10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #7: Craft Show Prep | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #7: Craft Show Prep | AUDIO | ietishana.com
 

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #7: Craft Show Prep | AUDIO

Be sure to click the play button above to listen to 10 MORE things you can bring with you to a craft show, handmade market, or farmers market ^^


Hey Guys, welcome back for another tea talk. Today I want to talk to you about 10 MORE things you should bring with you to your first craft show or market! This episode goes along with my latest blog post that shares 20 things you should bring with you to your first show.

Ok guys, let’s jump into it.

1) Heater or a Fan

  • Depending on the season you are in you are probably going to want to bring items that will help you be more comfortable. A lot of booths, even if they are outside, may have access to a power source. Make sure you check with your show’s organizers to see if bringing something of this sort will be ok with them first.

 

2) Cell Phone Charger/Extra Battery Source 

  • Chances are, even if your phone was fully charged before you left the house, you will need an external power supply to keep your phone going during your time at the show. Especially if you are using a card reader, those tend to suck up batteries pretty fast. Be sure to have a back up power source so your quick draining phone battery doesn’t let you down as you take more orders. It will certainly defeat the purpose of making money at the show!

3) Scissors or Utility Knife

  • Scissors or utility knives come in handy when doing any type of work with your booth space. It’s good to have these tools on hand even if it’s not for yourself but for a nearby booth mate! Sometimes boxes need to be cut open, things need to be torn down, you never know! Do your best to be prepared and you will be far ahead with less to worry about.

4) Extra Product Supplies

  • Depending on what you sell, it’s always handy to have extra product supplies with you. Whether you need to make on-the-spot adjustment, or something broke that you can quickly replace, someone wants an extra part of something, or you want to make a special in-person deal that you normally wouldn’t make online, then be sure to have extra supplies on hand. You never know what opportunity may come up requiring that extra something.

5) Freebies

  • This also depends on what you make and sell, but sometimes freebies can be great at markets. Whether that freebie is an actual free item, or if it’s a raffle you want to hold for your customers, it’s always a creative way to generate buzz.

6) Email List

  • Although this point is listed in my 20 things to bring to your first craft show blog post under number 9.something from pen and paper, I want to bring it up again because it deserves it’s own section. If you don’t already have an email list, now is the best time to start one. If you don’t think you need an email list, get emails anyway, and thank me later. Not doing so is literally leaving money on the table! If someone doesn’t buy from you, ask them if they would be interested in providing their email. Seriously. If you take anything away from this episode let it be this one. Take number 9 from my blog post and take number 6 from this one, and start and acquire an email list.

7) Height

  • This one is to help bring more eyes and interest to your already cool products. Get varying levels! Have some things higher up than others. It will not only create more space for your table but create interest and help people stay at your table longer. If everything is all flat, it’s all boring. Bring those peaks and valleys to bring more eyes and hopefully sales!

8) Jacket or Sun Block

  • Don’t forget to think about your comfort! The last thing you want to do is be stiff and cold or hot and burnt. Remember to bring a jacket, especially if the market is later at night and the temperature will drop. I’m cold all the time, so if you’re like me, don’t forget a sweater. If you’re going to be in the sun all day, don’t risk your skin health! Bring a good SPF rated sun block to protect you from getting sun burned.

9) Bags

  • This one is an important one an easily forgotten. What is someone going to do after they purchase from you? Do you have a bag for them? It may be pretty awkward if they have to carry your item around unprotected. Get gift bags from the craft store and fix them up a bit by adding your logo or hangtag. Or if you don’t have it in your budget, look at getting plastic grocery bags in bulk.

10) Money

  • Now this one isn’t just change for your potential shoppers, which you should most definitely bring, but your own money to support other handmade sellers. This is handy if you are also at a farmers market and there are some delicious home made snacks you can eat! Not only is it great to support other small businesses but it’s a great way to connect with them. I know when I was in market season, I would refer other customers to other booths that I insisted they must check out and other shop owners did they same for me. Nothing was cooler than hearing that they were at another booth and was told they had to come visit mine!

 

Ok makers, that’s all I have for you today. I know this one as a bit of a doozy but I hope it helps you prepare for the craft show, handmade market season. I know these things have gotten me through my own farmers market season! Let me know in the comments of this post, tweet me or send an email any thoughts. If you have any questions you want addressed in the next tea talk, send your inquiries to teatalk@ietishana.com. Ok makers, see you next time.

20 Things to Bring to Your First Craft Show or Market

20 things to bring to your first craft show,  handmade art show or farmers market | ietishana.com

It’s that time of the year where it seems like many of us makers are getting ready for craft shows, so if this is your first time I have some advice for you as well as what to bring! Although some craft shows tend to run year round, the holiday season, as it begins to cool down, seems to draw out people from their homes and into their community. This will also be a great time to showcase your new items that you’ve been working on for the past two months! (If you haven’t planned out what you want to make specifically for the holiday season, check out episode #1 of the tea talk series to download the free pdf (no email required) and listen to the talk to get the most out of the download.)

Whether you attend a craft show, or in my case a farmer’s market, they run relatively the same. And the things you need will most likely be the same as well. So let’s begin with the things you may need and pepper in some advice within the post.


 

1) A Canopy:


Check in with your show organizers to see how big of a canpoy you’ll need. The standard one is a 10 x 10. You can pick these up at a local walmart or sporting goods store. Check out amazon.com as well!

Added feature: See if you can find a wall or two to put up to block winds or even the cold air. This can double as a nice privacy feature, or a wall, depending on how close you are to the next person, or in the summer as a way to keep your area shaded and cool.

 

2) Table:


When I first started out I had a small 4 ft table. It was ok, but it was way too small to hold everything I had, and I didn’t have much! I later upgraded to a 5 ft table that made a world of difference. That extra foot is prime real estate. I recommend having one at minimum. To increase your space and to help it look more professional and put together, see if you can get two or even 3 tables within your space if allowed. You can arrange your tables to either have an open in the front or in the back with 3 tables, and with two an “L” shape.

Things to keep in mind: If it will just be you and no one to help and you have a good amount of items you’re bringing with you, really think about your set up and what will be the best way to interact with potential customers. Consider the layout. Can you help everyone that walks by easily? Do you have expensive items that may get stolen if you place the tables behind you in that open floor plan? Be conscious of your surroundings. I’m all for believing in the good of everyone, but I’ve heard stories of people with quick sticky hands, so make sure you protect yourself and your items!

 

3) Cash Box:


It’s up to you how you want to handle your cash register. Some people get a cash box that has a lock on it that they keep below their table. For me, I chose to have an apron or a badge that I kept smaller bills in. If you keep your cash on you it’s much safer, in my opinion, and less of a worry should you have to leave to go to the restroom, or step away from your booth for a moment. It’s completely up to you if you want to bring cash at all! My purchase transactions during my show season was 50/50: half cash and half card. So if you’re thinking about not bringing cash at all, consider this!

 

4) Card Reader:


Speaking of the other 50% you’ll want to have a card reader of some sort to be able to take electronic forms of payment. There are quite a few on the market but in this I will suggest 3.

  • Paypal

While I have not personally used a paypal reader I would recommend it. The best part of paypal is that you get the funds right away to your account. I can’t think of a better positive out of all the card readers out there. That way if you have a show/booth fee that you need to pay, it can come out of your profits from that day.  The rate is pretty standard at 2.7% per US card swipe or 3.5% + .15 to key in cards manually. TIP: You have to qualify for this card reader. They have two options to choose from. The standard phone jack card swipe, or the new contactless, chip reader and swipe reader. The first one is free but the other one will cost you around $149. You can then get a rebate of $100 if you make $3,000 in sales within the first 3 months.

  • Square

This is one that I have and it’s very popular among indie and small businesses. There’s a good chance that if you haven’t heard of them before, you probably have used it. While the money transfer isn’t as fast as Paypal’s it’s still relatively good. You can expect the money from a sale within 1-2 business days. A pro of this reader that Paypal doesn’t have is that anyone can get this. There’s no credit check or profit minimum requirement! It’s the perfect reader to get up and running asap. The rate is 2.75% per swipe or 3.5% + .15 per manual key in transaction. Square reader also has the option of getting a contactless and chip reader as well. They also have other things like a more pro POS station if you’re looking for something more “official”. I can honestly report that I’ve never had any issues with this reader, and I love it! It’s small and compact and gets the job done.

  •  Sell on Etsy Reader:

This one is specifically for Etsy shop owners, but yes, there is a card reader just for etsy shop owners. Just like with the other card reader swipe options, this is free to request and get. The difference here is that it will connect directly to your Etsy shop and pull from your existing inventory (which is pretty rad). You can also create listings on the spot which is nice if you haven’t added that item to your shop yet (hint hint, custom or on the spot deals). The rate is 2.75% per swipe but here is where it differs from the others: it’s 3% + .25 when you enter it in manually. There is also the cost for the listing in etsy as well! The pro here is that the in-person sales add to your item sold total which can bolster a new shop. The funds will appear in your direct checkout in your shop rather than directly deposited into your bank account like the square option.

With these three options, you can be up and running taking credit cards at your next show asap!

Ok, let’s move on

 

5) Banner/Sign:

You’re going to want a relatively big sized banner that can be seen from a far away distance. The goal is to have people either recognize the name or get curious enough to get close to see what your booth is all about. Make sure it’s legible and has your shop name, web address/contact, and a small tagline saying what your brand is about or what you offer. Minimal is always best, no need to overdo it. 

 

6) Ropes/Clamps:

These come in handy when you need to hang your sign or any other sign to another fixture. These are also handy if there is a breeze to keep your table cloth down to your table, if you have extra fabric, or if the sign you put up catches the wind too. Very handy! Grab at least 4 of them. I purchased mine from a home improvement store. 

 

7) Table cloth:

Don’t let those tables go bare! They will not only function as dressing and decor, but also the keep your storage, supplies, tools, money, etc, out of plain site. Table cloths are key for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Try and get table cloths that are on brand with your shop and what you sell.

 

8) Storage Bins:

The big plastic ones from your favorite store will come in handy when packing and setting up for you show. They are great not only to pack your things, keep them organized and safe for when you get there, but it’s great to store your extra products in that aren’t displayed on your table. The bin will keep them clean as well from any outside elements like spills, rain, food, dust, etc. Be sure to opt for a colored bin vs clear. You don’t want people to see what you’re carrying as well as how much. Safety first!

 

9) Pen and Paper:

Bring yourself a notepad or journal. You’ll want this for several reasons. 

    1) It’s a good way to keep track of your quantity when you get there and keep track of what you sell and for how much. You’re going to want to know the exact amount so you aren’t playing a guessing game when you get home. Things like quantity for inventory tracking is going to be very important to know, as well not only what sold but if anything was taken without your knowledge. 

    2) Have another notebook or even a clipboard with a sheet of paper to collect emails. This is so important, it really deserves it’s own section, but it can remain here for now.

    3) Write down how the show went! Record how it went, how you felt about it. Use this time to determine if you think you did well, if you want to go back, any names of people running it that you want to jot down. Use your pen and paper to record not only your inventory, what sold well, but also a way to hold yourself accountable and self assess how it went over all.

 

10) Snacks and Water:

You are going to want to pack a pick me up or two, especially if you didn’t eat. I know I always felt hungry after I was done setting up. I needed the energy after all the labor of getting everything ready to now selling! Bring snacks that give you energy, or high protein foods. Granola, a banana, peanut butter, protein bars are all great to have. Especially something that doesn’t require getting your hands dirty! You’ll be interacting with not only your own items, but customers who may want to shake your hand, etc. Make sure what you bring to eat isn’t messy and has a quick clean up. You’ll also get thirsty. Bring a bottle of water, or your favorite non sticky drink. If anything is spilled you don’t want it staining or ruining your hard work!


Phew! We're halfway there. Here's what we've mentioned so far:

 
Numbers 1-10 things to bring to your first craft show | ietishana.com

 

11) A Trash Bag:

This can simply be a little plastic grocery bag, but you’ll want to have something under your table to collect trash in. Especially if what you sell is sample or food related. There’s also a chance that not only will you have you own trash, from your snack wrappers, or something of that sort, but other people leaving trash at your booth! Whether they do it intentionally or not, you may end up with a couple pieces of other booth’s trash.

 

12) Business Cards:

These should be front and center! If people don’t end up purchasing from you but they are interested, they may as for a business card. Make sure they are right by your mailing list (see point #9) so they can not only sign up for that but take a card with them. Use that as an opportunity for them to remember you after they leave. And as a bonus, give them an incentive! Leave a coupon code on the back of your business card, or something special to motivate them to come back and visit you.

 

13) Display Pieces:

You’re going to want a place to show your prices, or a sign, so display pieces will be very beneficial! It’s always nice to see a display piece that let’s potential buyers know that you accept cards too. Two things I’ve used in the past are a good sized chalkboard sign (since chalkboard was a theme of mine) and also small picture frames. I created my own inserts for the picture frames to list variations and prices. Figure out if there is a theme you may be able to incorporate into your own display pieces!

 

14) Inventory:

This of course goes without saying, but make sure you bring enough inventory. Asses what you think may sell well during the time your craft show takes place and bring enough! It’s always best to bring enough and have it ready than to not have enough and run out. 

Things to consider: The type of market you are going to and the type of people that hang out there. By knowing who your market is you can plan on bringing more or less than a certain item. If you’re not too sure of what kind of people attend, see if you can go to the show as a visitor first to get a feel of the type of crowd. If all else fails, bring everything!

 

15) Insurance:

This one is a bit different, as it’s not a physical item, but at some shows you may need to buy your own insurance. Check with your craft show or farmers market organizers to see if you have to get your own or if it’s included in your booth fee.

 

16) Tax License:

In most cases, depending on what state you live in, you will need to get a Transaction Privilege Tax License, or a TPT License. This is just a city and state tax license you will have to get before you can sell your wares to anyone. The city and state are going to want their cut of your hard work! It sucks, but it’s true. The show organizers will most likely require this at the time of either you signing up or the first day you arrive. They need to cover their bases to make sure they are running a legal operation, and that starts with you. I have heard stories as well of people needing to display it for when city officials come around to view their booth, but I’ve never personally seen that happen.

 

17) Weights:

We are going in no particular order here, but weights are useful for not only your canopy tent, but also your table. If the event is outside and it gets windy, some shows or markets, will require weights so that your canopy doesn’t lift up, fly away, and hurt someone! Can you imagine why that insurance would come in handy? :S. That would be no good for anyone.

 

18) Attitude of: Optimism and Low Expectations:

I know this one sounds a bit strange, since it’s not a physical thing to bring with you, but it’s an important one. You may hear others online, or at the very market you plan on attending, that they do really well! Like they make hundreds and hundreds per show! And that is awesome! And I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but go into your first show with optimism but low expectations. It’s best to be excited about the experience, have conversations with people, but not be a hard sell. You don’t want to appear desperate! Go into the experience with not too much pressure on yourself to sell hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of your product, because you may not know what other people have done to get to where they are now or even if they make that much! As the saying goes, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

 

19) Dolly:

There’s a good chance that what you will end up taking with you to your craft show or market will not come in a one box. One thing that is very handy, and nearly downright necessary to help move things along much easier, is to bring with you a dolly. Having something that you can set your storage bins on that is packed with everything you could possibly need and want for your show can move along much easier when it’s placed on something that rolls. You can find dolly’s or similar rolling cases at your nearest home improvement store. Trust me, when you are lugging things back and forth from your car into your assigned booth spot, you’re going to want to make it as easy and accessible as possible, especially if you are doing this alone.

 

20) A Seat:

Depending on how long your show is going to last, expect that you may want to have a seat! There is nothing wrong with setting up a little stool, or high folding chair to sit on as the hours go by. You can still be high energy and interact with your booth visitors, but know that standing won’t be mandatory. Sometimes it’s also nice to have a chair to sit on when you have a helper, or guest, that is there to support you. You can share standing and sitting opportunities so you don’t burn yourself out.


Here is another picture to recap 11-20 for you!

Numbers 11-20 of things to bring with you to your first craft show or handmade market | ietishana.com

 

Most of all, have a good time! If you want to hear about 10 more things you can bring with you that wasn’t included on this list, be sure to listen to the latest tea talk (episode #7) to get more helpful tips that will help you have a successful show.

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #6 - Social Media with Melissa Hebbe | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #6 - Social Media with Melissa Hebbe | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #6 - Social Media with Melissa Hebbe | AUDIO

Hey you guys! Welcome back for another #TeaTalk! This episode is a special one and a first because we have a special guest! We have Melissa Hebbe from MelissaHebbe.com giving us sound, actionable advice and tips, for us to get our shops ready for the holiday season.

I highly advise you to download the PDF and go over it as you listen to this episode. You'll definitely get the most out of it that way. 

Social media is something I struggle with, and from what you have been sharing online, I know many of you struggle with it too. I know it’s so important, but I struggle to get motivated on what to post, when to do it, and all of that stuff. Sound familiar? So Melissa is here to save the day and get us moving and improving our views and sales.

I know I'll be using her tips for sure.

Today's episode comes with 4 tips paired with action item steps to take that we can do today.

Listen to it here:


Pin this to save for later

 

 

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #5: Motivation Blues | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #5: Motivation Blues | AUDIO - via @ietishana

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #5: Motivation Blues | AUDIO

If you're viewing this from a different blog reader, the audio cast is just above here ^

Hey Guys, welcome back for another tea talk. Today I want to talk to you about motivation. It seems like with the change of seasons, many of us shop owners are feeling changes with our motivation levels.

Since the summer months are slow for many of our shops out there, I just wanted to address this issue. I’ve noticed that a lot of you aren’t feeling it lately. Sales may be slow so you’re in a bit of a slump and you’re finding it hard to get motivated to work on your shop.

Perhaps you’ve even taken a day to two and you’re still not as excited as you originally were. You’ve essentially lost your mojo. I’m in a similar boat as many of you are, but I know some reasons why. So today I have a few things you can do to asses the situation. Let’s jump into it.

The audio version goes over 5 different points to consider. The main points are:

  •  Have you distanced yourself for long enough?
  • Are sales slow?
  • Are your views low?
  • Do you feel lost, like you're not going in the right direction?
  • Have you looked outward?
 

Ok makers, that’s all I have for you today. Are you going through the motivation blues? Let me know in the comments of this post, tweet me or send an email. If you have any questions you want addressed in the next tea talk, send your inquiries to teatalk[at]ietishana[dot]com. Ok makers, see you next time.


My Product Photo Taking and Styling Process + Tips

My Product Photo Taking and Styling Process + Tips | ietishana.com

My Product Photo Taking and Styling Process + Tips

In this casual post I want to share with you my process in taking product photos, and in this specific occasion, it's for food.

If you don't follow me on Instagram, umm...you should be! I post probably once or twice a week - not too often, but it's more behind the scenes type things that don't necessarily have a set place on this site. For awhile, I've been speaking of a project that I've been undergoing. In Episode #3 of my 10 Minute Tea Talk series where we chat about backwards planning, I also talk a teeny bit about this project.

Well...

Earlier in August, a passion project of mine that I started back in 2014 tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Times up! Let's get this thing moving!", and I then set out on a 3.5 week process of putting together the remaining bits of this bakery business I had been wanting to do years ago. There were a lot of little things to take care of (and let's be honest, I'm still working on bits and bops here and there, because: launch before you are ready), but my favorite, and possibly most important part, was the photography.

Sure, getting the recipes just right was important too, but it doesn't matter how good they taste if people can't see how good they look to want to buy them! Remember that! Your photos are what gets people's eyes on your product, then it's your job to keep them there and then make a sale.

This process that I go through can be applied to many of your own products, it's not just for food. 


Ok, so let's begin. I started out with just one pie. Nothing added or sprinkled or propped. Just starting with a clean slate. I like to do it this way then build as I go on.

A Clean Slate

Mini apple pie just plain | ietishana.com

I think every picture can have it's purpose, but this one was just a bit too plain for me. What this can be good for is using a lot of text around it. Perhaps I can share with you an example of that another time! Please remind me ;)

 

A Dash Here, A Sprinkle There

Mini gourmet pies | ietishana.com

It's now time to add a bit of dimension into this otherwise boring picture from before. I simply incorporated some ingredients into the frame. Let's be real, baking is a messy business, so why not show the process. I have bits of the crumble topping and cinnamon strewn about, in what I aimed to be a somewhat balanced shot. What's a baking shot without a rolling pin?! That is tucked away in the upper left hand corner to frame the shot.

For you: Try to incorporate the different elements that make up your product to add more interest, to what can be a plain photo.

 

Angles and Dimension

Mini apple pie food photography for little guy bakery pies | ietishana.com

As hot as flat lays are, I love a good angled shot. It was time to incorporate just a bit more dimension and tools used. You can recognize that familiar rolling pin, but what helps scaffold this photo are the silver mason jar rings the pie is carefully propped in. The pie isn't sitting flush in the lid but rather angled and hanging out from it. This photo tells us a couple of things. The rough size the pies are as well as focus in on a specific thing by literally elevating it.

For you: Play around with the angles. Can you incorporate any tools that you use to make your product?

 

Repeat, Build and Composition

As we confirmed earlier, baking is a messy business. I didn't care to be too sanitized and OCD about this. I really ended up liking the layers and textures it added to the pictures to build upon the ingredients and tools used.

Blueberry mini pie for little guy bakery | ietishana

Whether that was tools like this spatula, or the cut outs for the pie crust leaves...

Pie crust cut outs for little guy bakery | ietishana.com

to adding toppings and changing the composition to create more interest...

Caramel and sea salt mini apple pie for little guy bakery | ietishana.com

Or sprinkled powered sugar and a shot of a strawberry dipped in milk chocolate, for ideas on what you can do with these when you get them home.

Strawberry pie with a chocolate covered strawberry | ietishana.com

For you: How can you add a bit more to your photos to tell a story, give ideas, or entice a potential customer?

 

Scale and Embrace the Chaos 

A mini strawberry pie from Little Guy Bakery | ietishana.com

I added in a fork for scale, because for things like this it's important to know how big the item is, so incorporating more elements to help with this is key. But this also demonstrates the flakey crust and the perfect bite sized portions. Show it in action!

Mini blueberry pie on a fork for Little Guy Bakery | ietishana.com

A different angle, oh and a little glimpse of my hand because #human #handmade. Showing a bit of yourself or the maker is always a nice add.

Holding a mini apple pie from Little Guy Baker | ietishana.com

And a whole hand shot for even more scale. Show the scale people!

 

When You've Added Enough - Take Away

Classic mini apple pie from Little Guy Bakery | ietishana.com

I like to end my shoots by winding down. Winding down a bit of everything as my energy begins to wind down. After shot 312 (or some crazy number), when my energy dwindles, I like to simplify again. It's like in yoga when you have the cool down period. The chaos has minimized at this point, the essence - or mess - is still there, but the focus doesn't change.

For you: Keep photographing as you near what you may feel is the end of your shoot. Capture those lifestylesque moments.

 

I hope it helped you to see my process of taking and simple styling my product photos, and that my "For you" tips are actionable for you to consider on your next shoot.

Which shot or part is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. And, from your favorite how will you add this process in with your current one? 

BONUS: If you live in Arizona, you can order these pies! Yeah! Pretty cool, huh? Check out the site here


10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #4 - Common Coupons | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talks discussing 3 common coupons for handmade business sellers to boost views and sales | @ietishana

10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #4 - Common Coupons | AUDIO

Today is actually a quick Tea Talk, just about 5 minutes. I'm working on talker faster for you guys :) So let's get into coupons, some common types, and how it can improve your views and sales.

Click above to listen ^

Whether it’s a holiday coming up right around the corner, you’re wanting a boost in sales, or you’re encouraging previous customers to purchase again, then I have some tips for you today that you can use right away to get more traffic to your shop, increase views and hopefully sales. Let’s jump into it.

So I first want to start off with the 3 common coupons you can use.

The first one is a holiday theme. 

This can be big national holidays or even smaller, lesser known celebrated days if it goes well with your brand. Just the other day we had national dog day. If you make dog accessories or toys, why not use a day like national dog day to get some traffic your way and entice buyers to either purchase from you for the first time, or even encourage them to buy more for a discount or special bonus items. 

Keep in mind, a coupon doesn’t necessarily have to discount your items. It can be "save on shipping", or "buy one get one half off”, something like that. My warning to you is, don’t go over your means, or cut into your profits as a small business. If you can’t afford to take the hit, then definitely don’t. Use other methods like, $3 off shipping or something else appealing that won’t break your bank and will bring in more profits than discounting your products. 

Another option is to encourage previous customers to purchase again.

A simple, "save 10% off your next purchase", is always a nice little bonus after spending money buying from a shop. Especially if you liked the item you received and you plan on purchasing from them again. I’ve even seen thank you flyers say, “save 15% off your next purchase if you leave me a 5 star review”. It’s a nice incentive if you want to go that route, although that can be seen as somewhat controversial. But get creative with getting repeat customers. They will definitely be a good part of your business.

And my last tip is for simply wanting to boost sales.

If you’re having a slow month, or you have an excess of a certain items you want to clear out of your inventory for whatever reason, having a coupon just for that item or that specific purpose can help boost your sales. Couple this with a good graphic, the right hashtags on social media, and you can increase your chances of getting sales. 

To add to this point, it’s always best to have an end date in mind to create some urgency. Simply putting together a coupon and not advertising when it ends is just money sitting on the table. Make sure that you have an end date in mind, or create some sense of urgency to get customers in your virtual doors. An example would be my last coupon that I shared which was, "save 30% on your next purchase by the end of this month, when you spend $50 or more.” A steep savings for the buyer, one I could afford to take a hit on, and created urgency by setting an end date.

Ok makers, that’s all I have for you today, So now, what type of coupon will you create today? Let me know in the comments of this post, tweet me or send an email. If you have any questions you want addressed in the next tea talk, send your inquiries to teatalk@ietishana.com. Ok makers, see you next time.


10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode #3 - Backwards Planning | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talks | Backwards Planning - AUDIO | ietishana.com

Hey Guys, welcome back for another tea talk. Today I want to talk to you about setting your goals and going backwards. If you are the type of person that has a goal in mind but it never works out smoothly, you procrastinate, it never actually gets done…then this one is for you.

I am the queen on ideas! If you have notebooks full of them and you journal your thoughts, you are definitely my kind of person. So let’s say you have an idea! That can be anything from a new product you want to make and sell, a new website you need to make, a craft show you need to prepare for that’s months away, or if we are staying on topic from the last two tea talks, then making our online shops ready for the holidays. It can be anything that requires planning. Heck, it can even be planning a vacation! The main thing is that you have an idea and you need to execute it and make sure you stay on task and on track to getting things done. Many of us are guilty of having a constantly moving end date or no end date in sight at all! This plan is for those that have an idea and need to have it completed in a set amount of time.

Listen to it right here:

I apologize for the faint low hum in the background for the majority of the audio. My air conditioner was running cuz it's still a million degrees here.

The 5 steps you need to do when working on your goals using backwards planning | ietishana.com

So to sum up the steps required:

1. Start with your idea

2. Set an end date that you want to accomplish your goal by.

3. Work backwards and fill in the steps needed to complete the tasks.

4. Take it a step further and prioritize each individual week

5. Don’t forget to schedule yourself some buffer space in-between your projects to account for things that always pop up!


10 Minute Tea Talk - Episode 2 | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talk with Tishana Episode 2 Audio with Actionable Tips | ietishana.com

Welcome back for another 10 Minute Tea Talk!

I wanted to continue where I left off to make sure we are getting prepared for the Holidays. As I mentioned before, there are already Christmas trees up in craft stores, so if you think it's too early to get your shop ready, you would be wrong, my friend.

So in today's Tea Talk Today I want to tell you a quick little lesson/story about my first real holiday season, how it went and why I closed down my shop last holiday season and also give you two actionable tips that you can do today to improve your shop and get more views :) I will also be sharing real numbers with you, from my own shop so you can take a peek as to how it went, what went right and what went wrong, and how I’m going to change it this year.

If you missed the last one be sure to check that one out first and download the PDF. You can do so by clicking here to listen and clicking here to download the PDF checklist.

Ok, grab your tea and let's get started.

10 Minute Tea Talk - Holiday Prep #1 | AUDIO

10 Minute Tea Talk with @ietishana getting your shop ready for the Holiday season in August

Welcome to the first 10 Minute Tea Talk! 

The goal here is to provide you with actionable handmade business tips and tricks you can use right away to get you moving and improving your views and sales. It’s easy to get caught up with content overload, so grab yourself a cup of tea and get settled in for just 10 minutes. 

Today, we are going to be chatting about slow sales and what to do during this time, specifically August, and getting our online shops ready for the holidays! We will be going over 3 main things that you can do right away.

So grab yourself a cup of tea and let's get to business.

My go to staple tea is black tea with milk and sugar. Let me know in the comments what your favorite staple drink is and what I should try next!

If you have any questions you want addressed in the next tea talk, send your inquiries to teatalk@ietishana.com

Don't forget to download your PDF for this episode - no email necessary, just scoop it up!

5 Tips For Shooting Jewelry On Your Camera Phone

5 Tips For Shooting Jewelry On Your Camera Phone | ietishana.com

Today's post is geared for the makers and sellers out there that sell jewelry (or other small objects) and the only camera you have is a camera phone. I have strolled through many etsy stores looking at the photos and I see a common theme of poorly lit, dark and extremely yellow images. If you are guilty of this, it is doing you more harm than good, my friend. Today I want to give you 5 tips that will help you improve those camera phone photos to make selling your items brighter and more appealing. Let's get started:

TIP #1

Back it up!

Get a simple background that will best show off your jewelry. In the video, you can see that I'm using a plain white poster board that can be purchased in nearly any store. Even chain grocery stores has an isle for school supplies. You can find something like this for very cheap. You don't have to go all out either! See if you can find something similar in your house.

Remember: Your background doesn't have to be white. It all depends on what kind of items you make.

TIP #2

Vogue it out!

Use different angles to get your best shot! Walk around the item to try and find the best light and angle that best captures your product. Try vertical, or horizontal, or top down, off to the right or left, at eye level. Don't be afraid to move around and snap like crazy to get something that looks good. Most importantly, don’t forget to get in close to show details or scale.

TIP #3

Let there be (natural) light! 

Use natural light and try to stay away from artificial light whenever possible. Most artificial lights tend to have a warm or yellow hue to it, which will make your images not look true to what your product looks like in person! The key here is to get a well lit picture that shows off your jewelry in the best light. Pun intended! 

TIP #4

Do some reflection!

If you're into that sort of thing, use a reflective surface. In the video I'm just using the glass that comes with a picture frame.

Pro tip: When shooting on glass be wary of the reflections. It is very easy to capture your own reflection. You want to aim for the best angle to get a cool reflection of your product, not necessarily of yourself. It may sound silly to warn you, but it’s easy to do and makes for an awkward photo.

TIP #5

Edit, edit, edit!

Ok, you've followed all 4 steps so far and you've chosen the best ones. The last step is to edit it to make sure it looks like it will once it arrives! What you don't want to do is upload the photo as is, there is most likely always room for improvement. In the video I am using a free software that you can find online (nothing to download!) called PixlrCheck it out, it's pretty cool.

Ok! So there you have it. I hope those 5 tips will help you when shooting your jewelry. Let me know below what you like to do when shooting on your camera phone!

 

If you prefer to watch videos, be sure to check this one out!


If you hate editing your photos, delegate those tasks, my friend. Check out my photography editing services by clicking the button below!