Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Not Get Discouraged Playing the "Numbers" Game

When I first started out on Etsy I remember seeing at the time that one of my favorite illustrators, Nan Lawson, had over 8,000 admirers on Etsy. (Now, 2 1-2 years later she's up to over 17,000)

I was all like "Ok, I am never ever going to see that number. Ever". 2 years later and I am over 6,000 admirers (you guys know how to make a girl's heart go lub dub)

Sometimes when other sellers out there browse Etsy they see a few numbers that stand out to them: The number of sales the person has made, the number of their admirers (people who like their shop) and the number of their followers (people who follow what they do on Etsy). You need to realize a few things before you get wrapped up in the "holy cow this shop has 4,000 sales and I only have 29" game.

• When did their shop "open up"? If your shop is only 1 month old and you're checking out a shop that is 5 years old then they will most likely have more sales than you just due to the fact that they have had a longer time frame selling their items.

• What is the price point of their items? If you are making handmade furniture and sell your items at $2,000 each then you only need to sell 1 item to make about $2,000, whereas a shop who sells book marks at $1 each needs to make 2,000 sales to do what you just did in one sale. Its all subjective.

• I know I've said it here before but the saying "don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle" totally rings true here. We've all had zero followers. We've all had zero sales. We've all had to invest personal money into our business before our business was making a profit and we can start to use "business money" for business related items (advertising, supplies, craft booth fees etc)

• Don't get wrapped up in the numbers, and if you do take a step back and reevaluate why the shop is as successful as it is. If you are comparing your hand bag shop to another hand bag shop who has comparable items to yours (price point, materials, style) and you can't understand why they are getting more sales than you it might be something as simple as how you are photographing your items. We are used to "instant gratification". If an app takes longer than 5 seconds to load on my phone I am over it. If you are taking bad quality photos of your products I am not going to sit there and examine the photo and realize "oh, ok, they took these at night, with their cell phone, on top of a pile of dirty laundry. But hey I SEE the potential here!" no. not gonna happen. You need clean, nice looking photos from the start or else you're going to lose a sale.

I know a lot of "Etsy Tips" out there are to "see what other sellers are doing out there and take note of what their doing to be successful". Tread lightly here, its great to follow people on twitter and on Instagram who you admire and who you think are successful. If these successful shops are posting a lot of their products on instagram then maybe you should do the same. Or maybe they are polling a lot of their facebook following and they are getting a lot of interaction that way, then of course you can take a tip from then and poll your facebook following too. But DO NOT actually "copy" their products thinking "oh hey their items are selling really well, I'm just going to do that too". When people say "follow shops to see what they are doing" take it from a marketing stand point and NOT from a "what they are selling" stand point. Copying is NOT flattering, its laziness.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Freebie! Hello Cell Phone Wallpapers

It's been a while since I've done a friday freebie! Figured you guys were past due for some free snazzy shit for your cell phone.

I have been so busy lately designing, cutting, sewing and photographing the latest Yellow Heart Art collection that will hopefully be released middle of August. This new line has taken up a lot of my free time but it's so worth it. I am busy creating new square pillows that can help spruce up your couches, bedding and even shelves! I managed to squeeze in a few extra minutes to make these cute wallpapers!

hello? hand drawn wallpaper for iPhone 4 (or any other device)

hello? hand drawn wallpaper for iPhone 5 (or any other device)

Just open up this blog post on your phone, tap the image with your finger (so it opens at full size) then press and hold and save it to your phone's camera roll! Please remember these are for personal use only, let's all play nice and use them for just that :) artwork can not be copied, used or produced. If you do share these on your blog please link with love and have them come back to


Also in case you missed it we are still holding our "Yellow Heart Art Home" contest. Take a photo on instagram showing us how you style your Yellow Heart Art, be sure to tag @yellowheartart and use the hashtag #yellowheartarthome to be entered. We will pick our favorite photos and have our facebook fans vote on the winner! Opened to US residents only, winner will get to pick items from my shop as a prize! GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No Longer a Walking Halogen Bulb

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love the warmer weather, but I hate wearing clothes that show off more skin than I am comfortable with. I am pretty self conscious about my body to begin with so add that insecurity with my "I am so white I look like a walking glow stick" insecurity and you have a big pasty emotional mess on your hands.

A few weeks back I asked you all on facebook what self tanner you recommend. I have tried so many self tanners with little to no success. They would either:
• Make me orange
• Streak really bad
• Look awesome, but then "Sweat off" in a day
• Leave me feeling gooey
• Smell really terrible
• Be a huge messy disaster (any spray-tans had to be done in my shower so my walls didn't end up orange)
• Need to re-apply all day erry day
• Work great, but would be really expensive.

I asked you guys what you recommend because I know you'll be straight up with me. You'll give me your honest opinion and hopefully not steer me in the wrong direction and give me the deadly disease "oompah-lompha-itis". One person wrote on my status that the best self tanner they use is "sunlight". Now as much as I would love to be able to naturally tan I just can't. My skin just doesn't do the "tanning" thing, and even if I did tan I wouldn't want to expose my skin to that much sunlight due to other not-so-fun things that can happen to your skin when its exposed to too much sun.

A few of you guys recommend that I try Xen-tan. One of the people who recommended that I try Xen-tan was one of their representatives, Bethany. Bethany contacted me over email to see if I was interested in reviewing their tanning product. Before saying yes I did some research and read other's reviews of Xen-tan. Each review was positive and hopeful. I figured Bethany must be pretty confident in this product as well if she uses it herself AND is willing to let me review it using my own opinions.

 before and after

 before and after

The Results; Why I Would Totally Use it Again:

• Smells fruity when you first slap it on ya.

• The lotion is tinted so you know exactly where you are applying it on your body. (don't let the dark brown color scare you. It freaked the shiz atta me too but once you rub it in it becomes way more transparent and blends in with your existing skin color, girl scouts honor)

• Wasn't streaky since I was able to see where the lotion was going on my body.

• If you happen to apply the lotion unevenly use the balm to help blend in areas that are blotchy, uneven or too dark (I used the balm along my jaw line, knees and ankles. It's like the mr.clean magic eraser but for your body. Its actually did help blend in my goof-ups)

• I didn't feel sticky, slimy or "ooey" like when I use other lotions or tanners. The lotion absorbed nicely into my skin and didn't "lay on top of" my skin.

• I started to see results ASAP. This was big for me because I noticed in the past I had to keep building up a base coat for a few days before I was happy with the color. This is great if I get invited to a last minute event and want to look a little "glow-y" beforehand.

• The color is natural since it has olive undertones.

• You can adjust the color to your liking by either adding more or less lotion in between coats. I did 2 coats of lotion for my base layer and the color held up for 3 days with out fading. After that I just needed to do one layer of lotion for upkeep (That's not to say by day 3 I was white, I still had tanner on me but I noticed it wasn't as dark. I would personally apply ever 3 to 4 days to maintain a constant nice glow. You might have to do more or less depending how often you shower. I shower every day)

• I used the scent secure gold lotion to touch up my face. Its a lotion with flecks of gold in it to help maintain your self tanner in between applications. I see myself using the scent secure gold lotion in the winter time to give myself a healthy glow since I won't have to be applying tanner to my entire body. (let's be real, aint nobody seeing my legs in -20* weather. I dub NY winters as "no leg shaving" season) (sorry Bub)
• I got a few comments at work from people saying I looked good and wanted to know what I did differently. I was happy to hear that people noticed "something" was different about me but it wasn't super obvious that I had self tanner on. I just said I got a hair cut ;)

Helpful Tips:

• My only slight issue (which isn't even a HUGE deal) is that the mitt they supplied to prevent the tanner from staining your hands did leave some lint residue on my body while using it. To eliminate this I would recommend running a damp paper towel over the mitt to pick up any loose pieces of lint before hand. Again, the mitt is optional and doesn't affect the tanner at all. Once I did that I was good to go and have no had a problem since then.

• The fruity scent did wear away after a while and the familiar "self tanner smell" did creep in but with that said it wasn't a strong self tanner smell and the other lotion (scent secure gold) that they supplied helps mitigate that scent.

• Do not use the mitt to apply the tanner to your face. Since the mitt is so big its hard to rub it in evenly, I suggest using your hands and washing them ASAP right afterwards.

• Do not shower right away after applying the tanner. I showered first, applied the tanner, and waited a few hours before putting on "real" clothes (ya know, clothes that are acceptable for public viewing) (I'm talking  to you oversized yoga pants and that free t-shirt you scored at the company picnic that hasn't been washed in a week) but again this goes for pretty much any self tanner you use.

• Avoid loofas or exfoliators, but this is common sense with any self tanners. You're just going to scrub off the tanner and look blotchy. Also avoid chlorine. I took a dip in my hot tub and my self tanner came off, again not Xen-tans fault it was my own fault for exposing my tanner to chemicals.

• I used an old towel that I cut into a 5" width strip to do my back. I applied the tanner to the towel and then "shimmied" it back and forth across my back like as if I was drying myself off (but instead I was applying tanner) it worked really well.

• Make sure to do your neck and jaw line! I see so many people with tan faces and white necks.

Wanna Give it a Try?

Bethany has graciously given you all a 35% coupon code to use! Enter "YELLOWHEART35" at check out. You can buy Xen-Tan over here! The code is only good for US Residents only.

In case 35% off your Xen-Tan order wasn't awesome enough Xen-Tan is also giving away a Tanning Goodie Bag that includes their Dark Lotion, Scent Secure Gold, Blending Balm and their Deluxe Tanning Mitt. This goodie bag retails for over $101. 

Do the Rafflecopter Prompts below to be entered to win! Xen-Tan was awesome enough to give you guys a prize pack worth over $100, so we do make sure every entry is valid :) Opened to U.S. Residents only please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 8, 2013

Home DIY Round ups for the WIN

So, as you know I am on a total DIY kick for our new home. I can't wait to try these techniques below to spruce up our hizzay.


Ok, those folding chairs? HOW has NO ONE thought of this before?! I feel as though I should give this girl my first born child and a vital organ for being that amazing at life.

Also that table runner on top is made from a drop cloth. I have been having a hard time finding *exactly* what I want to decorate my house, so if I can slather some paint on a drop cloth from home depot then shit thats what I'll do. Yeah, I'm talking to you cheesy table runners from bed, bath and beyond.

What are your favorite DIY go-tos?

Oh hey disclaimer! These are NOT my photos, please link with love. I found all these DIYs on pinterest BUT I went to the actual source for you guys so you can see the creative people behind these awesome tutorials. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

how to really utilize newsletters for your business

Happy 4th-o-joo-lie eve guys! (It's a thing, swear) I created a youtube video filled with tips and tricks on how to really utilize newsletters for your business! Ignore the jail-cell-esque looking background, bubs and I just moved in and we need to paint and add furniture (Thinking peach? Gold? GAAAAHHH NEW STUFF!) (sorry, random outburst won't happen again)