Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shop Of The Month Critique - Purple Cow Art

This month we'll be looking at Angela Adkins Purple Cow Art Shop. Angela offers a very unique item. She makes ornaments and plaques, that are cut from wood. She uses techniques such as, painting with acrylics, and woodburning. Being an animal lover herself her choice of subjects are dogs, and reptiles. She also has a line of Zodiac paintings. 

Angela will take orders for custom work, such as doing a painting or woodburning of your pet. What a wonderful way to memorialize your pet.  She will do an ornament with a birth announcement engraved with the woodburning pen, on the back of the ornament as well. Such a unique gift for new parents or grandparents.

I looked over Angela's shop concentrating first on her shop announcement.  The shop announcement is very good as it is and doesn't need any improvement. Since Etsy gives us more space to use here, I like to use all they give us, she could use the space to do more advertising. If there are any specials or shop sales, this is a great place to advertise them. If you add something new to your line, make a big announcement and generate some excitement for it here in this space. For instance..

Let's say Angela decides to do a larger plaque she has not done thus far. Perhaps the subject matter is different, let's say it is a landscape,  fir trees in the background with a picnic table in the foreground. She is going to want to draw attention to her new item. This announcement area is the perfect place for an announcement. Because this line is new she might be running a special on it,  10% off on all new items.Her ad might say:

INTRODUCING NEW  11" x 14" Wood Plagues, Landscaping Designs.
Introduction Price : 10% Off Marked Price.

This is merely a suggestion, you can use your announcement for whatever you would like to draw attention to.

Angela has written very good policies. They are clear and precise, she should never have a dispute with a customer. She seems to have covered all her bases.

The profile is also very good, it gives a little glance into the private life of Angela, and why and how she started creating her craft. It explains to us also that before opening her shop her ornaments and plaques were already a hit among her friends and so she decided to share them with us.

Angela hasn't had time to do her "Etsy About Page" she is too busy taking custom orders and filling them. She's only had her shop opened since April 23, 2012. Having sales this early in her Etsy career bodes well for her, she is bound for success.

To start with let's look at a few pictures and we will discuss them, and what can be done to improve them.
This is a good picture but what can we do to improve it?  The black poodle looks nice with the light background but a white background would make the picture POP. Angela has acquired a light box and that is what is needed here. The poodle needs more light on it. A light box with a lamp shining on this will brighten the subject, (the poodle) and using a macro setting on the camera will allow her to zoom in without losing focus. That will brighten the poodle and bring out the details.

This german shepherd desperately needs to be shot in a light box.
The glare is ruining the picture. In a light box with a light from the top 
and maybe one from the front that should flood the box with enough
light that there won't even be a shadow let alone a glare. My favorite dog is the shepherd, my 16 year old baby, is part shepherd part chow, I rescued him when he was still a pup. So I have a special place in my heart for this picture. 

Etsy gives us five spaces for photos. That's five pictures that we get to publish of our product for 20 cents.
That's a bargain. They give them to us, so be sure to use all the photo spaces. Here are some suggestions about how you can fill the spaces.

For Angela's pictures I suggest first of all, that the main picture encompass the entire item in the picture or at least a good portion of it. I say this with regards to all photos, use your macro setting and pull in as close as you can get. You want your item to fill the entire space. It isn't important to show the ribbon, people know what ribbons look like, so in the description just mention it is hung from a ribbon and mention the color.
Below are five suggestions for a better picture array.
     !.  Full picture, white background, perfect focus, maybe one item added for decoration i.e. with your         
         Christmas ornaments rather than show them hanging on a tree, prop them up against a little easel and        
         then use a pretty glass tree ornament just laying in front of it. That is enough to say xmas and you can
         dangle the ribbon over the top of the ornament and on the table top. The colorful glass ornament adds
         interest and color.
     2. 2nd picture your measurement, use only one picture for this, get two rulers and show both directions at 
         the same time.
     3. Turn the ornament over and show the back side, always explain how you finish the back.
     4. If there is another way the ornament could be used, such as hanging it in the window use this space to 
         show that. Take a picture of it hanging in a window.
     5. Could it decorate another area of the home? What about the guest bathroom mirror. Could you hang it 
         there? Do so and take a picture. You are trying to give your customers ideas of where else they could 
         use your ornament
So that makes up your five pictures. Always do use them all. that's 5 chances to sell your item to someone.


Customized Baby Ornament

No two alike, babies birth date burned
on the back



I chose this item to use as an example for a couple of points that I want to make. This is a great product, it would be such a nice gift.  And it's one of a kind.

Tags are a bit of a mystery to me. Etsy says we can have   13. However you used 15 and got away with it. On my entries I try to use 18 the number we are allowed on Treasuries. I always get away with more than 13 I keep adding until the computer doesn't let me add any more.

However in your tags you used Baby twice. So with that space you could have put It's a girl, to go with your it's a boy. 
You might try:  Baby Shower Gift,  Unique Newborn Announcement, New Grandparent Gift, It's a boy Ornament, It;s a Girl Ornament, New Mom Gift,

You can use phrases just as well as single words and get more word and meaning into them. 


Pets Welcome - Children Must Be Leashed  $8


This picture is adorable. The sentiment is just precious. And it is worth far more than $8. Don't devalue your art by charging prices that are too low. You are a talented artist. And all of your ornament and plaques are works of art. YOU ARE AN ARTIST. There are not many people that can do what you do. My dear, they must pay you what you are worh, If you don't charge enough people will think what you have is junk and it is NOT. It is hand painted art. You need to value yourself and your work .
I also want to discuss your tags on this puppy. You are 
only using 8. You already know I'm going to say use 
them all. You could use Cute Welcome Sign, Funny 
Sign, Cute Dog Sign, One Of A Kind, Signed by Artist,
and so on.

One more thing I want to mention is to always check your spelling and grammar. Nothing will make you look more amateur faster then doing these two things wrong. So just proof read before you publish.

Angelas' views are quite low. But on the other hand her shop has not been open very long. Another thing is that she has a full time job and promotion is very time consuming. But...when there is time, here are some ideas.

1, When you list a new item, if you start with Golden Rose Crafters, then when you have your listing your new item,  then copy your listing. Then take that copy of your listing and go to each one of the other teams that you are on and post it on their thread for new listings.
2. When you renew an item that has expired you will also want to do the same thing, only post it on threads for renewals or relistings. You might want to put it on sale for a few days so you can say that and if you do then you can post it on threads for Promotions, Sales, Etc. 
3. Twitter, copy your listing and go to twitter with it. You have 140 characters you can use there. Choose your tags wisely. Paste your listing. When you have tweeted your ad what I like to do is Copy it, and then I go to Facebook with that Twitter ad and I post it on Facebook. I then head off to Stumble Upon and once again I paste that same Twitter ad on my Stumble Upon account. You can also post it to Pinterest.. If you need help with this please contact me.

The one last thing I want to talk about is favoriting and Circles. These are some of the best things that etsy has done for us. I think we all understand how it works, if not consult some of the conversation explanations that I have put on our threads at GRC. This is the easiest way for you to get the views you need. Favorite as many items of others that you can, favorite their shops and put their shops in your circle. Get your circles up to the limit of what Etsy allows which is somewhere around 1000, it will take you awhile to get there. But that will get thousands of people looking at your product and going to your shop. It will only be a short time and those sales will come pouring in.

Treasuries are another way to promote your shop as well as promote good will among other Etsians. Many of our buyers are Etsy people so you want to get to know people and have them know you.

Written by: Marilyn Rush (Captain of Golden Rose Crafters)

Reg. $20 Sale $10
Reg. $20 Sale $10
 50% OFF on All Gun Metal Jewelry

Reg. $20 Sale $10

Reg. $25 Sale $12


1 comment:

  1. You have a wonderful shop, Angela. Marilyn, your in-depth analysis of each of the shops (including this one) gives all of us such valuable and useful information!