Thursday, November 19, 2009


Allow me to create a hypothetical situation. Say there's a recession-- no, economic downturn-- no, depression and you need to buy some holiday gifts, but you'd also like to get a little something for yourself (because you work hard, dammit) and you will also happen to be in Detroit this weekend?

May I suggest you print out this little coupon and bring it to me on Saturday at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair? Then you can pick out one print for a friend, and one for yourself on the house, negating all possible feelings of self-indulgent guilt.

Please note, this deal only applies to my table.
No other vendor at DUCF will value this coupon and they might look at you like you have a screw loose if you try to give it to them. The part that says All Things Grow = me only.

If you are an ink miser, like myself, feel free to shrink the coupon itty bitty teeny tiny or print it in just black. I don't mind. If you are out of ink (also me) you can simply tell me you'd like to use the.. what's a good name... sherbet colored coupon and I will honor that as well. Its greener anyway. :)

In summary, I'm going to reiterate previous posts and ask that you jot down your holiday shopping list tomorrow, wake up bright and early on Saturday, and proceed to the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. Do not pass Go, unless, of course, Go is on your way to the Majesitic at 4120 Woodward Ave. Detroit Michigan. If so, then feel free to collect that $200, you'll be glad you have it when you see the wealth of talent there. /end extended methaphor.

For a preview of the goods, stop in at DUCF's website or check out Detroit bloggers Perfect Laughter.

See you there!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to create a fully functioning print studio in a 1200 square foot apartment you also live in

reimagine your rooms.
(hint: you'll need twine and clothespins)

a sneak peek!

I'm getting ready for DUCF this weekend! I continue to be amazed tonight at how, nine years later, I'm still so in love with making prints.

Thanks for supporting my work and allowing me to keep on keepin' on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sales on the Brain

I have a favor to ask. I'm starting to look ahead to online holiday sales and I'm hoping to conduct a little consumer market research first. I have mentioned that I am planning a week and a half sale of awesome online, and I'm wondering what type of sale I should offer. There's a poll to the right with a few options-- if you would take a moment to tell what kind of sale you find most enticing I would greatly appreciate it! Any comments you have on what you think works or doesn't work would also be wonderful as well!

I have hosted one online sale before-- a buy one, get one last winter. It went really well, and I'm inclined to throw a repeat, but I'd like to check around first. I'm curious to see if the sale type that wins is actually the one that will save potential shoppers the most money. Would you rather have free shipping on the goods your really like, or would you rather walk away with a lot more loot? Or take a discount on your whole order?

Maybe I'll do two days of each kind ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back on the Social Networking Horse

I have decided to return from a slight (ok, several year) hiatus from social networking. You can now find me on Facebook.

You can tune in there to find updates on shows, sales, and new work! If your friend request has been sitting in my inbox since 2007 I deeply apologize.

In case you're here to find out about shows, next up is Detroit Urban Craft Fair! Click on fellow TJ artist Angela Duncan's sweet poster to visit the website and check out the amazing vendors Handmade Detroit has carefully selected to blow your holiday budget!

See you there!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'm Putting Etsy on Notice.

I'm going to steer this blog toward the dark side for a moment, I hope you don't mind. The more I progress into the adulthood, the more I realize that I am a naive idealist. I grew up in a small town and I'm gullible. I believe people will be honest. I'm typically not skeptical of anything or anyone, and when the curtain is pulled back and the inner workings exposed, I'm always shocked and angry. Such is the case with Etsy.

When I first joined Etsy, I pictured a perfect network and community-- thousands of people in thousands of living rooms and studios around the world, making handmade items. Vintage sellers as people who are pulled toward finds, toward old things with stories. Maybe I have an overactive imagination, or am just a really visual thinker, but this is what I picture when I visit a shop, when I think of the site. In my mind's eye I see Etsy exactly as they want me to, with little cartoon drawings of bears knitting scarves and birds and featured sellers who make careers out of work they're passionate about.

I see this:

This is not the truth. Etsy has a seedy underbelly of users who are exploiting the site and its traffic of handmade and vintage customers. They're selling items as vintage that are most definitely not. They're selling cheap fishnet stockings and calling them 'craft supplies'. They're selling Olive Garden gifts cards and "vintage" plates from Anthropologie. They're buying cheap clothes on wholesale made in Asia and calling it a handmade sweater. This is exactly what Etsy isn't about, right? Mass production, imported bear figurines and Forever 21 sweaters are not what I signed up for. This is the figurehead of the handmade movement for all intents and purposes, and its becoming a dumping ground and a sham. I had no idea. I was gullible.

So you'd think that this isn't Etsy's fault, that people are hosting garage sales in their shops with items that are neither handmade, vintage, or supplies. That people are misrepresenting what they're selling. But Etsy is responsible. If they make these rules, they need to follow them. They need to enforce their own standards. They're not.

I would never had started selling on Etsy had it been billed as a place for online garage sales and mass produced garbage. Last I checked, that's what eBay is for. My work is inexpensive, but that's not the kind of venue I want it in. I pay for Etsy's services with the understanding that they will provide the kind of place they promised.

I know its a free market-- that if I don't like the fact that Etsy is ignoring their own rules that I can go to many of the various sites popping up that provide identical services to sellers. The problem is that I'm already highly invested in Etsy. My merchandise bags and business cards are all stamped with my shop address on Etsy. I have regulars who buy from my shop, and I have a history of positive feedback that makes future buyers confident that they can trust me. To go elsewhere at this point would be very expensive.

So I wonder what Etsy's problem is, and there are two possible answers. The first possibility is that they simply don't have the staff to investigate or remove items that are inappropriate or flagged. I take issue with this reason because I continue to hear that Etsy is experiencing record traffic and profits. Its obvious the site is growing and will continue to grow-- and they should be able to hire the workforce to manage it, and keep up with its mission.

The second possibility is that these items and sellers, no matter how inappropriate, are good for Etsy's bottom line. Listings, whether legit or not, earn Etsy 20 cents. The sale of an item makes Etsy a commission no matter what that item is. Maybe they are turning a bit of a blind eye toward these items.

I do know that this stinks, either way. I feel like a bit of an idiot for buying into the image Etsy is offering. I know that if people have to wade through a sea of garbage to find my work that they won't bother. I know that if Etsy can't get it together they're going to get a reputation as a worthless place to try and find anything handmade. Everyone who invested in Etsy, in its mission, will be out of luck.

It seems like they have a limited amount of time in which to turn this ship around before it all starts moving south. I hope they do.