Updated Nov, 4th 2013
My name is Amy Heyse. I started the process of creating an Etsy shop months ago, but got intimidated by the product photography, branding, SEO, etc. and never got beyond creating a banner for my shop. I have a Facebook fan page that I use to showcase my artwork and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback and have even sold a piece through Facebook once. I decided it was time to focus the time and energy on opening an Etsy store.
I create watercolor and acrylic portraits of women. I would love to use my shop to sell prints and custom trading cards featuring my artwork. I have a custom deck of trading cards I designed that just got shipped and is expected to arrive sometime this or next week. I'm looking forward to seeing how they turn out and if they will be nice enough to sell. I still need to actually make prints of my artwork as well. Below are the images I ordered that will have available in trading card format:
In addition to artist trading cards/prints, I enjoy sewing. I sew handmade tote bags using watercolor painted canvas and then I paint characters and designs on them using acrylic paints. I have small "wallets"/card holders that match.
After doing the worksheet and looking at the competition, I realized that there are more artists who create prints for sale than there are artists who have artist trading cards. Most artist trading cards feature fantasy or fan art. There is a large spectrum of artistic skill for both print and artist trading cards. There are also a lot of Etsians who create either hand sewn tote bags or hand painted tote bags, but very few who create hand sewn AND hand painted tote bags. I think this could work in my favor...
For me, the most challenging part of the worksheet was coming up with keywords. The 13 I decided on were: hand painted, hand sewn, cute, watercolor, acrylic, elegant, artist trading cards, prints, fine art, painting, portrait, art, and vintage inspired.
Unfortunately, the trading cards haven't been delivered yet (they'll arrive sometime next week), so I decided to start taking pictures of the tote bags. I have 5, but I decided to start with 1 to begin with. I used paper to create a white "backdrop." I edited the photos using Photoshop first and decided to play around with FotoFuze, which I had never used before. The first couple of times I used FotoFuze, I didn't really like it, but then I played around with the different settings and found a way to create a more naturalistic, but clean, version of my photo. Here's what they look like side-by-side (original on the left, FotoFuze on the right):
PRODUCT PHOTO UPDATE:
I spent the morning/early afternoon working on product photography. Let me know what your thoughts are. I need to go back and look at a couple to make sure they're not blurry, but otherwise I think they turned out nice. They were all edited in Photoshop first and then FotoFuze.
I now am the proud owner of an Etsy shop. I just listed 5 items and opened shop! It feels surreal that it actually happened because I've been talking about it for a while now. Here's a link to my shop:
My trading cards arrived in the mail! Hooray! They're 3.5x5.75". I haven't decided on a price for these yet. After doing some research on similar products and evaluating what it costs me to have them printed, I'm thinking of offering them for somewhere between $4.50-5.00 (and maybe offering a 3 for $X deal). Here are the edited photos in the meantime:
A close-up of one:
And the backs:
Thanks to some of the SEO tags I created, I have gotten some traffic to my shop. I have also had 2 items favorited, which is pretty exciting. There's a lot more work to be done on my half, but I'm happy that my shop is open for business.
I plan on getting my personal website up and running soon and blogging on my art process. In the meantime, I have been updating my Facebook fan page regularly and have been pinning my products on Pinterest. We'll see if that helps me get page views as well. I need to make some more business cards (now I can include my shop or website on the cards) and I have a stamp with my contact info and logo to help personalize my packaging.
I made my first two sales. Pretty exciting (and a little nerve-wrecking). The first sale was to a family member, so it was a positive experience. I put the cards they ordered in a little envelope that I created out of cardstock before putting it in an envelope and mailing it. It arrived safely and the artwork is matted and framed at their new home. Pretty cool.
When I got my second order, this time from someone unknown, I wanted to amp up the packaging. I decided to create a card that displays the trading card, has my logo, and the title of the piece and my signature included. I put the card holder, two copies of my business card, and a handwritten note in a regular envelope that snugly holds them all. Then I put that envelope into a 6x8" rigid envelope that I got from ecoenclose as a sample. I loved the envelopes so much, I ordered two more packs for future sales. They're inexpensive, cheap to ship, and I think they will protect the items more. I think it will look more professional and show that I'm trying to keep the items safe.
Here are some pictures: