Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Week in Review...February 14-20!

Hello Readers,

What a week it has been.  The Olympics are well under way.  Everyone is in full Olympic spirit!  Go CANADA Go!!!  I'm especially looking forward to the rival hockey game between Team Canada and Team USA Sunday night! 

This week we wrote about our new venture...earrings!  Numerous F.E.D. customers had requested earrings to match their other jewelry.  Not wanting to disappoint, I whipped up a few pairs.  I am so pleased with the results and can't wait to make more!!!

My favourite things covered "Sweet Deals" on Etsy.  We found some really great finds for under $20!  That is the great thing about Etsy...unique handmade items at price points for every shopper.

Zakka Canada was our Canadian supplier for our Thursday supply and demand post.  They were so pleased with the posting that they are adding it to their news feed!!!  Thanks Zakka Canada!

Our featured artist this week was Paper Route.  There shop carries envelopes, stickers, postcards, etc.  It was such an honour to have them this week. 

Well, we soon begin another week and I am thrilled to see what comes with it.  Thank you for taking the time to check out Four Elements Design's blog. 

Your Friend,


Friday, February 19, 2010

Feature Friday...Paper Route!

It's Feature Friday!!!  This week we have the pleasure of sharing the spotlight with Paper Route.  Paper Route's Etsy shop sells envelopes, post cards, stickers, etc.  Plus, every purchase receives a free gift/extra!!!  Let's take a look at Paper Route's artist...

1. Tell us about yourself?

Until recently, I was a high school English and Creative Writing teacher (10 years) but then my beautiful daughter came along and now I am enjoying maternity leave (for at least another few months) and trying new things and enjoying things I was too busy to do before. I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth (I think this is actually a tourist ad on TV but I do feel that way) and I am happily married to a really sweet guy coming up on five years now – time flies when you are having fun! I love reading, writing, photography, the beach, mail, random acts of kindness (not so random ones are good too), travel, a good cup of tea, quiet moments, and good food.

2. Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy?

I came across Etsy in a roundabout sort of way and browsed for a long time, bought a few things and then thought, “Hey, I could open a shop on here.” So I did. It has been a really fun venture.

3. Who or what inspires your designs?

I love old maps and old books – this is mostly what I work with. I’m an avid recycler (from way back when it wasn’t cool or even available in some places) and I love that I can create something new from something old (Etsy is such a great community for this). One of my favourite things to do is send cool, happy, day-brightening mail to people in my life (near and far) and what’s cooler than a fun envelope? I just started a passion – project on the subject actually: (check it out – shameless plug).

4. Why is supporting handmade important to you?

I love handmade because it is so personal and that just feels good. There are so many wonderful artisans and crafters out there doing the things they love to do and loving life because of it – how can I not support that? If they get to quit their day jobs or stay home with their children – even better.

5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wondering where the time went... and hopefully enjoying my kid(s) and family as much as I am now.

A special thank you to Paper Route for taking
the time to be featured on our blog!

To get your Paper Route products visit their Etsy shop at:

Supply & Demand...Zakka Canada

About Us

Zakka Canada, your first choice for all jewelry display, sunglass display, gift boxes and bags, mannequines and store fixtures in Canada.

Based in Barrie Ontario, Zakka Canada provides Canadian retailers with large selection of display and store fixtures at most competitive price and fast delivery. We've been serving local jewelry makers, vendors, boutiques, stores and online sellers since 2003. With a purchasing office in China, we are able to buy direct from manufacturers and pass more savings to you. All display we offer are best price guaranteed for the same quality products within Canada.

Shopping locally, you as our valued customer, will enjoy fast delivery, low shipping fee and A+++ customer support from Zakka Canada. A peace of mind - Never worry about unexpected import duty, broker fee and slow delevery any more.

Purchase online or visit our showroom at 1 Saunders Road in South Barrie. Our 1500 square foot warehouse stock large variety displays at your chocie. We are 35 minutes drive north of Toronto, just off Hwy400 Exit 90. We open to both business and public.

Customer satisfaction is our top priority and we care about your purchasing experience at This is a 24x7 store for you at your fingertips. We hope you enjoy this site and look forward to serving you today!

1 Saunders Road - Unit 6
 Barrie, Ontario
 L4N 9A7

10:00 am - 4:00 pm Eastern Time
Monday - Friday
(Saturdays by appointment only)

Toll Free: 1.877.412.1119
Tel: 705.812.1119
Fax: 1.705.812.3922

$18.95 CAD
To place your order visit:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Favourite Things...Sweet Deals!

It's Wednesday and that means it is favourites things time again!  This week favourite things is finding sweet deals to share with our readers.  Every item listed is priced less than $20!  It doesn't get sweeter than that!

Let's get started.  The Little Pine Drop earrings from Tryst by Kerry are so adorable!  All of Tryst's jewelry is vintage inspired, but handmade.  These earrings are discounted because of a slight irregularity.  Priced at $4 I'm sure no one will notice!  To see more of Tryst by Kerry visit her Etsy shop

Next up, Floridity's Bantam Lovebird Necklace in Turquoise.  Floridity specializes in handmade polymer clay beads and jewelry using those beads.  This Lovebird necklace is an excellent deal for only $12.  To get your own visit

Creations by Juliann's, The Which within Me Burns Necklace is a stunner.  This clear crystal pendant is beautiful.  And at a price of $19.50 it is affordable by all!  If you want to see more of Creations by Juliann visit

Finishing off our collection of sweet deals is the Brass Feather Necklace by In God's Hands.  A simple statement piece for any outfit.  With a $7 pricetag it is even harder to pass up!  Want your own?  Check out

I love Etsy!  Better yet I love sweet deals on Etsy!!!
A special thank you to all the Etsy shops who
inspired this favourite things collection.

How to...Shipping!

Ah, shipping!!!  The nightmare that every Etsy seller will face!  Why is shipping such a dilema?  Let's take a look...

To start, there are different rates to ship within Canada, to the US, and Internationally.  Then, weight and dimensions affect the prices.  And lastly, you have to select a shipping method, ground, express, etc.  Like I said a nightmare. 

Lucky for us, Canada Post now provides the service Ship-in-a-Click!!! It is shipping made easy!  With Ship-in-a-Click you follow the simple steps.  Type in the addresses.  Enter the dimensions and weight which is simpler than it sounds.  Select between the shipping options.  All done in the comfort of your own home using your credit card to pay.  Lastly, you print your shipping lable and place your package in your nearest Canada Post Box.  It is really that easy!!!

To take advantage of this sites time saving tool click the link below.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Monday...Earrings!

Yay!!!  Four Elements Design is branching out.  As our business contiues to grow we are expanding our product line to fulfill the consumer's needs.  Many of our faithful customers have wanted a pair of earrings to compliment their F.E.D. necklace or bracelet.  So F.E.D. has excepted the challange and is now creating earrings!

Four Elements Design's earrings will be an extension of what I have designed thus far.  Each pair will be unique.  F.E.D. strives to ensure each piece is one-of-a-kind.

I am looking forward to this new venture.  I will include pictures as soon as possible.

Tip of the Week...United We Stand!

So many aspiring artists are trying to get known.  We are all looking for our big break into the world of commerce.  We have our Etsy shops, blogs, twitter account, facebook page, etc.  But how are consumers going to recognize you and your product everywhere?

Just like we discussed with our "How to" post on branding you need to unite all of your accounts.  Every viewer should be able to distinguish your signature colours, style, and font between sites.  Take some time and create your layout.  Then apply your cohesive design to all your sites. 

Each site should flow seamlessly into the next.  So go ahead, take the time, and unite your sites! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Week in Review...February 7-13

This week has been full of excitement and anticipation.  The world has been on edge waiting for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Fashion week to begin!  Four Elements Design has kept busy too.

I could not wait to post the pictures of the new bracelets I made.  They turned out so well.  We also have some fun new ideas in the work.  I am getting excited to try them out. 

Even though the ground hog said six more weeks of winter, we are obsessed with spring.  The colours are bright.  The fabrics are light.  It brings about a renewed freshness.  F.E.D. has some fun things planned for spring so be sure to stay tuned.

I loved the feature with Wild Heather.  Her work is amazing.  I love her rings.  They are so femine.  We are looking forward to next week's feature with Paper Route. 

Yesterday's Olympic opening ceremonies were stunning.  The world was watching and Canada did not disappoint.  The performances by Sarah McLachlan and Katie Lang were breathtaking.  The Olympic spirit was felt by all.  It is going to be an exciting two weeks.  Go CANADA Go!

On a side note, our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Nodar Kumaritashvili the luger who lost his life practicing for the Olympics.

Take Care,


Friday, February 12, 2010

Feature Friday...Wild Heather!

This week we have the pleasure of featuring a talented Canadian jewelry maker from Delta, BC!  Her Etsy shop has a great mixture of silver and semiprecious stones among other things.  What is the best part about Wild Heather?  The affordable price point!

Tell us about yourself?

I am a 40-something year old with a 20-something year old mindset! In my regular everyday non-creative life, I am an elementary school teacher. I’ve lived my entire life in the Metro-Vancouver BC area, and I love it here. I have two dogs and a cranky elderly cat that occasionally like to help supervise the creative process!

What is your creative process?

In a word, it’s irregular. I am bad at setting a time and sitting down and creating: I find that it’s essential to my process to be ‘moved by the spirit’, as corny as that might sound. I find that when I try to make myself work on a schedule, or because I feel like I should be working on something, that the work feels forced. I am just as likely to be working in my pyjamas in the middle of the night or in the evening after a long day of doing not much as I am to be working first thing in the morning if an idea has hit. I am lucky right now to have the luxury of time to do that, because I have been on a sick leave recovering from back-t- back major surgeries, 8 weeks apart! I might have to look at being a little more structured when I go back to work.

I love working with silver: I particularly love working with heat and silver. I started taking silversmithing classes in July of 2009, and I am continuing my education in this medium, because the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know and need to learn!

Who or what inspires your designs?

Good question! I think beautiful bold women inspire my jewellery. I have pieces in my shop inspired by Cher, by Stevie Nicks, by Audrey Hepburn. I try to design pieces that are classic with a slightly funky edge, but with a timeless quality to them. I would like to think that my designs are something that a woman might buy in her twenties, and still be wearing in her forties. I like to hear that customers in their forties (i.e. MY age!) are buying pieces for their daughters and daughters in law! I also love to design custom pieces for brides and graduates: however, I want to design pieces for them, or for their bridesmaids, that they will wear and enjoy as a reminder of those special occasions for the rest of their lives!

What advice do you have for NEW Canadian Etsy sellers?

a) Network, network, network! Join a team, participate in forums, hang out in the chat rooms, and get your name out there! Start a Fan Page, a Twitter and a blog for your business, and follow people whose work you like, or who makes a product that you use, or who sells supplies that you can use, and cross promote. (You can find me at and at!)

b) Spend the time and money to get professional looking business cards made: if you look carefully for online specials, you can end up with LOTS of business cards for very little money. Alternatively, find an Etsy seller with lots of great feedback to make some truly unique ones that represent your business. Find out if they will do trades, and take the opportunity to get your work seen too! It does make a difference!

c) Fill out your profile, and most importantly, fill out your location!!! Make sure you include CANADA in your location. I have had several customers find me because they were doing a geographic search: I am listed as Delta (where I actually live) Surrey, Vancouver, BC Canada just to cover all of the bases! Speaking for myself, I ALWAYS prefer to shop Canadian when I can, and I am always thrilled when my jewellery is staying local!

What was your first purchase on Etsy?

The very first purchase I ever made on Etsy, In June 2008, was 100 fine silver 26 gauge headpins, from the incredibly talented SkyDreams. I have since learned how to make these for myself and I am glad I did! It’s so much fun to watch the fine silver melt and form a perfect little ball that doesn’t tarnish!

A special promotion for followers here:

First of all, basic shipping within Canada is ALWAYS free!
How fun is that?
To enjoy a further 15% discount on your purchase,
in the Notes to Seller at checkout!

A special thank you to the talented artist behind Wild Heather. 
Thank you for taking the time to be featured on our blog!

Supply & Demand...Fundraiser for Haiti!

Artists joining together in support of Haiti...

Greater Vancouver area artists are invited for submission in group exhibit held Spring 2010. Artists who are interested in promoting their photography, painting, sculptures, or any other visual mediums are welcome to apply. The event is a partial fundraiser for Haiti relief funds and will be held at Science World held May 1, 2010.

Artists from any visual arts category are encouraged to apply for their spot in the show. Painting, photography, mixed media, carvings, and sculptures are all accepted. Artists will have the opportunity to show and sell work to a large crowd and be a part of helping those struck by the disaster in Haiti.

Be a part of the solution!

Contact us for more information:


604-999-6177 778-8486956 or

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Favourite Things...Yellow!

Yellow has been my favourite colour since I could talk.  Back then I may have called it "lellow" but I knew I liked it then and I still love it now!  Since yellow is my favourite colour, it was only a matter of time before it wound up in my Favourite Things post.  WARNING:  This yellow is not mellow, may need sun glasses!!!

I found the Canary Dress by Holly Stalder last week in a treasury on Etsy.  I loved it so much it inspired this week's favourite things.  I had forgotten to add it to my favourites but after some determined searching I found it!  This dress is so fresh and fun.  It has a youthful freedom to it.  I am trying to think of any reason to go along with my "need" to have this dress!  To check out more of Holly's great designs visit her Etsy shop

Walking to Jericho's This Tree Stands photograph is stunning.  It has a timeless feel to it.  The tree looks as though it is thousands of years old and yet the yellow makes it feel new.  What a great use of juxtaposition.  To see more beautiful photographs from this artist go to

The Yellow Rose ring by the Poetic Life is a beauty.  I love the detail of the rose and that it has a vintage flair.  This ring is bound to add originality to any outfit.  For more great accessories by the Poetic Life visit their Etsy shop at

I was giddy to find two of my personal favourites together.  A Yellow Truffle Purse by Morelle!!!  Many spring seasons have inspired yellow purses.  What sets this one apart?  It is handmade with top quality Italian leather.  It can carry all the necessities as well as a laptop or books.  Basically it is perfect.  To get one of your own visit Morelle on Etsy at!

As special thanks to all the amazing artisans that
 inspired this grouping of Favourite Things. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to...Advertising

With the amount of gibberish in the advertising world one cannot help but be confused.  Need a little help?  Me too.  Let's take a look together.


CPM advertising — CPM stands for cost per mile. In English, it means the amount you will pay for every 1,000 impressions. (An impression means your ad has been viewed.) So, if a website says their advertising is $10/CPM, and you spend $500, your ad will receive 50,000 impressions.

CPC advertising — Cost per click advertising means you only pay when your ad is clicked on.

Flat Rate Advertising — Many content providers have a flat rate that they charge to advertise with them for a set amount of time. For example, a blog might charge you $100/week or $300/month.

When it comes to advertising it is not always more is more.  It is more like what is going to get me the best bang for my buck.  You can spend $500 on advertising, but if your ads are not visible to your target market it was a waste of money.  If you spend $100 to advertise your knitting supplies on a How to Knit blog that is money well spent.

When investing in advertising take your time.  Do your research.  Advertising is a useful tool when done correctly. 

Advertising Sites:

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Monday...New Creations!

Hello Readers,

This week's My Monday post is an update on Four Elements Design.  What we have been up to?  Where we are heading?  F.E.D.'s future plans?  2010 has been a whirlwind personally and professionally.  Saying that we like the challenge!

Last week I had the pleasure of making some new lampwork beads just because I wanted to.  I love that.  No deadline.  No custom order demands.  Making beads with absolutely no requirements allows me a freedom to just create.  I can enjoy the way they turn out, good or bad, and learn from the experience.  It is very freeing.  We made five new bracelets.  I will include a few pictures with this post!

Four Elements Design or F.E.D. for short has really taken off.  Etsy may be slow, but I have had numerous requests for custom work.  So rather than getting discouraged that my Etsy sales aren't growing I am looking at it as a way of advertizing.  People are seeing my designs, liking them, and requesting custom work which equals business.  I'll take a purchase any way I can get it!

At F.E.D. we are continually looking at fresh ways to encourage our business to grow.  Having said that, integrity and originality are always a must.  We have had requests to design jewelry for weddings.  We have had requests to carry our designs in stores.  I am so honoured by the support and appreciation for what I create. 

2010 really has started out with a bang!  We look forward to keeping that momentum for the rest of the year!!!

As always, thanks for reading,


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tip of the Week...Etsy Canada

I am not shy about promoting other Canadian Etsy Seller's.  I love to put them in the spotlight with Feature Friday and my Favourite Things posts.  That being said, I also support all artists across the world that promote handmade. 

I came across Etsy Canada on the creator's blog and was immediately intrigued.  What is Etsy Canada?

"Created on November 2, 2009, the motivation behind this site was to have it serve as a meeting space for Canadian crafters seeking advice, and inspiration. Although this is not a formal team, Etsy artists can easily find other Etsians locally and nationwide to band together and promote their work. You don't have to be Canadian to join this site as we welcome buyers and friends of Etsy Canada! Promotions will mainly focus on Canadian sellers only, but the blog is for anyone who is a member:)"

If you are looking for a new way to network, are seeking advice, or just want to see who else is out there check out Etsy Canada today!

The Week in Review...January 31 - February 5

Another week has passed.  Where does time go?  Four Element's Design has had a busy week.  We have been ran off our feet in our personal life, but also had some firsts with our small business.

This week we had a huge request on facebook for custom work.  We were asked to design jewelry for a wedding party.  What an honour that was.  We are looking forward to the challange.

Even though life other than jewelry making has been crazy busy we found time to make some new lampwork beads.  It was a major success.  The beads turned out amazing.  I can't wait to post the pictures of the bracelets I made!

Our scheduled Feature Seller was unable to submit her entry for personal reasons.   My life is best described as an organized gong show, so I completely understand.  I look forward to the feature in the weeks to come.  Sorry to the readers for not having a prepared feature.

We put January and our Internet experiment behind us.  February is all about our fans.  Reaching out to see what the consumer wants from F.E.D.  We are looking forward to a productive month, with many more firsts!

Hope you all had a great week as well,


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Supply & Demand...Stones & Findings

Stones & Findings offer premium wholesale jewelry components.  To find out more visit their website at:

Or if you are in the Toronto area stop by their Showroom located at:

55 Queen St. East
Suite 705A
Toronto, Ontario

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Favourite Things...I Heart You!

Yippee, it is Favourite Things time again!  I look forward to every Wednesday.  Too bad it only comes once a week.  With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we are focusing on hearts this week.  This collection is not your typical Valentine's merchandise and that is why I love it.  Enough about that, here they I heart you favourite things!

Garden House Boutique's Valentine's Day Travel Mug is the perfect way to start your day with style!  The description says, "Wake yourself up in the morning with fresh coffee in a fun mug." What a great surprise for your special someone.  Include a gift card from their favourite coffee shop and earn extra brownie points!  To get your very own mug go to

How cute is this Personalized Valentine's Baby Hat!!!  It doesn't hurt that the baby is absolutely adorable!  The Cotton Cupcake Shoppe has everything you need for your baby's 1st Valentine's.  It really is the perfect way to celebrate love.  To visit their shop on Etsy go to

This necklace from Pretty Little Me's shop is not your average cutesy Valentine's jewelry.  The pendant reads, "I carry your heart" and is accompanied by a heart locket with room for two pictures.  I must admit it melted my heart when I came across it!  To get this necklace for your special someone go to

How sweet are these little heart scrubbies?  Now not only can you give the gift, but you can make it yourself.  Laura's Left Hook shop offers the pattern to make these cute heart scrubbies.  Head over to to get the pattern to make your Valentine's scrubbie!

Thanks for checking in for the latest collection of Favourite Things.  I'm already excited for next week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to...Branding

How to Tuesday is taking on a challenge.  For the next three Tuesday's we are going to discuss marketing.  The definition of marketing is "the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling."  We are going to tackle marketing in three parts.  Branding, advertising and shipping as they are all crucial to the success of your business.

This week's focus is branding.  What is a brand?  Wikipedia posts, “A brand often includes a logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, and sound, which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality.”  How does this apply to your shop?  Take a look at you shop name, avatar (picture) and banner.  Do they represent you?  Are they promoting what your shop has to offer?  Buyers appreciate the time and effort we spend ensuring our Etsy shop is cohesive. 

Does your shop name reflect your business?  Is it you official business name?  Are buyers going to remember it?  These are all valid questions to answer.  Be original, as your shop name is a reflection of you.  Karen21 says nothing about your business.  Karen's Kites for Kids is catchy and also informs the buyer of your business.  I came up with that name in a matter of seconds, don't judge!!!

Now what about your avatar?  No, not the movie!  Your avatar is the thumbnail photo that appears beside your shop name.  Why is it important?  That picture shows whenever you comment, heart something, place a bid in alchemy, etc.  Choose your picture wisely.  Do you really want a picture of your child grinning ear to ear to be the picture everyone on Etsy recognizes your shop by.  We all love our children, but that photo is a way for buyer to know you.  Post a picture of yourself or at the very least a clear item that is available in your shop.  Remember your avatar is what reminds people of you and your shop.  Pick something and stick with it!

Your shop banner is the large title that displays at the top of your shop's page.  This is where we get to have fun.  Have pictures of your designs in the background.  Use the font that is on your business cards.  Change you banner to suit the time of year or show off new items.  Be creative and showcase your designs.  If you are unsure how to make a shop banner Etsy provides wonderful tutorials. 

So what have we learned today?  Branding your business is one of the keys to marketing.  Buyers want to know who you are and what you sell.  So fellow shop owner's lets pull up our socks and show them what we've got!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Monday...Goodbye January!

Well, its official January is gone.  No more New Year resolutions, fresh calendars, or holiday spirit.  Also, finished is our Internet experiment.  How did we fare, let's take a look...

Sadly, on Etsy we are still stuck at one sale.  I have done everything I can think of to try and boost my sales, but no such luck!  Even without an increase in purchases I am still proud of the many improvements in my shop.  I have completed a total "shopover".  How?  We have a new banner, better pictures, and more efficient shipping rates.  Hopefully, February will bring about a second sale!

I will shamelessly admit I have been tweeting up a storm.  Better yet, I love it!  Four Elements Design currently has 66 followers.  Only nine people short of our goal.  I have loved the knowledgeable advice and hilarious tweets I have been privileged to.  Our experiment may be over, but F.E.D. will keep on tweeting!!!

One of my favourite Internet outlets has been my facebook fan page.  As of February 1, 2010 we have 164 fans!  Wow, what an honour!!!  Our facebook fan page has allowed us to interact on a regular basis with people that are interested in what we do.  In January we held a New Year's promotion and just gave away a free bracelet.  February is fan appreciation month and there is a free necklace up for grabs.  All you have to do is become a fan!

Lastly, we have successfully posted a new blog post everyday in the month of January!  Our blog format is really helping to ensure a wide range of topics are addressed.  In addition, we are sharing the spotlight with other gifted Artisan's on Feature Friday.  We can't forget Wednesday's Favourite Things post where four Etsy shops are selected for their quality items.  Blogging has been incredibly rewarding and we are so thankful for every one of our twelve dedicated followers.

So was it a success?  I guess that is for you to decide.  Each site has provided rewards in its own way.  Our sales may still be the same as when we started, but look at what we have learned along the way!  Even though our Internet experiment has come to a close Four Elements Design is looking forward to continuing on our journey, internet included!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tip of the Week..."Focus Up!"

After looking at the title for this week's Tip of the week you probably think I have lost my mind!  "Focus Up" is one of my husband's classic one liners and I think it is the perfect accent to this week's suggestion.

I find it quite easy to get caught up with everything Etsy offers.  Visiting the virtual labs, forums, alchemy, treasury, etc.  This contstant hopping from one area to the next leaves me exhausted.  Not only do I need a nap afterwards, but I can barely remember what I've seen or commented on when I am done!

So this week's tip is to focus up and dedicate your efforts to only one area in Etsy.  For instance, spend as much time in the forums reading and commenting as you can allow.  Next week focus your time in another area.  Create a schedule that ensures you are doing your do diligence in each Etsy area, just not all at the same time. 

Focusing your efforts simplicates your life.  And chances are without all that jumping around you might actually remember what you have done! 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Week in Review...January 24 - 30

Another week has passed.  I cannot believe how fast January has flown by.  This week has been a busy one as well.  I guess that is why one of the topics we focused on this week was taking time for ourselves.  I made a conscious effort to take 20-30 minutes everyday to just unwind.  And today I pampered myself and got a haircut!  Not normally a big deal, but it has been a really really long time.

I loved this week's collection of favourite things.  I am repeatedly drawn to modern design.  I love the access I have with Etsy to browse different key words.  The possibilities are endless.

I also am thrilled to be back on track with Feature Friday.  This week Julie from julesJgallery shared with us her inspirations.  Her Etsy store is full of excellent finds with a wide range of handmade cards, jewelry and artwork.  I'm looking forward to the enlightening interviews to come!

Personally I have been extremely busy so I have not had the time I usually dedicate to making jewelry.  I was thrilled to have a window on Friday to drop everything and make beads!!!  I am slowly getting the jewelry made so you can look forward to NEW jewelry being listed on Etsy shorty.

Once again thanks for reading :o)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Feature Friday...jules J gallery

We are back on track with Feature Friday!  This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to Julie from jules J gallery.  She is a brilliant artist with a fabulous Etsy shop. 

Tell us about yourself?

My husband and I live in beautiful BC, Canada.  Only a short drive to the ocean. I am a stay at home mom of 2…an 8 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. Our newest addition to the family…Bella, our social little black multi-poo who thinks she is a lab. I love garage sales, thrift stores, watching birds feed and bathe in our small back yard, anything nature, and anything that involves the art of creating.

Why did you decide to open an Etsy shop?

I opened my shop as a gallery for me to share some of my artwork: reproductions of my original acrylic paintings, my " your thoughts anytime" note cards, vintage style photography and my jewelry...all in one place, and to hopefully generate some income while doing things I truly LOVE to do. I also prefer to be “behind the scenes” instead of selling, face to face. I find Etsy very easy to use, (as I am not very computer savvy) it’s fast, versatile, allows for easy editing, easy communication, and I think a very well laid out platform for both buyers and sellers.

Who or what inspires your designs?

Probably my love of home decorating…I love black, white, silver, pale grey, creams and taupes, with a touch of pink and green. And maybe a bit of purple. I adore crystal chandeliers, black & white photography, thrift store finds such as silver trays, old crystal vases, bowls, plates and vintage tea cups and saucers. And of course, nature…birds, the pure magic of a fleeting sunrise & sunsets with no two ever being the same, the seasons of trees, the way light falls differently at different times of the day. The incredible beauty of a common flower or even a weed!

What advice would you give a new Etsy artist BEFORE they open a shop?

I recently read the following two blog posts from



Also, a fellow Etsy shop owner I met at a Christmas craft fair locally, said “the secret to Etsy…post/renew everyday or as often as you can”. Something my husband keeps reminding me about...know your target market...are you trying to sell to fellow Etsy shop owners?? If so, spend lots of time in the forums commenting etc. Are you trying to sell outside of Etsy?? Then you have to let people know you exist...without over-spamming them, and comment, comment, comment. This is the next phase I will be working on with my own shop!!

Where do you see youself in 10 years?

Still involved in the creative process, whatever that may look like. I NEED to have my artist outlet, whether it’s photographing a flock of birds, painting a flower to hang over my mantle or make some jewels and baubles to wear…I need to create and evolve as an artist.

To visit jules J gallery on Etsy click the link below

A special thanks to Julie for taking the time to share
 her process with Four Elements Design.


Supply & Demand...2010 Foothills Small Business Expo

The 2010 Foothills Small Business Expo
hosted by P & R Promotions

The place to meet new customers and promote your business!

 Meet hundreds of new customers in a trade show setting
Set up a display and promote your product
Very low cost for this opportunity compared to other trade shows
Meet new people in the business community
Meet your old friends as well
All types of business are welcome
Kick start your busness now by making lots of new contacts

For more information and forms to be an exhibitor visit

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Favourite Things...Modern

This week's favourite things is going modern.  Every item is for sale on Etsy, some vintage and some handmade.  I must admit my personal tastes are more rustic, but for some reason I am drawn to modern design.  Maybe it is my alter ego, who knows, but I could not resist sharing these funky modern pieces.

Up first is the sleek and sexy vintage lucite magazine rack from VeroVintage.  I love the simplicity of the magazine rack.  For all of us magazine addicts, what a sophisticated way to display our treasured items.  Visit to check out other great vintage finds.

I MUST have this Winter Birch Tree wall decal!!!  How cute are the deer and bird!  What a great way to add character to your room.  Best of all, you get to select what colours work best for your home.  The wall decals at designedDESIGNER's Etsy shop are genius.  Go take a look for yourself at

TheVintageCabin's set of Green Apple bowls are to die for.  How cute would a fruit salad look in these bowls at your next backyard party?  Take a peek at for many other great vintage finds!

Last, but certainly not least are these great cushion covers from MARIESCOSYCUSHION's.  The shop has oodles of fabric options and also sells the pillow inserts.  A one stop shop.  Visit to get a pair for yourself!

I hope you have enjoyed the latest group of favourite things.  I am positively giddy from finding them all.  Search "modern" on Etsy to find many other great vintage and handmade pieces.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Tuesday...Take Time for Yourself

I realise this is not a typical "how to" topic, but I feel it is just as important as how to take great photos.  So many of us, me included, get caught up in making our business successful, looking after our family's needs, and lending an ear for a friend that we are on the run morning to night.  But how many of you take time just for you? 

You may love your Etsy shop, but contently revising and relisting is not taking time for you.  It is recommended to take 30 minutes each day to check in with you.  How do you check in with you?  What is it you love to do?  Take 30 minutes to read a novel, do yoga, take a nap, get a haircut, go for a walk, ride a bike, meditate, whatever you love to do...

To be at your best you need to take the time to enrich you.  We all put endless amounts of energy into family, friends, business, but few people take the time to feed their soul.  So let's all make it our goal this week to take time for us!

Here are a few links to help you take "you" time:

My Monday...F.E.D. Experiment

Wow, where has January gone?  In less than one week our little Internet experiment will be over.  How has it gone so far?  Is it worth it?

In the beginning I spread myself too thin between nearly ten sites.  It was consuming way too much time.  And worse it was starting to wear on my sanity!  So rather than do a half hearted job on multiple sites, I decided to focus on four main sites, Etsy, twitter, facebook, and my blog.  So how is it going so far?

On Etsy I have taken the advice of another successful shop and improved my photos.  I have received many compliments and better yet was featured in an Etsy Treasury!  I am still stuck with only one sale, but to stimulate my rating I have made a couple purchases.  Buying on Etsy adds to your rating.  When the seller leaves positive feedback it is a boost to your shop.  That's me always thinking outside the box!  To check us out on Etsy go to

Twitter is an absolute blast!  I love posting my tweets.  Although, only using 140 characters is a bit of a challenge for someone like me!!!  Yesterday I reached 50 followers.  I really like that I can post links to facebook, etsy, and my blog to reach people I normally would not be in contact with.  I have also used twitter for feedback.  I ask different followers for tips, colour combo suggestions, and inspiration.  With only one week left let's see if I can get to 75 followers!  To follow us on twitter go to

My facebook fan page has really taken off.  At last count we had 156 fans!  Facebook has long been a tool to connect with old friends and extended family.  Now, I am able to use that tool to share my lampworking designs with everyone.  I can suggest the page to friends.  They have the opportunity to view the page and decide if they would like to become a fan.  The more fans that join equal more news feeds that mention Four Elements Design.  With facebook I can post photos, list promotions, and link to my Etsy shop and other accounts.  I also love that others can leave comments regarding my posts.  Any feedback is good.  To become a fan of Four Elements Design on facebook click the link on the side of this blog.

Last but certainly not least is my blog.  I may only have 9 followers, but each and everyone matter.  They have taken the time to read what I have to say and find it worthwhile.  That means the world to me.  Having this blog is like a journal of my experiences while starting my jewelry business.  I love looking back at the posts and remembering each hurdle!  I really hope this blog inspires other new Etsy seller's to take a leap and try something new.  None of us are going to grow personally or professionally if we don't take any chances.

Well with less than a week till February, I had better get busy.  Thank you for taking the time to follow Four Elements Design on our journey.  We look forward to sharing it with you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tip of the Week...Stay True to You

In the world of creativity it is easy to get lost from the path you set out on. It may be low sales, infrequent views, or poor feedback. Whatever the reason, it is always good to evaluate why.

If your sales are non-existent or few and far between take a look at the items listed. How is the price point? Is it worth paying the shipping fees? Is the listing descriptive? A piece of advice I read on Etsy was to imagine there were no pictures with the listing. You had to describe in detail to give the buyer the exact image of what they are purchasing. A buyer is not going to invest in an item if it is not exactly what they want. And they are not going to know unless you tell them. Use your words!

Are infrequent views your problem? Take a look at your pictures. A picture really does say it all. If it is not engaging, people will not click to view the item. Remember the thumbnail pictures are small. Make sure the item you are selling is being showcased.

Little or poor feedback is a more difficult issue. Not all buyers realize posting feedback helps your shop. It doesn’t hurt to send them a friendly reminder. It is really beneficial to the seller and the buyer as positive feedback is shown on each profile. Poor feedback is a whole different situation. It could be the item was not what was described. The shipping took too long. The buyer was displeased with the way the transaction was handled. There are many reasons. The best way to get to the bottom of the situation is to ask the buyer why they were not satisfied. Look at it as a way to improve your business in the future. We are all learning.

I hope these suggestions have helped. Remember the excitement you had when you created your Etsy shop. Don’t let a little negativity stand in your way. Stay true to you.

The Week in Review...January 17-23

WOW…what a week it has been! It started off with a bang. Numerous of my bead making friends and I got into a debate about artist copyright. It is a really good subject though. With so many artisans in all fields what makes each of us unique? Maybe start the conversation with other artists in your area.

We also had a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the Olympic Torch Celebration in our community. It was amazing. I must admit seeing the torch run by brought a tear to my eye. What a fabulous way to get our province and country into the Olympic spirit! Go Canada Go!!!

I had an Etsy first and was listed in a treasury, It's not easy being green!  I also learned a valuable lesson about blogging. There are no guarantees when you ask to interview someone for your blog. In the future, I intend to send numerous requests out. And in time will accommodate and post all submissions. That way I won’t be left interviewing myself or worse my husband!

I really love daily blogging. Although, this weekend I have gotten a bit behind…Oops! I look forward to another fantastic week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Featured Seller...???

Well, as a blogger I learned a valuable lesson...ask more than one artist to be your featured seller! Unfortunately, the artisan I had contacted did not respond. As this is my New Year's resolution, I do not want to miss a day, so for this week we are going to interview none other than Four Elements Design! Hey, when you are desperate you take desperate measures!!!

Tell us about yourself?

I am a Canadian girl from a little City in Saskatchewan. I moved to BC with my husband and two beautiful boys to start living our dream. We love the outdoors. Fishing, skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, basically whatever the season will allow. I love to read sitting by my fire drinking a hot cup of coffee. I love design of all kinds. And nothing is better than waking up to sit on my front porch in the the summer of course!

What is your creative process?

I would describe myself as a fly by the seat of your pants type person. I don't really plan my ideas ahead of time. More often than not, my beads are created in the moment. Whatever is inspiring me that day. It could be the weather, a song, a coat, anything that catches my attention. This practice has served me well to date. So as the saying goes, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it!"

Who or what inspires your designs?

I touched a bit on this in the question above. I am a in the moment type person. It may be the colour combination of a person's outfit. I might want a certain piece to wear for a special occasion. I once designed a bracelet based on the colours of a friend's eyes. Literally, everything inspires my designs!

What advice do you have for NEW Canadian Sellers?

Well, I don't think you get much "newer" than me so I don't have any sage advice. What I can say is to not get discouraged. If you are not getting sales research what other successful Etsy shops have done. Be persistent. If you have a great product people will buy it.

What was your first Etsy purchase?

I just completed my first Etsy purchase! I spoiled myself and bought pampering products from Simply Tempted. I have listed Simply Tempted in my favourite things before for their scrumptious product. To check out their shop go to Their stuff is amazing I can't wait to get mine!!!

I sincerely apologize for not having a prepared interview for Feature Friday.  But I must admit I have enjoyed sharing with you a little more about me!

To visit Four Elements Design's Shop

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supply & Demand...Canada Beading Supply

Canada Beading Supply is a family-owned business established in 1984 in Ottawa Ontario, Canada. They are committed to offering our customers the finest quality products at competitive prices.

About Canada Beading Supply
  • Our number one priority at Canada Beading Supply is you - the customer.
  • Many customers tell us we are Canada's leading supplier of gemstone beads and their preferred one stop shop!
  • We take customer service seriously. If there is product you need or a problem you want solved, our staff are more then happy to do their utmost to serve you.
  • We may not always have the solution but we will still try to help you find it.
  • Our team takes pride in helping you achieve your objectives.
  • If you are ever in Ottawa (or looking for a great reason to make a road trip), please come to the showroom. We truly enjoy meeting our customers face to face.
Canada Beading Supply has a wide variety of items available:
  • Gemstones
  • Pearls
  • Glass Beads 
  • Base Metal
  • Precious Metal
  • Accent Beads
  • Stringing Material
  • Tools
  • Display Items
  • Books
  • Classes
To shop Canada Beading Supply online go to
or call their toll free number 1-800-291-6668.

Canada Beading Supply
190 Colonnade Rd. South
Ottawa, Ontario
K2E 7J5

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Favourite Things...Winter Wool

For this week's favourite things we are putting the spot light on wool.  In these winter months, many of us are looking for fun ways to stay warm.  Browsing through Etsy I have found a few handmade beauty's that are perfect for this week's "Winter Wool" favourite things.

The first item to catch my eye was the Kid's Woolly Helm by knittles.  It is so adorable.  Every Grandma in town would be pinching the cheeks of the little one wearing this.  Not only is it cute, but also practical and great way to keep your little loved one warm.  Visit to view other warm wool ideas.

I am so in love with the Boots Cuffs made by lainedesign.  They are perfect way to add individuality to your next outfit.  The best part...they are made in a multitude of colours.  Our favourite pair are the Espresso Boot Cuffs.  Go to to pick your pair!

Next, Pixibell's shop is an Etsy favourite.  Look no further than the multiple sales and 100% positive rating.  They make the most creative hats.  Plus, they also sell patterns for you to knit your own!  My favourite from the pixibell shop is the Pixie Hat in Oatmeal, a whimsical way to keep warm this winter.  I am continuously drawn to the shop to see what they have come up with.  Visit to sneak a peak.

This is a first for me, but it was too sweet not to post it.  Knittles shop had another item that I could not resist sharing in this favourite things grouping.  The Meow Kid's Earflap Hat is delightful.  In the listing the nursery rhyme by the Robber Kitten is referenced:

A kitten once to its mother said,
"I'll never more be good;
But I'll go and be a robber fierce,
And live in a dreary wood.

How charming is that!!!  As listed above to visit knittles Etsy shop go to

Thanks for checking in for the latest edition of Favourite Things.  Be sure to return next never know you may be featured next!