My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #331: Still Deciding

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-06-2011 12:15 PM 3878 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 330: Many Business Decisions to Make Part 331 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 332: Time For More Designing »

I want to start off thanking you for sharing your experiences on Etsy yesterday. I received several messages, as well as what was posted here and I am still deciding what I am going to do. One thing that I noticed on Etsy is that they discourage you from posting a link to your own website (unless i am reading it wrong.) If that is the case, then I don’t think I am going to do anything there. They say it would display “avoidance of fees” but I don’t feel that would be my motivation. The way that I was thinking about it was that it would be that is would show my products to an entirely different type of clientele than what I normally have and perhaps bring in some new blood to my site. I only plan to sell the note cards and prints of my paintings on Etsy, as well as one of a kind samples. This would keep the site neat and focused on the patterns that I am selling. However, if I can’t even have a link to my site on my Etsy page, then all it would be doing would be making more work for me, not to mention paying fees to list – small as they are – when I have a fully functional site up and running. I think that will be the deal breaker.

Right now, based on what I have learned, I am leaning toward creating a page on my own site for selling these note cards, prints and prototypes. Even though the prototypes will be one of a kind items, I think that would be the best way to go with them. After all, I already pay for the site and if Etsy isn’t going to allow me to link back to it, why should I pay the fees to post there at all. The only real advantage that I can see would be to link back to the main site and perhaps earn more customers.

I may experiment with one or two items, just to see how it goes and if there are any results in getting new traffic to my site. I didn’t have a lot of time yesterday to look into it, but I will do more so today. Again, if any of you have had Etsy experience and would like to share information, I would appreciate it very much.

I spent the bulk of yesterday completing the new pattern packets for a couple of the new items on the site. One item was a new basket by Keith and the other was the Antique Horse Pull Toy. These each took quite a while to do because they aren’t just flat cutting. They involve building the project itself and were slightly more complicated than my average patterns. I included several pictures in each of the patterns to better help explain the processes used to make each of these projects.

I find that I am having a tendency to add more pictures in all of my patterns. It isn’t necessarily that the projects are that much more complicated, but I feel that it helps my customers (especially those new to scroll sawing) better understand the process and learn. It is natural lately that I take photographs as I go along and build new items. The Antique Horse wound up with 20 step-by-step photos to help people build it. With the printing system that I use, and also the fact that I send most of my patterns electronically, I am finding that there is no real increase in the cost of producing these patterns with more pages or pictures, yet the benefits are much higher for the customer.

Yes, it uses more paper and ink, but unless I were printing and shipping 400 copies, it really doesn’t make a difference. When I used to sell hard copies to wholesalers, this would have been too costly to do so. However, now my wholesalers print in house and the patterns don’t need to be double shipped (me to the wholesalers and then the wholesaler to the customer) so the number of pages isn’t really an issue anymore. Besides, since I am selling them at retail cost, I can afford to have more pages and color, even if I need to send hard copies to them or if they are on sale. It is a win/win for everyone, I believe. I think it makes for an overall better product.

Today I need to get the newsletter out to my email customers. I like to have that done by the weekend. I also will be perhaps putting a few trial items for sale and create a new page on the site for those one of a kind things and prints and note cards. After all, I will lose nothing but a little time to try. It will be good to test the water and see what people think of it. Of course, I always appreciate your opinion too.

The weekend is upon us already. This week surely went by quickly. When I look back and assess things, I do see that I accomplished a lot, but I wish I could have done a bit more. I suppose that will always be the case.

I hope you enjoy your Friday. Thanks again for your thoughts and please feel free to post here or message me if you wish to share your ideas. It is very helpful to hear of your own experiences.

Have a great day!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

4 comments so far

View bubbyboy's profile


137 posts in 2719 days

#1 posted 05-06-2011 04:23 PM

Maybe you could create a clearance center on your own web site, I am sure there are many people like myself who would like to own some of your work but have no desire to make them, I have no desire to cut on the scroll saw even though I own a Hawk RBI but have seen some of your pieces that I know my wife would like. I would not hesitate to buy those items if they were available, just a thought. I think your projects and paintings are amazing and it would be nice to have a scource to purchase completed projects as gifts. Enjoy your day, Ron.

-- I just don't understand. I have cut it 3 times and it is still to short.

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 05-06-2011 06:50 PM

one thing i noticed sheila, when i was going to take out a subscription with them, i set everything up and it came to putting a nice picture on there and because of the size restrictions they had you couldn’t display your goods very well, so i didn’t bother in the end.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2945 days

#3 posted 05-06-2011 09:12 PM

Thank you both for the input. I suppose my biggest worry is having my own site too cluttered. We have been trying to keep things streamlined and don’t want to have one of those sites where you are overwhelmed by too much stuff that isn’t in the right place. I like the clearance center idea. There would be lots of one of a kind items and I was hoping that people would possibly be interested in them.

And thank you for the heads up on the pictures, Steve. Yes, that is very important. I like that my own site allows several shots of each item and I can be as detailed as I need to be. I can see what you mean. (I hope you had a nice couple of days away!)

Take care and thanks again, Shiela

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2710 days

#4 posted 05-06-2011 11:21 PM

what about having a separate site that the would be buyer is taken too when they click a link on your own site, you could have it appear as a separate window so they dont actually leave your site, or a totally different site but decorated as your original site so there’s a feeling of still being there, that way you can keep the original site clutter free.
Does that make any sense??

we had a great time thank you sheila..

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