An Interview with Ezebee

I’m really delighted to have Christina from ezebee with us on the blog.  I’m always looking for opportunities, options and alternatives to share with artists and crafters who are selling online so when I bumped into Christina on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and she offered to come on the blog to talk about ezebee  I was thrilled.   A very warm welcome to Christina and ezebee.

Ezebee | Jane's Apple

What is ezebee?

ezebee.com is an international, social, marketplace platform for creative small business owners and entrepreneurs. On ezebee, anyone who wants to start selling their products online or offer their freelancing services with listings can open online shops for free. Unlike other marketplace platforms that charge commissions and restrict what you can sell, everything on ezebee is up to the vendor. If there is someone selling their handmade jewelry, they can do so buy putting as many items as they want in their shop and complete transactions free of charges and commission fees.

 

Artists and crafters work incredibly hard to get their items seen and sold.  What features and tools does ezebee offer to help sellers?

Ezebee offers tools that can help expand your brand within the ezebee universe as well as off-site on your social networks. Withing the site, users have the option to promote and feature their products at a low cost, giving them more visibility in the marketplace and on other ezebee pages. We also provide a site-wide community wall that shows your latest activity as well as the activity of the users you follow and updates on new showrooms and products.

As for marketing outside of ezebee, every product has share buttons that let you advertise your work on twitter, Facebook, and Google+. There is also a handy and free Facebook shop-app that let’s shop owners add their ezebee shop to their Facebook Fan Page.

Team Ezebee | Jane's Apple

The ezebee team

 

Tell us a bit about the faces behind ezebee?

Team ezebee is made up of about 20 people. Programmers, translators, PR reps, and graphic designers make up the team. The site functions in 7 languages, so we have at least one person translating and working in each other the language’s respective markets. Even though we’re a small team, we work hard everyday and we’ve come a long way since day one.

Ezebee Site | Jane's Apple

The front page of Ezebee

 

Ezebee is looking amazing and has a great modern/edgy feel.  What is your vision for the future of ezebee?

Thank you so much! The site has definitely come a long way since I started here. It’s just a little over a year since the page went live and there’s actually a lot in store for the future of ezebee! New features will be added as the page grows. You can expect to see an invoice/accounting module added as well as the the mobile app which will be available at the end of May. To see what else will be added to ezebee, you’ll just have to stick around an see ;)

Ezebee | Jane's Apple

From your experiences at ezebee what’s your best piece of advice for sellers?

My best piece of advice is to be proactive! Many times online shops will open the owners think that that’s enough. Although posting your business online is part of the work, a majority of one’s time must be dedicated to marketing. Sharing your links with your social networks as well as communicating and collaborating with other small busienss owners can really help expand your brand. As I mentioned above, the share buttons and Facebook shop app are a great way to easily get your work more visibility on through your networks. Building those networks by connecting with others is what ezebee is there for. So BEE social and watch your business grow!


 

Christina has shared some really great advice for creative sellers. Not long ago I posted about the wide array of options for selling online. If you’re thinking of taking my advice to like to spread your wings a little further and try some new online services check out ezebee. It’s a new bright and shiny option with a team behind it that are obviously enthusiastic and dedicated (I really enjoyed seeing all of their smiling faces in the pic above).  Hop over to ezebee and take a look for yourself.

3 Peas Markets

Holding a market stall is new to me and you might recall from a previous post that I’ve been visiting markets held in my local area to do some research and gather a bunch of information in preparation to sell from a market stall.   Last Sunday I had a very enjoyable morning visiting 3 Peas Markets  and while I was there I asked lots of questions of my friend Bianca about what happens behind the scenes and her best tips for market stall holders.  Bianca is one of three owners of 3 Peas Markets.

Owner of 3 Peas Markets | Jane's Apple

Suzanne, Bianca and Peta owners of 3 Peas Markets

3 Peas Markets is a new startup by 3 school mums who are doing an excellent job of creating an  enjoyable and unique market experience for both visitors and stall holders.  Their objectives include being active members of and supporting their local community, supporting local schools in their fundraising, assisting emerging musical talent to be heard and doing their best to showcase creative stall holders.

3 Peas Markets | Jane's Apple

Cutie Patootie | Clares Comfy Cushions | Ninny’s xx | Julz Soy Candles & Meltz

Bianca talked me though what it takes to organise the biweekly markets. I was impressed by the efforts that these three entrepreneurial ladies go to to create a festive family friendly environment with care taken to giving stall holders as much exposure and support as possible.

3 Peas Markets initiatives include:

  • providing colourful, inviting and comfy sitting areas for young and older visitors to the markets.
  • meticulously planning stall position assignment so as to provide each stall holder with a corner, two frontage position taking care to not place sellers of like produces in close proximity.
  • arranging blocks of 4 stalls (or pods) to encourage visitors to meander through and around stalls rather than travelling up and down rows.
  • inviting local buskers to entertain the visiting crowd with their obvious musical talent.
  • providing a colouring booklet for little ones to  enjoy, giving Mum and Dad a chance to sit and  enjoy the atmosphere, entertainment and yummy food on offer.
  • online shout outs for stall holders on 3 Peas Markets before and after market day.
  • …and much more.

3 Peas Markets | Jane's Apple

A glimpse of the lovely sitting areas and a shot of  a young local busker,  Jayde Corner who was doing a lovely job of entertaining the crowds on the day.

Bianca’s advice to stall holders is to pay close attention to presentation and use colour in your stall design.  She stressed the importance of creating an inviting atmosphere with your stall and considering how your stall can add to and compliment the atmosphere of the markets you are selling at.

3 Peas Markets | Jane's Apple

SHEclectic | Aishah’s Sweet Delights | Sweet Miss Mini

If you’re located in the Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Hunter, Port Stephens area 3 Peas Markets is a great place for seasoned and new market sellers, artists and crafters looking for good market options to sell their items.  You can find 3 Peas Markets here and you can directly download their market stall application here.

3 Peas Markets

Creative Workspace

My creative space stores everything I need when drawing and making as well as being a spot for keeping school notes, family stationery supplies and music practise (we’re all learning guitar).

It’s really wonderful to have a creative space to store all my bits and bobs.   I love that my space is breezy, light and airy.  On my wish list is a new comfy chair because I find the one that I use now isn’t very comfortable for sitting for very long.

I don’t have any specialist equipment in my creative area. All of the furniture is reused.  The tables where originally bought from Ikea along with the chair and the draws are ones that were part of a bedroom suite I bought for myself when I was nineteen.

My Creative Space | Jane's Apple

My Creative Space | Jane's Apple

When I look out the  big sliding window on the right I see the waters of Port Stephens at the end of our yard. It’s a wonderful space to sit and daydream and loose myself in the project I’m working on.

When I was studying to be a teacher I learned that the colour and light in a space and the way that furniture is arranged speaks to human behaviour, concentration, peacefulness and creativity.  I think that as a artist or crafter having a space that you can organise as your own, however, big or small the space or the budget is simple luxury that makes creating more productive and enjoyable.

I love lots of space and light with the addition of interesting items in create spaces and I enjoy a bit of clutter.  I found a couple of images of creative spaces that I really like and I’ve added them below.  I love the vintage feel of both, the slight clutter, the brown wood tones with white and the items of interest, the old typewriter, the old suitcases. etc.

Creative Workspace | Jane's Apple

 Source: http://mamawithoutborders.blogspot.com.au/Creative Spaces | Jane's Apple

 Source: http://www.busydoor.com

 

Etsy Treasury Spotlight

What have you got planned for the weekend? Both my boys are playing soccer and I’m looking forward to watching them. I’m visiting 3 Peas Markets on Sunday to have a good look around and interview Bianca one of the organisers.Keep an eye out for the interview next week here on the blog.

Here my Etsy treasury spotlight for this week. A warm thank you to Gilian, Lisa, Vicky and Marieken for including an item from Jane’s Apple in their Etsy treasury this week. My treasury this week (listed last) is for new Etsy followers of Jane’s Apple.

If you’d like to share your Etsy Treasury link with us please feel free to leave it in the comments. I’d love to see it.

10 Ways to Show Your Customers You are Serious

10 Ways to Show Your Customers You are Serious | Jane's Apple

For many artists and crafters the easiest and most enjoyable part of selling online is in the creating of their items.   When artists and crafters get the idea to open an online shop it’s really common for them to not take turning a hobby into a business 100% seriously.  And that attitude almost certainly ensures that nobody else is going to take them 100% seriously either.  As a result within a few weeks they get discouraged, visit their online store less and less, stop listing items. start wondering what they are doing wrong, lose interest, and give up.  Other sellers start strong but when they don’t get sales or a good amount of visitors to their online store they end up in the same boat.

Here’s 10 ways to show your customers you are serious and along the way keep your motivation up and treat your new venture as a business:

  1. Use a uniform look and feel across everything you do for your business.  Define your colours, your fonts and the logo you use.
  2. Have business cards printed.
  3. Take classes and workshops in your chosen art or craft field and in addition take small business management classes etc.
  4. Keep your social media well organised and be consistent with your posts and communication.
  5. Donate your work or a percentage of your sales to fundraisers for good causes
  6. Question who your target market is, and decide how can you cater to them.  Put your plan into action so customers can see the lengths you are going to.
  7. Schedule time to do your art or craft, and keeping this commitment to yourself and in addition schedule time to do all of the housekeeping chores that come with running an online shop.
  8. Spend time talking to your friends, family and online contact and ask them for their support with what you are doing  - ask them to share your news with their contacts, friends and family.  How you tell people about what you are doing will determine the impression they get about the passion you have and how serious you are.
  9. Take on new Challenges.  At some point you are going to come across a situation that is new and scary for you.  It might be a request to make a personalised item or it might be a customer complaint or anything in between.  Give yourself time to decide on a professional approach and move forward.  Take on new challenges!

Seriously! | Jane's Apple

How do you communicate to your customers the value you place in your creative business?

This is part of the Creative Business Toolbox Series. Have you seen the other posts yet?]