Monday, January 25, 2010

Shop of the Week: Made by Melissa

Melissa, of Made By Melissa, specializes in handmade jewelry, crochet accessories and toys. Her shop has been open for almost 4 years and has racked up over 300 sales!

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I really enjoy making things and I was running out of room for my creations. Everyone I knew already had blankets and scarves and jewelry and didn’t really want more. A friend of mine showed me Etsy and I thought about it for a really long time and finally decided to open a shop.

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Yes, very much. When I first opened my shop, I only had my jewelry listed. Then I slowly started adding my crochet items, first blankets and scarves and then washcloths. I most recently added amigurimi plush toys.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
Almost all of my customers are women, I would be hard pressed to find the last male that made a purchase from me, it makes sense though, just looking at my inventory.
I would love to know how people find me! I know some have said they saw me in the Etsy forums (although I don’t spend much time there anymore), some from the street teams I am in (EtsyNJ and EtsyBloggers) and some from Twitter and Facebook. Although, I can’t really say for sure how people find me, I’d like to think that the networking I do is a help.

What inspires you to create?
Everything! My supplies, what I see people wearing, my mood…. Lately I have been more into my crocheting than my jewelry making, so I look at my yarns and I check patterns and I think about what holidays are coming up and try to make things that fit what people are currently looking for. When it comes to the plush toys, my 2.5 yr old son has been inspiring me, he asks for animals and typically gets to keep the first ones that I make.

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
Right now I am loving all my hearts! I started making heart shaped washcloths in preparation for Valentine’s Day and I love how they are coming out. I have three sets listed and more will come soon

Mi Corazon Trio of Heart Shaped Washcloths

My most popular item has been my white make-up remover pads. I make them in all colors, but hands down, the white is the most popular.

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
It’s a great big recipe of things that makes my shop a success. My creativity, advice from other Etsy sellers, support from my family and friends and the fact that Etsy is so easy to use. Social networking sites have also been a great help in getting the word out about my shop and showing off my items to people who normally wouldn’t know about Etsy. The handmade movement has also been a huge factor, people in general are really looking for handmade, unique items and want to help “the little guy” get ahead.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
Not in the near future that I know of, the trend right now in my shop is more towards my crochet items but I can’t say that it won’t switch back to jewelry. I never know what I will find and decide to make, so I can’t really guess what is to come.

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
I am a proud member of the EtsyNJ street team, the NJ folks are really a great group of people. I do a lot of writing for the team blog at
I am also a member of the EtsyBloggers street team. The bloggers are awesome and from all over the world! Its great to read everyone’s blogs and see what is going on. Their website is

LET'S DO A GIVEAWAY! Handmade by Melissa is happy to offer up one of her adorable plush animals. One entry for each of the following activites:
1) commenting on their favorite item in the shop,
2) hearting said item,
3) tweeting about your shop or favorite item with #traceyknits so we can track it
4) writing about your shop/item on their blog/facebook and sharing the link in the comments

If you are interested in being a Handmade Shop of the Week, email me and I would be happy to send you the information.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Handmade By Sandi

I am so excited about this new feature and am happy that it is such a worthy shop.

Sandi Myers, creative talent behind Handmade By Sandi, opened her shop on etsy in June 19, 2009. She is fully stocked with beautifully crocheted items and hand-painted totes. This is what she had to say about her shop:

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop? 

I have a website, where most of the things I sell are either purchased from another company or are the same thing made over and over. I wanted somewhere - where I could sell things as one of a kind, crocheted items that I don't sell on my website, or just things I love to make.

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened? 

I've sold a number of things, and as the mood strikes, I try to find other patterns to use to create new looks for the shop. 

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you? 

A lot of my team members - for the Sneak Team have bought from me. The other customers are those buyers who found what I sell to be something they want.

What inspires you to create? 

New hat or shawl patterns, Satisfied with what I have made, but want to try something completely different. That is one of the reasons I made a pet mat. I have some ideas for more of those too.

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item? 

My favorite item is my crocheted lacy shawl. It was a difficult pattern for me, and I was delighted that it came out so well. I think my hats are the most popular, since I sell more of those.

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful? 

Tweeting. I'd really like to do more with Facebook - but I never seem to have enough time.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future? 
My first change for this year was to have my avi and banner redone - to better reflect what my shop is all about. I'd like to try more scarves - curly ones and ribbon ones. They are so beautiful, and I just need the patience to create them. 

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations? 

I'm a member of the Sneak Team, Etsytwitter Team and Etsybloggers Street Team.
I have a blog
My facebook is

LETS DO A GIVEAWAY! Sandi loves making felted bowls, and I love giving them away. Handmadebysandi has several of these beautiful bowls in fall colors, perfect for holding paperclips on your desk or packets of sugar on your kitchen counter. To enter: 

1) tweet this article to your friends, be sure to use the hashtag #traceyknits 
2) become her fan on facebook and be sure to write on her wall how you found her
3) heart her shop on etsy
Hurry! Names will be drawn Monday, January 25th, 2010

Interested in being a Handmade Shops of the Week? email me and I will get you all the information.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

front page!!!!

OMG! I made it to the front page last night!!!!

thank you to all who made this possible, I love you all!

just a reminder, today is the last day to enter my giveaway. You could win a chain of love belt or the supplies and pattern to do it yourself!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Ideas for a New Year

I am starting the year off right here with an investment in myself and my business. First, "Knit, Paint... Create" is now "TRACEY KNITS!" I have had a very successful shop on Etsy under the same name and I wished to simplify life for those looking for me. Next, as you may have seen, there is a great giveaway going on right here right now. Be sure to sign up to win the Chain of Love belt/scarf. And lastly, I will be starting a new feature on this site to support my fellow crafters; Shop of the Week. It is open to anyone in the handmade community who has a shop online. Feel free to email me if you are interested.

That is it for now... go 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another Great Giveaway!!!!

To celebrate Chain of Love, a fabulous new item now available in my shop, I will be giving away YOUR CHOICE of either 1 handmade belt in the color of your choice OR the pattern and supplies to do it yourself! a $25 value!!!!

These are the rules: One entry for all of these ideas. Contest ends January 18th, 2010

1) heart my shop and/or the Chain of Love from now until 1/18

2) Let your followers on Facebook and Twitter know about the Chain of Love and this great giveaway (be sure to #traceyknits so i know about it)

3) post about the Chain of Love on your blog. Be sure to post a link here so everyone can read about it.

4) talk about it on Ravelry or any other forum and be sure to put up a link and/or post about it here.

5) and, oh yeah, leave feedback here and let me know what you think :)