Saturday, December 7, 2013

International Trade Deals

Its been eighteen months since I opened my Etsy shop "Thrums Textiles" and you must put in time to learn the ropes in order for it to be a success.  Its like anything on the internet and has its little quirks and the learning curve.  Listing items doesn't look too difficult but as you click on one small box.... more suddenly appear that need your attention.  Then there are the support groups and teams to join and participate in and how to get yourself seen among over half a million shops. The secret is to make connections using the groups and to be very, very patient for the first year.


You eventually learn and repetition helps. Slowly but surely things start to move and suddenly you wake to find that some one on the other side of the world has sent you money while you slept!  That's a great feeling...   as in today when I discovered a sold a shawl to Switzerland!  This one in fact...

I had decided to participate in an art gallery sale by the Shuswap Guild in Salmon Arm, BC and I was astounded that even with an almost empty Etsy store, I still managed to sell five items. Seems the Christmas rush is upon us!

You also spend time looking at other shops that are selling similar items to yours. Hey, it pays to know the competition!  It helps you with pricing as well. Then there's ideas for taking pictures to show your work to its best advantage.   Its all part of the homework...

Then while you are doing your 'research' you find some nifty things to tempt you into buying and you know where this is going...  It seems that Etsy store owners end up buying from other Etsy store owners!  Nothing wrong with it and a sale is a sale!

I found less expensive beads and crystals, even freshwater pearls for my hand weaving embellishments. I found custom thank you notes for my buyers in Hawaii,  printed labels to seal parcels from eastern Canada. I have also found yarn.  What a surprise!   :)   Silks, painted skeins, and linen. (oh, I shared the fun with Bruce: he got  hand painted miniature figures to 'people' his passenger trains from Greece!)

I also found Heike's shop "All the Pretty Fibers" and her lovely hand dyed yarns.   I have bought some yarns from her over the past year or so and we have come to know more about each other. Heike lives in Rothenburg, Germany and produces beautiful hand painted fleece for spinning as well as hand spun yarns. She has a keen eye for putting colours together and she is able to get rich deep colours out of the dye process.

I bought some dyed silk alpaca yarn in a colour way called Yorkshire Moors from her a few months ago:

I decided to use it as warp to keep the beautiful colours together in the warp and chose a simple turned twill or Drall weave. My weft?  Hazelnut dyed 100 % mulberry silk, also from Heike's shop.

You might recall this project....  it actually starts out with much the same photos!

Heike saw what I had done with her yarns and bought the scarf.... so the yarns made the long trek all the way back to Germany! Heike has included the scarf as part of an exhibition of what has been made from her yarns and fleece! I'd like to invite you to go and visit the amazing things people have made with the yarns and fleece she dyes in her home high in the German forest and send out to the world. The skill and imagination of some of the contributors is wonderful.  The website  is called "Needleworks- Pleasure" and please click here to visit.

Onto other news....
Sorry I haven't been as front and center with posts as per my normal posting schedule. I'm dealing with setting up and transferring data and files from my elderly Dell laptop over to my new HP laptop that has Windows 8.1 and its been quite a learning curve. I'm been using Chrome and Vista on the old one.... and the new computer's systems will take take some getting used to. I'm working on it daily.... but it will take time to get all my extensive picture files shifted. So for now, making a blog post needs two computers to get the job done!

I have also been dealing with an infected tooth after a substantial filling was done. I have antibiotics 'on board' and working now and I'll be getting a root canal in early January to start my 2014 off. Its hard to be productive when your jaw is banging away at you!

This is also a very busy time for everyone right now with Christmas almost upon us. In the middle of all this, I must leave hubby and the dog at home and go help a family member for a week.  Recovering from an operation is tough at any time of year but Christmas brings its special challenges. Ferry rides, hotels and travel arrangements when the whole world is on the move!  I'll have quality time with my Dear Dad for week.

So I hope to get another post up just before Christmas and in the mean time, I wish you all well with your weaving for gifts, and planning for time with friends and family!


barbara said...

Good Morning Susan,
Sorry to hear you have a tooth that is giving you grief - hopefully the antibiotics will do the trick. Also, I hope your dad got along fine with his operation - he will be happy to have his "little girl" with him for a week, taking care of him.
Thank you for taking the time to explain all the "ins and outs" of Etsy. I guess it is like the old saying "if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well". So, I guess you just don't join Etsy and hope the money rolls in. There seems to be many "tricks to the trade". Thank you for sharing.
Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

bspinner said...

So very sorry to hear about your tooth. Not fun I'm sure. I hope your dad was well with his surgery!
You seem to be doing very well on your Etsy shop. I'm so happy for you.