Monday, July 27, 2009

And the winner is....

I thought I would give you an update on the status of the contest. I have randomly (using picked 2 winners, notified them both last week. I have only heard back from one, and I wanted to hear back from both before I announced the winners.

If i don't hear back from the second winner, I will choose another one tomorrow morning.

So, there is a BIG chance you can still win, since 2 people will be eliminated from the drawing!

Good luck and I will make a more formal announcement on Friday!

Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer GIVE-AWAY!!!!

I've just come back from a nice 3 week hiatus, and Urban Bead is back in full-swing!
This morning I listed the first set of my summer-time necklaces and would like to get some feedback from you. The best way is to have a give-away!!

The winners (2) will select any two of the four items that are pictured above ($30 value)!

To Enter the Contest all you need to do is 2 things:

1. Follow my blog and post a comment here about your five items from Urban Bead

2. Subscribe to The Tattler – the new Urban Bead newsletter which is e-published once a month and includes sneak previews of new designs, SUPER-secret sales and coupons! Subscribe here.

This contest will be open until 11:59 pm (PST) Sunday, July 19th. Contest is open WORLDWIDE!!!

The two (2) winners will be randomly selected (from and announced on my blog, in my Etsy shop and inside The Tattler on Monday, July 20th.

Please check back to see if you won, or leave your email address with comment. The winner will need to contact to provide name and shipping address.

Check back to find out who won the giveaway - it might be you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Monica's Sangria Recipe

15 min prep, over night soak, makes 15+ generous cups

Prepare this at least 4 hours ahead so the Sangria has several hours to develop its fruity flavor. Make it in the early morning and it will be perfect by evening…

4 tablespoons Sugar
10 oz. Brandy or Peach Schnapps
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
3 apples, cubed
3 ripe peaches or nectarines, cubed
1 bottle Dry Red Wine (750 ml)
2 cups good quality orange juice or passion fruit juice
Sparkling Soda Water, for topping off glasses of Sangria at table (completely optional)

Combine all ingredients except soda water in a large pitcher. Chill Sangria several hours. To serve, spoon fruits from pitcher into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh berries in each glass, pour Sangria over top of the fruit.

Top glasses off with a splash of soda water and ENJOY!

Marketing Strategies for Your Online Shop

"Success begins with doing the tasks you don't want to do."

For many people, marketing is such a hassle! It can be the most time-consuming part of their business. As many successful business owners know, the dreaded task of marketing is never done. Marketing campaigns may come and go but in order to keep your customers coming back, you need to have advertisements, coupons, giveaways, promotions, etc. Internet shoppers need interaction, they need the ad literally in their face.

These days it seems that you have to give away more and more free stuff just to get people's attention and interest. Here are just a few ideas that may increase traffic to your online shop.

Work on your image
Create an Image for your business that matches your customers needs. Make sure it is an image that you feel comfortable with and that separates you from your competitors.

Know your customer
It is important to know who your customer is! You should be able to almost have a Polaroid picture of them in your mind. Age, income, race, lifestyle, educational background, etc are all very important pieces of information that will help you gain more customers and sell more products to existing customers.

Focus advertising on current and potential customers. Where do your customers come from? How do they end up clicking on your shop? Tons of information can be derived from asking simple questions of your customers. Check out online demographic information about Etsy, eBay, or other online venues you may sell at. Check out Quantcast Audience Profile information to get a better picture of who your customer may be. It just so happens that the person described in this report also happens to be my customer base - not a surprise!

The demographic that visit the venue (Etsy, eBay, Art Fire) you sell your products at will likely make up the base of your customers. Knowing if your customers will be shopping there will greatly improve your suceess before you even list your first product.

How do you know this? Let's say that your product is handmade flower hair clips. The first question to ask is who buys these? Women. Do they use these? Not usually on themselves, but possibly on a child, doll, pet, etc. Do women who have a child, pet or doll collection visit your shop now?

If they do, find out how they are discovering your shop. If not, where are there likely to be? People who may have an interest in flowered hair clips... Some ideas: bridal magazines, blogs, websites, costume websites, groomer blogs, pet health websites, doll collectors forums, etc. You get the idea. Just because you have this picture in your mind of cute little curly-haired girls wearing the hair clips you make does not mean they will be the only ones interested in them.

Marketing can be a big drain on your resources and on time. Do your investigating ahead of time and learn who your customer is. Knowing who they are will make all the difference. :O)