Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Totally Handmade: New By Hand Website March 2, 2009

The following is excerpted from one of my favorite websites, Wickedly Chic, which effortlessly combines shopping and indie, handmade culture—a perfect blend, in my opinion. (Their tagline, “Independent Shopping for the Wickedly Fashionable” says it all, doesn’t it?)

By Liz Nonnemacher, Editor-in-Chief, Wickedly Chic

byhandI’d like to introduce a unique new website to Wickedly Chic readers. ByHand is the creation of husband & wife team, Adam & Rebecca. I’m just starting to play around with it and there are so many cool features for both sellers & shoppers. Let’s talk to Rebecca and find out more about ByHand.

What is ByHand?

It’s a social community for handmade artists AND handmade buyers created with the purpose of putting the personal back into handmade. It is NOT venue specific. We have an artisan directory where anyone who creates handmade can list themselves for free and it allows them to list all the venues they sell on whether it’s Etsy, Artfire, Silkfair, Dawanda, their own website or anywhere else that they sell their items. My husband feels very lucky to have a stable job in this economy when so many don’t…so this is how he felt he could give back. We are paying for everything for the site out of our pockets including the new server and back up external drive we just purchased.

What are some of the features that ByHand can offer both buyers & sellers?

Our big key feature right now is what we call Spotlights. Basically they
are like Etsy’s treasuries … but you can add products from any selling venue we have listed (Made it Myself, Zibbet, SilkFair, 1000 Markets, Dawanda, ArtFire, Etsy & ShopHandmade). A user creates a Spotlight using any 9 items from these venues. The Spotlights are archived forever and never disappear unless the user deletes them. You can click on every product in the Spotlights section and it takes you straight to that product’s page..wherever it may be. Now what’s even better is that Spotlights show up not only on the ByHand site, but you can use a code we provide to post them to your blog or social community as well. There are javascript and flash versions depending on what works on the external site and different sizes and layouts offered as well!

Do you have other features to offer buyers & sellers?

Yes, we do. We have a Community Blog where users who set up an account (remember…it’s free) can post and we also have a Chat feature. There’s a complete listing of Artisans that have joined us at ByHand and a Clubhouse where you can join groups or create your own. There are many opportunities for the seller to showcase their items and for buyers to find cool stuff to spend their money on!

Who are some of the sellers that you have on ByHand?

Here’s a short list of some of our fabulous sellers:

Mama’s Little Monkeys (Custom gifts for mom, baby & more).

Heather Knitz (Unique rag bags and rag bag kits. Sassy hair and jewelry accessories. Funky art and crafting supplies. DIY patterns and tutorials).

Peaches and Kream (jewelry & needle felted items).

Infinite Vision Photography (photography).

BeachyRustica Practical Art (furniture knobs & hooks).

LiberTEAS (tea).

Splashin (handpainted clothing).

Broken Hallelujah (crocheted accessories).

Weird Bug Lady (plush bugs, spiders, reptiles, etc.)

Timothy Adam Designs (metal)

Lumina Jewelry (affordable jewelry)

Tilley Jewels (fairytale jewels for the everyday princess).

BookWormz (stylish bookmarks).

Be sure to take a look at ByHand today & find more great artists….and if you have a shop yourself, why not join & promote your products?

 

Okay … So What Is Etsy and Why Is It So Much Fun? October 30, 2008

Get your shopping hookup at WickedlyChic.com

Get your shopping hookup at WickedlyChic.com

This article is excerpted from the Wickedly Chic FaceBook discussion board and is written by the brilliant Liz Nonnemacher, chief editor and creator of Wickedly Chic.com, the web site Athena would be if she were a real grown up web ‘zine and took ads, and written up here on Athena recently.

By Liz Nonnemacher

According to Wikipedia, “Etsy is a website which provides the general public with a way to buy and sell handmade items.” The site follows in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for a fee. It has been compared to “a crafty cross between Amazon and eBay” and “your grandma’s basement.”

Eh … personally, I think it’s way cooler than that. There are over 262,000 sellers on Etsy as of right now, and if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items that not everyone has, Etsy is a fun place to shop. Each seller has their own store and does their own pricing. So it’s like tons of little shops under one roof. Each shop has its own style. Some are more sophisticated; some are more country-style. And many fall in between. One of the things that I love the most is just browsing through, watching trends and checking out what’s out there.

What I would do to start out is to head on over to Etsy, http://www.etsy.com and click on the Register button in the upper right hand corner. You must be a registered member of Etsy to make purchases. Don’t worry. It won’t cost you a dime. It’s all free. You will create a user name and a password. Then you’ll enter your email address. And click on submit and you’re in. Now you’re ready to buy.

What are you looking for? Nothing? You don’t know? You want to treat yourself but don’t know what you want? Well … when you click on the Buy tab, you’ll be taken to a series of options. You might choose Local Sellers. Maybe you live in Pittsburgh or Kalamazoo, and you want to check out local vendors. You can look through Categories if you know, for example, that you are looking for a bracelet. You can even search by color. Maybe you want a peach bracelet or a blue purse. You can search by items that have recently been listed. Or you can simply go to Sellers and find items from sellers as soon as they are listed.

If you’re looking for jewelry, artwork, cosmetics, bath & body, clothing, hats, vintage items, candles, accessories,you name it, you can find it while browsing through Etsy. Sometimes you’ll see things that you’ve just gotta have. Right now. And if you are a crafty designer yourself, you’ll find plenty of shops selling stones, beads, yarn, fabric, etc.

Each shop is an individual store, so to speak. When you see an item that you want and you click on it and you’ve read all about it and you must have it or buy it for someone else, I would first make sure to read the shop’s policies. Each shop has their own policies, so make sure that you read up on them before making a purchase. Most of them are self-explanatory.

Check the seller’s feedback. At least 99.9% of the sellers on Etsy are honest and fabulous. There are few exceptions. Make sure you read the feedback from both buyers and sellers. Yes, Etsy sellers purchase from each other too! After you make your purchase, your seller will leave you feedback, and you are expected to leave feedback for them once you receive your item.

Now you’re ready to buy. Yay! What you will do is to click the green button that says Add to Cart. This will take you to the next page to confirm your added item, and you’ll see an option of two buttons to click. One will say Checkout (this means that this is the only item that you are going to purchase from this seller’s shop) OR the button below says Keep Shopping. Click this button if you want to add more items from this PARTICULAR seller’s shop. Otherwise mosey yourself along and click Checkout.

At this point, you’ll enter your address (or the address that you would like your item(s) shipped to). Because you must create an account and sign in, Etsy will store your address information once you make a purchase. Don’t worry. You can always change your address on subsequent purchases.

Click Next Step and now your item(s) will show up. This is the last chance to change your order before submitting. Change your mind? Just click the remove x right next to your item. Your shipping and item price will be confirmed in this step. Keep in mind that shipping charges will vary from seller to seller. This is important to note! Very important. You’ll find that some sellers will offer free shipping and others will charge varying prices. As a general rule of thumb, if you are stateside, you’ll find that shipping costs are lower from state to state. The same goes if you are in the UK or in Canada or Spain. Shipping within your own country is likely to be less than shipping from another country.

BUT don’t let this stop you! Choose items based on what you like and not where they come from. So you pay a few dollars more. How cool is it that you can buy from all over the world? One of my favorite pairs of pants (although my husband doesn’t think they’re so sexy) came from a shop in Thailand. They’re thai fisherman’s pants, and they’re awesome. Got ’em on Etsy. If you want to know more about them, I’ll send you over there. Let me know.

But wait … do you have a Paypal account? If you do, great. If not, you can pay through Paypal using any major credit card without having an account or exposing your information to the Etsy seller. Using Paypal is free whether you have an account or not. Some of the sellers are taking what’s called RME payments but I don’t have an RME account, so I have to skip over that. If anyone has any info, feel free to share it.You might see something on Paypal mentioning low fees…don’t worry. That’s only if you are a seller. For instance, I take advertising payments on Wickedly Chic through Paypal, and I pay the fee. So when you purchase something on Etsy, you aren’t paying any fees and you can simply pay with a credit or debit card. On the other hand, if you want to pay strictly with a credit card and do not want to set up a paypal account, that’s not a problem.

Once you make your purchase, you can always sign in and go to Your Etsy. Once there, you log in and you can see the status on your account. Most sellers will mark that payment is received or the item has been shipped. But sometimes they forget and you can always send them a convo to ask about it. What is a convo? It’s Etsy-ese for conversation. Let’s say that you see a necklace with a blue stone. You might think …”I love that necklace but I’d like to have a pink stone.” Well…send the seller a convo and see if that’s possible. Most sellers are very accommodating and love to do what they can to please their customers. You might also send the seller a convo if you have questions about ingredients in bath items, etc.

Another reason that you might need to send a convo to a seller is regarding payment. There are some buyers who prefer to pay through a check or a money order. If this is your situation, you will need to contact that seller to make sure that will be acceptable. Some will say yes and some will say no. You’ll want to make sure and not take any chances.

You will receive a confirmation to your email account once you make a purchase. And chances are, you’ll hear from the seller too. You might not…but don’t worry. Most of the sellers are very busy making one-of-a-kind items (OOAK) just for you!

There’s an entire Etsy world out there with amazing sellers who have things that you just can’t buy anywhere. It’s easy to begin, and, I have to admit … very addicting.

OH! One of my favorite features on Etsy is that all of your information is stored in Your Etsy. That means that years from now, you can see the actual listing for each item that you have purchased even if that particular seller has closed shop. Sometimes we buy things and then forget where we purchased from. This isn’t a concern with Etsy. ALSO, let’s say that you are just browsing but don’t want to make any purchases. But you see a store that you like. Go to the bottom right of the seller’s shop where you will see Page Tools. You’ll see that you can click to Add Seller to Favorites. That way, next time you go to Etsy, you have your shop already stored without having to grab a pen. You can even add an individual item to your favorites but beware … next time you come back … it might be gone!

The following are some recent Wickedly Chic articles featuring Etsy sellers. If you want to poke around before taking the Etsy plunge (and I know it can be daunting), you might browse through some of these Wickedly Chic favorites. Because they’re wonderful.

Prim Pantry & Jamie Noel, http://www.wickedlychic.com/774/fresh-and-chic-the-prim-pantryjamie-noel-jewelry-october-16-2008

Liebling Designs, http://www.wickedlychic.com/771/fresh-and-chic-maddison-avenue-candleliebling-designs-october-9-2008

Jenny Karlsson Design, http://www.wickedlychic.com/769/indies-of-the-week-the-purple-sagejenny-karlsson-design-october-2-2008

AquaBeet, http://www.wickedlychic.com/766/fresh-and-chic-aqua-beetcrater-lake-company-september-25-2008

Deb’s Design & 4th Avenue Soap Co, http://www.wickedlychic.com/761/indies-of-the-week-debs-design4th-avenue-soap-co-september-11-2008

The Venerable Bead, http://www.wickedlychic.com/730/indies-of-the-week-lol-candlesven-bead—july-10-2008

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Happy shopping! Let me know if you have other questions or other suggestions. And if I missed anything (and I very well might have), feel free to post & assist other shoppers!