Monday, March 29, 2010

Flickr Picks : Lova Revolutionary Blog

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

La Times : Independent artisans are crowding onto the Web

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Lure of a global marketplace has craftspeople competing for shoppers through such sites as, and 1000 Markets.


March 01, 2010|By Cyndia Zwahlen

The online indie craft scene is getting crowded as home-based entrepreneurs move beyond craft fairs or networks of friends to tap customers from around the globe.

Merchants offering handmade items are flocking to online websites such as Etsy, ArtFire and 1000 Markets to find buyers. Etsy said last week that it now has about 400,000 active online shops. They offer items ranging from the kitschy to the sublime.

Most sellers, some who own more than one online store, don't typically make a living from their handiwork, whether that's hand-painted silk scarves or hand-painted cow skulls.

And many find that selling online is tougher than expected. Competition among sellers has grown as more crowd online in response to the increased demand for handmade items. A recent search for "necklace" on, for example, turned up more than 600,000 results.

"It is a great vehicle, but because of so many jewelry shops on there, it's hard," said Eagle Rock jeweler Rose Braunstein, who has an online shop at Etsy.

Yet she and other artisans are drawn to the online marketplaces because of their reach and because the shops are inexpensive and easy to set up. Sites such as Etsy also make it easy to tap into a network of other crafty entrepreneurs for tips and support.

"Right now I have a very small craft empire, but one day I hope to be a very large craft empire" with the help of her online shop, said Erin Korda of Sherman Oaks.

There is no charge to set up a storefront on most sites. Sites make their money in part by charging sellers a percentage of each sale. 1000 Markets, for instance, takes 5.5% plus 50 cents. Etsy charges 3.5% and 20 cents to list an item for four months.

That may not sound like much, but listing fees can add up if sellers follow sites' advice to relist items daily so they show up higher in search results.

A popular site, Etsy has also attracted spoofs such as a Sherman Oaks site Regretsy that makes light of some of its offerings.

No one tracks the sales of handmade or vintage items, but the Craft & Hobby Assn. said consumers spent $27.3 billion on arts and crafts supplies in 2008. That's down 14.5% from 2008.

The interest in handmade goods, which some experts attribute to consumers' reaction to society's over-commercialization, has helped artisans such as jeweler Braunstein.

She quit her day job two years ago to make seed-bead mosaic rings and sterling silver jewelry, which she sells on Etsy, in brick-and-mortar shops and at craft shows.

Etsy, the largest online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, has had growing pains since its launch in 2005. With the millions of transactions, buyers and sellers find things to complain about, including clunky searching and only bare-bones tools for sellers.

Changes meant to address some of the concerns are afoot at the company that reported gross sales of $180.6 million for 2009, spokesman Adam Brown said. The website's former chief executive, Robert Kalin, 29, who co-founded the company when he was 25 and remains its chairman and major shareholder, returned in December as CEO.

Etsy is hiring engineers to improve its search functions and create new seller tools, Brown said. The private New York company is also hiring customer-service workers as part of its plan to launch phone support this year.

The site works for Karen Koenig of West Los Angeles, who creates frog-skin leather cuff bracelets, among other leather goods, for her Unearthed sites on Etsy, 1000 Markets and ArtFire.

"We aren't Balenciaga," she said, referring to the luxury fashion brand. "But we are paying our bills."

Lova Revolutionary : Blog is getting a revamp, please excuse the temporary mess!!!


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Flickr Picks : Cute Felt Animals!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flickr Picks : Lova Revolutionary Blog

Come Join the Group on Flickr & Get Featured on Lova Revolutionary : Blog! Been stitchin' up a storm? Got a neat new art print? A cool redesigned craft room? Come show us!
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

What I've been up to this week!

I love doing great big batches of goodies, small cute things just seem even cuter when there's more of them! Have a few more wholesale orders to accomplish this week, then I'll have some free time to do a shop update - looking forward to it! I'll be posting more keychains to the shop, a few ipod cozies, & a few more plush!

Keeping my fingers crossed until later this month - hoping to get into Spring Bada Bing in Richmond, VA. I was really stoked about doing Rock n Shop Market in Raleigh, NC back in Dec but unfortunately got snowed in and couldn't make it! I've yet to do a neat craft show so I'm looking forward to the experience - have my displays ready to go and everything!

***UPDATE: I just found out today that I was accepted for the Spring Bada Bing! Looking forward to RVA for the day and selling cute goodies in real life! ha! (March 19th)

I have a busy few months ahead - it's going to be hectic, looking forward to vacation in June already! In May, I'll be exhibiting in the craft gallery at Gallow Lily's inside Gallery 5 in Richmond, VA! More details to come about that soon, might even get to show you all a little work in progress! It's going to be new work so a little removed from my accessories & plush! Thanks all for now! Happy crafting!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patty's Day!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Flickr Picks : Lova Revolutionary Blog

Mini Felt Shoe Keyring by gaudblogvrudaii

this is just the cutest thing ever!

Black Kokeshi Mini Day Tote by Winniel the Laughing House

I'm in love with kokeshi's, I have about a dozen....and counting..

Coin Purse Birds & Blossoms by Jennifer Ladd Handmade
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Flickr Picks : Lova Revolutionary Blog

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Shop Update! New Rosettes!

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