TEST at Spring One of A Kind Show

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's that time again! The Spring One of A Kind Show is starting tomorrow! It runs March 26 through 30th at the Direct Energy Centre. There are hundreds of handmade vendors, including an amazing line-up of Toronto Etsy Street Team sellers. Be sure to check out the Etsy Section, returning to the show this year! You can find our vendors there, in the rising stars section and through out the show including: Cubits, thunderpeep, SproutsPressDesigns, TheDogTailorCanada, ArtThatMoves, lynnslids, beyondthenail, CSfootprints, morningdewphoto, bubynoa, ArentYouFancy, MashaApparel, CGMonsters, GreenBeanThings, owlswakeup, fionnahanna, whistleandwork, LoveAtFirstBlush, stitchandspoke, TheRoverBoutique, MadeInBV, lunule, RongDesigns, SulliedDesigns, kirikipress, FitzyDesign, Saidtheking, leikey and VonEsteban!

You can peruse some the the things these makers make, or continue to shop from your favorite TEST shops you saw at OOAK on the TEST At Spring One Of A Kind page:

Happy St Patrick's Day from TEST!

Monday, March 17, 2014

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 17 Keeping Up With Etsy

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!

We have new sellers joining our Bootcamp all the time, so never fear if you're just starting and we've reached Class 16. You can complete the classes at your own pace. The entire series so far: Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 6, Class 7, Class 8, Class 9, Class 10, Class 11, Class 12, Class 13, Class 14Class 15  and Class 16.

If you are just starting out, be sure you've checked out our first module of 6 classes, which cover how to open an Etsy Shop, making your shop look its best including: {Branding & Shop Banners, Shop Profiles Bios and Photos, Make Listings Tempting} and providing the information to your customers about who you are and how you run your business: About Pages, and Shop Policies. These introductory classes should get your shop up and running!

Let Etsy bring the news directly to you like the Tiger with Balloons
birthday or congratulations card from SkippingFox
Since we all lead busy lives, today we're covering strategies for keeping up with Etsy. The marketplace on Etsy is constantly evolving and growing. Even in the time since we've begun the TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp, we've had to update some material. We made a small update to our Class 11 Shop Stats. You may recall in November, we announced an opportunity for Canadian Etsy sellers: a new Prototype Team which would allow participants to print their own Canada Post Shipping Labels. Well, since then, Etsy has announced that all Canadian sellers can print their own Canada Post Shipping Labels direct from their shops! Did you see the news? If you are a Canadian seller, have you tried it? Is this news to you? Etsy engineers are continuously updating services. Occasionally Etsy updates their policies. Often they post information and tutorials to help you run a more successful shop. So, how do you keep up with all this information?

Mr T pities the fool who doesn't
sign up for the team email digest! Get your nostalgia
fix with vintage wares from TheArtofDemolition
  1. Join a team. Sure, we may be biased, but we know that finding a community within Etsy is a great way to keep up with everything new. If you live in Toronto and have yet to do so, apply to join the Toronto Etsy Street Team.
  2. Subscribe to the team email digest. Etsy will send you a summary of daily discussion in the team forum. Is there a special event being hosted by your team? A craft show deadline? A sale on your favorite supplies? Never miss out with this dead simple method. It's easy to quickly scan digest emails for things which interest you! Simply go to your team’s profile page (for instance TEST members go here: Toronto Etsy Street Team), click the “Subscribe to email digest” link  on the left sidebar. You can even watch an instructional video here.
  3. Read the Etsy blogs. You may know the main Etsy blog, home of profiles of Featured Shops, which is one place where you can see how some of the most successful Etsy businesses operate. It also includes lovely posts from the editors and guest curators, which are a useful source for merchandizing ideas and gleaning trendy subjects. I like to check in once a day and just have a look, even to the other language editions; it's always a great source of visual stimulation too. But, as a seller, you'll want to pay attention to the Seller Handbook and Etsy News sections. The Seller Handbook is full of advice and tutorials on how to grow your Etsy business. Etsy News is where they make announcements about the site and the company itself. You can find an RSS feed to follow the blogs in your favorite RSS reader. 
  4. http://prf.hn/click/camref:10l3tr/pubref:Ivanne/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.etsy.com%2Fca%2Flisting%2F174205484%2Fpencil-crayon-and-silver-earrings
    Take note of these minimalist, urban, chic
    pencil crayon and silver earrings from IvanneBinetruy
  5. Etsy newsletters. Like the team digests, Etsy bundles the information it puts out into handy emails sent directly to your inbox. On the sidebar of the Etsy blog, you can see a link: See our other newsletters. You'll be prompted to login or re-confirm your password before having access to your account settings. You'll then have access to General Notifications and Subscriptions.

    Under General Notifications you can opt in to receive an email notice when:
    • You send a convo
    • You receive a convo
    • Someone follows you
    • Your listings are about to expire
    • Your seller activity.
    • What's new at Etsy
    • Recommended features
    • Tips for improving your shop
    • Opportunities to provide feedback to Etsy
    • Coupons, promotions and recommendations (more useful for buyers than sellers)
    • Etsy wholesale
    It's advisable to sign up to receive notification if you get a convo. You wouldn't want to leave a potential customer's question unanswered! We contact a lot of newbie shops to run this Bootcamp, and sometimes our queries go unanswered; this is not a good business practise. Be sure to always answer questions. You can find more communication tips in Class 7. You'll want to stay abreast of your listings and shop activity and you may choose to do that by email. By opting in to emails about what's new at Etsy and recommended features, you'll receive regular email notification of new articles in Etsy News and the Seller Handbook. This is a great way to make sure you are up-to-date when they add new tools!

    Enjoy your subscriptions while sitting at your gorgeous, handcrafted walnut condo coffee table by CanadianWoodcrafters

    Under Subscriptions you have the opportunity to opt in to email about
    • Assorted buying guides: Etsy Finds, Etsy Gifts, Etsy Fashion, Etsy Weddings and Etsy Dudes
    • : Tips from Etsy and top sellers on how to help your shop bloom.
    • : DIY events, creative inspiration, and craft supplies
    • : Focused courses (like Holiday Boot Camp) to help get your shop in shape
    • International newsletters for: Germany, France, UK, Holland, Australia & New Zealand, and Canada, as well as Success tips newsletters for German, French and British sellers. Edit: Note that as of April 18, 2014 Etsy will fold the Canadian Newsletter into Etsy Finds.

    The Etsy Success newsletter is a great source of tips and tricks for optimizing your shop. It includes notices of articles in the Seller Handbook. We highly recommend it! The Seller Seminars like Holiday Boot Camp can keep you focused and on-track for meeting specific goals along with other sellers. Buying guides aren't just for buyers. Why not sign up for any guide pertinent to your shop? You can see what is trending and carefully curated collections of great looking listings, which can inspire your own merchandizing. We also recommend international sellers sign up for any their nation's newsletters. Note: newsletters are posted at different frequencies, from daily to once a quarter or less.

  6. Etsy Social Media. You can also follow Etsy on your favorite social media platforms, where they also post all of the above: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, podcasts on iTunes, Pinterest, Flickr, and Tumblr. They have other media for specific departments and nations, like the Etsy Canada Facebook page, Etsy Canada twitter feed and the Etsy Support twitter feed.
If you register for the TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp, we will send you an email whenever we post a new class, and will respond to any questions. Just drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com. Beyond Bootcamp, you can stay abreast of this entire  blog by receiving email notices whenever we post. Just sign up on the sidebar. This blog will not only let you stay on top of TEST news, Toronto area vendor calls, and Etsy news we share, we also post other tutorials which Newbie sellers might enjoy, like our recent post on Pinterest tips for Etsy sellers.

Remember: If you already have a shop, or you open one today, please let us know how to find it! We will be featuring some of our favorite newbie items right here. 

 The Toronto Etsy Street Team loves Newbie shops! You can find some of our favorite listings from talented Newbie sellers, including those featured in this class in our new TEST ♥ Newbies section. Be sure to stop by often to see what's new in this evolving, curated treasury of amazing Newbie finds!

Call for Artists: Brampton Arts Council Art in the Open

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Deadline: May 1, 2014. CALL FOR ARTISTS/ARTISANS. The Brampton Arts Council is calling for artists and artisans at our annual outdoor show and market Art in the Open, a feature at the local Farmers’ Market. In its 15th year, Art in the Open is still going strong! PART-TIME and FULL-TIME vendor positions are available for creators of hand-crafted, original works.

Art in the Open takes place every Saturday, 7 am – 1 pm in downtown Brampton on the north-east corner of Main & Queen from June to October.

For more info, (905) 874-2919 or kelly@artsbrampton.caNote: Limited jeweller space. bit.ly/1dXL4XJ Spread the word.

Pinning for Etsy Sellers: Tips for gaining Pinterest Followers

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

T.E.S.T.'s own Michelle of  Kiriki Press has found that Pinterest a useful tool for running and promoting her modern, handcrafted embroidery kit business. She's managed to gain thousands of followers over the last half year, without spending much time daily, and has found Pinterest helps drive traffic to her Etsy shop.


Hi everyone! So I just reached 10,000 Pinterest followers (from 200 last summer). I know 10,000 isn't a ton compared to many other pinners, but I thought I'd share what I did to get to 10,000 because I've noticed that a lot of my Etsy traffic and sales are coming from Pinterest these days:

Barn Owl DIY Embroidery Kit by Kirikipress on Etsy

  •  Only pin large, good quality images - (images with a vertical orientation look the best)
  •  Link any images of your work directly to your online shop. I have a separate board for my own work.
  • I've been extremely selective with which pinners and boards I follow. Don't follow people just because they follow you. This will clutter your feed with pins you don't care about repinning.
  • I have one board that I have put the effort into building up, Pattern Inspiration, which has over 2000 pins and makes up about 90% of my followers. Through this board I have had hundreds of repins on my personal work board, which only has a few dozen pins that were pinned months ago and no one would have seen otherwise.
  • Choose cover photos for all of your boards that spark an interest for what's inside as well as work well together compositionally as a whole.
  • Have other boards related to your specific craft. Other popular boards of mine focus on illustration, DIY crafts and needlework.
  • I only spend 15-20 minutes all together throughout the day looking at my feed and repinning (I post 10-20 pins a day on average)
  • Sometimes an image just isn't greatest quality or doesn't really fit in anywhere, but you still want to keep it as reference... I pin these to a "hidden" board that only I can see.
  • Tabby Cat DIY Embroidery Kit by Kirikipress on Etsy
  • Pinterest is an amazing survey of what the market wants. I chose to focus on building up my pattern board so that I could instantly tell which designs/colours/motifs are currently the most popular based on which pins get repinned the most (final conclusion: yup, it's cats).
  • Above all, your Pinterest should be your personal inspiration board. Only pin things that you find interesting or beautiful. I've had tons of new ideas for projects since I started using it.
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