Friday, November 28, 2014

Leftovers and Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving leftovers....yum! I don't have to cook for a couple days. Just throw some leftovers in to a glass baking dish and heat it up.

The leftovers in the online world are a bit different. I had a conversation with a couple of online sellers and it has turned a bit bizarre as the week has progressed. The range of emotions by this small group have gone from looking towards making sales & creating coupon codes for discounts, to concern over "giving" their items away for little profit (which 2 of these sellers went and raised prices, so their 25% discount actually became a little better than 15%).

Today, they claim they expected to have made sales overnight while they slept and are disappointed that things are I guess their leftovers don't taste too good today.

The coupon codes are now in affect in my Etsy shop. There are a few really good buys and I suspect a couple of items are going to sell over this holiday weekend (I know I am priced a bit too low on one necklace and it was selected as a favorite item by a half dozen people leading into Thanksgiving...the piece of sea glass is flawless and the image is very good... I'd be surprised if it doesn't sell soon)
The blog code must be sent to me in a convo in my Etsy shop. Select the item you wish to purchase, apply the Etsy coupon code (THKSGVG2014 for purchase totals above $30 & BLKFRI2014 for purchase totals under $30) then convo me, using Sea Glass By Robin in the subject...I will adjust the price by another 15%.
Plus all purchases receive free shipping!

I have a funny (well I found it funny) story to share in my next blog entry...and hopefully, some new pieces of sea glass for my collection to share (if I can get to the beach tomorrow morning). Enjoy the rest of your weekend ( and the images of a few soon to added creations)

'til next time...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - - Almost

This is my last post before turkey-day and in my previous post, I mentioned a special discount for my blog followers. It's been awhile since I have participated in the coupon codes at Etsy and I'm not sure if the policies have changed there, so...

I will have a code for the holiday weekend on the Etsy site, which can be used to save money on a purchase. For those that follow my blog, I will offer an additional 15% off of the remaining will need to convo me on Etsy first, so I can adjust the amount due.

Pick out the piece or pieces you want to purchase, apply the Etsy code and then convo me with the following in the subject title "Sea Glass By Robin" and I will take an additional 15% of your remaining balance, plus the free shipping. This code is available for my blog followers thru Cyber Monday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 24, 2014

How Difficult Is Selling Handmade Jewelry Online?

For the last few days, the topic of selling jewelry online and more specifically on has been thrown around in a few forums that I am part of. The question is a viable one, since there is a fair amount of investment necessary to be even remotely successful (and success is not guaranteed).

The cash investment is obvious. One needs to accumulate a great deal of components, if they are trying to make money selling jewelry online. The investment that isn't always apparent to anyone who thinks they can just jump right in and sell jewelry are often the most difficult to obtain- salesmanship, advertising and the most important, a following.

Being able to promote your creations successfully, is mostly trial and error...and let me stress the most important word...ERROR. If success is immediate, you ended up in the right place at the right time, or you have created something everyone wants (having your own niche, is great for making sales...but people will copy you when they see your success)

Advertising is not only placing ads, but creating an image that catches people's attention and makes them say, "I want that" as they reach for their credit card. Learning to take pictures and capture your creations is another work in progress. Promoting your creations via social networking is also something that takes time and often a financial investment to realize some success.

A following is not something you begin with. Your Mom, sisters and friends and other family members do not count as a following. Yes, sales to family and friends are nice, but you better have a large family and many, many friends if you plan on recouping your investment. Craft fairs are a great way to begin building a local following. Having an online presence, gives your local customers a chance to purchase from you 365/24/7 (and a chance at possibly selling your creations at a few brick and mortar establishments...but, I digress) Having an online store also opens up the opportunity for a new seller to make sales anywhere in the world.

Creating a niche within the jewelry category is always a good thing, but you sometimes tend to eliminate a good portion of potential customers depending upon your niche. The last number I heard on Etsy, was over 7 million pieces of jewelry was listed for sale. Seven Million. A niche will often separate you from the glut of jewelry, but one will have to work hard (even with a niche) to not get buried within the jewelry category.

So if you are new and looking to turn a hobby into a stream of income, welcome! You are getting involved at the height of the buying season. Just be ready to compete with a couple hundred thousand jewelry makers for the holiday bucks!!

And if you see anything you like....these are going into my Etsy shop over the next day or two.
PS- watch for a special Etsy sale code...available only to my blog should be available before Thanksgiving and run at least through Cyber-Monday

'til next time...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So Much To Do, So Little Time to Sea Glass

The cold weather has finally hit hard on the Jersey shore, as it has in much of the country. And it has kept me indoors for the most part.

I did get to the beach one morning earlier this week, found the landscape of the beach has been changed by Mother Nature once again. What looked like a very promising high tide that left a thick shell cover was mostly destroyed by tire tracks in the sand (there are several fishing tournaments at this time of the yr) and of course, the tire track run right through the shell beds.

Above is an image of a partial "kick-up" from a olive bottle, probably an old wine bottle. The piece appears quite old, because the bottom is very thick and it well-weathered. Some of the other images were of recent finds over the last couple of weeks. That is a piece of pottery in the mix, the first that we have found in quite some time- my DH actually found two others on the same day that weren't nearly finished, so they went back into the sea. In the 3rd image, the soft blue bottle top was an exciting's quite old, very thick and very frosted. Not sure what the bigger wide-mouth bottle top could have been in it's original life, but it sits with my bottle top pieces in a large decorative jar, near my living room window.

My shop has been quite busy, some items selling within hours of listing. Lots of views, people selecting items and my shop as a favorite...hopefully to return later for a purchase. I have several new items waiting to go into the shop. Hopefully, the weekend will be sunny, so I can take a few more pictures and get some new items listed

Necklaces are the leaders in sales, followed by anklets. As usual, the blues are the most popular color, followed by white and then red and yellow (yes yellow...I finally took pictures at the perfect time of day to capture the true color of one of my yellows!) Midweek seems very slow, with sales being made Friday-Mondays.

This is all part of my learning curve, as I figure out how the economy has affected buying habits and what seems to be working in the world of handmade items on Etsy.

Hopefully, I can hit the beach this weekend for a little and have something new to share in the next couple of posts. Stay warm and for those who have been pounded by heavy snow, stay safe!

'til next time,

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Sea Glassing Friday

Had Friday off, and hoped to hit the beach, in hopes of finding a few ocean treasures. Since it was snowing very early in the morning and much colder than I expected, I had a 2nd cup of coffee and  went through the bag of English sea glass my hubby had left on the desk.

I love English sea glass. It's always very frosty, well rounded and the multi-colored pieces that come out of the Seaham area are amazing. I don't come across many that work well with my style of wire-wrapping, but when I do, I usually wnt to keep it for myself.

Playing with the English mulits inspired me to take pictures of a few creations I made recently and also to wrap a bunch of new pendants.. a couple of petite reds and a couple of teals... maybe I'll do a special sale for one of my blog followers. Perhaps a special blog code for a % off one of my pieces on

 With all the sea glass I went through today, all the pieces that my DH has already drilled and the many pieces that I have wrapped, I still have so much work to do. I would love to have another "Friday" off. I need another day or two of clear, sunny skies to take pictures and 3 or 4 more hours (or more) to wrap more pieces.

Maybe I do have enough to do a show, maybe not. Anyway, I had a productive Friday. Hope you enjoy the images!

'til next time...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crafting Around the Holidays

I always enjoy the winter holidays. The idea of spending time indoors with family and friends, while it's cold outside, has always appealled to me. Snow in the trees and on the ground, a cup of tea or hot chocolate, sitting around a roaring fire, brings back great childhood memories.

But since I live in south NJ, near the semi-warm ocean, snow covered ground doesn't occur very often before the holidays. And being a crafter, there are lots of custom requests for potential customers, looking for the perfect handmade holiday gift.

For people who hunt sea glass, the 4th quarter of the year is busy. The chances of finding something special on the beach go way up during the colder weather. Less foot traffic, practically no beach grooming and rough winter tides, make this a special time for me (well for my's so cold out So I/we
hit the beach as often as possible.

Making jewelry is a bit hectic also because of the custom requests. Sea glass jewelry makers have increased doubled or tripled since I started and when speaking with other jewelry makers, I know that the custom made market is competitive... I am not the only jewelry maker being contacted. Now I have to factor prices and my competition, while making my prices competitive. Or I could have a piece of jewelry on my hands that I maybe wouldn't have made.

So, the holiday season has begun for the shoppers. I already see a large uptick in "foot-traffic" in my Etsy shop. In the past 10-14 days, I sold 3 items on Etsy and I've received a custom request through another blog.

The idea of doing a holiday show has crossed my mind and while it would probably be a very good opportunity for me to get myself and my jewelry back in the public's eye, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of preparation it would take for me to be comfortable with my inventory, I could easily double the number of items in my Etsy shop (if i could ever have a day off to take pictures when it wasn't raining or freezing out)
But double the number of items wouldn't come close to being what I am comfortable with at a show... so I think, a show may be a bit too much at this time.

So while I contemplate the show idea and the days tick off the calendar, I have been going through my sea glass. Playing around with my ocean's treasures often inspires me and I have come across some beautiful pieces of English sea glass that I will probably turn into focus pieces for my jewelry creations.

And, I have created a couple of new items and hope to add a couple more to my collection in the next day or two.... while I ponder, do I do a show or not.....

'til next time...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How Time Flies ~ November Tides and Full Moon

Wow, time is flying by.

Today, I was just wasting time, playing on the computer and I came across a site that listed info on
the moon. Some of the info showed when the November full moon is and that it closely follows the
moon in perigee (Perigee is when the moon is closest to the earth). I'm sitting there with my laptop, telling
my DH, that it's almost going to be a perigee moon in November.. His response is November.

It's already November...where did October disappear to? And omg, I better get moving on some sea glass
jewelry for my shop...and the perigee tides started yesterday. And the full moon is And of course, my next day off from work is Sunday, so I will miss it all. (Sorry no pix yet...just some jewelry)

Luckily, DH went to the beach today and was gone for almost 3.5 hours. I was a little jealous that I couldn't
go and although he said he really could have used my patience, it didn't help much. He told me the shell beds were back...spread all over the beach! The kind of beds that I can spend an 30 minutes on, closely examining what the tide left behind (my DH is a scan and move on type of sea glass hunter...I like to see the shells & the driftwood while looking for sea glass...I might be able to use them in my creating)

So DH comes back with a pocketful of seaglass. And a pocketful of tops of bottles, nicely worn down from tumbling around in the ocean for who knows how long... a couple of soft blue tops, probably old Coke bottles and one with a very large opening...maybe an old gallon milk jug? It wasn't quite done, the outside is frosted, but the inside is smooth and not frosted at all (he brought it home for me to see) He also found a piece of pottery...our first piece in almost 5 years! I don't know how much time it was in the ocean...maybe it could have used a little more time, but the edges were very smooth, so home it came.

He probably came home with more sea glass than we found on the beach all summer and early fall. Nothing that is really jewelry quality, but a few pieces I am happy to add to my collection. Besides the bottle tops, there is a partial bottle bottom, an quarter size olive piece and a smaller light honey or maybe citron-ish piece. There is also a few nicer browns and a green that will go into a decorative jar. The rest will go into a pail, waiting for a project that needs browns or greens.

So the moon is in's closer to the earth than it probably has been in the last 4 or 5 months and a full moon is due on Thursday. The tides will be extreme and hopefully they will leave behind a few more treasures.

I wonder if I can talk him into going back again tomorrow? I love coming home to see my table loaded with new sea glass waiting for me to look at.

'til next time...