Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Artfire and Etsy and Facebook! OH MY!

Relished Artistry is well on it's way!  Not only have I finally opened an Etsy storefront, but I also have an Artfire studio as well!  I've listed items on both, and I'm really excited to see what happens next.

Unofficially, it's been calculated (by volunteer Etsyians) that the most common length of time between opening a storefront and making your first sale is actually 23 day, or approximately a month.  Since my Etsy store went live with items about 8 days ago, I've had over 230 visits to the store...  There are over 170,000 Etsy stores, so I guess I have a lot of promoting to do.  Considering that in July, according to, Etsy had just under 5 Million visitors, it's bound to pick up.  I hope.  But some work, obviously, is in my future.  (More on that below...)

My Artfire store, in contrast to Etsy, isn't going to reach nearly the number of people but will probably touch a more handmade-centric audience base...  Artfire got just under 350,000 visits for July (according to, but they've grown exponentially since being launched just this last November '08.  They have approximately 25,000 sellers, but at the exponential growth rate they've demonstrated thus far, in 2010 they will be a force for Etsy to reckon with.  Already populated with disgruntled Etsyians, it's growing by leaps and bounds, so we'll see what happens.

Having a store in both places can't be bad.

But what's really interesting is that people can access my stores through my Facebook profile page.  Can you believe it??  I'm not talking about a link, I'm talking about full fledged "apps" that allow you to click directly to my Etsy storefront from pictures of my items on my Facebook page, or click on one of the tabs in my profile boxes to actually see my entire Artfire studio!  I've got both on there!  I'm really hoping they're going to take off.

But there is a downside to all of this...  Putting my storefront on my Facebook profile seems...  somewhat "cheap" to me...  I'm not sure what I feel about that.  I have a Relished Artistry Facebook profile, but all of my friends are on my own personal one.  I feel very odd hitting them all up to make sales.  That seems somewhat callous to me.  I wouldn't want them to use their personal Facebook stuff to blatantly blast-promote their business... It's one thing to share what you've worked diligently on with your friends, quite another to use the system to advertise to them.  One is a bit more... I dunno, "personal and honest" I guess.  The other reeks of cold self-aggrandizing.

I have historically had a problem with advertising, business, and unbridled capitalism in general...  Not good to feel if you're trying to be a merchant artist, huh?  I just don't want to fall into the predatorial trap I see so many others succumb to.  What I have is what I have--if you don't want it, you certainly shouldn't have to have the burden of toning out my incessantly droning advertising.  I'll let them know I'm there, but once that's done, I won't be one to push myself.  Informative news is one thing, but parasitic publicizing makes me sick--how could I inflict that on someone else?

So I have to figure out where the line is, somehow.  And constantly releasing Tweets, email blasts, and Facebook wall announcements is not what's in my future, I know that much.  Tasteful is my mantra--what that actually means is something I'm gonna have to explore...

Live life with Relish!

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