Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Etsy Tech Shop Meet-Up ~Valentines, Shop Critiques, and a Tour

This last weekend the amazing TechShop hosted Etsy Admin Kimm, Leland, and Natalie as they brought us creative fun, Etsy info of all kinds, and an intro to the TechShop space.  I enjoyed meeting many fellow SFEtsy team members and also those who wish to become members.  I'll be sharing a few new team ideas, some great shop critique information from Kimm, and a bit about TechShop below.  Please share your stories and networking finds in the comments below!
Sharing samples and meeting other sellers~
It was wonderful to see the light in our fellow Etsyians eyes when Kimm took a personal look over their shops.  I heard a few insights that applied to everyone:

  • use the Etsy search bar and type in only one of your common tags.  Before pressing enter, you'll see the drop down menu make suggestions of similar search terms.  These are the most popular and relevant searches that are being done by Etsy shoppers.  Make sure that if any of the phrases apply to your work, you add those tags.  For example, I make crochet jewelry.  My first suggested search term was "crochet art jewelry", totally applicable and yet a tag I hadn't thought to use!
    Using the search bar to find popular tags.
  • use compound words in your tags.  This means instead of just "necklace" use a relevant word set like "feather necklace".  
  • fairly recently Etsy added the choice of specifying two "styles" that your work embodies.  Kimm suggested being consistent and adding weight to these terms by re-using them in the item description.
  • your shop title (the small area under your banner) does count in internal Etsy searches.  Make sure the first three words are accurate, relevant, and something that buyers would look for.  I changed mine from "handmade modern jewelry crocheted by Even Howard" to "crochet art jewelry handmade by Even Howard."
  • Kimm suggested putting on one of the many shop videos during your crafting time as a way of gleaning information and improving a bit at a time.
It was a joy to meet a few artisans who are just starting out with both scaling their works as well and/or getting on Etsy.  Their enthusiasm was contagious and it was refreshing to be reminded of what a valuable community our local team is and also what a resource is itself at all levels of entrepreneurship.  A big welcome to Nelleke DemmerFeathery Leathery, and Saipet Sirimontri as you join our team!  

I was asked about our SFEtsy team, what is our purpose, who is in charge, and how do we meet?  Basically, our team is open to all Bay Area sellers who have an active Etsy shop.  We maintain this site as a resource, have an team page, and very important--an active google group.  We do have co-leaders, Katy and Steph, and you are welcome to contact them about joining the team.  Our meet-ups are sometimes "official" such as this last one, but really members are free to create their own meet-ups and events.  Lately, crafty computer nights have been popular.  

Andrea Fuentes receives an impromptu shop critique from Kimm as Katy looks on.
Another meet-up that was suggested was similar to our existing "Crafty Computer Nights" and that is to have a specific small meet-up where we help each other with the tagging and wording of our listings.  This would largely be to put into action the advice Kimm gave us as well as any additions from the Etsy Success newsletters and blog posts. 

Screenprinting workshop @ TechShop
Many in our meet-up were first time visitors to TechShop and the highlight of the tour was the laser cutting machine!  TechShop is a wonderful resource space providing professional industrial machines for wood, metals, textiles, plastics, etc.  If you want to know more about becoming a member, taking classes at TechShop, or teaching classes, please visit their website.  

Big thanks go out to our new co-leaders Katy and Steph as well as the volunteers from the team that helped the event be welcoming and fun.  TechShop Ed Coordinator Centa Schumacher created our valentine making area complete with sparkles and feathers.  Thanks to Ashleigh Castro for photographing (more pics @Flickr).  Thanks again to Kimm, Leland, and Natalie for journeying from Brooklyn to share their skills and advice!

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!


donna said...

Wow, this a lot of really helpful information! I'm definitely going to bookmark for later and apply some of these suggestions to help reinvigorate my shop.

localcolorist said...

thanks for this great report the photos are fabulous too !

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

I was so bummed to miss this! Looks like it was an awesome event -- thanks to all the folks who helped make this happen and thanks for such a helpful recap!

Andrea said...

Loved meeting some of the members of our team so that I can finally put a face to a name I'm familiar with!

The advice Kimm gave us in the crits was super helpful, I have seen more visits to my shop already :)

KimmChi said...

Andrea that's awesome to hear!!
Explore other shop critiques under the Seller Success library here There is tons of great content for you to learn from

eko at eko jewelry design said...

Thank you so much for the helpful information. I've immediately changed my shop title based on the suggestions and will work on my item titles and tags next.

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