Friday Feature: MissTanDesigns

It has been a very long time (almost 6 months) since I did a Friday Feature. I decided to kick the series off by revisiting an Etsy store that I first visited when I first started this series, back in 2010. MissTanDesigns has come a long way since that last feature.

Check out some of her new necklaces:

Believe Cross Dome Necklace by MissTanDesigns on Etsy

Believe Cross Necklace by MissTanDesigns on Etsy
{Click to view Etsy listing}


Yin Yang Necklace by MissTanDesigns on Etsy

Yin Yang Necklace by MissTanDesigns on Etsy
{Click to view Etsy listing}

She also carries greeting cards:

I Treasure Your Time greeting card

I Treasure Your Time greeting card
{Click to view Etsy listing}

I hope you enjoyed your visit to MissTanDesigns!


How Not to Keep a Customer

We have been having issues with our pre-paid cell phone, culminating in our deciding today not to use the company any more.

How Not to Keep a Customer

  1. Make it impossible for the customer activate the phone on their own.
  2. Turn off the feature to buy more minutes directly on the phone.
  3. Allow the customer to buy more minutes, but don’t allow them access to these minutes on the phone.
  4. When the customer realizes they have been charged for minutes they can’t use, and calls you, hang up on them.
  5. When they call back, make them spend over an hour on the phone with you, then tell them the phone is broken and the company will refund the minutes. Transfer them to the employee who does refunds.
  6. Have the employee who does refunds tell them they are lying because the computer system says one thing, the phone says another, and of course you can’t believe the customer.

No refund was forthcoming or offered, so we went to our bank, which issued our credit card, explained the situation, the banker called the credit card division, and a refund will be issued to us. Fingers crossed the cell phone company doesn’t dispute the refund!


Teaching Thursday: Setting up Etsy shop policies

Porch/Pooch Policy at Powells

Porch/Pooch Policy at Powells (Photo credit: Terry Bain)

So you’ve got your Etsy shop all set up, and you’ve even listed a few items. Now what? Well, one of the most important tasks that a new Etsy shop owner forgets is the policies. Wait, you’re thinking, policies!? I need to know what my shop policies are? I haven’t even made a sale yet! How do I know how I’ll handle a refund?

When I was a new shop owner, I remember thinking all those things. But I bit the bullet and wrote the policies, and you should, too.

Why? Because buyers don’t want to buy from shops that don’t have policies. They want to know that you are a serious seller, that you will send them the item they purchase, and if they don’t like it, there’s a way to handle that with you.

So how do you write policies? Go to Your Shop and click Info & Appearance and then the Policies tab. Then, draft some policies, being sure to follow all the Etsy Do’s and Don’ts. (There’s a link on the Policies tab.) Read the policies a couple times and make sure all your spelling & grammar are correct. Then go ahead and save them with the button at the bottom of the page. You’re all set!

What should go into your policies? Etsy gives you sections to complete, you should have something in all of them. Make sure you cover:

  • which payment methods you accept
  • do you offer refunds? Under what circumstances and how does a buyer request one?
  • do you exchange items? How is shipping handled?
  • will you take a custom order?
  • will you ship to foreign countries? If you do, be sure and mention that all customs duties are the responsibility of the buyer and you will not mark items as a gift (doing so can result in jail time and huge fines for U.S. sellers).

And of course, I am not a lawyer or an accountant, so be sure and consult yours if you have legal or accounting questions.


Mini Movie Review: Bidder 70 #climatechange

Had an interesting evening — I went to the local film watching group, Film for Thought, and saw Bidder 70, about Tim DeChristopher, who spoiled the BLM’s auction of oil and gas fields in Utah a few years ago.

Excellent, thought-provoking movie. I was really struck by how DeChristopher becomes a prophet for the anti-climate-change activists and how they rally around him and create a movement in support of him.

I highly recommend the movie.

Here Comes 2013!

I cannot believe that 2013 is actually here. It seems like just the other day it was 1999 and we were worrying about the Y2K bug. And who has actually typed ‘Y2K bug’ in ten years?!

I already posted the report of my blog stats for 2012, and I was pretty happy with those. Now, here are my goals for 2013. I always have tons of goals for my business and my blog. This year I have ambitious plans for my garden and my writing, too.

I set my shop goals by starting with one overarching goal. Then I  broke that down into 5 manageable, measurable sub-goals, with a monthly target for sales & sales amounts. The over-arching goal is to increase my annual sales by $200-$800. My 5 sub-goals are to:

  1. increase the number of unique visitors to my shop by 1.34%
  2. increase my views to sales conversion rate
  3. increase the number of new visitors by 30%
  4. increase the length of visits to my shop
  5. increase average revenue per sale

I broke these goals down into what I need to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to achieve them, and I created a spreadsheet to track my activities — keep me honest about whether or not I’m on track.

For my blog, I want to blog daily. That has always been my goal, but sometimes life gets in the way, and blogging slips by the wayside. So, I’m reaffirming my commitment to blog daily by participating in WordPress’s PostADay challenge.
I'm part of Post A Day 2013

For my writing, I want to complete the 1st draft of my first book I’m going to try and get published, a poetry chapbook. I think I’m about halfway to having a manuscript of publishable length.

And in the garden, I am ambitiously trying to switch over from 1-season gardening to year-round gardening. I have my seed and supplies orders all mapped out, now I need to place the orders and mark on a calendar all the seed-starting and transplanting dates. I found a mini-greenhouse/cold frame for my deck, I will be installing a mini-hoop tunnel and a cold frame, and using season extenders such as cloches and solar mulch to warm the soil. This is a big step up for me, but it should really improve my family’s diet. I am also planning to grow more flowers for my business, as part of expanding my potpourri offerings.

Wish me luck! 2013 here I come!

Friday Feature: Silver and White

These silver and white gifts are brought to you by the Etsy DTeam.

The DTeam (or DListers) are a group of shops on Etsy with very few sales. We band together for advice and encouragement. We also promote each others’ shops. So spread a little Christmas cheer and shop from a very small business.

‘Silver and White Gifts’ by lizbethsgarden

Fill your Christmas gift list by shopping with the Etsy DTeam! Gorgeous gifts for everyone.

Mother of Pearl Clu…


Custom Boutique Pet…


Star ornament, Silv…




Ceramic Dream Keeps…


Silver Butterfly Ch…


Happy Hands heart p…


1970’s Vintage …


White pearl earring…


Long white scarf fa…


Vintage Studded Whi…


Ivory Peace Sign St…


Printable Wedding I…


Crochet Apple Fruit…


Mosturizing Whipped…


Clearance–Wool Fel…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Friday Feature: Pink, Pink and More Pink from Team Dream

A selection of pink items for a treasury challenge for Team Dream on Etsy. Check out all the lovely pink (and red!) items.

‘Pink, Pink, and More Pink’ by lizbethsgarden

A pink and red treasury for the Week 11 Team Dream Challenge.

PRINT Fine Art Mini…


Girls Fabric Revers…


Dark Pink Stud Earr…


Set of 2 Pay It For…


Swarovski CrystalsW…


Fat Quarter Art Gal…


Birth Month Square …


Sale 10% – Long Gol…


Note Cards, Christm…


Pink and Orange Wir…


Crocheted Necklace …


Five Vintage Decoup…


ACEO Print — Pink …


Baby Girl Mini Albu…


Angel Daily Guidanc…


Pink Bobby Pins, Fl…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Box Tops For Education: A Sneaky Ploy to Sell More Expensive Food

I’ve always seen those box tops on packaged food — you know, the special little dashed line boxes that say ‘Cut here and give to your school for money’. You’re supposed to cut it out and give it to your nearest school and then the school earns money from the manufacturer for things at school. And I always felt all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that the manufacturer cared about kids.

No. That’s not how it works. I no longer feel warm and fuzzy about box tops. In fact, I feel very, very angry. Because it turns out that the kids are made to hold contests to see who can bring in the most box tops and they get prizes, like candy, when they bring in completed sheets of paper filled with box tops. Each sheet has 20 spots for box tops on it. That is an incredible amount of prepared food.

So the kids are saying things like ‘Mommy, buy more of [food we don’t buy] so I can get a prize!’ And of course parents want to make their kids happy, but not by buying food they don’t need or want, because they buy generic brands to save money and cook from scratch to be healthy. It’s all a ploy to get families to buy food they wouldn’t otherwise buy, under the guise of helping kids. It’s disgusting, really.

If you are one of the families that can actually afford to buy name brand foods on a regular basis and/or you live somewhere where the healthy foods on the list are actually sold (which is not the case in my area, for example, we can’t get Green Giant brand fresh produce here) and these box tops don’t cause you angst and anxiety, then I apologize if I have offended you with this rant.

Working Wednesday: Baby Boy Baby Shower Garlands

I have been working on making a lot of tassels to create a garland for decorating baby showers. Here is my blue thread, with some laid out to make tassels, for the baby boy shower decoration. I have a few tassels made, but a long way before a garland is made. I’ll keep you posted as work progresses.

Thread laid out and ready to wrap into tassels

I have also been getting a lot of work done in my garden, with bulbs planted for next year and fall containers planted. I have lots more bulbs to plant, and I was hoping to go outside today, but the wind has picked up, and there are a couple new fires locally, so it’s too windy and smoky to spend much time outside. :(

This is posted in conjunction with the Idaho Etsy Team.

Working Wednesday: Potpourri

Summertime is flower time, and that means it’s potpourri time!

Dried geranium petals and finished potpourri

Dried geranium petals and finished potpourri

In the foreground you can see the geranium petals ready to be removed from the stems and put away to absorb essential oil. In the background is bags of finished potpourri {from left to right: dark red roses, dark red geraniums, pink roses, pink geraniums, and more pink roses}.

This is posted in conjunction with the Idaho Etsy Team. Interested in more? The other Idaho Etsy Team members are linking up over on the team blog.

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