Thursday, 22 July 2010

Summer Time and the Living is ETSY, Part II

Hi Anne-Marie from byAMOR here, with a second helping of summer inspirations for fellow Crafty Ireland Team members. Part 1 of this article covered July and focused on using this often quieter season on Etsy to revamp aspects of your shop. Part 2 continues in this vein, while honing in on August.

Summer vacations can really fire your creativity. I literally picked some inspiration right off the coast of France this year. I got a crick in my neck scavenging sea glass, pottery and slate on the Normandy beaches. You can’t always come home from your break with fresh supplies, but if elements of your holiday creep into your art, telling the story in your description makes it all the more real and alluring. A photo of whatever it was that inspired you can catch the imagination of the buyer too.

August evokes childhood memories of the annual trek into town to buy school uniforms, books and supplies. (Yep that’s me with my collar half out, showing an early penchant for asymmetrical designs.) Four daughters with two year gaps between us must have been a nightmare for my parents. I suffered the heat and boredom of this summer ritual, but the highlight was stocking up on fresh stationery and art supplies.

August is the perfect time to list back to school supplies. Makelovely has hit the mark with her hand-dyed zipper case.

Searching for items to feature in this series has drawn my attention to the question of tags. (cheerful gift tags, courtesy of Propeller.) I’ve been conducting shopping searches on Etsy using the terms ‘craftyirelandteam’ plus keywords like ‘back to school’, ‘summer’ ‘Leo’ , and other themes or colours of the moment.

I thought I had a decent handle on tagging. Yet my own items did not always pop up in my searches when they should have. It finally dawned on me that I have missed several tagging opportunities by not paying enough attention to Etsy’s merchandising desk.

Yes, I add a topical listing to my shop every now and then and tag it accordingly. But what about relevant colours and themes that are already lurking at the back of the shop, sadly labelled with last season’s buzz words, or worse, never-been-buzz-words at all? Take one of July’s hot colours, ‘robins egg blue’ for example. I had a few items in or featuring this shade but most were tagged the same old ‘pale blue’. Guess who’s feeling blue now.....?

So I’ve made a little mid-year resolution. I will use this month to revisit my tagging and in future I'll approach it with one eye on trends and colour shades.

Continuing on the subject, using the tag ‘craftyirelandteam’ on every one of your listings means fellow team members can find you when putting together treasuries and blog features or when shopping within the team.

A search for ‘peridot’, the birthstone of the month, turned up this charming necklace by Silkstone designs. Peridot is an unusual transparent green stone. This semi-precious gem has a long tradition as a power stone. It is associated with healing of emotional wounds and is said to bring clarity and a sense of well being. In ancient Egypt, peridot was known as the ‘sun stone’. It was used to bring calm to the mind and was believed to promote successful relationships.

Crafty possibilities abound for August’s zodiac sign, Leo. I’m thinking cards, handmade beads, mobile phone charms, paper bookmarks and cuddly plush lions for a start. ‘Teen’ or ‘teenager’ might be a tag to consider including.

If you plan to list birthstones or zodiac signs, it’s a good idea to tag with the relevant month and the words ‘ birthstone’ ‘star sign’ ‘zodiac’ et. Buyers don’t necessarily know what the stone or sign for each month actually is so their search could be quite general.

I couldn’t write an article about August and leave out Beelicious crafts’ fruit-slice money purses. You can almost taste the sweet flavour of summer.

To wind up, August hails the coming of the academic year. If you are considering learning a new craft, or up-skilling in some way, you might find inspiration from

Methinks a beginners class in photography might serve me well now...


  1. Hey Anne-Marie ... LOVE the pic of you as a child! I think using colours in your tags is a great idea and thanks for some good tips on using seasonal tags too and zodiac etc. But we're going to need more than the 14 tag allocation that Etsy allows to fit all the goodness in ...!

  2. Thanks for your pic of the lovely, bright gift tags Alex.
    I agree, we haven't enough tags to keep up with all of the trends! Nor can we constantly change a huge amount of tags each month or we'd have no time to make anything. But I'm going to keep one eye on tagging trends in future. Some of the team do this exceptionally well.

  3. Wonderful post, Anne-Marie! and funny, too. I needed that this morning. You are too cute with your collar half out!

    Great tips on tagging here!!

  4. Another inspiring article - thanks! I urgently need to update my tags, luckily, I don't have that many items in my shop!

    Love your picture as a child - growing up in Germany, we didn't have school uniforms, but wore what our Dad bought us (luckily, he had quite good taste!)

  5. Hi Anne-Marie, great post and very informative too.

    Love you photo you have stunning eyes!!!

    Great tips about "tagging", I always seem to go blank at this stage of listing!


  6. Thanks for your comments.

    Yep I intend to give my shop a big MOT over the next 8 weeks or so. I'm glad of the quiet time. I'd like to be fighting fit for a (hopefully) busy autumn/winter.

  7. What a great post,it's certainly got me thinking again,especially "tagging".I never seem to know the right words and like you I often wondered how certain colours got mentioned and never any of mine,now I know ,thanks

  8. Yes Valerie, tagging is one of those tricky things.
    One thing to try is to check out the 'just sold' items, look for items similar to yours and see what tags etc they are using.

    Ok, it could be anything that got them the sale from their photos, their following or just being in the right place at the right time but it may help when you are stuck for tags.

  9. hi anne-marie, great post, thanks for link to merchandising desk, had heard of this but did not know where to start looking for it ;o)

  10. Great tips Anne-Marie, I love reading your posts they are such an inspiration. Today I fixed my shop announcement and bio after reading your last post of tweaking your shop.
    I really struggled with tagging in the beginning but I think I'm getting better at it now. I try to imagine myself as a shopper and how I would search for the item, then include trends and team tags, it all important.
    Also if people have a spare tag europe is often a good one, if people want to search within europe either for a treasury or for cheaper shipping. You don't need it in every listing but a few in your shop is good, same holds true for Ireland as a tag.

  11. Thanks for the feedback girls.

    I never thought of using 'Europe' before. That's a good one. Actually, I must go check if I even have Europe set as part of my 'location'... another important thing to have.