Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New York Times Article

The New York Times has a great article on turning your hobby into your full time job.  I especially liked this quote although I would change the Etsy to Schmancy.  Read it here

Monday, November 30, 2009

Urban Craft Uprising Craft Show this weekend

Urban Craft Uprising's Fifth Annual Winter Show!!!

December 5th & 6th, 2009
11:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. both days
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Be one of the first in the door each day and get a swag bag full of goodies!!

Urban Craft Uprising was started in 2004 to showcase the work of independent crafters, artists and designers - to provide a unique, high quality, hand-crafted alternative to "big box" stores and mass produced goods.

At Urban Craft Uprising's shows, fans can choose from a wide variety of hand-crafted goods including clothing of all types, jewelry, gifts, bags, wallets, buttons, accessories, aprons, children's goods, toys, housewares, paper goods, candles, journals, art, food & much, much more. Each Urban Craft Uprising show is carefully curated and juried to ensure the best mix of crafts and arts along with originality and uniqueness.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Crafting Place in Cap Hill!

I just an email from a Kathy Hargrove a Capitol Hill local and she wanted to let us and our readers know about Metrix Create: Space.

Here is what she had to say:
They have all kinds of tools and a nice place to make things. It's not just for techy people. They also have sewing machines, and after talking to them an embroidery machine soon as well. I hope all kinds of people will use spaces like this and get to know each other and inspire all kinds of projects. My favorite part is that they are open until midnight, which I think could be a huge deal for many people. For instance I work until 7pm and have difficulty meeting other crafters/makers. Many craft groups meet too early for me to make it to them. I think lots of us night owls get a bit left out.

Sounds good to me!

623A Broadway East, Seattle, WA 98102
Metric Create Space

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Learn how to photograph your work

This will be a great class for anyone looking to phototgraph their work. It will teach you the basics and leave out all that extra crazy stuff most people never use!

Friday November 6, from 9 am - 4 pm
Lunch, snacks and coffee included

Graphic designers aren't the only ones who use Photoshop. So do fine artists, as an essential tool for cataloging and promoting their work. In this workshop, designed specifically for fine artists, we'll show you how to:

- Understand different file types so you can ask the photographer shooting your art for the appropriate file

- Make slides and Powerpoint files from Photoshop files

- Change a RAW file into a TIFF, JPG, and thumbnail

- Make the right size and resolution file so it will print properly in postcards and catalogs

- Change the size of images to specific requests from galleries, call for artists, or web sites

- Cropping, retouching, and color adjusting images

- Place two photos together into one image

- Add text to an image

- Add borders to your image and place your image on a canvas

- Change the background color or canvas

- Understanding the basics of color calibration between monitors and printers

- Overview of Giclee prints

- Creating a filing/cataloging system- renaming images, organizing them

Who should take this class?
This workshop is for fine artists and their assistants


You must know the basics of Photoshop. Please contact SVC if you need
to upgrade to Photoshop CS4.

Link to the class: http://www.svcseattle.com/classes/detail/290/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Digital Photography for Etsy Sellers -- Jewelry and Small Objects

To RSVP for this date, please go to:

When: Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Marlo M's Studio
4020 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
206-683-9744 (marlo cell)

Event fee: $30.00 Basic Members / $25.00 Premium Members

RSVP limit: 5 "Yes" RSVPs (3 spots left!)

You can always get in touch with me through the "Contact Organizer" link on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/EtsyRAIN/suggestion/

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sister Assocation in Vancouver

We are excited to announce that we now have a sister association in Vancouver, B.C.!

This is just the start as we hope to get some more firm ideas into place over the next few months about how other cities can set up their own Grassroots Association and be a part of the larger model we have created here. So check back here in the future for more details!

We are happy to introduce the founders of our first sister association our friends and speakers at one of our first events Lauren Bacon & Emira Mears, co-founders of Raised Eyebrow Web Studio, Inc. and co-authors of The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business. They are passionate about what they do and also love celebrating definitions of success that include the stuff money can’t buy.

If you live in Vancouver go check out their events up there!
Grassroots Business Association Vancouver

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Creating Conscious Businesses Free Event

Can entrepreneurs and business professionals commit themselves to socially responsible values and ethics while building profitable businesses? Jeff Klein, author of a new book called Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living (Sounds True, September 2009) answers “yes” to that question, presenting a free interactive reading and workshop at East West Books on September 17. He will draw on the content from his how-to guidebook for becoming a conscious entrepreneur—one who addresses social issues while running a profitable business based on integrity and self-actualization.

Working for Good is a way of showing up for work, regardless of the organization’s structure or the products and services it produces. It is a philosophy, a way of conducting business and approaching work that orients readers on a path of personal growth, development, and service.

By cultivating the essential skills of Working for Good readers and participants will learn to unleash passion, shared purpose, great energy and deep engagement for themselves and the stakeholders in their business. Working for Good uses stories of successful conscious businesses to show that the approach does work. Participants and readers will learn how bring out the best in themselves and in others, increasing creativity, productivity, and sustainability.

WHEN: Thursday, September 17, 2009, 7:00 – 8:30pm

: East West Bookshop, 6500 Roosevelt Way, NE, Seattle

WHAT: A Journey into Working for Good, Making a Difference While Making a Living with Author Jeff Klein


More info

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small Business Owner Panel Discussion

When: September 16, 2009 7:00 PM

Richard Hugo House
1634 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Thinking of opening up a small business? Already have one and looking to expand? Want to be in the papers? Magazines? Don't know how to start your brick and mortar? Find out from some pros. We will have a small panel discussion with a variety of small business owners. The panel will include the owners of Vain, Yellow Leaf Cupcakes and Immortal Dog.

Owner of Immortal Dog, Nicole Bembry incorporated her passion for both pets and baking. After losing her job in corporate America she decided to follow her dreams and opened Immortal Dog pet supply and bakery. They specialize in pet nutrition - helping your pet live their best life. They also have all the toys, chews, treats, supplements, grooming products and other goodies you need for your canine and feline friends. Make sure you check out their biscuit bar - her fresh baked biscuits are sure to please the most discriminating pup.

Victoria Thomas Gentry is the owner and styledriver of VAIN, a hair salon, boutique, art gallery, and community space with locations in downtown Seattle and Ballard. After moving West from New York, Victoria opened VAIN in 1996 to foster the expression of personal style and a DIY philosophy. She is proud to be a champion of small businesses, the arts community, and self-expression everywhere.

In May 2009 The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company opens its doors for the first time in Seattle, Washington. With a passion for baking and a labor of love the Yellow Leaf came to be. The story is short and sweet, do what makes you happy and life will be good! Owners Tony and Mike traveled America sampling many amazing and delicious cupcakes and baked goods. From Seattle to New York and many stops in between the two decided it was time to turn the dream (and passion) into a reality.

They have been given specific questions that we felt pertained to their success and specific niche and then there will be plenty of time for questions from the audience.

*This is a free event but we will be taking contributions to help pay for the space and to keep Grassroots going. Please bring a few dollars to help.

Sign up to attend:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Urban Craft Uprising Winter Applications Online

Thinking about doing a craft show in Seattle?

Check out Urban Craft Uprising they are at the forefront of the DIY art,craft and design scene!

Application Deadline is: Monday, Sept 14th.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Need some inspiration?

Here are two blogs I follow that offer really helpful small business advice. These blogs are fun and each post focuses on a particular aspect of small business which I enjoy as sometimes those web sites that have a millions links just overwhelms me!

Go get inspired!

Think Bakery

Modish Biz Tips

Monday, August 10, 2009

Creating Loyal Customers with Social Media Marketing

When: Wednesday, August 19th at 7:00 pm

Where: Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Marketing a business can be more challenging than ever due to the wide array of ways to engage with your customers online. Today, search engines and YouTube have more to do with managing your organization’s reputation than traditional media. The way consumers learn about products has changed. They don’t just watch commercials. They explore, learn and redistribute information. Understanding how this phenomenon works can help you amplify your brand online and extend your reach in today’s video-fueled, instantly blogged, and hyper-networked world.

Cal McAllister and Brian Marr of Wexley School for Girls, a Seattle-based advertising agency, will take you through the basics of corporate blogging, social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) and micro blogging tools (Twitter) through engaging case studies from the industry. McAllister and Marr will showcase how companies are using this medium successfully and share some common missteps many people make as they engage.

If you want to know where social media is headed and understand how to better prepare yourself or your business to get engaged, don’t miss out on this very informative evening.

This is a free event but we will be taking contributions to help pay for the space.

We hope to see you there!

Reserved spots are required sign up here

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A podcast for crafters

There are days here at work when I just can't listen to my same cds again so I turn to interesting podcasts and I just found a brilliant one!

Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood has such a natural way with her guest and gets beyond just the skills and tools needed for crafting she chats with her guests about how they make time in their life for craft, how they use craft in their profession, their challenges and success. I highly recommend a listen as it is really inspiring to hear from others and it gets your crafting juices going!

Oh and you can subscribe to her podcast on Itunes too!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ice Cream Social

What: Ice Cream Social

When: July 15, 2009 7:00 PM

Where: Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98144

If you haven't heard about Grassroots Business Association yet, here's the skinny. A few friends whom are small business owners got together in need of support and solidarity in these economic times. We formed our group as a way to help give other small business owners support and education in a laid back environment. Today we have over 130 members and continue to grow daily.

For all of us, attending our monthly meetings has not only given us perspective and motivation for our own businesses but it has helped lot's of people who are just starting out. With topics ranging from How to Approach Businesses to How to Get Press, Grassroots has been able to provide education to us all. And so far all these events have been FREE.

One downside for a lot of small businesses is isolation. If you work out of your own home or only talk to other people when a customer walks through your door, things can get a little boring. Grassroots has also been able to provide social hours with like minded people. Which brings us to our first major social event, an ice cream social sponsored by our friends at Molly Moon's. Join us on July 15th at Vermillion from 7-9 for free ice cream (while supplies last) and socialize with your fellow small business owners. Food and drinks are available at the bar.

We hope to see you there!

Learn more here:
Grassroots Meetup Site

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Craft Opportunity for Artists

It's the first-ever Chinatown ID Art Walk!
You can participate by setting up a table for FREE!

Sat July 18 (and 3rd Saturdays Aug 15 and Sept 19)
5 - 8 p.m. Free!

If iterested contact:
Fen Hsiao
SCIDpda Director of Fund Development
(206) 838-8240

Visit indoor and outdoor venues featuring work by local artists, performances, music, cheap eats, movies in the park, and more. Maps will be available at starting point Theatre Off Jackson and all participating venues.

Participating Venues:

Theatre Off Jackson

Canoe Social Club

Wing Luke Asian Museum

Danny Woo Garden

KOBO Gallery at Higo


Deng's Studio and Art Gallery

New Gallery Century Tea

Former Uwajimaya building

Panama Tea House

Sun May

West Kong Yick building in Canton Alley

Hing Hay Park

666, 668, 672, and 676 Jackson St.

New Central Bldg, 608 Maynard Ave S.

Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area Office

Restaurants featuring Art Walk Specials for $5 and under!

Fortuna Café

Henry's Bento

J Sushi

Kau Kau BBQ

Pacific Café - Hong Kong Kitchen

Phnom Penh

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seeking a blog instructor

We are looking for an instructor to teach a series of blogging classes.

We have had a lot of interest in a basic 101 blog class in a computer classroom environment. This would be limited to about 15 students who would sit at a computer and get set up on a blog. This is for folks who know NOTHING about blogs. So very basic set up and get going sort of event.

We had also thought that this could be focused on either a wordpress or blogger format. We'd prefer if one was chosen to keep it simple for folks.

Then we had interest in a second course that would focus more on how to increase your visibility, make your posts more of a draw. This would be for folks who have a blog are listing regularly but want tips and insight into how to make their blog more successful. This would also be in a computer classrooms and it would help if you had knowledge of various platforms.

Both of these could be paid courses - we can discuss your fee along with computer lab fees in order to figure out a student registration fee.

If interested please email: info@bluebottleart.com with a note about your qualifications and availability.

Thanks! Andrea Porter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Deborah Asavarahapun, an organizing member of GBA, has just announced her summer schedule. Looks like a good way to get yourself organized!!

Accounting for Small Business, Inc.


To review schedule, fees, and to register go to:

Starting a Small Business
Instructor – Deborah Asavarahapun, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor

Thinking about starting your own business? Come get your questions answered. What entity type should you be? Do you really need help setting it up? Do I need a license? How do I get setup? How much capital should I have? What do I need to keep track of? How should I keep track? How do I do my taxes? These are just a few of the questions facing the potential entrepreneur.

Setting Up Your Business Entity
Instructor – Deborah Asavarahapun, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor with Noura Yunker, Attorney at Law

Pre-requisite 98 Starting a Small Business or similar knowledge. Now you know you want to be your own boss, come file all the necessary license applications and forms. At the end of the workshop you will be a business owner.

Intro to QuickBooks
Instructor – Deborah Asavarahapun, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor

Course designed for participants with no QuickBooks experience. This hands on course will cover downloading the free version of QuickBooks Simple Start and creating a data file, working with lists, transactions, reports, file protection, comparison of the different QuickBooks versions and an overview of basic business bookkeeping. Bring a memory stick if you would like to take the data file with you to work with.

QuickBooks Beginning User – 3 sessions
Instructor – Deborah Asavarahapun, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor

Course designed for participants with some experience using QuickBooks but are not yet comfortable with the basic functions. This hands on course will cover, but is not limited to: data protection/backup/restore, working with lists and reports, creating transactions, customizing preferences, memorized transactions.

Excel Tips & Tools
Instructor – Jennifer Clark, QuickBooks Pro Advisor

Participants should be comfortable working with the standard functions at a high beginner/intermediate level. Class will cover shortcuts, formulas used in bookkeeping, merging text, linked sheets, introduction to pivot tables, working with exported QuickBooks report data.

QuickBooks Inventory
Instructor – Deborah Asavarahapun, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor

Pre-requisite 110 QuickBooks Beginning User or similar experience. Participants will create items, work with purchase orders, item receipts, vendor bills and payments, inventory adjustments and reports, overview of working with consignment inventory.

QuickBooks Users Workshop

Deborah Asavarahapun, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor, will be on hand to help you resolve your bookkeeping problems. Bring your QuickBooks data file on a memory stick or bring your laptop and your documents and get your questions answered while you get your work done. Drop-ins are welcome but space is limited.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Credit Card Processing

We are all looking at our budget these days and trying to figure out if we can cut costs anywhere. It seems there is not a lot of ways to trim the fat but one item that a lot of us don’t think too much about is credit card processing. Accepting credit cards is one of those necessary evils in business but it can cost a small business several hundred dollars every month. After spending quite a few days talking to sales folks and reviewing numerous bids I thought not only could I save some monkey but I could also help out other small business owners with what I learned.

Obviously, I do not claim to be an expert but here are some things I learned over the last few days.

The big thing is rates - how much will each transaction cost you.

There are a few systems out there but I would strongly suggest going with the INTERCHANGE SYSTEM. This system is the most transparent and is the most easily deciphered.

As we all know there are lots of different types of cards out there: debit, reward cards, corporate cards, etc. Each of these cards has a different interchange rate and transaction fee associated with it set by the credit card company. The processors can not change these rates. Processors can only add to these base rates in order to create their profit.

You will often get a different quote for credit cards verse debit cards. For credit cards you will see both an interchange rate and a flat transaction fee. For debit cards you may see either an interchange rate with a transaction fee or just one higher flat transaction fee.

Credit Cards
Interchange Rate:

The quote you are given is the amount ABOVE the fees charged by the credit card processors. This rate is set as a percentage of the sales price. It can obviously range widely. An interchange fee between .20% - .30% of sale price is a good quote.

Transaction Fee:
The quote you are given is the amount ABOVE the fees charged by the credit card processors. This rate is set as a flat transaction fee per sale. It can obviously range widely. A transaction fee between $.11 - .$18. per sale is a good quote.

Visa Credit Card Transaction:
(interchange) 1.43% + (transaction)$.05
(This fee can not be changed it is set by the credit card company)

Credit Card Processor:
(interchange).20% + (transaction)$.11
(This is where rates can vary depending on your quote)

Total Charge per sale
1.63% of sale + $.16 transaction fee

Pin Based Debit Cards
(The customer types in their number themselves)

Interchange Rate:
The quote you are given is the amount ABOVE the fees charged by the credit card processors. This rate is set as a percentage of the sales price. This is typically set at the base rate of the credit card company.

Transaction Fee:
If you have a interchange associated with a debit quote it will also have a flat transaction fee associated with it. A good quote is around $.10 per transaction.

Flat Transaction Fee:
For debit cards you may be given a quote of just a flat fee per transaction with no interchange rate included. It will obviously be higher. A flat fee of around $.32 is a good quote.

Example: Debit with Interchange and Transaction Fee:
Visa Debit Transaction
(interchange) .62% + (transaction) $.13
(This fee can not be changed it is set by the credit card company)

Credit Card Processor
(transaction fee) $.10

Total Charge per sale
.62% of sale price + $.23 transaction fee

Example: Debit with Flat Fee
$.32 of any sale

Other than rates things you should keep in mind

Asking the below questions will often get you better rates as the sales person will know you are serious. I reviewed a general quote on a companies web site and then called for a specific quote. It was amazing but most of the items I asked questions about the sales person either cut the cost in half or eliminate the cost all together.

What are your set up fees?
Many companies offer free set up. I did get quotes from several companies asking around $150.00. If they want your business you should not have to pay a set up fee.

I own our credit card processing machine so I can not give too much advice on buying machines but beware of free machine offers. If you do have a machine ask if they can reprogram it and what the charge is? This was typically offered as a free service with over the phone free reprogramming instructions.

How long is your contract?
This can range from 24 - 48 months but many companies offer month to month contracts. The month to month contract is the way to go as if you don’t like the company you can easily leave. The company has more incentive to earn and keep your business. Also who knows what life will bring your way and why add a contract to the mix. Often a contract is in place so they can charge a termination fee if you leave early.

What are your termination fees?
This fee can be big! Several companies quoted me between $500 - $600 to end a contract early. This industry is very competitive and not being able to leave will limit your ability to get better rates or as I mentioned above is just another bill to pay if you want to close up shop. I talked to several companies that offer no termination fees.

If looking to leave your current company and you have a contract see when you need to cancel and how to do so without a termination fee. I needed to write a letter and mail to the closing department. This is a clear way companies try to make it difficult and inconvenient to cancel your service. My most recent provider only gave me a month window to cancel and would renew my contract annually with the same termination fees associated.

Several companies told me that if I was in a contract they could absorb the termination fees of my current provider. You may want to inquire about this possibility but definitely get it in writing if they agree to this term.

Do you have a fee for paper supplies?
Some companies offer free paper others will say yes they have a free paper program if you sign up for their “merchant club”. A merchant club is basically you paying for paper! It can range from $5.00 - $15.00 a month. Some do offer actual free paper programs just be sure to ask if it is associated with any sort of program or fee.

Do you have a fee for statements?
This ranges from $4.00 - $12.00 a month. Also be sure to ask if they have separate statements for credit vs. debit. My recent provider charged me two statement fee. That adds up fast!

Do you have a fee to batch out sales at the end of the day?

At the end of the day your credit card machine totals your sales and processes them to your provider which in turn gets it to your bank. This charge can be anywhere from free to $.20 a day. Personally, I think it should be free - it is what they do!

Do you detail each and every fee I'm responsible for in writing?
This is a good question to ask or to be even more clear ask for a sample statement and you can ask about each line item as a lot of processors will add line items like: Account Adjustment, Assessment Fee or Standard Fee. These all basically mean nothing they are a way to get to more money out of you. You may be able to find them in a contract maybe not.

How long does it take to process transaction to my bank account?
This should take from 24 - 48 hours no more, except American Express which is 3 days.

What kind of customer service do you provide?
I want 24 hour phone service and it is also nice to know if there are any local technicians if you need someone on site to repair your machine.

Other tips:
Be sure your quote matches the actual contract.

Check www.bbb.org and see what rating the company has. I am going with one with a AAA rating. No rating is bad as these companies are what the better business bureau is all about as the industry is very competitive and confusing for the buyer.

Be sure you are not running two card processors at the same time. Try to time it so one starts as the other finishes. Once you sign up with a new company the will start you immediately.

www.buyerzone offers one form which is sent out to get you several quotes. Beware the phone calls will start within the hour!

The two companies below use the interchange model. As I have not started with either yet I can’t technically recommend them but I got a good “vibe” from them.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Small and Special

Here is an grewat event for anyone thinking or already has their own small business and is looking for some ispiration!

Here a bit from thhe site....Small & Special is an afternoon event where you can hear a series of talks from the passionate founders of successful small businesses. Come ready to ask them good questions, learn something that may help you start your own business, meet people who share your dream, and be inspired.

June 30th, 2009 in Seattle - Georgetown
Small and Special

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Defining Business Success on Your Own Terms

We all think know what success looks like: wealth, happiness, perhaps a measure of fame... But creative entrepreneurs are redefining success to include other factors: time to care for ourselves and our loved ones; contributing to our communities; work that nourishes our creative instincts and fuels our passion.

When you consciously create your own personal definition of success, you breathe new life into your work. Why not explore what success looks like for you? Learn how to bring your values into the workplace, and hear stories of inspiring women who are reshaping the business world, blending entrepreneurial savvy with genuine heart and soul.

Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears co-founded Raised Eyebrow Web Studio, Inc. in February 2000, and at that time couldn't imagine calling themselves the bosses of anyone. They now lead a team of five, and have developed a reputation for designing elegant and user-friendly websites for nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Their book, The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business, is the business book they wish they’d had.

To find out more about this meetup and to RSVP please visit here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A New blog about Seattle indie venues

Kristen, Megan and Andrea, a few of the organizers behind Grassroots Business Association, recently started a blog about indie venues we like in Seattle. So if you are opening a new place let us know about it and we'll come visit. We love getting first peek and you get exposure for your new venue. We aren't opposed to checking out venues that have been around for awhile either. So promote yourself or your friends today and send us your recommendations!!

Monkey Around Seattle

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The 3/50 project

Think about which three independently owned stores you'd miss most if they were gone. Stop in and say hello. Pick up a little something that will make someone smile. Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around.

If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,7000,000 in revenues. Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 of employed Americans did that.

For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68.00 of it returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

the 3/50 project is encouraging people to pick 3 independent stores each month and spend $50 total to help save your local community.

The site is great for those of us who own independent brick & mortar venues as you can download flyers, banners, and other promotional stuff to get customers thinking about the impact of buying locally!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Craft Show Help

Looking for some help on getting into or ready for craft shows this summer?

What: Craft Show Vending A - Z

When: May 20, 2009 7:00 PM

Where: Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98144

A fresh, comprehensive guide to contemporary craft shows. With "Why vend?" as our starting point, we will take you through all aspects of the process, including finding and assessing potential shows, best practice for applying, display techniques, show time survival and more.

Moxie is an artist with years of experience selling her work in large and small venues along the west coast. With obsessive attention to organizing and a rare talent for interpersonal communication, Moxie is also the President and Director of Vendor Relations for Urban Craft Uprising, Seattle's largest indie craft show, now in its 5th year.
Made By Moxie

Kristen Rask sold her first piece of craft at 5th grade summer camp and she hasn't stopped since. With her vast experience as both a craft show seller and an organizer, Kristen's passion for all aspects of the craft world only gets bigger. She is the owner of Schmancy, Director of Public Relations and Marketing of Urban Craft Uprising, and is co-creator of Grassroots Business Association.
Schmancy Toys

Learn more here:
Grassroots Meetup Site

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Free image editing program

So photoshop is a lot of money but luckily I have just heard of a new program that you can use for FREE!! I have not used the program but thought I'd pass it along just in case folks are looking for some editiing tools.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Etsy 101 Notes

Here are the notes that were passed out at the Etsy 101 event that was held on Wed. April 15th.

About Etsy.com - from www.etsy.com/about.php
What is Etsy? Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.
Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.

Etsy Facts:
Etsy was founded by Rob, Chris, Haim and Jared in 2005.
Since its launch in June 2005, over 100,000 sellers from around the world have opened up Etsy shops.

Helpful links on Etsy.com:
A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Shop on Etsy

How-to Network Offline: Increase Online Sales in Five Easy Steps

Shop Makeover Series: Pimp Your Shop for 2009

The Etsy Seller Handbook: All Our How-Tos about Selling

Helpful Etsy Forum Posts:
The Ultimate Newbie Guide - 1 year anniversary edition

NEWBIES ~ Here’s a few Etsy tips for you

Newbies. Here's why you're not selling yet.

Get the sales, publicily and front page treasury feature you want *PART IV*

A great resources for links and information about Etsy:

Etsy Seattle Street Team – EtsyRAIN: www.EtsyRAIN.com (our team site – soon to be updated!) www.meetup.com/EtsyRAIN (Free to join! Please read our home page for membership requirements)

To find more information written about starting / improving your Etsy shop, do a Google.com search for “start an Etsy shop” and/or “improve an Etsy shop”

A Few other great websites and blogs for the creative community:


Other e-commerce sites like Etsy worth checking out (in no particular order):
Lov.li Trunkt.org

Shopping Carts and other payment processing worth considering for your own websites:
PayPal.com Shopify.com

GBA Etsy101 Panel of Etsy Sellers:

Meet Cory Smith of SweetPetula.etsy.com
Q: Tell us more about you and your work (from SweetPetula.etsy.com):
At Sweet Petula, our company mantra is "simple luxuries for bath & body" - and for us that means creating products that are simple and effective, but also inspired and indulgent. Little luxuries no one should do without.

Each product is uniquely formulated based on nature's pharmacy combining vegetable oils, herbal ingredients, pure Aromatherapy essential oils and botanical extracts. Turning your everyday bathing and skincare rituals into a spa-like experience that nurture the body, mind & spirit.

Our company began in 1995 selling at farmers markets and craft fairs and has grown by leaps & bounds since then. We now have our own retail store located in Seattle, Washington where we sell our entire collection as well as other little luxuries. Our shop is located in Seattle's Pioneer Square District (208 S. Jackson Street).

Q: Do you have websites / blogs off-Etsy?
www.sweetpetula.blogspot.com, www.sweetpetula.com, www.goodcleandog.com

Q: How about your favorite online marketing websites?
: www.twitter.com/sweetpetula and www.constantcontact.com (for direct email marketing)

Q: What are your top 3 pieces of advice to the beginning Etsy seller?• Do what you love & are passionate about.
• Don’t compare yourself or compete with others...be you.
• If you want to be successful on Etsy, think of it as a part time job and act accordingly

Q: What are your top 3 mistakes to avoid as an Etsy seller?• Do not under price your work
• Act graciously in the forums at all times. If you don't have anything nice to say...don't say it at all. Your comments are read by a lot of people and are permanent.
• Don’t spend all your time "hard selling" & promotion. Get to know people. Be interesting & interested. The best part about Etsy is the community.

Q: What is your #1 "Thing I Learned the Hard Way" on Etsy?

Under pricing my shipping. Do your research or learn the hard way! I also avoid the Automatic Shipping Station at the post office branches. About 2% of my packages shipped from there "disappear".

Meet Jonah Dixon of Maluhia.etsy.com
Q: Tell us more about you and your work
A: I started Maluhia Designs on Etsy in October of 2005 selling handbags. I came across the name Maluhia (peacefulness) from my hula class and before Etsy I was busy dancing hula and was sewing Hawaiian/Polynesian costumes and accessories for 12 years. In early 2007, while recuperating from a knee injury I discovered and fell in love with Japanese Kawaii fabrics. I have since moved away from Hawaiian themed materials and have focused on using Japanese fabrics for my products because I love looking at the smiling faces of customers when they see the fabrics.
My fabric/supply store came about because I was running out of room in the sewing room. I don't purchase materials that I think customers will like, I buy materials that I love. Passion for what I do keeps me going and that my husband believes I can do it! Can't is not a word in his vocabulary.

Q. Do you have other websites off-Etsy?
www.jonahdixon.com, www.flickr.com/photos/maluhia, www.maluhia22.blogspot.com

Q. How about your favorite online marketing sites?

www.twitter.com/maluhiadesigns, www.etsyrain.com

Q: What are your top 3 pieces of advice to the beginning Etsy seller?

• Update often!
• Have clear & well lit photos.
• Don't give up just because you haven't sold anything in a week, a month or 2 months!

Q: What are your top 3 mistakes to avoid as an Etsy seller?
• Copying somebody else's pictures and descriptions.
• Pricing your items really low to compete with somebody else's prices.
• Make your items unique -- quality before quantity!

Q: What is your #1 "Thing I Learned the Hard Way" on Etsy?

Waiting until an item expires before relisting. It's only 20 cents so list often.

Meet Chuck Domitrovich – DowntotheWireDesigns.etsy.com

Q: Tell us more about you and your work:
A: I began making jewelry back in 1988, when I was a student at the University of Washington. From the beginning, I really fell in love with the medium. I liked the intimacy of the scale; I liked the tools and techniques and working with metal.
I am very inspired by African and Pacific Island jewelry. I like the roughness and textures of a thing made by hand, often from scavenged and found components. The spirit of conservation found in the work from these regions-- the use of bones, teeth, shells, and other discarded bits-- amazes me. I try to come up with my own unique interpretations of these styles without co-opting them. My wrapped earrings are one example of this approach, while my spiral series is another.
My work has changed a great deal over the years. What has remained constant is my love of making jewelry and working with metal, as well as my respect for the process of creating a thing by hand. I take great pride in the fact that I have never used mass-produced findings in my work. I have always made my own ear wires and clasps and do not anticipate ever changing that. I also continue to enjoy the creative challenge of coming up with new ideas and of solving new problems.

Q: Where can we find your work?
A: My work can be found in three galleries here in Seattle: La Tienda, Crackerjack, and Frank & Dunya. I also post photos of some of my older work and more upscale work—pieces not available on Etsy—on my blog (http://downtothewiredesigns.blogspot.com/) and on my Flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/photos/downtothewiredesigns/). I have one ring in the Lark Books 1000 Rings book and some collaborative work in Lark’s 500 Pendants and Lockets and The Art of Jewelry: Polymer Clay. There are more collaborative pieces in Schiffer’s Art Jewelry Today as well as in both the 2006 and 2007 September issues of Art Jewelry magazine. I have another collaborative piece in the permanent collection of the Tacoma Art Museum.

Q: What do you do to market off-Etsy?
A: As for marketing off of Etsy, I don’t do much of that as of yet though I am looking to do more. I have taken some initial marketing steps by buying an ad in Bust magazine that will be in both their June/July and August/September issues. I have participated in collective online advertising efforts through the EtsyMetal street team, but have not had much success with that.
I have recently been trying to use the Google analytics to my advantage but have only just started so I do not have much data to look at. This is definitely on my priority list though.

Q: What are your top 3 pieces of advice to the beginning Etsy seller?
A: First and most importantly, make sure your work is unique and well-made. The more basic your skill level, the more people you are competing with. If you can hone your skills by taking classes or workshops, do it. If you can make your work more interesting by mixing in a new skill, do that too—for instance if you are a jeweler adding glass-working skills to your repertoire can make your work stand out from all the other many jewelers on the site

Second, too many people have sold only to friends, relatives, and coworkers and do not have a realistic sense of how strong their work really is. Before Etsy most sellers had to work with brick and mortar shops and that is an excellent way to get honest feedback on your work. Most of these places have limited display space and so have to pick and choose based on what their experience tells them will sell. If they think they can make money from having your work in their store, they will take it; if they do not, they will turn it down. I would encourage everybody to have a few wholesale accounts in addition to their Etsy shop because this will help with pricing as well as giving them a good idea of what level of business they can expect. An experienced shop owner will have seen a wide variety of goods and will have a good idea of what will sell and what will not.

Third, customer service is very important. People who buy directly from artists often want a more personal experience than they can get from a store. They want to know who you are, how you got started, what inspires you. If they email you and get only a curt, quick response, you are doing your own work a disservice. If they order from you and you do not at least hand write “Thank you” on their receipt, you have just made their buying experience far less special.

Q: What are your top 3 mistakes to avoid as an Etsy seller?
A: The first mistake that I see a lot of people make is to not take their business seriously. This is often reflected either in their pricing (too low) or in the general appearance of their shop. Each Etsy seller’s shop should be thought of in much the same way as a brick and mortar shop. You need to adequately display your work—with good photos and a good presentation within each item listing. Spend time with your camera until you figure out how to get good photos. Without good photos you cannot get sales. You get up to five photos for each listing and you should use as many of those as you can without being redundant. Show your work from different angles, position it differently, and show close-ups of certain features. Your item description should not only give basic physical specifications of your work, it should also be an attempt to sell the work. Think of your description as the text in a commercial. The features that Etsy provides for each shop are there for your benefit. Your banner should grab people’s attention; your avatar should represent you. It is great that you love your baby, your dog, or your cat, but using a photo of any of these as your avatar is a sure way to blend into the crowd. Your profile is a good way to tell people a little about yourself and what inspires you. I have seen too many shops with information left out and with uninspiring banners and avatars.

Second, and this happens all the time, don’t list everything you are going to sell all at once on the first day you join. Etsy can be a great sales venue but it is not a place where “if you build it, they will come.” You need to spread out your listings when you first open your shop to take advantage of the wider window of front page and search feature exposure that listing affords you. The point is not to have a nice full store but for people to be able to find that store so they can buy from you.

The third one that I see a lot is people dropping their prices down to nothing just to get a sale. If you condition people that your work is not worth much than that is how your work will be seen. You do not want to compete on price if you can help it. A better approach is to compete on the quality of your work and of the service that you provide. You can’t control anyone else’s prices, only your own. Price your work so that you can make a fair living by selling it and then do whatever you can to prove that your work is well worth the price you are asking.

Q: What is your #1 "Thing I Learned the Hard Way" on Etsy?
A: The internet is not a static thing. I had some great initial success on Etsy and in that way was quite fortunate. As Etsy grew and as the internet changed I kept using the same approaches and tried to coast with what had worked for me before. That is just not possible. A lot of people are now promoting off the site and I am starting to take that approach myself. As an example of how fast the internet changes, when I started on Etsy Twitter may not have even existed—now a lot of people use it as one of their main tools for promoting their shop.

But apart from using the tools that are out there I think you also have to be creative. There are a lot of ways of drawing attention to your shop that have nothing to do with blogs, Facebook, or Twitter. For instance, Etsy has a blog and needs content for that blog. While you cannot just write an article about your work, you can suggest they run an article on any number of subjects of interest to the overall Etsy community. When you do that, your shop will get added exposure. Another way to draw attention to your work is to make pieces that can be used on Etsy’s front page for events that you know are coming up—these can be holidays, elections, anything noteworthy and in the news can be a topic for the front page. There are no guarantees that your work will be selected buy you are increasing your odds by thinking and working in a more conscious manner like this.

Meet Marlo Miyashiro of IMakeCuteStuff.etsy.com
Q: Tell us more about you and your work
A: My "day job" is designing and creating my own line of sterling silver jewelry: www.MarloM.com
I've been in business - mostly full-time - since 1993 (wow. I can hardly believe it's been that long) and have done everything from home shows, retail shows and lots and lots of wholesale trade shows.

All told, I own and operate 5 different businesses of my own and volunteer my time toward organizing EtsyRAIN (the Seattle Etsy Street Team). Business #1: MarloM.com (my jewelry line), Business #2: Tote2Go.com (a line of accessories made exclusively with repurposed fabrics), Business #3: CreativeArtsConsulting.com (where I coach and mentor emerging artists through my consulting services), Business #4: Marlo M. Jewelry Studio (private beginning jewelry classes) and new Business #5: Small Object Photography Classes. Information on my classes can be found at: http://moourl.com/MarloMClasses

I’ve been the organizer for the Seattle Metro Etsy Street Team – EtsyRAIN since 2007. I’m proud to say that we have over 580 members on our meetup membership list and that number grows larger every day! It is an amazingly supportive community of creative people that I enjoy offering my time to. It’s just my way of giving back to the creative community that I’ve gotten so much support from over the years!

Q. Do you have other websites on Etsy or off-Etsy?
My other Etsy shops: MarloM.etsy.com (a select collection of my hand fabricated jewelry)
Tote2Go.etsy.com (reusable recycled fabric grocery totes and other tote bags)
Websites off-Etsy: MarloM.com (my “day job”)
http://www.teachstreet.com/teacher/marlo-m (all the info on my classes, consulting and other lessons)
IMakeCuteStuff.com (my personal blog)

Q. How about your favorite online marketing sites?
For all things Etsy, I highly recommend taking some time to read through all of the sections on Etsy’s blog: TheStorque.com. There is an amazing amount of information there…about and Etsy and SO much more!

Q: What are your top 3 pieces of advice to the beginning Etsy seller?• Know your market – Do a LOT of research not only in your category, but in other categories as well.
• Learn how to run a small business – Even if your Etsy shop is just a “hobby”, you should know the basic principles of running a small business so you are sure that you’re not losing money with every sale.
• Learn the principles of pricing work fairly – SO many Etsy sellers are selling themselves, and in turn their whole industry, short by selling their work at wholesale or below wholesale prices! Be fair to yourself and to those in your field by pricing appropriately and trusting that the customers are there.

Q: What are your top 3 mistakes to avoid as an Etsy seller?• Bad photos – So many Etsy shops are filled with wonderful things that are represented by horrific photos! Your photos are the face of your shop. Either learn how to take good ones or hire someone who can.
• Snarky-ness on the forums – Remember that the other sellers on Etsy are people just like you. Every post on the forums and every blog about your experience will come back to you, so be sure you won’t mind when they do.
• Keeping your success to yourself – There is a rich community of artists and craft makers in Seattle…it’s worth the effort to find them! EtsyRAIN is an incredible resource, but there are also great groups of crafters, knitters and entrepreneurs that have amazing groups as well! Check out Meetup.com for info on many of them.

Q: What is your #1 "Thing I Learned the Hard Way" on Etsy?
Photos are key. Case in point: I had a really bland photo of some of my Secret Promise Rings in my imakecutestuff.etsy.com shop. I kept meaning to take new photos but was very lazy about it. About a year later, I finally get the motivation to take new photos. After almost two years of obscurity, my rings made it to the Etsy Front Page twice in a week! Seriously. Learn how to take great photos and you’ll get SO much further on Etsy.

What is an Etsy “Street Team”?
Etsy Teams are groups of organized Etsy members who network, share skills, and promote their shops and Etsy together. A Team forms around a shared location, crafting medium, or another interest. Etsy's 450+ Teams make us not just a marketplace of individuals, but an interconnected and diverse artistic community. Teams are Etsy’s biggest and most creative grassroots engine for support, networking and marketing – for each team member’s shop, for the Teams themselves, and for Etsy as a whole.

What is EtsyRAIN?
EtsyRAIN is Etsy’s official Seattle Metro Street Team. We were founded in the summer of 2007 and have grown to over 580 members in the last year and a half! EtsyRAIN provides our members with access to our members-only EtsyRAIN meetup group – www.meetup.com/EtsyRAIN where we have a very active message board, an up-to-date event calendar, creative challenges, social events and workshops as well as a full calendar of social events, crafts shows and workshops of all kinds. EtsyRAIN is truly a fantastic resource for all local Etsy sellers!
Requirements to join: You must live and/or work in the “Seattle-Metro Area” – which loosely translates to basically anywhere in Western WA (we have members as far north as Port Townsend and as far south as Olympia!), have an Etsy shop or have an interest in having an Etsy shop in the near future. Basic membership is *free* and our “Premium” memberships are just $20 a year which offers exclusive extras such as features on our team website, co-op advertising opportunities, advance notices for special events and much more!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Creative Arts Consulting

Are you look for some one on one help to get your business stated? Marlo M. who lead our Etsy 101 class last Wednesday also runs Creative Arts Consulting. Sometimes it is really helpful to talk to someone who is independent from you and your business to get a fresh look at how you can strengthen your business.

Here is a bit from her site:

Marlo M. of CreativeArtsConsulting.com specializes in guiding creative business owners through the challenges of running a successful business while offering a unique level of caring, nurturing and support that encourages growth on all levels.

Contact me today and I'll help you start, run and/or grow your creative product-based business with the knowledge of 20+ years of experience in the Retail (selling product to the end consumer) and Wholesale (selling products at wholesale prices to stores, galleries and catalogs nationwide and abroad) Gift Industries.

+ Are you starting a creative, art-based business?
+ Do you need someone to discuss your new ideas with?
+ Would you like feedback that will help your business grow?
+ Are you looking for advice about which direction to take your business?
+ Maybe you're thinking of adding new products or changing your look?
+ Do you need help with your pricing structure?
+ Do you need ideas on streamlining your production process?
+ Are your sales are sluggish?
+ Would you like to figure out how to rejuvenate your sales?
+ Need practical advice beyond what your friends and family can provide?
+ How about some help opening your Etsy shop?

Rate and contact details can be seen on her site:

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I am still getting into Facebook and trying to figure out if I am doing things right, how much I should be doing, am I being annoying, am I being effective. I just read an article on Social Bees facebook page that was quite helpful. Socialbees is a Facebook approved provider of Business Pages & Social Ads. The company was founded in November, 2008 by Hazel Grace Dircksen. I saw her speak at the CraveShop Symposium and she definately knows Facebook. If looking for help she has some great articles or if looking for even more she provides fee based services. Facebook is really new but she felt that a regular web site might not even be neccessary if you really rocked out your Facebook page.

Social Bees

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Etsy 101

Want to try out Etsy but you don't know where to begin? Have an Etsy shop that is not as profitable as you would like? Want to know more about how to get involved with fellow Seattle Etsy members on Etsy Rain? Want to know about other online services that might work for you?

EtsyRAIN.com's organizer, Seattle artist Marlo Miyashiro, is presenting an introduction to online sales venues such as Etsy.com, including information on the benefits of being a member of EtsyRAIN and will lead a discussion panel with 3 local entrepreneurs who have found success through Etsy.com and other e-commerce websites. Q&A following the panel discussion. Along with Marlo, will be these Etsy sellers who have found Etsy to be a profitable venture.

Marlo of I Make Cute Stuff (imakecutestuff.etsy.com) in addition to organizing EtsyRAIN, is also a teacher, mentor, arts business consultant and full-time artist that has been making and selling her work since 1993. Her line of hand-fabricated jewelry (MarloM.com) has sold in over 200 boutiques and galleries across the country is currently featured in Sundance Catalog. In her "spare time" she makes reusable shopping bags out of repurposed fabrics and sells them on Etsy (Tote2Go.etsy.com) and online at Tote2Go.com

Jonah of Maluhia Designs (maluhia.etsy.com) creates fantastic handbags and accessories using Japanese "Kawaii-style" fabrics in her Renton, WA studio. She has numerous wholesale accounts and also runs a successful supply shop on Etsy (aworldaway.etsy.com) where she offers her cute fabrics to other crafty people.

Cory of Sweet Petula (sweetpetula.etsy.com) has a very successful Etsy shop, wholesale business as well as a "brick and mortar" location in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle. She creates luxurious bath and body products and has been a featured seller on Etsy in 2009(http://www.etsy.com/f....

Chuck of Down to the Wire Designs (downtothewiredesigns.etsy.com) has been making and selling his hand fabricated jewelry for over 12 years. He has learned how to create a successful following on Etsy and was a featured seller in 2006 (http://www.etsy.com/f.... His work can be found at La Tienda, Crackerjack and Frank & Dunya in Seattle.

EtsyRAIN.com is a regional "street team" of over 500 Puget Sound based independent artists and craft makers who own and operate shops on Etsy.com - an e-commerce site that specializes in "all things handmade".

Stay for as little or as long is you like.

1508 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98144

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A fix to social networking

So I find that all this social networking can get a bit overwhelming but I recently discovered a service that I think could be quite helpful for some folks.
It's called Ping

It let's you update all your social networking sites at one time or at least in one spot. I'm not sure if I will use it but I thought I'd pass it along as an idea to check out!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Crave Business Shop Symposium

The Crave Business Shop Symposium will be coming to Seattle on Monday, March 23rd. Kristen Rask, Andrea Porter and Megan Reardon will be representing the Grassroots Business Association at the lunchtime event. Jessie from Cakespy will also be among the speakers. To learn more about the day long symposium please visit Crave Business.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Creative Business Growth: A Workshop with Local Experts

Velocity Art and Design's The Lab is hosting an event which GBA committee members, Andrea Porter of Bluebottle and Kristen Rask of Schmancy will present a workshop about networking for small businesses.

March 19th from 6-8 pm


Velocity Art and Design , 251 Yale Ave N., Seattle WA, 98109

Cupcakes from Trophy cupcakes too! Yum!!

Guest Experts include:

Rory Martin: Rory has run web design and marketing firms for 12 years including http://www.rorymartin.com/. His area of expertise is growing small businesses with limited resources, web design, search engine optimization, and applying social media to business models.
Tracy Schneider: Currently a writer with the Seattle P-I and principal of her own marketing firm, Tracy specializes in unconventional marketing for businesses and non-profit organizations. Tracy will be discussing how to promote oneself and one’s company through traditional and non-traditional media.

Andrea Porter and Kristen Rask: Owners of Bluebottle Gallery and Schmancy, Andrea and Kristen are organizing members of the Grassroots Business Association. They will be talking about the GBA, their perspective as retailers, and how to become part of a supportive network of small businesses. They will also address other relevant topics to growing a retail business.