Vintage

Entrepreneurship

5 Tips For Launching Your Online Etsy Store!


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If one of your goals for 2015 is to start an Etsy shop, I’ve got the guide for you. Etsy has specific rules for shops. If you make handmade goods, crafts, raw supplies, materials or sell vintage items, the marketplace is a good fit for you. If you’re not sure if your shop would be a good fit for Etsy, check out their Guidelines here.

A lot of people ask if it’s “too late” to get started selling on Etsy, because there are so many shops. They wonder if the marketplace is just too saturated to break into. If you’re just starting out as a business + would like an easy way to get started, test the waters + get your systems in place, Etsy is fantastic. It gives you an easy way to:

+ create a shop

+ accept payment

+ reach your customers

It’s perfect for beginners. If you’re already an established shop, Etsy can be a nice channel to make extra sales from. Here are just a few things that contribute to whether or not your shop becomes a business or remains a hobby hustle:

1. Consistency

Consistency is how you build your brand + shop presence on Etsy. It’s also how you make consistent sales. One thing to remember is that the frequency with which you list new items directly correlate to how often sales were rolling in. If you’re listing a handful of items every day, you’ll make a handful of sales every day consistently. If you take a month off from listing new items, even though your shop is still full of stuff, sales will drop off.

2. Photos

On Etsy, photography is EVERYTHING. Product photography is what sells your items. You cannot underestimate this. Your photography needs to stand out from the rest of the shops on Etsy. In order to do this, you need to use a professional photo backdrop. A popular one is white seamless paper roll + 18% grey, which is considered “neutral.” These backdrops allow your items to really pop. Try not to take photos of your items in your backyard, in front of your garage door, or on your kitchen table.

3. Volume

When you’re selling vintage on Etsy like many are, volume can be a big factor in how successful you are. The most successful vintage shops have 500-600 items of inventory for sale at any given time. The reason being is that for every listing you have up, it’s one more chance that someone searching Etsy will stumble into your shop via that listing that caught their eye. So the more items you have up, the more chances you have for people to find you.

4. Tags + Keywords

Use all 13 available tags. Don’t worry if you’ve run out of ideas, just put something there. It will help you get found. Colour, shape, style, era, theme, texture, related keywords, emotions, seasons – it’s all fair game. Describe your item as you would to a person who can’t see it. How does it smell, feel, look, fit, and how much does it weigh? It’s okay to overshare. Pull out any keywords from your main description to use as tags for your item.Give your listings very descriptive, detailed titles – use all the characters allowed if you can. Although titles like “Amber Moon” sound cool, they don’t tell people anything about what the item is. It’s bad for Etsy search and bad for getting found. So be really clear in your titles.

5. Shop Setup

On Etsy, you have very limited “branding” opportunities. The only places you can really brand your shop is with your shop banner and your avatar. In effect, these are extremely important to your shop’s appearance and brand on Etsy. Your banner and avatar should have the same branding – meaning they use the same font, colour palette, and graphic elements. You can make your own shop banner using Photoshop. Since the shop banner is the first visual that many people will see when visiting your shop, make sure it’s eye-catching, clearly legible + evocative of your brand. It should attract your ideal customer at a glance.

❤ My Work, Skybok

Social Media PR + Marketing for Gravel Road’s “Retro Afrika Bioscope” at Waterfront Film Studios!


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Tamika Doubell

Skybok is handling Gravel Road Entertainment’s “Retro Afrika Bioscope” Social Media Marketing at the Waterfront Film Studios in Cape Town. Retro Afrika Bioscope is Gravel Road’s specialty release label for classic retro African content. The exciting challenge is to digitally restore 160 films that were made during the 70’s & 80’s in South Africa! We launched the Mayibuye Film Festival which ran on SABC 1 from April 13-27 to showcase 6 films that have been restored so far. We’ve been to film festivals all over the world, including the Berlin Film Festival in Germany, The Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, The Lumiere Film Festival in France + we also had our North American debut at MoMa in New York! The community is now around 30,000 members online!

Some of the films:

1971 – Joe Bullet

1987 – Ezintandaneni

1988 – Ambushed

1989- Bona Manzi

1989 – Isiboshwa

1989 – Treasure Hunters

See the crew working hard on digitally remastering the films – read more about them here. See the gallery of behind-the-scenes here (Photos by Patrick Ryan, shot on location at the Waterfront Film Studios).

It was the first time these films were seen by audiences in over 40 years, as well as being their first ever TV debut. I think these stories are so important because they are our heritage. It’s exciting to me that we can restore them to perfect condition and show them to modern South Africa. One of our films is Joe Bullet, originally banned in 1973 by the Apartheid government. It has now been recovered, fully restored & premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July 2014. It’s crazy to think that while it was being made Nelson Mandela was in prison and Winnie had just been arrested!

2 films aired back-to-back every Sunday night in April from 20h30 on SABC 1. If you missed them you can catch them via online streaming. We’ve got an awesome partnership with Wabona, one of Africa’s premiere video streaming services, to make the films available to the public for free (http://wabona.com/). If you are a Mxit user, watch them through that platform via Cinemo (Wabona’s mobile service). A new deal that’s been struck with Commuter TV will see the films running on TV screens in mini bus taxis throughout the country. There’s no excuse not to see these vintage African films!

Become part of the conversation online with us:

Retro Afrika Blog: http://retroafrika.com/

Retro Afrika Twitter: https://twitter.com/RetroAfrika

Retro Afrika Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retroafrika

Gravel Road

Tamika Doubell Waterfront Film Studios

Tamika Doubell Retro Afrika Bioscope

Tamika Doubell SABC1

wabona-logo-black-hi-res

Tamika Doubell Mayibuye Film Festival

Creative Inspiration

Keeping a Journal


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Writing

One thing I really love to do is write. I’m an expressive person by nature with lots of thoughts and ideas that spill into my head at any given time. I realized recently that I have no vehicle through which to do justice to all that. So I took myself to exclusive books and got myself a gorgeous little moleskin book and some nice pens! With the new year having started I’ve decided to journal more. I encourage you to all keep a journal or diary of some kind to keep track and record things. Going to Spain, Portugal and New York this year should see me filling up quite a few pages!  I believe in balancing your life – physical, social, mental and spiritual. Journalism is a great way to achieve that balance. 

After journaling for about a week, I’ve realized a few things: 

  1. I have a better idea of what 2012 was like.
  2. I have a better idea of what I want 2013 to look like.
  3. I take for granted how lucky and blessed I am. 
  4. I much prefer old-fashioned pen and paper to the screen and keyboard!

Do you journal? What do you use it for – to spill your thoughts? To share your fears? Recap your day?