Welcome to My Blog!

A collection of good stuff about my business, life, and things I love!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Off To The Oscars!!

I am so excited!! This past week I completed 100 specially designed coin purses and tote bag, packed them up and shipped them out to California. They are going to be gifted to celebrities at the Oscars festivities in Februrary! How I wish I could go with them to be a fly on the wall at the gifting event!

As a member of The Artisan Group, which is participating in the GBK Gift Lounge the weekend of the Oscars, my coin purses will be included in swag bags given to invited celebrities who will be attending the Academy Awards Ceremony. My Cherry Blossom Tote Bag will be displayed on our table where our representatives meet and greet each celebrity. I am so hoping for a photo opportunity!!

This, by far, is the largest project I have done to date. It took several weeks to complete because there were many family and holiday obstacles along the way, one of which included a 4-day road-trip to Maryland (an 8 hour drive) a couple of weeks ago with my college aged son so he could participate in an externship at NASA. While he did that I sat in the hotel room with my my bolts of fabric and sewing machine and sewed sewed sewed!! This time away actually worked out well because I had no car, disruptions or doggies to attend to and I got a ton done.

So here are some pics of the completed project...

These items will be listed for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as www.nangatesdesigns.com, in the next couple of days. Stop by to take a peek!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Goals

2011 was a wonderful year for nan gates designs.

My primary goal for the year was to "figure out Etsy" as I had put it. I'm glad to say that this goal was very much achieved. I have been selling on Etsy since January 2008, initially with not much success. I was one of the many that thought "my products sell well at shows, put them on Etsy and they'll just sell, no problem". Not true. I had no idea about the need for promoting or how to go about it. Others were selling, why couldn't I. So I was determined that this year would be the year that I figured out how to sell things on the site. As luck would have it, in February 2011, I was asked to join in on a BNR that the Promotional Frenzy Team was having. I had no idea what a BNR was but I checked it out and sold many items that first night. Needless to say, I immediately joined the team! It's been a roller coaster ride from there on out.

For 2010 (the entire year!), I had 18 shop hearts, 40 listing hearts, 14 orders. In contrast, for 2011, I had 431 shop hearts, 2585 listing hearts and 236 orders! Shows what a little promoting will do for you! The PFT has shown me social media that I had no idea about (Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Google+) and others that I knew about but really didn't want to take the time to do before (FB, Blogging, Twitter, Flickr). It's been a huge learning experience and year of growth and I have PFT to thank for it.

As a result of this year's promotion, I gained wholesale accounts as well as was noticed by another wonderful group, The Artisan Group, which primarily gifts celebrities at large award events. I am thrilled to say that my business cards will be in 100 gift bags at the Golden Globe gifting event next week and I will be sending 100 coin purses and a tote bag for the Oscars gifting event to be held next month. What a year!

So now to move on to 2012. My business goals for this year are:

1. Maintain 150 items in my Etsy shop.
2. Utilize Facebook better with more consistent posting.
3. Develop a schedule for blog posting.
4. Develop 3-5 new products.
5. Maintain my own website better and begin promoting that more.
6. Develop a brand logo.
7. Utilize Pinterest, Google+ and Flickr more.
8. Open up 2nd Etsy shop (?).
9. Re-organize my studio.
10. Develop a system and schedule for doing all the above!

My horoscope for 2012 said that I would be a work-a-holic this year. The important thing will be to stay focused on these goals while maintaining balance with family, exercise, tennis team and trying to lose the stubborn weight! Those areas all have their own set of goals. It's going to be a busy year, I can tell...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Treasure Hunt!

What better way to get a start on your holiday shopping than with a fun Treasure Hunt for discounts!! During the entire month of November, many of our very talented Promotional Frenzy shops will be participating in this event so take a look!

The picture above will be included in one listing from each of the participating shops and the goal is to find the picture so you can get the directions on how to apply that shop's special. The picture won't be the main picture for the listing so you will have to do some searching but most shops will give a hint to get you started! Each shop's announcement will have details as to where you might find the picture as well as what their particular special is. Some are having percent discounts, some free shipping, other's BOGO - you'll just have to check them all out!!

Once you find the "treasured" listing you will then find details in the listing description as to how to redeem the special.

Here are the details of my special:

Find the listing with a special picture in it, and receive 20% off on your order of $15 or more! Want a little hint where you might find that special picture? Think ... Eyeglasses!!!

The instructions on how to receive 20% off will be in the listing description.
For detailed information go to this blog: https://promotionalfrenzy.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/promotional-frenzy-november-treasure-hunt/


List of participating shops:

1. Trinkets N Whatnots - www.galla15.etsy.com
Handmade Button, Crystal and Pearl Jewelry

2. Sewinggranny - www.etsy.com/shop/sewinggranny
Sewn items - baby, kitchen, home decor, holiday

3. CalliopeAZCreations - www.calliopeazcreations.etsy.com
Handmade Jewelry, Medicine Stones, Decorated Feathers

4. jQ jewelry designs - www.jQjewelrydesigns.etsy.com
Gemstone Jewelry that is Classic ... with an Edge

5. KrystalsJewelry - www.krystalsjewelry.etsy.com
Intricate Handmade Jewelry of all styles for all tastes

6. rooee - www.rooee.etsy.com
Quilts & quilted things, cloth dolls, fabric postcards

7. PaintedMemoriesByRos.etsy.com
Fine Art Note Cards and Prints

8. Peelirohini.etsy.com
Colorful and Unique Sterling silver , Gold fill Jewelry with Genuine Gemstones and/or Polymer Clay

9. www.etsy.com/shop/SunnyCrystals
Crystal Tumblestones, Natural Gemtone Jewellery & Decoupage Cards plus a bit of Vintage Jewellery

10. Symbolic Imports - www.SymbolicImports.etsy.com
Handmade Bath & Body - Lip balms, Sugar Scrubs, Handmade Soaps, Perfumes & more!

11. Beautifulswagstore - www.etsy.com/shop/beautifulswagstore
hair accessories, dog toys, baby gift sets, home decor, gift wrapping

12. Bijibijoux- www.etsy.com/shop/bijibijoux
Handmade jewelry/ beads/ supplies -

13. Newcreationz - www.etsy.com/shop/NewCreatioNZ
Fine art and photography craft

14. BountyOfBeads - www.etsy.com/shop/bountyofbeads
Handmade Bead Dangle Drop Charm Sets and Trinity Brass Findings
Jewelry Making Supplies

15. Fair Lady Boutique - www.etsy.com/shop/fairladyboutique
A Beading Boutique with vintage beads + components, Czech glass, gemstones, and custom made bead mixes

16. HollysFollyGlass - www.etsy.com/shop/HollysFollyGlass
Fine and fun Lampwork Glass Beads by artist Holly Dare.

17. Glitterbird Glass - www.etsy.com/shop/GlitterbirdGlass
Home decor and jewelry made from beautiful fused glass.

18. CrochetedbyCharlene - www.etsy.com/shop/CrochetedbyCharlene
Beautiful crocheted afghans, accessories, and much more.

19. Camillescloset- www.etsy.com/shop/Camillescloset
Handmade jewelery items.

20. Prittify - www.etsy.com/shop/Prittyfy
Handmade Jewelry, Modern, Altered Art, Steampunk

21. Crystalphotography - www.etsy.com/shop/crystalphotography
Fine Art Photography Prints and Greeting Cards

22. iaFlowerPower - www.etsy.com/shop/iaFlowerPower
Whimsical Crocheted and Knitted Baby Hats and more

23. Gabby's Quilts - www.etsy.com/shop/GabbysQuilts
Handcrafted Quilts, Tablerunners, Wallhangings and Embroidered Gifts

24. CNJ Ceramics - www.etsy.com/shop/CNJCeramics
Contemporary Clay Jewelry and Home Decor

25. LostLemonade - www.etsy.com/shop/LostLemonade
Body Care Products made to cleanse, moisturize and soothe

26. RomanticThoughts - RomanticThoughts.etsy.com
Handcrafted Jewelry, PreMade Scrapbook Pages, Vintage Items and More

27. Ooh Leela! - isabelafelix.etsy.com
Handmade dish towels and trendy accessories

28. KatersAcres - katersacres.etsy.com
Polymer Clay Creations, Trinkets, & Treasures with a Whimsical Feel

29. Magda - magdamagdaFashion.etsy.com
custom clothing, accessories and supplies

30. Ugly Duckling Beads - www.etsy.com/shop/uglyducklingbeads
Handmade glass beads, digital collage sheets, tutorials, and jewelry

31. BellaTheBead - www.bellathebead.etsy.com
Handcrafted jewelry and supplies with vintage soul

32.IdeasBloom - www.ideasbloom.etsy.com
Handcrafted decorative wreaths

33. Greenhouse Glassworks - www.greenhouseglassworks.etsy.com
Fused Glass Jewelry, Stained Glass Home Decor, and Handmade Cards and Tags

34. Five Supplies - Five0101.etsy.com
All the supplies you need to create

35. TheMayFlower Fashions - themayflower.etsy.com
Fun & Stylish Fashion Designs for Women

36. Something Wyrd- www.SomethingWyrd.Etsy.com
Handcrafted jewelry and beaded charms

37. iluvmarin - iluvmarin.etsy.com
Greeting cards, scrapbooks, cupcake toppers, & festive banners

38. Lexilouflowers - www.etsy.com/shop/LexiLouFlowers?ref=si_shop
Hair Accessories, Feather headbands, and Hair ties

39. Mt Baldy Glassworks www.mtbaldyglass.etsy.com
fused glass jewelry and home decore

40. LexiekinPrints - www.etsy.com/shop/LexiekinPrints
Personalized, customized and Printable Invitations, tags, cards and more!

41. Turtlexiii- www.turtlexiii.etsy.com
Sterling Silver Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals and Pearls, Gemstones & more.

42. IsabellesAttic- www.isabellesattic.etsy.com
aprons, accessories, baby items and more

43. AshlynDesign - www.ashlyndesign.etsy.com
Artisan handmade lampwork beads, metal charms, and finished jewelry

44. eveyinorbitshop - www.eveyinorbitshop.etsy.com
Mixed media art, original aceo and zines.

45. Suzie Tenzer - www.susietenzer.etsy.com
Original fine art paintings and prints

46. LindaB - www.lindab142.etsy.com
Artisan crafted beaded and wire wrapped jewelry, Jewish jewelry and accessories, wire beaded kippot

47. DellCoveSpices - dellcovespices.etsy.com
hand mixed spices, magnetic spice kits, cocktail sugars & margarita salts, organic popcorn, popcorn toppings & other treats

48. OverTheMoonGifts - overthemoongifts.etsy.com
personalized gifts, accessories, and home decor

49. craftycreations81 - www.etsy.com/shop/craftycreations81
Peacock feather items, wedding items and items for newborns/children

50. nan gates designs - www.nangatesdesigns.etsy.com
Fabric handbags, totes and accessories

51. ProdigyCrafts - www.prodigycrafts.etsy.com
Crocheted Clothing, Accessories and Gifts

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Do You Have Klout?

Do you know your Klout score?

I had never even heard of Klout until several days ago when a new Twitter follower of mine mentioned her score (which was fairly high). I had no idea what she was talking about so started to check into it. In a nutshell, it's an interesting analysis of how much your social network content (tweets, blogs, fb etc) influences or impacts other people. Major companies like Nike, Disney, and GM use Klout to determine how well their social networking influences people they are trying to reach.

From www.Klout.com:

"The Klout Score measures influence on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most influential. Klout uses data from social networks in order to measure:

How many people you influence; (True Reach)
How much you influence them; and (Amplification)
How influential they are (Network Score)"

True Reach is how many people you influence when they act on or share what you have written. My true reach score is 68 (pretty good!).

Amplification is how much people respond to your message. The more people act upon your content, the higher your score. My amplification score is 23 (guess I have to work on this).

Your Network Score is how much top influencers (people with high scores) respond to your messages. My Network Score is 43 (okay)

My overall Klout score is 34, apparently up 5 from a few weeks ago. According to the site, the average score is 20. Although I could be doing a lot better I am apparently above average and improving, so I guess what I'm writing and tweeting must be getting better!

So how well are you influencing others with the content you are putting out in the social networks? Go to www.klout.com, sign up for free and find out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Afternoon in Mystic Seaport, CT

This past weekend my husband and I drove to Connecticut for a little get-away. Our first destination was the beautiful seaside community of Mystic Seaport. This is an historic area known as the center of shipbuilding since the 1600's. More than 600 vessels were constructed along the Mystic River from 1784-1919 during the boom of the American maritime industry. Towards the end of this period, and as a result of the Civil War, there became a decline in wooden shipbuilding... sailing gave way to steamships and railroads and the wooden boats were soon turned to firewood. As the nation's seafaring history was disappearing, three residents of Mystic banded together to preserve the history and, in 1929, they created the Marine Historical Association known today as Mystic Seaport.

In the 1940's, Mystic Seaport acquired the Charles W. Morgan which was the country’s last wooden whaleship from the Yankee fleet. The Association moved in historic buildings from across New England and before long Mystic Seaport was developed into an authentic seaport village. During the next 50 years, Mystic Seaport grew tremendously and collected over 1 million images of maritime photography, nearly 500 boats, and two million maritime artifacts. It is now recognized as the nation's leading maritime museum.

Today, Mystic Seaport is a beautiful destination filled with history, great restaurants and shopping. As it turned out, last weekend there was a food festival filling one of the downtown
streets where local restaurants were selling tastes of their most popular dishes. Unfortunately, we discovered this after we had just eaten lunch - but no complaints, the restaurant was fantastic, our table on the deck was right on the dock so a fantastic view, awesome drinks (my favorite Strawberry Daiquiri for a warm day), and amazing food (lobster & shrimp crepe, seafood topped potato skins, lobster roll (me), baked seafood medley (my husband).

After lunch, we decided to cross the draw-bridge to get to the downtown shopping. As quickly as we started walking across, the lights started to flash, the bells rang and the barriers started lowering. A little nervous, we started running so we would make it and all we could hear was the laughter of people on their boats yelling "Hurry, Hurry, HA HA!!" We were a little embarrassed by the attention but we made it and the downtown shops were great.

After spending a beautiful afternoon in Mystic, we descended upon Foxwoods Casino for the night. Let me say that we are NOT gamblers but the place is such an experience it is fun to go to every now and then. We had gone about a year ago (my first time there) and actually won several hundred dollars on the slot machines. As I quickly found out this weekend, that experience was obviously beginner's luck to draw us in because I had put that money away and we lost it all in no time flat this weekend. Won't be going back there in a hurry but we still had a great time!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Day of our FrenzySpecial Event!!

Today is the final day to take advantage of the super deals being offered by the wonderful sellers that make up our Promotional Frenzy Team!!  Many of these shops very seldom offer the fantastic discounts like the ones they are offering here and several others usually don't offer discounts at all.  Short and sweet, if you snooze, you lose!!

1) JQjewelrydesigns.etsy.com - 15% off all items over $20
2) Galla15.etsy.com - 30% off all items over $20

3) SymbolicImports.etsy.com - 25% off orders over $10 (some exclusions apply)

4) CalliopeAZCreations.etsy.com - 20% off everything in the shop

5) KrystalsJewelry.etsy.com - 20% off orders over $20

6) SunnyCrystals.etsy.com - 'Summer Special Offer' section - items already reduced plus buy 2 or more of my 3D Decoupage Cards and receive 10% Discount (refunds via paypal)

7) CrochetedbyCharlene.etsy.com - 20% off all orders

8) NewCreationz.etsy.com - 20% off everything Plus free gift Plus entry in to a draw for a voucher to my shop

9) DellCoveSpices.etsy.com - 5% off everything in the shop

10) BountyofBeads.etsy.com - 20% to 25% off Lampwork Beads, Sterling Silver and Polymer Clay Beads (no coupon coded needed, I am using etsyonsale)

11) PaintedMemoriesByRos.etsy.com - 15% off these sections - BLANK CARD SETS, MATTED CARDS and FRAMED CARDS (also using etsyonsale, no coupon)

12) Bijibijoux.etsy.com - Use coupon code frenzyspecial for 10% off any purchase $8 & UP PLEASE

13) TurtleXIII.etsy.com - 15% off entire purchase, NOT INCLUDING destash which is already super cheap

14) delightfulprints.etsy.com - 15% off everything in my shop, does not include custom orders

15) CrimsonHill.etsy.com - 15% off any order over $10, before shipping with team code.

16) nangatesdesigns.etsy.com - 15% off everything in shop

17) Sewinggranny.etsy.com - 15% off everything in my shop

18) MoanasUniqueDesigns.etsy.com - 10% discount on orders $20 and under, 15% discount on orders over $20

19) lindab142.etsy.com - 10% off of all combined purchases over $15 dollars (except destash and paper items)

20) prodigycrafts.etsy.com - 20% off everything in my shop

21) cigarboxbeads.etsy.com- 20% off everything over $30.

22) vervecolor.etsy.com - 20% off everything in shop before shipping

23) rabbitdogprints.etsy.com- 20% off everything in shop before shipping

24) bloomandbling.etsy.com - 15% off everything in shop before shipping

25) Prittyfy.etsy.com – 15% off any order $20 and up (excluding shipping)

26) iaFlowerPower.etsy.com – 20% off any order $20 and up (excluding shipping)

27) Camillescloset.etsy.com- 15% off any order.

28) TheMayFlower.etsy.com - 20% off on any item in shop (sale price already applied! no need for a coupon code!)

29) Five0101.etsy.com - 15% off on any item in shop.

30) PowersOfLove.etsy.com - 25% off your purchase.

31) BellaTheBead.etsy.com - 15% off purchase of $20 or more (excluding shipping)

32) IdeasBloom.etsy.com - 15% off purchase before shipping

33) KrisKraftnMore.etsy.com - 10% off photography prop orders (before shipping). Buy three patterns get one free.

34) CrystalPhotography.etsy.com - In stock section is 30% off. (Prices already reduced via etsyonsale). Coupon code frenzyspecial gives an additional 10% off your entire purchase!

35.) cindydidit.etsy.com - use FRENZYSPECIAL to enjoy 20% off

36.) RomanticThoughts.etsy.com - 15% OFF everything in shop, before shipping

37.) Impactjewelry.etsy.com - 15% off all purchases (before shipping)

38.) ToyStoryNutty.etsy.com (Kater's Acres) - 10% off store prices before shipping

39.)  justByou.etsy.com - 10% off everything in our shop

40.) desertshinejewelry.etsy.com - 15% off everything in our shop before shipping

41) TheCraftingPlace.etsy.com - 20% off everything in our shop OR Free shipping on orders $20 or more (order must still be $20 or more once coupon is applied)

42) Galla15whatnots.etsy.com - 15% off of all orders over $25 dollars!

43) AshlynDesign.etsy.com - up to 20% off all in-stock jewelry designs (coupon not needed, prices are already reduced)

44) GlitterbirdGlamour.etsy.com - 15% off of all orders

45) craftycreations81.etsy.com - 10% off all orders

46) www.etsy.com/shop/TownandCountryVntage -25% off any item (before shipping and DOES NOT include clearance items).

47) kellyjsorenson.etsy.com ~Kelly Designs~ 20% off all PreMade Logo Designs! Prices already reduced, no coupon needed :)

48) babypenguincreations.etsy.com - 25% off any order $10 or more!

49) laugingpenguincreations.etsy.com - 25% off any order $10 or more!

50) magdamagda.etsy.com - 25% off anything in "ready to ship" section plus free gift

51) IsabellesAttic.etsy.com- 15% off everything! 

52) uniquecozytreasures.etsy.com- 5% off everything over $25. All orders receive FREE my eBook, "Vintage Ice Creams". 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Items for Back-to-School

It is back-to-school time and I thought I would feature some of my new pencil cases/pouches that will keep the kid's backpacks and teacher's desks organized this fall....

Bright Floral Pencil Case
Pink and Green Peace Signs Pencil Case
Floral Peace Pencil Case
Pink & Green Dots Pencil Case
More fabric choices will be added over the next couple of weeks and, as always, if you have a favorite fabric choice from my shop that you would like please contact me.

Our PromoFrenzy team sales event is still going on throughout the month of August.  Receive a 15% discount from all purchases in my shop with coupon code "frenzyspecial". 

Click on PromoFrenzy Specials for links and to view all the great discounts from our many fabulous team shops.