Building The Online Store

I continue to work on transitioning the online store from GoDaddy to Shopify. It is kind of challenging because it is not my full-time job but I was able to make some good progress this past week. I was able to successfully export products from Shopify to eBay with a little help from Shopify tech support. So far the level of support has been like night and day compared to GoDaddy. Each person I have chatted with has gone above and beyond to not only try to solve my issue but send me additional information to further enhance my site.

I have not had quite the same success with exporting products to Etsy. I downloaded a free app from the Shopify store and it worked the first time. You really get what you pay for as when I sent products to export, there was no indicator to let me know the export was successful. I sent it twice more and ended up with 2 to 3 copies of each product at a cost of 20 cents each, Etsy's listing fee. I had no choice but to deactivate the duplicate listings. I tried again a couple of days later and nothing exported. The only way to contact these folks is by e-mail and they have not answered me. I decided to go back to ExportYourStore which is something I signed up for before Shopify. For now it looks like I will need to keep both venues to coordinate listings between an online store, eBay and Etsy. Both venues means double the cost and I will have to pay something to GoDaddy to keep my e-mail address and domain name. It is definitely disappointing that GoDaddy no longer works, I would have been very happy to keep the online store with them if it had.

I reached out to some Shopify experts for technical help as Shopify can do so much I want to make sure I do everything the best and most cost effective way. Several responded to me and there is one expert who seems to be a very good fit. However she would like to create a website from scratch and I have already set it up. I am waiting to hear if she is still willing to help me. She not only has technical skills with Shopify and graphic design but comes from a marketing background. Hopefully she can help me pull the site together so it will be ready for promotion.

Mark does a great job with the Instagram account for Brie's Estate Sales but C'est La Brie's definitely needs help. I am quite the perfectionist and it does not have an overall look that I am pleased with. I feel like it will be taking a risk but I am definitely interested in hiring a full-time person this winter who can manage all the social media. It is too much for me with everything else I need to do on a daily basis. I really admire the folks who have built a great following and whenever they post new products they sell right away. I want to get there someday but first I need to get the website squared away!

I took an afternoon to work on photography, starting first with shooting better photos of products that have been online for a while. I now format all product photos as squares which I was not doing in the beginning. It looks so much better when all the photos are the same size and shape. I just love the Pixelcut app which allows me to set the images up right from my phone after I shoot them. I learned a trick from the folks who make my photo light boxes regarding the lighting and it has really improved the photos. I can better control the reflections and minimize the spotlights on shiny objects such as the polished agate stone on this bracelet. I tried different backgrounds and decided to keep them the same for each category. So far I have settled on the petrified wood for vintage Native American jewelry and the rustic wood lazy susan for Southwest Style jewelry.

I love the elaborate colorful outdoor photos some folks take because I do not have full-time hours to spend on this, I will compromise and concentrate on shooting 2-3 nice photos to show off each product. I literally have hundreds of items that I want to post. I do know that I find white backgrounds boring and I am happy with the props that I have been finding. I spent a power hour organizing my photography closet a few weeks ago and it has been great to have everything at my fingertips.

I also spent a couple of afternoons gathering up my vintage Mexican sterling silver collection, using the trusty Brother P-Touch to print little labels which I use as notes with the inventory code and price. They are so much easier to read than handwritten paper notes. I worked on this project at Mother's house and she helped me by making black jewelry cards when needed so the color is consistent. I have been sorting the jewelry into shoe boxes by price. Then I am going to start listing the jewelry online from most expensive on down. I have lots of really beautiful, interesting designer pieces that I cannot wait to share! Everything with a retail price of $200 or less can go off to the jewelry caravan.

After I left, Mother went to work creating these special new cards for some of the Mexican pieces. She hand stamped and hand colored these with pencils in our corporate colors. They turned out so beautiful! I have heard that coloring is good for the brain so that is a bonus.

We are about 75% through the project but may have to switch gears next week. Mother bought a new mattress and frame to set up the basement bedroom for when Rachel and John come to visit and it is going to be a big job to get the entire basement ready for them. She is anxious to get started as they are coming with Tootsie and Ozzy for Christmas. It will be nice as they will be able to sleep in and have a lot more room to move as there a full bath downstairs which is larger than the one upstairs. I am going to take before photos of the basement to post next week.

I was not able to post a jewelry purge last Sunday but I did set up a group photo so I have a jump start this week. I am also writing the blog in the wee hours this Sunday morning so I will be sure to have time to get to a jewelry lot this week. Now is the time for holiday shopping and I have great gifts!

Until I can get some technical help I will be using Mailchimp to e-mail the blog to followers. Hopefully next week there will be some more interesting news than all this boring technical stuff. See you next time!