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Adventures in American Handmade
Be Consistent

Consistency is the Money Maker in Small Business

Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is truer than this in small business. It doesn’t matter if you sell handmade products, direct sales products or pizzas at the corner store. You can’t just open the doors, put up a sign and expect the people to pour in to buy your goodies. … read more

Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is truer than this in small business. It doesn’t matter if you sell handmade products, direct sales products or pizzas at the corner store. You can’t just open the doors, put up a sign and expect the people to pour in to buy your goodies.

You have to market your business. You run ads, offer sales and coupons, restock and reevaluate inventory and share on social media. Anything to keep putting yourself in front of people that will eventually lead to sales, hopefully. If your business is not seen, you don’t have a business and you are not going to succeed and grow.

How you choose to “grow and show” your business depends on the type of business it is and where and how your target market will most likely find you. Your personality is also a factor in your marketing efforts. For example, going live on Facebook is an excellent tool to build relationships with your potential customers. You can answer questions, share your product and interact with people in real time. But, if you are like me and you can’t stand the thought of being on camera and can barely stutter your way through it, this is probably not going to be a technique you use much.

Marketing has a rule called the Rule of 7. It states that a prospect needs to be exposed to your message at least 7 times before they will actually take action. In today’s digital age, I would venture that this number may be increasing. The reality is that it is more difficult now to get your message seen in the overwhelming amount of information available now to the everyday consumer.  You need to leave an impact and you need to show up.

Regardless of how you promote your business, the one thing that I and most other small business owners have found, is that to put and keep your business marketing efforts on the right track, you have to be consistent. Now, that does not mean that you need to be doing it constantly. Just consistently. Regularly. If people are used to seeing you post weekly, post weekly. If you can do daily, even better. Here is what does not work. Binge marketing for 3 hours one day and then doing nothing for the next 3 days. It may seem like you are getting tons of work done but a very limited number of people are going to actually see all that effort.

I have to admit, consistency is my biggest downfall and what I have to work the hardest at myself. A couple of years ago, I thought I had found the perfect answer to staying consistent on my social media when I found one of the scheduling platforms that have started to pop up everywhere. While they are definitely helpful, I found that they are not the perfect solution for me either. First, you still have to set up all the posts. You are still spending the time to craft the text and find the perfect image. Second, you still need to spend time tweaking your posts for the various social media and monitor the posts for engagement. Bottom line to me is yes they are an excellent way to cover certain times but you also need to continue to post in real time so that you stay current, trending and let your personality shine through.

Hashtags : Supreme List of Instagram Hashtags

Supreme List of Handmade Hashtags : the best hashtags to use for Instagram

Supreme List of Handmade Hashtags for Instagram You’ve been accepted to Gypsy Spoonful, Set Up Your Shop, Worked on Creating your first 10 product listings, and graduated to the bigger group… Now What?  How do you get found and get any real, engaged followers? Does it feel like you’re just talking to yourself (I can … read more

Supreme List of Handmade Hashtags for Instagram

You’ve been accepted to Gypsy Spoonful, Set Up Your Shop, Worked on Creating your first 10 product listings, and graduated to the bigger group… Now What?  How do you get found and get any real, engaged followers? Does it feel like you’re just talking to yourself (I can relate!)

Hashtags : Supreme List of Instagram Hashtags

On many social media platforms, but most of all Instagram, hashtags are one of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your following. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, so here is a quick and dirty list of some great Handmade and Gypsy Spoonful specific hashtags to use for your copy and pasting ease.

  • #GypsySpoonful
  • #GSShopOwner
  • #GypsyStrong
  • #GSsellersofinstagram
  • #GSseller
  • #GSlove
  • #GSfinds
  • #GSsuccess
  • #madeintheusa
  • #handmadegifts
  • #shopGS
  • #smallshop
  • #shopsmall
  • #handmadefavorites
  • #mamamade
  • #makersgonnamake
  • #artistsofinstagram
  • #AmericanSmallBusiness
  • #shophandmade
  • #shopsmallbusiness
  • #shopsmallbiz
  • #handmadesmallbusiness
  • #handmademarketplace
  • #shopGS
  • #handmadesale
  • #handmadetribe
  • #handmadebestsellers
  • #handmademen
  • #handmadewomen
  • #handmadesellers
  • #handmaderevolution

If you are looking for more specifically handmade, but not specifically Gypsy Spoonful hashtags, here is a list of my favorite of those:

  • #handmade
  • #crafter
  • #handmadewithlove
  • #artist
  • #maker
  • #creativelife
  • #makerslife
  • #makerlife
  • #makersmovement
  • #handmademovement
  • #waketomake
  • #calledtobecreative
  • #handmadeisbest
  • #makersgottamake
  • #createmakeshare
  • #instamaker
  • #instahandmade
  • #handicraft
  • #handcrafted
  • #instacraft
  • #wearethemakers
  • #creativeatheart
  • #supportthemakers
  • #supporthandmade
  • #createmakeshare

I’ve found it is a great idea to use a variety of hashtags — switch it up, and rotate often, some about handmade items, some about Gypsy Spoonful specifically, and some about your particular niche and geographic location.

Geographic location? What does that mean?

Examples:

  • #handmadeinTexas
  • #chicagoartist
  • #kansascitymakers

Do you have any particular hashtags that work well for you? Of course We’d love to hear them!

Interested in finding out more about being a shop owner/seller on Gypsy Spoonful? Read this page and see if you vibe with what we’re doing. See the members of our community in action and interact with them in our Facebook Group. 

 

Have You Heard The News?

  Have you heard the news??? The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is in it’s FINAL DAY!! Some items don’t have bids yet! Snap up a deal , and snipe those auction items! We have over 110 MUST HAVE handmade items, Get on over to our Facebook Group and see what you can win!  Sew Sweet … read more

 

Have you heard the news??? The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is in it’s FINAL DAY!!

Some items don’t have bids yet! Snap up a deal , and snipe those auction items! We have over 110 MUST HAVE handmade items, Get on over to our Facebook Group and see what you can win! 

Sew Sweet Pea's Handmade BoutiqueSewSweetPeas.comSize 2THere is an elegant, yet comfortable dress is perfect for…

Posted by Paula Marie Miguele on Friday, August 3, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10216501056661599&set=oa.1824886650922942&type=3&hc_location=ufi

MYSTARA HAND SCULPTED POLYMER CLAY DRAGON Starting bid: $55.00Bid Increments: $1.00US Priority Mail Shipping:…

Posted by Eli Mattingly on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Starting bid $30Bid increase $1Shipping: $3.50 1st classAqua & coral Sparrow apron knot dress by That's So Addie….

Posted by Raenita Bennett Deal on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Big, cuddly, gorgeous handmade crocheted snowflake afghan throw blanket is 52" x 52" by…

Posted by Jacquie Kaegebein on Friday, August 3, 2018

Made by SALT WORKSFall braceletSB: $18 with $1 bid incrementsBIN: $24 (void after first bid)Shipping is…

Posted by Cindy Perkins on Monday, July 30, 2018

Debra Engelbrecht's Paintings Auction Item #3“Waiting Boxer” PrintHand drawn with pencilsFramed artwork…

Posted by Patricia VanSant on Sunday, July 29, 2018

Jack Skellington and Sally size 5 dress is proudly made by Lace And Sneakers. This is a OOAK in this fabric. Jack and…

Posted by Virginia Hooper on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Handmade Crocheted Little Birdie baby hat and cocoon size 0-3 months by…

Posted by Jacquie Kaegebein on Friday, August 3, 2018

She blinded me with science apron 25 opening1 dollar increments 3 dollar shippingJoin my group to see more…

Posted by Michelle Sherod on Thursday, August 2, 2018

*** Buy It Now ***Magical Memories By Jessica BoutiqueGoofy T Shirt $23 each shipped — this includes free…

Posted by Jessica Sines Lee on Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sew Sweet Pea's Handmade BoutiqueSewSweetPeas.comSIZE 6Y Dress.Here is an elegant, yet comfortable dress is made…

Posted by Paula Marie Miguele on Friday, August 3, 2018

Fall Musical Infinity Wreath By My Spinning Mind Home Decor Special sale price for the Fall auction…

Posted by Rachelle Ihrig on Sunday, July 29, 2018

See Even more auction items in the photo album HERE

Models Vs Mannequins, the great debate rages on

Guest Blog Post: Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best … read more

Guest Blog Post:
Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years

While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best alternative options are amateur models and mannequins.

When deciding between amateur models and mannequins, you’re largely factoring a risk/reward scenario, ongoing costs, and how much you’re willing to manage people.

Models, even amateurs, are more desirable because a live body helps a customer relate to your product and adds a higher degree of professionalism, but it can also make for an unpredictable process. Mannequins are great because they’re affordable, consistent, and easy to work with.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can create quality DIY product photography with amateur models and then we’ll go over the advantages provided by mannequins.

DIY Product Photography with Amateur Models

If you want to take a professional-looking product photos with amateur models, follow these seven steps:

1. Cast a Model

If you’re going to use an amateur, there are three primary factors to consider: Your comfort level with the model, their long-term availability, and your apparel’s fit. It doesn’t matter how attractive your model is if your dress is dragging on the floor because the model is six inches too short to properly fit it.

models vs mannequins

Image credit: Pixelz

Comfort level: Communication is important and the easier time you have communicating your vision, the more efficient you will be when shooting. Also, the mood in the studio comes through in images: If you and the model are frustrated and unhappy, you’re not going to get good photographs.

Availability: Plan long-term. If you want a consistent look, especially since amateurs introduce more body type variation than professional models, it’s beneficial to use just one or two models throughout your photography. You will also find that later shoots become more efficient as you and the model increase your comfort level and understanding of each other.

Fit: How does your product look when worn by your model? Focus on the product’s appearance and make sure it’s flattering and requires as little adjustment as possible—you don’t want to create wrinkles because you’re pinning excessively to compensate for a poor fit. Sizing is key. Pick one size and use that same size throughout your photography for a consistent appearance and a more intuitive understanding of sizing by customers shopping your site later.

2. Setup Your Studio Space

Select a space that allows your model to move freely when following your instructions, but don’t choose an area so large that your model might wander out of frame. Designate specific backdrop boundaries to help herd the model and aim your camera.

Your exact equipment will vary depending on your needs and budget, but as a starting point a white backdrop like a roll of seamless white paper or a sheet is always a good idea. White backdrops are required by many ecommerce marketplaces, simplify post-production, and are easy to light in session. If you’ve never set up a studio before, here’s a guide to how to build your own photo studio on a bootstrapped budget.

Be sure to use a tripod. Camera stabilization allows for longer exposure times, improves consistency, and saves you time between shots because you don’t have to readjust your camera’s aim. The result is usually a sharper image and more of them.

3. Shape Your Light

Renting or buying lighting equipment is a big decision and a critical step when capturing product images. Lighting equipment is expensive, so take your time and invest wisely. It may not be necessary to buy equipment: If you’re not going to use a piece regularly, consider renting.

The most common product photography setups use 1-3 continuous softbox lights or 1-3 external speedlights and umbrellas. If you’re in the market, here’s a shopping guide for product photography lighting equipment.

When positioning your lights, try to mimic the softness of natural window light. Continuous softboxes do so automatically, but speedlights may be too harsh and direct even with umbrellas. If that’s a problem, angle your speedlights to either side of the model and bounce the light off nearby walls, like in the image above.

Test out your lighting setup and experiment with different options—but do it before the model arrives so you don’t waste valuable photoshoot time.

4. Position Your Model

When your model arrives on set, it’s time to communicate your vision and position them in frame. The simplest way to position them is with a classic “X marks the spot” approach. Tape an X on the floor either directly beneath their feet, or closer to the camera but in line with where they should stand (so they’re not constantly looking down). The X creates a target for the model so you don’t have to constantly ask them to move.

5. Shoot with Wide Framing

Leave space on all sides of your model when capturing the image. If you’re going to be selling your product in multiple marketplaces and channels, they may have different requirements for cropping and sizing. It’s much easier to crop down to someone’s standards than it is to try and scale up.

Even if you intend to crop out faces, arms, and legs, always keep them in frame. Again, it’s much easier to edit something out then to add it back in—if that’s even possible. You don’t want to have to reshoot.

6. Give Direction

Stay positive and build up your model’s confidence. Remember that they’re an amateur and that you want to shoot with them long-term, so help them realize their potential.

Give the model the instruction they need to help you fulfill your vision. Be clear and precise: For example, if you want the model to look in a particular direction, tell them to look at a specific object instead of pointing. Keep poses simple, so that you don’t distract from the product or lead your amateur out of their comfort zone.

7. Post-Production

After you’ve captured your images, it’s time to optimize them for the web. You can edit the images yourself with this post-production guide, or you can outsource the labor to free yourself to focus on the creative aspects of your business. At Pixelz, for example, we offer a feature-rich and easy to use interface for creating specifications, uploading images, comparing before-and-after images, and rejecting images that don’t meet your standards.

The goal of image editing is to help you create high quality and consistent imagery. Steps like removing the background will create a professional impression by cutting away your DIY studio and also minimizing file size, speeding up your page loading time. Consider using post-production to make lighting adjustments, touch up skin, remove wrinkles, straighten your product, and perform cropping and resizing.

So that’s how to stage a photoshoot with an amateur model. Now, let’s take a look at mannequins.

The Case for Mannequins

stylecampaign burberry mannequins

Image credit: StyleCampaign

Even for high end fashion brands, mannequins are a budget conscious product photographer’s best friend. You can buy them for anywhere from $60-$600, depending on your needs, and that’s it. There’s no overtime, no rate hikes, and they’re always available for reshoots.

Those are the most obvious differences, but there’s more.

Mannequins Make Product Fit Easy

Whether you’re dealing with a professional or an amateur, you need to spend time when casting a model, have them try on your clothes and see if you like the way it looks. You can improve fit with styling, using pins and clips and other techniques, but you need a good foundation to build on.

Alternatively, with a mannequin, you may only need a few moments of browsing online to find the perfect one. Finding the right fit is simplified when you can click around and see exact measurements. This is especially true if all your samples are the same size and you only need one mannequin.

You’ll have less flexibility with posing, but your mannequin won’t complain about being poked or prodded while you’re styling it.

There are many types of materials mannequins are made from, but none is necessarily superior to another. It’s about a different kind of “fit” here; make sure your mannequin style matches your brand.

Branding Possibilities

Mannequins don’t communicate branding as completely as a fully styled model, but they’re not a blank slate either. We can use Anthropologie as an example; until about two years ago, they used mannequins for most of their ecommerce images. Here’s how they used to look:

anthropologie mannequin

Image credit: Anthropologie

It’s clean, vintage, and subtly decorated by a knob at the top. You don’t want your mannequin to be distracting, but anything that’s being seen by a customer should reinforce your brand positioning. If you’re bohemian, use vintage mannequins. If you’re modern, get something more sleek.

There’s also a 3D technique that’s growing in popularity: the invisible mannequin.

If you want to remove all distractions while still demonstrating fit, you can use the invisible mannequin effect. With a little planning and Photoshop know-how, you can create the effect in post-production yourself. If you don’t have the time or the desire to do it yourself, you can offload post-production to a company like Pixelz.

invisible ghost mannequin

Image credit: Pixelz

An “invisible” or “ghost” mannequin image is basically a combination of two or more images. Your product should be photographed as normal, and then repositioned in such a way that any portion that was originally covered by the mannequin can be photographed. Later, the photos are combined into a single image. For more detail, read this invisible mannequin guide that will walk you from basic principles all the way through post-production.

Which Should You Choose?

Models are essential for projecting a professional standard, while mannequins are cost-effective and consistent.

Many boutiques and brands with limited budgets combine the two with great success. You may want to consider shooting a lookbook with professional models, and using those images throughout your store for branding. You can then use amateur models or mannequins for product images.

A mixed approach will give you the best of both worlds without forcing you to choose between branding and your budget.

What have your experiences been like with models and mannequins? Do you have any tips or questions? Let us know in the comments below!


shopify-author Thomas Kragelund

About The Author

Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years.

Look What the Weekend Brought to Gypsy Spoonful!

This Weekend on Gypsy Spoonful We have had so many exciting new products listed over the weekend. Here is a just a small sample of some of the new things we added the last couple of days! click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around! –   These … read more

This Weekend on Gypsy Spoonful

We have had so many exciting new products listed over the weekend. Here is a just a small sample of some of the new things we added the last couple of days!

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

 

These unique puzzles from Stitcharella Designs have 7 pieces and are deceptively challenging for children up to approximately age 6. There is something about the type of puzzle that really challenges their way of thinking! Each puzzle is machine sewn and hand trimmed. Puzzle measure 5″ x 7″. Each puzzles comes with a puzzle board with a pocket to keep all the pieces together and easily tucks into a diaper bag or purse and can be pulled out for occasions like doctor appointments, restaurants, or in the car!

 

 

 

 This necklace from Noveenna is beaded with seed beads in the color mix of red, yellow, blue, green, copper and crystal cubes. Necklace length is 33¾ inches.

 

Girls Reversible Mermaid Unicorn Apron

This Girls Reversible Mermaid Unicorn apron from Sewing At Ten will fit a child size 3-6.  It has an elastic neckband and velcro at the sides.  It’s so easy for your toddler to slip it on all by themselves.  This cute little apron is a Mermaid print in colors of teal, pink, yellow, etc. and a touch of glitter for extra specialness.  There’s a bright pink polka dot pocket to hold their goodies.   A mini whisk is included with the apron for mixing up all kinds of treats!

This Yard Yahtzee set from Woodburning by Seth includes five large hand cut and burned dice, bucket, and 12 score cards. The score cards are in two sets of 6 for two different games to play. They have been hot laminated so they can be reused with a dry erase marker. Each of the dice measures 4″. Score cards are 8 x 10 in size and are easily readable. Bucket color will vary depending on availability. This game is a perfect addition to any family barbeque, party or get together.

MIdnight Rose Knot Dress

This Midnight Rose Knot Dress from That’s So Addie is a stunner!  Gorgeous midnight rose print features soft cream and light yellow roses on a stark black background.  This could easily go through summer and all way into winter as a unique holiday dress with various layering pieces.  Perfect to wear alone on hot summer days or layer over a tee or peasant top when it is cooler. Bodice is fully lined with knot straps that are fully adjustable. Skirt is super full and finished off with a coordinating hem.

Royal purple faux lace baby shoes by ruby dew designs

These fancy little baby shoes by Ruby Dew Designs are a beautiful royal purple with black lace accents in a size 5 (4.75″ sole length), are perfect for most beginning toddlers. Enclosed elastic keeps them on active feet, soft fleece interiors keep them comfortable and toughtek grip bottoms keep little ones up and moving.

 

Stay updated on everything Gypsy Spoonful by joining our mailing list HERE!

** This Friday**  Join our awesome shops, on July 20th, Search CIJ for all of our Christmas in July items! Snap up some handmade awesomeness.
https://Gypsyspoonful.com

Heads up!! Mark your calendars!! The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is coming! Save the Date! Aug 3-5, kicks off on Friday at 6pm cst! Our auctions are always AWESOME! Sign up for a reminder text message a week, a day and an hour before it kicks off! Sign Up Here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/text-message-sign
We will NEVER share your information, or abuse your trust.

 

Be intentional

Being Intentional: Doing the RIGHT thing vs. the EASY thing.

It’s an add to cart kind of day! The best way to start your day is to be INTENTIONAL. Yes, kiddies, that’s the word of the day.. Intentional… What does that mean exactly? in·ten·tion·al inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective 1. done on purpose; deliberate. 2. done with purpose; intended Let’s take a look at what that means in … read more

Be intentional

It’s an add to cart kind of day! The best way to start your day is to be INTENTIONAL.

Yes, kiddies, that’s the word of the day.. Intentional…

What does that mean exactly?

in·ten·tion·al
inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective

1. done on purpose; deliberate.
2. done with purpose; intended

Let’s take a look at what that means in the context of the “support handmade” and “shop small” movements.

The easy thing to do when you need to buy a gift is to run to your local retailer and pick up a gift card for another retailer, most likely a chain store, or corporately owned restaurant chain… Everyone likes gift cards, don’t they?

The easy thing to do when you need an outfit or accessory for a special occasion is to go to the mall, and look around until something “speaks to you”… or go to the closest big box store and find something there, right?

Well, I am here to tell you that the easy thing is not always the RIGHT thing to do.

doing the right thing

Being intentional in this context is about doing the RIGHT thing, not the easiest thing. Every single dollar you spend is a vote for the type of world you want to live in. Do you really want to line the pockets of CEO’s of fortune 500 companies? Do you want to give that CEO that extra vacation … OR would you rather know that your money is giving a little boy little league, or a little girl dance lessons? Would you rather see a small family be able to go out and see a movie together? or would you rather give that big box store’s corporate management team a big fat bonus when they’re already raking in the cash… or would you like to know that your purchase MEANT something to ONE work at home mom or dad?  I’d sleep a lot better at night if I was MORE intentional with my shopping dollars. Sure, it might make some forethought and planning out to buy a birthday gift for someone from the Gypsy Spoonful marketplace, and it may just be easier to grab that gift card from your local pharmacy store.

Gypsy Spoonful has 165 independently owned & operated small shops~ each one representing a very hard working mom or dad, or a student working their way through college, a person who has a disability and may not be able to hold a traditional job, a homeschooling parent who wants to be home with their children and teach them while also working and adding to the family income. EVERY single sale matters in the life of a VERY REAL person. It makes a difference in their household.

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS the right thing to do.

Shop the Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace Now

Check out what we believe about handmade, and small American business, if you vibe with what we’re doing, and you’re a maker/artist/crafter… apply to open a shop HERE . 

Want to see our community of makers in action, and get to know the person who owns a shop? Join our Facebook Group. You can also request a custom item on the wall in the group!

Summer plans

Exciting Summer Plans at Gypsy Spoonful!

Summer plans at Gypsy Spoonful are on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. We also have a couple of announcements today about … read more

Summer plans at Gypsy Spoonful are on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. We also have a couple of announcements today about some upcoming events that you are not going to want to miss!!

First up, join our awesome shops on July 20th when we interrupt your regularly scheduled summer plans for a little Christmas In July! Search CIJ for all of our Christmas in July items! Snap up some handmade awesomeness at Gypsy Spoonful! July 20th ONLY!

cij

Second, the wait is over!! Mark your calendars!! The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is coming! Save the Date! Aug 3-5, kicks off on Friday at 6pm cst! Our auctions are always AWESOME! Sign up for a reminder text message a week, a day and an hour before it kicks off!
Sign Up Here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/text-message-sign
We will NEVER share your information, or abuse your trust.

fall auction

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

This large Garden Green basket from Pieceful Design is a gorgeous mix of pinks, purples and yellows on a rich green background! Wouldn’t it make a great addition to your own home decor– or a great hostess or housewarming gift? Bowl measures 9 inches across the top and 5 inches tall. Each bowl is constructed from fabric-wrapped clothesline and carefully coiled to move out from the center, sewing each row by machine. Every fabric yields a wonderful surprise! Virtually indestructible, these coiled fabric bowls are perfect for any area in your home: bath, bedroom, kitchen, office! All of these bowls can be molded, squeezed turned inside out–
and then quickly reformed back into their original shape.

garden green bowl

This hand painted dragon eye with a heart shaped pupil glass cabochon wrapped in aluminium chainmail  by Filthy Fairy Sundries and Treasures forms a one of a kind pendant. Great for costumes, jewelry, or sci fi, fantasy, steampunk, LARP, medieval fairs, renaissance fairs, or any other style/reason/accessories need of your choice. This eye is 40 x 30mm, oval with a domed top and a flat back.

Trash

The fabric in this quilt created by Keepsake Quilts by Lisa is so fun, fresh and modern! Bright colors in teal, yellow, green, grey and red. A perfect addition to your child’s room and will become a favorite keepsake! The generous size allows not only use as a crib quilt but everything from wall hanging, toddler bed or playtime on the floor! A fixture throughout childhood! Measures 42 x 47 inches.

Look at this exquisite Celtic Trinity Knot Charm by Prism Gypsy. This real flower resin necklace adds colorful spirit to your style. It features a Celtic Triqueta charm (also known as a Triquetra or Trinity Knot), and real flowers, all embedded inside of amber colored resin. Perfect for any nature lover! This pendant comes ready to wear on an adjustable,slide knot,black, waxed cotton cord. One size fits all. It has a silver colored bail, which is large enough to switch out to your favorite chain if you prefer.

“Hungry Birds in Nest” Repurposed Denim Pillow created by Scrapper’s Snips and Stitches  is an “intentionally shabby” design. The baby birds and nest embellishing this pillow are crafted from repurposed denim. The handmade appliquéd birds are made from old, recycled jeans, and the nest is Scrapper’s own design using thread clippings. This pillow has a zippered closure on the back and a removable inner pillow form. The pillow is made from a blue and white floral cotton fabric.

photo "Hungry Birds in Nest" Repurposed Denim Pillow

This huge tapestry from AOOAK Creations  is absolutely amazing and will add charm and warmth to any space. With many uses it can be used for your next picnic or yoga routine. Hang it on the wall or ceiling for focus meditation. This wall hanging would also be a great addition to a baby nursery. Each one comes out unique with the color patterns happening naturally during they dyeing process.

Fall Welcome Wreath by Wreathes & More By Jacquelyn has the most gorgeous color combos for fall! Wreath dimensions are approximately 26″. This wreath is on a 24″ evergreen base and features various colors of deco mesh (burlap with gold and silver stripes, orange, cream, beige and aqua), a small fabric pumpkin in the lower left corner which was hand-sewn , a 12″ W x 6″ L wooden welcome sign in turquoise and black colors, faux  fall colored flowers, and various ribbons and bows in like colors.

This Patriotic Memorial Cross by My Spinning Mind Home Decor is great for all year round. Appropriate for Memorial Day,  Flag Day, 4th of July or Labor Day. It is made of twigs on a wire frame with red, white & blue florals & ribbon. It measures approximately 15” W X 22” H & 5.5” D and weighs approximately 3 pounds.

 

Exclusive to Gypsy Spoonful! These Galaxy-Print Flip Flops from Bear Kitten Clothing are cosmically cute! Made using swim knit, the quick-dry fabric is perfect for the beach or pool. Handmade in the U.S.A., these yoga flip flops wrap gently, but securely, around your ankle for ultimate comfort. Grab a pair today to make your summer footwear out of this world!

I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply at https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/join/.

Social Listening

8 Social Media Tools to Protect Your Reputation and Influence Conversations

Social Listening The most important social media conversations about your brand usually don’t involve you. It happens all the time. A customer fires off an angry complaint. Someone shares a problem that your products can solve. If these conversations don’t mention or tag you, how are you supposed to hear about them? Social listening is … read more

Social Listening

Social Listening

The most important social media conversations about your brand usually don’t involve you.

It happens all the time. A customer fires off an angry complaint. Someone shares a problem that your products can solve. If these conversations don’t mention or tag you, how are you supposed to hear about them?

Social listening is a technique for monitoring social media conversations to uncover new opportunities for your business.

With social listening, your business can identify these key moments to engage with users directly and sway their conversations in your favor.

To help you monitor conversations about your brand and transform them into new opportunities for your business, we’ve put together a collection of the top tactics and tools for social listening and media monitoring.

What Is Social Listening?

Social media is a sea of information. Content often dominates feeds, but human interaction is at its heart.

With social listening, you can track existing conversations to find opportunities for your brand to jump in and engage with prospects and existing customers. These organic relationships are the backbone of sustainable, ongoing social media growth and building a dedicated fanbase for your business.

Discovering the opportunities to build these relationships with your customers goes beyond the messages that show up in your business’ Twitter notifications. Social listening is a way for your business to monitor digital conversations at scale, saving you the massive amounts of time and effort that would be required to sort through the noise manually.

Social listening tools track posts based on keywords and phrases relevant to your business to help you find conversations that you aren’t a part of, but should be.

Why Is Social Listening Important?

Social listening is a key tactic for creating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy. It gives you an up-close-and-personal look at your customers and reveals new ways for you to connect with them and build content that reflects their values.

These raw and unfiltered conversations can provide you with a wide variety of insights about your audience. Here are the primary benefits of using social listening for your online store:

Address Indirect Complaints

In the heat of the moment, when customers are most frustrated, it’s understandable that they might not tag your brand while typing up a passionate complaint, especially since only 30% of tweets about brands actually tag their official usernames.

Unfortunately, without using a social listening tools to monitor social media feeds, these complaints would normally go unnoticed—unnoticed by you, that is.

The risk here is twofold: First, your customers will not get their issues resolved. If you can’t see their complaints, you can’t address them and help them have a successful, positive experience with your products.

Second, an unchecked complaint can spiral out of control online, fostering negative sentiment towards your brand. Not monitoring social conversations can leave your business in a vulnerable position and without the appropriate tools to protect itself. Whereas a proactive, social listening-powered approach will help you transform complaints into lifelong customers.

The key to delivering a stellar customer service experience with social listening is to go above and beyond in your response. Your customers don’t necessarily expect a resolution to their complaint since they haven’t tagged your business or product, so you need to go the extra mile to surprise, delight, and win them back

Uncover Unique Opportunities

On the other hand, social listening can also present new opportunities for your brand to create custom social media content and build relationships with your audience. By tracking keywords that are relevant to your brand, you can reach out to new customers in their moments of highest intent.

Here are the different kinds of keywords that your business should be paying attention to:

  • Brand Keywords: Words that are specifically associated with your business, including your company name and any common variations or misspellings. For instance, if your company is called Waterfall Skincare, you’ll want to track “Waterfall Skincare”, “Waterfall Skin Care”, “Water Fall Cosmetics”, etc.
  • Industry Keywords: Words that describe the kind of products or services that your store sells. For instance, a t-shirt store would track words like “clothing”, “t-shirts”, and “apparel”.
  • Location-Specific Keywords: If your business has a physical store or targets specific locations, be sure to track hashtags and keywords that are popular within the city, state, or country that you’re focusing on. For instance, a company selling Chicago souvenirs would want to track the most popular keywords within the Chicagoland area.
  • Negative Keywords: These keywords are ones that you don’t want included in your tracking. If your industry or brand name is commonly associated with non-relevant conversation topics, you’ll want to filter those out. For instance, if you sell dog toys, you’ll want to add “children”, “kids”, “babies”, etc. as negative keywords, so that you aren’t tracking conversations about children’s toys as well.

With social listening, seemingly unrelated conversations can suddenly become chances to impress new customers and engage with your current fans.

spotify twitter social listening

Image credit: Spotify on Twitter

Spotify, for example, was able to jump on this tweet despite the fact that it didn’t actually tag their Twitter account. Their response was simple and witty, humanizing their brand and making a personal connection with a loyal customer.

hilton suggests social listening

Image credit: HiltonSuggests on Twitter

Hilton has dedicated an entire Twitter account to social listening with Hilton Suggests. The account monitors keywords around the names of cities with Hilton hotels to respond to questions about dining and entertainment recommendations with suggestions for local hot spots.

Finding these moments is a three-step process, involving the collection and monitoring of conversations, followed by the analysis of these conversations to determine the intention of the speakers, and then, finally, outreach.

Intention is determined by context and context shapes the way that you should engage with the speakers.

  • What is the emotional sentiment of the conversation?
  • Will the speakers be receptive to your interaction?
  • Is this a relevant opportunity for your brand?

These questions will help you narrow down the context of the conversation and determine how your business should engage, whether that means joining in on a joke or suggesting your product as a solution to a problem.

Get Unfiltered Feedback

Want to know how your customers really feel about your products? From their biggest pain points to their favorite features, social listening gives you direct access to real, honest feedback.

The information that you pull from these interactions is highly valuable for designing better products in the future and improving your current catalogue. Pay attention to what your customers like and don’t like about your products. Try to understand their frustrations and the challenges that they run into.

Remember that negative reviews and comments aren’t personal attacks, they’re opportunities for your business to get better.

If you’ve just launched a new product, you can discover any shortcomings early on by monitoring social conversations. This can get you in front of negative reviews before they start rolling in and help you improve your current products for future customers.  Source Kevin Donnelly, Shopify Blog

If you’re looking for a place to sell your handmade products, check out this page, and to see our community in action, and how we suppport each other in our handmade community, join our Facebook Group.

Gypsy Spoonful Has Been Busy!

 Whew! So many changes around Gypsy Spoonful, lately! Not only are we on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items but we have had a lot of changes made behind the scenes to make your shopping experience even better! We hope you love the updates and make sure you take a minute … read more

 Whew! So many changes around Gypsy Spoonful, lately! Not only are we on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items but we have had a lot of changes made behind the scenes to make your shopping experience even better! We hope you love the updates and make sure you take a minute to visit these amazing new shops.

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

 

This handmade large agate stone necklace from Sparkles is approximately 18″ long and has a large, beautiful blue and black agate teardrop stone with “ice cube” glass prism blue beads. It comes with a sterling silver hook and eye closure.

Plaids and Polka Dots Girls Clothing Boutique  has this one of a kind patriotic dress. It comes in a size 7 and it is handmade and ready to ship! Cool and adorable for any 4th of July activities!

 

I Love Puppies book pouch pillow from  The Teacher’s Nook is a custom made pillow case pouch that fits an included 16×16 inch pillow insert. The opening holds several books or small stuffed animals to snuggle with.  Avid readers can take this pillow with them anywhere.  Great for travel or just bed time reading.

The Dark Mark Wallet by Fandbags is a fun way to show the darker side of your personality without doing any real harm. It features 5 card slots, an ID window, money pocket and two small slip pockets. It is a bi-fold wallet made with Cork Leather.

There’s nothing cuter than a baby in patriotic attire. Made in the USA American Flag Baby Bodysuit by JenODesigns is available in gray or white, solid or glitter.

Made in the USA baby bodysuit

Cute 4th of July custom dog collar for dogs who like to celebrate from Pet Kneads .  This 1.5″ wide collar represents the American flag of red, white and blue with stars and stripes.  100% cotton fabric is lined with interfacing AND polypropylene webbing for extra strength and durability.  Aluminum side release buckle.  Nickel slider and D-ring.

 

 

This neat little illusion is hand burned using Pyrography on a 1.5″ pendant by Rebel Heart Art come with an 18 inch cord necklace. Each piece is unique, no two are alike! With only one available, this will make a great one of a kind gift!

This gorgeous hand-painted glass ornament disc from Younique Ornaments features flowers bursting with color from pink to purple to aqua accented with silver. Painting is on one side of the ornament so that the colors are reflected through the back.

 I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply

Summer Starts Off With Some Great New Creators at Gypsy Spoonful

 Gypsy Spoonful is on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop … read more

 Gypsy Spoonful is on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops.

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

Every little girl would love to wear this super cute, boho design by Ruby Dew Designs. Encased elastic at the drop waist helps gather the lightweight half circle skirt made of rayon blend “burnout” roses. Sizing made to order. 6mo/9mo/12mo/18mo/2T/3T.

 

Fourth of July Children's Summer Dress

Flat lay of drop waist boho chic 4th of July Summer Children’s Dress

Skirtastic Treasures offers this fun little hearts skirt that would be perfect for summer play and adventure. Single Layer made to fit Girl size 7. Great for Birthday, Valentines Day, or even everyday play.

 

This design from The Just Because Shop is an instant download! Such a rustic, yet elegant look to create vinyl decals, paper decals, stickers, wedding decor, scrapbook embellishments, or even as a design on a card or wedding favor.

SVG 0059 Blessed Mama SVG Design

SVG 0059 Blessed Mama SVG Design

This stunning dish from A Marsh Pottery is a completely unique piece to add to your home! Carefully hand crafted, rather than a mass-produced, you and your family will enjoy its beautiful blend of color for a lifetime.

This adorable summer design from Garnished Girl is a fun, felt tic tac toe game to keep the kids busy and happy. The game board is about 5×7 inches and comes with 10 playing pieces. Tic tac toe board doubles as a carry case with a built in pocket on the reverse side to house the pieces.

Felt Beach Themed Tic Tac Toe Game

 

This one of a kind girls Magical Unicorn Shirt from Mother Mae I Threads is ready to ship in a size 3T! Soft, subtle colors will be cute for any occasion.

 

This incredible heart pendant from Montana silverware is made from sterling silver plated flatware spoon handles. Each piece is handcrafted and are truly a one of a kind pieces. It comes on a 24″ silver chain and the pendant is approximately 1.5″ in length and 1″ in diameter.

 

g Montana Silverwear. Heart pendant necklace

Anything for baby is adorable but this Sew Sweet Pea’s Handmade Boutique peace flag designed sleeveless shorts baby romper is cool too. The best part is it is handmade from a brand new up-cycled t shirt. It is one piece , designed to be pulled up over the body. Ready to ship in size 18-24 months.

 I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply. We would love to hear from you.

Some New Shops To Check Out This Weekend

Red Rose Bag / by PiecefulDesign / small cosmetics pouch / purse organizer / Travel bag / credit card case / electronics pouch Summer Cacti Swag, Summer Wreath, Cactus, Welcome to Our Home Sign, Coral Hot Pink Orange Green, Peonies, Home Patio Porch Front Door Decor, Housewarming Gifts Sun and Moon Charm Real Flower Resin … read more

Red Rose Bag / by PiecefulDesign / small cosmetics pouch / purse organizer / Travel bag / credit card case / electronics pouch

Summer Cacti Swag, Summer Wreath, Cactus, Welcome to Our Home Sign, Coral Hot Pink Orange Green, Peonies, Home Patio Porch Front Door Decor, Housewarming Gifts

Sun and Moon Charm Real Flower Resin Necklace Nature Pendant Bohemian Jewelry Boho Accessories by Prism Gypsy

Family Where Life Begins and Love Never Ends Wood Sign – Family Sign – Family Decor – Housewarming Gift – Farmhouse Decor – Wedding Gift – Hand painted by ItsAllGraceShop

Star Wars Galaxy Slouch Beanie size M by Bear Kitten Clothing

Crazy Lace Agate and Crystal Necklace with Heart Shaped Pendant by Forest of Jewels

 

 

 

Here We Grow Again!

    Gypsy Spoonful is on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! We have so many new, amazing shops to browse through. You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. … read more

    Gypsy Spoonful is on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! We have so many new, amazing shops to browse through. You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops.

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

I absolutely love this look from The Rustic Barn! This sweet, quart-size glass mason jar tissue holder is hand painted with two coats of chalk paint and a professional vinyl decal. So cute for a bathroom or even an foyer! Bless Your Heart and other sayings available.

This adorable little dress from Denim and Ruffles Boutique would be the perfect way to keep cool this summer whether you are off on a camping or taking in the local 4th of July Parade.  Teal cotton fabric with a peach and white polka dot fabric for the bodice and ruffle and little gray straps that help bring out the gray of the bear and teepee.

Ready to ship

Looking for a Father’s Day gift for a Harry Potter fan? This 6 0z engraved flask from Dake Designs Boutique with the saying “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” is laser engraved so it will not fade or wash off.  It is stainless steel so it will be long lasting and will not rust or discolor with use.

Another great Father’s Day gift for a veteran or active military! Either one would be sure to appreciate the care taken by  Crystal’s Creatables to create this wood plaque wall hanging

Military Engraved Wood Plaque Sign Wall Hanging by Crystal's Creatables

Morning Star Art created this special gift for teachers, a gift for your parents, or as a memorial stone for someone special. It is a special handmade and formed cement stepping stone. This particular stone is a discontinued style and is 50% off with shipping included and they have many other designs available.

Teach teacher

“I am who I am” inspirational memorial stone

This rustic hand painted wood sign from Morning Star Art Wood Signs  is an precious addition to any room, front porch or “coop”! Perfect as a gift or something special for your own home!

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine Wood Sign

This cute Crochet Eye Glass Holder from Barb’s Yarn Gallery resembles an Old Man. He is hand crochet with beans in the bottom for stability and is 6 inches all the way around. The Eye Glass Holder is crochet with acrylic yarn in cream, grey, and black, The glasses softly rest on the nose and ears protecting your glasses from harm and looking awfully cute doing it.

Crochet Eye Glass Holder (Old Man)

 I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply

Do you know who made the items you bought this week?

From the desk of the empowered and crafty woman dropping knowledge on the world, lololol What is happening inside my brain today: (thank you “secret squirrel cbd strain haha)   As we all know by now, Gypsy Spoonful is what we promote as “American handmade”. and no , we don’t have international sellers (yet) .. … read more

GoosieGirl.com

Heather AKA Goose, Owner/CEO at GypsySpoonful.com

From the desk of the empowered and crafty woman dropping knowledge on the world, lololol

What is happening inside my brain today: (thank you “secret squirrel cbd strain haha)
 
As we all know by now, Gypsy Spoonful is what we promote as “American handmade”. and no , we don’t have international sellers (yet) .. and the main reason for that at the onset was because so many imports were flooding Etsy and other marketplaces, and people were reselling imported copies of handmade products. Then it also came down to the shipping issue, if we were giving site wide, shipping for free (aka included in the price), it may not be feasible for us to ship internationally, or if someone overseas made a sale and had to ship it, it might be very hard to figure the cost when including shipping. (That has evolved a little bit over the last year but I’ll revisit that later) .
I am aware that today is International Fair Trade Day (5/12 every year) , and this brings me to something I am very passionate about, When someone purchases an imported item (especially from China) they have no way of knowing WHO actually created that item, OR how it was produced, or under WHAT conditions. I love the fact that the fair trade organization and guarantee exists, because of those reasons. (it’s time for a fashion revolution, people!) 
 
I think it is VERY important to understand, that imported items may have been created in sweat shops, where people are treated inhumanely and very poorly, or there may be human rights violations such as using child labor or forced prison labor. China has the WORST record in the entire world of human rights violations, they are a communist country afterall. Some day, if it’s possible to add international sellers , it is extremely important to me that we know their creative process (to be sure each item is individually handmade and not mass produced) as well as under what conditions they create the items, and that the people are being paid a fair wage as well. For more evidence and information about imports from China, go HERE
 
Just a message from the girl with the Gypsy Spoonful vision she’s trying to impart to everyone. Thanks for reading! Thoughts? drop a comment below and please share using the social media share buttons! 

Shout Out to Some of Our New Makers!

Gypsy Spoonful is exploding with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. CLICK ON THE HIGHLIGHTED SHOP NAME TO GO DIRECTLY TO THEIR SHOP AND … read more

Gypsy Spoonful is exploding with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops.

CLICK ON THE HIGHLIGHTED SHOP NAME TO GO DIRECTLY TO THEIR SHOP AND BROWSE AROUND!

If you are looking for customized stickers to go on your packages, Sticker Art Designs can help you. Thank your customers, employees, students or volunteers with special stickers just for them at an affordable price.

Summer is coming and little girls are going to need cute little bags like the ones Allicia Designs has to carry around all of her tiny treasures.  This adorable butterfly drawstring bag will put a smile on any little girls face.

Butterfly drawstring bag

Being a Wisconsin farm girl at heart, I just love the farmhouse style signs that The Mountain Pallet has brought to Gypsy Spoonful.  It measures 34″ X 6″  with “ALWAYS KISS ME GOODNIGHT” in black lettering on a white barnwood background. Perfect for your bedroom decor or a wedding gift!

Getting ready for those summer cookouts? These red, white and blue star cloth napkins from My Project, Your Gem make everything feel more comfy and welcoming. Plus, they are easy to clean, just wash with like colors. Perfect for some summer fun.

Red White and Blue Star cloth Napkins,

Don’t forget! This weekend is our Summer Auction. You are not going to miss the fun for this one. This is just one of the many amazing door prizes our awesome shop owners are offering over the course of our weekend auction! Join our Facebook group so you don’t miss out on all the fun!!

I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply at Gypsy Spoonful.

Gotta Love Baby Day!

National Baby Day is here and we are ready to celebrate. The actual origin of Baby Day and how it came to be seems to be unknown, but nobody seems to care. Apparently,  someone came up with the idea and it just caught on because, honestly, who doesn’t love celebrating babies? Baby Day doesn’t really … read more

National Baby Day is here and we are ready to celebrate. The actual origin of Baby Day and how it came to be seems to be unknown, but nobody seems to care. Apparently,  someone came up with the idea and it just caught on because, honestly, who doesn’t love celebrating babies? Baby Day doesn’t really have a whole lot of events attached to it but it is a great day to take that little bit of extra time to spend with your little ones. If you don’t have any, go find some! They are sure to make you smile. If Baby Day puts you in the mood to shop for the littles in your life, Gypsy Spoonful has so many cute things you are sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

Sweet Circle Baby Blanket from Just Bobbin Along would make the perfect gift for any baby in your life or for a baby shower gift!

Pink Plush Artist Bear Primavera by Chicago Bear Company is a 9 inch plush artist teddy bear made with love! The sweetest little thing to cuddle with around!

Primavera

This adorable baby toy set from Give A Yarn Crafts includes two fish, the larger orange fish that has a slight crinkle when squished and measures approximately 4.5″ long, and the smaller green fish that has a bell and rattles when shaken and measures approximately 4″ long.

Perfect to adorn a baby nursery decorated with fish or other underwater creatures, a baby shower gift, or just toys for little hands.

baby-toys-fish-set

So, run on out today and make sure you spend some time with the baby love of your lives and have a great day!

Don’t forget…the auction starts May 4th!! Get in the Gypsy Spoonful group now if you aren’t already in it!

Happy May Day and Mother Goose Day

May Day is an American tradition that was originally an ancient Pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. Over the years, it also evolved into a day to commemorate the historic struggles of the labor movement and the 1886 Haymarket Affair that occurred in Chicago. May Day is traditionally celebrated with lots of flowers and … read more

May Day is an American tradition that was originally an ancient Pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. Over the years, it also evolved into a day to commemorate the historic struggles of the labor movement and the 1886 Haymarket Affair that occurred in Chicago.

May Day is traditionally celebrated with lots of flowers and dancing, planting trees, making a May Pole or making a May Day basket filled with goodies and leave them at friends and neighbors doors. It’s kind of fun because you get to play ding dong ditch em’ but leave them a little gift to make them smile.

This cute little basket of flowers 3D art from Paper Pixies Designs would be great to make a card for that special someone or to include in a May Day Scrapbook page.

Basket of Flowers

Need a gift for someone you love? This Mason Jar Rustic Farmhouse Tin Table Top Centerpiece from Shutey’s Bottle Shack Home Decor is so adorable it is sure to make anyone feel like Spring is in the air.

Sunflowers

Today is also Mother Goose Day, which honors the imaginary author that wrote a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes still loved to this day. In 1987 Gloria T. Delemar founded Mother Goose Day.

Mrs Brittons Creations has the perfect addition to any baby’s nursery. This 7 Point Star Baby blanket makes me think of wrapping up all cozy. I can just hear Twinkle, Twinkle little star in my head.

MrsBrittonsCreations 7 Pointed Star

MrsBrittonsCreations – 7 Pointed Star Blanket


Of course, here at Gypsy Spoonful we like to call it Mother Goosie Day to honor our fearless leader! If you missed the post about our very own Heather Gray who founded Gypsy Spoonful, you can check it out at here!

Hope you have a great May Day and Mother Goose Day!

Make sure you join our group on Facebook group so you don’t miss the Gypsy Spoonful Summer Auction starting May 4 at 6PM. Join here.

Gypsy Spoonful is Growing Again!

Gypsy Spoonful is exploding with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and … read more

Gypsy Spoonful is exploding with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops.

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

Every little girl’s favorite teddy bear should have this sweet dress! Pick up the pattern to make for all the little girls you know at Pickle Toe Patterns. Now you can make clothes for those stuffed animals, like Build-A-Bear and even some Waldorf dolls/animals.

Since we are apparently skipping right over spring this year, it the perfect timing for this cute, little pineapple summer dress from Sew Cute Custom Threads. It would be great for the beach and so easy to just slip on and off over the head quick. Many fun designs to choose from in this shop!

pineapple

This fun Mother/Daughter duo shop offers fun, little bath products that seriously, look good enough to eat. Eeray Bath Fizzies are made from real, natural ingredients that will leave you feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. Treat yourself!

Strawberry Sugar Scrub

 

Busy Crow Studio has added their own type of eclectic charm to Gypsy Spoonful! With exquisite attention to detail, this shop will be the perfect place to go when you are looking for gifts for that “hard to buy for” person. You know we all have at least one of them in our lives.

 

Gypsy Spoonful is so excited to share Napies Daydream items with you. Artwork with character and depth that will just seem to come alive on your walls and in your home.  I dare you to keep your hands of this. I would just have to touch it.

From art deco to jewelry, Salt Works brings some brilliant polymer clay works to our marketplace. These little dragons are just adorable and they offer super colorful necklaces with the amazing beads they create! Perfect for bringing a little whimsy into your life.

I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply

Gypsies in Review – That’s So Addie – Strawberry Bears Party Dress – 1st Edition

Gypsies in Review – That’s So Addie – 1st Edition – Strawberry Bears Party Dress Gypsy Spoonful is a community based marketplace that is made up of the most honest, creative and trust worthy makers. We want the world to know about the exceptional quality you can expect when you purchasing items from a Gypsy … read more

Gypsies in Review – That’s So Addie – 1st Edition – Strawberry Bears Party Dress

Gypsy Spoonful is a community based marketplace that is made up of the most honest, creative and trust worthy makers.

We want the world to know about the exceptional quality you can expect when you purchasing items from a Gypsy Spoonful hand made creator.

Our Gypsies in Review blog thread will feature one shop’s items and review. Each edition will feature a different maker’s items. With that being said, our 1st edition features: That’s So Addie’s Strawberry Bears Party Dress

That’s so Addie offers hand made children’s clothing, accessories and more.

That’s So Addie Because life’s too short for boring clothes!

First item up for review:

 Strawberry Bears Party Dress

Model Addison wearing a Strawberry Bear Party Dress from That’s So Addie

 

Shipping:

I received these items fairly quickly. The package was shipped via USPS with tracking. The items were packaged in a cute blue and white poly mailer with a quartrefoil pattern. The package was sealed securely and in good condition. The mailer was a little wrinkled, but not damaged.

Inside the package were my items protected by another plastic bag with a business card from That’s so Addie and a card from Gypsy Spoonful.

I feel this maker goes above and beyond to make sure your items are protected during the shipping process.

The product:

This dress is VERY well made. You can see the pride in every stitch. It is obvious that this dress was truly made with love and care! It appears to be made from 100% woven cotton fabric. It is a thick fabric, but still thin enough for those hot summer days at the park.

All seams have a serged edge to prevent fabric from fraying, add extra durability and a clean professional look.

The little strawberry bears are just adorable!

Ruffle is top stitched for added durability and a clean professional finish.

Inside bodice is lined with a coordinating cotton fabric

Round wooden buttons and 2 strips of green rick rack adorned the bodice of the dress.

The dress does not have any labels on the inside but stitched on the front hem of dress (right above ruffle) there is an adorable, embroidered “That’s So Addie” label.

The back of bodice has a 3 wooden button enclosure. Buttons are securely sewn on. I tugged and pulled them to test durability.

         Ending Remarks:

I highly recommend purchasing items from That’s So Addie! This maker takes pride in her creations. They are whimsical, made from a sturdy fabric, have serged edges and top stitched for that extra durability.  You can’t go wrong with this dress!

Model’s Mom says:

“When I first saw the dress, I didn’t really think it was Addison’s style, but after she put it on I fell in love! We love how sturdy the fabric is, the length and fit are perfect and Addison just loves the twirl factor of it. An amazing addition to Addison’s closet!”

 This dress was kid tested and mother approved!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog authored by Brigitte of KottonKandyKouture  ~ Meet our blog team~ Be sure to Join our Facebook Group to join the conversation about handmade

 

meet our makers – Raenita- thats so addie – wallowa wonders- 2nd edition

Raenita Maker of That’s So Addie; Founder of Wallowa Wonders In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread. Our 2nd edition is about one of the founding makers of Gypsy Spoonful and That’s So Addie. Who is Raenita? I asked Raenita of … read more

Raenita

Maker of That’s So Addie; Founder of Wallowa Wonders

In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread.

Our 2nd edition is about one of the founding makers of Gypsy Spoonful and That’s So Addie.

Raenita Deal maker of That’s So Addie, founder of Wallowa       Wonders and founding member of Gypsy Spoonful

Who is Raenita?

I asked Raenita of That’s so Addie, to tell me a little bit about herself, and although she is humble, this is what she had to say. 🙂

I am a born & raised Wallowa, Oregon girl. My grandparents on both sides grew up here and my parents did too. I am a generational local that loves where I live and am so blessed that I get to be here. I love to go out in the woods picking mushrooms and huckleberries or just driving around to see all the wildlife. I love to garden and prep/can food for winter. I love to hike in the mountains (even though I am seriously out of shape and need to work on that a little more)

I have an amazing man in my life, Jack, who supports my business 110% and is my biggest cheerleader. He is the one who finds the positives in everything when I am starting to doubt myself. I have 3 awesome kids too. My son, Logan, is almost 28 and married to his high school sweetheart, Dominique. They have 2 adorable kids, Jake & Emma, who are the cutest grandkids around and my favorite tiny munchkins. Luckily, they live here too so I can see them whenever I want. Yay me! My daughter, Danaleigh, is 26 and lives in a little town about half an hour away. She was recently diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure so she is on dialysis and we are in process to get her on the kidney transplant list (hopefully by this summer) And my youngest daughter, Adalyn (where I got my business name) is 13—EEK! She is brilliant beyond her years and has big dreams of becoming an architect. We were homeschooling her for the last 3 years but she just started back to school this term (for a break from her parents, I think).

The beautiful mountain side of Wallowa, Oregon. Where Raenita was born and raised.

Raenita tells the story behind That’s So Addie!

I asked Raenita where her inspiration to create came from?

Adalyn, my youngest daughter, was my inspiration (That’s So Addie). When she was born, I had this opportunity to actually be a stay at home mom. I embraced it and just enjoyed it. I wanted to dress her up as uniquely as possible and ran across some boutique clothing on eBay. At that moment, I knew that was the direction I wanted to go. I bought a cheap sewing machine and went for it. I had sewn a little bit before but mostly I just waded through and self-taught myself until I had mastered it.

Raenita sure is showing us that she was meant to create; just as she does!

The beginning of That’s So Addie…

I started That’s So Addie, officially, in 2005. I got my first sale on eBay later that year. I feel awful for the person who bought my first thing. I’m sure it was not very well made and I am so embarrassed at my quality back then. Thankfully, I ran across some amazing women who were all learning or teaching as they went and I definitely improved my workmanship by leaps & bounds that next year.

 

 

Just 1 of many of Raenita’s beautiful and whimsical creations for Shop here

We asked, What makes your items different from the rest? Raenita’s response is heart warming.

As much as I like to think I am unique in what I do, I know there are many designers out there who can easily do what I do. I strive to do what I love. If I don’t love it, I won’t do it. I guess that is what makes me unique. I’m not in it for the almighty dollar. I am doing it because I love my job!

Raenita’s skills and knowledge are an asset!

I started out working in our family business when I was 9 years old. My parents built a little burger joint, drive in from the ground up and we all worked there. I was waiting on customers and making milkshakes before I knew how to do long division…lol. I put in my time there all through high school and worked there for many years as an adult too. I also had a few bartending gigs. I ran a daycare for a little while (not a fan of that, I decided). I worked as a caregiver in an assisted living home. I was a CNA in a nursing home. Finally, I was a stay at home mom until I started That’s So Addie

Raenita says her biggest accomplishment is her children. She has worked really hard to raise them to have strong wor ethic and to not let life get them down. She thinks she has done a pretty good job at that! All I know is if they follow by example, they will be very successful and reach the stars!

Model Addison, show casing an adorable “That’s So Addie” dress Find the Review here (will link when approved)  Photography by: B.Weaver

Raenita as a child

I am always curious where all our maker’s passion and inspiration derives from. So I dig even deeper into their past. I always ask what is their fondest childhood memory? You will want to keep reading to know all about this sweet story!

I have so many. We grew up in such a fun place and time. I would say one of my favorites would be when my uncle caught some baby chipmunks in his logging boot out in the woods and brought them home for us as pets. We got to keep them in our “playhouse” and they only bit us a few times before they hibernated for the winter and didn’t wake up. (oops…we were bad chipmunk parents in the winter….lol)

Lastly, we asked Raenita what advice she would give to future makers. Her response makes TOTAL sense!

Love what you do. It truly shows in your work. Do not let desperation rule you. Stay the course with a positive attitude and back up plans. It is hard to watch brand new sellers expect sales straight out of the gate. I would say if you can stick it out 3-5 years, you will know if you can do it or not.

Facebook Speculation Rumors Swirl: Zuckerberg Suggests There Will Be a PAID Version in Future

Zuckerberg Suggests There Will Be a PAID Version For years, there have been rumors running around on Facebook saying that the social media giant was going to start charging for it’s use; and for just as many years a quick fact check on Snopes will easily put this top 15 urban legend to rest. However, … read more

Zuckerberg Suggests There Will Be a PAID Version

For years, there have been rumors running around on Facebook saying that the social media giant was going to start charging for it’s use; and for just as many years a quick fact check on Snopes will easily put this top 15 urban legend to rest. However, something wicked this way blows~ and it sounds like things REALLY may be changing.

Repost from Bustle:

Facebook Founder And CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress yesterday, (April 11, 2018) regarding privacy breeches encountered at the hands of what is being called The Cambridge Analytica

“There will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” Zuckerberg said when Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch asked him if the service he created will always be free to use.

The phrasing of that remark strongly implies that it’s at least possible that there will at some point be a version of Facebook that isn’t free. Many speculated that this hypothetical paid version of Facebook would be ad-free, given that Zuckerberg was discussing the importance of advertising in Facebook’s business model when he made the comment.

Of course, this is all complete speculation. Zuckerberg made a throwaway comment that didn’t close the door to the possibility of a paid version of Facebook — but that’s about all he did. Zuckerberg made no official announcements, and didn’t even confirm that the company is looking at the possibility of a premium version. He simply hinted obliquely at the possibility.

The idea of a paid, ad-free version of Facebook has been floated in the past. In 2013, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone proposed that Facebook adopt such a business model — not as a means of protecting users’ data, but as a means of making more money.

“I’ve got an idea for Facebook,” Stone wrote in a Medium post. “They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too. If 10% percent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1B a month in revenue.”

Moreover, a rumor circulated in 2009 (and several times since) that Facebook was going to start charging users to access the website. Needless to say, that never happened.

Not everybody is sold on the idea of a premium version of Facebook, however. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told USA TODAY on Wednesday that he doesn’t think users would pony up the extra cash for an ad-free Facebook experience.

“You would say, ‘I’m really paying $1,000 a year for this Facebook service when I can do email and other sites?'” Wozniak hypothesized. “There’s a lot of ways to be in contact with people.” He added that an ad-free version would provide “one little level of guarantee and privacy,” but probably wouldn’t alleviate all of users’ concerns about how their data is used and shared.

Goosie Commentary: I think most of the analysts who are predicting an “ad-free” version of Facebook may be off target. Where I see this going is offering Facebook free for regular users, and then Zuckerberg and his crew creating a paid version for businesses. I don’t think ad-free is ever the way they’re going to go.  Ad dollars are their bread and butter. Offering premium services to businesses to be seen again by followers (instead of boosting posts) will be the way it goes in my humble opinion. The slippery slope to a paid version for businesses seems to have started a couple of months ago with Zuckerberg’s statement when he basically killed Facebook Pages for Business and Brands.  He hinted then that there would be a separate place for Facebook Pages. And I believe that was the first step in separating “Regular Facebook users” from “Business Facebook Users”. I knew this was coming, I can almost guarantee that Businesses and Brands will be offered a premium version and if they don’t subscribe they’ll remain “dead” in “no man’s land”, or eliminated all together.

How will this affect Small Business Owners that use Facebook to share, promote, market and otherwise grow their customer base and reach? it’s going to hurt a lot. I think it’s going to be a pay to play type of scenario, and most of us are on shoestring budgets and live sale to sale as it is now.  Don’t quote me on my commentary and my prediction, but I’d be you dollars to donuts this is what will be happening in the future.

What do YOU think Mark Zuckerberg was alluding to in regards to the future for his social media cornerstone? Drop us a comment and let us know what you think.

If you’re a small business or handmade shop owner, would you pay to have a business facebook account? How MUCH would you be willing to pay per month? Drop a comment below and join the discussion.

 

Meet Our Makers – Heather aka Goose- Gypsy Spoonful – Goosie Girl

Heather aka Goose Maker of Goosie Girl, Creator of Gypsy Spoonful In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread. I feel the best maker to kick off with is Heather (aka Goose) the founder and creator of Gypsy Spoonful. Who is Heather? … read more

Heather aka Goose

Maker of Goosie Girl, Creator of Gypsy Spoonful

In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread. I feel the best maker to kick off with is Heather (aka Goose) the founder and creator of Gypsy Spoonful.

Heather maker of Gypsy Spoonful, an inspiration to entrepreneurs every where!

Who is Heather?

I asked Heather to tell me a little bit about herself, and although she is VERY passionate about business, I managed to get this bit of information out of her.  🙂

When I’m not working (which is never ha ha) I love to spend time with my sweet man (soul mate, love of my life) and my kiddos. My oldest is on the autism spectrum (Kayla 22). Then there is Matthew (18), a senior in high school and an amazing athlete and lastly, Jack, who is in 7th grade and a comedian. I also have 3 dogs (animal lover) and I love to garden, and do home improvement/decorating projects. I love life and love to laugh and have fun, I’m a free spirit that would just die if I had to work a regular 9-5 job ever again in my life. A cubicle would be a death sentence for me, if I’m not creating, I am not happy.

Heather decorated her home coffee bar with some sweet handmade decor listed in one of the shops on Gypsy Spoonful. 😉

 

Heather tells the story behind Gypsy Spoonful

I asked Heather where the inspiration to create Gypsy Spoonful came from? Even though we were holding the interview in the board room of all instant messaging, lol, I could tell her fingers lit up with excitement!

I’ve established myself over the years by designing original boutique accessories and photo props~ it all started with one bow for a cheer team wayyy back when my kids were little and it took off…

I started with a shop on eBay and migrated to Etsy,  before people even knew what Etsy was… then went to my own site, and my friends who were still designing started telling me they were looking for a new, completely handmade place… so I went to work and created a brand new site. We have really big plans for it, but there are two hard and fast rules… nothing mass produced, and nothing imported… like supplies or knock-offs masquerading as handmade products.

The beginning…

We began selling on a blog in 2016, and it grew like wildfire, we soon outgrew the blog postings, and everyone said they wanted more… a dedicated marketplace where each person could have a shop, and set things up the way they wanted to for their businesses. About 10 months later, after trial and error and baptism by fire, I had built the Gypsy Spoonful website.

New beginnings…

We launched, April 30, 2017, and there’s been no stopping us ever since. We had a vision, and the “founding members” who started on the blog with us believe in it and helped it grow, and we’ve been growing every single day. In the last 11 months, we’ve grown to 127 shops with 8 pending.

There are no monthly shop fees. There are also no listing or renewal fees. Listings run forever, although we encourage people to re-list items to keep things fresh. If a product does not sell, you don’t pay a dime. If it sells, there is a small fee of 3.5% (the same as Etsy) plus the normal PayPal fees of course. We also have instant download for patterns, ebooks, embroidery files (that you create).

Our sales started rolling in the first week we were open! We have such a GREAT core of members. We believe in community over competition, and people before profits.

Gypsy Spoonful – The New Home of Handmade

Heather’s skills and knowledge are an asset!

I have been in business for 14 years, and before I was doing this, I was in advertising and marketing so I am very active networking, marketing and promoting the site, both through paid and non-paid means. We want our members to grow their business and reach new markets, so we teach/mentor and support them by doing little “boot camps” on social media marketing, helping them with SEO (search engine optimization), and teaching them tricks/tips/advice we’ve learned over the years~ I have 2 wonderful admins and between the 3 of us, collectively, we have 30+ years of online selling experience with handmade products.

Gypsy Spoonful is, indeed, a dedicated marketplace where each maker can have a shop, set things up the way they want to, and where you feel like family!

Who was Heather before Gypsy Spoonful?

I was a maker before GS, just like all of my friends~ I was creating and selling handmade photo props, boutique accessories and writing pdf patterns/ebooks. My business is GoosieGirl.com , and I have been blogging on my blog there for ten years. In my past life, I was in advertising and public relations as well as law enforcement.

Heather’s handmade shop on Gypsy Spoonful; Goosie Girl.

Unicorn Headband created by Heather – Goosie Girl (click photo to purchase)

Heather’s accomplishments

I asked Heather what she felt her biggest accomplishments are. Her responce is what made me an official Heather Goose fan!

I am a published author and small business expert cited in many online publications and magazines. I’ve also designed for several a-list celebrity clients and their children over the years. I tell you this, not to toot my own horn but because I want you to know this has been my life… it’s not a hobby, a side gig or some flash in the pan idea I have had. I love handmade and everything it encompasses. My passion is empowering other women to be successful and help them achieve their dreams and goals. I have a passion for empowering other women who own small businesses.

Heather as a child

I was curious where all Heather’s passion and inspiration derives from. So I dug even deeper into her past. I asked her what is her fondest childhood memory? You will want to keep reading to know all about this sweet story!

I loved playing dress up and having tea parties with my Grandpa. (I lived with my grandparents growing up). My Grandpa would come home from work on the train every night. When he got home, he would play tea party with me. I’d dress him up, put his hair in rollers, and serve him pretend tea while my grandma was making dinner. Fond memories. I was also very close with my cousins.

Goosie Girl Click photo to support Heather as Goosie Girl

Taking Better Product Photos : Guest Blogger Heidi from Stuff N’ Junk By Heidi

Taking Better Product Photos</font color> Hey there! Heidi here from Stuff N Junk by Heidi! I am a long time seamstress, a handmade business Gypsy Spoonful shop owner, a homeschooling mom. What I am not is a photographer. When I was younger I would love taking photos with my 35 mm camera and then collage-ing … read more

Taking Better Product Photos</font color>

Hey there! Heidi here from Stuff N Junk by Heidi!
I am a long time seamstress, a handmade business Gypsy Spoonful shop owner, a homeschooling mom. What I am not is a photographer. When I was younger I would love taking photos with my 35 mm camera and then collage-ing the photos into memory albums, but with the invention of digital cameras (and camera phones) and thanks to a busy life in general, I stopped taking as many photos. I never really learned all of the ins and outs when it came to lighting and camera functions, so when it came time to open my first online shop, my photos were dark, fuzzy and down right horrible! Over the years I have picked up some tips and tricks when it comes to product photos, so today I wanted to share some of the tools and tricks I use and how my photos have “developed” over the years.
Taking Better Product Photos

one of my first “product photos”

Before I had an online shop, I made diaper bags and baby blankets for family and friends. After many years of encouragement, I opened my first shop and my photos were far from appealing. I knew that I needed them to be “light and bright” but I wasn’t really sure where to begin. I didn’t have the extra funds to purchase high-end photography gear and I didn’t know enough about photography to know what a good value would be. My photos were dark, rough and many times blurry.
After very little research, I began mimicking what I thought looked good in other online shops. I started seeing this trend of photos on wood backgrounds. With no understanding of how it all worked, I purchased some scrapbook paper and started taking product photos. Still dark, still out of focus, I was getting frustrated.
Taking Better Product Photos

A first attempt at indirect light. The background is white cotton fabric.

Taking better product photos

Another “early days” photo, background is scrapbook paper.
There are lots of classes and free videos to coach you through photography and editing, but I got lucky and had a little one-on-one help from someone I met on Facebook. With her help, I ordered some vinyl backdrops and got a light kit, I upgraded my cell phone and my photos started getting better.
Taking Better Product Photos

Lights, Camera, Backdrops!

Taking Better Product Photos

Getting ready to take photos with my phone (Galaxy 8 plus)

When it comes to the actual photos, I found that you don’t need an expensive, high-end camera! Most new cell phones today have cameras that are more than capable of getting a good product photo. A few tips I learned along the way:
  1. Take the case off of your phone when taking photos. Many times the case will cause a shadow around your camera lens, causing the photos to be darker than they should
  2.  Clean the lens before and during your photo shoot. The smallest smudge may not be visible when looking at the phone display, but when you go to edit your photos, they will be blurry.
  3. Take lots of photos! The great thing about digital photos is that you can take a lot of photos of the same thing and simply delete the ones that don’t cut it!
Taking Better Product Photos

Photo taken with my camera (Canon, Rebel T6)

Taking Better Product Photos

Photo taken with my phone

Let’s talk photo backgrounds…

There are a lot of opinions about photo backgrounds. Some people will always recommend a solid white background. Some will tell you to use mockups. Lifestyle photos versus flatlays are also something to think about.
So here’s my two cents:
  1. Your photo background should compliment your business aesthetic. Is your logo blue and green? Don’t use a black backdrop… Do you sell wall/home decor? Photographing your products outside on the grass is probably not going to help your customer imagine that piece in their home. No matter how much you sew, a cutting board is not a good backdrop. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on photo backdrops! Vinyl backdrops are a number one choice as they are specifically designed for taking photos. There are many shops now that offer a variety of sizes and styles to give you plenty of options. I have also used contact paper (dollar tree) and scrapbook paper. The downside to the contact paper is that some are glossy and will give a lot of shine behind your product, with scrapbook paper you are a bit limited with regards to size. If you are looking to use a plain white background, poster board can be a great budget-friendly option!
Taking Better Product Photos

My chevron background is 2’x2′ and matches my branding. Vinyl backdrops can come in so many patterns and sizes! The roll is contact paper I picked up from the dollar store.

2) Mock-ups and props. You always want your product to be the main focus of the photo. If you are using props, be sure they complement your product but they really should be a back seat item, never the focus. If you do mockups, be sure that you are clear in your description of what is included with purchase. If I go to a shop filled with digital mockups and no finished products, I generally don’t make the purchase.
3) Lifestyle photos. These can be great to help sell your online items. Since your customer can’t touch or try on your product while shopping, seeing your product in use helps customers imagine that item in their home. I myself and still working on getting lifestyle photos, so be sure to check back for more on this topic!

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting…

I struggle with lighting. I have always struggled with lighting. I feel like no matter what I do, my lighting is just never “right”. How in the world do we get “indirect light”? Although I am still working on getting that perfect lighting down, I do have tools that help!
1) Lightbox! These can be purchased or you can make one yourself. We’ll be doing a lightbox tutorial soon, so be sure to subscribe to the email list! Although I own a lightbox, I don’t use mine much as my backgrounds and products tend to be too large. Whether you are using indirect light or electric lighting, a lightbox helps filter and soften the lighting when taking your photos.
2) Stand lights. I have the light set listed below and I just can’t live without them! My lights have covers, as shown, which helps filter the light coming through so I’m not getting a bright glare on my product and background.
3) Sunlight. I struggled with good old Mother Nature for quite some time. I tried early morning, different afternoon hours, in the shade, outside, inside, nothing seemed to be working! After doing a little research I finally figured out that I needed to be at my living room window between 10 am and noon (your time and place will vary) to get the best indirect lighting for my photos. Even with that, I still use my stand lights to help with angled lighting.
Taking better product photos

I use a combination of indirect sunlight and two light stands.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to product photography is that you want it to represent your business and give your customer the impression they would get if they were standing in your brick and mortar shop.
Thanks so much for visiting the Gypsy Spoonful Blog : “Gypsy Blogful: A Journey In American Handmade”  and feel free to drop a comment or question!

Gypsy Spoonful: Supporting the Shop Local Movement #shoplocal

BUYING LOCAL IS SUPPORTING YOURSELF TOO Source: Sustainable Connections Keep money in your community. Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, rather than a nationally-owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms — continuing to strengthen the … read more

BUYING LOCAL IS SUPPORTING YOURSELF TOO

Source: Sustainable Connections

Keep money in your community. Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, rather than a nationally-owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms — continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. (Click here to see summaries of a variety of economic impact studies)

Did you know Gypsy Spoonful has a page dedicated to the shop local movement? You can choose to support shops located in your state, or local area

Let’s explore WHY shopping local is a great idea:

SUPPORT COMMUNITY GROUPS

Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses.

KEEP YOUR COMMUNITY UNIQUE

Where we shop, where we eat and have fun — all of it makes our community home, let’s celebrate it! Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. It’s what distinguishes between being here, versus when you’re in a big chain department store just as easily being in the same one in Phoenix, Arizona or St Paul, Minnesota.

“When people travel they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” – Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust

REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation, and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

CREATE MORE LOCAL OWNERSHIP AND GOOD JOBS

Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents. Let’s encourage more start-ups!

 

GET BETTER SERVICE

Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.

INVEST IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Local businesses are owned by your friends and neighbors who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future – just like you.

BETTER PUBLIC SERVICES

More local businesses mean a stronger tax base and  more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally- owned stores entering the community. This means better public services like schools, transportation, emergency response and more for you and your family.

BETTER SELECTION FOR YOU

A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.  A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

ENCOURAGE LOCAL PROSPERITY

A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character. This also means a better use of community space. Big box stores can be highly attractive but… Wouldn’t it be better to have more local businesses that can make use of existing empty space in a heritage building downtown?

THINK LOCAL FIRST + BUY LOCAL WHEN YOU CAN = BEING A LOCAL!

5 Steps To Get Into Brick and Mortar Boutiques

5 Steps To Get Into Brick and Mortar Boutiques</font color> Learn the top 5 tips on how to get your handmade products carried by local boutiques. My amazing friend, Sarah Shaw of Sarah Shaw Consulting just released a free guide on how to get your small business’ products into brick and mortar boutiques. I’ve considered … read more

5 Steps To Get Into Brick and Mortar Boutiques</font color>

Learn the top 5 tips on how to get your handmade products carried by local boutiques. My amazing friend, Sarah Shaw of Sarah Shaw Consulting just released a free guide on how to get your small business’ products into brick and mortar boutiques. I’ve considered her an expert in her field for a long time now, she’s shown that she knows the proven ways to succeed in this rough market. Just the other day in our member’s only group, we were discussing this very topic! Great timing huh? Don’t waste any time wondering how to succeed at this like a champ!


Sarah Asks,

Are you afraid to call boutique buyers? I was too when I was first starting out.

Sarah has prepared this special guide to share her time-tested formula so you can get your products into the stores of your dreams.

  • You are going to get:
  • 6 ways to find the perfect buyers who already want your product!
  • The “My friend saw your store” copy and paste email script
  • Her “Perfect Follow Up” phone script so you can close the deal
  • And more…..

I know you’re absolutely going to LOVE what she’s sharing with you. There’s no time to waste, so shake a leg sister!

To get started right away and access her free PDF guide, click this link to access your guide