Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meet BaronessBijoutery

The time has come for another Etsy Shop Highlight. This time I chose BaronessBijoutery. She has some beautiful jewelry. I fell in love with her fantastic pictures and her items are in a wide price range making something well priced for every pocketbook.

Here is her interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Her site is http://BaronessBijoutery.etsy.com

1. How did you find out about Etsy?

Actually I learned about Etsy from my Daughter. She was going to open a shop and I went into with her. After a years time I thought it was time to have my own shop. So in August of 2008 I finally took the plunge and opened Baroness Bijoutery. I'm so glad she turned me on to Etsy.

2. What type of items do you carry in your shop?

I feature jewelry, necklaces, chokers, bracelets, rings. I have extremely romantic pieces, some strickly fun kicky pieces, wire work, I love all so that is what I make.

3. Where does your shop originate and how long have you been on Etsy?

I am from the Pacific Northwest, University Place, Washington. And I have been under my own Banner 6 months now.

4. How long did it take before you had your first sale?

I opened the Shop August 15, 2008 and had my first sale September 11, 2008.

5. What would you say is your favorite item in your shop and why?

This is really hard for me to answer but if I have to pick one piece it would have to be Duchess's Delight OOAK Necklace. It is a very romantic piece, extremely feminine. It has everything a woman wants, Sterling Silver, Swarovski Crystals and Silver White Keishi Pearls. To me this necklace says "Take me out to the Ball, the Opera, a Theater Opening. It will make who ever wears it feel as regal and as stunning as she really is.

6. What ways do you use to get the word about your Etsy site out to others?

I post in the forums, I have a blog http://baroness-bijoutery.blogspot.com
I am on Flickr, I use word of mouth, business cards. I have also been featured in a few blogs. My daughter and I both cross promote our shops. I also use my blog to promote other Etsy Artists and their great work.

7. What advice would you give someone just starting their shop here on Etsy?

When starting any new venture you have to do some research about your market. Learn about photos, marketing yourself and shop. If you don't know something go into the forums and ask..everyone here is willing to help you out. Don't start second guessing yourself when you don't have your first sale in a day or week. Yes some Artist do but that isn't generally how it works. You have to be patient, don't under price your work remember the hours you put into a piece also should be reflected in your price. Have lots of your work in your shop, the more choices you give your customers the more likely they will find something they really like and must have. Above all else have fun with what you are doing...makes it so much nicer that way.

8. Looking around on Etsy is there one shop you find totally awesome or deserving of special attention and what makes you feel this way?

I would have to say contrariwise.etsy.com. She features all handmade Silver Jewelry, her designs are just beautiful. The amount of hours she must put in to forge such great pieces. She also has a great blog: http://www.akacontrariwise.blogspot.com/ She will feature other Artists from Etsy, supports all fellow Etsians.

9. Do you have anything special about, you would like to share?

I'm a Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Working Woman, run a business. I've never considered myself special but my husband, daughter and grand kids do and that is the important thing to me. I supported my kids with my Wedding Business when they were growing up. While they were still young I wanted to be home with them so I designed and made Wedding Gowns and Formal Wear. I have always loved creating something with my hands and sewing came very naturally to me. I loved doing the hand beading on these gowns, making their crowns, all that would truly make it a day they would always remember fondly. Once my children could be at home by themselves for a while I went back to work in the public sector but still kept my Shop open. I did my last wedding 10 years ago. Sometimes I miss it but I really like doing my jewelry now, and yes I still work outside the home as well.

Thank you so much for answering my questions BaronessBijoutery. I wish the best for you and your shop.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Local CPSIA Update

This was on my local news the other night

Now it's starting to hit home with the public, not just the crafters and stores who sell these items affected by the wacky law.

Found this interesting reading the reactions of people on this and wanted to share

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meet alwaysartistic From Etsy

I am going to once a week try to focus on one special ETSY shop and its owner. This week I wanted to focus on www.alwaysartistic.etsy.com

I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I had compiling this. The pictures shown are hers which you can purchase from her Etsy store.

How did you find out about Etsy?

I came across Etsy on a search engine, and it looked like a cool place to be, turns out I was right.

What type of items do you carry in your shop?

I carry mostly photography items; prints, cards, photo gifts, and I do sell original ACEO's from time to time. ACEO Stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals, they are a lot of fun to collect and create - they are 3.5 x 2.5 inches - hockey card size! I also love to create digital art using my photography.

Where does your shop originate and how long have you been on Etsy?

I live in Alberta, Canada. And I have been on Etsy a little over a year, I opened up shop on December 29th 2007.

How long did it take before you had your first sale?

I did many trades and contests and so my first actual sale (an original ACEO) wasn't for 3-4 months. My sales have been slow, but that's ok, I am more here for the fun I have meeting other crafters!

What would you say is your favorite item in your shop and why?

I have a few favorite items that I am really happy the way they turned out - My "Fun at the Fair - 3 piece set", My print "Columbine" and my newest item "Gorgeous Giraffe version 2" because of the colors, I just love giraffes.

What ways do you use to get the word about your Etsy site out to others?

Right now I am promoting using an ad on the Photographers of Etsy Team Blog. Mostly I promote in the forums, chat rooms, on my blog located at http://alwaysartistic.blogspot.com/ I also have my personal website... http://members.shaw.ca/alwaysartistic/

What advice would you give someone just starting their shop here on Etsy?

Just to stick with it, some people get sales right away and others it takes a lot of time. Also street teams are a great way to get your work out there.

Looking around on Etsy is there one shop you find totally awesome or deserving of special attention and what makes you feel this way?

One shop, oh boy that's a hard one. I love Photography by Bill of http://www.HouseofSixCats.etsy.com. And there are many other artists that I love too.

Do you have anything special about you, you would like to share?

I share my life with my Parrot Jessie James, check out his website here http://members.shaw.ca/jessiethefid/

Please visit alwaysartistic shop on Etsy. Don't forget to check out Jessie James site. The video called the great box challenge. This a must see with the song "Chewie Chewie Chewie" playing in the background. I have not laughed so hard in a good while. Click on the picture below to go directly to the video /

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Whoohoo I'm Listed on This Wonderful Site!

There is a site called Dream Mist land you should check out. This website introduces handmade shops and allows buyers to review them. Please come to have a look and please submit a positive comment about my shop too listed under other;)

Thank you so much Dorothy for listing me on your site. Ypu can go to this site by clicking on the site name above.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Check This Out

Whimsy Portraits has an adorable Blog. I hope you get a chance to check it out. I think the photography is super and the model, well she is just too cute for words.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

Products must still be lead free, but at least for the next year you do not need to test and certify. During this time they will be exploring the exemptions and provisions in a more reasonable time frame, so it gives us much more time to help get changes made

Happy Happy Joy Joy here is more information :


The battle is not over but voices have been heard which is a start.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA But This Doesn't Affect Me

Do you know how many people make baby gear, or children’s toys, etc? I never thought about it until I joined a group of crafters all making and selling hand made items on a "web shop" called Etsy.

There was a law passed back in November 2008 called CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This is supposed to be is a consumer protection law and goes into effect Febuary 10, 2009.

I am a divorced mother of three children all grown so at first, when I saw all these posts on this new law I thought nothing about it...after all my crafts are for teens and up.

Then I started to read some of these posts, and I saw how far reaching this new law is and the enormity of the people who can, and will be hurt by this if it is allowed to go into effect the way it is written.

You do not have to have small children of your own to have this law affect you. This law reaches out and affects practically every one of us in some way.

I have friends who have kids. It will affect them because some have young ones and do buy or create home made.

An Adorable Etsy Baby

A lot of neighborhood stores have some type of hand made items or small toys things in them. This will affect the mom and pop stores that carry these type of items so in essence that can of Campbells Soup you just bought from the neighborhood quickie store may cost you more to help make up that difference the store now loses since it lost items that did not fall under CPSIA Standards.

Larger stores who cannot afford testing or whose distributors will not test are going to have to find ways to make up for lost revenue or close like many hand made item crafters are doing on Etsy and other online stores.

I asked the question, "How can this law affect others who do not have children?" and found the responses shocking. I'll share them with you:

simplyforyou brought up soaps and shampoos. Many of these items use colorant, and some have imbedded toys. I know some adults who use these childrens products because they feel the adult products are just to harsh on themselves.

trinlayk made a list of some ways this law will affect us.

How will it affect people who don't have kids?

1) taxes, you'll pay more because schools and libraries will have to test everything that the kids come into contact with.

2) crime: families that can't afford a new winter coat for the growing kids won't be able to get one at Salvation Army / Goodwill... very poor families won't be able to get coats from Coats for kids unless those coats have been tested.

3) environmental issues: a great deal of stock will become a hot-potato and end up in land fills. Stock that for the most part is safe, will be dumped.

4) Prices for Childrens items go up, leading to:

5)Prices for EVERYTHING will go up: families will buy less, if they need $$ to buy necessities for kids, they will cut corners on other things. Fewer trips to community events, fewer restaurant meals, fewer trips to anything (gas vs clothes for baby...), buying less clothing, cosmetics, etc to be able to have $$ available to buy things the kids need.

6) unemployment will go up: home workers now looking for outside work, but also, as people use less, buy less, go out less, there will be less money going out to pay people to do jobs that people can do without.

7) people who had been self employed at home, are now applying for energy assistance, food stamps, AFDC.

8) People who would have gotten help from Salvation Army and Goodwill and similar agencies might be on their own, as many of these agencies rely on resale shops to support their programs. Top selling items in these resale shops are kids clothes, with toys and books for kids close behind.

These fine Etsy Crafters cannot just put a disclaimer in their shop. They will have no choice. They will either have to pay possibly upward in the hundreds, or thousands for component testing, get affidavits from their distributors saying their products meet the standards, or close their shops.

This law affects any crafter, or distributor who makes or carries items for children 12 and under. Just imagine what this will mean to your local schools and libraries as well?

Check this link out from the "American Library Association"


Thank you bmerry1 for that link.

trinlayk said "one book out of each "class" (1 book out of each edition used by the school) will have to be tested. desks, black boards, paint on the walls, (probably not the chalk, that's probably AP oked)... cleaning supplies that might leave residue or come into contact with the kids... "

This has me wondering if the schools are going to have to come to the voters once again to ask us to approve bonds to help cover this testing since their monies are already so tight and over budgeted.

Oh by the way, those cute little painted lady bug earrings in your three year daughters ears need to go. I'm sorry they may not pass standards since they are painted and sold as childrens earrings / novelties. Better check that teddy bear you were considering buying for your new nephews christening as well as the pretty set of mittens, hat and scarf you were going to get for your niece to use in the snow when she comes to visit.

This outfit will have to sell for $2940.00 and she will be not making a profit on it after the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act goes into affect on February 10th. This law requires her to have her outfits components tested for lead and pthalates even though it is made of nontoxic materials. Here is the breakdown of the costs so you can see that it is no joke!!

Lead Testing
$70 per component
thread 2 kinds ($140)
fabric ($70)
bias tape ($70)
elastic ($70)
shirt ($70)
tag ($70)

pthalates testing
$350 per component
thread 2 kinds ($700)
fabric ($350)
bias tape ($350)
elastic ($350)
shirt ($350)
tag ($350)

With the new law that will go into effect Feb. 10, 2009, the CPSIA will require that each store selling products for children under the age of 12 test each product in our shops for lead. Each component will cost $70 and this tutu has eight components -two rolls of tulle each needing to be tested, two different ribbons, one type of thread, elastic band, silk flower, and an alligator clip making the charge $560. Add in the additional $350 per component for phthalates testing and that adds another $2800 making this tutu that original cost $18.50 to the grand total of $3,378.50!!!

This in my humble opinion has gotten totally out of hand.

What prompted this anyway you ask? Remember the issue a while back when China was recalling all those toys?

CPSIA was passed by Congress in response to the recall of over 15 million toys that were imported from China from 2007-2008. In this legislation, Congress stipulated that every product intended for use by a child under the age of 12 must be tested and certified to meet the safety standards issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

I believe this was done in haste and no one thought of the ramifications that such a law would have.

Please support these crafters and all the others who make hand made items for our children. (Please click on the pictures or names to go directly to their Etsy Shop)

Buy handmade now while you still can. any people count on you...