A little sneak into what I have been working on. Featuring the divine Miss Claire Conan-Vrinat with silk dupioni sleep mask in pink with daisy trim.
New in Store Tassle ear plugs inspired by Audrey....yes, that little film called Breakfast at Tiffanys
I have been very busy indeed. Tassel ear plugs are my newest item in my store. I am quite obsessed about wearing sleep masks and ear plugs and thought I would fancy up the ear plugs up a bit. There are a few styles and colours to choose from including black, shimmering gold, dusky pink, red and ivory. All are made by me with Mack's safesound foam earplugs with a NRR rating of 32 dB. These are great for muting loud noises including street noises, parties, loud concerts and snoring.
I have some long tassel ear plugs and short tassel ear plugs. If the long ones are too long you can cut the tassels to suit. The earplugs come in a organza gift bag. They, along with all my items in my store are lovingly gift wrapped in tissue paper.
I do have to put a disclaimer though. I often stumble upon reviews by customers who buy earplugs and then complain that it doesn't block the noise of their snoring partner next to them. Let me be honest. YOU CANNOT completely block out the noise of a snorer with foam ear plugs. And I should know! I sleep next to somebody with sleep apnea and let me tell you that the only solution for them is probably a snoring machine which assists them breathing. Or sleeping in another room. Just saying...ear plugs are fantastic and I sleep with them every night and it defintely helps me sleep. It blocks out all the street noise, especially in Paris where the dump trucks come by in the wee hours of 7 in the morning!
Take a look and retweet if you love!
Online selling is relatively new to me and one that is constantly evolving and ongoing learning process. The internet is contantly changing and evolving so if you sell online, you have to evolve with the changes. I am at a loss at times myself as I negotiate the internet, social marketing, and the how-tos of selling and marketing yourself online so I make it part of my business to research and to learn new things that are important to me.
Now before you jump to conclusions I am not quitting. The reason I decided to write this blog is because I was scouring through the Etsy forums yesterday and I stumbled across a forum thread where a woman declared that after being on Etsy for 3 months and having little views and very few sales she was leaving.Most of the responses to the post were quite supportive, perhaps a little too supportive and kind. There is nothing wrong with this and its lovely to see people jump in with their thoughts and supportive statements to covince this seller to stay. But for me, with all the sugar-coated responses I found it quite frankly unrealistic in terms of someone telling this seller the truth. In fact, I don't know why this seller even bothered to even start the thread when she was hell bent on leaving anyway. So, it got me thinking....
Now generally I don't like pointing people out but I decided to take a look at her shop. Now, mine is far from perfect, I know that because I know this is a constant learning process and I strive to always improve on it with better photos and presentation. Kind of like what we do in life - we all want to change, improve, learn from mistakes and grow. But i digress.
I took a look at this seller's Etsy store and this is what I found:
1) She sells crotchet scarves, woolly things etc, and she set up her shop at the beginning of summer. Why would anyone buy a winter garment at the beginning of summer? You are not going to sell winter products during the warmer months. Nobody is searching for winter stuff in summer?!
2) Her photos quite honestly were terrible. Apart from the one photo which may have been a fluke, all were taken with a cheap instant camera with no lighting, composition or thought going into the photo. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if you are going to 'present' your products online there is no way anybody is going to desire YOUR product with photos looking like they were shot by your Nanny with has no clue about cameras who drank a little too much sherry at cocktail hour. No offense to Nannies who drink Sherry of course. So you have to wonder why anybody would feel inspired to actually buy something from this store!
At the end of the day (i love that line) YOU are responsible for your product and how you present it.
Artists ARE be responsible! You are not only creating, you are are marketing and promoting to SELL your work. This is part and parcel of online selling. In fact, this is the reality for any artist, whether on an online marketplace such as Etsy, a painter or a filmmaker who wishes to sell a film recently completed.
Take, for example a large outdoor market which takes place one weekend every three months. A market that draws 30,000 people, let's say.
You rent a stall which costs $800 for the 3 day weekend. On top of that you have to decide on HOW you are going to present your products. Will you be throwing your products on a table or will you be putting them in carefully thought-out displays? Also note - the market organisers do not personally market your stall. That is up to you. And, you are competing with other stall holders and possibly other competitiors who make similiar products to you.
So I come back to Etsy. Esty is no different, except it is an online marketplace. Except for one thing - you are not just competing to sell you products from the same a geographic location, but worldwide. Imagine...there are thousands and thousands of online stores, millions of buyers out there all competing to sell. With Etsy, you rent a space - the rent is in the form of a listing fee of 20c. you pay a commission on the sale. It is no different to a shop which sells your item on your behalf (and takes a commission) or a market where you pay a stall fee. You profit from Etsy by the fact that they have a large customer base coming to buy products from their marketplace.
So with that in mind you have to present yourself with a nice stall i.e. nice photos and kick arse descriptions. Customers can't touch your products so you have to present them so that a customer finds it so irresistable that they must purchase it. And yes, you do have to take really good photos, the best photos they can be because this is the only visual way of convincing somebody to buy your product.
So here are my thoughts which I must read everyday to remind myself and motivate myself:
Good. Now that I have convinced myself (and I have to read this to convince myself each day) I am going to go out there and do my best to kick arse!
I would like to formally announce (even though I did put it on the facebook page) that I now have an exclusive collection available on the French alternative boutique Life As Fantasy. Yay! This unique collection features masks that follow the esthetics of the store; unique, alternative, handmade creations. This gives me the opportunity to be more adventurous because sleepmasks really are an artform and not simply those ugly things that you are given by arlines when you fly.
I have two masks currently available : the Minuit à Paris blindfold and the Gothic. Minuit à Paris (Midnight in Paris) features Calais ruffled lace, lace tulle and gorgeous double satin ribbon finished with tiny flower appliques. The mask, which is more like a blindfold comes customizable with a choice of Dusky pink ribbon or Burlesque red. The design for this mask actually comes from a turn of the century cream Victorian lace mask. Seduce your man at midnight with this one!
The second mask, "Gothic" comes in Dupioni silk, with spotted tulle ruffled around the border and finished with black Venice lace. The front is adorned with a Venice applique. Again, this is customizable with a choice of colours: light rose, burlesque red or grey silk. Both are handmade and are now available with a delay of 7 days. Life As Fantasy are based in France and the website is in French only.
Until the end of June (June 30) I am giving you the opportunity to win a gift voucher to the value of 35€ to use in my Etsy store.
Suggest my Love Me Sugar fanpage (www.facebook.com/lovemesugar) to your friends on Facebook. Twitter, however way you like.
If at least two of your friends join up on the facebook page your name will be put in a hat. The more friends that join my facebook page, the more chances you have of winning the voucher!
All you need to do is:
- write on the Love Me Sugar FB wall that you have shared the Love Me Sugar page to your friends
- Simply email me your friends' names who have joined my facebook page at:
lovemesugarparis(at)gmail.com ******* two friends who join = one entry.
The more friends that join my page, the more chances you have of winning the Love Me Sugar 35€ gift voucher.
I will be drawing a winner from a hat on Thursday 30 June at 6pm French time. I will even record the event and post it on the facebook page.
I will also give 2 runner's up prizes of 15% discounts to my Etsy store.
Happy sharing and good luck!
Oooo la la! The Bettie sleepmask with its gorgeous red and white spots now also comes in 2 other colours! I will be updating the Etsy, Artfire and A Little Market shops over the coming 2 weeks. Now that you have a choice of colours, there is no excuse! The lace will be the same vintage cotton white lace as seen on the Bettie sleepmask. These are strictly limited as I only ever get small quantities of lace due it it being vintage and all....
The Bettie sleepmask was inspired by the fetish queen herself Betty Page.
Why you can't miss a visit to a brocante when you are in Paris.
Ah Sunday! A day to relax, sit in the sun, if there is any, and at the moment there seems to be a lot of it, read a book in the park, cook your favorite recipe. Visit friends, see a film, visit a museum, ride around the Marais, dodging the multitude of tourists who straggle on the paths. There are endless things to do in Paris.
Me, I prefer to scour the brocantes in Paris. Not every Sunday but almost. What is a brocante you say? Well, for all you non-Francophiles it is an outdoor vintage market where you will find all sorts of things dating back a few years to hundreds of years. From your slightly trashy items to the most expensive, collectable items.It gives me great joy to seek out new brocantes in the nooks and crannies of Paris. I have discovered new areas never visited before.
This weekend happened to be one of the biggest brocantes of the year. Tables, cars and chairs covered three to four blocks and all just a walking distance from chez nous, in the 3rd arrondissment (district) or Paris. There was even an area set aside for children with an area reserved infront of the district's townhall to sell their old toys, clothes and books. And it was the children selling it themselves. Last time a six year old managed to convince me to buy his old clown marionette. I couldn't resist for the price and the damn cute face he pulled to win me as a buyer.
I am always on the lookout for stuff. I love stuff. I have too much stuff (and no where to put it) But I love really old stuff. According to most sellers "stuff" that is thirty to forty years of age is 'modern'. Antique is more than fifty or sixty years of age. Alot of stuff on sale is most likely hundred years of age or more. There are wonderful things to be had : records, cigarette cases, antique jewelry, antique and retro furniture, and wonderful designer clothes. There I even saw a sarcophagus. Yes, that's right. A sarcophagus. Empty of course.
Here are a sample of things I picked up, including some very cool fashion magazines dated 1895. A vintage lace sleep bonnet dating to the late to early 20th century, some more fashion magazines from the 1930s and some 78 records. I have also uploaded more photos on my flickr page. I have yet to decide what to do with the fashion magazines but I would like to incorporate it into my sleepmask projects. I also picked up some lace to use in my sleepmasks and a pretty piece of vintage pink cotton that may have been a pillowcase.
Other markets that occur regularly in Paris are the Vide Greniers. These are like car boot sales or trash and treasure markets where people are looking to get rid of their stuff. You can get some really cheap things here. Often you will find Brocantes/Vide Greniers combined, which I personally think are the best. You can pick up some really cool stuff really cheap.
So, if you are ever in Paris, I suggest you get yourself a copy of Pariscope and look for Brocantes/vide greniers. Or if you are compentant in French you can check out this website which lists Brocantes and Vide Greniers, both permanent and temporary all around Paris, and indeed France.
Its worth a look!
click here on my Love Me Sugar Flickr Page for more photos
It's a one two three o'clock four o'clock rock!
You will be dreaming the twist with these little beauties.
Garden Tea Party Collection
For Ladies who like to sip "Tea" with their girlfriends dans le jardin anglais
Well, I have been researching and nutting things out, on the sewing machine, in Photoshop, Illustrator, on the kitchen table-come-cutting table, everywhere in what is, a very tiny workspace. You see, I don't "have" a workspace or my own workshop...well, not yet anyway. I have been toiling away for what seems like months now and I can finally reveal some of what I have been actually doing. So what I am about to reveal to you is a little bit of a sneak preview. Shhhh....it's private and only you are allowed to see it, ok?
Inspired by vintage cotton prints I would like to introduce to you a new collection of " Les Printemps" inspired masks.
The front is 100% lightweight cotton, the back, black jersey bamboo which is so delightfully soft on your skin it will make you melt. I promise. As usual I have stuffed the mask and the back of the mask now has an adjustable elastic so that it fits all heads, big and small. The edging is decorated with vintage cotton lace which I just adore.
The inspiration is definitely feminine, a sweet vintage feminity or as one perfume title I saw recently - pure "Womanity".
Please comment and let me know what you think,
Ahh....it's been a while, I know. Since January of this year I decided to close my shops on Artfire and Etsy temporarily in order to rethink exactly what my goals were, what I wanted to create and the "how" of it. I bought a brand spanking new Janome Sewing Machine which has turned out to be such a dream! The things I could do with it are almost (almost) endless. In other areas such as the sleep mask creation things have moved along nicely and I think I have come up with some wonderful new products, re-invented them, adding to the standard collection I created last year.
There is only one problem though. That is, liaising with other companies in order to realise your dream. Sometimes I just prefer to work on my own! Without going into too much detail right now I have chosen the slowest companies on the planet to produce my new small but necessary additions to my products - hangtags and woven labels.
So it is now, I am still waiting, waiting for the email to come from these American companies (who I do not wish to name) after more than 5 weeks emailing back and forth, waiting with my proofs so that I can finally finally finally produce the two things I greatly need so that I can re-open my shop again.
Until then I will continue to make beautiful new boudoir things,
Follow updates on Facebook.
The goal is to re-open shops by the end of this month. But then again, it may be wishful thinking.
Work in progress, sales, fashion, vintage, cinema and other ramblings