As 2015 starts sprinting to a close - where has this year gone???? - I like reflect a little on what was popular this year. One theme sticks out above all others - the power phrase. 2015 has been a year of coming out and coming to terms worldwide. The concept of a transgender person became a household conversation (yay!), terrorist attacks make it clear that there are no real boundaries anymore, and the idea of what a police force should be is always being discussed. For those reasons, and I'm sure many, many others, many people have stood up and stayed strong, making it clear where they stand on big issues and personal ones. Power phrase bracelets (and other jewelry) have become a sign of these trying times. Here are a few of our best sellers. Keep in mind that we can customize every once of these with your own wording. Each listing will give you the specs for each piece.
We've been busy here at Risky Beads creating new designs geared toward those with an outspoken streak! And don't forget to take advantage of our Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale. Details at end of post! On with the newbies!!
We got these amazing huge stiletto charms in stock, so we went a little crazy making up designs for them:
Direct link on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/226358141/personalized-latitude-longtitude
Direct link on Website: http://www.riskybeads.com/Personalized-Secret-Message-Couples-Keychain-p/k-2lyrheart-lgbtgps.htm
Here at Risky Beads, we are gearing up for Christmas, so it's time for my annual PSA about Christmas shopping. I know what you're thinking...Christmas? Halloween isn't even here yet. It's not even cold out (or super cold, depending on your locale), but I always feel obligated to remind folks that the next two months will FLY BY like Santa's Reindeer when they leave the very last house on Christmas night! But here's the thing, those touching, personalized and handmade gifts you want to give this Christmas take time to make. And every year since 2011, I have had to stop Christmas orders around Dec. 9th or 10th because our queue gets fuller than your tummy on Thanksgiving. I hate that; I never want to do it, but I am always left with no choice because we need time to hand stamp each and every order and need to give the USPS time to deliver.
Last year, our queue looked like this: YIKES!
Our outgoing mail looked like this...everyday!!! Our mail lady was not overly amped about this, I can assure you.
And although I can't even admit to taking my own advice in this area, I beseech those of you who are prepared and responsible on a daily basis and like to support handmade, to start your holiday shopping now. I love talking to customers about their ideas before I've plucked all my eyelashes out from staring at a computer screen too long or have a hump in my back from excessive hammering. Let them know you care and save a little money, too. Our promotions usually end after Halloween AND our production time practically doubles. I know it's the same for many, many handmade sellers as well. So, I wish you a bright and cheery holiday season now because I will be too cranky by the time actually Christmas actually arrives. :)
We ship worldwide and our international order deadline will probably be around November 11th, and our Christmas deadline for the USA will be around December 10th. Remember that you can 15% on our standalone website Risky Beads.com using code FALL15 and 10% on Etsy using code FALL10.
Well, it's that time of year again.. when we unveil new Christmas ornament designs hand stamped just for you. This year we have our trademark round and 1" square designs that have been favorites for years, as well as several new shapes and sizes! So, first, a peek at the tried-and-trues...
You can save by ordering these now before we get slammed! All of them are available on Etsy and you can get 10% off with code FALL10 or shop our standalone website, riskybeads.com, and take 15% off with code FALL15. Offers expire 10.31.15. Have questions? Feel free to ask!
Fall is here and we've been busy coming up with new designs for our shop! Here's a sneak peek at some of the new pieces - all of which are available on Etsy. Thru 10.31.15, you can use code FALL10 to get 10% off!
Today, August 7, 2015, marks 8 years on Etsy! It's crazy to think that Risky Beads started slow with a few crazy beading ideas and has grown into what it is today! Celebrate with us with Free Shipping on all USA orders and $5 Flat Rate International thru 8/9!
As someone who's been selling handmade, hand stamped jewelry for several years (in fact, we just passed 21,000 sales on Etsy!), I am always looking for new sites on which to sell my products. When I started hand stamping a few years ago, I immediately branched out into 3 other venues (ArtFire, Zibbet, and 1000Markets), and while I had some success on those sites, they either ultimately failed as venues (1000Markets was sold to Bonanza) or turned out to be too much work for not enough profit (ArtFire, Zibbet). As a result, I began to pull all my resources back in and focus just on Etsy and decided that I would be *very* picky about the next routes I took to expand.
Anyone who either buys or sells handmade knows that the online marketplace is an ever-changing landscape where new technologies such as smart phones and tablets and photograph apps like Pinterest and Instagram are constantly stretching the notion of what it means to sell handmade online. It can, quite frankly, be exhausting to keep up!
In the last couple of years, I decided to take some new strategic steps to grow my business. My initial goal was to sell on venues that weren't just trying to be Etsy clones. Another was building my own web store and lastly, accepting an invitation to sell on Hatch.co.
And it was the right decision!
Hatch has a few features that make it a palatable marketplace for someone like me and my little business. I thought I'd share a few. 1. First and foremost, it's a juried site that features only handmade products. Hatch invites sellers in and accepts applications here. Here's what they're looking for:
"We seek out makers who take pride in their creations and want customers
to feel proud owning them. Every item on Hatch is made by people who
are creators, designers, artists, and makers first; sellers second.
Craftsmanship trumps the bottom line. Process is just as important as
the end result. We are looking for young creative businesses who are
looking to grow. They may be a one-person operation now, but their
aspirations run larger. Hatch can help you get there."
In my couple of years on Hatch, I've never once seen a seller or an item that didn't belong in the handmade marketplace. That's a tall order to fill and yet, they've done it. Hatch also screens every listing that submitted to make sure it meets their standards, has good photos, etc.
There are approximately 1000 sellers on Hatch and Anastasia Leng, Hatch CEO, puts their philosophy this way:
key difference is that Hatch is highly curated. We reject 90% of
seller applications that are coming in these days, and we value working
with the best makers & designers who take great pride in what they
do. Our vision is to become the place to discover the best designers and
makers out there, a place with a consistent level of product quality, a
place where every maker is proud to be showcased next to the other
makers in our community."
2.Hatch offers a structured selling experience that's uncomplicated and values the personal relationships makers form with shoppers. If you're like me, you've probably given a few sites a try and found out in short order that you have to learn a whole new category structure, listing process, and SEO (search-engine optimization) strategy just to get your products out there. Hatch is different. The listing process is simple and obvious. I don't have to stress about things like, "How will a customer know where/when to provide their personalization?" or "Did I post my production time in 17 places so hopefully a customer will see it?"
In fact, my favorite part of selling/listing on Hatch is the way they handle variations. For instance, look at this listing of a wrapped bracelet in my shop on Hatch. See those little red dots? They identify exactly what info the customer needs to provide for me in a way that is easier on me and on my customer! My business is about the tiny details, and nothing makes me happier than being able to clearly communicate that!
Also, you can list a product in up to 5 categories (!!!) and the tagging process allows you to choose from selected tags for your materials, style, theme, and who the item is best suited for.
I've been very pleased with the customer service at Hatch as well. Anytime I have emailed support with questions, concerns, or suggestions, I am always responded to in no more than 24 hours and a few of my suggestions have even been incorporated into the site.
3. Customers are able to shop personalized items of every sort in an easy, fun, and systematic way:
When you're used to wading through gobs of search results on other sites to find the exact item you need, Hatch's fun way of shopping is very refreshing! I shop for myself on Hatch, and I like how much calmer it feels, and how I don't have to wade through pages and pages of mis-tagged products to find what I'm looking for. It's a lot less work! A few weeks ago, I bought myself this ring on Hatch:
I was looking for something simple and inspirational to add to the ever growing ring collection I wear (none of which I myself actually made, lol). Every ring has a certain significance to me, and buying this little, dainty archway was fun and rewarding. The customization process was simple, logical, and human.
It's important to me to support small businesses when I shop, and I appreciate that Hatch makes that easy, fun, and apparent. When you find yourself overwhelmed either buying or selling on Etsy, take a little time to visit Hatch and see what you think. Already visited? Let me know what you think in the comments! You can visit Risky Beads on Hatch here.