Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Handmade Seller Magazine - the best option for those wanting to start an Etsy Shop

Over a year ago, One Blessed Acre was born out of my blog Preciouspeas and it became a creative outlet for me to design table runners in burlap and denim and now to showcase my love for raising goats and using their milk to make lotion and soap that women or men can indulge themselves with and improve the quality of their skin.

Setting up my Etsy shop during this time has been a real learning experience.  One to which I wish I would have been introduced to The Handmade Seller's Magazine awhile ago. The Handmade Seller magazine was made to help creative entrepreneurs build a business around their talents. 

For years I heard that I was an extremely talented seamstress and should use my talents to sell my creations. So, I began to sew my creations and took some pictures to post.  I figured that once I set up my Etsy shop, sales would come in by the dozens and it would be that easy.  Wow!  Was I wrong.  The "how to start an etsy shop" was not that easy.  I had absolutely no clue what to do next, how to generate leads and sales and how to get organized to take my sales to the next level.  And to top it off, I didn't sell anything those first few months.

The magazine really helps you to learn and grow.  My favorite spot on their website is the Diagnosis Center where you can trouble shoot your shop's problem areas.  It helped me to understand conversion rates (basically how you turn views and likes into sales and at what rate this should happen at).  It also suggested what to do if your shop isn't getting any views or has low views.  There is so much more to online shopping than one brain can even fathom.

Take advantage of their handmade seller courses, where you can learn everything from branding, blogging, customer service, photography and marketing.  Often times we are great at crafting but lack the skills necessary to become an entrepreneur.  The Handmade Seller's Magazine is a great tool to make your shop profitable, operate smoothly, and best of all, enjoy every moment of it. Be sure to check out their facebook page.

And how am I doing with my shop, you ask?  Well, I've been officially on Etsy since 2010, but just recently began selling my creations with a goal to turn it into a business.  I have a total of 974 sales.  Last year I ended the year with 259 orders and $8000 in sales.  I'm really looking forward to expanding my business this next year and I plan on using the Handmade Seller's Magazine to help me do just that!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November happenings on the farm

I did it again. . .  I blinked and the year is almost over.  Has anyone else ever done that before?  It seems like just yesterday it was January and we winding down from the holiday festivities.

We are 10 weeks into our school year this year and have been enjoying our morning school time.  Some of the resources we are using this year are really starting to shine in the way of results for each of the kids.  I always have my doubts when I begin something new, but I believe the key to trying something new is to keep at it for awhile.  Unless of course you hate it yourself and find yourself dreading teaching it - that's the time to let it go.

Xtramath is a fabulous online drill practice for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  The lessons are short each day - maybe 10 minutes and the teacher, Mr. C, is not my children's favorite, but now it has just become a joke about how he hates the kids when he doesn't move them up a level.

Hodgepodge has become our favorite art curriculum.  The kids love coloring with chalk pastels.  We have used their Spring Chalk, Fall Chalk, American Landscapes and Sharks curriculum.  Tricia Hodges shares her love of art, that she received from her mother, in an easy to use PDF step-by-step tutorial.  One of my favorite things about the curriculum is that she walks us through each step of the drawing so that even George, our 7 year old,  can master the drawing.

People always ask me how do you homeschool?  Most of the time I believe they are asking, "How do you have all the skills necessary to teach each of the required subjects, because one person just can't possibly be equipped to teach everything - right?"  I truly believe that God has equipped each parent with the necessary skills to teach their children, regardless of their own educational background.  BUT, if even that scares the strongest of parents, you can relax in the comfort of knowing that so many other talented educators are available to help each of us in our weak areas with excellent curriculum.  There are online curriculums, workbooks, E-books and numerous websites and blogs ready to assist even the feable hearted homeschool mom or dad.  This is our 14th year of homeschooling and we have already graduated two students.  Both of which are doing very well. 

Homeschooling isn't about producing the smartest, brightest or most intelligent student.  It's about equipping our children with the skills and knowledge to be productive adult citizens in our ever unproductive society.  Any child, homeschooled or public schooled should be equipped with the ability to further their own education by having the tools to seek out knowledge and learn new things.  Okay, enough of my soapbox.

Happy Fall Everyone!  And a BIG THANK YOU to all of our followers.  You are so special to us.