Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review of my Zeus Sport Bluetooth wireless headphones for my iPhone 7

I've been searching for a really good set of Bluetooth headphones for quite awhile. My experience has been very Goldilocks, they were too bulky, or bad connection, or short battery life and never "just right". So with trepidation, I ordered in a the Zeus Sport Bluetooth headphones and took them out for a test drive.

The earpieces looked a little bulky compared to my earbuds, but when I put them on, I could hardly feel them. They came with many different silicone and foam ear tip sizes. I first tried out the foam ear tips and they were really noise cancelling, which was only an issue since I use them on my daily hikes and could not hear bikers coming up behind me or other hikers trying to talk to me, even with the volume down. They worked too well in that regard. So I switched to the silicone ear tips and they are just right.

My first couple test runs resulted in great audio quality, they were very sweat resistant and seemed to hold a charge really well. So I tried them out on a major 15-mile day hike to the top of Santa Fe Baldy at 12,600'. The super sweaty hike took me almost 7 hours and I used the headphones for about 6 of those hours and they held a charge and connectivity the entire time.

The only tiny complaint I have is the charging port cover is very flimsy and doesn't really keep the port covered adequately. Eventually it looks like it may fall off, but so far it's stayed on, as long as I wiggle it a bit.

I recommend these to any hikers or runners or fitness people who need some high quality, reliable headphones.

Here's a few shots from my Santa Fe Baldy climb:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Etsy Promoted Listings Report May 2017

On February 29th, 2016, I wrote a blog post on how to optimize your Promoted Listings strategy. To see how it has impacted my shop, I thought I would share with you my monthly costs & sales from this strategy, to hopefully give you some insights on how it may benefit your Etsy shop.

May 2017 stats:
I'm pretty happy with the cost of advertising only being 3% of the sales generated ($16.88 divided by $553.80 x 100). I never really want it to go above 10%.

I was closed down at the end of May for a move, but sales were still pretty good. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Etsy success tips to optimize your shop and get sales

I started my little Etsy shop in 2008 and after many starts and stops and hiccups, I've created a steady sales stream. The story I initially told myself was if I just list my products in my own unique style, people will see and love my items and flock to me. I could not have been more wrong.

So I took to the message boards, then searched Google for Etsy success tips and worked and tweaked and optimized and learned and implemented constantly.

I discovered what worked and what didn't and created a few blog posts to help others figure it out. This post is a one stop information center so you don't have to hunt around for the tools and tips. Here they are:

1. I'm sure you've heard this a bajillion times, but titles and tags and photos are king. Here's tips on how to actually be seen in search:


It looks like Janie no longer sells on Etsy, but her tips still remain relevant today.

2. So, OK, my titles, tags and photos are amazing, what can I do next? Use the power of Etsy stats to really fine tune how your items are being seen and by whom.


3. I've heard that promoted listings can help increase visibility, but I don't know where to start. Here's how I have used them with great success:


Bonus tip: Use Canva to create an amazing storefront banner. I love using the grids to just pop in my pictures, add a bit of text and done.

Remember, Etsy is not out to get you, or put you out of business, or reduce your views. They are in the business of making buyers happy and they will tweak their algorithms and modify their home page in any way they see fit to accomplish this goal. It's their sandbox and we've chosen to play it in, so we have to follow their rules.

If you want to make your own rules, get your own web site. I've done this and it's the best decision I've ever made.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Try out our perfume samples, you get free replacements or a refund plus free US shipping


There is nothing worse than trying to choose a fragrance with only the scent description and some reviews to help you decide, then placing an order, spending your hard earned money, waiting for it to arrive and HATING it when you put it on your skin. I've been there so, so many times.

So I've created an easy way for you to try my mini-perfume samples completely risk-free. Here's how it works:

1. Order up your mini-perfume samples. There is no limit to how many you can order:


2. Wait patiently (or if you're like me, impatiently) for your order to arrive.

3. Sniff, wear, try, share.

4. Found a few you love? Great! Keep them! Order them in all our products and smell amazing!

5. Found a few you hate? Email me and either request a one-time free replacement of the scents you didn't like or get a refund. Your choice.

This is a fun way to try new scents and I've had many, many buyers use this process to sample new scents they normally would not try. And many have been delighted with their choices.

So what are you waiting for? Click the links above and give it a try today.

Need some ideas on how to reuse the empty glass bottles?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Goodbye St. George, UT - Here's a list of my top favorite hiking trails I will miss the most...

As I hit the road for my next adventure, I love to recap what hiking trails I loved the most. I've been in St. George, UT for a year and I'm pretty sure I got my Salomons dusty on almost all the trails here.

Here are my top favorite trail adventures:

1. Angels Landing in Zion National Park - Breathtakingly beautiful. A very strenuous hike and please, watch your step. Those trails are thin and very, very high. Be sure and grab onto the chain ropes to keep from tumbling down the sides. No joke.

2. Observation Point in Zion National Park - 9 miles round trip through beautiful parts of Zion Park (is there a part that isn't?).

3. Red Desert Reserve, all the trails. I shall miss the turtles the most.

4. Bryce Canyon

5. Snow Canyon, the Tuacahn Loop

6. Dixie National Forest, Signal Peak

Goodbye St. George, thank you for all your beautiful trails, I made many great memories here and will always look at this year with joy and a little bit of awe of all the visual beauty I got to enjoy every single day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

On the move again, next stop: Albuquerque, NM - Closed 5/28/17 to 6/1/17

Owning an internet business allows me to live anywhere in the world, so instead of settling on one place, I'm exploring a bunch of places. My next chosen city to try for a year is Albuquerque, NM.

I'm often asked, why? Cause I can. I'm single, in good health and not getting any younger. The hiking and wanderlust bug has bit me hard and I'd regret it forever if I didn't at least try it out. And why there? I found that I love warmer year round weather, so after studying city data weather patterns, I try not to venture too far above 37 degrees latitude North. I also love hiking and mountain climbing, so I search the map for any green areas which denote National State Parks. And then I pick a city close to those green areas. So, as you can see from the below Google Map pic, Albuquerque looks ideal:

I'll be living right at the base of the Sandia Mountains, I have Santa Fe, Carson National Forest and the Rockies to the north, the Cibola and Gila National Forests to the southwest, so I have lots to explore.

I'll be closing up shop on May 28th, packing up my stuff and driving to NM on May 31st. I'll reopen on June 2nd from my new place. I'll be checking emails and all the social media places while I'm gone, so reach out to me with any questions!!

Here's a recap of the cities so far:
Chicago, IL (where I lived for most of my life)
Orange, CA
Sedona, AZ
San Marcos, CA
Irvine, CA
St. George, UT
Currently: Albuquerque, NM
Next up: ???

Click here to view my favorite St. George hiking trails.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ideas to reuse and recycle glass perfume and essential oil bottles

Everyone loves the little perfume oil samples I offer and I often get asked how can I reuse and recycle the little glass perfume oil bottles?

If you'd like to send them back to me to sanitize and recycle, email me with your request at sales@somethinspecial.com. Pack them up and return them to me and I'll refund the shipping costs via PayPal or a store rewards points credit upon receipt.

Or, here's a few ideas on how you can recycle them yourself:

Before you wash them, you can stick a Q-Tip in the bottle for 24 hours to soak up every last bit of fragrance. Use the Q-Tip to scent any small spaces, such as shoes, stick it in your pillowcase, put it under your car seat or in your vacuum cleaner bag.

Then wash the bottles with hot water and soap, then let them dry thoroughly.

If you are a jewelry maker, you can use them to store your beads. The bottles are clear and you can easily see the color and quantity of your bead inventory.

 If you like to do fancy nail art, use the bottles to store your nail glitter, decals, jewels, etc.

You can also store your sewing supplies for quick and easy access to your pins, needles and safety pins:

Are you always digging around for earring backs? Store your extras in a little bottle for easy access when you need them.

Do you have a clever way to reuse these bottles? If so, please share it in the comments.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Etsy Promoted Listings Report April 2017

On February 29th, 2016, I wrote a blog post on how to optimize your Promoted Listings strategy. To see how it has impacted my shop, I thought I would share with you my monthly costs & sales from this strategy, to hopefully give you some insights on how it may benefit your Etsy shop.

April 2017 stats:
I'm pretty happy with the cost of advertising only being 5% of the sales generated ($14.68 divided by $267.00 x 100). I never really want it to go above 10%.

I also took some vacation time, so I always prepare carefully because I know that sales will not be coming in while I'm gone.