Thursday, May 21, 2009

Featured Seller - Lake Erie Beach Glass

What part of the world are you in?
I live on the Southern Shore of Great Lake Erie on a small strip of Pennsylvania land between Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York USA.

What does customer service mean to you?

Customer service, to me, means offering a quality product and a memorable experience for the customer that will keep them coming back to you and bringing their friends a long, too!

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
I've had several but one particular customer sticks out in my mind. It was a custom order gift for her daughter and she was undecided on what to have made. She had seen a wire wrapped pendant in my shop and another piece with handmade chain. We worked together on the piece and ended up mutually creating the perfect gift for her daughter. They both loved it and still contact me to remind me! I love to hear from my customers!

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?

The sea glass community is large and vast but very close! We all seem to know each other well. We learn from each other and share ideas about customer service, quality standards, and more. So, I would say that I am similar to my commrades. I do put my entire self into my pieces and try to be artistically different. It is very important to me to have made a product that is going to last and my customer is going to be happy. I stand behind my products.

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?

I am mostly a self taught artist but have received help from my other artistic friends and have participated in workshops for metalsmithing in my local and regional area. Drilling glass was learned by trial and error. I can't even count how many pieces of sea glass I've broken over the years! I laugh and then cry!

What is your goal for the next year?

We are currently working on self publishing a book on the history of sea beach glass that is relevant to our area. The book will contain chapters on ship wrecks in the Lake as well as what industry specifically is responsible for delivering the glass that we find. We have including an extensive section on pattern identification, pottery, and maker's marks. There will be a spectrum color chart for easy identification and information about specific beaches. This has been a long term project and we are super exciting to be releasing the book this year at the 2009 North American Sea Glass festival in Erie, Pa!

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

I go to the beach with my family and beachcomb! The experiences we share at the beach are always motivating and memorable!

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?

I am always looking to expand my website pressence by using social networking platforms like Facebook,Twitter and my own blog. I occassionally will offer sales or shipping discounts in my shop and during team promotions or team give aways as well as making sure I include something special for each of my returning customers!

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?

Do it! Do it for yourself! If you have a craft that you can share, there is a market for it. It won't be easy and sometimes it can be down right frustrating but like the tides the business cycle will ebb and flow. There is such a large community of support with in the handmade community and you will make many friends who will help you a long in your venture. The handmade community wants you to succeed. You will not be a lone and you will be a happier person for doing it!

Do you have a special offer or promotion for our readers?


FREE SHIPPING of your purchase when this article is mentioned in the notes to seller section at store checkout!

Check out other stunning designs beach glass creations at Lake Erie Beach Glass! We love the smooth yet unique shapes of glass used in these earrings, necklaces and bracelets. These pieces would be a nice choice for a bride and her bridesmaids.

The piece featured in this post is entitled: Lake Erie Beach GREEN BUCKS HI ROLLER Genuine Sea Glass Necklace Set by Lebg, and is available for $100 USD for the set here.

$5 Deal Of The Week - Design Knit Fun

Our $5 deal of the week is courtesy of Design Knit Fun! This pretty handknit ring is a unique find! We have never seen a knit ring before, but it is quite lovely! We love the colours of this piece, but it is also available in additional colors: pink/purple/teal and orange and green based.
We attempted to showcase this piece earlier but it sold!
Check out Design Knit Fun's other designs and creations here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Product Review - Gala Glass

Handcrafted Wine Glass Bottle Stopper by Gala Glass

A terrific conversation piece that will add unique beauty and sparkle to the bottle on your dining table.Your guest will appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each handcrafted piece. Fits snugly into the neck of a wine bottle, can be elegantly presented and has a nice weight to it. Our dinner guests complimented its unique shape and colours, unlike anything they had ever seen. One guest accidentally dropped it on our floor and it didn't even suffer a chip! There are many colours to choose from and each piece is unique, available for only $18.15 USD!
Click here to view.

Leaf Glass Pendant by Gala Glass

A stunning Murano glass pendant that beautiful compliments the neckline. I wore this piece for a week, at work and after and never got tired of it. I wear a lot of black at work and this piece suited my wardrobe perfectly. I must admit I did get caught up a few times staring at this pendant as it glittered in the sunlight. Cool at first, it quickly warms up to your body temperature and has a great weight to it. Retails for $36.36USD, currently on sale 63% off! Available for only $13.61 USD. Click here to view.

Glass Frog On Lily Pad by Gala Glass

I love this cute little guy, handcrafted from beautiful Murano green glass, suites my garden perfectly. I have him resting on a rock in our vegetable garden, resting quite contently on his lily pad. I was impressed with the attention to detail, even the tiny "toes" that stick out from the lily pad. His quizzical look amuses me, he makes me smile every time I am working in my garden. Currently on sale for only $7.25 USD! Click here to view.

Angelo Tiozzo, Master Glass Artisan, is originally from Murnano Italy and heads Gala Glass with over 50 years of experience. Gala Glass offers a 60 day Product Guarantee, so ordering is stress free! Conveniently order online at, or visit one of their many kiosks located in: Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario & Quebec. Click here for locations.

Check out their entire website at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Featured Seller - Furious Dreams

What part of the world are you in?

Southeastern Pennsylvania in the Brandywine Valley, just west of Philadelphia.

What does customer service mean to you?

Customer service is probably the most important part of the business transaction. I try to give personalized treatment to all my customers. Just as it's importantfor a collector to meet the artist whose work they support, my own 'patrons' deserve to know a little more about me than just my shop name.I want to build relationships with my customers so that they'll return and begin building their own collection of my work.

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?

There is a customer in Switzerland who is an exceptional writer. She always offers feedback that is lyrical and more descriptive of my paintings than I could ever be.I can't think of any experiences that haven't been memorable with my customers. They are all unique and respond to my work in different ways. It allows me to see the paintings through their eyes.

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?

My work is diverse and I can offer a range from figurative to abstract to landscape. I see a lot of artists who produce the same thing over and over.I don't think the concept of style applies to fine art and I don't paint to sell, which would be a disaster. Picasso changed his work from year to year. To continually grow and develop is the beauty (and challenge) of being a painter.

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?

I grew up with a mother who was a painter, and a father who was a film editor. It was a creative family; my parents gave their kids a lot of opportunities and supported my interest in art and music. I also studied color theory and portraiture for almost 10 years with the Chatov studio in Atlanta. I apprenticed with printmakers and have a variety of skills in different mediums.But mostly, painting has been a priority throughout my life. Along with making a lot of mistakes.
You can't be afraid to fail.

What is your goal for the next year?

To produce as much as I have this year, but to sell all of it!

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

I've never been motivated by selling my art. I'm inspired to create it.When sales are slow, start making more art!

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?

I use all the usual social networking sites, professional links from my corporate world, post on my blog and other artists, critics and writers blogs. It's important to give back, so I'm also posting interviews with painters whose work I admire. It's really more about getting your name out there in terms of attracting potential patrons. I enter shows every year. I'm currently in an exhibit at a local museum and I also note the exhibits that each listed painting has been in.Residencies are important for artists in terms of networking and opportunities for uninterrupted work, and I met some great friends at a residency in Italy a couple of years ago. I applied to another residency for next fall.

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?

Make sure you have a passion for what you're doing. Persevere and come up with a business plan for promotion.

Admin Comment: We've always been a fan of painting, especially beautiful abstract work. Furious Dreams has no shortage of beautiful pieces to accessorize and add a burst of colour to your home.

Visit Furious Dreams on etsy at

*Special Promos* 50% OFF SPRING SALE! All original oil paintings are now being offered at one half the listed price. Please convo me with your selection PRIOR to purchase and I will make the price change reserving it in your name. Also free shipping on most items!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

$5 Deal Of The Week - Smiling Snails!

Etsy seller PinkFink wanted to share their $5 DEAL with our readers, and we are happy to showcase their cute polymer clay snails!

These little guys are perfect for your desk, or sit them in a window beside a house plant as an adorable decoration! A perfect gift for the Gardner you love!

These will only run you $5! Please visit PinkFink's store for more great finds.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Congrats to Drea from Faeried Treasures for winning our contest! You will receive one large, stunning Golden Green Quartz gemstone shipped to you absolutely free of charge. We hope you enjoy your prize!!
Everyone check out Faeried Treasures beautiful jewelry. Remember to contact us when you create a piece with our gemstone and we will post it on our blog!

Featured Seller - Simply Smiss

What does customer service mean to you?

I make my items to the best of my ability, and take time to make sure they look good before I send them out. I try to create nice packaging that would look nice when given as a gift. And I love to include an extra little goodie with every order!

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?

My first customer would have to be my most memorable. I was very excited that someone wanted to BUY my stuff!!!

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?

I don't just slap the fabric on the buttons, like I have seen some. I try to go for symmetry to keep a polished appearance. I also donate 10% of all my sales to the etsy for animals charity of the month!

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?

Lots of playing with different materials

What is your goal for the next year?

Just looking to create new and more interesting items, learn new skills.

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

Talking to other sellers. Usually it's a general slump around all the shops and I keep in mind that it's not for a lack of people liking my items!

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?

I offer BOGO sales to bring in new sales; I create great products and show my appreciation to keep them coming back!

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?

Don't think you can sit back and let the store do all the work. You have to get out there and promote your shop! Have fun with it and be proud of your work!


BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! (equal or lesser value) I can give you a refund through paypal, or send me a convo and I will create a new listing for you. PLUS my little extra goodie! :)

Visit Simply Smiss at

Admin Comment: We can't say enough great things about Jennifer, owner of Simply Smiss, she is just a lovely person with a great selection of items in her shop. We especially love the bee themed items!! Thanks Jennifer for your great interview.