Had a great day at J B Winterberry's 2nd annual tent sale. The weather was perfect and I was lucky to have been surrounded by great friends who love vintage finds too!
There were 2 large tents packed to the brim with hutches, baskets, tins, primitives and just about anything else you could ask for!
I had to put my OpendoorStudio spin on things! I went for bold, colorful, bright and fun!
Thought I would go with fresh flowers from a local garden shop. How much fun was that! I also had the idea to put sod on my table tops! It was a hit! While purchasing the sod I saw some plastic picks at the counter... they gave me 6 of them which I used to poke into the sod for labeling purposes! It worked out perfectly!

Here are some peeks. I recovered the vintage kitchen chairs with bandanas and painted the metal folding chairs with bright pops of color!

Hope you like what you see!


advertising UPS & DOWNS

thank you Lisa for this post!
for the complete original post please click here

From time to time you may see a post from me here.
A fellow vintage -lover, vestie & scavenger.
A small business builder living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I began my love of vintage as a child surrounded by old things.
My mother kept the things her mother had had out of love & sentimentality.
I have done the same - everything seems to have a story in our home.

I decided to turn that love into a business & began my Etsy ventures at
the start of the year. Slowly but surely I have learned to find things that strike my eye,
list, take photos (which are progressing but still need lots of help!) and create those
oh-so-important customer relationships. All while starting to see sales and make
the profit. All in all- I love it.

Spring came & sales slowed for me. People are not holed up on the sofa late at nite prowling
Etsy for some great finds as often. Sales are there but the visits are down.

Marketing & advertising......

My marketing adventures:
It was time to take it to the next step & explore the marketing options. Free sources of course.
A great mystery to me. To Twitter or not to Tweet? Facebook? Tumblir
or Kaboodle? Always wondering: is anyone actually reading these and clicking?
Do the clicks turn into sales?

I installed Craftopolis on my toolbar to help me manage My Etsy. Primarily, it has been a
great resource to help me time openings to create Treasuries before the recent changes. Treasuries
in the Main Treasury have helped me get much more exposure & sales.

I began a Google Analytics account so each day after midnight I can log in and see who visited and
from where. How did they get to me? I love this & could use an advanced degree in interpretation.
I could actually see how many people clicked from Twitter, Facebook and Kaboodle.
That helps me learn to better use my time. As we all know - time is money.

My latest exploration: tagwars (tagwars.com). Old news to most of you. I was amazed
that I could type in two sets of words to see which set gets more hits on Etsy. Live & learn.
I need to re-word many of my listings based on this....

All of the above is enough to keep me really busy.

To spend money on an ad?
That was the big question.
If so:
Where? What site to place an ad on? How much to spend? Would it be worth it?
I jumped right in.

I decided to place an ad on Craftopolis (craftopolis.com). One of the ads that go around the rim of the Treasury Clock list.

Easy enough to do- send a picture for the ad, a link and payment for $28 for a 2 week period that runs Sunday to Sunday. ($15 for 1 week). I did the math & figured - why not? How much time does it actually take me to buy the item(s), list it, photograph it, measure it, do some correspondence, pack it, ship it & follow-up for $28 pure profit. Enough time that I could spend $28 in the hopes that it would turn into clicks, exposure & sales. For a 10 minute investment in time, I could easily at least cover the
cost with a sale or 2.

I sent everything and could choose my start date. Sunday began my 2nd week.
At the start of the ad I had a peek day with 50 more visits than usual for that day of the week.
But as the week went on, the clicks went down. From my google analytics I had a total of
64 clicks over a weeks time from the ad. Of course, I had 50 from my Facebook, and 31 from my Twitter which cost me nothing. Some new types of people had found me- handmade buyers and
sellers which was a good thing.

The sad story is that I have no way of telling if the ad was a good or a bad choice.
There are so many variables: nice weather, graduations, lawn work, the changes to the Etsy
Main Treasury during that time frame, & Craftopolis no longer has the treasury clock since there are
always openings now. I am sure that their visits are way down.

Way too many variables. This all has gotten me to thinking:
Was it worth the experiment? Sure.
Would I do it again? If I had a store centering on supplies or handmade - yes.

In hindsight, the viewers of Craftopolis are MAKERS of items and SELLERS of items - not buyers. They are primarily people who are focusing on handmade not vintage. My vintage would be unlikely to catch their eye.

I am often slow on the uptake & should have thought that through logically ahead of time.
I am hoping that my little insite can help you readers out there. As they say, hindsight is always

In short, advertising & paying for it can be great IF it is the right venue.
This was not for me.

Do not go in quickly and buy an ad before really researching if it is the right venue for you and
your products. I took a very quick leap of faith with a couple clicks & a Paypal payment.
It made me feel good inside that I had made a move. It took all of 10 minutes to feel that I was now taking the next business step - advertising. I have no regrets but would slow down a
bit before the next one to be sure it is the right use of my money.

Thanks for reading.
If anyone has any wonderful venues to advertise their wares, I would love to know.
I think most are aware of the free methods and are learning how to work with them.
Reasonably priced ads for sale that are geared towards vintage items. I would love to
know more about that.....

Next venture: PHOTOGRAPHS & titles



JB Winterberry's official Cupcake winner !

Our customers brought in cupcakes and recipes to share. There were many to choose from but based on overall taste, taste of the frosting, taste of the cake, decoration and presentation, the judging panel decided upon...

Marge Flashing's Sunflower cupcakes as the WINNER!
Congratulations to Marge who won a JB Winterberry gift certificate! Thank you to all who participated. Your entries were delicious and it was difficult to choose a winner!
So much YUM to go around!

Here is Marge's winning recipe. Let us know how your batch turns out!

Chocolate Sunflower Cupcakes

3 C. Flour

2 C. Sugar

½ C. Cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Salt

Combine above ingredients in a bowl. Add:

¾ C. Vegetable or Canola Oil

2 Tbs. Vinegar

1 Tbs. Vanilla

2 C. Cold Water

Whisk until smooth

Put cupcake liners in cupcake pans. Fill each ¾ full with batter. Bake fat 350 for 16 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. You can use this batter in a 9x13 or two 9” rounds.

Posie Cream

1 C. shortening

¼ C. Butter, softened

3 C. Confectioner sugar

1 ½ tsp Vanilla

1/8 tsp Salt

Yellow food coloring

Red food coloring ( optional)

Mini chocolate morsels for decoration

yet another look at the frosting technique!

Cream together shortening and butter. Beat in sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Add yellow food coloring to get the desired color. May add a drop of red food coloring if desired for a deeper color

To decorate, put a dab of icing in the center of each cupcake. Use a frosting tube with aleaf tip. Leave a space in the middle for the mini chips. Pipe seven leaves around the cupcake, then seven more, overlapping the first circles of leaves, carefully fill the center with the mini chips