Etsy Sales Trends

When I first opened my Etsy shop I spent a lot of time online looking for information on sales trends.  I was particularly curious about which days of the month had the highest activity levels and what months of the year were the busiest.  I really didn’t find answers to those questions and decided that I would track my own sales history now that my shop has taken off.

I opened my Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaptimeDIYer) in November of 2013.  The first 2 months were pretty slow but 2014 has been AMAZING so far.  I have been way more busy than I expected and have had to hire some help to keep my turn around time low.

I can’t offer information yet on the busiest months of the year because, since opening my shop 7 months ago, my sales have been growing steadily.  I can, however, offer information on which days of the month have been the busiest for me.  My busiest day has consistently been the 14th. Yesterday was the 14th and it was busy but somehow I still found time to write this today.  Might be a little burnt out…  I think I was due for a break from sewing.

The charts below show the sales trends from my Etsy shop for the first 4 months of 2014.  I looked at both revenue by day and number of sales per day.  The trends are very similar.

 

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Now that I know when my peak busy times are I’m able to adjust my schedule so that I don’t panic when a bunch of sales role in.  I try not to plan things for the middle of the month and usually know that the end of the month is better for taking time off and planning non-Etsy related projects.

Once I’ve completed my first full calendar year I’ll be able to offer more information on the trends by month.

Hope this information is helpful and that I’m not the only neurotic number cruncher out there!

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My “New” Old Sander

So I talked my grandpa into selling me this little beauty for $5.  Wasn’t totally sure it was going to work but it was cheap and in good shape.  Have been using it for a few weeks now and have to say that it is the best sander I have ever used.

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We have 2 modern sanders that I used to think worked just fine but I won’t even look at those now.  This thing is VINTAGE.  My grandpa still had the manual with it and the latest date mentioned that I could find mentioned is 1954.  Its only a 2 prong plug but its solid and quiet and when I’m done sanding I can actually feel my hands.  The palm sander I had been using vibrates so bad my hands would go numb within minutes.  My sand paper even seems to last a lot longer.

Here’s my helpers painting my freshly sanded wood which will be part of my new closet organization system very soon.  Will post pictures after it’s installed.

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Kefir Smoothies

Both of our girls have had issues with food since they were very small.  We’ve been gluten free for almost 4 years and our youngest also has pretty major issues with dairy.  This last year we decided to increase our probiotics to see if that would improve some of the digestion issues.  Our whole family took probiotic supplements for a month.  Our girls actually really liked these chewable probiotic tablets by Metagenics http://www.metagenics.com/mp/products/ultraflora-childrens.

We also made our own sauerkraut and I started keeping live kefir.  I have managed to keep my kefir alive for over a year now and we have smoothies for breakfast 2 or 3 times a week.  My youngest, who gets really sick from even small amounts of dairy, is not bothered by the kefir smoothies at all.  Can’t explain why that is exactly but I think the addition of kefir into her diet has really helped her to be able to eat a normal diet without as many issues.

I keep my kefir grains in a mason jar on the counter and this is what they look like when they’ve done their job.  Not a great pic but they stay at the top when done and the bottom of the jar gets watery.

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All I do is scoop them out of the jar and put the kefir grains into a new jar to start the process over again.  Depending on how warm it is in my kitchen it usually takes 24 to 36 hours for 2 Tbsp of kefir grains to ferment  2 cups of milk or half and half.

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I either use organic whole milk or organic half and half.  I’ve found that using half and half makes a really thick yogurt texture.

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I put the kefir minus the actual grains into the blender and add the following to it:

-Approximately 2 cups kefir “yogurt”

-2 or 3 Tbsp coconut oil

-1/4 Cup orange juice

-1 Cup berries or other fruit

-1 banana or avocado

In the summer when I have fresh spinach from the garden I’ll add a cup or so of that too

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If there is any left after breakfast I pour it into popsicle molds in the freezer and have a great healthy alternative to ice-cream for an afternoon snack.

 

Essential Oil Blend for Congested Kids

When my girls were little babies it drove me nuts when they had colds and I didn’t know how to help their congestion.  Vick’s in my experience isn’t that great and smells less great.  Decongestants aren’t recommended for small children and I’m really not a fan of them anyway.  Over the years I started adding essential oils to the humidifier and now have a blend that I use every time someone is sick in my house.   It’s effective and smells great.

 

Humidifier Blend

In the warmer months when the air isn’t as dry I use this diffuser.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser

I purchased it on Amazon and it can be found here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GJRG3K/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I’ve been really happy with this little diffuser and as an added bonus it lights up and changes colors.  My youngest uses it as a nightlight even when we aren’t using it as a diffuser.
The diffuser holds approximately 1 cup of water and I add the following essential oils to that:

2 Drops Thieves Oil

2 Drops Lavender Oil

2 Drops Peppermint Oil

4  Drops Eucalyptus Oil

 

In the winter I use a larger humidifier that holds a half gallon and I double or triple the amounts for that.

 

 

Burlap – Quality vs Character

I know most people just think that burlap is burlap and its simply rustic but there is another side to burlap.  I refuse to refer to any burlap as “bad” because I don’t believe it’s ever bad.  Some just have more character ;).   There is a HUGE range when it comes to quality though and depending on what look you’re going for this can be very important.

I work a lot with burlap (insert shameless promotion here:https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaptimeDIYer).  Most of my sales are curtains and I offer both the high-quality and the rustic.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions on the difference between the two so I decided to offer some clarification.  When purchasing material its hard for me to even tell the quality from pictures. Here’s a picture of the material I use primarily:

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This is a 10 ounce upholstery grade jute burlap.  I like to use the better more tightly woven burlap for pillow covers especially because it won’t stretch and fray as easily.  I also use this for most of my curtains and all of my lined curtain.  It offers a lot of texture and character without screaming “rustic”.  Many want burlap that though and that’s where this fabric comes into play.

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The rustic is still a jute burlap but is a bit more loosely woven and has much more variation and character.  I also use this for curtains but its too loosely woven for pillow covers.  See the difference?

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Both lovely but very different!  When buying fabric or goods online made from burlap my suggestion is to pay attention to the color and weave.  Better quality natural burlap is generally lighter and more consistent in color and a tighter weave and the rustic tends to be more gray and loosely woven.  Best option is to see it in person and touch it! Or smell… big difference there too.

Cleaning Butcher Block Countertops With Thieves Oil

I love butcher block.  When we bought our current house I knew that I wanted them in my kitchen and couldn’t afford to do the whole kitchen in solid surface.  We went with butcher block in my cooking areas and quartz on the eat in bar which works really well.

We chose the John Boos oak butcher block and I couldn’t be happier.  It gets abused and I’m not great about oiling it as often as I should but it still looks great.    I don’t use a cutting board EVER.  I cut everything right on my countertops.  The down side of this is that sometimes it gets a little stinky.  Like I can taste onions when I cut a pineapple on the countertop even if I wiped it down first.  I just found my solution though…  Thieves oil!

This is the one I use  http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/essential-oils/blends/thieves-essential-oil

All I do now is wet a rag and spray 1 pump of theives oil.  I bought mine in a spray bottle which is really convenient.  It is a blend of several different essential oils but I can mostly smell the clove.  I don’t use any cleaning products or soaps on my countertops other than the thieves oil.  No onion smell anymore!

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