OrangeTwig Featured Seller – Teresa
OrangeTwig Featured Seller: Teresa from CreativeTreasuresUK.
How it all began
When Teresa’s partner Chris bought a jewelry making kit on eBay, Teresa was intrigued.
In the electronics industry Teresa was used to bending electronic wire. She soon discovered that making wire loops for earrings followed exactly the same technique.
And a passion was born.
There were so many styles of jewelry to explore. But the one she found the most fascinating was bead embroidered jewelry.
She learnt more about bead weaving and soon started creating her own designs, which were enthusiastically received by friends and family. She also started a Facebook page for her items, but things were slow there.
When Teresa was laid off from her job, she opened a shop on Folksy (a UK site similar to Etsy).
She remembers her very first sale fondly. ‘”My first proper sale was my celtic beadwork cuff, made for St Patrick’s day in Irish greens and golds. It sold quickly, and I got lovely feedback from it. It was a really thrilling and encouraging experience, which left me ‘happy dancing’ for days.”
She was hesitant to open a shop on Etsy at first – concerned that her own products did not measure up to the quality of products found there.
Then Chris lost a leg due to diabetes and Teresa became a full-time care taker. She decided to take the plunge and opened her Etsy shop – CreativeTreasuresUK.
“I worked hard on my Etsy shop and now I have another shop selling tutorials too.”
Teresa’s shop CreativeTreasuresUK has been operating successfully on Etsy for over two years now. She has made several sales and has a large fan following. However, it’s not always been easy.
Her biggest challenge has been competing with high street and mass produced prices. And making people realize the amount of time and effort that goes into each piece.
Her answer to such comments always is, “You can get a similar mass produced one. But no one has lovingly made it bead by bead, over hours, and put a little bit of themselves into it. You can’t buy that on the High Street.”
Of course, for every high-street snob, there are several who appreciate her hard work.
So what’s been her best compliment?
“The best compliment from a buyer is not in the written word, but if they either recommend me to someone else, or come back and buy more, and I have a few of those now,” smiles Teresa.
Teresa spends a lot of time on social media promoting her shop. She tries to post at least once a day on her Facebook page and also has accounts on Twitter, Wanelo, Pinterest etc.
“Twitter helps but I just don’t do it enough. I find Pinterest brings in lots of views and interest.”
Tip: She also sends a couple of business cards with every order.
Teresa has been using OrangeTwig for a while now and likes it.
“I have actually witnessed a customer using it. I was in a friend’s shop, and she wanted to talk to me about a particular bracelet. She searched for it via OT rather than the photos on my Facebook page. Of course, this took her to my Etsy shop.”
Tips on Photography
The product images on Teresa’s shop are distinct and clear. She uses a point-and-shoot digital Canon Powershot. We asked her for some tips.
- Use macro but pan back a little. You can always crop your pictures to size, but you cannot expand them.
- Lay your piece on plain white card, in diffused light. This can either be in a light box, or by a window but not in full sunlight.
- Never use flash. It interferes with color and creates ‘hotspots’ and glare.
- Don’t worry about getting the quality in the picture with just the camera. Concentrate on composition with the camera, you can crop and brighten later.
- Use a mini tripod and the seconds delay switch. Take your hands right off the camera. This will help with sharpness.
- Take more pictures than you need. If you mess one up, you have another, and what might seem right with the camera may not be that great once you’ve uploaded it to your computer.
Teresa uses a program called Gimp to enhance her photos. She adds a watermark and a vignette (a transparent filter), to aid the eye to focus on the products.
To Fellow Etsians
Here’s what she has to say to fellow Etsians: