The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rockin' the Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals

Christmas is coming!

But before Christmas, we have Thanksgiving, and just after Thanksgiving, we have that interesting weekend that retailers love. Black Friday. With the online component: Cyber Monday.

If you're planning on doing some (or all) of your Christmas shopping this coming weekend, here are some of the deals from our CCCOEers. Because, of course you're shopping handmade. Aren't you?

Bella Beads Originals is offering free shipping. Make sure to check out beauties such as this...

Geode Stalactite Pendant Necklace, 14k Gold Filled Ball Chain, Light Blue, Modern, Dainty
Geode Stalactite Pendant Necklace

anniekdesigns is offering 10% off everything from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. She has a large selection of tree skirts (among other things)...

Beach Christmas Tree Skirt, Tropical Tree Skirt Hibiscus, Hawaiian Tree Skirt, Mele Kalikimaka Tree Skirt, Handmade by AnnieKDesigns
Beach Christmas Tree Skirt

Nans Glam will also be offering 10% off from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. She has lots of great pieces, such as this one...

Red Studs, Square Posts, Red Cube Earrings, Swarovski Earrings, Post Earrings
Red Cube Earrings

Remember to shop handmade this season. Check out the sales by searching "Black Friday" and/or "Cyber Monday" along with "CCCOE team".

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Customize It!

Shanna Michele from Shanna Michele Designs has joined us today to talk a little about something she knows very well (as she specializes in custom made travel and offbeat wedding paper goods). Take it away, Shanna...

Etsy shoppers love having options. A little (or a lot) of personalization and customization can help draw in more customers and get your shop cranking. This is especially true with the upcoming holidays….people love that personal touch for themselves and for gift-giving.

Think about your item assortment….how can you provide custom options? The easiest ways to do this include taking something you already sell and expanding the color or finishes you offer.

It can be as simple as offering a few choices for the pattern or colors…you can show a photo with all the options or you can use the dropdown menus to let people know what colors are available.

Island Luau Collection Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers Set of 12 Choose Your Pattern
Island Luau Collection Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers by Earth Cookie Creations

Lip Balm Holder with Clip for EOS Egg Lip Balm
EOS Lip Balm Holder by Zizi Rho Designs

Do you have the ability to offer a particular piece of jewelry in a few different metals?

Bunny Rabbit Wonderland Gold Charm Necklace Sterling Silver Chain Petite Woodland Handmade Jewelry San Diego California USA by Kila Rohner
Bunny Rabbit Wonderland Necklace by Go2Girl Designs

Coiled wire jewelry ,copper, silver plated, gold and antiqued silver wire necklace with rainbow beads, rainbow necklace
Coiled Wire Jewelry by Poppy Johal Jewelry

Maybe you could even allow people to select the stone….

Birthstone Stacking Rings - Sterling Silver & 5mm stones - Four Rings
Birthstone Stacking Rings by Nina Gibson Designs

You could also get more into the personalization….add the option to do a monogram or a personal name or just about anything!

Personalized Luggage Tag Latitude and Longitude There's no Place Like Home
Latitude and Longitude Personalized Luggage Tag by Tresijas

Personalized Hip Flasks for Weddings, Porcelain Hip Flask with a Strap , Gift for Weddings and More
Personalized Hip Flasks by tjCervantes Art

Of course, if you are a one-of-a-kind, ready-to-ship seller…you can still offer custom gift wrapping options for easy gift giving. You can offer to include a lovely note, written out with the gift-givers message and included the package. Be sure to take a photo of how your gift wrap and note look so that they buyer can see what they’ll get.

NansGlam, Packaging
Nans Glam
Ocean Avenue Silks, Packaging
Ocean Avenue Silks

Set yourself apart, offer some custom options!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Showing the Handmade

It's time for my monthly roundup of the new items the CCCOE team has listed for sale. As this is only a brief taste, make sure to check out the newbie thread for other great finds.

First up, it's not too late to get something for Halloween. Especially if it's a digital download like this good witch card...

Good Witch Kitty, digital download, halloween card
Good Witch Kitty by Crystal Mist Cottages

Of course, Halloween doesn't need to be the end of the interestingly-themed items. Like, for example, this rosette...

Haunted Mansion Rosette with a Single Layer Black Satin Rosette, Print Bow, and Vintage Inspired Skull Poison Curio on a bed of Black Tulle
Haunted Mansion Rosette by Rottengirl

And let's face it, I'm a sucker for anything orange. Which is why this bracelet caught my eye...

Bracelet, Fall Jewelry, Pumpkin Jewelry, Wire Crochet, Originalsbydenise
Bracelet by Originalsbydenise

Perhaps you're looking for an upcoming birthday. We are currently in the sign of Scorpio and we will be until about November 21st. If you've ever met a Scorpio, this mug is pretty apropos.

Funny Mug, Scorpio Zodiac Mug, Geekery, Novelty, Friendship, Coworker, Rude, Cuppa, Stalker
Scorpio Zodiac Mug by Mean Muggin 39 Cups

The other thing I'm a sucker for is the interesting bag. And this tie bag has that in spades...

Recycled Silk Tie Purse
Recycled Silk Tie Purse by Lulu's Creations

Need a planter for your succulents? I've seen various ideas for planters, but I'll admit I kind of like the graphic look of this triangle. It'll definitely stand out in an outdoor space...

Triangle Cut Out Vertical Garden Planter Ready to ship
Vertical Garden Planter by Succulent Wonderland

And finally, it'll probably get cold around here. Eventually. And when it does, how about a handwoven blanket?  

Handwoven Blanket No.2
Handwoven Blanket by michaelawhitney

Make sure to check out the Show Your Handmade thread for all the new items for this October. There are so many great jewelry pieces as well as great ideas for that big holiday that's coming up in a couple months.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Craft Fair Show Advice

I asked the team to give us their best advice for doing a craft fair...

ohmay says:
scope out the venue before applying........ 
If the show is inundated with cheap manufactured items, then your handmade items will likely suffer in sales/pricing as it will not/cannot compete. 
If the show draws a certain type of buyers (ie seniors, teens, parents, hipsters, joggers/outdoor type, etc), try to fit your products to the potential buyers.
Hand Braided and Beaded Women Eye Glass Lanyard / Holder / Chain / Leash - Pink Heart Eye Glass Holder
Hand Braided and Beaded Women Eye Glass Lanyard

anniekdesigns says:
Always bring more merchandise than you can sell. Nothing is more off putting than an empty table. 
Don't be afraid to change your set up or repackage your items. It took me being part of a co-op store to figure packaging out. 
Bring your look book. This is a book that has pictures of the items you have made. Past and present. 
Relax and have a good time, regardless of how much you sell. 
Modern Wristlet, Moda Juggling Summer Wristlet, iPhone6 Plus, Samsung 5/6 Carryall Wristlet, Fall Wristlet, Handmade by AnnieKDesigns
Modern Wristlet

And after a particularly slow show in the heat last weekend, I (Zizi Rho Designs) say:
Avoid holiday craft fairs in October. Unless the "holiday" is Halloween. Shoppers aren't ready to do their Christmas shopping yet, and turnout tends to be low.
Lip Balm Holder with Clip
Lip Balm Holder with Clip
How about you? Any good advice for someone doing a craft fair?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Going Places

Summer may be over, but if you're not worried about a school year, now is a great time to get away without having to deal with all the crowds. And if you're planning to get away (or just dreaming of a trip)...

Airstream Glamping Photograph In The Snow 1971 Vintage Trailer Beautiful Scenery Black And White Upcycled Fine Art Junk Gypsies Dream
Airstream Glamping Photograph by Lost Coast Arts

Route 66 brings up memories of road trips. Or the idea of old road trips (for those of us who grew up with interstates)...

Clearance SALE, Tote Bag, Handmade, Retro Route 66,  Reusable Eco-Friendly Bag, Groceries, Beach, Sports, Gym, School
Retro Route 66 Reusable Eco-Friendly Bag by Sew Darn Comfy

Route 66 Upcycled T-shirt Tote Bag
Route 66 Upcycled T-shirt Tote Bag by Red Bess Bonney Too

But for an actual trip, there are a few necessities you might need. Like something to store all your jewelry...

Mini Jewelry Travel Organizer Case Storage Gift
Mini Jewelry Travel Organizer Case by Falling Star Lane

Or a way to identify your bag amongst all the others at the baggage return...

Luggage Handle Wrap-Suitcase Identifier Set of (2)  Green, White and Blue CHEVRON ZIG ZAG
Luggage Handle Wrap-Suitcase Identifier by O.C. Styles

And if you're planning on getting out of the country, you need something to keep your passport safe...

Travel Passport Case /  Handmade / pick your color
Travel Passport Case by jackandbeedesigns

Or, you can sit at home and think about the world...

Latitude Longitude Bookmark, Copper Gift, Custom Made, GPSCoordinates, Nautical Location, Wedding Gift, Seventh Anniversary Gift, Mens Gift
Latitude Longitude Bookmark by Pearlie Girl

And there are all sorts of other treasures to be found at Going Places in the team pages... 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A First Craft Fair

Are you planning on doing your first craft fair this holiday season? All sorts of craft bloggers have great advice. And once you start reading these posts, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Just like when you opened your Etsy shop, you started someplace and learned as you went along. The same is true for a craft fair. Don't worry about having everything perfect your first time out. You should think of it as a learning opportunity.

If you've done your research, you should have a basic idea of what to bring and how to set up your table. But I do have a few tips to help you get through your first craft fair.

1. Start Small

You don't want to hit the big events your first time out. It's a good idea to do a few small shows to get comfortable with the whole process. Many churches have holiday events that are inside (no worrying about acquiring and setting up a canopy), and they even let you rent a table. All you have to do is bring yourself and your wares.

2. Practice Your Setup Ahead of Time

Take a couple hours (or plan to use a whole Saturday afternoon) to put out all of your items in the space you'll have. It'll give you some idea of how everything is going to look. As you do this, you'll see what sorts of signage you will want and how much you'll actually need to make your table look full. You might be surprised. 

The other bonus to this is it'll help make your setup easier on the day of the craft fair. When you know about what you want things to look like, you won't spend precious setup time trying to figure out how to get everything positioned to your satisfaction.

3. Bring a Buddy

Things go easier when you have someone for support. Your best friend owes you. Your spouse would love to spend the day with you. Bribe them with dinner or that item that they've had their eye on. You get the day to sit and visit. And if you need to use the restroom or you want to send someone to pick up lunch, someone is already there.

4. Say Hello to Everyone

There's a reason why retail establishments ask their employees to greet people as they walk in the door. It makes you more approachable. It establishes rapport. Some will ignore you, and many will grunt out a hello in response as they quickly move past your table. But some will stop and chat. And a few of those might just buy something from you. 

5. Check Out the Other Booths

This is a great networking opportunity. Say hello. Get cards. Check out their setups. Support them by purchasing something. (You know you have Christmas shopping to do, too.) You may find some very helpful, experienced vendors who can give you advice as to where the good shows are. And the day is much nicer when you're enjoying the company of the other vendors at the event.


As you do more of these events, you'll get better at them. You'll learn what to tweak and what works just fine as is. 

What are some things you'd advise to someone doing their first craft fair?