Friday, July 29, 2011

How I Did Nothing and Landed on Etsys Front Page

hankandhunt on etsy
I don't remember wishing on a shooting star or meeting at a cross roads. However the planets aligned and TrashN2Tees landed itself on the coveted Etsy Front Page not just once, but twice in the same day.

If you're unfamiliar with Etsy and its front page allow me to put it in a nutshell. Collections of items called treasuries are curated by members of Etsy (sellers or buyers) and then the powers that be at Etsy select the chosen treasuries to be featured on the front page for all the world to see. Treasuries change hourly. What it boils down to is this: FREE promotion to a captive audience.

Now the title of this post is misleading a little bit, maybe it should say something like "How I did nothing (new) and landed on Etsy's front page" because I've retraced my steps a few times now and I don't recall doing much different than any other day. I do work hard to stay active and engaging both within the Etsy community and outside of it. Joining teams, participating in the forums, commenting- promoting- creating treasuries (whether I curated them or included) and viva la chat- RIP. I know for a fact that this has at least had a hand in my front page treasury love because a fellow team member, FrickandFrackScraps, from The Treasury Tree created one of the collections. 

I also work very hard to create interesting photos. I'll even admit that I sometimes spend more time perfecting a shot or picture than it takes to make the darn thing. It pays off though, Candy from The Party Bakery  went out of her way to send me a convo after seeing my reusable produce bags on the front page to say that she thought the smiling fruit was the bomb diggity. (my words- not hers) Just another reason why I love the community at Etsy. I don't want to forget my friends and teammates from the Bluegrass Etsy Street Team who took the time to celebrate with me as well.  

Landing on the Front Page does not equate to a successful shop, heck it even doesn't always get you a single sale. I'm going to share a few ways that will help improve your shop & get noticed, so that you too can do nothing (new) and land on Etsy's front page.
Improve your photographs.

Write a catchy profile.
my profile (on the blog, website, and etsy) are all top viewed pages- this is a great way to pique interest in your products and allows the buyer to 'get to know you'

Use all 13 tags. Do it wisely. 
Tagging is how your buyers (and treasury curators) find you! Remember to tag for colors too as those are the most common tags curators use when looking for treasury listings.

 Join a team, or two.
Joining teams has made a HUGE difference for me, I've discovered many awesome shops (and have been discovered) and have been able to collaborate, brainstorm, learn, and be inspired.Not all teams are created equally- be sure to read charters and requirements.

Learn more, and re-evaluate. 
Experiment with new ideas, get feedback, pick and tweak listings and photos.

I always welcome your comments, and would love to hear about your own Etsy experience. Have you been featured? Share it! Do you have tips and tricks- I'm all ears.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stuffed Sweater Seat

 Scrapage was beginning to overtake the studio and my 'stuffing' pile was ripe for the picking. I haven't had much time lately to make any dolls or animals so I decided to go ahead and make one BIG seat bag. 
 The sweater was huge- XXXL or bigger I believe! I removed the arms at the seams and then made 2 more cuts. Sewing the top of the sweater together, I then cut an additional circle from one of the sleeves (large enough to cover and help reinforce my bottom seam - where all 4 meet) Flipping the bag over - the bottom seam of the sweater now becomes the top of the bag. Inside the stuffed sweater seat are scrap tshirts and other materials- neck lines, thread, and some fleece remnants. I decided to weave a coordinating vintage tie (remember my 50 lbs of ties?) and tied it off with a windsor knot. I happen to have curious boys- so I sewed that baby shut as well.
Doll made with scraps (for my niece)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stop and Play in the Rain

I mentioned earlier last week that things around here have been little hectic. I was starting to feel a creatively zapped and with my first festival and Preparation H still looming- I almost felt like I was being sucked into a Twilight Zone portal. If you've ever experienced a creative rut, I'm sure you can commiserate... it's almost like you can feel it creeping up. As the rain pecked my windows and my internet connection kaput- I took it as a sign. I need to stop and play in the rain for a change. 
 Sounds simple doesn't it? Often times I find myself preoccupied with "grown up things" and miss some of the opportunities that help keep me grounded. The boys and I had a whole lot of fun dancing in the rain and sloshing through the mud, but here's a little secret: I would've done it alone too! I've always heard that saying- some of the best things are free. They certainly are. The next time your feeling overwhelmed, under the weather, pressured, frazzled, and crazy- go play in the rain.
they certainly are.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

Stylish moms can rock TrashN2Tees Tshirt Teething Bling Bangles. This lighweight bangle can be used as a baby safe teether on the run, or wet and freeze for cool soothing gums, completely machine washable and baby safe.

So many discarded tshirts find their way into my lair and are shredded into tshirt yarn. Their journey from there wrapped around my fingers (around and around and around again) Measuring 8 inches around and 1 inch wide and they're completely machine washable. Light weight and comfortable to wear- Make a statement wearing one or stacking several. Mulitple colors available: Choose from Purple, Pink, or Black.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What is going on around here?

Well, shooowie! July is giving me gray hairs. It sort of feels like I'm running in 39 directions and yet standing still in the same place. Does this ever happen to you?

Yono Promotions & Productions Summers End Fashion Show is July 31st, in Louisville, KY. I'll be sending along 3 shirts/outfits- A special addition to one of the outfits will be a custom made tutu by Dragonfly Gifts . Not only will my designs be featured on the runway but there is also a photo shoot with Jackie Espin Photography and included photos will be published in a book of boutique fashions! Needless to say I'm finishing up my package and sending it out this week.

I'm still working on some ideas for my first ever show/event which is just 3 weeks away- (:panic:) Mostly trying to get stock made between custom orders that are shipping but I've been tinkering around w/ display ideas, too! I found these abandoned crib pieces with a FREE sign! Here is a glimpse at just one of my ideas for them. Open to suggestions. I'd really love to hear any ideas you might have.
Be sure to check out TerraMade's Flash Sale this Thursday at Noon CST on her Facebook Page . You might find some TrashN2Tees thrown in the mix along with some other fantastic buys from your favorite WAHMS. (work at home moms)

You may have noticed that the website has been undergoing some changes. Thanks so much for your patience with this. I spent much of the day yesterday testing out a new wordpress theme for Riotcart. Doing this helps Ashley (RC Owner and Customer Service Extraordinaire) to get a better idea of how a vendor can incorporate some of the different aspects into their own shops- and allows me to get an inside peek at some new functions that will be able to enhance your shopping shopping experience w/ TrashN2Tees. I have set the site up to give you ultimate access to all the things that TNT has to offer- from this one location you are able to shop TNTees on Etsy (without leaving the site), view blog posts, find tutorials, learn more about how this all got started, get product details, drop me a line using an easy peasy contact form, and ShopNow. allows you to check out using CC or Paypal without a membership anywhere!

 I have a sink full of dishes staring me down, a custom monster truck on the table, a crib piece laying in my front yard waiting to be painted, laundry to take off the clothes line, and dinner to be made- but instead I'm going to hop off here and cuddle with the boys on the couch for a few moments. Relishing in those moments always allow me to catch my breath and stay grounded.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

Hip messenger bag made from 1 black tshirt and funky floral pink pup applique 

Black/Gray/Gray Tshirt Shard Hoop Earrings 
baby stache' tee 12m 

Just a few new listings available. Be sure to stop by, there are still a few bugs to work out but soon more TNT items will be available to conveniently purchase directly from the site. No Etsy account. No problemo!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

9 Tips for Great HARO Pitches

A few months ago I read an article Free Publicity and More Exposure with HARO that was written by Tricia from Wonder Thinking. It didn't waste any time and signed right up... nothing sounds better to me than FREE PUBLICITY! Since then I've actually responded to several inquiries pertaining to both earth friendly products and handmade business- bummer is, none of them have actually been followed up on. Even so, I look at it with an optimistic light- 1 more person knows about TrashN2Tees and maybe they'll keep me in mind for something else. Something bigger and better. (I can dream right?) Meanwhile there are things I can do to increase my chance to be one of those sources, the key is to know how to respond in a way that will get you noticed.

  • Grab their attention from the get go. Let them know what it is, what it does, and why they should care. Be sure to brand yourself right here. 
  • Be quick. HARO is sent to approximately 200,000 email addresses, which means reporters are inundated with responses. If you don’t respond quickly, your pitch might get lost in the shuffle.
  • Be Yourself. In other words- don't sound like a spam bot. 
  • Be modest. Don't mention your social media rock stardom. You'd think it might lend you additional creditability but the fact is no publication wants to be the last to mention something hot and new! 
  • Never send attachments. News flash: even if you “just can’t resist,” the HARO system doesn’t transmit attachments. So you sound foolish when you say that you just had to attach something, and the attachments don’t arrive anyway. If the reporter wants a photo, fact sheet or whatever, they will let you know.
  • Don't send them looking. Sending just a link and a short blurp will land you in the trash and quick.
  • Quote me. Reporters pink sparkly heart quotes. Answering a question or two you think they might have could land you a shout out. 
  • Spell check, and Don't Type Like This or LIKE THIS EITHER. or lk ths... (is that proper txt lingo?)
  • Be available. Let them know how they can contact you- email address, phone number, twitter handle.
Don't think you have what it takes? Bethany Nixon from ReWare Vintage thought the same thing until she give it a shot, and after responding to a HARO inquiry her Record Notebooks were featured in RedPlum’s 30 under $30 Editor’s Choice Gift Guide!

Responding to HARO inquiries offers up exposure, credibility, and provides a platform for your message all on a silver platter. Explore new avenues of reaching your target audiences and communicate with them in a different way. Go ahead, get sourced, get quoted, get famous!

A special thanks to Rachel Esterline, a double agent PR Pro and Reporter for sharing some of her insights- read her full article 10 Tips for Writing HARO Pitches. Find out more about TrashN2Tees by visiting


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