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Shop Girl: Etsy, Anyone?

To keep our Shop Girl series rolling, I had to post this letter from Alicia today because I think opening an Etsy shop is on the minds of many lately. I receive a steady stream of emails on this very topic each week, so let’s open it up as a discussion to see what your experiences with Etsy have been, as either a shop owner or buyer, and hopefully, answer some of Alicia’s questions below.

“You write about different Etsy shops a lot, which I love, and I was thinking eventually I would open one. I wondered if you knew anything about having a shop in general. I’m concerned that perhaps a lot of sellers make stuff that just doesn’t sell, probably due to lack of buyers or publicity, or, how do you even know if your product is interesting to others? Anyway, do you know how well the average seller does? Is there a website that discusses this? I think Etsy is so amazing because there is so much inspiring stuff to buy and I can’t resist being so inspired as to do it myself.” -Alicia

Okay gang, we need to help Alicia out. Anyone have some advice to share? (If you’re a freelance writer, take this as a cue to write your next “How To” guide, there’s certainly enough books about eBay out there – someone write an Etsy book – quick! Even if you self publish on Lulu.)

Psst: If you’d like to read more small biz related posts, click on the words “shop girl” or “small biz” below.

Thanks for writing in Alicia!

(image from etsy store owner munieca)

Posted in Etsy Faves, small business on May 10, 2007

Reader Q: Mexico City Shopping Help?

decor8 reader Wyoming Q. is headed to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende in July and needs our help. I’ve not yet visited that part of Mexico, but I figure with so many globe trotters out there, someone may have some light to shed on the subject of SHOPPING. :) If you have any tips or ideas please comment below. (Geninne, are you out there?)

Wyoming: Off the top of my head, I can direct you to Jane magazine, they pulled together a mini guide, and you can also check out Lucky magazine because they covered Mexico City too. Maybe that will get you started…

(image from michale)

Posted in inspiration, reader questions, small business, travel on May 09, 2007

Vote for the winners!

Earlier this week, I wrote about a little contest to give away 3 copies of the newly released title, “Get a Hobby! 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle” by Tina Barseghian, published by Harper Collins. In a matter of days, over 100 readers entered with some pretty amazing hobbies. The publisher was thrilled and shipped me 20 additional copies as a thank you, so I am now sending 23 books out, one per winner. My home is beginning to look like a book distribution warehouse! This is where YOU come in. HELP ME select the top 23!

Posted in contests, inspiration, small business on May 04, 2007

Reader Q: Cool Spots in Raleigh/Durham?

decor8 reader Zin R. is soon to relocate from Minneapolis to Raleigh and would love to hear about your favorite stops in the Raleigh/Durham area. I’m working on creating a list of design stores in the right column for these two cities because I think they deserve a place on this blog, so if you have any suggestions please comment below with your links.

In the meantime, I asked a few friends of decor8, Michelle Smith and Alena Hennessy, to give me a hand and as a result, the list below was created to get Zin through the first few months of her relocation. But I’m sure we’ve missed some suggestions, so if you have more to add, please comment!

In Raleigh, Michelle and Alena suggest: Firefly (great shoes), Stitch (design studio and retail showroom of Holly Aiken Bags), Bickett Gallery (a progressive, multimedia space), Ornamentea (a little bit of everything from beads to vintage wallpaper), Father & Son?s Antiques (mid century modern furniture), Red Pin (furniture and accessories), Rebus Works (gallery and storefront), State Flea Market (antiques, jewelry and furniture), Design Box (gallery), Zely + Ritz (fresh and local organic tapas and an extensive collection of wine), and the Morning Times Coffee House.

In Chapel Hill, shop at Nested (home + gift gallery), and for stationery, try Salutations.

For Durham, there’s Daisy Notes & Paper (stationery). Just outside in Cary, you can find good furniture at Beyond Blue Interiors.

Psst: This weekend, on Saturday, May 5th, The Handmade Market is back and ready for action, so head over there if you’re a lover of indie craft fairs. One day only. And best wishes on your relocation Zin, and a special thanks to Michelle and Alena for the tips.

Anyone else have some cool shops to add?

Posted in inspiration, reader questions, small business, travel on May 02, 2007


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