Monday, November 23, 2009

some Steampunk Earrings...

I don't make a lot of earrings. No idea why - probably because they are a bit of a PITA for me personally. Or maybe it was the trauma of all the ugly earrings I wore back in the late 80s? hm. So when I make earrings I really try and come up with something pretty, and unusual.
Anyway, one of my most popular designs are simple and elegant. They are the ones I call my "Silver and Black Star earrings". I have had more compliments on these ones then just about anything else. They are, for me "steampunk earrings" but... I suspect they are just the perfect combination of elegant and classic. Maybe one day I'll make a few variations but right now they are my fav. The black star-gear washers are a lovely matte black - which works well against the shiny silver discs. I love working with sterling silver - but I just wish I could afford to use more :)

The next pair of "steampunk earrings" are really much more (IMHO) Cyberpunk. I often wonder if cyberpunk though is as popular as steampunk. I love it. That modernistic slick look, which is to me much more MATRIX-BLADERUNNER oriented then the gear-driven, brass and watchparts look of the steampunk jewelry. This pair of earrings will be quite limited in their run. Alas! sigh. I think they are very difficult to find - the main component being the Magnetic Switches - which are Just Super cool.

I'll have to dig up some other photos somewhere of some of my other earrings. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tips for Esty Sellers - Successful Marketing Ideas - part 1 of ?


Alrighty! I don't have the biggest esty store, nor the most sales, nor am I the premier of steampunk jewelry designers. (heh). But I did 8 years of web-hosting server-side support for UUNet/worldcom/mci/verizon - and a lot of that involved Stats. And sites. And marketing. So I picked up a few things, and spent a lot of hours talking to web-designers and marketers. Maybe You can find a few tips here in this article about how to become a bit more successful - or at least give it a try! :D As a person who's worked for a company more than some change their socks, I've seen Names come and Go..... so...


Have you googled your personal name lately? What kind of results do you get?
Are there 10,000 similar names, or just a few pages?

One of the most important things you can do when you are choosing a shop name is to come up with something memorable - and unique. If you have gone by a standard default *myname1234* or something along the lines of DebbieDoesEarrings - chances are you might be doing your shop a disservice. Someone will find your shop - but will they remember it two weeks from now? Or will they think, "hmm.. debbie. earrings." and use that as a search and get 5 million pages - with your shop name buried somewhere 108 pages into the results?

You want something unique - and perhaps reflective of what you do. I chose clockwork = because its memorable and reflects the materials. Zero was my old Nickname. Google up "clockworkZero" and you'll notice the first 10 pages or so all link back to me - and thus to etsy. When I first started out all the results led to someone else who had a similar name who has now vanished under my tagging.

Is it too late to rebrand? Not really. If you realize your old name was/is a poor choice - there's a few things to do. Contact your old customers and let them know you've changed your shop name - use it as an opportunity to create hype! "I'm relaunching - just an FYI! Come see what is new!" etc. It gives you a great excuse to send a simple email to friends, family and customers - without banging them on the head begging for sales.

Include your old shop name in your etsy tags for a while - this will give people the chance to search and find you - so add your OLD name to all your current listings...

BUT My cards .... My Marketing ! All the time/money/ideas I've already put into Debbie74832x!
Ask some tough questions: 1. is it working? 2. can it work better? If someone doesn't have your business card In Their Hand - do they remember you?
Luckily you can still have your old shop - BUT - redirect the customers over to your New Shop Name! Use up those business cards (though personally, I've never minded someone crossing out old info - for enviromental reasons - and printing in the new name/tel #).

1. Add your shop name to you signature as well - everywhere you can.
2. Add your shop name to your tags on etsy. It doesn't have to be in every listing but put it in a few. People don't often realize when they go to etsy that they need to define their searches by shop name.
3. Use your old name in tags in your blogs etc. Some places will allow name changes but you might need to pay a fee. It can be worth it. If they can't do it ... start planning the name change and announce it where ever you can. "I'm moving my blog to..."

Brainstorm with friends or hold a contest for a new name. Create hype. Get excited about your relaunch and people will get excited with you.

How do you check to see if it is working? Obsessively google your name?
Too much work. You might do it for a few days but 3 weeks into it you will forget.
There is an easy solution: Google gives you tools.

1. STATS. If you haven't set up stats on your esty page.. hie thee hence and find out how. There is a ton of info on the etsy forums. Stats are your friends. View are lovely - but 80% of visitors will only look at your main page you need to know if your Old name and New name is working. Stats will be a critical critical ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY tool. kinda like fingers. really.

2. ALERTS. Every time someone mentions ClockworkZero and the word Steampunk (and a few other things) I get an email from google. I want to know who mentions me, why, where and when. Its a great tool to see how often your current name is getting mentioned. When you've rebranded with your new shiny name... see the difference. Set up your own google alerts here: and then see what happens.

And if you are Debbie74832x - you can rebrand. DebbieDoesEarrings is currently available. ;)

And do let me know what you think about this article. Want more tips? should i bother?

Steampunk Jewelry Explosion... the Aftermath!

holy crow. I've managed to complete more new pieces of jewelry this past 2 weeks than I have in months. Most of it is a steampunked style of jewelry - pocket watch pieces, gears etc. And of course a few pieces of "cyberpunk jewelry".

With the weather halfway decent I could finally take some photos. Thats the problem with a Natural Light obsession. Cloudy dark days don't do it for me. Bright sun also has its own problems. Today looks like another good day - bright and flat skys.

What does this all mean? Basically I've been working like a fiend to get new designs up to Etsy. I do not know if the Shopping Holiday craze has decended or the sporadic marketing attempts I've been doing.

In the past week I've almost had 30 items up on etsy. For me that is a HUGE number. I custom make all my designs... so its just me sitting there in my little crowded room, trying not to drop tiny gears on the floor where they'll get lost in the cracks. This should be easy but it isn't. :D I work a few hours every day for my brother - doing that driveway thing - but when its done - in theory I've got a few hours to make some steampunk earrings, some necklaces and work on some weirdo sculptures.

In reality:
5 hrs for my brother: 9-2pm. or so
1 hr for: lunch, minor cleaning: 30 min. shower, dressing, more minor cleaning: 30.

Suddenly it will be 3pm.. emails. Posting stuff. Shopping. Making dinner.
Wait! the light is great.. take those photos!
Wait, another email from someone re: steampunk jewelry!
Wait.. wait.. wait..

Next thing I know it will be 5:30 and I've CREATED NOTHING... but dinner.

So to get 28 pieces of jewelry up on etsy is an accomplishment. I don't know how other people manage to list 50 or 100 or 200 things. omg. They prob work full time at it. Or have a co-op or something. Listing 28 pieces is for me an EXPLOSION of jewelry.

But now .. I've had sales. The last 2 weeks have been almost as busy for my store as the time that I had the article about my work and etsy in WIRED Magazine. I'm tripping over myself to make sure the work gets sent out promptly and well packaged. and now i've gotta plan for 3 craft shows in Dec!

rains it pours. make hay while the sunshines. It will likely be very quiet in January!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Steampunk Jewelry: Insect mania... :D

So a few days ago I said I'd post some photos up. So far I've been slacking. Actually I've been painfully busy. There was the most fantastic party this weekend - great people and music - and OMG models. Models wearing my jewelry. it was an EVENT! :D

anyway, it seems of late I've got a lot of insects around my etsy shop. I love bugs, beetles, bees and spiders. Suddenly I realize I've got a LOT of steampunk insect themes. Maybe there is an entomologist hidden in my soul yearing to create? I would love to study insects but I think I'll have to beg off for a few years while I'm fixated on the steampunk jewelry. So, here's a few of my steampunk insect themed jewelry. Maybe I have the same facination with insects that the Victorian's had? To be honest they make me jump but I do like them.

So Above in this post: Beetle Wing Necklace: Made from real insect wings :) Scary but true - they are this incredible chrome green colour.

Image 2: this fantastic Steampunk Bee necklace. Not the best photo I know... there are more photos on my - this is a really elegant creation. I searched for months to find matching small gears for this piece - they flank the wings and there are matching watch gears too. The only little element that is not an exact match is the fact that one side has a brass coloured gear while the other is silver. Oh well. :D I could have removed them but then it would lose such a nice element of this piece. More photos of it and a longer description are over on my little site.

Then we have another bee. this is much more "fun" then the queen bee here - an interesting combination of a new "vintage" designed pressing and a light bulb! :D

This piece was a nightmare to photograph. The bulb was so difficult to get right and the light has been terrible of late.

It came out fairly well but looks much better in person. Thebrass gear in the centre is really quite fantastic. I wrote a bit about it... Its called (i feel appropriately): The Mystery of Bees

Now lets see what else I've got up on etsy that will go into this post.
Basically this was the piece that started the "Clockwork Insect" post.... I finally finished it last week and got some time to take photos. I'm so pleased with it. It is just FANTASTIC really... I Love it. Sure someone else will love it too... but I just hope whomever buys it will like it as much as me. lol. Does anyone else have that problem?

I photographed it with natural light but had to remove a lot of colour from the wood in this shot via photoshop. The wings reflected all the colour... you can still see a bit of warmth to it.

There is a great description of this unique piece of steampunk jewelry... while its still for sale. I am suspecting someone will buy it. Wouldn't it be great against black? Stunning!

And you know..
just to through a Monkey into the mix...
I'll be putting up my Monkey soon to my etsy site. Sort of a monkey wrench into the works of this post ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Front Page on Etsy! minature working telescope!

Well, thanks to people who let me know :D it was 6am... lol. And at that time I was sort of asleep listening to my husband breaking something in the kitchen which turned out to be our coffee pot! :Sob: No coffee.. but Front Page!
Craftcult has a widget and you can find out if you've been featured on the front Page on etsy. What I hadn't realized was that the Mini Telescope was featured there once before!!

I had been speaking with my husband about "things we want" and a telescope was one of them. An amazing telescope... but here in the city its hard to see the stars. Anyway that compelled me to find someone who had a few for sale and I got them all. They were in pretty rough condition (some of them) - with lose glass - dirty glass (an actual fingerprint!) and some terrible goop. I disassembled them and voila! I found an awesome chain that is a great match and added some vintage charms.

I suspect it is the photo. It was a real trick taking it but I use an old Canon G6 with a flip out screen and a macro lens attachment.

and it seems.. alas.. i can't show you the photos of it. sigh. I'll try and figure something out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Steampunk Jewelry Explosion!

Steampunk Jewelry Explosion!........
well its close to being an explosion. For the first time ever I've managed to get up more than 20 items on etsy. Sure took long enough. A year and a half! lol. But not just that.. there is a crazy bunch of jewelry everywhere - piling up and waiting to be finished - every.where. Steampunk jewelry, cyberpunk jewelry, geek jewelry... gears cogs wheels wood, bits and bobs, glass.. a fair amount of glass bits... fragments and EPROMS and vacuum tubes and switches and so MUCH stuff... its spilling out.

I'd show you all a photo of my work space but I'm too embarassed.

I'll be putting up some new photos very soon.