Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Anyway, we have added some awesome new things in Heathen's Hearth over the last week or two and I....well....I just wanted to show some of them off, plain and simple, lol.
Citrus Cuticle Cream
Cucumber Mint Natural Soap
White Tea Sugar Scrub (this is also available in 10 oz!)
Lavender Natural Goat's Milk Soap - 1.5 oz
Dirty Dreaded Hippy Natural Goat's Milk Soap
Saturday, April 25, 2009
25% off everything in both shops - refunds will be issued through paypal after payment.
Free Shipping to the US and Canada on all orders totaling $25 or more (we will combine purchases from both shops for the free shipping minimum!)
So go, run, shop, buy! Remember that each purchase also enters you in our give-away!
Friday, April 24, 2009
To Celebrate Etsy Day we're offering 25% off both shops until Midnight tonight. We'll combine shipping if you order from both shops, so if you've been eying something special, now's the time to get it!
While you're here, check out the following give aways we're involved in:
From Audrey's Country Crafts Blueberry Bath Salts and a LOAD of other goodies from various Etsy shops...
From J Leigh Designs: 1 jar of Bazooka Bubblegum bath soaps
And of course, our own give away, link to be found over there on the right side of our blog.
Happy Etsy Day! Support handmade!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We are offering a bountiful plunder worth more than $50! One lucky winner will receive the following:
- Blog about our contest (please convo or comment in either blog with a link to the post for verification).
- Use a social networking site to talk about our shop (again, please link to page in a comment in one of our blogs... Valid sites are Twitter, Myspace, Plurk, Facebook, etc...).
- Purchases from either or both shops: Any purchase made from our shops will earn you entries into the give away. 1 extra entry for each item purchased. Make sure you leave a comment letting us know you purchased!
- Be a follower of our blogs. If you already are, make sure you leave a comment letting us know!
This giveaway will end Sunday, May 3rd at 11:59 PM! The winner will be randomly chosen after all entries are tallied using random.org.
Thanks! Now go spread the word!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The fact of the matter is, there are no secrets. Successful selling on Etsy comes down to one thing -- Common Sense.
I don't consider myeslf the Be All End All Know It All of Etsy selling...there are other shops more successful than us...but we have had over 900 sales since opening shop in August 2008. That's an average of over 100 sales per month.
We've sold that well because we follow some rules. I've put them together for a common sense approach to selling on Etsy that has worked well for us.
1.) Make a product worth selling. This one is pretty simple. I am not even going to go more in-depth on this. Are YOU going to buy a crap product? Nope, didn't think so.
2.) Photos. Photos are such an important part of successful selling...and again, this should be common sense. You are selling online. People cannot touch, hold, smell your items. Your photographs are their only way of seeing how wonderful your product is. Do you really want to put your $50 silver and gemstone pendant on your kitchen table and take a picture with the overhead light on and your camera flash glaring off of it? NO. It's going to make your amazing, gorgeous and wonderful pendant look like garish costume jewelry. When taking photos, follow these rules:
- ~Use a neutral background. Whether it be dark or light (it depends on your item), make it all one color...it will let your product steal center stage, as it should! Don't use a busy, decorated background.
- ~Natural lighting is best for picture taking, but direct sunlight isn't the best. When I take photos of our products, I do so at our kitchen table where there are two windows that let sunlight shine in.
- ~If you cannot use natural lighting, the next best thing is a light box. You can buy or make these. I have never used one, but I know many people who do and they have great photos.
- ~Do not DO NOT DO NOT use your flash.
- ~Get close-ups of your items. I find that off center, close-ups that don't necessarily show the entire item attract more attention. You can use a photo editing program to crop, brighten, and otherwise edit your photos. I use Picasa and it's free. Here's an example:
- ~Remember, a good photo...attractive picture will not only catch a customer's attention, but has a better chance of making it into a treasury and therefore possibly making the Front Page.
3.) Make sure you thoroughly describe your item. How large is it? Give me measurements. Is it Bath & Body...then I want to know exactly what the ingredients are.4.) Do not list items and expect them to magically sell because they are available. Do not rely on Etsy to sell for you. Yes, you pay Etsy when you list AND when you sell, but don't think of that money as going toward advertising. Think of it as rent. Etsy is a venue. They aren't an advertising site.
5.) Market, promote and network your Etsy shop. As I said in #3, this is your job. It takes work, and it can't be done overnight and quickly. Some of the simplest ways to do this is to participate in the Etsy Forums and Etsy Chat rooms...but don't stop there. There are a ton of ways to freely promote your shop. Here are just a few:
- ~http://www.twitter.com/ Twitter is one of those great networking sites that doesn't take a lot of time or energy. I call it The One Sentence Blog. I use it to show what just sold, what's been relisted, what specials or sales we are running, new items that we've listed. And on and on and on...
- ~http://www.blogspot.com/ Blogging can be the single most effective marketing, promoting and networking tool in your arsenal. "But Misty, I hate blogging!" Boofreakinhoo. You want to sell? Then you have to work. "But Misty, I don't know what to blog about!" Blogging is important...and blogging regularly is even more important. You need to build up a base of regular readers. Which means blogging about interesting things, along with blogging about new products/items in your shop, specials, sales, etc. etc. Feature other shops/blogs on yours. Do a giveaway. Blog about things you have found on Etsy that are just completely awesome. Hell, blog about the newest recipe you tried for your family's dinner.
- ~Business cards. They are a must. We send a few out with every package, I hand them out to friends, family, strangers. Check out http://www.vistaprint.com/. They have good business cards at very decent prices...heck, usually they are free and you just pay shipping. They have a lot of other promotional items you can purchase, too.
- ~How often do you email? I have the links to both of our Etsy shops in the signature line of my email...and in the signature line of every online forum I frequent.
- ~Join an Etsy Street Team.
- ~Word of mouth. Have your friends and family let other people know about your shop.
6.) "Misty, I bought a showcase slot and it didn't do squat for me...not much traffic and no sales! What gives?!" Showcases are notoriously hit or miss. If I had to take a guess, I'd say about 90% of those who have told me they've done one, wouldn't do one again. Myself included. We have found that we get much more exposure, traffic, hits and sales by taking the money we'd budget for a showcase, and use it to renew items in our shop. It costs $.20 per item, so we usually renew anywhere from 2-5 per day. Renewing is like listing or relisting in that it moves the item up to the top of the searches and you get your few seconds of fame by appearing on the front page.
7.) Tag your items properly and use as many as you can! I strive to use all 14 tags in each of my listings. These are important! If someone is searching for something on etsy, it's the tags that will make your item appear in the search. So if you are selling a silver pendant, and you don't have "pendant" or "silver" in your tags, then you are not only S.O.L., you failed Common Sense 101. Tag, TAG, TAG!
8.) Fill out your profile and shop policies completely. Cover all the basics. What type of payments do you take? When must payments be made? At the time of purchase? Do you give a 1-3 grace period? What is your return policy? How long after receiving an order do you ship it out? How do you ship? USPS? Parcel Post? First Class? Priority? UPS? Fed-Ex? These are important things that I consider before making any purchase on Etsy.
9.) Price your item correctly. This is hard. Very hard. Do a google search. Search the Etsy Forums. Find a formula that works for you. "But Misty, it costs me $25 in supplies alone to make this pendant but I see someone else selling something similar for $30. What should I do? I know I should list it for more if I want to make a profit, but I want to be competitive." Here's my answer: Who gives a flying f*ck what other shops are selling things for? Price YOUR items how you need to. Don't pay attention to what other shops are doing. This is a cardinal rule. You will be much MUCH happier if you worry only about your shop instead of everyone elses.
10.) Offer unparralleled customer service, but stick by your policies. If there is a problem with an item you sent out, fix it. Send out another item or offer to reimburse the customer. If the customer just doesn't like the item like they thought they would...well, that's not really your fault (unless you mislead potential buyers with false information in your listings), but you need to handle it with finesse. If a package never makes it to the destination, it is your responsibility to replace or reimburse the customer. I see all too often shop policies saying that once the package leaves their hands, they are no longer responsible. Nope. That is completely wrong. The customer has up to 45 days to file a claim with Paypal if the package is not received. You ARE responsible. The short of it is, if you run your shop well and have great customer service, your buyer is more apt to come back again.
Well...I think that is it for now, lol. I am sure there are many more things that could be added, but this is a good start.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Oh Baby! Butt Balm
A butt-ton (pun fully intended) of natural skin soothing butter and oils that are perfect for keeping your little heathen's bottom naturally smooth and healthy!
Now hold on to your backside because this is one long blog post, but we want to inform you of the benefits of our ingredients!
Cocoa Butter has been called the ultimate moisturizer, and has been used to keep skin soft and supple for centuries. It is one of the most stable, highly concentrated natural fats known, and melts at body temperature so that it is readily absorbed into the skin. Cocoa butter is often recommended for treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. When applied topically, it creates a barrier between sensitive skin and the environment and also helps retain moisture.
Sweet Almond Oil and Apricot Kernal Oil are easily absorbable and serves as a great emollient, by lending a soft glowing beautiful touch to the skin. It balances the moisture in the body. In case of loss of moisture, it helps to restore it. It makes a great lubricant, thus aids in combating itching and inflammation. It is an excellent natural moisturizer that is suitable for all skin types.
Grapeseed Oil is of great use in treating the stubborn acne and other skin problems. Grapeseed has a high content of linoleic acid, a fatty acid essential for the cell membranes and the skin. Grape seed oil serves as a wonderful moisturizer and truly nourishes the skin. This carrier oil lends a shimmering touch to the skin.
Organic Calendula Oil is the most successful oil for assisting us with dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, diaper irritations, and other skin disorders.
Neem Oil has numerous benefits for both therapeutic and medicinal use. Among other properties, this oil is anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal.
Tea Tree Oil has wonderful properties that makes it a popular natural agent for helping with fungus, bacteria, and virus and is an excellent natural remedy for hundreds of bacterial and fungal skin ailments such as acne, abscess, oily skin, blisters, sun burns, athlete's foot, insect bites, rashes, dandruff and other minor wounds and irritations.
Lavender Essential Oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema.
Chamomile Essential Oil is a great analgesic, which is known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is also beneficial in treating skin disorders like eczema, blisters, inflamed wounds, boils, dermatitis, and rashes.
The best part about this balm is that you don't just have to stick on your wee one's nether regions...you can use it as a healing hand balm, balm for nursing mommas, and heck...slap some on your own bum if need be!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Even pictures taken on icky nasty days like today can be made to appear as if they were taken in much better lighting.
Here's a couple of examples:
Tuscan Melon & Apricot Glycerin Soap with Crushed Apricot seeds for exfoliation:
Coconut Lime : The original untouched photo followed by the retouched photo after adjusting the light balance.
Lemon Verbena Scrub Cubes: Before editing and after adjusting the light balance.
Don't they look perty? Much more like their beautiful selves than the gloomy day would normally give us the ability to show.
So, theres 2 of our new summer scents... they're also currently being introduced in our shop along with Sweet Pea.
For those of you jonesing for the grapefruit based scents... definitely go for the Lemon Verbena. You'll love it.
Monday, April 13, 2009
We've marked them down 20% from $15 to $12 from now until next Monday so get them while the gettin is good!
Check them out! Right now you can choose from:
So...my mission to all of our blog readers...
What are your favorite summer/warm weather scents and fragrances? Give me some ideas. What would you like to see in Heathen's Hearth?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
But our 5 choices were:
LilBees - aka Mommy Bee here on Blogger.
WildAnimus - aka Tanya here on Blogger.
ToadstoolsnTreestump - aka Toadstools here on Blogger
Thank you to everyone who entered for your entry and for inspiring others in your work and your life!
The last of the Etsy Inspirations soaps will be up as soon as we can get them...We have been a little busy around here, and are facing a slight backlog in production, so we'll keep you posted :) when we get them in the shop!
Speaking of Etsy inspirations soaps... We have already had 2 major orders that included 2 of them.
Our Heartsabustin Soap will soon be on its way to a beautiful consignment shop and just last night the Jupita Soap was included as part of a large wholesale order for a gift boutique in Lynchburg Virginia!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Whether you spend $2.00 or $200.00 (c'mon, you know you wanna spend $200), you won't pay anything to have your fantabulous smell goods shipped directly to your door!
Been eyeing some goat's milk soap or glycerin soap? Been scoping out the sugar scrubs? Licking your lips in anticipation of our lip balms? Brooding over the Body Oils? Panting over the new perfume oils? Now's the time to get it all!
Take advantage of it now...the length of the sale is yet to be determined!
All shipping charges will be refunded immediately via paypal.
Don't forget to check out our other shop http://littleheathens.etsy.com for more free shipping!
Then I woke up, and because that lovely feeling of "omg I slept past 8am" was still with me, I lay in bed for another 20 minutes without moving while I woke up completely.
And then I rolled over and looked at the clock... and it was only 8:02.
To make matters worse... I have a metallica song stuck in my head and its making me crazy because I can't find any of the music that I know I have hidden in my back up drive somewhere.
Oh well. Going to work on my now much smaller to do list of doom today (sales dropped off rather hard yesterday after a brilliantly busy week last week) and then work on a portion of the consignment order I have pending... and then I'm going to make wax tarts! :) yay.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Throughout my entire life, I have been a heavy sleeper, just ask my husband - he's tried any number of times to wake me up, and I just can't until my brain is good and well ready to let me be awake. I have been one of those people whose body required 12-13 hours of sleep a night in order to feel well rested and not be a sour, cranky brat in the morning (more if I was stressed or depressed). When I was about 10 or 11, I scared my mother half to death by coming home from school one Friday and falling asleep immediately after dinner... I didn't get up again except for half-awake trips to the bathroom until Monday morning.
Sleep has been many things for me, and I used to call it "my favorite past-time". In some ways it still is, I enjoy my sleep. Despite odd and sometimes downright strange dreams which plague it - as a child I learned to escape into my dreams and was able to have lucid dreams regularly. I had a sleep study done about 3 years ago (they thought I might have apnea due to enlarged tonsils), and they found the reason that I slept for so long.
Briefly, for those of you who don't know, there are 5 stages of sleep, differentiated by how deeply you are asleep and how active or inactive your brain is (time the average person stays in the phase is in parenthesis)
1 - drowsiness - known more commonly as dozing. That period where you're almost but not quite asleep, but can still be aware of what is going on around you. (10-15 minutes)
2 - light sleep - about the same as drowsing, but with no awareness of whats going on around you, body temp drops and your brain slows to prepare to enter deep sleep (10-15 minutes)
3 & 4 - deep sleep. You're not dreaming, your body is relaxed almost completely, and you enter into "delta pattern" sleep. The only difference is how deeply you are sleeping, which they can tell by how long your brainwave patterns are. (10-15 minutes)
5 - REM sleep - you're asleep and dreaming. This is considered the period which you must obtain in order to feel "rested and refreshed"...if you don't dream all kinds of things go wrong with your sleep pattern. (10 minutes to 1 hour depending on how long you've been asleep)
Apparently, unlike a normal person who takes approximately 90 minutes to go through all of the phases leading up to REM (the pattern goes 1-2-3-4-3-2-REM) and then stays in REM sleep for approximately 10 minutes before repeating the cycle, I stayed in phase 1 for about 45 minutes, and then would immediately drop in to stages 3 and 4. I would then alternate between stage 3 & 4 for about 2 hours, before finally hitting REM sleep, where I would stay for only 5 minutes during the first cycle.
In a normal person, each time they go through the cycle, REM sleep goes from 10 minutes up to an hour, each time they cycle through, the REM period extends. That means for the average person, the last hour they spend in sleep, they're dreaming, which is why people typically only remember their last dream...they have quite a lot of them during sleep. The average person, getting 8 hours of sleep a night, goes through the cycle an average of 5 times, having a total REM period of 2 hours of that 8 hour period.
In order to get the same amount of REM sleep, and thus feel as "rested" as an average person, I had to sleep for up to 2-3 hours longer. Since I stayed in stage 3 & 4 for up to 2 hours before hitting my first REM, and each cycle only shortened the Deep Sleep period by about 25 minutes, my typical night to feel rested required a minimum of 11 hours of sleep.
To make things even more fun, I have *never* been a morning person. Say what you will about it being a psychological thing, I have *always* been cranky during the morning even as a kid. My brain functions better at night, or after I've been awake for at least 3 hours - because I also have something called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. In a nutshell, DSPS means that I'm one of those people who, instead of being able to go to sleep at the same time every night, I tend to stay up later and later into the night, and subsequently get up later and later the following day...my circadian rhythm is off by about 2 hours... my body clock thinks there are 26 hours in a day, and I have a very hard time regulating it...thus never being a morning person.
So why all this talk about sleep? Because for the past 4 and a half months, my sleeping patterns have been altering radically. I thought nothing of it in January and February, because I was in St. Louis, and the apartment there has a french door and a huge window in the master bedroom that face southeast, thus waking up between 9 and 930am after going to sleep around 1am didn't seem all that strange. But here it is, almost the middle of April, and I'm back in Suffolk, sleeping in a bedroom that faces due West, with black out curtains in the windows and very little if any sunlight coming through the East facing (and very tiny) bathroom window...and I'm waking up between 8 and 830am EVERY DAY.
Why is this a problem? Because my body still thinks there are 26 hours in a day. I still don't fall asleep until between 1 or 2am. Last night I didn't fall asleep until 3am! This morning I was wide awake around 820am! The sun isn't even out. It is a rainy, dreary, grey day And here I sit at the kitchen table, 2 hours, 2 cups of coffee and my morning dose of Adderall (for ADD) later, and my brain is *still* barely functional, and my body is still rather jelly feeling, and yet when I layed in bed for 20 minutes after waking up, I was still unable to go back to sleep.
*sigh*... I need more sleep.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
But i'm running our Saturday Night Special! And I almost forgot it...
Buy 1 item, get the second item 50% off (equal or lesser value - Excludes multi-purchase specials!)
Ends 8am Sunday!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Eden Lost - Eden Lost highlights the memories of what was, with the reality of what is. Starting with the memory of crisp green apples that fades out slowly to a fragrant woody blend of Sage, Sweetgrass, and Cedar.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
It is the most adorable thing in the world. :)
I *love* this photograph...
High five to mom as well for helping her son learn to appreciate art and funding his future education in a really creative way as well!