Etsy Holiday Boot Camp, Week Two (and some change)

I was going to do this as a comment on my other post about week two, but it seemed a bit long. I found out a bit more about what week 2’s assignment was… here are my ramblings. Have at them (or ignore them).

– discover who your gift giver and gift receiver is
My gift givers seem to be evenly divided between men and women. I can only guess as to who the reciever is – it’s not like I feel like it’s my place to quiz the buyer. I have heard from a few people who have bought in multiple quantities that they’re buying for gift-giving, both Christmas and birthdays. So I’m going under the assumption that the giver wants the reciever to feel a little spoiled, wants them to use the gift for themselves, and knows the reciever well enough to know what kind of scents they prefer (so good friends and/or family, then).

– make a list of your most popular items

My top five most popular itesm are –
Frankincense and Myrrh Scented Goats Milk Soap
Lavender Goats Milk Soap
All Mixed Up Flying Pig Soap
Black Amber and Lavender Scented Goats Milk Soap
Sweetgrass scented soap

Although I’m also going to count the two bulk orders; one was for Cranberry and one was for Rosemary Mint.

– look to see what your top sellers have in common

They are all soap.
Most of them have sold in multiple quantities.
Two of them have lavender as the scent.
Most of them are floral or herbal in scent.

– find your boot camp buddy

Yeah. I’m still working on this one. Here’s what I posted in the forums on the thread of people still looking for buddies:

I have to admit that I’m not really sure what a buddy does – but all the cool kids are doing it! In my head, though, I think I’m being too particular about what I think I might like in a buddy. I hesitate to even say I need a buddy, because what if nobody wants me (sad)? Or what if somebody wants me but we’re not a good match (awkward)?

So here’s me and what I sell: I make ceramics from now-vintage molds that my grandmother purchased new in the 1950’s and 60’s , and also scented soaps in fun and odd shapes. I’ve only been selling since August but have already had over 60 sales; I am highly motivated to work since recently having to close the bricks and mortar yarn store that I owned with two friends. Personally I work hard, play hard, curse a lot, knit, spin, read science fiction, and I am likely to pick on your grammar and spelling.

What I’m looking for: someone who sells things compatible yet different from what I sell, so that there is an opportunity for joint cross-promotion. Do you sell tea? I make mugs! Do you sell soakers or diapers? Or washcloths? I make nice soap! Do you sell cookies? I make plates! Do you make gothy or dark things? I make skull soap! And brains! See where I’m going with this…? Ideally, we’d be able to cross-promote. On the other hand, if you’re still reading this and think we might get along, I’m also fine with building each other up and talking about each other on our blogs.

Are we a match? Let me know!

Surprisingly I haven’t had anyone ask to be my buddy yet. Edited to add that not one but two victims I mean go-getters have offered to be my boot camp buddy! Ophelias, who doesn’t have anything up in her shop right now but does quilting, sewing, and embroidery (and the kind that all y’all would like, too) and bittersweetdesign who has a wide range of products including vintage pieces and handknits and jewelry. Rock on!

– launch a new product line or add to a winning line

Lavender is more popular than I thought it would be, so clearly I need to add to the lavender line. I also need to learn to spell it correctly. LavenDER not lavenDAR. I should also maybe look into some more floral and herbal fragrances.

Although not mentioned in my top sellers, guest soaps went quickly. Not sure if it was the theme (Halloween) or the scent (Candy Corn) but I suspect that holiday-centered guest soap packages might be good to look harder at. I was already thinking Hannukah and Christmas, as well as packages featuring the top sellers in each category (for example, a sampler set of four herbal/floral scents, a sampler of woodsy scents, etc.). But maybe I should look into finding some Thanksgiving ideas, and Easter (yes, I am thinking far into the future, because I want this to work!).

I’ve also got my heart set on at least one more soap club, although I am waffling now between it being a club or being a gift basket with all nine bars available at once. Perhaps first a club, then a basket after the club is over?

– brand yourself

Mariana, have I told you lately how I love you? I get SO many compliments on my logo. You really, really and truly, knocked it out of the park with that one.

I use the same kraft colored tissue paper to wrap both soap and ceramics; kraft bags; kraft tissue paper; and although nobody has seen them yet, kraft boxes for soap club (spoiler alert!). Same paper for my soap labels, and same round “H” stickers on the back. So I’m definitely getting a … a LOOK. Gawd, I hate the term “brand”, though. Makes me feel like I’m a steer and some cowpoke is coming towards me with a burning iron.

OK. That is all on week two, now. For reals.

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