Member Feature: SilverFoxAntiques

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Robert of SilverFoxAntiques, our featured member!

SilverFoxAntiques

SilverFoxAntiques

Tell us about yourself.     

Grandfather of seven who grew up a small town in New England. My Dad ran a Marina in town were we all helped, that is where I first learned the first rule; nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EVER is throw away.

Everything has a purpose, and the trash pile is not it. I joined the Navy as a kid, seventeen, that is a long story,( second rule; college is a whole lot better, the military will make you go anyway).  I learned organization and some skills which served me well over time in the military.

Worked for other Government services and am now retired with achy joints.  I keep busy because if you stand still you just might  disappear, or grow mold or something equally bad on you.   Along the way I learned about antiques, both my wife and I have a deep interest in history, and a long series  of classes for a Government Agency left me with too much time on my hands on the weeks so…I learned to repair clocks.  Achy joints now and all, I don’t do much of that any more. but I do know how it is supposed to be done. Avoid the WWD oil!SilverFoxAntiques1

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

The business “evolved” , it started out of a need to keep busy, and too much time on my hands.  I had taken a class and during my off time learning to repair clocks, when I got back home I made a mess of a shed and work room learning more about the craft.  Which lead to restoring furniture to show the restored clocks on and so on..  shows and antique stores.  I found that small items were easier to deal with as time went on and leaned more about them. I love silver and old silverware.  It is the patina, the craftsmanship and story behind the piece.  I first opened the “Bob’s Olde Clock Shope” in the 1990’s and it has to Silver Fox Antiques today.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I sell a variety of items. Mostly antique silver holloware and flatware, also jewelry, though also some other interesting antiques and handmade items which I have crafted myself.  I love working still with clocks and wood as my hands allow, though I am particular about both the materials and the finished product.SilverFoxAntiques2

What inspires your work?

The past, present, and future.  I love design.  Be it Art Nouveau, Victorian, or Art Deco or Modern.  Design is what gets me going, and of course the materials.

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

More, more and more, can I laugh.  Everyone dreams.

Like a ship it requires work, checking the ropes, the sails, the winch, the mast, all of it; knowing when and how hard to push, what works.  I plan on expanding some areas, and pulling back on others which I feel are not as working as well.  I did well over last year even though I took time off, and had to reduce stock for family reasons.  It was difficult but the tacking worked out well in the end.SilverFoxAntiques3

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

Contact. I make contact each and ever time with all customers.  I tracked each package.  They know it is being checked, they don’t have to worry about that. They often pay for shipping. Yes they pay extra. and they get the extra services.  If a package sits for 2 day in a facility I deal with it, not them.  I communicate that it is now moving or the case number.

I also in most cases hand gift wrap each item.  So they get it as a present, whether it is or not.  everyone likes that feeling. They also get a special hand written note.  These often explain something about the items.

Again it is about care and contact. The personal touch in a very impersonal world.

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

Mine is spread around, wish it was in one space and neat but the business has not allowed it.  Workroom is one area.. well sort of, I have another for the clocks the shed.

Then the items are stored in a storage room on shelves this appears to work right now easiest.SilverFoxAntiques4

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

That I wish I had taken a class in social media before it all began. I opened some of it and made it up as one name, then linked , not as SilverFoxAntiques.

That caused a problem when Etsy came along and now I can’t change it. It has made some things difficult.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Get your social media and name together.  People recognize the logo and name.  My wife worked in retail and she thought of that long before I did. No I didn’t listen.SilverFoxAntiques7

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

I like boating.  Being on the water is relaxing.

What is your favorite quote?

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.  Thoreau

The man understood.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SilverFoxAntiques

Blog: https://silverfoxantiques.wordpress.com/about/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BobClough1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anteeks4fun/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109937604983042236961

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Anytime you have a question, ask.  I try to answer all the questions I get.SilverFoxAntiques6

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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.

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#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – SilverFoxAntiques

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – Robert from SilverFoxAntiques

SilverFoxAntiques

SilverFoxAntiques

1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

SilverFoxAntiques – I offer a wide variety of vintage, antique and yes some handmade items from recycled items that I just can’t seem to throw out. A love of design and history are strong features in my shop. I am always glad to explain the history of an item.

2.Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

I live in Florida near the sea, originally a New Englander (we don’t throw much out ) and appreciate “Old Florida” and it’s mix of history and flavors as well as the new emerging Florida creating its own sense of history. I am and always have been tied to the water.

3. What is it about having your own business that you love?

The Customers. Many keep in touch just because they can. If I don’t have the needed item at the time, I refer to other Etsy stores, it keeps them returning as buyers, and a good relationship with a buyer is important.

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

I have grown my business in the past year on Etsy, but more than that I have increased my communication skills with customers and with other dealers. Communication on the internet is very different that in person and requires patience, practice, and timing.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

Twofold; Branding, I would like to see it become stronger better defined and promoted with less time devoted to that; and the recycled items are currently worked into the current shop, I am trying to figure out a better way to deal with that and still keep them within the shop.

6. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/silverfoxantiques12

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anteeks4fun/

Twitter: twitter.com/BobClough1

Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/109937604983042236961/posts

 

CIJ Pop Up Market – #CIJPopUpMarket #2

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We are thrilled about our second #CIJPopUpMarket #2 – a party in the streets of our blog! The streets are shut down and your tents are up and ready to showcase your unique items for you.

We have a fantastic line up of Christmas In July team member shops for you to get to know. These shops are here for you and they are looking to interact with you here on our blog!

Each shop at our #CIJPopUpMarket #2 will be individually introduced so please check in through day to look in their tent, get to know them and shop!CIJFacebookAviGood

Now let’s shop!

1. Mary / StockLaneStudio / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

2. Sharon / MadeFromScrapsEtc / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

3. Juliette A-B. / LeTanuki / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

4. Patricia / TheOldBarnDoor / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

5. Sandra / TheFeminineTouch / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

6. Kim /CranberryManor / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

7. Robert /SilverFoxAntiques / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

8. Linda /GirlieGals / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

9. Lisa /BelMondoAccessories / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

10. Kelly /88editions / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

11. bewoolen / bewoolen / #CIJPopUpMarketTent

12. Gypsymoondesigns /Gypsymoondesigns / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

13. Lucy /LuDesignsCreations / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

14. Linda / ReDesignandRecycled / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

15. Lindsey /Sa Jolie  / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

Please use #CIJPopUpMarket on social media as you visit all the fabulous shops today!

Thank you so much for joining us at our #CIJPopUpMarket #2!

Making your Pins work for you on Pinterest

Hello there everyone – Jennifer here from Caffeinated Papercuts to share some tips & tricks for making your pins work for you on Pinterest.

In the world of social media, Pinterest is the the idea-gatherer. Virtual bulletin boards that are filled with recipes, DIY ideas, and pretty things to buy. Obviously we all want our products to be in that third category, but how to do it? I reached out to my CIJ teammates and they had some great ideas. Reading them over, there seems to be two categories – Promotion and Branding.

Promotion
Pinterest is all about pinning your products and having followers who pay attention to your boards. But having nothing but a board full of your creations is, well, boring. Much like Facebook, Instagram, and even your blog you need to build an audience and keep them interested. For example; you sell jewelry. Setting up a board of your creations, one for techniques, one for craft show booths, one for supplies and one for designs/patterns will draw in many different viewers. To really blow your minds, I checked out my Pinterest totals: I currently have 107 boards, 4,330 pins, 418 followers and am following 206 boards. Checking my Etsy stats, Pinterest is my 5th largest traffic source so it pays to keep active.

The team had some great ideas as well:

B.K. Scriblz from ScriblzDesignStudio says

 What consistently works for me is to remember to post to Pinterest each and every time I list a new product; send it on to Pinterest. My stats tell me that Pinterest regularly brings in viewers/customers.

Yeah, it’s that “remembering to pin” part that can get me…but since Etsy has an integrated Pin it! button on our listing pages, once we publish it’s a quick & easy click to further promote our latest listings.

Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says
Like B.K., I consistently have views from Pinterest. I completely enjoy curating my boards. Currently, I have boards on everything from Kitchen Decor to Pet Supplies to Hunting and Fishing. My Hunting and Fishing Board (which includes cabin decor) is one of my most popular boards. I fill my boards primarily with Etsy items from my shop and from the shops of Etsy Teams I belong to. I send a message to everyone with the link to their pin, and other sellers seem to like that.

I think what keeps my following on Pinterest is the varied posts I make. As I mentioned, I have several boards. Each board has items, vintage and handmade, that work with a variety of tastes, decor, and styles. I make sure I don’t post only my items, and I also make sure that proper links back to the origin of the pictures are maintained.

I receive traffic from Pinterest, and have had one customer who purchased an item mention she found the item on one of her friend’s Pinterest board. That item had been re-pinned from one of my boards, not directly from Etsy.

I work on Pinterest about once a week, finding my own items and items from other shops that belong on my boards. Each week, I have around 50 repins and likes on Pinterest, and steadily maintain about 50 views each week into my shop from Pinterest.

The new business tools Pinterest has integrated really helps keep track of what pins are really getting the love (now if only it was one from my shop…LOL). And don’t forget about hashtags! Oh yes, much like Instagram and Twitter those funny little tags get some Pinterest love, too. #forreal Be sure to include #cijetsy on your pins so we can find you!

Wendy Joy from wjoydesigns says
When I post my handmade goodies on Pinterest, I usually include a description of the piece and also note that the item is made by WJoyDesigns. If I am posting a treasury that includes one of my items, I include under the treasury, a thank you to the person or shop that made the treasury and a note also of the name or title of the item of mine that they included and that the item is made by WJoyDesigns!

Don’t forget about seasons and holidays! I know with Valentine’s Day right around the corner my feed has exploded with DIY ideas, so I made sure my pins had #valentine and my Love & Romance board was looking spiffy. Theme boards are also a great way to cross-promote your fellow teammates and sellers:

Robert Clough from SilverFoxAntiques says
Having several boards which are related helps for me. Like if you are promoting Christmas in July…I am going to have a Elf Food Entertaining board…full of ideas for the holidays…others as well all designed around the Christmas theme and will be promoting Etsy, I add items outside of Etsy so it looks balanced to pinners and not “advertising”, but the general idea is that it be appealing. I get a lot of sales from pinners, and it does drive business to my shop as well as others.

So now that we’ve got some visually appealing boards to work with, let’s talk about the next step – branding.

Branding
Having our listings pinned is one thing, but how will people know that it’s ours? I admit I hadn’t thought about this at all, but thankfully others have!

Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby says
We have tried to promote our brand on Pinterest in several ways.

We keep a separate account for our personal pins.

As we update our listings we have been adding our name to the first picture -however I do like the idea of adding our logo as well.

We try to pin only pins that have the shabby/nautical theme that we have in our shop.

We also have our “brand” on a majority of our boards by keeping the word “shabby” on them. Our boards, to name a few, are named Sea Shabby, Heart Shabby,Tweet n Shabby, Beach Wedding Shabby, etc -you get the idea! I think their names generate a bit of interest. Our stats show that we always get hits from Pinterest even when we haven’t recently pinned any of our own items, so our pins “by association” do lead other pinners to our shop.

Betty Travell from LadySnooks says
I have my logo next to the main picture.

I also have my Etsy shop address at the end of my profile. It isn’t a link, but it does give the address. Also, a hashtag can be used on your items with your shop name so that if someone pins your picture (and they will) they can click on that and see all your other items.

I hope we have your head swimming with new ideas on how to promote your items on Pinterest. Any questions or comments, be sure to post them here!