Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011



Memorial Day 2011


For the last three years, we have started Memorial Day with attending the memorial day parade in our small Wisconsin town. It is short. It is sweet. It is for the Veterans that have served our country so well to keep us all free.

We started going to this parade due to my oldest child becoming involved in band. Both the middle school and high school bands march in this parade. It is the very first parade of the parade season and patriotic music is played. Usually, not a lot of preparation goes into this, but they always manage to sound and look good. It is a bittersweet parade for our senior high school band students have already graduated when they march in this parade on Memorial Day Monday. Today, I saw many of those seniors march in their high school colors for the last time. It is somewhat sad.

Yet, this is fitting for Memorial Day, isn't it? It is a somewhat sad and somber occasion. We go to the parade as a family to honor those still living and those soldiers who have passed away in service to our country. For me, I will probably start my memorial day each year this way as long as I live in this small Wisconsin town, long after I don't have anyone marching in the bands. After I've thanked the veterans by attending and by putting my hand over my heart as they walk by with our flag, I can feel free to enjoy my day.

Picnics, gardening, the start of summer......enjoy it all, just don't forget those that keep us free. We owe them so much!

Today, as we were leaving the parade, a veteran was walking up the street with a handful of little flags. He stopped and gave us each one. I was honored to be able to look in his face and say, "Thank you for your service". It made me feel good to say it and I hope I made him feel good in that I recognized his great contribution to our country!

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your Memorial Day!
Carol

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SALE ALERT!!!!

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY; ALL PEARL JEWELRY IN MY SHOP IS ON SALE!

JUST ENTER COUPON CODE PEARL20 AT CHECKOUT

AND

YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE 20% OFF ALL YOU PEARL PURCHASES!

ACT FAST!

THIS SALE IS FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Click here to enter my shop;

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shop Updates for May

Hello, to all my faithful readers! Today, I will give you some shop updates!

Update Number One: What's up with the feedback situation?

Well, if you read back a few posts, you'll see that I've been dealing with my first and only, unhappy customer on Etsy! She finally contacted me about how she wanted things resolved. I complied immediately and issued a full refund for a necklace I remade for her (to her specification) that broke. The exchange (through etsy's kiss and make-up) was supposed to provide both of us with some satisfaction. I was to receive a reversal of the negative feedback she left my shop (without the benefit of any chance to make things right, before she left it) while she got her refund. Well, as I just told you, I immediately issued her refund after hearing from her. Now, weeks later, I still have the negative feedback (and I'm sure she will not remove it at this point).

What you need to know is that I contacted etsy for support in this matter and their response was that they will not mediate any kiss and make-up bargains. Essentially, too bad, Carol's Jewelry Orchard. So, I've learned that there is no seller support on Etsy in these situations. Listen carefully, fellow etisans, If you are dealing with an unreasonable person; you will have unreasonable results. This is very disappointing to me. Essentially, my shop (with over 170 positive responses at the time) is being held hostage to a person who had a feedback response of 4. Time to move on. And I am. I will not dwell or write on this subject again.

Shop Update #2: Taking my jewelry in a different direction.

I've been busy trying to find some niche for myself in the glutted etsy jewelry market. In my opinion, I've done fairly well in the etsy jewelry marketplace over the last two years. However, I find it increasingly important to be able to market my jewelry. This is difficult for me, as I make such a variety of eclectic items. It would be so much easier to market if I found the piece that really have someone "searching" for them and I figure out how to tag them right for the search. So, I've making making lists.....lots of lists....to figure out what pieces I'll continue to make and sell and which pieces will no longer be offered. I've got some of it figured out; the rest, of course, is still a work in progress.

Shop Update #3: Blogging and posting.

I really enjoy my blog. I had the most consistent readership when I was blogging twice a week. Sundays.....an article of my choice (not always jewelry) and Wordless Wednesday posts on Wednesday. I am going to return to a similar format. I love the promotional frenzy team blog day (Wednesday) and the response my blog receives from that but I don't have a consistent readership the rest of the week. I like having my readers check in and read more than once a week. So, I'll return to what has worked for me in the past. And make no mistake for those that are just starting to blog; it will drive traffic to your shop!

Shop Update #4: End of my personal six month trial of Facebook marketing is approaching.

In January, I opened a facebook page;
I have enough followers (or people that like me) to have a shorter URL now. Please feel free to visit and like me there, if you are able.

I'm still not sure I like this form of marketing. There are two reasons for this;
1) You have to have a personal page to get a business page. Thus, my friend are still bombarded with my self-promotion.
2) I have not had one sale related to being found on Facebook.

However, I do get some traffic to my shop from Facebook (4-7% per google analytics). Traffic is always a good thing! :) But, I will be re-evaluating the effectiveness of facebook as a marketing tool for Carol's Jewelry Orchard.

Well, this post has gotten long enough. In short, I am in the process of re-evaluating my shop and the direction I want to take with my jewelry and the manner in which it is sold. I still love my craft; it's just time for a little searching and experimenting. Thanks for stopping by! As always, comments are more than welcome!

'Til Next Time,
Carol

Look forward to an upcoming post on Pearls, Classic Beauty!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kiss and Make up Status

Kiss and Make up Status

Well, after almost two weeks since the kiss and make up was initiated, I heard from the buyer of the broken necklace. Wow! She is still very angry! She demanded a full refund within a certain time from or now she would report me to paypal. This is getting blown way out of proportion!

Since I offered her a refund, it was okay with me that she wanted one. It was just her tone that was unsettling. I issued her a full refund, immediately. However, here is the thing. I am guessing that she will not remove the negative feedback by accepting the kiss and make up. She has the necklace, she has a full refund for what she paid for the necklace, and I still have my negative feedback. I am not pleased.

So, I wrote to etsy and explained the situation to see if there was anything I could do now......I held up my end of the bargin for the kiss and make up. She did not. Looks like I'm stuck with that negative feedback, unless etsy decides to do something to help me out. We'll see!

I just thought I would give a quick status report, since my fellow promotional frenzy team members were so supportive. Thanks!