Exploring Etsy for Your Handmade Store

Exploring Etsy for Your Handmade Store

Today we’re joined by Katie from Befitting Beads. I have to tell you, when I saw her store the first time, I was completely smitten. I’m a particular fan of the Harry Potter ties, and the bows and the… all of it. 

Katie hosts her shop on Etsy, which I’m sure you’ve heard about. There are a lot of plus and minuses about Etsy, but what’s important is that she’s made a place for her and her niche. Lets go the the interview!

Hi! Who are you?

Well hi! I’m Katie, a nerdy wife and mom of two wonderful whirlwind little boys (and a spoiled cat) from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m an introvert, a Ravenclaw, an Etsy artist, an anime enthusiast, and an insatiable DIY-er.

 

What is your side hustle, and where can we find it?

I make unique jewelry and Christmas ornaments that I sell on Etsy! etsy.com/shop/befittingbeads

Befitting Beads, etsy, starting a store on etsy, shopify, handmade store, jessicafwalker.com | gratitude | Empowerment | Success

How long have you done this side hustle?

I’ve been beading for almost 3 years and selling on Etsy for about 2.5.

 

What drew you to it?

I’ve been beading and crafting since I was an awkward little kiddo, and I’ve continued it into my awkward little adulthood. Specifically, I picked up bead weaving after I graduated college and was instantly intrigued by the possibilities. I have loved creating and experimenting with new techniques and patterns! As I created more pieces, friends and family encouraged me to open an Etsy shop.

 

How did you study/train/prepare for this business?

Herm. Not much, I guess? I knew how to bead weave and make jewelry, but I didn’t do much research on starting an Etsy shop. I didn’t even know the term SEO existed… Since opening, I’ve done much more research and improved my marketing techniques to learn how to stand out.

 

What is the best way for you to find clients?

I use Pinterest to get a lot of traffic to my Etsy shop! I’m part of several group boards, and have learned how to utilize keywords to get my products found by the right people. I have also been selling at local craft fairs for the past 2 years and have had great experiences. It’s been fun to see people’s reactions to my jewelry.

 

Tell me about the platform you use. What are some of the features that make it incredible to use? Does it have any downsides?

Etsy is super user-friendly and specializes in making handmade, unique pieces stand out. It’s also got a huge audience, and sellers have huge potential to utilize SEO! However, it’s also a pretty saturated market. Standing out can be a challenge unless you have very unique pieces and can utilize that SEO.

Befitting Beads, etsy, starting a store on etsy, shopify, handmade store, jessicafwalker.com | gratitude | Empowerment | Success

What would you recommend to someone just starting their business:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and never stop learning! Especially with online businesses, there are always changes and improvements. Find some great resources in your niche (bloggers, fellow sellers, Facebook forums) where you can ask your questions and stay informed.

 

How many hours a week do you think you spend on it?

I spend probably two or three hours creating products, two hours on photos and product listings, and another hour or so on marketing. When I have a craft fair coming up, I put in several more hours preparing inventory and designing my booth setup.

 

What are your business goals for 2017?

I would love to increase the number of craft fairs I participate in! They’re a fun opportunity to connect with buyers in a way that doesn’t happen from Etsy. I also want to increase my monthly revenue from a side hustle to a more sustainable income.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Connect with others and network with like-minded bosses! Life’s a lot easier when you’re focusing on helping each other rise instead of competing with everyone.

 

Tell me the greatest/favorite review/testimonial you’ve received?

I was at a craft fair a while back where a fellow vendor was admiring my jewelry. She said she had been selling at craft fairs for 20 years and had never seen something like my jewelry before! Mind = blown.

 

What is the best way to build a relationship with your clientele?

Selling online means that I have to be very intentional about being personal. I send handwritten notes and write in a way that is a balance of personality and professionalism. I try to incorporate my personality into everything I do, from the pieces I create to the photos I take to the listings I write.

 

How active are you on social media? Do you spread yourself around or stick to one or two mediums?

I have accounts on most major platforms, but I focus mostly on Pinterest and Instagram. That’s where I’ve found the most engaged followings and traffic. They work best for me because they’re image-intensive, and that’s a huge part of succeeding on Etsy.

 

If you could go back and make your start a little easier, what is one thing you would have changed?

I would have waited to open my Etsy shop until I had a better idea of what I was doing. I would have researched more about Etsy SEO and focused on better listings and photos. And, I probably would have also started networking before even opening my shop so I could hit the ground running.

 

Any other advice, or stories to share?

Just in general, I say if you find something that you love doing then you should DO it, yo. Don’t be afraid to try, to learn, and be passionate about what you do. *end cheesy motivational speech*
Thank you so much!

Shop: etsy.com/shop/befittingbeads

Twitter: twitter.com/befittingbeads

Facebook: facebook.com/befittingbeads

Pinterest: pinterest.com/d_frazzled

Instagram: instagram.com/delightfullyfrazzled

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20 Gift Ideas for the Mom’s in your Life this Mother’s Day

20 Gift Ideas for the Mom’s in your Life this Mother’s Day

This post is sponsored by Stella and Dot, one of my favorite jewelry stores. I was compensated for this post. If you make a purchase through any of the Affiliate links, I will be further compensated. I appreciate your support. Sign up to be a stylist for Stella and Dot here.

 

Mother’s Day is fast approaching.

And every year, I’ll bet your get your mom a card and some flowers. This year, why not switch things up a bit and get her something special, classy, and beautiful?

 

Not buying for your mom? Well, as women, we tend to be surrounded by mothers. Whether they’re new to the game, or have been at it for a few years, there is one thing I’ve noticed about motherhood and maybe you’ll agree: It is a thankless job.

 

Listen, kids love their mothers (they can’t help it) but they’re also greedy little bastards who only think about themselves. It is exhausting taking care of yourself, let alone a miniature human who doesn’t have the capacity for reasoning, language or basic motor skills. Now imagine you have to do that with like, two or three or four of them, all at different stages of their lives?

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Mother’s Day is a chance for those kids to acknowledge all the hardwork and effort their mom’s put forth to keep them alive, healthy and happy and loved. But there’s no reason why you can’t show your appreciation to these women who make it look easy. Or who are clearly struggling, and could use a quick smile and a chance to feel like a woman, and not just a mother.

 

I suggest jewelry from Stella and Dot. It’s fun, classy, affordable, and when women receive jewelry (this is such a generalization, I know) we melt a little bit. It’s okay to gift your friends with necklaces or bracelets or earrings. It shows you acknowledge their power and individualism as a woman, not just a mother. I think that’s one of the most important parts of motherhood; not losing your womanhood. And it often gets overlooked.

 

Here are 20 pieces of jewelry from Stella and Dot to remind the mom’s in your life to reclaim their womanhood.

 

Bracelets

Stella and Dot is having a sale on bracelets: buy two, get one 50% off! Combine and stack and make a statement! #Affiliatelinks


Stella & Dot Pavea Disc Cuff – Gold – $34.00
Hand-set pave in a shiny gold cuff. Easy simple sparkle.

  • Shiny Gold Plating
  • Adjusts to fit SM-LG Wrists

 

Stella & Dot Turquoise Stone Cuff – $49.00

Semi-precious turquoise geometric stones sit in a striking shiny gold plated cuff. Chic and minimal this cuff can be worn alone or layered with other favorites.

  • Shiny Gold Plating
  • Fits SM-LG Wrists

Stella & Dot Arrison Stretch Bracelet – $29.00
A staple everyday reversible bracelet made with stretch for added comfort. Matte silver finish with delicate pyramids and subtle sparkle. Layer with our bestselling Nugget Wrap Bracelet.

  • Fits SM-LG wrists.

 


Stella & Dot Terra Leather Wrap Bracelet – $49.00
Genuine Leather bracelet with delicate geometric design detailing featuring ruthenium plating with hand set black diamond crystals in a beautiful brushed gold finish. Sliding knot closure for adjustable fit.

  • Adjusts to Fit SM-LG Wrists

Stella & Dot Elise Pearl Cuff – $39.00
Freshwater pearls mixed with semi-precious labradorite beads atop a vintage gold open cuff. This mini statement bracelet can easily stand alone or be layered.

  • Vintage Gold Plating
  • Adjusts to Fit SM-LG Wrists
  • Copyright © 2016 Stella & Dot LLC
Stella & Dot Vista Wrap Bracelet – $59.00

The perfect arm party all in one bracelet! Vintage gold beads mixed with woven patterned tape and accents of blue form this newest trend in wrap bracelets.

  • Vintage Gold Plating
  • Fits SM-LG wrists
  • Button Closure

Necklaces

 


Stella & Dot Color Crush Statement Necklace Set – $34.00
Bright coral acrylic beads with a sparkly flower brooch to add a statement on a grey ribbon. Top it all off with its matching coral beaded bracelet.

  • Necklace: 43 long with ribbon closure.
  • Bracelet: 1 3/4 diameter with stretchable fit.

Stella & Dot Jolie Sparkle Chain Link Necklace – $79.00
Vintage gold plating with subtle sparkle. A sophisticated staple to your wardrobe. Great as a stand alone style or can be layered for a statement look.

  • Vintage Gold Plating
  • 18 1/2 with 1 1/2 Extender
  • Foldover Clasp Closure
Stella & Dot Mini Pearl Cross Necklace – $49.00

Inspired by our best selling Interlock Cross Necklace for women. Tiny fresh water pearls surround the mini cross on a delicate chain. The perfect gift for a special event.

  • 14 long with 2 extender.
  • Sterling Silver.
  • Lobster clasp closure.

Stella & Dot Swag Necklace – $69.00
Collar necklaces are our current favorite trend and latest obsession! Semi precious howlite inlay drop and silver swag chains come together in this delicate and versatile style. Reverses from semi precious to shiny silver.

  • Shiny Silver Plating
  • 15 1/2 with 3 Extender
  • Lobster Clasp Closure

Stella & Dot New Moon Necklace – $59.00
Hand-set micro pave set in a slender crescent make a delicate statement to pair with any look. Wear alone or layer it up with other delicates.

  • 24 with 4 Extender

Stella & Dot Eternity Necklace – $59.00
Sterling silver with brushed gold intertwined circles. A simply beautiful classic style.

  • Semi Shiny Silver/Semi Shiny Gold Plating with Sterling Silver Chain
  • 16 with 2 Extender
  • Lobster Clasp Closure

Stella & Dot The Wishing Necklace – Rose Gold – $34.00
Make a wish to carry with you. A sparkly solitaire suspends from a shiny rose gold delicate chain.

  • Shiny Rose Gold Plating
  • 16 with 2 Extender
  • Lobster Clasp Closure

Earrings

 


Stella & Dot Chantilly Lace Chandelier Earrings – $49.00
Gold plated filigree earrings were inspired by a piece of vintage lace.

  • 2 1/2” length.
  • Gold vermeil earwire fish hook closure.
  • Copyright © 2011 Stella & Dot LLC.
Stella & Dot Sparkle Studs – $19.00

CZ studs set in brass.

  • Titanium posts post with white bronze plating.
  • 1/4 studs.
  • Feather weight.

Stella & Dot Aurelia Drop Earrings – $39.00
Mother-of-Pearl drop earrings combine everyday elegance with stunning versatility. Reverse the drop for a silver geometric motif. Each piece is beautifully unique due to variation of natural shell inlay.

  • Semi-shiny silver plating.
  • 2 drop length.
  • Silver plated brass earwire.
  • Feather Weight.

 


Stella & Dot Maddie Pearl Earrings – $29.00
Glass pearls dangle from a rhodium ring.

  • Approximately 1 drop.
  • Brass earwire.

Rings

 


Stella & Dot Pavé Chevron Ring – Gold SM – $29.00
Hand-set micro pave chevrons form a delicate geometric everyday ring.

  • Available in SM / MD.
  • Fits ring sizes 5-7.
  • Adjustable for added comfort.
Stella & Dot Deco Cocktail Ring – Size 9 – $39.00

Inspired by our best-selling Deco Drop Earrings. Faceted Cubic Zirconia and Czech crystals adorn this delicate vintage-inspired cocktail ring.

  • Shiny white bronze plating.
  • Fits ring size 9.

Stella & Dot Stellar Pave Ring – Silver – Size 6 – $39.00
Handset pave sparkle with a shiny silver finish. The illusion of stackable bands with the ease of a single ring.

  • Shiny Silver Finish
  • Available in sizes 5-9

Plus, Stella & Dot has so much more on their website. Check it out here:

 

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Why I Chose BlueHost and You Should Too

Why I Chose BlueHost and You Should Too

Why I chose Bluehost and you should too

 

It’s hard to believe but I’ve been blogging for almost twenty years. I started out in the dark ages back on LiveJournal, and eventually made my way from Blogger to WordPress and BlueHost. I’m not sure I really remember a time when I didn’t have an online presence of some sort.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!

When I chose to make the decision to move from Blogger to WordPress, I was blogging about fitness. Things were still wild back then; people actually connected on a human level, sharing posts about their day, and their food, and their workout! Now it’s all about stats and affiliates and making money.

 

Which this post partly is.

 

But it’s also to help you make an informed decision. Chances are, you’re looking for an additional income, and you heard blogging was a good way to go. It can be incredibly lucrative, but only if you do it right.

What is the right way, you ask?

 

There are a lot of “right ways”. The right way is the way that works for you. You know what works for me?

 

BlueHost.

 

Bluehost has been around since pretty much the very beginning, and from the state they’ve offered amazing customer support, and I’ve never had a problem with them. They boast a 99% uptime (which means you’re not losing visitors or customers because their servers are down.)

 

In the beginning, I chose bluehost because many of the bloggers I was reading at the time also used Bluehost. I’ve heard some intense horror stories from smaller hosting companies that got slammed by a viral post and couldn’t keep up. Not only did their site crash, but everyone who shared the server with them had extended periods of downtime! Not good!

 

When you sign up for BlueHost, you’ll probably get a shared server as well. Don’t be scared by that. You only need your own dedicated server if you have hundreds of millions of pages views every month. (That’s the dream, right?)

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Back when I signed up for Bluehost probably 9 years ago now, they were offering the same deal they’re offering today to new sign ups (which helped hook me, no lie!): 2.95/month for your first year! It includes a domain, and 50 GB of space.

 

My hosting is going to renew in July, so I was looking at the plans they have available for me. I wish I was a new sign up because here’s the deal: If you sign up right now, BlueHost is offering their Prime Plan for the same price as their Plus Plan, but you get two insanely important extras: Domain Privacy and Site Backup Pro. And it’s only two bucks more a month than the basic plan.

 

Here’s a protip for you: You WANT the Domain Privacy.

 

One of the things bloggers usually forget to mention when they’re trying to convince you to buy through their links: Domain Privacy is an absolute God Send, and you don’t want to get started without it.

 

When you register a domain without domain privacy, you put yourself on a list. That list includes your name, your email, your phone number, and your home address.

 

And then, the spam comes flooding in.

 

No one told me about Domain Privacy when I first signed up. I cannot tell you how much spam I received in the beginning (before I wised up and signed up!). It was mountainous. It was endless. It came from all directions.

 

When you sign up for your new hosting package and domain through BlueHost, please go for the domain privacy. You’ll thank me later. Or let me tell you I told you so!

 

When I came back from the Peace Corps, there was an update to the system and I wasn’t around to pay attention. I lost everything. I lost everything I had written about my Peace Corps experience because I didn’t have Site Backup Pro. As you can imagine, I was devastated.

 

These things seem like extra expenses, like insurance you’ll never cash in on. But when I needed it, it wasn’t there. Protect your assets, and get the Site Backup Pro. I’ll never go without it again.

 

I signed up for BlueHost so many years ago, and I’ve purchased half a dozen domains since then, most I’ve done nothing with. But I could host them on the same account as my original domain, which made my life so much easier.

 

Having a personalized email with BlueHost is super simple as well. I forward mine to a gmail account, but they have a couple of decent email programs that you could use instead. Horde is my favorite.

 

And of course, the whole point of getting hosting is so you can start your blog. With BlueHost, their one-click installation of WordPress makes the process painless. It takes less than 10 minutes to get your blog up and running.

 

Once you’re signed up, all you have to do is create content, come up with a marketing plan, figure out a way to monetize it and convince people to read it!

 

Did you sign up yet? If not, do it here:

 

If you are, Check out these free courses for new bloggers! They’ll help you figure out how to organize your information with all the steps that come AFTER signing up!

 

 

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7 Super Passive Income Ideas

7 Super Passive Income Ideas

Super Passive Income Ideas

You don’t need to do anything but show up for these. You’re already spending your money, so why not save some off the top? You’re already cruising the interwebs, so why not earn points for it? Go running every day? Make money doing it. It’s simple and it’s legit. You’re probably not going to get rich, but the more friends you refer, the better your chances.

What is passive income?

You’ve heard about it a lot, I’m sure. Passive income is where you sit back and let the money roll in, through very little work or effort on your part. Maybe you set up a dropshipping company through Shopify, or maybe you used one of the cool companies below.

 

The companies I’ve included on this list are the most passive I could find. Starting your own company takes time, effort, and diligence, at least for a while. With these, you sign up. If you’re really clever you might be able to combine two or three of them and save even more.
passive income ideas, ibotta, acorns, ebates, honey, swagbucks, achievemint, how to save money, savings plan, make passive income, gratitude, empowerment, success, jessicafwalker.com

Just so you know, Yes. These are affiliate links. If you sign up through them, I get points, dollars or bonuses at no cost to you.

Super Passive Income Ideas

Honey A browser extension that saves you money and gives you the cash back.

 

Achievemint – earn points for working out. Every 10,000 points will get you $10. It might take a while to earn it, but it’s literally earning money for breathing. Where else are you going to get that sweet deal?

 

Swagbucks fill out a survey, check some boxes, and do your regular online shopping and start earning points.

Ebates – Kind of a mix between honey and Swagbucks. Do you shopping, get yo’ saved cash back.

 

Ibotta – Sign up to get coupon discounts on your favorite products. You can even use it for certain online stores. ProTip: Only unlock items that you were going to buy anyway. Use my promocode: lmyhuap to get your first $10 for FREE. (I wish I had used that when I signed up…Would have cashed out a lot quicker!)

 

Acorns – Okay, this is a little different from the rest. Its investing. You put away five or ten bucks every week, plus little dollar rounds ups of your change from purchases. They take those dollars and invest them into stocks for you. As your investment builds, so does your passive profits. Remember of course, that the stock market is not a guarantee, and you may end up losing money. But if you want to try it out, Sign up through my link and get $10 for free.

The best idea for using these passive income streams

The most passive of them all is by far Achievemint. You turn on the app and get your money eventually. The next passive is probably Acorns, but that does involve investing. Here’s what I think a good plan is:

Take the cashouts from Ebates, Swagbucks, Ibotta, etc and invest them into Acorns. You’re basically investing free money to earn additional money. How cool is that?

 

If you’re looking to start a savings plan, I have a freebie guide in the Millennial Life Skills Vault just waiting for you. Sign up now!

Now, please, I want to know! What ways are you earning money passively? Did you start a side hustle and then sit back and let the dollars roll in? Are you passively saving money through apps like Acorn or Digit?

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3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Shopify Store

3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Shopify Store

3 things you need to know before you start a Shopify Store

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!

Side Hustles are incredibly lucrative, and one of the best platforms you can start your own business on is Shopify. Shopify is an elegant online store front with hundreds of templates that are customizable, and allow you to sell pretty much anything (that’s legal).

I recently interviewed Samantha at Infinite Abyss, if you’d like to know first hand what it’s like to start a store on Shopify.

If you’ve always had an idea about selling… something, Shopify is the way to do it. They have incredible customer service, and the potential for growth is just outstanding. You can use their system online, or in a store as a POS system. Their fees are competitive.

A few years ago I had this idea to to start an independent bookstore, that catered specifically to indie authors. I started researching my options, and I eventually decided that I would build my business on Shopify. My reason? The other storefronts out there, just didn’t add up. Sure, you get wooed in by “free”. But once you add all the plugins you need, free is suddenly quite expensive. In fact, it ended up costing more up front and per year with the “free” store front, than it did with Shopify. And with Shopify, I got everything I needed for one low monthly price! Way better option in the long run.

Now, unfortunately, my bookstore never came to fruition. Sometimes life gets in the way, you know? But there is no reason why you can start your store today. All you need is an idea, some product, and little hustle.

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3 Things you need to know before you start a Shopify store

 

If you’re going to start a Shopify Store as a side hustle, then there are at least three things you need to know first.

 

You need to know about their 14 day free trial

 

They have an awesome 14 day trial. You can sign up without using your credit card. It includes a domain. You can pick from one of their amazing templates, or build your own. Their back end is just beautiful. They have tons of free (and not free) tools to help you get started with names, logos, suppliers, marketing and more. With your 14 day Trial you’ll get immediate access to all the really cool features like gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, and selling through Pinterest, Facebook, and Amazon. They also have an app store to help you build the site you really need to grow your business. Once you’re ready. Right now, you’re just getting started.

 

Make sure you have your business plan in place.

When starting a Shopify Store, you’ll want to make sure you know what you want to sell. Make sure you have other important things in place like, how you’re going to build your audience or if you’re going to offer a pre-sell. They also have a subscription option.

Need help coming up with an idea? The Millennial Life Skills Vault has a list of 30 potential products/business you can start. 

Sign up for your own shopify store

Even though the trial is free, building a business isn’t.

Where is your product coming from? Are you making it or sourcing it? What about dropshipping? Shopify makes dropshipping easy, but you’ll want to know what what kind of requirements are in place from the dropshipper themselves.

Starting any business is going to require start up money, but it doesn’t have to cost you your first born. You don’t have to go into debt to make a profit. With Shopify, you can sign up with an annual or monthly plan. If you see you’re not making money, you can opt out. Shopify has worked with over 300,000 store owners that have made over 29 Billion dollars in profits. Clearly, they are doing something right.

 

If I ever get around to opening my own shop, you can bet your sweet grass it’s going to be on Shopify.

What is it you’re looking to sell with your online Shopify store?

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