Thursday, February 7, 2013

Featured Etsian Artist ~ Eva M Designs

Enter Shop

Set of 8 White and Red Glitter Red Heart Valentine's Day Clothespin Magnets

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?

I am the creator of Eva M Designs, a shop that features a little bit of everything. I've always loved crafting but didn't get into the business end of it until I started making jewelry. Needing a way to fund this addiction, I started a shop on Etsy. Eva M Designs is named after my grandmother, Eva Manko, who passed on her crafty-gene to me. I think she also passed on an entrepreneurial spirit -- I remember hearing stories of her and my grandfather running all sorts of ventures, from an ice cream shop to selling eggs to clothing alterations. Having recently decided to leave a career in teaching (and a decent salary) to manage a non-profit animal shelter in Olean, NY, I could use a little extra cash, and I’d like to turn Eva M Designs into that supplemental income! 

As for me -- I am soon-to-be-a-former middle school teacher. Finding teaching not to my liking, I have accepted a position with the SPCA in Cattaraugus County, managing their animal shelter. This is fitting, because I am quite an adoptaholic! I started adopting dogs when I brought home Molly from a summer course I took in Mexico after my freshman year of college and have found homes (generally within my friends and family group) for 5 other dogs since. It's practically an addiction. The great thing is, I will soon be paid to do it!

What inspired you to open your shop?

I've always been crafty -- I got into scrapbooking in high school, and I did a lot of sewing. For a few years I participated in Civil War reenactments (haha, yes, I'm a geek), so I sewed all my 1860s-era dresses myself. I also made a number of quilts and my prom dress. After I began college, my time was swallowed up with school and work, so it was just within the last few years I've gotten back into my creative endeavors. I started making jewelry in 2010 -- first, for myself, and then as Christmas presents. I briefly ventured into Etsy at that point, but my time was again taken up with graduate school and I abandoned that first try. I got back on to Etsy late this fall, utilizing the little time I have after work (when I'm not planning, grading, calling parents, etc.) to create! Not exactly happy with my current position as a teacher, I have found crafting a way to cope with this stressful year. I'm looking forward to my move to Olean, finally getting into a career that I love, and I hope all that positive energy will flow back into my creative work and lead to more sales!

Multi Strand Pearl Necklace on White Organza Ribbon with Sterling Silver Clasp

Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?

Lately, the majority of my free time has been spent crafting, blogging, trying to market my shop, and hanging out with my dogs! I have two puppymill rescue Pomeranians. I adopted Izzy last May – when she came to me, she had been at the shelter for 3 years after being surrendered by a “breeder” at the age of 3. She was terrified of people, shook when anyone got near her, and hid in her crate for 4 months. While she started to come out of her shell toward the end of summer, the real turning point was when I started fostering (and eventually adopted) Nalla, a heartworm-positive Pom who needed fostered during her treatment. All of a sudden Izzy was fighting with Nalla for attention, sitting on the couch with me, running around, even playing! They are best friends now and are constantly together -- they practically sit on top of each other, like you would see gerbils or mice do.

Anyway, dogs aside, I have also enjoyed exploring Charlotte, NC. While I am excited for my new job in Olean, NY, I will definitely miss Charlotte. It is an amazing city, and the surrounding area has some great places! 

Where, who or what does your influence come from?

I’m always browsing jewelry sections, flipping through Etsy pages, and noticing accessories on others – and then making note of it! I find that seeing what others are doing or wearing is a good jumping off point for me – I might see a style I like, but then I incorporate my own twists to make it uniquely Eva M Designs! I also have created some pieces based on requests from family and friends for certain styles. When I’m looking for other fun projects, though, Pinterest is generally my go-to. It’s really addicting. I love seeing what other people are creating, and it generally sparks some ideas for my own creations!

Set of 6 Colorful Pastel Glass Magnets - Pastel Blue, Pink, Orange, Yellow and Green

Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?

I definitely would like to see more sales and a stronger blog following! I also have a lot of plans for this upcoming year -- I want to start incorporating beach glass into multistrand chain necklaces (the first of these designs: I rarely see beach glass interspersed throughout chain-necklaces (unless it is a necklace of linked pieces), and since I absolutely LOVE that style (I was kind of sad to see that teal beaded necklace sell), I think it would be a great niche to fill! I also want to get back into sewing – pillows, quilts, plush toys, etc. and include those in my shop. I love to try new projects, so the hodge-podge mix of items in my shop is a reflection of that!

Who are your favourite shops to browse on Etsy?

Oh gosh, there are a lot of shops I like to check out! I really like BertiesCloset’s technology cases. I just bought a mini iPad case and it’s super cute. I also like PoochyCouture’s dog tags – I bought Izzy her tag from that shop. PeekABootSocks has really cute boot socks – loooove the pair I bought there. Finally I like LeatherPearlJewelry’s pieces. I definitely want to get one when I get some spare cash. All of the shops have good quality products, very trendy, and great pictures on their shop sites.

Colorful Clothespin Magnetic Clips

What is your best advice to newbie Etsian's just opening their shops?

Just keep at it and believe that you really can make this happen! I recently read an article with a quote from Thomas Edison - "A lot of people miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like hard work." I think that is a great reminder that if you keep at it, your work will eventually pay off.

Where else other then Etsy can you be found on the net?

Cornflower Blue Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Beach Glass Sea Glass Necklace Pendant

Do you have any coupon codes that you would like to share with our readers?

Enter 20OFF for 20% off your purchase until January 31 - Check out my blog ( after January 31 for February coupons! 

Set of 4 Black and White Striped, Glitter Red Heart Valentine's Day Magnets

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lovely Treasures by EAWT

Curated by 1TreeYoga

Click HERE to Fav, Comment and visit all these lovely shops!!!!!

Curated by CathousePrints

Click HERE to Fav, Comment and visit all these lovely shops!!!!!

Curated by BabanCat

 Click HERE to Fav, Comment and visit all these lovely shops!!!!!

Curated by BeckyHelmerDesigns

 Click HERE to Fav, Comment and visit all these lovely shops!!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

:: Wholesale 101 ::

{ by guest writer : kristen shearon | Havok Designs }

Wholesale can be quite tricky if you are new to the process. There are a lot of steps that go into a wholesale order. Setbacks will happen, but if you make a checklist at the beginning, you will reduce the possibilities of forgetting materials, using incorrect information, or anything else that might make you miss your deadline.

As a new shop, we have had the wonderful opportunity to have some fabulous wholesale orders. Each time I learn something new and important that I add to my list for the next time. Some important things to be aware of when handling a wholesale order are:

1.) breathe - while it is always exciting to receive a large wholesale order, you must stay focused and will make it a lot easier on you, trust me!

2.) make lists - write down EVERYTHING you will need for each item your client has ordered, and I do mean everything. Need rubber earring backs? jewelry cards? fabric? business cards to include with each unit? write it down.

3.) order extra materials - like I said earlier, setbacks will happen. One of the worst problems you can run into when filling a large wholesale order is to run out of materials needed for your items. I recently went thru this and while the client was very understanding (since we were on a very short time frame) you want to make sure your client knows that they can count on you to deliver the goods...literally.

4.) double check your math - when making your lists of materials you need to complete each project, double check your math to make sure you will be ordering enough materials or that you have enough already to fulfill the order. Adding up the amount of materials you will need will allow you to have a better idea of what supplies you actually need to order and will help keep costs down.

5.) get all your answers up front - sometimes your client may leave out some info regarding style, size, shape, color, or may leave out the time frame in which they need the order, whether or not they cover shipping, whether or not they will handle returns or damages to products or you will, etc. Make sure to get all the answers you will need to complete the order up front. It will save you time and hassle, plus it will make you look more professional and in touch with your clients' needs.

6.) know your limits - do not agree to a one week turn around time for an order you know you cannot fill within that amount of time, agree to create an item with materials unfamiliar to you, or give too much of a discount leaving you with no profit. A wholesale order must work for both you and the customer. Be upfront with what you can and cannot do, and never agree to a deal you don't understand or believe in. Anything you put out has your name on it...don't tarnish your name.

7.) do your research - it is important to remember that you need to feel comfortable with the establishment that will be selling your products. Do some research as see what kind of place it is, what else they sell, how long they have been open, etc. Make sure it is compatible with your work.

8.) contract - having a contract between you and the wholesale buyer is important for many reasons. Having them sign a contract prohibits them from using your work in any other way besides selling your items wholesale under your name. This will be another guarantee that your work will not be going into the wrong hands. My friend Lizzy at Odd Ball Art Co. often sells wholesale and provided me with this wonderful contract sample to give you a better understanding of what to include. You may even use this as your standard contract. Just input your information when necessary and get on hand for when you are approached for wholesale.

Wholesale Agreement

It is also extremely helpful to be prepared prior to receiving a request for a wholesale order. There are several ways you can go about this.

1.) create a catalog - design a catalogue with all of your products you offer on wholesale each with their product specifications, materials used / available, size, weight, styles available, and prices for both retail and wholesale. Including photos for each item in your catalog is great way for the potential client to understand what they will be ordering and the available options they have.

2.) create a customized line sheet - rather than creating a catalogue with all of your items, when receiving a wholesale request, you can ask the customer which items they are interested in purchasing and how many of each. Then you can create a customized Line Sheet with photos of each item and the same info as stated for the catalogue (size, materials used, weight, available options, etc) that is specific to what the customer is looking for. Plus, you can add other products that are similar based on the items the customer asked for in the first place. That gives them more options to choose from, and may entice them to order more while allowing them to feel that you are going the extra mile to please them.

Here is a link to a sample book of optional Line Sheets to use I found awhile back:
Wholesale Line Sheet PDF

3.) tiered line sheets / catalogues - you will come across customers with different budgets and spending limits. To cater to each level of clientele, create tiered line sheets / catalogues providing different discounts depending on the amount they intend to purchase. For example: you receive a wholesale request for 50 items from one customer, they would receive tier 1 with the lowest discount; then you receive another request for 1000 items from another customer, they would receive tier 3 with the highest discount.

Doing everything you can to make the wholesale order process as easy and as professional as possible for both you and your client will not only put less pressure and stress on you, but will make the customer more willing to make another large order! Getting our work out into the world thru brick & mortar shops, online retailers, or large department stores is a dream for any designer/artisan. So being prepared will only allow you to be a better seller and creator of your goods. The quality will be better and your clients will be more apt to spread the good word about your products and you as a company. Following up with your clients a few weeks after the order is also a good way to stay in their good graces, too.

That's all for today, class. Raise your hand with any questions...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fabulous Treasuries Featuring Fabulous Finds by Etsian Artists

Here is a lovely selection of beautifully curated treasuries from the Etsian Artists Team this week! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June Art Party

Welcome to our Etsian Artists monthly Art Party!

Don't be shy, come on in, everyone's invited!!!

Each month we give you a prompt generated from a Random Art Prompt Generator and everyone who wants to participate creates in their own medium their interpretation of the prompt.   (the art prompt generator changes every time it is clicked on, your prompt for this month is below)

It doesn't matter what your medium is, whether you do traditional art, jewelry, soap, clay, clothing or anything else that I haven't listed.  Absolutely anything and everything is welcome at our party!  

Blogging is probably easiest but it also doesn't matter whether you blog or not, you are welcome to add your creation anywhere on the net and then come back and add the link below. ex. Etsy, FB, Flickr, Photobucket and anywhere else I haven't listed.

We want to keep it loose to make it easy for everyone to participate!

This months prompt is: broken and bleeding

There are no restrictions, have fun with it and then come back and show us what you got!!!

The link up will will close on July 1 at 11:59pm.  You are welcome to submit your creation at anytime while the link up is open.  If you submit yours early in the month try to remember to come back at the end of the month and check out all of the other creations at this party.