New Etsy shop…am I losing it?

I love Etsy so much I have opened a second shop. No Kidding. I do love Etsy. My Snappy Tatter business is so easy to manage with the platform that Etsy provides. The most time-consuming thing I have to do aside from designing and creating my Fiber Art, is write my item descriptions and keep track of my own tax records. Turns out, from aptitude testing I had when I was young…I am pretty equally right and left brained so there really isn’t any part of operating my small business that isn’t entertaining to me.

So-back on topic…I have opened a second Etsy shop called “JJBeads”.

The idea came to me at the beginning of January when I was placing my semi-annual bead/finding/component order with Fire Mountain Gems.  I order from this online company because of the massive amount of product options and deep discount I can get from ordering a large quantity of items at once. I think they offer superior products in one place, have a very reasonable shipping charge, ship fast and give me options to order a little of an item or a lot. Even if I can find the same quality at Joann Fabric or Michael”s (craft stores in my area) I cannot buy the quantity I need and the price is usually at least twice that of Fire Mountain. I need to keep the bottom line on my work low because the majority of the price of my work is about the time I put into it. Tatting and Fiber Art is labor intensive and my pricing mostly reflects time and effort with the cost of beads/findings/components added.

So-back to the new shop. Twice a year I order in things and say, “holy cow…these Czech glass seed beads are fantastic! But how am I ever going to use 40,000 of them?” Literally.

And that’s just it. I am not a beader. My work is Fiber Art embellished with beads…sometimes hundreds of them but after I get my order I realize that I am saddled with thousands of beads that I have to store and can not possibly ever be used in my work.

If there was a place where I could buy these things in small quantity and the competitive price and low shipping…I would go there instead. That is where JJBeads comes in. There are a lot of times that I have bought too much thread or fabric or impulse buys that I don’t return. I would like my fellow artisans to have the opportunity to buy these things without getting stuck with 40,000 extra of something.

So-yesterday I spent the afternoon setting up JJBeads. Putting policies in place was easy because the business side of my brain just pours out readily most of the time. Set up shipping, currency, shop sections, welcome greeting, personal profile, and take photos for the shop banner and avatar and voila…new shop. Sounds like a lot of work but with already having an Etsy shop to base things on it went rather smoothly.

I am pretty happy with my avatar and banner. I think they are eye catching and memorable and convey what JJBeads is about…specialty items of very good quality.

The first photo is the profile Avatar that will be viewed all over Etsy. In the second, it is cropped for the shop banner and the shop name is shifted. The third photo is the original that I chose from dozens of shots. I did all of this using a great (although complicated at first) program called GIMP that is free on the internet.

Turns out I have a lot more to list than I realized. When I started poking around my studio I just kept finding things here and there. Why do I have 3 dozen metal snaps? Why did I buy 2 spools (40m ea.) of Kreinik filament for one project? Why did I think these lime green beads would go with any of my tatting threads? And so on.

So-finally the biggest task for the new shop. Photos and listings. I take a couple of excellent quality photos of items and have to add the listings one by one. Luckily, my husband bought me an upgraded camera that is so easy to use for Christmas and my photos need little editing and are crisp, accurate in color and sharp. I am hoping to add 5-10 items a day until I get through everything I have.

More work to keep me out of trouble!

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