Archive for April, 2013


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I am participating in my very first blog hop – and I hope it is as much fun for my readers as it is for me! The theme of this blog is Mother’s Day and my offering is a sweet mother & daughter Betty Bracelet set, Aloha Hearts.

This duo is crafted with hand-woven distressed honey brown leather and gorgeous petal pink Indonesian recycled glass beads – look at how they capture the sunlight in the photo below! It is completed with a lovely hibiscus button toggle to give it a little Aloha!

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Mom’s bracelet is super chunky with 12-14mm beads, 3/4 inch toggle, and 7 3/4 inch length to accommodate the big beads.

Daughter’s bracelet has more delicate 8mm beads, 1/2 inch toggle, and 6 3/4 inch length. This is good length for girls 6 to 10 years old.

Beautiful bohemian accents for Mom and her Little Surfer Girl!

The bracelets are sold only as a set for $42.00 and are available at my Etsy shop, Serendipity Blu:

Aloha Hearts Bracelet Set

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For more great Mother’s Day gift ideas, please “hop” on over to these blogs:

Jewelry by Jaime
RoofTop Creations
Heavy Metal Glam
ScrapSecrets

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

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I visited New Orleans for the first time for JazzFest in 2010 and it was an amazing experience! The festival itself is an awesome onslaught of the senses. Thousands of spectators, over a hundred food vendors, and a dozen music stages – blues, gospel, zydeco, rock, and, of course, jazz! It is definitely an experience any music aficionado should partake in at least once.

Beyond the festival, the city was pulsating with its famous incredible energy. Jazz bands on Royal Street, street artists in Jackson Square, steamboat and horse & carriage rides…with every step, a new level of vibrancy. As much as I enjoyed the crowds and the energy of one of the busiest times to be in New Orleans, I also wanted to return to the city at a quieter time to experience it at a slower pace.

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I am pleased to announce that I will be returning to New Orleans in five weeks to do just that. (I was able to book a deal on Expedia that was too good to resist!) On my last visit, I made sure I took in all of the quintessential experiences: munching on beignets at Cafe du Monde…visiting Marie Louveau’s resting place at St Louis Cemetery No. 1…riding the streetcar out to the Garden District to view the stately mansions. This trip, I have a much less ambitious itinerary. I plan to eat plenty of Cajun and Creole cuisine. I plan to listen to some fantastic music on Frenchmen Street. And I plan to purchase some great local tunes from Louisiana Music Factory. Beyond that, I am going to leave the rest of my visit to the Big Easy up to serendipity…

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

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I am very pleased to be donating these two Betty Bracelets to the Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue. The Rescue is an all volunteer non-profit organization organization which helps to place rescued Weimaraners in loving homes in NJ, PA, and DE.

I have dubbed the bracelets “The Gray Ghosts,” as this is a very common nickname for the Weimaraner breed. The bracelet on the left was crafted with larger light gray and smaller sky blue recycled glass beads accented by a dragonfly toggle. The bracelet on the right has a charcoal gray and bright pink color combo with a tropical hibiscus toggle. They will be featured prizes for the silent auction at the Rescue’s 7th Annual Fundraiser and Volunteer Picnic, which will be held next Saturday, May 4th from 12:00 to 4:00 in Lumberton, NJ. More info is available here:

Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

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IT’S FESTIVAL TIME!

With Coachella wrapping up this weekend, music festival season has officially begun! NOLA’s JazzFest & Voodoo Experience, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Lollapalooza, and Austin’s Psych Festival…just to name a few…

This collection will help you make sure your wardrobe is as ready as you are for the great vibes. This amazing brown off the shoulder top is from Free People, the bright blue scarf from Athleta, and the ultra comfy flip flops from Olu Kai. The awesome tote bag, Jamaican Cannabis, was made from a recycled burlap sack by my friend Alison. It is available from her Etsy shop, Back Alley Chic here:

Jamaican Cannabis Tote Bag

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My Betty Bracelets are sun, surf, and sand friendly – allowing them to easily transition from the beach to the festival grounds, making them perfect boho accents for your free spirited attire. Plus, they are great for layering. Pictured above is Montauk, with vibrant teal recycled glass barrel beads, distressed honey brown leather, and a sassy sunflower toggle:

Montauk

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This delicate beauty, Hatteras, is made from rich root beer brown multi-faceted recycled glass beads, honey brown distressed leather, and and lovely heart-shaped artisan copper toggle with a patina finish. Both of these Bettie’s will have you swaying to the music in no time!

Hatteras

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

this week in my musical world

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I need to add one more band to this list, the Black Crowes

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This past Friday, I attended an amazing Black Crowes show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. The Robinson Brothers and Company rocked out on a killer set list that included perennial favorites such as Wiser Time, She Talks to Angels, Thorn in My Pride and Jealous Again, as well as newer jams like Movin’ on Down the Line and cover tunes like my favorite, Lou Reed’s Oh Sweet Nuthin’. All in all, a very solid outing by one of my favorite bands for the past 20 or so years.

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I was very excited to learn that the Black Crowes will be coming back to the area this summer, on Sunday, August 11th at the Mann Music Center at Philadelphia’s lovely Fairmount Park. They will be performing with another one of my favorite bands, the Tedeschi Trucks Band. If you like bluesy jams, the soulful voice of Susan Tedeschi, and the virtuosity of guitarist Derek Trucks, this is a double header you do not want to miss!

UP NEXT…SOUNDGARDEN

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My next concert is coming up soon and I am totally stoked to see Grunge legends Soundgarden on Friday, May 3rd at the Borgata Casino! As I listen to Chris Cornell’s amazing vocals, I will fondly reminisce about my misspent youth…

PEARL JAM ALBUM WATCH

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And speaking of Grunge legends, I am please to report that progress was made during the most recent Pearl Jam studio sessions. Speaking to Rolling Stone, guitarist Mike McCready said that the follow-up to 2009’s Backspacer will be coming out “this year, for sure”. McCready said that seven songs are “relatively completed” and there are an additional 15 “ready to go.” “We’re excited to get it done, because we’ve kind of been waiting for about two years to do it,” he explained. Of the content of the album, which will again be produced by Brendan O’Brien, McCready said inspiration was taken from Pink Floyd and punk rock, adding that the record is “experimental,” and “a logical extension” of what Backspacer was. Music to this Jammer’s ears!

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After the LA recording sessions, Pearl Jam headed down to South America to perform at festivals in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The link below is from a YouTube clip of Eddie Vedder rocking out at Lollapalooza Chile with the Queens of the Stone Age to Little Sister. Need more cowbell, Eddie!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wdFBGxAreRc

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That’s it for now…life is good and the soundtrack is great!

Peace, Love, and Pearl Jam,
Erin

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Now that the two doggies are getting acclimated, I feel like my life is finally getting back to normal and I am able to spend time on all of the other things I enjoy. (Although what could be more enjoyable than a new puppy!) Last night, I attended an awesome Black Crowes show in Philly and today I am working on my hand-crafted jewelry business. I am starting off by wrapping up this business planning series of my blog and then I will be weaving away to get my inventory up for summer craft shows. I wanted to share a picture of the two best buds – Mia, who will be five next month, and our new edition, Chase, who just turned seven months:

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MARKETING WITHIN ETSY

The previous posts in this series have chronicled my my business planning journey through the following areas: narrowing the scope of my craft, branding my image, adding finishing touches, setting goals, and setting up an online shop. Now, I am going to focus on what I have done to spread the word about my business and resources I use to expand my business.

Why Choose Etsy?

I originally chose to set up shop with Etsy almost two years ago because the fees were very reasonable, online support is very good, and the Etsy community is very active. At that time, very few of my friends had heard of the online marketplace, but now Etsy has become more mainstream – most shoppers use it as the go to source for anything handmade. While I do like that Etsy is becoming more well known, I am concerned that it is becoming too big to maintain an indie edge. Even so, I still think it is one of the best starting points for an online presence for your crafting business.

It’s All Karma

One of the first things I learned about being a member of the Etsy community is to share the love. One of the best ways to improve your standings in search results is to have items that have many views and fav’s. I make it a practice to add items to my favorites for any shop owner who has favorited my work. It is a simple, yet powerful practice.

Treasuries are curated collections created by Etsy members. I usually have time to create 1-2 treasuries per month. When I do, I typically follow a PIF (pay it forward) rule: if I am featured in someone’s treasury, I will promote it, add the other items to my favorites, and feature the curator in my next collection.

Both of these practices are very common in the Etsy community, and I have found that by staying active, I have gotten my shop much more exposure.

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This is a gorgeous treasury in which I was recently featured.

Build a Local Network

The Etsy community is made up of teams for members to join to network with other like-minded members. Some of the teams I belong to are the Hippie Peaceniks, Bohemian Lovers, and Beachy Things. For anyone following my blog, these surely seem like obvious choices for me. But the one team that I consider to be the most important is the South Jersey Etsians. I am a leader on this team (which just recently reached 100 members!) and maintain a very active status. As its name suggests, this team is very localized: most members live in the south western counties of the state (the ones closest to the city of Philadelphia). The main advantage of such a localized team is that we are able to host regular marketing mixers to meet in person to network. While I acknowledge the importance of staying connected in the cyber world, I must admit that I am old school and sometimes you just can’t beat face to face contact. If you are unable to find a localized team on Etsy, don’t be afraid to start one and invite members in – it will really help you cultivate a wonderful community of fellow local artisans and friends. And if you live in South Jersey and have a shop on Etsy, come join our team!

South Jersey Etsians

MARKETING OUTSIDE OF ETSY

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Social Media is such an important part of today’s world, that it would almost be foolhardy to not take advantage of the marketing possibilities it holds. There are so many choices – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, blogging – that it can feel so overwhelming! I fear that if I dedicated time to each social media outlet, I would not have any time left over to make my jewelry! I decided the social media outlets I would use to market my business would be the same ones that I use for everyday communication. I actually do not spend much time on Facebook or Twitter, so I do not market regularly through them. I do enjoy reading blogs and I am quite addicted to Pinterest, so I have chosen to market through those outlets. I am proud to say that I have gotten many views and a few sales from both as well! My best advice to my readers is to be consistent with whichever social media you choose. If you choose to market through Facebook because you update your timeline everyday, then you should also be updating your shop page just as frequently.

I love to take photos, so I am intrigued by the Instagram concept, and I am considering adding it as a marketing tool. What social media do you use to market your Etsy shop? Where have you found the most success? I would love to hear about it in my comments section.

If you would like to check out my Pinterest boards, you can do so here:

http://pinterest.com/serendipityblu/

BLOG RESOURCES

I have found the following blogs to be extremely beneficial in my business planning and I encourage all of my readers to follow them:

Oh My! Handmade

Handmadeology

Thanks for stopping by, and once again joining me on my business planning journey!

Shanti,
Erin

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