Sunday, April 19, 2015

COUNTRY LIVING DISHONEST!

Recently I was contacted by a representative of COUNTRY LIVING magazine with a request to use one of my Etsy items in the magazine.  I agreed. 

I am appalled at how I was treated.  First off, the communication stopped on my Etsy convos once I sent the photo.  I heard nothing.  Not even a thank you.  Finally, I wrote again through Etsy to ask if she received the photo, was it OK, would it be used?  Nothing.  Again I wrote just recently and the reply was that "Yes, the photo was in a current issue."  I had not been asked anything at all about credit being given or any connection to my shop but since the info was readily available on Etsy I just assumed that I would receive credit.

Never have I been so glad I did not receive credit.  My item was used in one of those question and answer sections where someone (supposedly) writes in to ask about the value of an item.  There was the photo of my item  with a fake name and location for the imaginary writer.  A complete fabrication.  A lie.  The value given for my item is very wrong.  It is clear that the person who writes the column has no knowledge of what she is writing about.  As a qualfied and experienced personal property appraiser the values on my items are based on experience and knowledge and are right and fair. 

Appalled!  Disappointed!  Confused!  I keep trying to figure out how they could get by with such a lie.  The person who contacted me is listed as a Deputy Editor.  Is there no honesty in journalism anymore?  Not at COUNTRY LIVING in my opinion. 

They haunt Etsy apparently because I have heard from others who have been contacted there.  I warn them all to beware.  If Country Living asks you to use a photo or to loan an item, think twice.  Demand final approval of how they use your product.  They showed me no respect.  I could cry. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Word About SEO


When I started selling on Ebay 17 years ago the only thing that was necessary was to have a good title and description.  I did well for years.  In fact, I still do occasionally. Nothing like the good old days, though. 

Etsy is another story.  SEO is the primary topic of conversation on Etsy.  There are experts who will tell you exactly what works and what doesn't.  Stuff like "you must use two word tags".  Well, you get a slightly bigger chance of exposure with two word tags but one word sure as hell works too.  There is the bit about how the first words of the title MUST match the first words of the description and tags must match the title...ad nauseum.  It goes on and on and there is much palavering over who is right.


Having spent considerable time in the Etsy "stacks" over the last couple of months, I've learned a bit about those absolutes including the photos with white backgrounds.  That seems moot these days since the glorious days of stark and pale treasuries on the Front Page has gone to nowhere land.  All those teams set up for the purpose of making treasuries for the glorious honor of being on the Front Page....what is their purpose now?  Heartless, Etsy. 

As I prowled the shops I noticed several things that go totally against the "rules" as we know them.  One shop that had over 2,000 sales in less than two years started every title with an adjective.  Oh, you say?  An adjective is a search word?  We're told that is a no-no - wasted, they say.  A descriptive word like "pretty" was the first word in every title in that shop.  The photos did not have white backgrounds and were a bit messy.  What?  Here's the thing, prices were low.  So, even though you don't get the title right for SEO but you can still be successful with cheaper prices?  I'm still pondering.  It was vintage stuff which makes the number all the more impressive. 

I found several shops that in one way or another fit the same profile as that one.  Not particularly good photos, no white backgrounds, failure to match up keywords, adjectives in the title and BIG SALES numbers. 


I can't explain why these shops are so successful but it surely made me wonder about the "rules" of the Etsy experts.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Freshening up when the glow is gone...

Now it begins!  The taking down of Christmas and the reality of what lies underneath the glow.  Most of us end up thinking of updating, changing and rearranging.  I have often forgotten what goes back where something of Christmas has lived now for six week.   I've picked out and revised one of my most visited posts from the past that might be helpful.  

How about a slipcover for that aging sofa or chair?  Slipcovers can be difficult and most workshops charge about as much to make one as to reupholster a piece.  My comfy sofa is slipcovered year round.  I have a little twelve pound tornado whose favorite location, when out of her crate, is the sofa and that includes freshly in from a walk outside.  

This is a nice one:


It comes from Ballard Designs.  This was on a website called D├ęcor Pad.  Very neat for a slipcover. 

My mama used slipcovers and she made them.  She was an expert seamstress and upholsterer.  Things at our house were always changing.  My daddy would say he looked before he sat to make sure the chair was still there.  This is the same woman who painted our living room chartreuse in the fifties.  I wasn't there when her garden club, the ladies of pink and blue interiors attended but I'd bet not one ventured a negative "ahem".  BTW, the complementary draperies to that scheme were bark cloth. 

I read something today about warming up the home for winter with more weighty fabrics.  That's what started this whole conversation.  Of course the first suggestion was to add a down comforter to the bed.  I can't add one without overdoing it.  My down blanket stays on year round.  If I'm dressing the room for show, I fold it at the bottom of the bed.  The bedspread is an antique linen sheet with a heavy lace border.  A lofty comforter certainly gives an aura of warmth.  The article also suggested using weightier sheets.  I never noticed that higher thread count sheets are heavier.  Did you?  I have some darker sheets that make the bed feel cozier.  A good friend will have nothing but flannel in winter and fancies LL Bean. 

Another suggestion was to use more colorful towels to add warmth.  I've been totally white forever.  I might consider that change.  Only one problem.  What color? 

Which of these is warmer? 


The red, right?  I'm not sure I could go warmer.  Maybe heftier.  I am a white towel purist but I'm considering a trip to Home Goods.  Love that place!  The suggestions in the article were aubergine and burnt orange.  Having looked at that photo quite seriously, I think I know why I have white towels.  I can't choose a color!!


~Sami