Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tips From The SF Etsy South Bay Meet Up

Last week, some of us South Bay SF Etsians got together at Specialty's cafe in Sunnyvale to talk about crafting and all things Etsy. It's always lots of fun to hang out with fellow creative folks! I was delighted to see so many familiar faces and to meet new friends. Our gathering was very casual: we each took a turn sharing something about ourselves and/or our shops, and the conversation included many helpful tips, some of which I'd like to share today.

It turned out that both myself and fellow team leader Géraldine had taken advantage of the shop critiques generously offered recently by Tina of Better off Wed. We talked at length about the vital importance of tagging appropriately -- as you probably know, now that Etsy's default search is most relevant, it is even more important than before to match your tags, titles, and keywords in your descriptions. Géraldine shared a really nifty way to think about keywords, including a diagram! (I love visual thinkers!)

When I asked if we could share it on the team blog, she was even kind enough to make a clearer copy for me to post. Thanks a bunch, Géraldine! (For legibility, I kept the file bigger than our blog format, so click on the pic for the full image.)
Talking about keywords led to talking about Etsy's Merchandising Desk -- did you know that you can increase your chances of showing up in a treasury by using relevant keywords that match the selections made by the Etsy Merchandising Desk? Each month,  Etsy announces themes, and you can check them out here. If you're looking for ideas about keywords and how to tag your items, you should check out the Merchandising Desk articles at the Etsy blog.

Part of the fun in every meet up is seeing what people are working on lately. It's like grown up show and tell!
From top to bottom: recycled sari silk yarn from Amber Threads, Art Prints from Devika's Art, and succulent pot from Live Decor.

We were especially impressed by the custom display box made by Kathryn of Splendid Colors. 

It had the sweetest little insert boxes to keep everything organized -- and a row of hanging holes for earrings! (All beautifully decorated and laser cut at TechShop San Jose.) After we oohed and aaahed, Kathryn said she's considering doing custom work for anybody who is looking to upgrade their organization or display booths. Nifty!

We discussed many other topics of interest, more than can be shared in a single post. But here are two more takeaway tips from the meeting:

  • Have you heard about FotoFuze?  If you're taking pics on a white background but have greyed out results, you might want to check it out. This free app brightens up your photos in a few easy steps.
  • Did you see the link that Heather so kindly posted about the Small Business Week workshops in San Francisco? There was some interest in carpooling from the South Bay, so let us know if you might want to be in on that.
We are working on setting up some evening/weekend South Bay gatherings over the summer, because we know that the daytime weekday meetings don't work for everyone. We will have our next South Bay meet up on May 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Look for details at the team Google group!

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

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