Tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy from Origami By Russell


Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell bought to you by SayIDoOnABudget.com

From the instant Russell agreed to do this post with me my creative juices were flowing and I couldn’t wait to get started. I’ve known Russell on Twitter for quite a while now, we met, as I do most of the suppliers featured, during a Twitter chat hour. Russell may, in true British fashion disagree, but I think of him as a King of the Twitter Chat Hour (especially #weddingdaychat)!

Not only are Russell’s products just the sweetest, but he is also a wonderful person and a real cheerleader for people who are trying to break into the wedding biz. And if there is anything that I’m totally on board with, it’s lifting people up. Russell truly supports everyone and is always more than happy to share advice with anyone who needs it.

So, how did Russell start ‘Origami by Russell’?

It all started with my daughters wedding.
About 3 months before my daughters wedding she read that in Japanese folklore, a origami crane represents long life and happiness. Because of this they are often given at weddings.
She really liked this idea, and I was tasked to dust off my origami skills and make 180 of them for her. I feel that I should add here, this was a skill I hadn’t used in almost 15 years!
After a few failed attempts I was soon back in full swing and had soon made the 180 she needed.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed origami. So after the wedding and encouraged by the comments from the wedding guests, I decided to open my Etsy shop.
That was back at the end of 2016, and I’ve have steadily grown both my paper and design ranges ever since.

Russell

My two favourite products from Russell’s range are the fortune cookies and the origami Lily fairy lights. I can image the origami fairy lights laying across the top table, or used as part of the table centrepieces by putting a string inside glass fish bowels or curling a string around a mirror plate. And the great thing is, after your wedding day the origami lily fairy lights will look awesome adorning your shelves or hung over a mirror at home.
The fortune cookies are incredibly versatile; they would be fabulous used in so many different ways, such as:

 

  • A few scattered across each wedding breakfast table for the guests to open up and read funny messages inside
  • Given to each gift as their wedding favour or as part of their wedding favour with a lovely message inside each of them
  • If you were to write each guests name on one they could act as the place name too!
  • One presented to each guest on their saucer when teas and coffee are served
The flexibility of the fortune cookies and fairy lights are what really appeals to me, as lots of uses for one product increases the affordability, and as you all know, I am all about frugality and recycling/reusing.
Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell
After a good amount of experience of selling on Etsy, Russell has agreed to share some of his tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy.
  • Tip Number 1
    Etsy pays
    it’s shop owners every Monday.  So pay your Etsy bill on a Sunday from your shop account.  This saves you a foreign currency fee from your bank.
  • Tip Number 2
    Set up international postage, especially to the USA.  You will be surprised how many Americans will pay £10 postage for my £7 items. It costs you nothing to offer it so there’s no reason not to.
  • Tip Number 3
    Set up a personal account on Royal Mail’s Click and Drop website.  All orders you get on Etsy automatically add the customers name and address to the site.  You can then quickly buy (at a discount) postage and click and drop will mark your order as dispatched on Etsy. Automation makes the life of an Etsy seller easier!
  • Tip Number 4
    Use IFTTT.com to link your business Facebook page to Pinterest.  Each time you post a photo to Facebook, IFTTT can automatically add it to Pinterest for you. Saving you time, and it’s free!
  • Tip Number 5
    Keep your shop fresh.  Don’t set it up and leave it.  If you had a physical shop you wouldn’t do that.  Keep tweaking your listings.  Add new ones every few days if you can.  If not, deactivate one, then reactivate it a few days later.  Just do something to show Etsy you are still working on your shop.
  • Tip Number 6
    Keep an eye on your competition.  Are your prices okay?  Are you under charging?  Or are you pricing your products out of the market? 
  • Tip Number 7
    If you’re selling enough, look at signing up to QuickBooks.  It links in to your bank account and can link to your Etsy account too.  It speeds up your book keeping, and is well worth the cost if you are selling enough.
  • Tip Number 8
    Make sure you have the option to request a custom order option turned on in each of your listings.  You never know what someone might want and you could be missing out on a sale.
  • Tip Number 9
    Lots of blogs and forums say that 50 listings on Etsy is the magic number.  From my experience once I got over 50 listings my sales started going up.

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2nd Wedding Anniversary – Looking for opinion and ideas


What do you get your Husband for your 2nd anniversary_

Today is exactly 8 weeks until my 2nd wedding anniversary. You may remember when I posted last year about us choosing to try and follow the traditional wedding anniversary gifts. Last year was paper. That was quite easy… easier than this year anyway!

This year, the gift should be cotton.

So, what makes a good cotton anniversary gift? Some ideas I’ve considered are:

  • A quality cotton shirt from somewhere a cut above where we’d normally shop
  • Beautiful cotton bedding set
  • A cushion with some romantic wording on it
  • Some form of a cotton print. There seems to be quite a few types of prints on cotton out there.
  • Or I could cheat and get him a ‘cotton’ scented candle.

That’s as far as I’ve got. If you have a good suggestions please let me know as it is getting closer and I’m just not sure!

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Career Highs & Motoring Lows


Making my way in my 20's

Career High

In April I started a new job doing what I have wanted to do for years!

In 2007 I went to Winchester University to study Primary Teaching, it was a 4 year course, and I would have come out with a BA Hons in Primary Education with QTS, however in the first semester of the third year I left. The reasons why could be a whole other post, so I won’t go into now, but if you are interested in why, let me know and I might do a post about it.

I love training, teaching and coaching people and it seems that any role I have taken on i have gravitated towards and somehow always been utilised for training and coaching colleagues. At my first office job, for a big mobile communications company, after just 6 months I became one of the people that would training new starters. Then when I worked in a sales office for a utility company I coached new starters and existing employees on their telephone manner and the sales cycle as well as coaching them on how to stay focused and motivated. My passion and abilities in training and leading people gave me a lot of opportunities at that company.

Then my role previous to now, was working as a Customer Account Manager for an LED lighting company. I was there 4.5 years, and from being there less than a year I was used to create training plans for all new starters into the Customer Service department and to deliver the four week training plan to each new starter. I also became the product trainer. It was during this time that I decided I no longer wanted training and teaching to be a PART of my job, but wanted to take the plunge into a full time training role.

So I took the plunge and I am incredibly glad I did. It feels utterly amazing to think I am now a ‘Training Consultant’! Especially when I consider how many training jobs I applied for without hearing back at all before I got my chance.

I work for a not for profit provider of apprenticeships delivering training and conducting progress reviews with the learners. Not only have this company taken me on as a trainer but they are putting me though some NVQs too so I have will appropriate qualifications for the job!

A GIF representing me after finding out I got the job

Motoring Low

However, this new new job means I have to drive a lot of miles in my own car. The company I now work for is a charitable organisation, so a company car was not included. I have to visit my learners in their workplaces to conduct progress reviews, and they can be as far away as a 2 hour drive. My 55 plate Civic was the first car I chose myself. I’ve had Rosie (my car) 5 1/2 years and Rosie has been a good car. Been being the operative word. She makes strange noises, seems to loose power, stalls regularly (irrelevant of who the driver is) and has broken down twice in the past 6 months.

But I can’t afford to get a new car 😦 because the Husband and I are saving for a deposit on a house. We can’t buy a car outright, and even getting a car on finance or lease is not an option because the monthly payout will reduce the amount we are able to save each month. Plus it would reduce the amount a mortgage provider would lend us as it would impact our “affordability”.

So little Rosie will just have to carrying on limping through for a while yet. It’s just one of the many sacrifices that are being made in our bid to try and get on the property ladder.

Please tell me I’m not alone? Do you have a car that is barely hanging on?
Have you recently made a career change, or, are you like I was a few months ago, plugging away trying to get into a role you really want?

Life might be quite hard in some ways at the moment, but I feel optimistic and continue to look on the bright side whenever I can.

highs and lows of trying to make it through my 20's

My Ex Old Man and my Ex Best Girlfriend


Ex old MAN

‘My Ex Old Man and my Ex Best Girl Friend’, may be the name of a song by country singer Kristen Kelly, but is also the title of this blog post, because yesterday my ex Fiance married an ex Best Friend of mine. 

Emma was my best friend all the way through secondary school and into A Levels, although at some point around GCSE years Emma left the school we went to together and went to a different school designed for those who had been failed by the education system. Emma and I spent a lot of time together, usually at her house, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, playing video games and eating Chinese takeaways. Often Emma’s parents would go on Holiday, leaving her at home alone (her grandparents would keep an eye on her), and during these weeks I would spend a lot of time at her house. We would buy cigarettes and smoke them in her garden, and drink vodka neat out the bottle and end laughing because I managed to fall over in her tiny, under stairs toilet. It was with Emma that I smoked Cannabis with for the first time. We even kept a scrap book of our exploits, printing out pictures to stick in the scrap books and sticking in emails or little hand written messages to each other. I wish I knew what happened to that scrap book! We would have little fall outs, like teenage girls do, but never for too long.

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#BrideHour – A Twitter Chat Hour


#BrideHour

A few years ago when I first started participating in Twitter chat hours, #Bridehour was a very popular and busy chat, filled with tweets from wedding vendors and engaged couples alike. It was one of my favourite twitter chat hours, but sadly the chat died away. I’m not sure why, I can only presume because the person who hosted the chats stopped using twitter, which meant without a host the chat slowly got less and less popular.

Often it is the case that chat hours need someone who hosts the hours and tweets about the chat throughout the week to keep people interested in joining in and to serve as a reminder. If there is no one hosting and promoting the chat it is unlikely to keep going.

Well, a few weeks ago Bridal Bay decided to get the #BrideHour chat going again, and as soon as I found out they were trying to re-start #BrideHour I decided to join in with helping to promote the hour.

It will still be on the same day and at the same time it has always been; Every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm (UK time). #BrideHour long (1)

But don’t forget that there is also #weddingdaychat

Every Sunday 8pm-9pm too. 

In 2 Sunday’s Time it’ll be my 1st Anniversary


1st Anniversary Gift

So today is Sunday, albeit, Sunday rapidly drawing to a close. On Sunday 8th October 2017 I will have been married for 1 year.

Last time I posted about my anniversary coming up it was when I was in a quandary about what to get the Husband as a first anniversary gift. We decided to get each other paper gifts as per the traditional anniversary gift list.

Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it? And it is easy to find paper anniversary gifts. What is hard is narrowing down the ideas.

Some of the wonderful ideas I had and some that were suggested to me included: 

  • Having our wedding vows typed up in pretty fonts and colours and framed
  • Getting a personalised song written and produced for us and having the lyrics to the song printed off and framed
  • Crafting a map of the location where we got married into a rose
  • Someone tweeted me with the suggestion of a personalised toilet roll! 
  • Hand writing a love letter to my husband

All of those ideas are rather awesome, and some of those suggestions are near enough free, while others would cost quite a bit!

We currently are living with my sister as we save very hard to try and buy our own house in 12 months (or a little more) time. For this reason I didn’t really want to get anything that would take up space, nor anything that would cost too much.

What I decided to go with isn’t in the above list of ideas. And although I was very tempted to tell you now what I’ve bought for him, I think I’m going to wait to reveal that until after our anniversary.

What do you think I’ve bought him? I’d love to see your guesses in the comments below. Then if any of you are right I will let you know and try to tag you in my post telling all, after our anniversary.

A Daydream Idea for a new Budget Wedding Service


A few mornings ago whilst going about my normal getting ready routine I had a proper detailed day dream that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.

direct budget wedding planning service idea

During my years writing this blog, I have met countless couples that feel completely lost in the maze of wedding planning. As soon as you’re engaged you start getting questions thrown at you – when is your date, what venue have you chosen, what colour scheme are you having…. and often you don’t know the answers to any of these questions.

What does a newly engaged person normally do? Go out and purchase some wonderful wedding magazines to peruse for inspiration. Wedding magazines are great, I personally love flicking through the glossy pages, but they’re not exactly well known for having products and services aimed at the small budget wedding.

Sadly, I’ve also spoken to couples who have ended up feel pushed by well meaning but over assertive relatives into having a certain venue, or into booking services and suppliers that they wouldn’t really have wanted to have if they’d been left to their own devices. And we’ve all heard of a couple who have ended up inviting people to their wedding they don’t even know because their parent/grandparent/aunt told them they have to.

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