Saturday, April 23, 2011

Do You Accept Credit Cards?

How many times has this happened to you while working at a craft show:
Someone wants to buy something from you but doesn't have the cash on hand. They ask if you accept credit cards and you sadly shake your head no. You lose a sale. It's happened to me so I am so absolutely excited about the newest, easiest, cheapest way to accept credit cards. It's a must-have for any of us who ever sell at handmade events. (It's even fabulous for your teenager who babysits or mows lawns or for selling items on Craigslist!)

Ok, let's get down to business.
It's called Square and I am so stoked. Now you can accept credit cards anywhere you are! It's this little square card reader that plugs into your phone. The only catch is it only works with iPhone, iPad, and Android. But chances are that if you don't have one, your spouse, business partner, or good friend have a phone you could borrow for those few times you need to accept cards.

The details are simple.
You sign up for a FREE account at They send you a FREE card reader. You download the FREE app on your iPhone orAndroid. You accept credit cards! For every payment you take there is a 2.75% fee. If you need to manually enter the credit card number it costs a little extra. Your customer signs on your phone and you have the option to email them a receipt right after the transaction. The email address is not stored on your phone or your account--it stays private. You get daily deposits into your bank account!

You can sign up as an individual or through your business.
Either way, you must give your social security number and as a business you must use your tax ID number. They must be able to identify who you are. The first time I signed up I used my tax ID number, along with my social security number as the business representative. However I was declined. They weren't able to give me a specific reason, other than they couldn't properly verify my identity. It could be that I just inputted the incorrect information, like transposed the numbers, but you aren't allowed to go back and fix your application. Since I've been moving around some lately, I'm figuring they didn't like my business ID# (Indiana based) with the address I gave (in Arizona). I decided to try again as an individual. I had to use a new email address. I was told that all information is linked to that email address. Once I tried with a new email and only my ss# I got approved right away and my card reader arrived a few days later. Just be careful when inputting your information.

Are you ready to sign up? Have you already signed up? Leave your comments with your experiences using Square. Do you love it, hate it, what about your cusomters? What do you use it for?

--Margot @ slightlyaskew

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Everything you need to Build a business

I came across this totally fantastic website. I'm sure many have already seen this. But for those who have not,  I think this is an excellent place to learn about running our businesses. If anyone of you finds an article ( there are soo soo many) please share it with us or put the link in the comment section.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Team Arizona Member Interview - Stonesofhealing2

Good afternoon Team! We have interviewed our first TeamAZ member. I introduce to you, Cara. She owns the shop Stonesofhealing2
Tell us about yourself.

I am a stay at home mama, a wife, a writer, and a true desert rat born and raised here in Tucson. And of course, a creator of jewelry! I have one little toddler man so far and we hope to have more. I love ice cream, yoga, sunshine, hiking, Mexican food, The Arts, traveling. My two favorite places in the world so far (other than my desert home) are Belize and Edinburgh, Scotland.

What do you sell here on Etsy?

I sell gorgeous, quality, affordable gemstone jewelry, primarily mama friendly jewelry like nursing necklaces.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Who knows! Likely right where we are, hopefully with another child as well.... but just yesterday my husband and I discussed moving to Maui! We've also considered Flagstaff. One thing I love about my business is that I can take it with me and do it anywhere!

What tips can you give us that you have learned?

About life? You cannot control the world, but you can control your reactions to it! ;) As far as Etsy... Follow your inner muse and create quality items that you love! Then take REALLY GOOD photos and spend as much time as necessary to edit them, and to write and edit your descriptions. A huge part of my learning curve for selling online has been photography, and I have read endless numbers of articles and practiced practiced practiced. I am still trying to improve my photos: they are your main selling point on the internet where a customer cannot smell or feel or try on your product. Also, list or renew at least one item per week! This ensures when someone searches for your product, your item won't be buried at the end of the search results.

Who has helped you with your journey?

My family loaned me money for my initial start up costs and for that I am forever grateful. My husband helps and supports me each and every day and I would never be able to take care of our son and run this business without his limitless support and love and understanding. I also have amazing friends that have helped spread the word about my business and have also actually physically helped me with large wholesale orders! I am so fortunate to have this fabulous support system.

What got you to start making your items?

I have always made jewelry and done beading as a hobby, since childhood. After my son was born, I was not working but we were having a hard time financially and we were trying to figure out how I could continue to stay at home with him. Incidentally I was also breastfeeding him and then discovered nursing necklaces. And within a couple weeks of discovering nursing necklaces, I discovered a family friend that had all of the gemstones and jewelry supplies for this business. She was not using them and was preparing to move out of the country and wanted to get rid of it all! It all fell into place when my son was about six months old, and the rest is history. 

Tell us about your typical day when you are creating.

This makes it sound like I might have whole days set aside just to create jewelry - that would be amazing! :) Maybe once my son is in school! I do most of my creating on the fly, catch as catch can: during nap time, in the late afternoon after my husband gets home but before dinner, and on the weekends here and there. Beads are not very toddler friendly and aside from the need to keep my supplies out of my toddler's reach, I find it difficult to make a necklace when he is at my knees requesting "cracka mama, cracka" or "book, please, book, please!" So I mostly create while he is napping or when my husband is home to play with him, and I reserve the nights after he is in bed to actually fill all of my orders.

Bonus question: Tell us about giving back to your community.

I feel this is incredibly important. I love that I am on TeamAZ so that I can make efforts to support local Etsy shops. I like to shop local in general to support our economy here in Arizona. I also volunteer my time as a board member for Desert Dove Farm, a non-profit here in Tucson dedicated to providing equine therapy to youth and families. And when I can afford it, I donate a percentage of my sales to non-profits/charities. I have been very fortunate in life and I am a strong believer in karma!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Promote your Etsy Coupon Codes By Kristan Stephens (Floofies)

Top 10 Ways to Promote your Etsy Coupon Codes
By Kristan Stephens (Floofies)

Hopefully everyone has read about the great new coupon code feature Etsy offers. Basically, sellers can now offer specific coupon codes for their customers that provide either a percentage discount (of your choosing) or free shipping! 

So you have eagerly entered your codes, and you are now wondering why everyone isn’t taking advantage of the savings and buying up every item in your shop. However, like everything else in this world, it’s going to take some good old fashioned hard work to get your codes noticed and used. Thankfully, there are a myriad of possibilities for sharing them. Here are ten easy and effective ways to promote your coupon codes!

1. Etsy Shop Announcement – Everyone has one, it’s located just below your shop banner and includes welcoming information about yourself, your shop, your products, etc. Imagine that you walk into your favorite boutique and just as you enter the door the shop owner looks up, smiles, and says hello. She will probably let you know what is new and exciting in the shop and if there are any specials or sales going on. Your Shop Announcement is the way you can do this for your customers, just as if you were sitting inside your shop welcoming them as they wander in. If you have a coupon code that you want to share publicly for a short amount of time, this is a great place to post it. That way everyone who visits your shop site will know about it immediately, and it may entice them to buy!
2. Etsy Team Discussion Board – If you haven’t noticed, there is a thread available on the Arizona Team discussion board for sharing team discounts and coupon codes. Our team has over 200 members and is still growing, so this is another free, easy way to get the information out to a large group of people! It’s also a great way to thank others for their support and share some love with the team. :)
3. Facebook/Twitter – I understand that not everyone has a facebook or twitter account for their shop, but if you do, it is the perfect platform for sharing coupon codes! Your fans will appreciate the inside deal, and it is easy for others to share the information with their friends too. Often, you can add a link to your shop directly in the status update or wall post so people who see it can just click on the link and start shopping.
4. Your Shop/Personal Blog – Another great social media outlet for sharing coupon codes is to share them on your shop or personal blog. This can be done however you feel comfortable. You can post a short entry about it, create a coupon/discount section where you post current coupon codes, or post about a new item and share the coupon code in the post to entice people to check out the new listing. Be sure to include a link to your shop, the item, or a button for your shop on the blog so it is easy for readers to find you on Etsy. 
5. Third Party Blogs – If you don’t have a personal or shop blog, you can still take advantage of the huge network that is the blogging world. Many blog authors are looking for ways to share special deals with their readers and you can often offer to provide a coupon code specifically for their blog readers. This works best when you have a relationship with the blog author already, or are able to really connect with the focus/theme of their blog with your products or artistic process. Please don’t email hundreds of random bloggers suggesting they share your coupon codes out of the blue. They won’t appreciate the “spam” approach, and most likely won’t respond. However, if you can cultivate a relationship, offer products that resonate with the readers and author, and have something valuable to share or say, chances are they will welcome your offer and feature you or your coupon code!
6. Partner with other Shops and Artists – Many times, you can partner with another artist or seller to work together to promote your shops. Let’s say you make diaper cakes, and you often partner with another person who organizes/plans baby showers. A great way to share your coupons codes is to have them promote your code in their shop/blog/event and you can in turn, promote them with your customers. Again, it is important to ensure the connection is relevant for both of you, and always be respectful of your customers. However, it is always nice to have great people to work with and support you, and customers will appreciate the special savings! 
7. Third Party Savings Websites - Another way to share coupon codes with a HUGE amount of people is to use third party websites like or Both websites are free to join and allow you to post coupon codes for your shop. These codes are featured on their website, sent out to their FB fans, and shared on Twitter or blogs. They also create a link to your shop and a thumbnail image so shoppers can find your listing and link back to your shop. 
8. Returning Customers – while it is all well and good to reach out the world at large to share your coupon codes, often your best business comes from your already loyal customers! A great way to show your appreciation for their business is to offer them a coupon code for their next purchase. You can do this by providing a note or card in with their package or by contacting them online. However, please be respectful when contacting customers, and keep it brief. It is not okay to email or convo customers in large groups (again this is considered spam). A simple, short thank you email or convo sharing the coupon code is fine, and would definitely be appreciated. 
9. Craft Fairs/ Art Events – A great way to network with other local artisans and customers is to attend craft fairs or art events. Whether you attend as a vendor or a spectator, take the opportunity to walk around and introduce yourself to other people. If you have a booth set up at the event, a great marketing strategy is to create a small card or flyer featuring your shop website with a coupon code included. Then, you can hand these out to customers and even people who are “just looking”. By printing the code on the card, you give them a reason to take it and hold on to it. The coupon code may then entice them to actually look you up online when they get home, where they may be more inclined to purchase from you in the future. 
10. Friends and Family – Another good old fashioned way to market yourself and share coupon codes is to network through your friends and family. Generally, these are the people who love and support you the most and know how much work and passion you put into your craft. A great thing to do is to set up a coupon code just for them that they can share with the people they talk to. My husband is always casually sharing my website with people he meets and something he likes to do is share a coupon code with them. He’ll just say something like, “You would love my wife’s work – and if you see something you like, be sure to put in the code “SECRET25” for an inside discount! (wink, wink)” It’s a great way to provide friends and family pricing easily. 

So now it’s up to you! Choose even a couple of these options to start with and see what kind of feedback/response you get! Hopefully, you can take advantage of all of these great marketing strategies over the next few weeks and enjoy great results in your Etsy sales!

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is our Official Team Blog!!

It was in the talks, and here it is. Our official team blog. This blog will soon be filling up with information just for you! We are talking about Arizona Featured Sellers, How-to's, Tips, Calendars of Events, TeamAZ Etsy sellers craft booth locations and times.

We are opening up an invitation to all of you, if you have an article you wanted to share with us, or one you written yourself, feel free to contact myself , LunaLeon, or any of the team's leaders. 

I am very excited for this team's future, and I know so are you 

-Luna Leon