The Making of a Trilby Hat – Isabella Josie

Several people have been asking me how a handmade hat is created – so I’ve created a short video to show. Hope you enjoy!

via The Making of a Trilby Hat — Isabella Josie

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All About Etsy Listing – Stocking your online shop – Part 2

If you have followed my last post you will of begun to set up your very own Etsy Shop. Please feel free to take a look at my Etsy shop (www.isabellajmillinery.etsy.com) as you work though this post as it will help you to understand what I’m writing about.

The Listing section is all about putting the stock / products in your shop. Each time you put an item up for sale in your shop you will be creating a ‘listing’. 

The listing page is quite long, so I’ve captured it in several screen shots. I’ll explain the main sections of each image as we go. The screen shots were taken a few weeks ago, and Etsy does regularly update its forms and templates so if its a while between me writing and you reading this post things may look bit different. At the time of writing a series of additional attributes (e.g. colour, occasion, celebration) have just been added under the categories section.

Listing Image 1: Here we go:screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-17-00-06

Photos

You can add up to 5 photos and its a good idea to make sure you use all these opportunities. The first image becomes the one that Etsy will show under its search results. I’ve heard that Etsy prefer light, bright, plain backgrounds and over the last few weeks I’ve begun to use FotoFuze to make sure the backgrounds are as clear as I can get them. The image on the left is the original and the one on the right is ‘Fotofuzed’. Sometimes its just a matter of personal preference as to which one you want to prefer use. I’ve also heard that Snapseed is a useful photo app if you are taking pictures on your phone or tablet.

Pink and Silver Saucer Hat without FotoFuzePink and Silver Saucer Hat with FotoFuze

In term of the types of image to use, I try and use at least one photo from each of the following groups:

a) Studio type image – image of the whole product against a clear background.

Studio image

b) Perspective – hat on a model or mannequin so the viewer can get an idea of the actual size of the product.

Perspective image

c)  Close Up – showing the details of a specific feature

Close up of detail

d) Lifestyle – your product ‘in action’. For me this could be a hat at a wedding, races meeting etc. This is a picture of my floppy felt hats being worn on a county walk.

copy-of-isabella-josie-millinery

For the 5th image I normally use a photo of a different (but related) item I have in my shop which the viewer might be interested in. I do of course make sure that this is clearly stated in the description.

If you would like to have a look at this in action please take a look at the items in may shop: www.isabellajmillinery.etsy.com As you will see I have improved my photo skills since the screen shots were taken. I still have more work to do as I’ve recently found out that it’s best to use a square or landscape image to avoid having part of  your main image lost in the thumbnail size image.

Listing Details Section

Title: This section is key as the search engines use this information to find your item. You have 140 characters to play with. Use the most important words near the front of the title –  ideally phrases rather than single words to highlight your product. For example “small turquoise hat” would be better than “small”, “hat” or “turquoise”. It’s worth remembering the first 70 characters of title text appear in Google and the first 140 on Etsy descriptions.  

Think about the words a buyer might be using if they are looking to buy an item like yours. Separate your search terms with ‘space hyphen space’ or a ‘comma space’ e.g. ‘handmade hat – blue cocktail headpiece’ or ‘handmade hat, blue cocktail headpiece’.

It’s worth popping some words into Etsy and Google search bars as it will give you a hint as to the most frequently searched for terms. The Google analytical tool, Google Trends is also useful for comparing the popularity of similar words – for example is ‘pillbox hat’ more or less popular than ‘cocktail hat’?

The next three sections (categories, price, quantity) are quite simple to complete as they have drop down menus and the wording on the side to help you. For the categories section it’s really a matter of deciding which one works best for you. Remember to include the actual cost of selling your product in your pricing structure!

Description box

Renewal Options: I normal opt for the manual renewal so I get to choose when I relist an item as some of my headpieces have seasonal appeal. At the time of writing, each listings costs USD$0.20 + VAT, this roughly equates to 16 pence + VAT per listing for a 3 month period. Went it comes to your product pricing, it’s also worth remembering that Etsy charge 3.5% of a sale item and there is also a payment processing fee (this is dependent on the method you choose).

Type: again a self explanatory area, are you selling an physical product or digital download item?

Description: this is where you get the opportunity to really ‘sell’ your product. Think rich descriptive language. It’s important to also include the same wording as you have used in your title to increase the chances of having your products found on Etsy. If you use Etsy Rank you can get a listing grading to indicate how your wording and order of words may attract potential buyers.

Tags

Shipping: You can set up shipping profiles if you regularly sell items with the same shipping costs or set up individual ‘custom’ prices for each item you sell. Remember to check that your insurance covers you the countries you want to ship to.

Tags: I try and use the same words as in my title to help the buyer find my products. I always include my name as a tag too (Isabella Josie) so I (or a buyer) can easily find all my hats in one place. Try it out yourself and you will see what I mean. Always use all your tags – it gives you the best chance of having your items found.

Materials: If you fill this section in it shows up on your listing overview which is always handy.

The image below is how one of my listed items looks in preview mode. Various aspects of my listing page are pulled though to the ‘overview’ information on the right hand side of the Etsy listing. For example if you select ‘I did’ for ‘who made this item’ the wording “handmade” will show along with shipping information, materials and categories used. overview easy listing

That’s it for Part 2 on the Listing section, I’ll be back again with a 3rd and final part. I hope you have found this post helpful, I am by no means an Etsy expert and still have a great deal to learn. Any advice you have to offer would be great to hear, please send me your comments!

Note: The views I have expressed in this post are my own, and this article isn’t run or sponsored by Etsy, Snapseed, EtsyRank, GoogleTrends, FotoFuze etc. 

Opening an Etsy Shop – Part 1

Over the next few weeks I am going to be writing about my experience of setting up an Etsy Shop. If you haven’t heard of Etsy, its basically an online e-commerce site that specialises in handmade and vintage items. Here’s a link to my shop page if you want to see what an open shop looks like www.isabellajmillinery.etsy.com.

The search bar allows you to look for items in other shops, take a look around. As you will see each ‘shop’ looks slightly different as the seller is able to customise the appearance of their ‘shop’ using a series of templates.

Ok, there are some initial things I would suggest you do before you get get started on Etsy.

  1. Check out the Etsy site to see how items are listed and if this is the sort of selling platform you have in mind.
  2. If you are making or sourcing your products, check you have several that you are proud of and would appeal to a buyer. It helps if your products in your shop have some coherence. In my shop I focus on selling hats and fascinators, however, if I were to sell a hat, a handmade card and a vintage teapot all though the same ‘shop’ this may appear rather random to the buyer (unless it was one of your unique selling points!).
  3. Insurance* – check you have appropriate insurance for your products for the countries you are intending to ship too. This information will inform how you set up the shipping area of your ‘shop’.
  4. Contact your local tax office* (in the UK it’s HMRC) to find out when you would need to complete any required paperwork by.

*I’m aware this post will be read by people from across the world so I won’t be able to give specific here).

If you like what you see, and are interested in trying your hand at Etsy selling then the next step is to set up an Etsy shop account.

If you want to earn yourself some free listings (a listing is an item for sale in your shop) as  you do this, please click. By doing this you will not only gain 40 free listings from Etsy yourself, but I’ll also earn 40 at the same time. If you would rather not use the link, that’s absolutely fine, just sign up with Etsy via the front page of the website http://www.etsy.com. The recommendation will only work is you haven’t already begun setting up an Etsy Shop.

When setting up a Etsy account you will initially be asked to create a user name, password and for your email address. Your username will need to be a unique name (no-one else can use it)  and can consist of up to 20 characters. Once you have registered your username it cannot be changed. However, you will also have the opportunity to add your full name which will help people find you, if completed this will replace your username in your Etsy shop profile.

Next, click on the ‘Sell on Etsy’ tab which is in the top right hand corner of the page.

You will then come to the Shop Preference screen  – a screen shot of mine is shown below. This is where you choose the language your shop content will be written in along with currency for pricing your products and the county where your shop is  based. Once you have completed this section click save and continue and you will be taken to the ‘name your shop’ section.

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-15-42-53

The grey bar at the top of the page is very useful – the dark grey circle shows where you are in the shop opening process and the sections that you still need to complete. As you will see I took this screen shot when I was at the ‘stocking my shop’ part of the process.

The next step in the Etsy Process is Naming your Shop – this is something I became rather (needlessly) obsessed by when I found out the shop name I wanted ‘Isabella Josie’ was not available. Again, you are limited to a maximum of 20 characheters so I couldn’t have ‘IsabellaJosieMillinery’ either. However, Etsy is pretty good at suggesting some alternatives options. You can play with your name options as much as you like.

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-15-51-26

In the end I settled for IsabellaJMillinery as it kept with my hat branding. As you can’t included spaces in your shop name it can help to start each new word with a capital letter to make it easier to read. You can change your shop name as many times as you want before your open your shop. Once your shop is open you can change it once easily, subsequent requests will need to be sent through to the Etsy team.screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-15-45-55

If you aren’t able to use your ideal shop name try not to worry. There are ways around this. I have included my preferred name in my shop icon (you could even put it in your larger banner if you wanted to as well ) to brand your shop as this will be what your customers will see. You can also add your own shop title which is where I have used my preferred ‘Isabella Josie Millinery’ wording. Can you see mine below?Isabella Josie Millinery screen shop Etsy

I hope you have found this post helpful, I am by no means an Etsy expert and still have a great deal to learn. Any advice you have to offer would be great to hear, please send me your comments!

I’ll be back with Part 2 soon which will focus on listing your products and provide information on costs of running your Etsy shop.

Note: The views I have expressed in this post are my own, and this article isn’t run or sponsored by Etsy. The reason I choose Etsy, rather than one of the other online market places (for example Folksy, Missi etc), is because of a) it’s global selling opportunity and b) shop set up support was being offered through a closed Facebook group for UK sellers as part of the ‘Etsy Resolution 2017’. Although this post is focusing in Etsy, hopefully some of this may be of use to others too.