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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Etsy Is Amazing!!!

Welcome!

As you already know...I opened my shop on Etsy on July 20th and it has been just amazing!

I get so excited when my phone makes the "cha-ching!" notification alerting me that I have made a sale! I mean I get SO EXCITED!!! But it's also a bit of shock every time...I guess because things were so slow and not happening on ArtFire, it's still a bit of disbelief that things are actually going my way!

So I can't lie, I also love the Etsy notification for when my item gets a "favorite" (heart) by someone too, I just love all the sounds that are from my Etsy shop!!!

One day, my phone made a lovely sound that I thought was for a favorite, when I checked the notification it was for a custom order request... I have had two others but no follow through from the customer (maybe they were just curious...)  

So this was a lengthy note from a lady who was interested in a beaded crochet rope to compliment her wedding gown, with links for me to see the beaded detail on the cap sleeves.  So after some back and forth I realized she was looking for a beaded crochet rope sash (BELT) which I have never made before, but I knew I could figure out a pretty way of finishing the ends for her! 

She was very happy as she had been searching for 4 months trying to find what she was looking for and I was so excited to start creating something unique for her special day!  We agreed to have me send her photos of the process so she could okay everything and the more she got excited about it the more I got excited about it!


So here are her colors all ready in my bead spinner and the first half completed along with a beaded tassel for the end:
Custom Blend Ready For Stringing
 
Custom Beaded Crochet Bridal Sash

 I was worried that I might run out of thread and beads so of course I ordered back ups :)  As the rope got longer I fell more and more in love with it!   I estimated about 3 weeks for production time and delivery time of thread and back up beads...but somehow I must have been a machine because I finished it faster than half that time!  (and somehow I had just enough thread and beads!)

I have to say, I was actually a bit nervous as this was my first custom rope order on Etsy...all my other beaded crochet ropes I make in my spare time, to keep me busy and they're so relaxing to make, but this was different in a way.  Still relaxing to make, but I have never had a time constraint before, and for her wedding dress...I wanted it to be absolutely perfect for her special day... but as the days went on I seemed to relax into the idea that she chose me for a reason and it was going to be perfect :)

Here it is all completed: 95" in length including the beaded tassel ends and I added in a contrasting bangle bracelet that she could wear to her wedding shower or give as a gift to her maid of honor (a little surprise that I didn't tell her about)
Custom Beaded Crochet Bridal Sash with Contrasting Bangle Bracelet
 I sent it off in the mail this past week, but my December bride was very smart in having me ship it to her parents' place (so that her fiance wouldn't accidentally stumble across it) and in doing so, she will have to wait until Thanksgiving to actually see it in person... I can't wait for her reaction! She was so pleased with the photos, I'm so excited for her to see it and touch it in person!  I asked if she wouldn't mind sending me a photo of her in her dress with the rope from her wedding, I will have to ask permission to use the photo so I can share it with you, I will keep you posted on that!

So...as I said, Etsy is amazing!  I am so enjoying it and look forward to the holiday season, hoping for lots of sales, looking forward to packaging them all up and mailing them out, I really do love every part of the whole process.  It just makes my heart happy that people are loving my pieces as much as I loved creating them!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Little Present To Myself...

Welcome!

Well now it has been three weeks on Etsy and I am so excited because I have had 6 sales along with lots of views and favorites to my shop and items!

So with my grand opening and my first sale I told you about only 3 days later, I was so excited that I bought myself a little present...

Supplies!!! Yes, I know, a little nerdy, but I was so excited to finally order some things I had mentioned in previous posts for stamping...

Here are my cuff bracelets blanks in copper, brass and aluminum in widths of 0.25" and 1" and in the bottom right corner are the blanks I ordered for the silk wrap bracelet I had been dreaming of making
 
Copper, Brass and Aluminum Cuff Bracelet Blanks


As you know by now if you have followed me for a while, I like everything better when it has a hammered and has a textured look to it, so I was pretty excited to get going!

The 14 gauge aluminum I was already accustomed to, but the 18 gauge copper and brass were a little different... tougher, stronger, so a little more difficult to hammer, and wow those 1" cuffs take a LONG time to get the entire surface just the way I like it....

So I already had an order for a lovely lady who supports my jewelry dream, Maria from Agape Love Designs, and hers was the first one I tried, silk wrap style.  She wanted "agapelovegirl" with a heart and a cross, I love how it looks!
I'm so happy with how it turned out! I couldn't wait to make more!  Since hers would be a custom listing I needed to make one I can list in my shop, I decided on "dream" with some teeny little stars, so here it is with the two other silk ribbons colors I offer;
Hand Stamped Silk Ribbon Wrap Bracelets

Next were the cuffs...
Here are the 0.25" in all three metal finishes, I used my smallest font of 1.5mm to mimic how I stamp my rings along the bottom
 
0.25" Skinny Stamped Cuff Bracelets


For the 1" wide I started with the aluminum since I'm already comfortable with it, then I went to copper and lastly brass, I think they turned out beautifully for my first time with new metal!  For these I used 2mm for "gypsy soul" 3mm for "do what you love" and 6mm for "warrior" just to show the different looks that are possible with this wide cuff, I don't think I have a favorite, I love them all!
 
1" Wide Stamped Cuff Bracelets


So these are all I will be stamping for now...trying to exercise self control since I don't have many I need to save some for my "Create Your Own" listings that customers can personalize for themselves.

The past weeks I have continued to list items in my shop and I'm not nearly finished, so that's what I'll be doing for the next little while, these new stamped bracelets will of course be what I list first this weekend...hopefully it will keep me from stamping more... :)

 




 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Another New Adventure...

Welcome!

Another new adventure is beginning for me...

As some of you know my shop has been on ArtFire for almost two years, sales have been slow (unless I'm doing a giveaway of some sorts) and the boutique deal sites I attempted did not work out for me at all....

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and a jewelry friend of mine just hit 5000 sales... yes you read that correctly... 5000 sales on Etsy...so I asked her for some tips and was not expecting the next thing she sent me...

She had tried ArtFire last year for the busy holiday season (3 months) just to try it out to get her products out there on another venue, she had 13 sales...(awesome! I thought, until I read the next line...) on Etsy she was having 13 SALES A DAY!!!!

Ummmmm.....yeah....so maybe what I had been wondering all along was true...even though it's much more inexpensive to have a shop on ArtFire, the traffic just isn't there...

Believe me, I try to do it myself, with this blog, my Facebook, my Instagram, donating to auctions, but it is not working in my favor at all...

So for the past two weeks I have been reading, reading a lot, retaking photos, re-editing/re-sizing photos, and last Sunday I bit the bullet and opened my Etsy shop!!!

Three days later, I had my FIRST SALE!!!  Only three days! And it was a complete stranger too! (not a client, FB or IG friend I mean)  I was over the moon excited and a little in disbelief!  

So all week after work, on my days off and this past weekend I have been listing pieces in my Etsy shop and slowly deleting items from ArtFire.  I thought it was going to be easy-peezy but it has been like starting from scratch...for over 400 items...

The nice thing about all this is I have been able to take some photos of pieces I had never listed before and I'm excited again.  I had lost that.  With all the disappointment of the boutique deals, every sale I try to promote with no results at all, I was feeling discouraged, but I'm once again excited about my shop!

Don't get me wrong, I love to create jewelry, that excitement never goes away, but now the possibility of actually having people interested in my pieces enough to purchase them excites me again!

I have yet to change my link on the sidebar to my new Etsy shop...I'm thinking I might just go with cute little icons instead, but that will have to wait until I can get some more listing done...

If you would like to check out my new shop the link is  www.litvasjewelry.etsy.com and then you could pop back here and let me know what you think!

Sorry no photos again, but I think I will have some new pieces to share next post...I might take a break from listing to create in the next few weeks and try to pace myself a bit :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Long Overdue...

Welcome!

I am LONG overdue aren't I?  It's been a difficult month and I honestly didn't want to post negativity so I took a little break...

So when I last left you I was going to have my first deal on Brickyard Buffalo...well out of 246 bangles I had 240 left... so needless to say it didn't go very well.  I tried another deal site...no cigar...so this coming Wednesday will be another shot on Sassy Steals...maybe third time's the charm???

I also made some pendant necklaces with wire wrapped Czech glass and some summer earrings with Mother of Pearl shell for Sassy Steals...again... no sales...

I was beyond discouraged and defeated... I just don't understand... quality handmade pieces at a huge discount what's the problem???

I still don't have the answer to that question...

I have two more styles of pendant necklaces that I made multiples of, hoping that they will sell on one of these sites this summer...

I tried another site called Groupdealz for my bangles but the director of deals looked at my shop and wanted to feature something else... since I've had no luck at all I decided to go with her choice and am featuring my wire knitted pearl cuff bracelets, don't have a date yet but I'm thinking it will be within the next few weeks.  

So I can't lie, the possibility of actually getting sales or even selling out does still excite me, but the reality of the past attempts has dampened my spirits a bit.

Why am I so intent on selling lots of pieces? Well...because I have new ideas for new pieces I would like to create and of course I have some but not all the supplies I need to make them happen!  

Having not had the best four years with my health, and not many sales happening from my shop or on Instagram, I don't have the extra funds to purchase supplies.  But I will give you some hints on what I'm thinking about....

First, stamped stuff...I have so many ideas for stamped rings, cuff bracelets, leather bracelet with a riveted stamped plate on them, silk ribbon wrap bracelet with a stamped plate focal....I'm just bursting at the seams waiting to be able to buy supplies!!!  I've had the idea for the leather style since last year and the cuffs came to me just recently.  I would like to do only two widths for the cuffs; skinnies (0.25") and wider ones (1") hammered of course, and the possibilities with the fonts are just overflowing in my mind!  For the silk ribbon wraps I have beautiful ribbon on my wishlist, I think I've settled on three that will be my staple, one patterned, one graduated in colors (blended) and one solid, but I won't give away more than that for now...

Next, black chain.  Yup, black.  I have always loved the antiqued look, silver being my favorite so I leaned towards gunmetal...but now there are more supplies available for matte black chain, clasps, headpins etc. and I mean those ideas are literally trying to jump out of my head!!!  I picture lots of simple wrapped  gemstones on long or short black chain for one idea.  I think it would look great layered with anything else people might have (because black goes with everything) and how cool would it look if you were wearing black and it looked as if the gemstone was just floating there?  Another idea is black stamped jewelry...that's all I'm going to say for now on that one...

So, this week I'm going to try to be positive and hope the bangles actually sell, maybe the wire knitted pearl cuffs too when they go up, and try to keep myself busy doing beaded crochet ropes and other things to occupy my time until I can afford to buy the supplies I can't wait to create with! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My First Deal On Brickyard Buffalo...I'm SO EXCITED!!!

Welcome!

Well somehow my schedule has been a little off...time is just flying by it seems... but today I'm really excited to share some news with you....

Through one of the girls I follow on Instagram I found out about Brickyard Buffalo, an online pop-up sale site where you can buy all kinds of things at a special discount for a limited number of days.  So I got to thinking if this might be something I could do...my problem is that I typically only make one of a kind pieces, which wouldn't work for this type of site...

So I thought about it some more and realized I could do Hammered Bangle Bracelets as a deal!  Sure I may use the same focal bead...but technically I could never possibly repeat the hammered pattern identically, so they still are one of a kind in their own way :)

I emailed them with a picture of the two color sets I was thinking of offering, and asked their opinions about everything; do both gold and silver sell? Are my bangles a good fit for their site? How much inventory is enough? They were so helpful and really seemed excited about my bangles, which of course made me really excited!

 I decided to have all my inventory ready made, so that I could ship out immediately as the orders came in, also less stressful for me since you are required to ship within 7-10 days. I put together a little collage of all the steps that went into the making of these little pretties;
Hammered Bangle Bracelets Process
  From cutting the wire, to hammering, shaping around my trustee mandrel (a votive candle holder), to wire wrapping the focal beads and attaching them, and finally a shot of all 246 finished bangles...yes I did say 246. They will be sold in sets of 3, so that's 82 sets I have available...

They also mentioned that pictures were REALLY important, and to have some "lifestyle" shots too...oh great...I hate being in pictures...but here are a few of the shots I submitted to them;
Brickyard Buffalo Photos
 So... TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!!! My deal goes LIVE tomorrow morning and will run until Wednesday...if they don't sell out before then....what? A girl can dream can't she?  The BYB ladies also said I can add inventory as the deal goes on if that's something I would like to do...um...of course I would!!!

If you have had your eye on my bangles you definitely need to go check them out tomorrow, you will get them for a steal! The website is www.brickyardbuffalo.com while you're there you could pick up a set for a gift too...or just get a whole bunch for yourself! 

I'm so excited I can barely wait for tomorrow to get here! Wish me luck! (and you could spread the word too) I'll let you know how it goes in my next post....eeeeeee.....SO EXCITED!!!
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Thoughts On A Local Craft Festival & An Auction I Donated To...

Welcome!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!  I just realized that I missed a posting day...completely slipped my mind!

You could say that I've had a quite a bit going on...well quite a bit going on in my mind for sure!

A few weeks ago I attended a large local craft festival, basically scoping it out hoping to be a part of it next year... So I haven't attended this particular festival in about 6 years and was curious as to what kind of jewelry was there...I have to admit I was a little disappointed.

I felt like all the jewelry looked the same...I understand certain artists only work in one medium, let's say wire wrapped pendants, but each one almost exactly the same??? Don't get me wrong I completely appreciate how much time, knowledge and skill goes into these beautiful pieces, but I guess I expected more variety. 

Also from booth to booth there wasn't a large difference in style of jewelry, lots of fine metals only I noticed (meaning sterling silver and 12/14kt gold) except for the last booth I came across... very cool metalsmithing work mainly done in copper.  I actually purchased a pendant from this artist because it was something I had never seen before and I loved it!

So when I got home, I had a lot going through my mind about my pieces and what I would be able to submit for review by the jury when I apply next year....beadwork.

I didn't see any beadwork at all...so I'm thinking my beaded crochet rope necklaces and bangle bracelets, my peyote stitch cuff bracelets, and also my hammered bangle bracelets; but only in copper.  The silver and gold ones I make are plated metal over copper and from what I saw there that wouldn't be accepted into this show.  As for other pieces of mine I have to think about it a bit more, since I don't work in fine metals yet, that limits what I can take to this show...but I have a while to simmer on that!

Another thing I would like to share with you is a bit of a sad story...a couple tragically lost their 3 year old son  two weeks ago and her best friend shared their story on her blog and Instagram.  I of course don't know this family but was brought to tears looking at all the photos of them.  Well as some of you might know, the power of the internet can be amazing...there were a few different options on donating to the family to help with funeral costs and whatever else they might need...honestly I am not at a place where I could donate much... then I came across a lady that was putting together an auction on Instagram (@redballoonsforryan) to help raise funds and needed donations....donations you say??? 

Well! I just so happen to have a TON of inventory that I could chose some pieces to donate from!!!  The response was overwhelming! They actually had to put a stop to donations as they already had over 600 items! 

I donated some pieces with various retail values so that more people could have a chance to bid and help out as they were able. Here are the pieces that I donated;
 
Red Balloons For Ryan Auction Donations by Litva's Jewelry
I also donated a peyote stitch cuff bracelet but it didn't receive any bids...regardless my pieces raised $445.00 and I feel really good about that!


They are having another auction this Friday, so if you are on Instagram go check out @redballoonsforryan for all the info and bid for a wonderful cause!

Until next time...I'll probably be working on some hammered bangle bracelets... :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Busy As A Bee...

Welcome!

My Spring Jewelry Show is just around the corner and I have been busy as a little bee getting everything ready!  Other than what I have sold online, I did not unpack from my Christmas Show, so mostly everything is ready to go...except all the new pieces!

I did get a spark of creativity to make a few more hand stamped necklaces, but I was very proud of myself that I didn't go overboard...which I tend to do!

I'm a little late in posting today because I was trying to find a good way to display my hand stamped pieces... this is what I decided to go with;
Hand Stamped Rings, Key-chains and Bracelet Charm Add-Ons
 I thought this would look a little more organized, and I plan on setting out the hand stamped triple wrap leather bracelets to the left of this display so that they are next to the available add-on charms, what do you think?

I know it's hard to tell in the pics...I got two new sizes of fonts for my stamping and of course had to make something for myself...
Litva's Hand Stamped Rings
 In case you can't make out the tiny font it says "She Believed She Could So She Did".  I've been wanting something with that and I thought how cute it would be as a ring!

I also have been seeing pretty packaging from some ladies I follow on Instagram.  I wanted something a little "cleaner" looking than having all my hand stamped necklaces laid out on the table.  Since they are 36" long, it starts to look messy to me, so I decided to go with my own version of having them displayed in a gift box, ready to go.  Most people are using white, and I understand it is so that nothing takes away from the jewelry, I only had red card stock at the moment, but plan to purchase a light grey card stock in the future.  My original plan for the light grey card stock was for the tags (which give you the description and price) but now I'm seeing another use for it as backing to the necklaces.  Ah...I have so many plans...slowly they will come to be...

For now, this is what I have and I really like how it turned out:
Hand Stamped Necklaces Presentation
 Another thing I'm excited about is my brand new logo stamp! I ordered it from Rubber Stamp Champ online, very good price and it arrived so fast! I have been wanting to stamp my jewelry boxes with my logo for a while now...and it finally happened! I had to adjust how I tie the red string since I wanted the logo at the top left corner but I really like how my new packaging looks!
New Litva's Jewelry Packaging
 Well, now I'm off to stamp some more boxes with my logo so I'm not rushing to do anything last minute! 

Hope you all have a Happy Easter! :)