Monday, May 31, 2010

June Giveaway is Here!

I found mkmclark through the etsy forums, and when she offered to submit her product for my June giveaway, I was beyond thrilled! To the lucky winner of this giveaway, she is offering up to 5, 4x6 photo letters to spell any word you choose! This is such a unique idea, and her photography is perfect for any decor. She was also gracious enough to give an interview!

1) How long did it take to find all the letters of the alphabet to photograph?

I began taking photographs of letters nearly two years ago when I was in Asheville, North Carolina for a long weekend. While walking around Baltimore Estates I saw a fabulous tree that looked like the letter Y. After that, everywhere I looked I saw letters. And so it began! I probably had all the letters of the alphabet within a few months - but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I decided to open a shop on Etsy.

2) What have you found to be your most successful promotion technique?

Interestingly, my profession is business-to-business marketing. This, however, is my first experience doing business-to-consumer marketing with a focus on the web. So, there is a lot to learn! When I first opened my shop I did a promotion - the first five orders were free. I got a lot of website views and a number of orders quickly. Since then, things have slowed down. So, obviously giving things away works wonders, but doesn't sustain business.

3) Do you sell anywhere else besides Etsy?

Currently I only sell my photography on Etsy. However, I hope be a vendor at some local North Carolina festivals this summer.

4) Besides your wonderful photography, is there anything else you enjoy creating/doing in your spare time?

I just got married two months ago, so for the past year I learned everything I could about wedding planning. I worked with a number of Etsy sellers to create custom invitations, stickers and save-the-dates. Every last detail of our big day was perfectly executed thanks to all the planning. Since the wedding, I've actually thrown my best friend a bridal shower, and am helping another friend plan her 30th birthday bash. It seems as though I have a knack for party planning!Product

Some more words from Katie:
Finding th perfect gift can be a challenge. You want it to be personal, thoughtful and something that doesn’t necessarily break the bank. If you've ever been stumped by the gift-giving dilemma, I’ve got a great idea for you! You can create a custom sign using pictures that capture letters from nature, architecture and everyday life. First name, last name, a special saying – it’s up to you. Katie Cat Creations has an array of letters to choose from … and the best part, they are affordable! It’s an out-of-the-ordinary gift that’s bound to wow that special someone. Your 4x6 prints will be mailed within 24 hours – then all you need to do is find a frame for your custom creation. Big impact + small investment = the perfect gift! Check them out today and let us know what you think.

Ok, so now for the giveaway! The rules on this one are a little different. In the comment section below this post, please let us know what word you would spell with Katie's letters and why! The winner will be chosen at random on June 30th! Don't forget to show her some love, and heart her shop as well!
For more great monthly giveaways, please follow my blog if you'd like!

Beginner's Craft Course: Facebook Ads

I'm proud to start my beginner's craft course in sales, marketing, and business with you today! I will experiment with various marketing techniques and promotions, share tips from my own brain as well as outside sources, then I will actually try out all the techniques with my etsy shop and review my progress. Today I'm starting with Facebook Ads.
Disclaimer: I'm no expert. I am going to make mistakes. This is a learning process for me as well as my readers. I welcome any comments or questions, or advice and I will try to respond to each and every one. I can learn from you as much as you learn from me!

I've had a little success with Facebook ads in the past, so I want to try it out again for a longer period of time. I only have a small budget, ($5.20 per day). I've taken out a local ad, including only the more "well off" cities in Ohio, and I have also taken out an international ad. They will run until June 10th. I am going to see which works best based on my google analytics report compared to my sales. Hopefully there will be sales!
My budget...
You pay for each time someone clicks on your ad and is directed to your shop. You set your daily budget, which means that once enough people have clicked on your ad to reach your budget, facebook stops showing the ad. They will never go beyond your daily budget so you are in control of how much you are spending. My budget will get me about 8 clicks a day total. By June 10th, that's 104 clicks that will direct traffic to my etsy shop.

Facebook also allows you to choose your target market. This helps you control who is being shown the ad. I narrowed my international ad down to women age 18 and older, who were interested in: shopping, jewelry, fashion, etsy, handmade goods, blogging, weddings, or wedding planning. This is a great tool because since facebook is a social networking site, people already have their interests listed. You just have to tell facebook who to target, and they do the work for you (for a fee of course).

At the end of two weeks, I am going to spend no more than: $67.60. I'll be tracking my google analytics to see where most of my visitors to my etsy shop are coming from. My goal is to make sales (obviously) and have more traffic to my shop. Traffic = Awareness. Facebook makes it super simple to take out an ad, I suggest you try creating a couple drafts and see how they turn out. Facebook will save it, and you can always decide later to run the ad.

Ok, now it's time for your feedback. Was this post helpful? Do you have any advice/suggestions of your own? Just post them in the comments section below and I'll get back to you!

Facebook Ads Continued

I made a sale last night! I don't know if the recent Ad I took out on Facebook was responsible or not. I'm a little sheepish to ask the person... but maybe for the sake of research I should just shoot them a convo.
In other news, I will be announcing the June giveaway later tonight, and you won't wanna miss this one!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kenny Co Op

I live in Highland Square in west Akron. Its an artsy community with old buildings reminiscent of downtown New York City. A small square, only about 3 blocks is home to Angel Falls Coffee Company , a small library, and a couple of cute shops, including an indie fashion boutique, and an old school record store. In the center of the square is an old movie theatre with just one big screen, where popcorn is a dollar fifty, and you can enjoy a glass of wine. There is also a Chipotle. Yes- I live in heaven.

I was wandering through Revival, the indie fashion boutique, not really planning on buying anything, when I came across a very zen smelling candle. I don't know how else to describe it, but I can tell you that I'm sitting in my apartment taking in very deep breaths trying to take in all the scent this candle has to offer. I think all this oxygen is going to my brain.

The candle's maker is a company called Kenny CoOp. They are a completely vegan product, with absolutuly no animal testing as stated on their website. The candle I bought is called Koala, and it is scented with Lavender and Tea Tree. Their prodicts can be purchased by visiting their etsy shop. This is a great company, and having tried the product, I highly recommend my readers to check out the shop and show them some love!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


So I just have time for a quickie before bed... hehehe.

I spent my day indoors enjoying the beautiful sun from the office window. Sigh. But its almost Friday, and I have some very exciting plans for the weekend...

I want to thank all my readers and entries in the May Giveaway first of all for your lovely comments on my bracelet! I am going to be doing a giveaway every month, featuring other talented artists and designers, so please stay tuned!! It's a real confidence booster to show a piece of my jewelry and have so many positive comments, since I haven't had a sale in a while. Thank you all so much I can't wait to see who wins!

I'm really loving this blogging thing, and can't wait to post what I've come up with this week. Including but not limited to a new giveaway (you'll want to see this one!) and fresh new ideas for marketing yourself as a designer. I plan to try these tips out first hand, then write about them.

Marketing is such a huge part of business. In fact, more money is spent on marketing and advertisement than production and payroll in many well-known established businesses. So it is important for those of us in the creative industry who are trying to make a buck, to remember the important role marketing plays in our ventures. If no one knows about you, how will they buy your product?

I write about this as if I'm a seasoned vet, but really I haven't even done one craft show! So this is what I'm going to call my "Beginner's Craft Course" in sales, marketing, and business. I'm going to apply my knowledge as a previous business management major, to the context of handmade goods. Hopefully it will yield positive results for me (obviously), and you as well!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

I got my metal stamps in the mail! I've been practicing all day, and I'm almost etsy ready. I also ordered genuine birthstones to embellish my jewelry with, but I'm still waiting on those. Take a look at my progress! Any comments/critiques welcome. Do you think my work is etsy ready?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Go Green Tea

I'm admittedly not a huge supporter of the whole carbon footprint reducing, going green lifestyle. I drive a fuel efficient car, don't use more water or electricity than I need to survive. I believe in recycling, and I do my part. I'm just too busy to worry about every little thing and how it impacts our poor environment- I have a life to live and I'm sorry if that offends anyone. I know my stance is not the trendiest, but oh well.

Now that I'm done ranting, I wanted to compliment this beautiful bracelet. Just because I'm not as Eco-chic as the rest of you, doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a work of art!

When I was little, my father was always taking a piece of nothing and making something beautiful with it. One day our washing machine broke, so instead of throwing it away, he buried it in the middle of my mom's flower garden. She was rightfully furious, but then he filled it with water, and bought some large goldfish, and released them into the new up cycled pond. Those fish lived there for years (even through the winter somehow).

This bracelet is very touching to me, because it reminds me of those "wow" moments we used to have when my dad would come up with some crazy way to use something that would have otherwise been discarded.
This bracelet is made by Eleven And One Design on etsy. The small tiles are an old iced tea can. To me, the highest form of creativity exists in these types of items. The world has discarded it, and the artist recreates it into something beautiful that the world can relate to.

Too Hot To Think; Time For A Drink

My third floor studio apartment has no air conditioning yet... I am waiting on them to install a window unit. Its about 75 degrees outside right now, so I guess its probably about 80 in here. Forgive me for this short post but I think my eyeballs are actually sweating.

This was the wrong time to start a new diet of no drinking or smoking on week nights... all I want to do is have a cold glass of wine and a cigarette. Instead I'm here stuffing my face with a PB&J, The pool also opens this weekend at my Mom's, and I need to be bikini-ready. Maybe I'll sweat off this winter weight in my sleep. grrrr... that's all for tonight.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Metal Stamping, Are You Doing It?

Shown above is a beautiful hand stamped necklace by Alvina Abramova on etsy, featuring a 1/2 inch 14kt gold fill disc with stamped initial, and complimented with gemstones. The bright combination of colors in this necklace spoke to me instantly- and since I will be starting some metal stamping of my own soon, I just had to write about it! If it speaks to you too- I suggest you check out her shop, where you will find more hand-stamped goodies. I love the feel of her shop- it has a slightly more polished and elegant look than some of the metal stamped jewelry you see.

Metal stamping is a huge trend right now, and I don't see it going away anytime soon. I recently bought an amazing kit from sparklingshamrock on etsy. If you are looking to get in on the stamping action, then sparklingshamrock is your one stop shop for all your stamping needs! She has tons of fonts, ranging from $10.75 for the basic starter upper case font, to 240.00 for a set of upper case and lower case fancy fonts. That's the best deal I've been able to find anywhere online. She also puts together these amazing kits that have everything you need to get started on this awesome craft, including instructions. You can get started with the economy kit for just $69.75!
I can't wait to get started, but it looks like I'll have to. It just so happens I get into a fight with my boyfriend at the same time I need to borrow his hammer. Damn!
If you're not sure if metal stamping is something you want to get into, just browse through etsy's jewelry section, and look at the sellers who've had such success with it. People are always looking to personalize their handmade gifts, and stamping is a great way that jewelry makers can do that. I know I've lost out on a couple sales because I just didn't have the means for personalizing my items.

I watched a couple of tutorials, and I feel like I'm ready to dive in and get my hands dirty... Updates to come on my progress! Check out, where you can buy tutorial videos and watch them instantly! Or, you can do it the cheap way, (like I did) go to youtube and type in how to hand stamp jewelry. There are a ton of very helpful (free) videos on there as well. That's all for now, gotta go make up with my boyfriend!

Comments Back Up On Giveaway

The comment function is now working on my May I Giveaway Post. I don't know what went wrong with it, but I went back into blogger and re-published it and it is working fine.

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the May Giveaway for the Aidenne bracelet, a $28.00 Value! Sorry for the delay, I hope to have a ton of entries now!

Mirage... A Work In Progress

This is my latest painting, titled Mirage. It is a work in progress, and just needs something. The problem: I can't figure out what. I think I'm going to do some texturing on the horizon, and maybe some more colors on the bottom. I worked on it last weekend, and for three hours yesterday, and so far, I'm pretty happy with it. It just needs something to make it pop-- to make it finished. Any inspiration would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May I Giveaway

I figured the best way to start off a new blog would be with a great giveaway! So I'm starting with one of my own pieces: The Aidenne bracelet.

The Aidenne Bracelet is the perfect accessory for summer! A $28.00 value, this bracelet is made with rose quartz rectangle beads, swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, and sterling silver. Closes with a spring clasp and measures 7" in length with a 1" extender chain!


Just leave a comment on this post, letting me know you are interested. I will draw a name randomly on June 15th, and announce the winner here- on my blog!

Local Shop Like

Searching through the Shop Local section on etsy, I stumbled on anotherjamiedavis. Her shop announcement made me smile: "I make things". Simple, to the point. I like it. When I scrolled down, I found more to like. The "things" she makes are pretty cool, and eco friendly too! Shown above is the Green Tree Clutch, an upcylced vintage brown clutch with wood grain embroidery. I quickly favorited it, and checked my bank account for funds. All her items come with clever descriptions of where these bags may have gone with their previous owners of the past. Check out more "things" made by Jamie Davis below.

Welcome To My World

I'm finally done with Spring Semester at Stark State University and ready to start blogging. School and work take up so much of my time, I wish I could give up sleep to have more time to create and run my etsy shop!

...Let me back up a little bit. My name is Margo Snyder and this is my blog. I have a full time job, and also go to school, but my real passions are: Art, Making Jewelry, and Psychology. I will be attending Kent State University next fall to pursue a degree in Fine Arts in Graphic Design, then its on to Ursuline College for a master's in Art Therapy.

I am inspired by colors, textures, people and whatever strikes me in the moment. I started making jewelry as a hobby, and sold some here and there to people I work with and family members. I decided to open up an etsy shop and realized I really needed to improve my technique to be taken seriously as an artist. I closed my etsy shop for three months, in which time I developed new skills, which led to a sense of pride in my work to a degree that I hadn't felt before. In January I launched my couture collection. Since then I have been working on more everyday pieces and have also launched a new line called "Margo's Little Somethings". Everything in this line is under $15.00. I will soon be releasing some Hand Stamped jewelry creations in my shop as well.
Enough about me for now. I intend to use this blog as an outlet for my creative process, but also as a way to promote independant artists all over! I hope that those who read my blog will give handmade artwork of all mediums a chance before buying into the mass produced "Target" style that you see everywhere. (I am to blame for this- My Futon is from Walmart and I regret my purchase every night I sleep on that metal bar.) Handmade work is so much for enjoyable because you know that it meant something to the person who created it, and you also know that it won't be on sale for ten dollars when you paid fifty for it last week. Hate that.
Above are some pictures of jewelry and accessories from my shop. Enjoy!