Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Personalized Christmas Ornaments and more at Risky Beads!

Well, the holidays are fast approaching, and our personalized Christmas ornaments are always best sellers this time of year. This year, we've added even more to the tons of new designs we added last year (that are also still available!)  Our tried and true design is back this year....

This year, we're introducing our 50 states ornaments, too!

We've also been designing some new versions of our tiny 1" aluminum square ornaments!!

You can see all of our Christmas ornaments here!

We've also launches some new beaded bangle bracelets that can be personalized... here's a sneak peak at a Christmas version!

Lots more bangles to come!!
Take care, Lori

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Tips for Holiday Shopping on Etsy

Well, folks, like it or not, the 2014 holiday shopping season is zooming up fast in our rear view mirrors.  Personally, we had a much busier summer season than I expected, and we're already gearing up for Christmas.  Having been an Etsy seller since 2007, this will be my 7th holiday season on Etsy, so I thought that before I break out all the new products we're launching this year, I'd step back a little and offer interested folks a few tips about buying on Etsy.

Etsy hosts shops carrying three main types of products:  handmade goods, vintage goods, and craft supplies. Between those three main categories, Etsy stays crazy-busy from October thru December with sellers offering a plethora of personalized gifts, one of a kind pieces of clothing, art, furniture, you-name-it, amazing vintage finds and just about every DIY craft supply you may ever need.  You can find something truly special for just about everyone on your list right down to your pets!  So with that in mind, here are five ways to help you navigate Etsy's abundant marketplace:

1. Take your time and look around.

At last count, I believe there are over one million shops on Etsy.  Yes, you heard me.  One million. Every purchase you make is from an individual's shop. It's conceivable that the perfect gift you're looking for could be featured on the front page or just as easily be buried in a shop you've never seen before, so give yourself time to get acquainted with the site. You'll need to set up an account to purchase on Etsy and it's a great thing to do before you're ready to buy because you can start saving things to your favorites. You can even categorize them and mark certain lists as private. That way the gifts you're looking at for your boyfriend can be private while your list for your parents can be public. Win-win situation.  Etsy even allows you to narrow search results by top category (handmade, vintage, and craft supplies), sub-categories, shop/ship from location, color and price.  Download the Etsy app for your mobile devices as well and shop anytime, anywhere.

(PS. A couple cart tips:  (1) carting something on Etsy does not commit you to buying it.  I keep tons of stuff in my cart all the time.  (2)  You can buy as many items as you want per shop in one order, provided they are all shipping to the same address.)

2. Read listing descriptions and look at all pictures!

There's no doubt that online shopping has revolutionized the power of a picture.  Shoppers are often smitten with an item from the first picture they see and immediately cart it, pay, and get that good transaction high.  (Shop-aholics:  Can I get an amen?)  But as an Etsy seller and shopper, I can promise you that the main picture doesn't tell you everything.  By scrolling through all the pictures (5 on Etsy) of each item, you'll often see variation options you can choose from or amazing uses for something that you would've never imagined.  Take one more step and read the listing description, and you'll know what the item is made of, often how it's made, dimensions, and turnaround time. There's nothing worse than finding the perfect gift for Mom, buying it, and then realizing that it ships from another continent in about eight weeks. All that angst can easily be avoided by looking at all the info the seller is giving you!  Take it all in!  We put all of it there just for YOU!

(PS.  Read shop reviews! It will help you understand if the seller keeps his/her promises to customers and if folks are pleased with what they purchased!)

3. Production times are as various as gift ideas and are not there to torture you.  I swear.

We live in the age of give-me-everything-right-now-and-on-my-phone-this-minute, don't we? As Etsy sellers, balancing the public's appetite for speed and efficiency with a quality (often handmade) product can get really tricky and frustrating.  On the one hand, we want to give every customer exactly what they want when they want it, and on the other, we want to invest the time and talent to make your item 100% perfect and just for you.  So, take a deep breath and let the handmade process happen.  Most Etsy shops are run by one to three people who are just as human as they can get.  We'd love to be able to predict what's going to sell and go ahead make fifty-nine of them in July to be ready, but this type of retail just doesn't work like that.  You took the time to find the perfect gift, give us time to make it.  If you are pinched for time, contact the seller before buying to make sure they can accommodate you.  If they cannot, take a deep breath and keep the piece in your favorites... maybe you can order it earlier next year or take a late delivery in January.  Understand that sellers are people, too, and sometimes run up against a hard limit.

(PS. Production and shipping times are not the same thing!  Production time is how long it takes a seller to make your item.  Shipping times are how long it will take to reach you once it's left the seller.  Take both into consideration.)

4.  Take your time when placing the actual order.

This may seem like a silly thing to emphasize, but, trust me here.  If you've taken the time to find the perfect gift, looked at all the options, understand the production and shipping times, you can take an extra few minutes to check over the order before you buy.  I have to take this advice myself.  I sell personalized gifts, and yet I can barely order one from someone else without making a mistake somewhere.  Why?  Well, because I'm busy and excited and ready to be done and move on to the next task, but this year, I will change that.  I will take the time to make sure I selected the right options, gave the right personalized info and am shipping it to the right address!!

(PS. Etsy sellers are generally thrilled to send a gift straight to the recipient for you, but please put their address in the ship to and not yours.  We are unable to edit addresses, and an address change can be easily overlooked when you're shipping out 70 orders a day. Yikes!)

5.  2-4-6-8 By all means communicate!!!!!

Don't be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you're reachable via Etsy convo after the sale. This is easy to do. Go to: YOUR ACCOUNT // SETTINGS // EMAILS and check the box that says: SOMEONE SENDS ME A CONVO so you know when a seller is trying to reach you.  At both Risky Beads and The Twisted Screw, we typically have questions for about 10% of our customers after orders come through. Sometimes it's just a clarification; other times it's an issue that stops an order until we hear back. Keeping correspondence on Etsy helps sellers tie all your communications to your order.

(PS. If you're setting up a new Etsy account, be sure you've confirmed your email address with Etsy or that above setting won't work.)

Armed with those 5 tips, I think you'll be well prepared to avail yourself of the Etsy-experience this holiday season, and, if by chance, you make it to Christmas Eve without a gift ready to give, don't forget that Etsy also has... GIFT CARDS!!

Stay tuned to this blog for lots of new gift ideas for your whole posse! Talk soon!!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Our Ribbon Wraps .... Modeled!!

Ever wonder what our ribbon wrap bracelets look like on your arm? Feast your eyes on some gorgeous photos taken by one of customers... Sherri Carannante of Sherri Caramac Photography gifts us with these amazing pics of a ribbon wrap she bought!

The bracelet being worn reads 'strong & beautiful' and features our Newspaper ribbon!  Shop all ribbon wraps HERE.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New Mother's Day Gift Ideas from Risky Beads

Okay, folks, Mother's Day is May 11, 2014 this year so it's only a month away!! (And all of these can be customized for Grandma, too!) We've created tons of new designs this past year for Mom and here's just a sampling:

See our adjustable cuffs HERE

See the single bangle HERE

See the Necklace version HERE

See all leather wraps HERE

See all Ribbon Wraps HERE

See all layered pieces HERE

See all Memorial jewelry HERE

You can visit our shop here: Risky Beads and see everything we have to offer. Our Mother's Day order deadline is Sunday, April 27, 2014 to give us time to create your special piece and get it to you in time for the holiday!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Symbols from Risky Beads - March 2014!

It's that time of year again... the time when we start adding new products and new symbols to our line. Today, we're launching our new symbol chart that adds 15 more symbols bringing us to over 150. Whew! That's a little insane.  Many of our new symbols are brackets and cornering options...great for our Wallet Insert Cards. So without further it is!

New symbols are #s 138-152. :) Symbols will be featured in both shops.. .Risky Beads and The Twisted Screw.

More newness soon!


Monday, February 24, 2014

New Silk Ribbon Wrap Colors from Risky Beads!

Ever since we launched our silk ribbon wrap bracelets last year, they've been a big hit!  We started with 9 colors, moved to 16 and as of today, we're up to 23!  Here's a look at our new chart:

We've added Red Rattlesnake, Wildcat, Zebra-licious, Coconut, Seaweed, Poolside, and Silver Lightning!  These ribbons are available at both Risky Beads and our (naughtier) sister store, The Twisted Screw.  Here's an example of how they look with our copper and aluminum bars:

More soon...lots of new stuff in the works!!


Monday, January 27, 2014

MORE New Valentine's Day Gifts from Risky Beads!!

Lest you think we were finished showing off our new designs for V Day in our last post, we're back with even more goodies this week!  It's always fun to design for Valentine's Day each year because it's all about figuring out how to express that warm, squishy feeling you get when you care for someone... hard core... or even just a little.  So let's take another journey down Lover's Lane and see what's on deck!

Let's start with the fun ones... perfect for your BFF, bestie, etc...

And then let's move onto the more serious...

Hope that gives you some good Cupid inspiration!! 

** View all Valentine's Day posts!
**Visit us at Risky Beads and start browsing!
**If you need something a little more naughty for your valentine, skip on over to our other store, The Twisted Screw!

Our USA order deadline is February 3rd!!

Living on love... Lori

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Valentine's Day Gifts from Risky Beads!

Okay, love birds, time to stop swooning for a moment and concentrate on Valentine's Day because it's less than a month away!! Yikes! Please note our handy count-down clock, too! ------------->
There's no need to go into full-on panic mode, though, because we at Risky Beads have been very, very busy coming up with brand new designs for this year!  Here is a sampling of our latest creativity....

Key chains are one of our very best sellers, so let's start there.  You'll notice that we run the gambit from the silly to the sentimental.

See our Peanut Version and our aluminum version, too!

(yes, we can make a M/M one also!!)

Now let's move on to our Personalized Collar Stays which are selling fast!  They are hand stamped on lightweight aluminum and are a GREAT way to give your man a personal and private message that he can wear all day.  Personalize with your own text.

Now, collar stays are kind of tiny and sometimes you need to say 'I Love You' with a lot more words.  Well, we have the answer:  personalized aluminum wallet insert cards.  Some examples....

We've also been having a lot of fun with our leather wrap bracelets, leather cuff bracelets, and silk ribbon wrap bracelets that we launched less than a year ago.  All have become steady sellers in our shop, and here are some examples of some new designs!

(Choose from 16 colors!)

Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg...but enough for today! We've been developing more new designs this weekend and will have them up next week so stay tuned!  If you need more #valentine right now, here are some options:

** View all Valentine's Day posts!
**Visit us at Risky Beads and start browsing!
**If you need something a little more naughty for your valentine, skip on over to our other store, The Twisted Screw!

Our USA order deadline is February 3rd!!
Doing the Cupid Shuffle, Lori

ETA 1/27/14: See the next V Day post!