3 Realities of Being a Beginner Seller

Hello Lovelies,

I wanted to talk today about the three realities that some beginner sellers may forget about when finally taking the plunge into small business. When I started my Etsy store I wasn’t really thinking about all the odds and ends that were extremely important when selling handmade items. I knew what I wanted to sell and how to sell it and even how to photograph it but I missed out on a few little things, that while obvious for some, can be forgotten and cause confusion, disappointment or even the end of your store.

1. Shipping!

When I started my Etsy store I created my listings, edited my photos to beginner’s perfection (it’s perfection but just a bit less….perfect), and I knew how much I wanted to charge for each and every item. Then I got an order! I was ecstatic, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, I had absolutely NO idea how I was going to ship my little plant knottedbyeva_starlit_ornamenthanger and faux plant to this brand new buyer. I never took in mind the fact that I would actually have to send the piece from my little sunroom office across the border into the US. I accounted for shipping costs (I was lucky, I work for a shipping company ) but I never actually put all the pieces together and decided HOW I was going to ship the items to my customers.

Shipping is an important factor in an online business because…well you can’t sell something and then not give your customer their order (I’m pretty sure there are laws against that). Shipping can also be a huge hurdle depending on what it is you are going to ship. Are you going to ship worldwide? Will you offer tracking? Will you add the shipping cost into your product? or will you charge shipping additionally? These are pretty typical but what about the actual packaging? Box or envelope? An envelope lowers your shipping cost (unless you are shipping in Canada..ugh) while a box can offer more security and structure. While I work for a shipping company 9-5 I never took the time to pick my shipping material and test out what my orders would look like packed and ready to go.

Take a moment and pick out your shipping material, try to keep it simple. If you are selling one type of item that is all about the same size, choose one packaging and stick to it. This means you won’t be surprised by the ever changing world of shipping because you decided to switch from one type of packaging to another.

2. You won’t make a sale right away, and that’s okay

If you are like most people, you will have started your online store with minimal pre-marketing. Your social media following will include your friends, family and maybe a few friends of friends that saw your store in their suggested follows. That’s okay! Not everyone is going to start with a huge following and some take longer to build a following than others.

I’ve become more introverted as years have gone by and my instagram following could be so much better, but that is my own fault. Building a social media following is extremely important and can greatly increase your views which could, of course, increase your sales but don’t fret. If you are like me and have chosen to sell on a community platform like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, etc, your customers will come to you for what they are looking for (or not looking for but realized they wanted).

When you enter a selling platform you are entering along with others. This means it may take a bit of time for your listings to pop up to client but it will…I promise! I sell macrame plant hangers, and ornaments and trust me there are a ton of others that do the same but I will offer you this piece of advise. Find a way to make your pieces stand Processed with VSCO with av8 presetout from others. I have recently decided that I want to reach the millennials and Gen-Z audience. VSCO girls that are trying to show off their aesthetic or boho babes that blog and Instagram for a living. How do I reach their gaze? I edit my photos the way they do and use them as my thumbnails for my Etsy postings. I use the VSCO app to edit my photos and try to create the feel of the lifestyle I’m aiming at. I shoot a full scene rather than just the item I am selling. I wanted to find a way to make my photos pop against a wash of pristine white backgrounds or crisp, perfectly set flats.

You may not sell any items right away but stay true to what you are doing. Post on your socials and tell all your friends about your products. You’re not an MLM so you don’t have to feel bad about pushing your products, you are working hard to make them and your friends could be free marketing for you.

3. You’re going to spend a lot of time working, and working, and working.

It goes without saying that creating an online store (whether in a selling community or not) will take a large amount of work. My Etsy store thrives when I’m updating my listings, posting on my Facebook page and instagram and updating my store details. These things take time and effort and while it can of course be planned out in a weekend or so, you want to make sure you are giving your shop ample time. Creating new products is just a small part of the process and while that too can take a lot of time it’s always good to remember that marketing and outreach are equally important.

Try scheduling out your social media posts and any Etsy updates. You do not need to think of the exact post per-say but think of the theme you want use for the week, this will help you plan out your social media. For instance, if your idea is new and exciting you can post some of your new products but also how to use your products and why they are a great addition to anyones home.

Running a shop can be extremely exhilarating and it worth every moment for anyone wanting to give it a try. Just be really aware and don’t make the mistakes I made. Jump in prepared to share your hobby.

 

XoXo

A Beginner’s View: 3 Tips for Soon-to-be Sellers

Hello Lovelies,

I’m in a sharing mood today.

I wanted to share with you my beginner tips for those who want to become a maker/seller.

Why would you want to take tips from me you ask? Well, I’m not going to share with you a bunch of stats or tell you that I made $100,000 in my first year, because I didn’t!

But I wanted to share with the reality most people may face when deciding to turn that hobby, skill, trade, passion or whatever you want to call it into a small business. Before you start your insta and facebook group or start designing the brand name of your store read these three small tips.

Of course, everyone is different but I feel like saying it plainly is something of a skill of mine and maybe someone will appreciate the honesty. So here it goes.

1.Believe in your idea

It sounds like common sense (you’re gonna get a lot of that here) but believing in and loving what you do really comes through in a lot of ways. Many people love indie brands, small businesses or makers, this is because they believe in their product and want to make it the best it can be. They put the time into what they make and how they sell it and that can make a huge difference!Cadence_knottedbyeva

Believing in your idea (whatever it is) is important because if you are just doing it for the money, it will show. You may not take as much time to alter or change something that isn’t working. Or you may completely change your idea based on what you think will make you a quick sale and never really make any money (but have a lot of random product left to show for it). Research your hobby and see what the selling options are. Decide if you are comfortable with the market saturation (how many other people are selling what you want to sell), material costs, and most of all your time.

2.Make a product list

Sometimes you have an idea that you believe in so much you say “yeah, that’s perfect. I’m going to sell that now”. That’s a wonderful thought but come up with a list of things that you will ACTUALLY make and sell first. You want to come up with a realistic list of products (or services) that you can sell and how you plan to make or serve them. Aim for 40 pieces to start. I know that sounds insane but 40 could mean, 5 shades, 4 sizes or different combinations. You want to know that you can offer a variety and keep people looking at your items. Coming up with a product list can also give you a view of how viable your idea is and how far you may be able to go with it. I’m still figuring myself out now and I started on Etsy April of 2018. I wish I had taken the time to come up with a full list of things to create, just to prepare myself and start making ahead of time.

3.Pick your platform

I sell on Etsy, and despite the many complaints you may have seen or heard, it’s a great selling platform for makers (I’m not affiliated or anything promise). I love that I have the ability to sell on a platform with other likeminded people and my customers come to me. Yes I have to work on it, and you do see more activity when you really stick with it and update your store and yes there are a bunch of fees, but that’s the cost of business.knotted by eva Etsy store

I also sold on Storeenvy and Big cartel and I have a store open on Shopify, these are great ways to sell but they are all very different. Storeenvy is a selling community and from my experience, you can sell just about anything on there. Shopify and Big Cartel are e-commerce platforms that let you build your own store and sell your product. There isn’t a connected community, so you have to do a lot of the leg work yourself. All of these options are wonderful and depending on what your selling they could be an ideal platform for you.

The main take away for soon-to-be sellers is to take the time and step back. We all want to jump in the pool right away and get our name out there but if you are not prepared for the very real business of running a business, you may find yourself stopping very soon after you start.

XoXo, Eva

 

 

My Eyebrows Aren’t Even

…….my eyebrows aren’t even…..

that’s an easy fix

tweezers fix everything

which one should I fix?

the right one you idiot, it’s longer

fine! right it is.

maybe your eyes are just different sizes.

not everyone has symmetrical faces

hmm? are you sure?

my left eye is a bit more slanted….

there’s a hair on your chin

UGH! whatever

people will see it!

NO

they talk about it for sure

whatever, I’ll get rid of it then no one will see

there’s more…

five…five hairs

five hairs, five pounds

five pounds

five hairs for five pounds

……..

if only you could pluck the five pounds

if only

if only…

ten pounds

twenty…

then people wouldn’t stare at the hairs

they wouldn’t stare….

why are they staring?

you know….

……

come on….

my face isn’t symmetrical

and…

the hairs on my chin

and…

my body

……..

i’m odd

……..

my…

mommy, you’re so beautiful

……..

whattt?

nothing, i just…

whattt?

thank you sweetie

am I beautiful?

you’re perfect

so are you! I Love You

I Love You!

can you lay down with me?

of course sweetheart, I’m coming

yay! okay.

…..my eyebrows aren’t even…..

 

 

Fringing Out

Hello lovelies,

Macrame has been my hobby of choice for almost 2 years now, but this is the first time I’m bringing it to my blog.

Large and medium wall hangings are the pieces I would love to do more often but rarely do I find the time and focus to complete one. My first large-ish piece was one I called the Shayla and I sold it on Etsy last year. It was such an amazing to feeling to have someone love my work as much as I did.

This new piece isn’t large but is definitely one I love just as much as my first.

IMG_0708

 

I don’t have a name for this piece yet but maybe by the end of this post I will.

I started with a piece of driftwood that my daughter and I scavenged from Lake Ontario, it was a beautiful piece and I just needed to cut off the ends (they hadn’t stood the test of time and water as well as the rest)

 

I used lark’s head knot to attach my cord to the driftwood. You can attach your cord in any way you like but I love the look of a lark’s head knot when working with wall hangings. Then I went in with a criss-cross pattern using a diagonal double half hitch knot. To finish off the row I added in two strands per each bottom row of cord and then did a double layer of half hitch knots underneath. Adding the extra cord really helped with the final step.

The middle needed a little something so I used two long spiral knot strands connected in the middle the a simple square knot. I found a beautiful stone pendant at Michael’s that felt like it would work so well so I added it in.

IMG_0700

Combing out the bottom fringe was not my intention when I started, but the cord I used for this piece was so soft I had to brush it out and let every strand flow.

This wall hanging was such a blast to make and every layer brought out a little more beauty. I can’t wait to get to the next one.

IMG_0702

XoXo, Eva

I sold stuff

Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to another decade!

2019 didn’t come with a ton of awesome but there was a lot to be proud of.

Most notably was keeping my macrame shop open and running. I have been running knotted by eva sine April of 2018 and I can honestly say it was in no way shape or form what I had in mind for my business idea. That being said, it’s the best thing I ever could have done.

knotted by eva was an idea started with some encouragement from a wonderful person. Her cross stitching skills are remarkable and her art is breathtaking. She encouraged me to start macraming because I was interested and then start my store. Michelle I can’t thank you enough for all talks and all the venting sessions, we will have crafting days again soon!

Plug! – Check out Michelle’s store on Etsy MichelleGauthierArt – you won’t be disappointed

In 2019 I made $1,500, no it’s not a huge number in comparison to the “make 1 million in one year posts” but I’m posting my earnings for the year because I’m proud. I created pieces I enjoyed creating and I sold them to people who then used them to decorate their Christmas trees, furnish their bedrooms and even decorate their children’s nurseries. I struggled and strived and couldn’t be happier with the result. I sold stuff!

2020 is the year that I take a huge risk. I’ve always had my fathers mind, to be a business owner and run my own company. 2020 is the year that I get one step closer to my goal.

Feel free to follow my journey and get inspired the way Michelle inspired me. Laugh with me, cry with me and swear….swear a lot!

No I’m not some business guru, I’m a 31 year-old mom with a wonderful boyfriend and a lively daughter, 2 cats and a goal. I’m real and I make real mistakes. I hope that my mistakes will help you see that failing 499 times is worth it because 500 could be your number.

XoXo,
Eva

Pumpkin Palooza

Hello Lovelies ,

Fall is here and it means it’s time for my favourite part of the season; Fall leaves and the smell of chimneys burning a fresh log.

Our first fall event came a little latte this year, due mostly to the unseasonable warm weeks that preceded our outing, but it was worth the wait.

My besties, and our kids packed up and headed north to Port Perry to go to Willowtree Farm’s Pumpkin Palooza! Goat’s, wagon rides and of course pumpkins were on the menu for the afternoon and it definitely hit the spot and put us in the fall mood.

 

Willowtree_xoxo_eva
Best posing post ever!

I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen a goat up close (and if I have I was to young to remember) but I have decided they will be on my list of favourite farm animals. The goats were so welcoming and only wanted to be pet and scratched. This little goat followed us around the pen a few times to get a coupe extra scratches.

 

Chickens, ducks, pigs, rabbits and one lonely calf were also amongst the group in the farm that Willowtree offered and the kids loved it (not as much as the parents, I think we spent more time with the animals than our kids did).

 

We roamed through a corn maze (also a first) and got so lost we probably walked into a full on corn field. The line “don’t be over confident” kept playing in my head as we walked circles around the maze. Peyton and her cousin led the way and while I followed and filmed (peyton has a youtube channel) I realized just how easy it was to get turned around. It was hilarious listening to the “Marco” “Polo” callings in the field and the laughter of the others that were also “pretty confident” but we ultimately didn’t make it out of the maze and ended up exiting back the way we came.

After failing the corn maze we made our way to the pumpkin cannon, which was THE BEST! It was insanely fun shooting gourds out of the cannon and because we all have paid to use it we had plenty of opportunities to shoot at the target. The winner received a free pie, but none of us had the strength to shoot far enough.

 

Finally we made our way to the pumpkin patch and of course the best way to go to a pumpkin patch is by wagon.

 

The pumpkin patch stretched out pretty far and we had ample opportunities to find the biggest pumpkin possible. Of course the pumpkin picks were all Peyton’s because she was going to be the carving artist.

 

We trudged through a pile of itchy, pointy thistles and jumped over a few not-so-lucky smashed pumpkins to find the pumpkin Peyton thought was worthy (I learned a lot more about how particular my daughter was in this moment).

The day was a complete success and Peyton has 3 whole pumpkins to paint and carve to her heart’s delight!

It was such a wonderful day I couldn’t have asked for more (well maybe a tad warmer).

What has been your favourite fall activity this year? Let me know below!

XoXo, Eva

 

It Started With My Knees

Friday Apr 16th:

I’ve essentially spent the last week in utter agony. My knees (mostly the left) have been burning and extremely sore.

I decided to take the plunge and stand on the scale. Why do you ask would knee pain spark the idea? Those wondering must have never had joint issues and gone to the doctor about them. The first thing out of a doctor’s mouth is “exercise or physical activity is going to help reduce the issue”, so I figured I had to see what I was working with. Continue reading It Started With My Knees

Broke Businesswoman

I bet you’ve had a few amazing ideas pop into your head in the last hour, 2 hours, 24 hours.

I hear ya, trust me I do. I bet I can guess the next words to come out of your mouth, “I would but I don’t have the money”, or some variation of that.

I’ve set out to start not one but two businesses while working full-time and being the mother of a wild, adventurous, imaginative, adorable (sorry I’m a proud mother) daughter. Continue reading Broke Businesswoman

My 3 Fave Outfits of June

Hello Lovelies,

Canada Day has come and gone which means I have my favourite outfits for June. Here in Ontario it’s been a wash of different temperatures but I have three outfits that I have really loved putting together.


Striped to Perfection


IMG_0137

I really love the striped pants in this outfit, it really is the vocal point. A simple cropped tank and a small purse finish off this look.

I have worn my rose gold clear sunnies a few times. But I loved how they added a little bit my drama to the top of my outfit.

The black straps are from my black bralette and play the role of jewelry for this look. I tried adding a necklace or a choker and I just couldn’t find something that really hit the spot.

The overall look is a bit more casual. A day downtown on a patio with the girls is definitely the perfect feel.

 


Pants – Forever21 Plus | Top – Forever 21 | Purse – Ardene’s | Sunnies – Torrid | Bralette – Torrid


 


Brunch Babe


IMG_0150Being a girl of almost 6 feet I found that maxi dresses never sit quite right on me. They almost made me look like my dresses were kind of right. For the most part they never really sat well and I just gave up.

I love the way a knee length and midi length dresses hit me they accent just right and do wonders for the curves.

A little black dress is never out of style. I added a sweet little red and white striped button up for a touch of colour. I tied it up as a crop and rolled the sleeves for warmer weather.

I topped it off with my mom’s box clutch. I love adding a little bit of vintage whenever it’s possible.

 


Dress – H&M | Shirt – Forever 21 | Purse – Vintage (sorry)



Floral Explosion


IMG_0165This outfit is definitely our of my comfort zone, but the moment I saw it I fell in love and I’m so very glad I bought it. I actually bought this outfit for my trip to Mexico and it was a smashing success.

I loved the wide leg pants of this outfit. The were extreme complimenting of my figure. They are very light weight which is perfect for the summer and they are high waisted which is my favourite fit for pants as well.

My only negative with this outfit is the sleeves for the top. The upper arm hole was a bit tighter than I would have liked and even though it did stretch out after an evening of wear, it was definitely less than comfortable waiting for the sweet relief of elasticity to kick in.

 


Top and Pant set – Forever 21 Plus | Earrings – KDBE


Thanks for reading!

XoXo ❤

In Simplest Terms….I Failed

Last week I made an attempt to accessorize my outfits for 6 days.

I know I was supposed to have all this wonderful info about how great the rest of my accessorizing week went but truthfully that’s not what this post is about.

This is how I successfully failed to finish my week of accessorizing.


WEDNESDAY


It’s wasn’t actually a terrible day. I managed to add some gold accessories to my outfit. A really cute anklet from Forever 21, it was a simple one strand with a fishtail chain pattern. A simple gold chain necklace and my rose gold glasses (although I opted not to wear the glasses when I got to work). I really though I was finally getting into the groove of accessorizing. I felt great and was so excited for the next day.


THURSDAY


My optimism was great on Wednesday, my cold was greater on Thursday. I woke up with a crazy cold I could barely get myself out of bed and the idea of even picking an outfit was tiring and put me in the midst of a toddler’s temper tantrum. I slapped some tights on and put a bit on concealer under my eyes and off to work I went. Sick and sleepy I slowly walked to the end of the driveway and hopped into an Uber (there was no way I was gonna walk today).


FRIDAY/SATURDAY


I completely gave up on my accessorizing by this point. I was sick and all I could imagine doing was sleeping. I was home by 6:15 and in bed by 7:30/8:00. Waking up was something my brain was wired to do and getting dressed was such a mindless activity that by the time I got to work on Friday I didn’t even realize I had picked out clothes. On Saturday I went to my friends house, we hung out and gossiped and laughed, Got some killer ice cream and ate some delicious salmon. I went home and curled up completely content with the fact failed my week of accessorizing. I didn’t want to do this by force, I truthfully wanted to try to add some life in my minimal outfits with some accessories but even though I didn’t make it. I really enjoyed the attempt.

XoXo ❤