Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Professionalism - Your conduct will affect your business

I had creator's block for the past two weeks so I started to read Etsy's forums. I was in for a shock. It's full of threads of frustrated Etsy sellers. 80% of the threads are negative. It's not what they are complaining about it's HOW they are getting their point across to the masses. Many comments are unprofessional, blunt and rude. There is even cursing and political debates. It’s surprising as many of these posters don’t realize that once you post, that comment remains online for everyone to see. A forum post gives a glimmer of insight of who you are as a shop owner. One poster seems to feed off the negative energy to a point that the owner starts several threads in a course of a few days.
That seller I've made a personal note never to purchase from even though the products are beautiful. I feel offended to a point that this shop owner loses potential business from me. I know it’s not this seller’s intention and it's difficult to convey a message behind the wall of the internet. However, Etsy is an online marketplace and whether in person or online, professionalism is important in running any business.

There is a new term out there called E-Professionalism, I’d like to share an article with you:

Also, I just ran across this post from a fellow Etsy seller, elunajewelry, of the consequences of a blog attack she recently experienced and how she managed to discredit the blogger:

In addition, here are three things that I've learned from my career in the workplace that also apply when online:

  • Interpersonal skills are important for any job or business. Demonstrate respect with your peers and your customers at all times. 
  • Your reputation is just as or more important then how well you do your job, or in this case, how well you produce high demand handmade products. Majority of buyers won't purchase from a business with a poor reputation unless there is no other choice.
  • Once it’s in writing, you can NEVER take it back. You never know who is reading and researching on your business. You can turn off potential buyers or encourage competing sellers out to take that business away from you. If you must talk about them, always be professional if you can't be positive
It’s okay to show a little of your personality or quirks when you comment. It’s okay to have an opinion. Just be aware how you want to be perceived. It will affect your business.
Lastly, since this post is my opinion on professionalism, I thought to end it off by featuring some products on Etsy when I search the tag, “Professional.” Have a good evening everyone!

Beanie and Tie One-Z by WeChooseJoy
 Glass Tiled Badge Holder by jewel2jule
Customized Website by mymagicbutton

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Featured on a blog today!

Had a small feature on Mandy Crandell's blog today.  She loved my peace crane card.  It was featured with several other Etsy artists who also sell origami crane themed products and then followed with a small sample of her photography that features a floating origami crane.

I'm glad she found me, I am very attracted to her work.  Reading her blog, she's a talented photographer.  Most of her photos are bright and vibrant, but yet she's able to catch the moment.  It's obvious she loves what she does and found her calling, something alot of us are still working to find.  I'm honoured that she even considered my card after viewing my photo.

She also have her own Etsy shop selling a small collection of jewellery, accessories and photographs.  My favourite is the french fry ring.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Origami Inspired Cards

After selling on Etsy for a few weeks, I felt that I needed to expand my product line.  I was inspired by two stamping card making friends of mine.   One has an online store: Lucky Charms Card Collection.   It took a little while because alot of origami I know are not flat items that would be suitable for a greeting card, but after some research,  I made a few that I really like and hope you enjoy them too. 

It's only been a couple of weeks since I listed them but alot of people seem to like them and I've gotten a few hearts.  Hopefully they sell, then it'll be worthwhile for me to continue new card designs.

My favourites are the asian themed cards.  I made them any occassion cards so any one can use them and left a little room in the front if a buyer wanted to stamp or write an occassion for their friends.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Business Cards - Do we really need them?

First off, I apologize for my lack of blogging for the past few weeks.  As everyone knows, Vancouver just recovered from a 2 weeks of Olympic 2010 activities.  Also it coincided with Chinese New Year which my family does celebrate as well.  We are gearing up for Paralympics 2010 and I'm excited to experience that as well.  In addition, I've been designing origami cards and unique tags for my etsy shop.  I'll be posting a peek soon as soon as I have a good inventory to show you.

Part of my activities that's keeping me busy is reading through the etsy forum for business advice.  I stumbled upon this insightful article about business cards written by Danielle Laporte: 

What blew my mind is that her friend was completely right, I've been working professionally for over 10 years and I have never finished a box off.  I think I had 5 boxes of 1000 cards from the company I currently work for, all of which I had to get because my work title has changed or my company logo has changed.  In addition, in the corporate world, most cards are pretty much the same.  logo, name, contact info and the only time I looked at them was when there was power outage and I had to make that urgent phone call.

I do disagree on some points, I do think unique business cards have their place.  My favourite ones are one that are functional or interactive:

Metal Business Card - Design by Aehrich O'Dubhchon

Easel Business Card - Design by Egil Paulsen

 I recently been sirened on moo cards.  I got the 10 free sample pack from moo and I was blown away by their quality to the point that I paid for a 50 pack promo (only pay for shipping).  You can upload a picture on the back of each one.  I already use them to showcase my work and great conversation starters.   I plan to design my own business card one day, maybe like the easel card or origami based.  For now, let's keep focusing on selling my products :)