Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spring 2013 Color of the Year - Poppy Red

I can't believe that March 1st is only a few days away! Daylight savings time is only 2 weeks away and spring will officially kick-off in 3 weeks. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year and with the weather a balmy 70 degrees today in San Diego, I feel it will be an early and warm one this year.

I'm really excited about the new spring colors for 2013. They are soft, yet vibrant. Another great color this spring is Poppy Red. While many of the colors for this year are soft and pastel, the poppy red 'pops' out and is sure to bring a lot of inspiration to my designs this year.

I found this great red sweater at Anthropologie. Black, white and red is going to be hot, hot, hot this year. and I love this combination! This sweater inspired the darling little gold wire wrapped earrings in my shop.

To see these earrings in my Etsy store for $8.00 each:
Red and Gold Teardrop Earrings

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February Giveaway

Along with resurrecting my blog, I'm also going to start my monthly giveaways again. I really enjoyed my giveaways and connecting with new people during that time, so I'm not really sure why I stopped. Life probably just got in the way - doesn't it always!

So, here we go. For this giveaway, I'm giving a $15.00 gift certificate to my Etsy store. It's open to everyone, domestic and international.

The way to win this giveaway is to enter a date (from 1/1/2000 - present) that is the closest to an important date that I have selected. The person who guesses closest to that date wins. In case of a tie, I will randomly select a winner.

To enter:
1. Enter a comment with the date you have selected. Be sure to use the following format - month/date/year.
2. You can enter once in the comment section below.
3. However, you can also enter (as many as once per day) by sharing the facebook post from my Facebook Fan Page regarding this contest. After sharing the post, enter a comment with a date. You can share this post as many days as this contest runs - just remember, only once per day.

This contest runs through Monday, March 4th at midnight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Creating Your Own Website Without Hiring a WebMaster

Creating and maintaining a website doesn’t have to be a monumental task. I think one big mistake people make is that they look at big company websites and are immediately intimidated by the scope and grandeur of these sites. For most of us, it’s just important to have a presence on the internet that contains pertinent information and links to our product offerings on our shopping site.

While I maintain a successful Etsy shop, I also have my own website. This site shows my latest jewelry products in a slideshow and then has links to my Etsy shop, blog, facebook fan page, twitter, and pinterest. There is also an ‘About’ page and a ‘Contact’ page. It took me one week to create and I used all free code found on the internet! I can modify it at a later date as my needs change. But for right now, I have all my important information on one site.

I found a great site on the internet called Free Website Templates. I browsed through their templates until I found one that had the style I was looking for. One caveat -  there are some templates (usually the best ones), that do not allow you to download the code. You can only edit and publish from their site. I quickly dismissed those. There are still many free downloadable templates to choose from. 

Once you download the code, then it’s just a matter of replacing their logos, images, links, and text with your information. Fortunately, I used to be a windows programmer, so I do have a lot of comfort in coding, but html code is very straightforward and anyone can edit it in a simple text editor. The source code is not cryptic and one can usually decipher it readily. If you’re stuck on a piece of code, just google it! You’ll find all the descriptions you need.

The most difficult task was replacing the main body picture with the slideshow pictures. I found a great site on the internet that gave me the free code for the slideshow – with all the instructions needed to integrate their code. There’s even a discussion board to help!
The company is Dynamic Drive and their website can be found here:

Once I edited the files, cleaned up my images, I copied all the files onto my hosting site (I use hostmonster.com) and I was instantly on-line! It was a great feeling to type in my website and see my jewelry on the internet.

I’m happy to help anyone who may have a question regarding what I discussed today. Please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help any way I can. I realize that programming can be a bit daunting, but it is so worthwhile to have your own website!

Here's the link to my site: Theresa Rose Designs

Friday, February 15, 2013

Natural Products - San Diego Bath and Body

I love it when I find a great product that is:
  • Local company
  • Owned by women
  • Natural
  • Organic
  • Vegan
  • Handcrafted
If I find a product that supports local, small businesses (especially run by women), then I've hit a home run! San Diego Bath and Body Company is exactly the type of company I love to support. It's run by environmentally conscious Christy Bartlett and her husband Steve Blake.

All of her skin care products are natural, using only real ingredients that you can actual recognize and pronounce (there's a new concept!). Ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, lavender, eucalyptus.

I've been using the French Lavender Body Lotion religiously since I purchased it a couple of months ago. Not only does it beautifully moisturize, it lasts forever! A little goes a long way, which I attribute to the natural ingredients that Christy uses when making this lotion. All of her products are handmade by her, so I know I'm getting a quality product.

You can find her at local craft shows in San Diego and purchase online.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why It's Important to Have Your Own Website

I've been selling on Etsy for over 4 years and have been very happy with the traffic and sales I receive on their site. People are always asking me if I have my own website and until recently, I never gave it much thought. I did sign up for my domain name - TheresaRoseDesigns a few years ago, just in case. I tried to create my own website but was overwhelmed with the task, so it went years wasted.

I have finally gotten my act together and launched my website and it only took me 1 week from start to finish! I'm so glad I finally completed this task and wonder why I didn't tackle this sooner. The reasons are so numerous why it's so important and I spell out the main ones here. Hopefully, this will get you motivated to do the same.

Here are the main reasons to have your own site, even if you are selling successfully on Etsy:
  1. You own your brand name. TheresaRoseDesigns is my name, forever. As long as I pay my $10 or so every year, no one can take that name.
  2. Your entire online presence can be accessed from one location. From my main site, you can link to:
    • Etsy Shop
    • Blog
    • Facebook Fan Page
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest  
  3. Increase your web exposure.  The more places you have your name, the more you will be found.
  4. Complete control over content. While I love the way Etsy looks, I do not control the picture sizes, color, or logo. I want the first look a customer has of Theresa Rose Designs to be the image that I want to project.
  5. SEO, SEO, SEO! I can drive customers to my site via SEO (which I'm still learning). I can't really do that on Etsy. 
  6. Credibility. Having my own site shows that I'm serious about my business. If I'm invested in my business, then that builds trust with potential customers. It shows professionalism and legitimacy.
  7. What is the future of Etsy? I'm pretty sure that Etsy will be around for a long time, but if anything happens, I'm positioned to link to a new store. If Etsy disappears and that's my only on-line presence, I disappear.
Your website doesn't have to be a massive undertaking. I have a couple of pages. I use it mostly to link to my other sites at this time. Once I realized that this was the way to start, the task didn't seem so daunting and I was able to get to work on it. In a later blog post, I'll explain how I was able to design and complete my website in only one week - for free (that was the best part).

Theresa Rose Designs

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February Birthstone - Amethyst

February's birthstone is Amethyst. It is an interesting stone that has a history I'm sure most people don't realize:

Amethyst Gemstone Meaning
Crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac or mauve is called amethyst, a stone traditionally worn to guard against drunkeness and to instill a sober mind. The word amethyst comes from the Greek meaning "without drunkenness" and amethyst is believed to protect one from poison.

Power Stone
It is used as a dream stone and to help insomnia. Put an amethyst under your pillow to bring about pleasant dreams, or rub it across your forehead to offer relief from a headache.

Protection Stone
Ancient Egyptians used the amethyst guard against guilty and fearful feelings. It has been worn as protection from self-deception, as well as a protection against witchcraft. The amethyst has long been used to open the spiritual and psychic centers, making it one of the power stones. It is also used as a meditation aid when worn as a necklace.

Whether you are wearing it for protection or power, its beauty is always fashionable!

Amethyst Cubic Zirconia and Gold Earrings

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pantone Spring Color Trends for 2013

It may only be the beginning of February and winter still has its grip on the northern hemisphere, but our friendly groundhog has predicted an early spring and I'm already looking forward to warmer weather. Granted, I do live here in San Diego and snow isn't on the ground, but 50 degree weather is a bit tough for us softies here in the Southwest.

I'm really excited about the new spring colors for 2013. They are soft, yet vibrant. One of my favorite stones is amazonite. The pale green colors with specks of browns, cream, and black are a perfect accompaniment to any outfit. They are definitely one of my best sellers and just so happen to be the same color as one of this spring's trends - Greyed Jade.

Looking through one of my favorite online shops (J.Crew), I see ALOT of this color - they call it mint, and I think I like that color name better. It's absolutely beautiful and feminine.

This color goes with silver or gold, as seen in these two pairs of earrings I offer in my Etsy shop - perfect for spring!

To see these earrings in my Etsy store for $12.00 each:
Amazonite and Hammered Drop Silver Earrings
Amazonite and Hammered Drop Gold Earrings

J.Crew top is on sale right now for only $19.50!
Perfect-Fit Long Sleeve Tee

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Letting Go.... Moving Forward....

It's been a long time since I've looked at my blog. Over 2 years in fact. In those two years, our family has endured cancer, our daughter going off to college, and a whole lot of other changes. But, the biggest change came last week - we sent our 20 year old daughter to Florence, Italy for a semester in a study abroad program. While she is dining on pizza, pasta, tiramasu, and having the time of her life, I sit here and am simultaneously proud, jealous, and very weepy. This is so different from sending her off to college. SDSU is only 20 minutes away. I could hop in a car or pick up a phone and be instantly connected to her. Now she is half way around the world and a 9 hour time zone difference. She's also, for the first time, completely on her own. During her first two years at school she lived in the dorms and then her sorority house. There was an adult on the premises at all times - a comforting thought for any parent. Now she lives in an apartment in the 'city center' (to quote House Hunters International) with 5 other college students. They are completely responsible for the cooking (iffy), cleaning (yeah, right), and locking the door (praying). She is now a grown-up. Gulp!

However, this change has also brought another surprising emotion - excitement. I, for the first time in 20 years, am on my own to pursue my passions. Yes, I'm still married to a wonderful man and still have to clean the house, cook dinner, pay bills, etc. But, I have a new sense of freedom in how I spend my days to pursue my jewelry business. I have to admit that it feels very liberating. I literally jump out of bed in the morning, my mind filled with new ideas and inspiration! It feels great!

Hence, this is what brought me back to my blog. I expect to post at least 2-3 times a week. It will give me the opportunity to reconnect with my customers, let people get to know me a bit better, and give me another avenue for communication. I'm somewhat limited in how I post photos and information on my Etsy site, so I hope this also allows me to showcase my jewelry, answer questions, and post tutorials on the creative process that I go through.

I leave this first post with a favorite photo of mine. This is a picture of my daughter and I on the morning she left for Italy. While I'm so excited for her and look forward to hearing about her adventures in Europe, I do still get teary from time to time. But, it's time to let go and move forward to a new, and equally, exciting chapter in our lives.