Pinterest – #CIJSocialMediaMonth

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us for the Christmas In July Social Media Month! Since the CIJ team is worldwide we are going to celebrate the month of May with a virtual #CIJSocialMediaMonth event right here on our blog!

This week our Pinterest leaders Nancy, Kristy Jo and Barbara share with you the value of social media, how to develop a social media plan, how to interact with others on social media and so much more!

Follow Us On Pinterest

Follow Us On Pinterest

Please introduce yourself and the other team leaders who are part of your respective social media site.      

We are the social media team leaders for the Etsy Christmas in July Pinterest group.
Nancy www.etsy.com/people/eponascrystals
Kristy Jo www.etsy.com/people/KristyJo67
Barbara www.etsy.com/people/minimixi

What social media site are you team leaders for?

We manage the team Pinterest account.

What is the CIJ Pinterest site and handle?  

We can be found on Pinterest at Etsy Christmas In July:
www.pinterest.com/etsycij/  

#EtsyCIJ

Etsy Christmas In July Pinterest

Etsy Christmas In July Pinterest

Tell us about Pinterest.

Pinterest is a website that allows you to “pin” things online, just as you would pin them on a real life
bulletin board, but instead, Pinterest saves all of your pins on your account so that you can access them
easily. Plus, you can follow friends on Pinterest and “repin” things that they have already pinned on your
Pinterest boards or browse a live feed of items that are being pinned by strangers when you’re searching
for inspiration.

What do you find valuable about Pinterest?         

Pinterest is a valuable tool for show casing your items and gaining new followers. Pinterest has over 100
millions users. Just think of the possibilities! Plus it can be a great organizing tool as well.

What kind of content is most effective on Pinterest?

I have found that almost anything goes on Pinterest. You can pin your items, tutorials, inspirational pins,
beautiful images, etc.CIJSocialMediaMonth

How can Pinterest be part of your business strategy?

Use Pinterest just as you would Instagram. Post items once or twice a day. Evenings seem to get more
re-pins. When others follow you, follow back. Soon you will have loads of followers. Also searching for
users with similiar pins and following them can get you followers as well.

It’s important to have a social media plan. What can you achieve on Pinterest?

To pin new items on your shop board, share this on different boards, also on different group boards give you the possibility to achieve a lot of followers.

How do you develop this social media plan?

Getting started is easy! Just create an account on Pinterest. Set up your board and start pinning!

Here is a help guide developed by Pinterest to get you started

Pinterest Help Center

Pinterest Help Center

What is the most creative way to find new followers on Pinterest?

More followers can help you get more likes, repins, comments, clicks and impressions.

This can then help drive traffic and increase sales in your shop. I think the magic to find new followers is to pin a lot and share a lot. Helpful is to connect with your other social media networks. So your friends on Facebook get your followers on Pinterest.

How do you interact with others on Pinterest?

When others follow you, follow back. Soon you will have loads of followers. Also searching for users with
similiar pins and following them can get you followers as well

What else would you like to share about Pinterest?

Pinterest is great to share the shop items of our team members. So it’s a very fine marketing tool. The Christmas In July Team has a Pinterest account with different boards. Team members have a variety of ways to be featured on Pinterest. Please see the team forum for opportunities.

Christmas In July Blog Board

Christmas In July Blog Board

Share Your Social Media Sites

Nancy – www.etsy.com/shop/eponascrystals
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/eponascrystals/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/eponascrystals/
Twitter – twitter.com/eponascrystals
Facebook – www.facebook.com/crystalsbyepona/

EponasCrystals

EponasCrystals

Kristy Jo – www.etsy.com/shop/KrystalKlarityBeads
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/kristyroetter/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/KrystalKlarityBeads
Twitter – twitter.com/KristyRoetter

KrystalKlarityBeads

KrystalKlarityBeads

Barbara – https://www.etsy.com/shop/MermaidsHatbox
Pinterest – https://de.pinterest.com/fraumithut/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MermaidsHatbox/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OllerHut

MermaidsHatbox

MermaidsHatbox

7 Day Pinterest Challenge

Join the 7 Day Pinterest Challenge! Use the hashtag #CIJSocialMediaMonth in the caption of your challenge photos! We will randomly pin your photos on this thread: #CIJSocialMediaMonth 7 Day Pinterest Challenge.

SocialMediaMonth_Pinterest

Story Time Listing Blitz

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Here at Christmas in July we decided to do a Listing Blitz a bit differently! We made the blitz become a story revolving around the blitz listings.

There were specific rules to follow, but mostly the purpose was to blitz (promote) the other members listings as much as possible.

Alicia from AliciasFindings states:

Autumn is a wonderful time of changing colors and harvests. There are many items to be harvested here at team CIJ including jewelry,wood crafts,card notions and more. Come and experience the bounty of the teams harvest…

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Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads says:

….where you can surround yourself with your favorite things. Shop at your leisure from home. It is easy here in an Etsy Autumnland to find all those gifts for the upcoming celebrations and…

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Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter said:

My BE THANKFUL banner gives a wonderful message during the Thanksgiving season. My granddaughter last year made one for her teacher to hang in the classroom… when I gave her 3 choices… HAPPY THANKSGIVING, GIVE THANKS, BE THANKFUL… she choice BE THANKFUL and she said that a lot of the kids in her class need to BE THANKFUL for what they have and are not. A good rule for all of us.

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AliciasFindings states:

Yes we all need to Be Thankful during Harvest Season! Some are thankful for friends, family or health. I am thankful for my ability to still create…

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Gari Anne from beadloverskorner says:

I am thankful for all of those things and also the cooler weather and the beautiful color changes around us. Leaves are falling and the landscape takes on the beautiful colors of the fall.

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Ina from InaSudjana said:
Let these colours fill the Northern hemisphere. Absorb the gorgeous orange hues and let the pretty season begin…

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MOJEART from MOJEART states:

 We all need an Angel. This Angel use to be out every year a top a Christmas Tree. The past two Seasons she has not been on display. The crown is just for fun.
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Rheta Parziale from VintageEves said:
And as the angel looked down from the tree, the family gathered round the table for a Christmas feast. The ham was cooked, the bread was broken and the good china came out of the cabinet ….
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Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:
Sharing a meal as a family and enjoying each other’s company is the best part of every holiday and something to be truly thankful for. Set your table with a personalized touch and invite others.
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International Day of Literacy – September 8th

International Day of Literacy – September 8th

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

International Day of Literacy is September 8th so I asked fellow team mates if they had products in their shops that reflect the theme of literacy? Books, paper, pencils, bookmarks, book lights – and more.

Here’s what they had to share

Debbie Gilbert from License2Craft says

In this “day & age” of technology, school children are using computers and the internet even more. Most of us as adults rely on it every day for business, social or learning. Internet and Kindles have become the “new” way to read books. Making it important to be mindful of posture, and ergonomic support is essential.
These Flax-seed & Rice filled Keyboard & Mouse pillows will do just that. They are wonderful for everyday support or for added comfort just heat in the microwave or placed in the freezer for cold relief. The Keyboard rest has the added benefit of being able to substitute as a neck & shoulder relief pack for stressed out neck and shoulders.
Available in many patterns… and special orders are always welcome!

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I learned to read in a one room country school with Dick, Jane and Sally readers. I went on to become a public school teacher. My daughter and son-in-law are both public school teachers ready to head back to the classroom. The motto in our family has always been…Spend money and resources on education and experiences not things! These Dick, Jane and Sally mug rugs remind me of what’s really important in life.

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I learned to read when my mother needed ways to keep me busy when I was 4 years old. She pulled out the newspaper or magazines and told me to circle all of one word through the whole thing – to find all the “and” words for example.
It was actually fun and rewarding and lead to me reading long books way above my age and skipping a few grades of English! Books were everywhere handy for us as children, and to this day I borrow (and return!) books from my mothers’ ever changing and full shelves. My children learned before they knew how to speak that Dr. Seuss was fun time! I believe that we need to keep the strength in providing kids with positive and fun things to read and encourage them young. My daughter is a book nut and states that she will have her children learn from books even if there were no libraries!
We plan to carry other things in the future – but for now we have plates and other vintage things with poetry or sayings on them. I carry charms with positive words on them like “miracles”, “family”, and more. Words have power – they can hurt, yes, but they can also lift ones’ spirits and heal. I have been working on making “healing stones” in that they are inscribed with positive words and am also working on wood burning and engraving positive quotes that I have begun to collect over the years.

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Cyndi DragonflyzDreams from frstyfrolk says

Book HC Animal Clothing 1969 Variety Species Hair Feathers Skin Armor Insect Seasonal Colors Children Vintage Adult Home School
I loved reading this book, there is so much interesting information on the outer coat of many kinds of species of animals.
It is very informative about their outer coats, how they are made, and what they are made of. Several species are discussed such as Birds, Fox, Bear, Lady Bugs, Lions, Worms, Butterflies, Spiders, Skunks, Turtles, Owl, Crab, Chicken, Beaver, Rabbit, Moose, Peacock, Porpoise, Toad, Dog, Cat, Elephant, Caterpillar, Alligator, Snake, Armadillo, Egret, Shark, Hummingbird and many more.

It also discusses their color changes and living habits during the seasons.
It Indexes:

Hair, Feathers, Skin, Armor, and Insect Clothing
94 pages, Measures 8 x 5 x 3/4 inches

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Our all-purpose bags are perfect for storing writing utensils needed for that next masterpiece. The images for our GRAFFITI HANDPRINT pencil pouch were taken from photographs that we captured in Berlin, Germany while strolling along Mühlenstrasse near the city center. The urban art-filled remnants of the Berlin Wall make up what is now the East Side Gallery, the largest outdoor art gallery in the world. Much of the art conveys powerful statements about freedom in words and images.

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I have these School House buttons… Schooling is a big part of our Literacy and the School House is a great symbol for Literacy…

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WOW!! What a great range of products related to literacy – reading and writing is so important, as all of us here on Etsy knows – we need to write our product descriptions, and read and understand customer enquiries and so much more! It’s great to be able to promote this important educational need.

Please visit our participating team stores and share some love

Member Feature: Krystal Klarity Beads

Contributor post by Anna of Unexpected Treasure

Please join us in welcoming Kristy Jo Roetter of Krystal Klarity Beads, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself       

I am the mother of 4 (now adults) children, am owned by 3 cats and not much else!  I put family and faith at the top of my list of important things.  I believe in miracles.  I have survived several times already (severe Spinal Meningitis, an accident with the side of a semi head on, subsequent coma, DTBI, and more.) against odds, and so I do not count the odds anymore.  This, I think, is a good thing because I also got Lung cancer at 44 years old.  I had 2 surgeries and I spend every day thankful, grateful and feeling blessed.  I want to see, touch, feel, do, experience life, and it is hard sometimes to not have the money, or not have the top endurance to keep up.  I look around each day and just try to live in the now…know that I have my children (I have been divorced 16 years) and I have another day.  I want to be helpful to someone somewhere in whatever way that I can.  I think we all have that job.  Do something good, leave something better, just make a person smile on a bad day,…do, give, contribute time, money, or just your hands and heart without expecting back.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

This may raise an eyebrow or two, but I had a dream about making things, and selling things on Etsy, especially in order to help others (like cancer related, awareness, animal awareness, etc.)  I woke up and started making the shop.  The strangest thing is that I did not even know what Etsy was.  I felt absolutely “driven” for days on end until I began to relax and realize that it all felt right, it felt like I just HAD  to do it, and like it was meant for a reason.  I knew that everyone I know would give me some grief, but I did not care, this was something I needed to do.  Starting a shop may be slow, but I refuse to go back, I will continue to learn, continue to create, and to try to continue to advocate for the needed funding in research areas for cancers (most childhood cancers and Lung Cancer especially)  I never knew how to reach out for myself when I was sick.  I just want to give back something happy, inspirational, something “survivor”, hope, or a smile, a calm moment, a prayer, a helping hand.  Miracles happen every day.  I know this for sure!

Tell us a bit about your products           

I need to finish getting many more things into my shop, and I also want to learn to create in other ways, but until then, I started with a few jewelry pieces (I had never even fixed a broken piece of jewelry let alone make it, but I decided God has my back!)  I started collecting pendant pieces of semi precious stones, agates, Intersia pendants, a few “staple” of just silver or gold colored ribbons, some survivor ribbons, charms, faith based charms, made a survival and hope beaded gem tree for myself and would love to expand on that with learning more and customizing.  I like miniatures and found a love for upcycling small containers, vases, shot glasses, planters, wooden boxes.  Mostly I fill them with Lucite flowers, leaves and decorative mosses and the occasional gemstone or charm.  Just starting to expand the charms area.  So- we have agates pendant pieces, Swarovski, glass, gemstones, and porcelain used in our necklaces and some being sold now under supplies.  We are willing to make something custom whenever we can, and also to change lengths/sizes on things when we can.  I have a long way to go to get stocked up enough, but the process is worth every minute!! I spent years before I found a piece of jewelry that said “survivor” in my color and cried the day it came in the mail.  No one should have to wait so long, look so hard, or not be able to get what they DO find because it is on an expensive site.  If I do not have it but know who does, I will send them your way for their happiness and peace of mind.

What inspires your work?           

I love nature and have always been outside, fishing, hiking, “rock-hopping” near rivers, trudging through the woods, finding wildflowers, seeking interesting rocks, watching water flow, and with a camera at hand for years.  I lived near the Everglades and was fascinated with what I saw.  (2 1/2 years, then back to WI.)    I believe in the energies that all life gives off–every leaf, twig, crystal, flower–everything created for us to live, or just to look at.  I know that being surrounded by nature is helpful and healing and wonderful for most of us.  As I search for these things myself to stay healthy, I am learning to help out others through my passion of all these things.  I am inspired by everything around me. I was raised with a father who had a way with building things, and loved beautiful wood and stone.  He built our homes, remodeled tons of things.  I am so thankful for that!  I am inspired by losing my father and several other relatives to cancers at early ages.  I am inspired by getting to interact online with families that face the toughest things each day and still they reach out to help, or to smile, to offer a part of themselves to someone else.   Also, my kids inspire me.  Their lives have not been easy, yet they all have good hearts and are decent human beings I am proud of.  I can pass things by them, or spend time creating with them and it is the best feeling to have that connection and time making memories!

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?         

I want to get to where I can donate a percentage of all sales to cancer research, especially for those kids who have a whole life to live yet…and for the cancers (like Lung Cancer) that take an incredible amount of people with little hope (if you look at statistics), yet also, very little funding like we have been written off.  I want to help fight to keep awareness right out front.  I want to custom make things that can help someone celebrate, or heal, or just remember and smile.  When I was at my Oncologists office one day, I saw a basket of stones that said “hope” and it said we could take one.  It became my worry stone, and my hope reminder.  I would love to drop off a basket of my own sometime that gives that feeling, fills a spot for those who are too alone in this as I was most of the time. Do not get me wrong, I love just making whatever I feel like making, and learning new ways and new crafts.  I love being guided to help someone more.  To create something that I had trouble finding for myself or affording.  My goal is ways to donate, share, and eventually get out into the community and help in other ways.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

Honestly?  I think there are some wonderful people out there pouring their hearts into non profit, or into donating a percentage because they have lost someone, or dealt with something themselves.  I only hope to become more like them…to have that opportunity.  I may stand apart from a lot of shops because my things are pretty much OOAK made with passion and love and faith, BUT not so much natural talent.  Like I said, I had never made any jewelry before this shop.  I did used to sew, knit, crochet, make and alter clothing, do crafts, and dream of upcycling wood into crafts with messages of inspiration on them.  Perhaps not being a true artist, a person who, perhaps, got training in school makes me somewhat limited at the moment so maybe that makes me stand out, but I am okay with that!   I like to think that the biggest reason I stand out is because I truly care.  I want to make money to give more, to provide more, but not to be selfish.  My selfish moments are the ones where I get to look at rocks and pick out a few more to work with or for the shop to offer.  It sustains me, it reminds me every day is one more gift from God, and I am happy doing this.  I am not a professional; I am not an artist (though I still dream of going to school for photography and then traveling!)  I am human, I am strong, stubborn, a fighter, a believer, and I have faith that I can make a difference, no matter big or small…a difference that helps. I have been blessed to meet a few mothers who wanted childhood cancer pieces to help them remember to hope and have faith during chemo times.  I was honored to be able to provide things and include a few things for the kids.  I am so grateful for the fullness in my heart and days filled creating for this shop.  I don’t sell because it is that “latest” or the most popular, I try to be original and take a few chances….and just be myself.  I always took pride if called weird –that was always fine, too.  I never wanted to be like everyone else…and I love looking around the shops on Etsy and knowing that many people on here are the same that way.  Good, because creating comes from the heart and soul and comes out the way it does, as part of you.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I am currently squeezed into a 2 bedroom apartment with 2 adult sons.  Luckily, for the first time in our lives, I took the biggest bedroom and make use of the storage area in it, have the computer set up in here, and work here, or at the kitchen table at times.  I have spent 3 or 4 days several times at my youngest daughters’ house just beading together.  That daughter loves knitting after teaching herself in one night online. I have another daughter who works a great deal, but has stopped by and beaded, and she would love to contribute other types of things that are herself taught talents also.   My sons have ways they contribute, and will more when we can get the supplies they need.  Mostly, they help me carry tote after tote after basket after bag, in and out of this house!  Sometimes I take it all out to my moms and just spend the day out in the country with my wonderful mom and brother (He has Downs Syndrome, is almost 40 and yet will always be my “little” brother.)  Out in the country where I grew up by trees, fields, animals, building, watching my dad create with wood and stone, helping feed all kinds of animals, and rescuing anything I could.  I guess I have to say I create kind of while on the move, but recently have been unable to drive so am setting up more of a studio area here.

Where can people find out more about you and your business?

I am on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KrystalKlarityBeads/app_259525164100619

Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/KrystalKlarityBeads

Twitter at  https://twitter.com/KristyRoetter

Google+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KristyRoetter4KrystalKlarityBeads/about

**I would be very happy with anyone looking me up, or helping to promote, if you like or favorite or repost I certainly will do the same!!  If anyone has a question, the easiest place for me to find it is a message at the shop directly on Etsy.   Thanks!

Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores?

I believe people should support small business, first of all.  But if they buy handmade OOAK products from crafters, jewelers, woodworkers, artists, etc. they will have something no one else has…something made with love and passion, and often made custom, just for them or someone they love.  If you take the time to look through the things in Etsy stores and choose a gift for yourself or someone you love, then you have taken the time to get something quality, usually better made that mass produced things by far.  You will also show someone they really count a one of a kind, for a one of a kind.  There are some very, very talented artists on here.  Please, give them a chance!

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I am just beginning to understand promoting ways, hash tags, etc.  I have spend 12-16 hours on some days doing nothing else and trying to help others also as I help myself.  I wish I had known the costs for any kind of advertising and been able to decide ahead of time about that.  I also needed to learn how to get things in larger lots to try to keep prices down for not just me, but customers as well.  I am just getting orders in now that will show this in the near future.

Any advise for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

PLAN!  Question, ask whatever.  People on here are generally quite helpful.  Read up on Etsy Sellers’ Guidelines, as it also shows how to make things work better and easier.  If, like me and many others, you do not have money to promote your things, then you will need a plan on what you will do to promote.  Oh, and join teams!  Not only will most be willing to help you, but it feels good to help back!

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?        

This kind of is my hobby!  I read a lot, watch paranormal shows (I know, I know), National Geographic type learning shows.  (Oh, and lets’ not forget “River Monsters”!)  I used to be out fishing almost every single day, but I needed to build my strength back up on one side of my body and am just getting there.  I walk a lot.  One son, and one daughter also walk a lot, so I do not need to go alone unless I want to.  I read about animals that need homes and help when I can, I read blogs and sites asking for prayers for the little ones going through tests, chemo, etc.  It is sad, yes.  We would rather turn away from these things.  We need to look. Look, reach out, say a prayer, wish them good things, and know that no matter how bad you think you got it, someone else out there has things even harder.  Perspective is a good thing.

What is your favourite quote?        

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Raayistlph Waldo Emerson

Is there anything else you’d like to share?        

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.