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:

http://blog.somethinspecial.com/2016/05/how-to-improve-your-etsy-shop-search.html

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.

http://blog.somethinspecial.com/2015/12/etsy-keyword-data-mining-tips-to.html

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:

http://blog.somethinspecial.com/2016/02/free-etsy-promoted-listing-tips.html

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

https://www.somethinspecial.com/mini-perfume-oils-sample-set-p/prod28.htm

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:

https://www.somethinspecial.com/mini-perfume-oils-sample-set-p/prod28.htm

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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ingredients Deep Dive into my Hair Conditioner via EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

https://www.somethinspecial.com/product-p/prod25.htm

Today we are deep diving into the ingredients in my Reconstructive Hair Conditioner. Full disclosure, I do not make my conditioner base, instead I research samples from many, many different companies and then I choose the best one. I have modified this base with 3 nutritious and moisturizing ingredients: Marshmallow Root Powder, Chamomile Extract & Argan Oil.

In case you were wondering who EWG Skin Deep is, it is my go to resource if I have any questions about an ingredient, with the 2nd being Wikipedia. They use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. Their database gives you practical information to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. They have an easy to understand rating system
And also understand, when listing ingredients, it is done by quantity. So the first few ingredients make up most of the product, while the last few are in the smallest percentages.

Here's a deep dive of each individual ingredient in my reconstructive hair conditioner. I remember when I first got this sample, I started offering it in my monthly sample sets and it was so popular, many people asked me to add it the permanent hair care category.  It is one of my personal favorites and I use it daily to condition my hair.

Deionized Water - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706945/WATER/

Cetearyl Alcohol - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701236/CETEARYL_ALCOHOL/

Polysorbate 60 - Hazard Score Key: 3
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705139/POLYSORBATE-60/

Cetyl Alcohol - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701263/CETYL_ALCOHOL/

Dicetyldimonium Chloride - Hazard Score Key: 2
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701951/DICETYLDIMONIUM_CHLORIDE/

Stearmidopropyl Dimethylamine - Not in database

Silk Amino Acids - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/723567/SILK_AMINO_ACIDS/

Methylparaben - Hazard Score Key: 4
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703937/METHYLPARABEN/

Propylparaben - Hazard Score Key: 7
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705335/PROPYLPARABEN/

Panthenol - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704436/PANTHENOL/

Vitamin A - Hazard Score Key: 9
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706889/RETINOL_%28VITAMIN_A%29/

Vitamin E - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706564/TOCOPHEROL/

Citric Acid - Hazard Score Key: 2
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701385/CITRIC_ACID/

Marshmallow Root Powder - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700304/ALTHAEA_OFFICINALIS_%28MARSHMALLOW%29/

Chamomile Extract - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701294/CHAMOMILLA_RECUTITA_%28MATRICARIA%29_FLOWER_EXTRACT/

Argan Oil - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700502/ARGANIA_SPINOSA_%28ARGAN%29_OIL/

I hope this helps you make good choices about your skin care. What you put on your body is as important as what you put into your body. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ingredients Deep Dive into my Goat Milk Cream via EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

http://www.somethinspecial.com/product-p/prod33.htm
Today we are deep diving into the ingredients in my Goat Milk Cream. Full disclosure, I do not make any of my lotion bases, instead I research samples from many, many different companies and then I choose the best ones. You will NEVER receive a runny, watery lotion from me.

In case you were wondering who EWG Skin Deep is, it is my go to resource if I have any questions about an ingredient, with the 2nd being Wikipedia. They use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. Their database gives you practical information to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. They have an easy to understand rating system:
And also understand, when listing ingredients, it is done by quantity. So the first few ingredients make up most of the product, while the last few are in the smallest percentages.

Here's a deep dive of each individual ingredient in my goat milk cream. I remember when I first got this sample, I started offering it in my monthly sample sets and it was so popular, many people asked me to add it the permanent lotions category.  It is one of my personal favorites.

Water - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706945/WATER/

Avocado Oil - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704777/PERSEA_GRATISSIMA_%28AVOCADO%29_OIL/

Isopropyl Palmitate - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703207/ISOPROPYL_PALMITATE/

Glycerin - Hazard Score Key: 2
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702620/GLYCERIN/

Glyceryl Stearate - Hazard Score Key:2
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702658/GLYCERYL_STEARATE_SE/

Stearic Acid - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706311/STEARIC_ACID/

Cetyl Alcohol - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701263/CETYL_ALCOHOL/

Emulsifying Wax - Hazard Score Key: 4
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702249/EMULSIFYING_WAX/

Goat Milk, Goat Milk Extract - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702728/GOAT_MILK/

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700269/ALOE_BARBADENSIS_%28ALOE_VERA%29_GEL/

Squalane - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706264/SQUALANE/

Dimethyl Sulfone - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702065/DIMETHYL_SULFONE/

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701056/CAPRYLIC%3B%3B_CAPRIC_TRIGLYCERIDE/

Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/724298/SYMPHYTUM_OFFICINALE_%28COMFREY%29/

Ivy Leaf/Stem Extract - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/725563/HEDERA_HELIX_%28IVY%29_LEAF%3B%3BSTEM_EXTRACT/

Calendula Officinalis Extract - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700990/CALENDULA_OFFICINALIS_%28POT_MARIGOLD%29_FLOWER_EXTRACT/

Dimethicone - Hazard Score Key: 3
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702011/DIMETHICONE/

Sodium Citrate - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706027/SODIUM_CITRATE/

Carbomer - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701088/CARBOMER/

Tetrasodium EDTA - Hazard Score Key: 2
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706510/TETRASODIUM_EDTA/

Aminomethyl Propanol - Hazard Score Key: 3
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700348/AMINOMETHYL_PROPANOL/

DMDM Hydantoin - Hazard Score Key: 7
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702196/DMDM_HYDANTOIN_%28FORMALDEHYDE_RELEASER%29/

I hope this helps you make good choices about your skin care. What you put on your body is as important as what you put into your body.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ingredients Deep Dive into my Shea Butter Cream via EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

Today we are deep diving into the ingredients in my Shea Butter Cream, 97.63% natural. Full disclosure, I do not make any of my lotion bases, instead I research samples from many, many different companies and then I choose the best ones. You will NEVER receive a runny, watery lotion from me.



In case you were wondering who EWG Skin Deep is, it is my go to resource if I have any questions about an ingredient, with the 2nd being Wikipedia. They use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. Their database gives you practical information to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. They have an easy to understand rating system:

And also understand, when listing ingredients, it is done by quantity. So the first few ingredients make up most of the product, while the last few are in the smallest percentages.

Here's a deep dive of each individual ingredient in my 97.63% natural shea butter cream. I remember when I first got this sample, I was really, really excited to add it to my product line. It has been my best selling cream from day 1.

Water - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706945/WATER/

Glycerol Stearate - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702648/GLYCERYL_MONOSTEARATE/

Isopropyl Myristate - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703206/ISOPROPYL_MYRISTATE/

Cetearyl Alcohol - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701236/CETEARYL_ALCOHOL/

Ceteareth 20 - Hazard Score Key:3
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701225/CETEARETH-20/

Caprylic/Capric Glycerides - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701055/CAPRYLIC%3B%3B_CAPRIC_GLYCERIDES/

Dimethicone - Hazard Score Key:3
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702011/DIMETHICONE/

Stearyl Alcohol - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706325/STEARYL_ALCOHOL/

Soybean Oil - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702679/GLYCINE_SOJA_%28SOYBEAN%29_OIL/

Shea Butter - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700875/BUTYROSPERMUM_PARKII_%28SHEA_BUTTER%29/

Sunflower Oil - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702804/HELIANTHUS_ANNUUS_%28SUNFLOWER%29_OIL/

Hydrolyzed Silk - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703019/HYDROLYZED_SILK/

Aloe Barbadensis - Hazard Score Key: 1
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700262/ALOE_BARBADENSIS_%28ALOE_VERA%29/

Disodium Diazolidinyl Urea - Hazard Score Key:Unknown
I confirmed this is the proper ingredient name with my manufacturer, but it's not found in the database.

Benzophenone 4  - Hazard Score Key:3
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706390/SULISOBENZONE/

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate - Hazard Score Key:4
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703111/IODOPROPYNYL_BUTYLCARBAMATE/

I hope this helps you make good choices about your skin care. What you put on your body is as important as what you put into your body.