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Monday, December 30, 2013

My International Sales for 2013 - Thank You Etsy and The JETS

Your Daily Jewels is Worn Around the World!

Each day or two I make my way to the post office to ship my handmade jewelry and one or two days a week I have the dreaded International package to ship. It comes with so many worries: how should I ship it, is it packed well enough, will it get there in time, will it even make it there?  With each successful transaction (99.5% of the time!) I am surprised and relieved, but, I don't think I will ever get used to it and not be nervous.

When I first opened my jewelry shop on Etsy,  I did not ship internationally! I was so certain no one would even bother ordering from overseas and I had a lot of anxiety about losing packages. 

I recently took a look back over my orders and I can't believe I have shipped all over the world in less than two years.  I am honestly astonished that women (and some men) world-wide, are wearing small pieces that came from MY hands and heart. I am so thankful for Etsy, and especially for my JET teammates who told me I was crazy not to ship internationally a few years ago.

Thanks for visiting and reading.

One World, Cai Yuan, www.tagfinearts.com

Saturday, November 23, 2013

UPDATE: The Jewelry on Etsy Team (JETS) FundRaising Efforts for Philippines Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

According to ABC news  the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan has risen to above 5,000 and is likely to climb further.

Typhoon Haiyan cut a path across eastern and central Philippines on Nov. 8, with some of fastest wind speeds on record. Five thousand people have been killed or left missing.  More than 4 million people are estimated to be displaced.

As you can see, the geography of the Philippines is mostly islands with only 115,600, square miles of land mass. This is about the area of  half of Texas, or the same size as Arizona or New Mexico.

A major international relief mission is underway to help the survivors, many of whom will be dependent on aid for months and probably years to come. 

As soon as the news broke, The Jewelry on Etsy Team stepped up to help and you can help us help the Philippines! Shop for a good cause.   Below are just a few of the items with proceeds going to relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. 

A tally will be kept here and funds will be donated through the following organizations:

Even better then knowing you are shopping and doing good at the same time, is that many if the JET shops are having huge sales and/or free shipping  over the next few weeks.

Search " Jetteam Phiippines", "Jetteam Black Friday"  "Jetteam Cyber Monday"
(do not use quotation marks".)

Take a look at some of our fundraising items. We will be listing a lot more here so check back!

 This sold yesterday, resulting in my donation of $99.00 to Doctors Without Borders, specifically for the Philippines

Mens Silver Wax Seal Travelers Pendant

I am also donating all of the proceeds from this items:

Ruby Hamsa Pendant in Recycled Silver


From Sending Love Gallery

Silver Filigree Aqua Glass Earrings
The sister store to Sending Love Gallery has one of the greatest collections of vintage jewelry on Etsy! If you love vintage goodies, Loves Vintage Delight is a must-visit!

West German (1950's) Milk Glass Bracelet

Perfect for  your Tween or favorite pink-lover from Donna's Artisans Designs  (Oh, and Donna's Black Friday sale has started already!)

Pink Crystal and Pearl Earrings

This gorgeous necklace of Copper and Sterling has already sold once and a great donation was made!  Michelle of Eleven13 Jewelry will gladly take a custom order and make a new one just for you.

Mixed Metal Heart Necklace

Wanda, of Gemstones on my Mind is donating an all-inclusive gift item so you can check one woman right off your list. It is a gorgeous smooth black gemstone necklace and earrings set!

Black Sardonyx Necklace and Earrings Set

If you have not fallen in love with Jasper yet, you will now. Jasper comes in every shape, pattern and color imaginable. This necklace created  by DesignedbyVal showcases some of the prettiest Jasper I have seen.

Ocean and Fancy Jasper, Gemstone Statement Necklace

I am sure you want to see more, and there is lots more jewelry to come! Right now we are at $517.00 reported donations. Please check back for our latest items being donated, an update on the tally, and what shops have started  having sales.

Thank you so much for visiting, participating, and caring!
On behalf of the JETs,

Your Daily Jewels

Please visit our  JETs team Facebook page
and Pinterest Page too!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shop Local This Holiday Season: #Bergen and #Rockland County, #NY, #NJ

My newest shop! SilverInitialJewelry on Etsy

This season, more than ever, there is a big push in the "shop local" movement. What better way to shop is there?  Local food growers, artisans and small shops are constantly battling  the big guys for the small piece of the pie they need to make a living at what they are truly passionate about.

Beads - good enough to eat!

And that's the biggest difference, passion. Small business men and women, whether they are farmers, jewelers, or artisan cheese makers, cannot do what they do without passion for their product. They live, breathe, sleep, their product; knowing their great fortune is having the opportunity to make a living at what they are passionate about. They yearn  for customer connection as much as their customers seek it out. This personal connection makes it impossible for them  to deliver an inferior product.

Big business lives for the bottom line. Period.


I connect with each of my customers on line. I send at least one email to them to thank them and inform them of shipping time. I have some customers whom I am always in constant contact with, whether or not they are shopping. Etsy's system keeps count of "back and forth's" in their "convo" or email system. It is not uncommon for me to have 50 or 60 convos for one custom order. By the end of this process, we are discussing children's runny noses, and recipes. It is a personal connection yearned for by both parties. As I tell all my customers. "feel free to ask a million questions".

When I stop to think about it, it is a little strange. All this takes place so personally, virtually. This has become what now feels like a connection to people. Granted, ordering from a large company gives you zero human "contact", but what about face to face, hand to hand contact?

I don't do shows, the street fair circuit or any type of market. But I am local to my neighbors. I do have a huge studio that customers can visit. So I am opening this up. This is new for me. I am encouraging my customers to "shop local".  Come to my dusty, basement jewelry studio. Lets meet and have coffee and look at gemstones and pick out typefaces for custom silver wax seal jewelry and initials. Lets have face to face and hand to hand contact.

Its not pretty, but a lot of pretty stuff comes out of it!

Everything is on wheels for functionality

Every day starts with a smudge of Sage

Aromatherapy while I use my Dremel

If you  are local in Bergen or Rockland counties, I am literally on the border,  and you would like a personal studio visit. Email me or "convo" me at Etsy and we can set this up.

Thank you for visiting and reading

Monday, November 4, 2013

25 Days until BLACK Friday, 50 DAYS Until CHRISTMAS, 22 days until CHANUKAH - What Are You Waiting For?

Time is flying! Whether you are buying or selling, scroll down for my post on  stress reducing  ideas for the holiday crush. I wrote it 25 days ago. It feels like I wrote it yesterday!

Spots and Snowflakes Curly Toe Stocking  by Festive Jester

Its here! Lets Get Shopping. 

 Some Helpful Hints:
  • Stores are posting their Black Friday flyers NOW!  Just get it over with for more obvious reasons than I can list!  Google "early black Friday deals 2013" and you can sign up to have flyers delivered to your email as soon as they are out.
  • Anything that needs to be ordered needs to be ordered NOW so you get your choice of stock and holiday delivery dates. The longer you wait, the more likely your beautiful holiday basket will be out of stock or will have to be delivered a week before Christmas when no family or friends have arrived yet.
  • Anything that needs to be shipped internationally needs to be at the Post Office no later than December 1!
  • Anything handmade needs to be ordered NOW because crafters get swamped, backed up, and often stop taking orders several weeks before holidays because they are overwhelmed with orders. The "perfect" gift you planned on giving may be unattainable no matter how much you beg the lone crafter, baker, or jewelry maker. 

Don't forget!
Shop locally. Whether online or in a shop - shop fair trade. And support handmade!
 (Artisans - feel free to use these images!)

Visit my handmade jewelry Shops!

Thank you for taking the time to visit and read ,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

25 Days until BLACK Friday, 50 DAYS Until CHRISTMAS, 22 days until CHANUKAH - What Are You Waiting For?

 Happy Holidays

 Do you loathe doing battle with the crushing holiday shopping  crowds?  I get panicky just thinking about it. Does  competitive parking bring out a side of you that no one would recognize? Have you ever encountered a sold-out toy shelf only to silently berate yourself for not rising at 4:00 a.m and waiting on line at the risk of being trampled by adrenaline and Starbucks crazed shoppers ready to SPEND, no SAVE, no SPEND, SAVE!  It is all truly crazy when you think about it. 

Whether you're buying or selling this holiday season, the time to be on the move is now! I have read countless news articles and seen TV news features about how retail prices are lower than, or as low as Black Friday right now! 
According to Time magazine, Sept. 24th issue, 49% of big marketers stated they will launch Holiday Marketing prior to October 31st . A 2.4% rise in spending is forecast for this holiday season and adding to the rising pressure is this:

"Retailers have a reduced window of time to capture peak holiday spending as only 25 days lie between Black Friday (Nov. 29) and Christmas this year, compared to 32 days in 2012. Typically, weekends are busy times for customers to visit stores and, unlike last year, consumers have only four (not five) full weekends to shop.  Also, Hanukkah starts 11 days earlier than it did a year earlier"

Retailers are rolling out the big guns:
  • Layaway
  • Early 'hot toy' lists
  • Giant retailers are price matching
  • Buy-Online, Pickup-in-Store
  • Newcomers entering the Online arena: H&M and TJ Maxx.

 My boyfriend and I love to go to garage sales during the Summer. After a while you see the same people at each one, (if you get up as early as we do). We started recognizing other early regular's  cars because of their particularly crazy and fast driving speeds, passing us at  8:00 a.m. in a sleepy beach town. 

Then we realized they all had the same look on their faces. Stress, anxiety; almost seething  to get to the sale before the others. We deemed it "Garage Sale Face".  

One time we needed a new "beach bike" because one of ours had rusted to smithereens.  We knew we had to get there early because good beach bikes go quickly. Off we went with our coffee mugs from home in our hands, "early-birding" the homeowners (annoyingly arriving ten minutes before the start of the sale).  Sure enough, we looked at each other and laughed, we each had Garage Sale Face as the other regulars pulled in. We got the bike, but we had fallen right into the frenzy!

Well, Holiday crowds to me, all have Garage Sale Face and it ain't pretty! 

"Garage Sale Face" examples:  (not exactly but you get the idea )

Take advantage of the early savings and beat the  crowds. Coupons and free shipping deals abound. You must put in a little extra time, do your due diligence and you will reap the benefits of early Holiday shopping deals. 

Shop early and you will also find the best inventory because  of the recession of recent years, retailers have scaled back on inventories in order to cut back on end of season overstock and unplanned super-markdowns.

 Use positive visualization. YOU, finished with your shopping a week before  Thanksgiving. You saved lots of cash and you can actually enjoy the holidays instead of frenetically stressing out through them.

 This is the buying side of the coming season. What about all of you online sellers.
What are you doing to get your ONLINE Shop Ready?   We'll talk more about that next post.

Thank you for visiting and reading,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

R.T.S. -- READY to SHIP - Get Your Etsy Shop Ready for the Holidays NOW! 77 DAYs Until Christmas.

Oh boy, Christmas is coming!

Black Friday

I don't know about you other Etsy sellers, but I was caught  very un-prepared for last year's holiday season. I am not complaining, mind you, but it was crazy! And it started in October.  I had very unexpectedly high sales numbers and stress.

I used this image last year, laughing. But it was truly how I felt. It was a real case of 'be careful what you wish for". Well, it is Oct. 8th and now Etsy has those snazzy stats that compare you to where you were last year this time. Well, apparently,  if early indicators mean anything, this could be a very different  (not in a good way) holiday sales season (filing nails, with feet up). 

Black Friday Cyber Monday Shoppers

Many of you know I make mostly custom items  so it is not that easy to have RTS items stocked. But I started in beading and wire-wrapping and I miss making those items! So, I  spent most of September having so much fun, going back to the basics and filling my shop with the items that are ready to go. Now that they are made, I just have to list them. Ugg.

Here are some of my goodies in my RTS department. I have fifty more things RTL (ready to list). Anyone looking for part time work!

I hope its your year to be pleasantly surprised by more business than you can handle! I look forward to all the support and love of the Etsy community throughout another holiday season. I wouldn't want to do it without you, especially my JETS! (The Jewelry on Etsy Team) (Search "Jetteam" on Etsy - no quotation marks - for 120 of Etsy's premier Jewelers)

Thanks for reading and visiting!