Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bloggers Unite: CPSIA

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then we ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.


How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all. Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” Wall Street Journal Article.

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes.

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Crafts for Kids

This past weekend I spent a lovely morning with the hosts of the Manic Mommies podcast at an event hosted by Role Mommy at the Ritz in downtown NYC. One of the guests was Abby Pecoriello the author of Crafty Mama. She was demonstrating a great, easy to make scarf project which didn't require any sewing or glue. I thought that was pretty creative in itself.

But it got me thinking, we have so many supply shops at our fingertips - including the Team ESST members shops - but often don't know what to make with our kids.

I'd love to hear any ideas you have for crafting with kids in the comments, and hopefully we can start a series of ideas to post here on the blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting to Know WestCoast SeaGlass

Tell us a bit about yourself and your art life: My name is Mary Beth and I’ve lived along the Pacific Ocean shores and have been a serious sea glass collector most all of my life. I’ve created jewelry as a hobby most all my life also. So, about twelve years ago, I paired my vintage, rare collection with my jewelry design and create full time now, from the two West Coast Sea Glass studios. My studio sits on the beach where I look out at the water and the San Juan Islands all day. I now have a staff of four that creates and sells our jewelry and loose sea glass in galleries and shows all over the world.

What is sea glass: Well, my website says: “Sea glass is a timeless treasure. It begins its journey as refuse glass that was broken then discarded into the sea decades ago. The piece is swept and carried as powerful elements of sand, tide, water and weather perform their renewing work over time and terrain. The colorful jewel washes up on the shore and waits to be discovered.” Sea glass is valued not by how much one can find but often by sentimental or nostalgic value; by the age, color and quality of the piece. I’ve hand-collected these pieces all of my life and now my collection consists of historical pieces and color that just cannot be found any longer.

How did you get into selling it: I began pairing the sea glass with my already established jewelry design when a friend asked me to make her a necklace from an aqua blue piece. She bought it and ordered nine more for Christmas gifts. It hasn’t slowed down since. Just this month, I completed an order for one thousand pieces for a high end resort in Miami, Florida. The loose sea glass gems that I sell from my Etsy store or website are pieces that I would consider “overstock” or something I cannot use in my designs; many of them are the coveted blues and “colors of the sea” that stir the creative side of people. I sell them to crafts people, jewelers and artists all over the world.

What is one thing that most of us don’t know about you: I am a twin, I have a set of twins and my twin sister has twins. Twins are nowhere else in the history of my family on either side. My family often accompanies me on my sea glass excursions.

What was one 2008 highlight with your business: The Travel Channel recently flew me to California where I met their TV crew on an island. I kayaked about as their zodiac boat followed me and filmed. We stopped on a beach, sea glass hunted and I shared stories of history and identified some pieces.
Please visit Mary Beth at her Etsy store at: Please visit Mary Beth's Sea Glass Blog at:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Get to Know -- Patterns and Such

What do you sell?

Patterns And Such has patterns and other supplies and vintage items - the supplies and vintage represent the "such" in our store name. We will always have a variety of patterns including plastic canvas, sewing, knitting, crochet and anything else we destash. Our supplies and vintage will vary as well - currently we have buttons, leather pieces, aida cloth, hair barrettes, vintage needle holder, and vintage craft magazines. Our inventory is constantly changing.

What's your favorite item/line that you sell?
I love when I find a vintage treasure to add to the shop. I would love to keep each and every piece but I know they'll be better cared for and loved by someone who really wants them.

Give us an idea on how to use your products. Do you have a picture of your own project?
I sell knitting patterns, and here is a photo of one of my knitted scarves. This scarf is actually available for purchase in my sister shop, My sister used to do a lot of plastic canvas work and I wish I had photos of some of the creations she made.

How did you choose your user name?
The purpose of this shop was for destashing patterns and I knew I had other supplies that I needed to destash as well, so we added the "and Such" to our shop name.

Biggest indulgence or guilty pleasure?
I watch reality tv shows. But I knit while I watch them, so I figure that validates it and its no longer time totally wasted. :)

Favorite food?
Oh, chocolate of course, and blueberries, not necessarily together.

Favorite non-craft website? Favorite craft website (not Etsy)?
My favorite non-craft website is - it's a Girl Guide / Scout website that is run by volunteers. We maintain several webpages - GuideZone and TuneGuide - that provide resources for Guiding and Scouting leaders for their units or troops.

And my favourite (Canadian spelling!) craft website other than Etsy is because sometimes I need to see how a stitch is done to make sure I'm doing it right and they have great videos.

What is one thing that nobody would know about you.
Good question! I don't think people really know I'm addicted to those reality tv shows! lol

What are your plans/goals for 2009?
I'm going to learn to knit socks. I usually like quicker knitting projects, so this will be a challenge for me. I have also purchased yarn for two afghans, but I'm not sure when I'll knit those. It might not be in 2009.

Where else do you sell?
Our plastic canvas patterns are all displayed on flickr at - we haven't added them all to Etsy yet, but eventually will.

And I have a sister shop - - where I sell my handmade items such as topsy turvy dolls, corking sets (aka knitting spools), Barbie clothes, handknit cup cozies, scarves, hats and I'll be adding more of my photography.

And I just wanted to add that joining Team ESST was one of the best things I did after opening my shop on Etsy - this team provides great support and I've made some great new friendships.

Please visit Patterns and Such on Etsy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How To's for the Real World

Today we are loving The Common Craft Show's videos. They are entertaining and easy to understand. Don't really 'get' Twitter? Try Twitter in Plain English. You've seen the RSS button on your Etsy shop, but don't know why it is there, try RSS in Plain English.

Enjoy these awesome videos with their simplicity and brilliance and learn something new today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shop Advice: Etsy Mini

Many of you are already using the easy-to-set-up Etsy Mini on your blogs or websites. It is a great tool to connect your Etsy shop with your other online venues. Unfortunately, the way Etsy Mini is programed, it forces a white background to be displayed around your listings, which may not work for you, if you are not already using a white backgound.

To remedy that, we recently found this awesome tool/ script that you can use to enhance your Etsy Mini. Thank you Hyperart!

Hyperart states, "You can even change your username font color. But that's all it does. It doesn't hack the Mini in any way, but it just overrides the color codes that their code sets. You can make a simple edit to the Mini code (if flash), or load the script on your own site or host it on mine (if javascript). The instructions are all there on this page."

So if you'd like to spruce up your Etsy Mini please visit Hyperart at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Supply to Front Page

Congratulations to Yarn to Spin, who sells blank wool yarn, ready to be dyed. One of her customers ended up on Etsy's homepage! That is a wonderful thing for both supplier and artist.

To find blank wool for yourself, please visit Yarn to Spin's shop on Etsy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Get to Know -- Kalliopi

Hello, my name is Kalliopi and my etsy shop is

What do you sell?

I sell a mix of items including new and vintage items, beads and paper handmade by me. I try to sell things that are unique and things that I love!

What is your favorite item that you sell?
At the moment it is the buttons as I have been able to find some great vintage and new buttons. I also love making the handmade paper.

Do you make some of your own items?
I have another Etsy store where I sell brooches & earrings that I make You can see different examples of how I use the beads and buttons that I have collected in my jewelery. I plan to start incorporating some of my handmade paper into my jewelery too.

How did you choose your user name?

My first name is Kalliopi. It was my great grandmother's name and also the Muse of Epic Poetry! I came up with the name Kalliopi Paper because I was intending to only sell handmade paper and cards but then I had so many beads and buttons that I thought I should share some of them with the Etsy community.

Street clothes or Pajamas?
It is summer in Australia now which means I wear dresses everyday... I have a big collection of dresses including some fantastic handmade dresses by some local Melbourne crafty girls.

Biggest indulgence or guilty pleasure?
I have to eat a piece of chocolate every day.

Favorite non-craft website? Favorite craft website (not Etsy)?
Non craft:
Craft: (I've only just discovered it)

What is one thing that nobody would know about you.
That I collect orange glass and Pyrex vases, jars and bottles. I have a little 'orange' corner in my apartment!

What are your plans/goals for 2009?
My plans for 2009 are exciting but scary at the same time as I will be leaving my secure day job to start my own small business as an architect and crafter. Fingers crossed!

I also hope to be more organised with my supply store as I have collected so many fantastic beads and buttons and I really need to find the time to put them online. I aim to post 2 or 3 supply items a day in 2009.

Where else do you sell? Other IDs, sites, local shops, etc
I only sell my supplies on Etsy but I sell my jewelery at various other places including a shop on Dawanda and an Australian online craft website called MadeIt.

I also sell at 2 stores in Melbourne including Incube.8r on Collingwood who support independent Australian artists and Charles and Calypso, a homeware store in North Melbourne.

Please visit Kalliopi on Etsy at

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Team ESST on Twitter

The team is now on Twitter! Please follow us at to enjoy quick updates, sale notifications and simply just to get to know us better.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Shop Advice: Analytics

Etsy announced today that as sellers, we can now add Google Analytics to our Etsy shops. Yay! Now we can more successfully grow our businesses.

Here are some quick tips to setting up Analytics on your shop page:

1. To set up Analytics on your shop, you'll need a Google Account. If you don't already have one, then you'll register for one at If you already have an Google Account (for example, Gmail or Adwords) but are not yet using their Analytics, follow the link and Log in with your Google Account to sign up for the service.

2. If you are already using Google Analytics, then you'll probably want to separate the data you'll be getting from Etsy from your other sites. To do this, log in and access your analytics. At the bottom of the page, you'll see in blue the option to "Add a Website Profile." Follow that link and select "Add a Profile to a NEW Domain." This will generate a new "UA" number that you can now input into your Etsy shop.

To learn more about this free service visit and visit the Etsy Forums to discuss how other shop owners are using it.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments.

UPDATE: Timothy Adams, an Etsy seller has a video on his blog to help out new GA users.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Get to Know -- SuppliesForU

Periodically, we'll post interviews with members of the Etsy Supply Street Team. This week, get to know a little about SuppliesForU. Linda offers all types of supplies for art pendants, from scrabble tiles to resin cab supplies. And, if I didn't know better, I'd have sworn these were my own answers!

What do you sell?
Mostly jewelry supplies; pendant trays, resin molds, memory/art frame pendants, charms, scrabble tiles, necklaces and more.

What's your favorite item/line that you sell?
Pendant trays, resin molds and scrabble tiles.

How did you choose your user name?
I wanted something with the word supplies in it since that is what I sell. I went through a few that were already taken and settled on suppliesforu.

Street clothes or Pajamas?
Street clothes.

Biggest indulgence or guilty pleasure?
Sitting down to watch TV with my nighttime snack.

Favorite food?
Shellfish; blue claw crabs and lobster.

Favorite non-craft website? Favorite craft website (not Etsy)?
Non-craft - Big Fish Games....Craft website HGTV Holiday Forums.

What is one thing that nobody would know about you?
If I told than everyone would know.....

What are your plans/goals for 2009?
To build up my shop and possibly sell in a few more places.

Where else do you sell?
I recently set up on Art Fire. I am in a consignment shop with handmade finished crafts in North Babylon, NY.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2009!

Wishing all of our team members, fellow Etsyians and of course the wonderful crafters out there who have supported our businesses all year a very Happy New Year.