Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Focus on Artfire

After much consideration and comparing, I have switched my main focus to Artfire. Every way Etsy drops the ball, Artfire picks it up and does it right! I've made one sale already and know more will follow. Artfire's latest app is the new Check In feature, where the seller can mark that they have been in their studio that day. This will help assure buyers that the seller is active and on hand to help them with their orders. This will cut down on buyers wasting their time on abandoned shops. It is a great feature!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pimping Artfire

After the latest devastation caused by Etsy Admin, namely the huge privacy breach of the past week, I have opted in on Artfire's Pro upgrade for $5.95 for life and even split my shop so I have 2 shops there now. I have never put much effort or work into Artfire and have never made a sale. I believe if I put the same amount of work into Artfire as I have Etsy that I will make sales. I really want Artfire to work out. It is painfully apparent that ETsy does not care if their sellers make sales, Etsy make its money from listing and renewing fees. Artfire on the other hand goes out of its way to help its sellers do what they are there to do, namely, SELL! I will keep you all updated on this experiment of mine.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Etsy Image

Resellers and mistagging have gotten so bad on Etsy I am loathe to refer anyone to Etsy except to my shop with ample warning that the general site is now full of resellers and one practically has to have a degree to tell if their wanted item is truly handmade. Etsy is becoming an embarassment to me. I would hate it if someone I referred to Etsy got took by a reseller, buying mass produced crap that is overinflated in value when they thought they were buying a premium handmade goodie. And search on Etsy is deplorable, full of mistagged items. Etsy is definitely going down. And it had such promise. How disappointing.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

May Sales Recordbreaker!

After no sales at all in February and March, and thinking I might just have to let my items expire and close up shop, May was a recordbreaker for me. Home sales popped, direct sales from a group forum I belong to, and Etsy sales! Woo hoo! Just goes to show you need to cover all venues and there is no pattern to sales really.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Got a small business grant!

Like many on Etsy my sales took a nosedive for a while, I had not made a sale since January then this month I have made 3 sales by the grace of god. A week ago I took a real hard look at my shop in my efforts to improve upon it and decided I just did not offer enough variety in scent choices for my soap. I screwed up my courage and composed an application for a small business grant from my counselor. I was not sure I had a chance in heck but I tried anyway and I found out today that I got it! Just goes to show that even when things look grim, have a positive outlook and aim for new goals, you just might succeed! I have been truly blessed and will be in soaping heaven soon! I've asked for supplies to branch out and offer 4 new scent lines in keeping with the Spring season: violet, magnolia, sands of morrocco and masculine musk, from Wholesale Supplies Plus, my main supplier, 2 scents for women and 2 for men. I am so excited! I love fragrance!

Forum Sales Fairy Strikes again

I've had a bad sales slump....no DEAD in the water since January, then 2 weeks ago I filled a custom order for an entire batch of Primo's Power Wash Dog Soap with Emu OIl and the next week a home sale popped up! Last night I was chatting in the Etsy forums passing the time. I love the forums there, I learn so much and have made some good friends too and it is entertaining. Then boom, one of the forum chatters bought a bunch of soap from me out of the blue! Talk about perking me up! Just goes to show you never know when a sale will happen, it can occur jsut from something that you say in passing. So many vent their frustrations so angrily in the forums you just never know who is reading and what kind of impression you are making matters. I feel real blessed that someone was impressed enough with my Medieval Fantasies soap line to buy from me. A very nice way to end the night indeed!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Etsy Down Again

10:51 am CST odd almsot the same time as yesterday! It's not my pc as I have no problem accessing other websites jsut Etsy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Etsy is DOWN

at 10:43am Saturday Etsy is completely down, hope it doesn't lat long even though my sales are non-existent. Looking at last year I made no sales in March either then.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

SCRAM Etsy Resellers!

Woo hoo! Etsy has initiated SCRAM, "Systems for Catching Resellers and Abusers of the Marketplace." SCRAM is a clever bot that uses algorithims and heuristics to pinpoint resellers and abusers like mistaggers on the Etsy marketplace. We also now have the Flag This Shop button so we can flag an entire shop for violations, this will help Etsy get rid of these troublesome abusers of our marketplace. I am glad Etsy has FINALLY started taking this serious but have concerns that the problem is so deep rooted now that it may be very difficult to actually stem this problem. One major problem is mistagging and this needs addressed for any real inroads to be made. I'm actually in favor of getting rid of tags all together. What do you thnk?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gift Bag Listed On Primo's Pawtourage

I just listed yesterday the large size Maltese doggie gift bag on my Primo's Pawtourage Etsy shop! Check it out!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shout Out to Etsy- Thanks!

Found out yesterday via Twitter and another team member (thanks Monique) who saw it first, we got our grant from Etsy! It helps in a big way to pay for our first advertisement in Maltese Monthly print magazine. I had thought we did not get it since the 1st came and went, we found out on the 2nd. I had thought I messed up the grant application by not selling my team as good as I should have. Apparently I did it just right! Thank you Etsy for having faith in us and showing support! And thank you Morgan for all your help in this and in setting up our team. Morgan is Teams Coordinator for Etsy and she rocks too! Woo hoo!

Artisan Interview - Megan - Rue Design

This is 5th in a series of artisan interviews of the members of Primo's Pawtourage. Meet Megan of Rue Design on Etsy. Rue Design is also a member of Handmade Louisiana.

  1. Do you work full time crafting or have an outside job too? How do you balance your time between them? How did you get started crafting?

    I work full-time all the time; lol.Yes, I work full-time as a Web Designer at Louisiana State University and manage to sneak in some time to craft art with my hands. I have always made things. I can remember at the ripe old age of 4 positioning my sister's Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and drawing a portrait of them with my box of crayons.
  2. What inspires you in crafting?

    Whether it's my family, the way the clouds roll by, or the smell of chocolate, I believe that inspiration surrounds me all the time and seeps into my subconscious and later reveals itself in the final product.
  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us?

    Patience and persistence are two definite traits that I'm learning to foster. Also, believing in yourself and having a support system when you're feeling down is invaluable to your business.
  4. Megan, you are currently involved with creating handpainted dog place mats for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. Can you tell us a little about the process making them?

    Each place mat is created individually with a collage of elements including decorative papers, acrylic paints, markers and glue. I begin with a blank canvas literally. It's the same heavy duty canvas I use to hand paint custom floor cloths/rugs. I then begin applying the decorative art papers to create a background. Next the borders and graphics are hand painted. Finally I paint the text on the graphics and highlight the edges with metallic markers, seal with water-based floor sealer, glue edges, and mat is signed to create a finished product. Each place mat is unique and no two are identical.
  5. Do you share your home with dogs or other pets, if so, what kind and tell us about them.

    Of course I do. I have always loved animals and have filled my home and life with them. We have two dogs and two cats and one rogue jungle kitty that visits us on occasion. The dogs are Tyrone, my 12 year old chocolate Doberman baby, and Velma, a Golden Retriever mix found roaming my grandmother's yard. Our cats that we see on a regular basis are Katie, 12 year old fluffy gray bunny missing a leg and tail due to car accident when she was a kitten, and Rainy, another rescue we adopted. Finally, my other baby cat is LuLu. He disappeared a couple of years ago, but we have seen him a couple of times at the edge of our yard. I have a suspicion that he lives at many neighbor's homes; whoever has the best food.
  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business?

    We all have dreams and I would love to work full time creating with my hands from my home. Also, everyone in my family has their own business; it's in our blood.
  7. Tell us a little about you…are you married, favorite things to do when you are not working?

    I am married to the most amazing man; Trey. This April we will have been together for 10 years; what a long 10 years; just kidding. We have 2 precious little rug rats. Aiden is 4 and he knows all his letters and words. Taylor is 11 months old and she can break glass with the shrill of her squeals. When I'm not working, creating art, being a wife, being a mother; hmmm... I don't remember having free time. Actually pre-babies, I used to teach middle-eastern dance (belly dance).
  8. One of Primo’s Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National Specialty in May in Atlanta. Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts?

    My husband worked for many veterinarians throughout college. Therefore, we have always rescued animals together. Our first date was at the zoo! We have volunteered at Cat Haven; a local organization for the rescue of homeless and ferrel cats. I would really like for Primo's Pawtourage to expand to many other breeds; preferably Doberman Pinscher rescues. They are truly a misunderstood breed and are loyal beyond words.

    Megan, thank you for allowing me to interview you and thank you for being a part of Primo's Pawtourage! Best wishes and many success to you!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Artisan Interview - Stacey Lange - Inkwear

This is the 4th in our series of artisan interviews of the members of Primo's Pawtourage Etsy Team! Let's take a peek into the world of Stacey Lange, Inkwear.

  1. I understand this is a family business. How did you all get started crafting together? My stepdaughter, Natalie who is 13, wants to be a fashion designer when she gets older. She wanted to design some shirts. My husband, Eric had done some screen printing in high school and remembered some of the details. We decided to get the equipment and design some shirts. We then thought we could do tote bags also. The shoe idea just came to us, as they are canvas and we realized that we could put art on shoes.

  2. What inspires you in crafting? We own a tattoo shop and realize that they aren’t for everyone. However, most people are very curious about them and like them, they just wouldn’t get one themselves. Most of our orders are custom designed for what the client wants.

  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us? We learn something new every day. The tough part is designing things that we think people will like. We have come up with so many different designs. The best part is designing an item and having the client love it.

  4. Stacey, you are currently involved with creating silk screened t shirts for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. You are doing a Maltese dog design right now. What dog breed would you like to do in the future? We would like to do Sled Dog. They are amazing animals. Although we would love to do any and all dog types. We also have some horse designs that we have come up with but just haven’t put them on a shirt yet.

  5. Do you share your home with dogs or other pets, if so, what kind and tell us about them. We have an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie named Boozer. I know, that is a funny name, but she looks like God was drunk when he made her. She is black, brown, white and grey. She has been a great dog and so good with the kids. She is such a part of our family.

  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business? We would like to be doing this full time and actually making money doing the craft that we enjoy.

  7. Tell us a little about you…how many children do you have, favorite things to do when you are not working? My name is Stacey Lange and am married to Eric Lange. We have been married for 5 years in April. My son, Philip, 13 is the light of my life. Eric has two children, Drew, 14 and Natalie 13. All the kids get along very well and are such a joy. I grew up in the Denver area and still live here. Colorado is a great place to raise children. I work full time as a Comtroller at an Automotive dealership, we own a tattoo shop, we have INkwear and in my “spare” time I am a mom and a wife. Not much free time but I truly love what I do.

  8. One of Primo’s Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National Specialty in May in Atlanta. Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts? We just did 10 pairs of shoes for a lady, Sheri Rossi that was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November. She has been going through Chemo and so far is a survivor. We donated 2 pairs of shoes to the benefit and also a gift certificate from the tattoo shop. The turnout for the benefit was overwhelming. I think the Maltese Rescue is such a great cause. I really wish we could help out all dogs and animals that are in need. They really deserve a better life.

Thank for allowing us a glimpse inside your life, Stacey! Best wishes to you, your family, and all your endeavors! Thank you for being a part of Primo's Pawtourage.


The largest puppymiller in Tennessee just got 10 years in prison for animal cruelty! Yay! Blossom and I are kicking our heals! We are making headway, I know it seems it just doesn't stop but perserverance works!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Artisan Interview - Diana Ledesma - Designs by Catalina

Hi, Diana Ledesma, thank you so much for agreeing to let me interview you. We’d like to get to know you a little. You have an Etsy Shop, Designs by Catalina, where you handcraft one of a kind gifts, jewelry, keepsakes, and more! Very nice shop!
  1. You have a background in Fine Arts and a degree in Graphic Design. Wonderful! How did you get started crafting?

    Ever since I was three years old, I would watch my older brother color in his coloring book. I was so impressed on how well he did I wanted to out do him! Art has been one thing in my life that I have always done well and it always seem to come easy. I call myself a "Jill-of-all-Trades" because I enjoy so many different types of art. Such as, photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, polymer clay, weaving (beads and fiber), jewelry design, graphic design, batik, woodworking, just to name a few! I always enjoyed making gifts for family and friends and was encouraged to sell my work. I'm not involved in ETSY to make a lot of money. I just want to share my passions with others.
  2. What inspires you in crafting?

    Everything! I see a beautiful sunset and I want to paint it. I see my Maltese sleeping peacefully and I have to photograph her. I see a loved one sick I make a rosary for them. I have a drawing diary which I draw most of my ideas in to keep a record of what I want to explore. If I have a "crafting block" I go to my drawing diary to get re-inspired. I just wish there were 48 hours in a day!
  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us?

    Many people have told me I don't ask enough for my work. My prices are too low. That maybe true, but I want people to be able to afford my work not make a killing. With our troubled economy, to find good quality gifts, one-of-a-kind pieces, and custom designs shouldn't be hard on the budget. Most people just don't have the expendable income like they used to have. But, we all need a little "pick-me-up" that won't break the budget. A gift that really shows how much we care and not have to go into debt to achieve it.
  4. Diana, you are currently involved with polymer clay picture frames for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. You are doing a Maltese dog design right now. What dog breed would you like to do in the future?

    I have just started sculpting dogs out of polymer clay and the Maltese and Beagle are my first breeds. I have been working on a German Shepherd and I would like to try an English Bull dog. A lot of time and research goes into my sculptures so to add a new breeds may take some time. I don't use any molds. Although, I have thought of making my own molds that I design. That way I can still say they are an original piece made by me.
  5. Do you share your home with dogs or other pets, if so, what kind and tell us about them.

    I have a special rescued Maltese that spent her first six years of her life locked in an awful puppy-mill. I have had her for almost fours year now and she has been wonderful! The lady I adopted her from once told me that, Princess Daisy, would most likely never be a "normal" pet. She was so traumatized that she didn't think I would be able to turn her around. But, as luck would have it, she learned to trust me and in turn loved me for it. I would say she is about 95% close to being a "normal" pet! And she has the "Diva" attitude down pat!
  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business?

    I would love to still be making my unique items and learning new things. In the two years I have been working with polymer clay, I have learned so much that I can only imagine what I would be creating in five years! I wouldn't wish to be "rich" in money but to be "rich" in friends. I have made so many friends that have shared my interests in rescued animals and jewelry making and polymer clay that I feel even more inspired to keep designing!
  7. Tell us a little about you…are you married and does your husband/family help in your craft, what are some favorite things to do when you are not working?

    I am married to the best husband in the whole world! He had encouraged me to create to my heart's content! He has a good eye for jewelry design and all my designs must pass his approval - my rule! He has been known to mix clay for me and make his own beads and then tells me how he wants me to finish "his" design! He will shop with me and research ideas to help save me time. Now, how can anyone say he is not the Best Husband in the world? I have three sons, all at home, in college and working! They will give me their opinions and suggestions which I most appreciate.

    My favorite thing to do when I'm not working is to find myself in my basement office which can be seen at the Polymer Clay Tutor Blog: I have learned so much from Cindy Lietz that I have to give her some credit. Thanks, Cindy! She was kind enough to "Spot Light" my studio on her blog last July. This is where all my creativity happens and put into motion. Of course, my Princess Daisy, is always at my side!

    I, also, enjoy Detroit Tiger Baseball, gardening, walking Daisy, teaching her new things - she is ten years old so you can teach an old dog new tricks! I, also, enjoy keeping in touch with friends and family on FaceBook.
  8. One of Primo’s Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National specialty in May in Atlanta . Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts?

    I feel since I can't rescue all the animals that need help by myself, I could help those who are trying to save all the ones they find. Those who spend all their waking hours saving abused animals need our help and admiration. By contributing to, Primos Pawtourage's American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle, we can help to save even more abused animals.

    I have helped the Michigan Humane Society by having Daisy's photo entered into their annual calendar contest. Her photo is shown on "Black Friday" November 26, 2010. I, also, had ran a sale, last December, in my ETSY shop, designbyCATALINA, where 25% of all my "Princess Daisy Collection," doggie jewelry, sales were donated to the MHS or to an animal rescue of their choice.

    Since many people in my family have either died or been diagnosed with some form of cancer, I will in the near future, set up a special section in my shop where the proceeds will benefit Cancer Research. My husband was diagnosed with cancer four years ago and is cancer free, so far! Thank God! Now, if only we can help to save everyone, who has been touched by cancer, what a wonderful world this would be!

    Thanks to Primos Pawtourage for letting me be a part of a great Team!

    Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about you. It is fun getting to know other crafters and thank you for being a part of Primo’s Pawtourage Team!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Artisan Interview - Leann Terrill - Terrill's Tiles

This is the 2nd in series of artisan interviews for Primo's Pawtourage Team members. Today we are interviewing Leann Terrill of Terrill's Tiles, she handcrafts wonderful tile coasters, tile gifts, and tile games.

HI Leann Terrill, thank you so much for agreeing to let me interview you. We’d like to get to know you a little. You have an Etsy Shop, Terrill’s Tiles, where you sell your handcrafted tile coasters, tile gifts and tile games. Wonderful shop!

  1. What got you started in crafting and what inspired you to make tile coasters?

    I got started a few years ago when I bought an English Bulldog, Gunner. I really wanted some bulldog coasters and the ones that I had found in stores or online I didn’t like or they were asking way too much money for a set of coasters. I began trying different things and came up with my own. Tile is so absorbent and warm looking. My neighbors, family and friends saw them in my home started making requests and buying them from me. I then began doing craft shows and hence started my journey to Etsy. And I have loved every minute. Each set I do is so much fun for me, especially custom requests. Everyone has something different they want and I love it when they receive their order and are as happy as I was making them! Sounds a little sappy I know, but I’m not sappy though! ha.

  2. What inspires you in crafting?

    Besides family and friends, just about everything, inspires me! I love creating and growing. I camp, boat, fish and spend a lot of time outside. I love coming up with new ideas while I am at work, the downside is I have to wait all day to get home and actually do it! Coming up with new ideas is so much fun and fulfilling. I spend a lot of time in tile shops looking at all of the different kinds they have, I dream up stuff to make while I’m there! One of the tile shops took some of my creations to their state tile show and I received a lot of orders from that!

  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us?

    I have learned that is a lot harder than it looks! Takes a lot of hard work and time to efficiently run a shop and run it offline as well. It seems to people on the outside that it is pretty simple. Coming up with new creations, pictures, listing it all takes quite a bit of time. It is also so rewarding on the flip side! When you receive an email or phone call from someone absolutely loving what you’ve done, that’s pricless. I love what I do!

  4. Leann, you are currently involved with making tile coasters for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. You are doing a Maltese dog design right now. What other dog breeds do you do and what would you like to focus on in the future?

    Obviously I would love to do the English Bulldog next! I presently am selling, aside from Maltese, the English Bulldog, Labs, Yorkies, Beagles, German Shorthairs and Cocker Spaniels. I love all breeds and hope to fill my shop with as many as possible!

  5. Do you share your home with dogs or other pets, if so, what kind and tell us about them.

    I have my English Bulldog Gunner. He is 5 years old and I bought him when he was 8 weeks old. He is a complete joy! He goes camping and boating with us! He can’t swim too well with the bulldogs short legs so he wears a lifejacket and loves riding on the tube! When you have a pet it truly becomes a family member! My daughters call him their brother, so funny! I believe everyone should have the experience of having a pet to love and love you back! I also have a pond in the back yard with 2 turtles, they are so much fun!

  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business?

    Definitely still selling and enjoying every minute of it. I hope it will always be as much fun as it is today! It is a great outlet and is “my own alone time” kind of thing! In 5 years both of my teenage girls will have probably have moved out so I could possibly be living in Hawaii or Australia crafting from there, that would be fun!

  7. Tell us a little about you…you are a single mom, how do you balance that with your outside job and crafting? Do your children like to craft too? What are some favorite things to do when you are not working?

    As you have said, I am a single mom, working full time and crafting. That doesn’t sound as busy as it is!! My oldest daughter, Janise is 17 and works while going to high school so she only has 2 days off a week….not much of a crafter! My youngest daughter is 14, Bailie and she is a craft nut! She goes to all of the craft shows with me selling the jewelry she makes. And she makes quite a bit of money doing it. She makes wonderful jewelry that I wear almost everyday! On my off time I definitely love being outside all summer whether we are fishing, camping or just hanging out in our backyard absorbing the sunshine! I grow a large garden and love yard work! Gunner has a little pool that he lays in when we are all outside, he gets way to hot! Funny!

  8. One of Primo’s Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National specialty in May in Atlanta. Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts?

    I have donated coasters, magnets and an English Bulldog Tile Game Board to the Southern California Bulldog Rescue. I think everyone should always do what they can to help the rescues. They are vital for our furry little friends! I appreciate all they do for all breeds in every community.

Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about you. It is fun getting to know other crafters and thank you for being a part of Primo’s Pawtourage Team!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Artisan Interview: Monique of Mischyfpaws

This begins the first of a series of artisan interviews I will be conducting of the 7 other artisans involved with me working on the Primo's Pawtourage doggie gift bag project and are contributing handcrafted goodies for the gift bag. All seven are members of the Primo's Pawtourage Etsy Team. This first interview highlights Monique who sews and embroiders fabulous goodies and sells them in her Etsy shop, Mischyfpaws. Without further ado, here is the interview! Enjoy!

  1. I hear you got started with sewing when you were quite young. Can you tell us a bit more about how you got started?

    My mother got me started sewing with a child size sewing machine when I was four years old. She would buy me Barbie patterns and give me scraps of fabric from her sewing projects to make my Barbie cloths with. Where normal little girls would play with Barbie’s I was more interested in making clothes for her to wear and hang in her closet. My Barbie was a fashion cloths horse.

    When I was nine my mother bought me a Singer sewing machine. I started making my own clothes for school. By the time I was in High School I was designing and making Prom and Bridal gowns for my mothers Bridal Shop. In my freshman year of high school I was accepted to Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles . After I college I needed to move to Oregon . While there I ended up taking jobs outside of the design field. I some how kept my designing to a part time business over the years.

    A few years ago I discovered the world of machine embroidery. I came across embroidery by looking for Chow Chow items. I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find products with the Chow Chow breed on it. I decide to make some of my own. I eventually found a CD that contained 25 dog breed embroidery designs on it. One of the designs was a Chow Chow. After a while people were asking me if I could make items for them. Soon I noticed I had 75 dog embroidery designs. One day right before I got laid off from my job I decided to use these embroidery designs and start a company with them. I figured this would bring in some extra money. I started my company on eBay but I wasn’t happy there. Two months later I closed my store on eBay and I opened Mischyfpaws.etsy.com.

    Now I am enjoying machine embroidery so much that I am learning how to make my own embroidery designs. Hopefully I will be able to offer my own designs for sale in the future.
  2. What inspires you in crafting?

    The things that inspire me are music, art, animals, taking walks, nature and the fashion industry.
  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us?

    The most important thing for me to pass along to anybody starting a business is to get organized as quickly as possible. When the orders start coming you have no time to organize.
  4. Monique, you are currently involved with creating embroidered items for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. You are doing a Maltese dog design right now. How many dog breeds do you have in embroidery patterns?

    I am always adding designs to my inventory. I currently have 128 dog designs, 107 of them are dog breeds with 82 breeds currently offered in my Mischyfpaws.etsy.com store. One of my goals this year is to start making my own dog embroidery designs.
  5. You share your home with dogs, what kind and tell us about them?

    I am currently owned by a Chow Chow named Nicky. He is a pure breed, very talkative and smart. He is so smart he has figured out how to open closed doors by turning the knob with his teeth and front paws. Nicky is at my side 24 hours of the day. He goes everywhere with me.

    I take care of my mother and she is currently owned by a Lhasa apso named Misty. Misty has been tagged with the nickname of “queen of the sofa”. You can always find her proudly sitting on the sofa.
  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business?

    After working many years in non creative jobs with middle management bullies and laid-off four times, I am well over due for a change. After I was laid-off the last time I started thinking about what I really want to do. What I want and have always wanted is my own company.

    In 5 years I hope to be my own boss making a profit from my embroidery business. I would like a company that I can support myself with. I also would like to have a small home with a little land for a vegetable garden. Finally, I would like to have my art work showing in some gallery in Portland and making cloths for Portland Fashion Week. I think that would be an awesome accomplishment!!
  7. Tell us a little about you… favorite things to do when you are not working?

    My life right now is pretty much working on my business and trying to get my company going. I don’t have a lot of time for my hobbies. I am current taking care of my mother and reside with her. I was laid-off a year ago and like many others, I can’t seem to find a job.

    When I am not working on my business, you will find me walking by the river or one of the scenic nature paths around the city. I also enjoy taking a day and viewing the art in the art galleries around town. I read, draw, sew, loom knit, weave and enjoy pastels and painting. My newest hobby is spinning yarn. On special days I will spend a day or two and drive out to the Waterfalls Oregon is known for or visit one of the many beaches here.
  8. One of Primo’s’ Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National specialty in May in Atlanta . Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts?
Since I have opened Mischyfpaws I’ve been approached by various charities to donate items to. Primo’s Pawtourage is my first charity work that I have done from etsy. I wouldn’t mind working with other rescues.

Thank you for allowing me to interview you, Monique. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Primo's Pawtourage

You'll be hearing quite a bit about Primo's Pawtourage on here now so I thought I would let you know what it is all about. Primo's Pawtourage is the dog themed products line of my main store. In December I formed a collective called Primo's Pawtourage and since then we have become an official Etsy Team collective and I have separated Primo's Pawtourage from 2 Virgos Designs and gave it its own storefront on Etsy. Our main product will be doggie themed gift bags, our first featuring the Maltese dog. There are 8 Etsians contributing handcrafted goods custom made for this project including me. This is an exciting venture and one prong of this project will be a donated gift bag going to the American Maltese Association's Rescue Raffle in May in Atlanta, Georgia. Since we have more products than can fit in one bag, we will alternate the items giving the retail version an air of some mystery and surprise for its buyers. This is a high end gift bag aimed towards the collectors of specific dog breeds memorabilia. Chock full of unique and beautiful custom made work, it will be sure to surprise and please!

new banner for Primo's Pawtourage

It is high time I give credit where credit is due! About a month ago Diana Ledesma of Designs by Catalina on Etsy sweetly agreed to make a new banner for our collective's new Etsy shop, Primo's Pawtourage! Thank you Diana! drop by Primo's Pawtourage to take a gander at our new banner.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Primo's Pawtourage doggie gift bag project

My Primo's Pawtourage line, dog themed products, is working on an incredible collective project, currently a Maltese doggie gift bag! Including me, there are 8 wonderful Etsy artisans involved in the project. Our goal? To make a high end custom designed gift bag for dog lovers in general and Maltese lovers specifically. I will begin to feature each of the artisans involved with a pic of their submitted work for the bag. Our first project is to be donated to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle being held at the National Specialty in May in Atlanta. we are all verye xcited to be working on this project together. For me, this is a first, to be working in unison with other artisans, and it is challenging and fun! Mainly working with creative juices and time constraints are a challenge but I am loving every minute of it and must give full credit to all the other artisans for making this such a wonderful experience.

Here is who is involved currently:

Monique of Mischyfpaws
Megan of RueDesign
Rachel of a Time To Heal
Stacey Lange of Inkwear
Diana Ledesma of Designs by CATALINA
Lisa of Mias Munchies
Leann Terrill of Terrills Tiles
Jackie Sample, Primo's Pawtourage

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Article on Team Member Leann

Handmade News published a wonderful interview on Leann Terrill, a valued fellow Etsy Team member, of Primo's Pawtourage. Leann has her own Etsy shop and handcrafts beautiful tile coasters and other neat things. She has designed a Maltese coaster for our current Team project, the Maltese doggie bling gift bag.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Awesome Day! A Day of Blessings!

I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life. Yes, bad things happen to me and some days are really hard but every once in a while something happens that just blows me away. Yesterday was one of those days.

I got to talk to one of my Etsy Team members on the phone and it was really uplifting! Thanks Stacey!

Then I posted on a forum that I needed a copy of Microsoft Office 2003, as my newer used pc has no office suite on it, and an anonymous friend is sending me a legit copy of Windows 7 and Office!!! I sat in front of the monitor with my mouth hanging open for minutes! I can't believe this, it is just so wonderful! I use Windows 98, and figured that would be what i use till the day I die! LOL

I was a little worried about money, I have more outgoing for bills than normal trying to pay off the vet bill and I got my first Alchemy request for a nice custom order! I SO love Etsy even with its hiccups!

I thank God for these many blessings!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is it Relevant?

Yesterday Etsy Admins decided to do a site wide live experiment of a new search based on relevancy instead of recency. One thing I noted: big name popular sellers had a drastic drop in views and sales, little known small less popular sites, like mine, experienced a rise in views and sales. (I had higher views.) The current recency search strongly favors those with bigger budgets to renew and relist, I am wholeheartedly in favor of a search that rotates sellers so everyone has a chance. The experiment was a failure really because title and material stuffing won the day and hogged the first several pages all day of any search. They need to work on it, but that was understood from the start. I think they are on the right track. Most importantly, misstagging needs to be addressed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And the winners are....

Katherine of Phetched.com announced the winners of my give away, Shauna, Kate, and Eleanor! A huge thank you to Katherine for hosting this fun give away and congrats to the happy winners!

Monday, January 18, 2010

2 Virgos Designs Give Away

Phetched.com is kindly hosting my give away of some glittery dog bone guest soaps! Easy to enter, just comment. Ends Jan. 20. The dog bones are part of the dog themed products in my Primo's Pawtourage line.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Skin MD Naturals Giveaway!

Wow! Skin MD Naturals is having a great give away! It's worth $100 and includes:
1.A Bottle Skin MD Natural shielding lotion
2.A Bottle Skin MD Natural + SPF 15 shielding lotion
3.One pound of See's dark assorted chocolates
4.12 Starbucks VIA Ready brew coffee pouches
5.A "Kiss Me" mug
6.A Cuddly teddy bear
7.Lollipop Bouquet
8.All in a lined wicker basket

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Soapy Links

Check out Carolyn Friedman's blog Becoming a Radiologist Technician where she has listed the "Top 25 Soap Making Resources Online” All my favorites are there and a couple of new ones I will be checking out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

shake up or shake down on Etsy

Rob Kalin is back, the original CEO of Etsy he has been gone for about 2 years and in that time Etsy has finally made a profit although arguably from signing up new sellers and near riots have been occuring on the forums about deteriorating customer service and major features of the site just not working like SEO. There is a breath of hope wafting through the forums tempered with a good dose of cynicism and I must admit I feel the same way. I've had a shop on Etsy for more than a year now and have watched it fall down on the job more and more everyday, from the ever increasing hordes of resellers allowed and even promoted by Etsy against Etsy's own TOU's to severe hang ups in Check Out hampering and even preventing buyers from shopping. I ahve grown alarmed, Etsy is the most viable handcrafted venue on the Net, what will I do if it becomes impossible to run a successful shop there. I pray Rob actually listens and acts quickly on the many pleas of its own customers, us, the sellers on Etsy, and the confused and angry stirring from our buyers, frustrated with a Search feature that doesn't work due to rampant uncontrolled mistagging and the inablility to easily pay for their purchases. And I hope he does it NOW, business has fallen off for many sellers, the economy is not good, we need the site to pop! I love Etsy, the community of Etsy, and the promise of Etsy, and there is no sane reason Etsy should not be THE foremost place to shop for quality handcrafted goods, supplies, and vintage.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Give Away Winner!

A huge shoutout to Lynne Matthews of Coos Bay, Oregon! Congratulations, you won a soy wax lotion tart from my shop, 2 Virgos Designs. A huge thank you to Audrey Friesen who hosted my give away and wrote a nice review of my soy wax lotion tarts with emu oil on her blog, Audrey's Give Aways Blog.