how we got the baby shower favors. One of my repeat customers contacted me and asked me to come up with something she could give to her guests at a niece’s baby shower. Other customers ask for specific fragrances. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a container. It is so much fun to create custom items in bowls, crocks and other containers I spot here and there. This bowl candle has been a favorite of those who take a chance on ordering it.”

http://www.etsy.com/listing/80771599/soy-bowl-candle-country-bumpkin-scented
Some feedback that came in last week on the citrus infusion bowl candle….”OKAY, this is my FAVORITE of the candles I ordered. The bowl is adorable, the candle is BIG, and it smells so danged good! Wonderful fresh citrus scent — and the scent is so well infused in the soy wax that the candle scents our sunroom beautifully even when it is not lit. I had a plumber come by the other day, and he remarked on the wonderful scent — and was amazed that the candle was unlit and still smelled so great. I thought that was pretty impressive! Thanks, Becky — there are more of these in my future, as gifts and for myself.” — Cass

If you had to buy something from your own shop what would it be and why?
“My favorite item changes all of the time….but at this very moment….I enjoy the Peach Smoothie scent in any form. Tea lights, jar candles….whatever! This scent makes me happy.”

What are your tips to fellow Etsy sellers?
“There are two things that I believe are key in selling on Etsy. Number one is your photos. If you have to spend money to have someone else take them, do it. Your product must be well represented because first impressions are everything. The second thing I would recommend is to find a team that you fit comfortably into and invest time and energy in promoting others. Make friends. Etsy is a big place. Your effort has to be in making those first 10 – 20 sales to receive positive feedback which allows others to feel comfortable taking a chance on you. It should go without saying that you must offer quality products. Never, ever sell anything that you wouldn’t be thrilled to purchase yourself.”

Becky’s passion and dedication is truly visible in her words! And last but not least she has offered a Free Give Away!!! This Irish Moss 6 oz Tin Candle and her Monarch Note card is up for grab!

This is how you win it:
For every action you take your name get’s put in the hat (so more action = more chances) – just make sure you comment on what you do and include links if applicable.

Write a comment to this post
Follow Good Neighbors Candle on Facebook
Follow Good Neighbors Candle’s Blog
Follow Candie Ink on Facebook
Follow this (Candie Ink) Blog
Tweet about this give away and include @misspkm when you do
Announce this Give away at any other location on the world wide web

The winner will be announced on Saturday June 16th right here.

Thank you Becky for sharing your experience as a business owner and Etsy seller with us. I am sure many of us have learned a few things we can work on to improve our outlook on becoming even more successful.

Check out Becky’s Etsy Store: Good Neighbors Candle

Inspiration

When someone asks me where I get my inspiration from I normally don’t really have a good answer because to me it feels like it just jumps on me. But the truth is that I get my inspiration from things that goes on in my life. Friends having kids and friends getting married is pretty much my driver at the moment.

One of my closest friend is getting married on September 15th and I was jumping of joy when she asked me to be in her wedding a few months ago. Since then I have been focusing on wedding related items, such as save the date announcement, thank you cards, and invitations. I don’t think I would have thought about it if it wasn’t for her getting married!

Dress I will be wearing for my friends wedding as a Brides maid! 🙂

I started with my animal prints and then moved over to do some adult prints (which seems to be working) and now I am stepping into the ‘card’ game. I can’t wait to see what the future is going to bring me but I am pretty sure it is not going to stay with just prints and cards even though you can do a lot with that alone. I am incredibly interested in natural health and well-being so it feels like a new venture might be opening up here in the future. Maybe something like ‘Candie of the Earth’ beauty products or similar…. who knows 😉

Favorite Item

What is your most favorited item by others in your Shop?
Up until today the most “hearted” item in my Candie Ink store on Etsy is one of  my two Chocolate Addiction Print:

Why do you think this print is the most liked?
It speaks to a lot of the people that are active on Etsy.com. Etsy buyers and users are mostly women and we all know that (many) women have a thing for chocolate. Since I am from Sweden my love for chocolate will never go away, but I am incredibly picky when it comes to what chocolate I will actually eat and I think we all should be picky about our chocolate – only the best to the beautiful women on our planet!

This print is easy to like, even if you are not interested in actually buying it – the quote with the secret message (I am a chocolate addict) is pretty clever if I may say so myself. It is a statement that is cute and embarrassingly true! Hahaha..

This print is currently a 8×10 print and also available in 5×7 if requested. Could you see any other use for this?
Yes, absolutely. I have a thing for squares so I might make this into an 8×8 as well. But that is probably not what you meant. I can totally see this being made into a greeting card. That will for sure make someone smile. We don’t get greeting cards too often these days and this could be something you would want to save because of the actual print and also for (I am sure) the cute message someone took the time to write and mail you…

What got Candie Ink started?

I don’t think I can say WHAT it was that got me started. I have always been a girl with an imagination and love for creating, ever since I was very young. Colors have always been my thing. My eyes are just drawn to it.

When I graduated from High School in 1999 I signed up for a one year, full time, fashion design and sewing program. I learned everything about pattern making, fabric care, and different techniques of sewing and knitting. It was an incredible year and after that I was creating and selling a lot of custom made dance costumes that were worn by many of the Swedish National dance team dancers at multiple World and European championships as well as National competitions. It became a great source of income as I was going through college. Even back then I called my brand Candie Ink, named after my first dog.

The prints and cards idea didn’t come until a lot later. It was actually in 2007, a week before Thanksgiving that the idea of doing animal prints for kids fell on top of me as I was taking a power nap. The same afternoon I bought a scanner/printer and stayed up all night drawing on paper, scanning my images, and finally worked on coloring them in photoshop. I could not stop thinking about it. It took me about a week to get my six first prints to where I wanted them. I printed them and brought them along with me for my one week trip to the US to visit my boyfriend at the time. That week, I sold my prints to a local baby store and my boyfriend asked me to marry him! It was a crazy week but getting everything ready to get married and moving to a new country kind of left my project on hold. I didn’t follow up with the local baby store to see if they wanted more and my prints were buried in a box for a few years.

In late 2009 I decided to dig up the box again and open up shop on Etsy. My idea from the beginning was always to get my prints on canvas and never on paper. But I couldn’t afford to buy a high duty Epson printer that can handle canvas so I tried to print my images on regular cotton fabric instead. It turned out ok – but the colors were not as bright as on regular paper, so I vetoed that idea pretty fast. Then I decided to transfer my prints to stencils to screen print them on canvas. That didn’t work at all LOL!!! I did however make some screen printed t-shirts and onesies with some modifications of my prints and that WORKED pretty good! But the idea on having my animals as wall art was kind of disappearing in my mind (since I didn’t see any other way beyond having them on canvas). So instead of focusing on my prints, I started sewing again. I started making little kids clothes but realized that it took too long and I didn’t even know if they were going to be sold. The reproduction was very labor intensive and got boring. I liked the custom made dance costume scenario so much better!

At this point in my life I was also going through a very hard time with my health. So I didn’t care about creating anymore. I didn’t even have energy to create. So my shop was left in the dark and I even forgot my password to it…

In September last year (2011) my husband and I bought our first home which meant that I got my very own arts and craft room! So it was time… Candie Ink needed to be woken up and I haven’t looked back since. Now it is clear to me that whomever you are; you have to start with what you got. Paper is the thing now and maybe one day in the future I can move on to canvas, who knows, and at this point who cares – let’s worry about now for the moment.

So, I still do not know what got me started but I can say that I only have gotten started and my imagination will for sure lead me to new creations and adventures… Hopefully you will be with me!