Member Monday; Meet Lisa from ChakraMojo

Name: Lisa Berg
Where you can find her: Etsy, Twitter, Facebook, Website [This is under construction.  I plan to have it become my “main operation base” because it is intended as a mostly educational website where people who find my items on Etsy can go to find out more about the meaning of an item AND/OR a number of different types of Energy Healing techniques (most are based on the chakra system.)  Etsy just doesn’t have the capability of space needed for people to learn about what I sell, as my field is full of complexities! Of course, this currently makes my listings too long!  Some techniques that will be on the website I do specialize in, and in others, I’ll be looking for affiliates (already am, so if you know anyone, drop me a note!)… the main purpose, that of helping people find their personal “MOJO,” i.e. Energy Healing Talents, once they learn enough about what rings their bell, so to speak…where they’ll find their own, very personalized “bag of tricks” to help them with natural Energy Healing. Not all of us are cut out for yoga or reflexology, for example, but in offering info on a variety of methods people gain the opportunity to investigate what they believe they’ll like to do most and can choose one, two, or a few in which to master. In Etsy, I’ll offer products that relate to different techniques. The website will also be an online“SPA” because it will also be a place people can go “chill out” to free meditation/visualization/calming and soothing music, video, gentle yoga, other light energy exercise…an abundance of free, mind/spirit/body/emotion relaxation techniques to help them mellow out from the busy days of this 21st Century Life we live.]

Home Life 

 

I’ve been a single mom of a really bright, wonderful and loving 21 year-old-boy since he was 13, (well I’ve had him since birth…) When he was that age I’d just made it through lung cancer.  I was on Clearwater Beach FL and had an epiphany that changed me as the physical, not-too-spiritual person I was into someone who is now much more.  I can feel this, but sorry, can’t explain it well yet.  Anyway, that epiphany moved me to make the decision that both my son and I would be better off without his father in the picture (which has turned out to be the right move.  He now has the male mentors he should.)

I live in a great little college town where my son goes to University of Florida (the 4th best State Univ. in the U.S. yayyyy for him for getting in!!)…Gainesville, FL,where population is written to be about 125,000 but 50,000 students spend apx. 10 months here, so I really don’t know its size!  My family (parents and I) also have a family cabin made from an old stagecoach stop out in (haha) a place called Fishtail, MT that has a population of 82.  I’ve gone there every summer since childhood and still when I can, which sadly has not included the past couple years but hopefully I’ll start getting up there more often VERY soon, and hopefully again for a month or two at a time. Unfortunately, we may have to sell it due to extenuating circumstance in the next few years.  All I can do is keep my fingers crossed that we don’t.

My family home extends to my 9 year old beagle, Cali, and a recent rescue Chihuahua (never dreamed I’d get that kind of dog but he belongs to my son, really) who spent 4 years in a 2 x 3 cage.  He’s black and white and we call him Shadow.  Very timid, but we’re doing our best to help him release his fears.

Joining the Etsy Community

 

I stumbled on Etsy as I was browsing the web for a gift.  I’ve always felt handmade gifts were more special than store-bought, so it was a natural “fall.”  I named my shop because of how Color Therapy, which works with the chakra system, helped heal the worst time of my life (I sunk my teeth into learning all I could about it, then took courses to become a Certified Color Counselor.)  I wish I had more focus on what to sell first (and the funds to support that!) but I was a bead hoarder, lol, and had the hobby of making jewelry- so with a ton of inventory, I started with that first.  Before too long, I’m going to have a nice sale on all that stuff that doesn’t “speak” color therapy or chakra system well enough in my mind, and carry only more closely related jewelry. 

I’ve been artistic minded all my life and have taken many painting courses but worked in the stock market most of my life ‘til cancer made me stop. Then, I couldn’t paint, either. Oils and pastels were really bad on my lungs and I hadn’t worked in pastels or watercolor at all.  I finally returned to the art world to start my Etsy shop a year ago since I can no longer work a “real job” due to my disabilities (I believe many of us are unfortunately yet fortunately in that position.)  The great reward of my illness came because I could finally BE the artist I always wanted to be, as I learned who I really, truly am, AND how magnificent everyone in this world is, as I learned to see them differently, appreciate their own talents so much more than I ever had before…these things have enhanced my life beyond belief.

 My favorite part about the Etsy community is – The many, many wonderful and helpful people I’ve met in my teams since starting! (At this very moment I can bring about 20 of you to mind without even having to “think!”

Motivation, Inspiration, Creation and the Future

I’m motivated because I believe, 100% TOTALLY in what I sell as an aid to healing body, mind and spirit.  I know, without an ounce of doubt, when doctors had only experimental drugs and clinical trials left to work to try to help me, Color Therapy and things that go with it helped me heal.  I’m motivated because I’ve “been there…” so I want a big part of my life mission to include helping others heal whatever kind of pain they have, emotional, spiritual, and/or physical, using as much in the way of natural energy healing techniques that I can teach them about.  I also feel that by growing this business I’m “paying it forward” to so many others, people in all walks of life who helped me in my own worst of times. I should say here that I believe there IS a need for modern healthcare/physicians, but that we should try to stay away from as many man-made drugs as possible and learn that we are our own healers.

And of course, motivation comes as I am now finally making up some of my investment money to help supplement my disability, my boy’s college education, and once I operate “in the black” I’m looking forward to being able to become more involved in and to contribute to my two favorite charities, domestic violence/ child abuse and animal neglect and abuse.  Each day I wake with these thoughts in my head, and face the day asking myself, “what can I do next?”

I never finished my Bachelor’s degree for a number of reasons, one being that my parents wouldn’t let me go to school for art because “I wouldn’t make any money until I died.”  I want to prove to myself that I do not need that degree to be successful in doing what I enjoy MOST. I’ve already done that working in the stock market, but this is the total opposite type of world and FAR more enjoyable (I do have enough credits for a degree but the problem is they are scattered over too many areas…and by now, in my mid 50s, I care more about specialized schooling like aromatherapy, reflexology, etc.

I usually work on my kitchen couch, often with a card table in front of me that I use to create things, even though I have an “office.”  I MUST have noise, but I have no idea why.  So the TV is always on, though I hardly ever know what I’ve been watching.  I get claustrophobic, so use my workroom more as a storage room for the enormous range of arts and crafts I do than to work in, except to sew.

I think a milestone I’ve reached is to have over 100 other Etsians know of my shop.  I really think they do, though can’t prove it, but it does make me feel pretty good.  More is still future-oriented.  I’ve recently been talking with some influential people quite familiar with my own niche, and I am hoping they’ll help coach me along and help me get where I want to be in business faster than if I did this just on my own, so that my brand will become known not only on Etsy but around the country (sort of what it’s like when you run into someone on the street and ask, “have you heard of ETSY?” and often get that “yes” answer.  I especially look forward to the time when people believe in and understand much better the immense power of many Energy Healing methods (some are junk, simply made up by people who want to make names for themselves, which makes it difficult, and aggravates the @#*$&* out of me because I know they are selling “snake oil” to people who need REAL help. Along a different path,  I am uber-excited about creating a line of casual wear (much like loose, tai-chi or qi-gong wear only more fashionable) that can be worn around the house at any time anyone may drop in, but that also fits within my niche.  I need LOTS of help with that, but am working on its development.  The last, perhaps most important thing is that I want to develop myself as more of an artist than artisan. I’d really like to get out more and get involved in shows, but that’s difficult for me because there is so much time involvement and with my health issues it is impossible…at least at this time in my life.  I also wish I could stay more focused, but having elderly parents/ my dad’s upcoming surgery and being the only child to take care of things that arise can sometime cause a lot of interruption and interferences…but hey, it’s my turn to start caring for them, so I can’t complain about it! If I could change one thing, it would be to have a pace set, a way to go about my days that could remain more consistent, and obviously then would be more focused. By the end of 2013 (well, November, my 3rd fiscal year) I expect to be making enough profit to raise my (financial) life quality high enough so I’ll have paid for my son’s school and can afford to purchase my nice little dream home and studio (completely designed in my head already!) through several sources- Etsy, the website I just started working on, and within both, doing much more holistic life counseling (I’m also certified in that.)  With all I have planned, I hope that by then my business will have taken on wonderful and exponential growth!

 Advice for others 

 

It takes time and lots of patience to build a business.  This is not my first business, but is my first web-based business (it took 3 years for my first to become a success.)  In this economy it’s even harder than in the past, especially in summer months for artists and artisans.  So in the advice category I’d also add, “think of something people need year ‘round, not just what they “like.”  This is only the beginning of my second year owning my Etsy shop and has been a fabulous learning experience. I didn’t EXPECT to get rich or successful quickly-  I don’t feel I really started getting noticed/known a bit until very recently, but now, business is picking up (I’m on the “three year plan” to success once again, and if anyone wants to know what that is they can contact me and I’ll be happy to tell them more about how I put this together. In a nutshell, it’s a plan that lies in the thinking that if one works really hard for THREE years, creates a solid business plan, sets goals, reads all he/she can about successful market strategies, asks questions whenever possible, never stops learning new things and definitely shares  that new knowledge with others, your chances for success become much greater, not to mention that after that three year period, owning and operating the business gets easier. It also means one should ALWAYS work his/her hardest when things look gloomiest. But I can’t stress enough that I think most important is to do your best to remain patient with and kind to yourself.  This has helped me keep me level-headed MOST of the time, but we’re all human and do have our bad days regardless…just keep the road ahead in mind as much as possible vs. what’s negative about “today.” My biggest motto:  NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.

What do you wish you had known when you started your business?

 

How to market it better, though I still have a long way to go. There are so many paths to try on the internet!!  I also wish I knew Etsy had its own way of SEO that doesn’t really follow Google, which I know fairly well and which I started out with.  I’m glad I’ve figured THAT ONE out, d’oh!  I also wish I had joined teams earlier and been involved more (STILL need to be more involved!!!) I wish I knew how great it would be to meet and get to know so many other wonderful team “mates! “ Unfortunately this first year or so I’ve had to run through many personal hurdles, but I’m hoping that my dad’s surgery ends this bad karma and I can become CONSISTENT in all I do with Etsy, once and for all!  I know now that I’m changing my shop to better reflect the niche I’m truly involved in, which I believe will make it something like a marinade of flavors that all go well with one another.  (Watch for my big BLOWOUT sale coming soon to get rid of all that DOESN’T fit!)

 

 

When Lisa isn’t creating…

 

I draw, with pencil or colored pencils, or inks when I lie down in bed at night (often early morning.)  Oops, I guess that’s still creating.  What else?  I joined the Gainesville Orchid Society a couple weeks ago!!!  I am really looking forward to learning how NOT to kill orchids but rather, train them to thrive and perhaps eventually start a little greenhouse!  MOST, I enjoy spending free time with my son, just hanging out with him or seeing  a show with him…he’s very close to me when he hasn’t passed out from his mostly exhausting days of full-time school and near full-time work.  I don’t think I could live without him.

I “work” 24/7 less a few hours weekly of visiting doctors, parents dropping in on me unexpectedly too often, watching TV and sleeping when I simply cannot hold my head up any longer (it’s pretty funny to see me slumped over totally asleep, still SITTING on the couch with my hands on the keyboard!)

 

 

What Makes Lisa Smile

 

First and foremost, my son, his gentleness, love, and humor, and second, I get goosebumps (literally!!) when I get feedback or a note telling me how much something I created has helped someone.  Last, I have to smile when I see my parents act like Energizer Bunnies- they’ve always been more active than I’ve ever even THOUGHT of living.  To this day, my father will still set up everything for camping trips, change his own tires, work out with weights…they just returned from a week long camping trip on FRIDAY.  BUTunbelievable to me, my dad is having really major cancer surgery this upcoming TUESDAY (the 12th.)  How do they do it all?  I can only pray that because he’s always been a health nut, he’ll pull through this just fine.

 

 

Favorite Items to Create

 

It’s changed in the past several months- I’m getting back into Fine Art with mandala, floral and abstract painting, home décor based on Color Therapy, home accessories that are more “art” than “crafts.” Though much of my art is in the works, I have little posted because I need to make groups of things, e.g. there are seven main chakras, therefore I want to have seven chakra mandala paintings put up for sale at the same time.  I’m also still searching for local sources for giclee printing, which I have yet to find and which is frustrating the heck out of me!  I also LOVE creating aromatherapy blends and mists, knowing better now what parts of oneself essential oils help heal and love creating custom blends which most Etsians who know of my shop don’t see, but which I do for clients in hopes of helping them with some pretty unusual illnesses I’ve never heard of before!

Actually, I have TWO favorites items in my shop now –  my Aura Blend ( a spray mist) and my Fibro and Arthritis Essential Oil blends (in jojoba oil, used in drops)…they “fly off my shelves” and offer valuable help to every one of my customers who have used them (from what they tell me!) which pleases me IMMENSELY! (I’m that person who goes Christmas shopping in search of the “perfect” gift for someone.  Giving it here on Etsy, knowing it will be just perfect for one certain person, is equally fulfilling.)

My Aura Cleanser, which smells out of this world wonderful, offers INSTANT refreshment and relaxation, and makes you tingle as its molecules float down and reach your body from above your head. Using it daily, one keeps that feeling with them long after the spritz is done and over with, and it makes a body feel more balanced, more in tune with one’s whole self.  Auras are your subtle body, and I fully believe that my Aura Cleanser helps by “patching” scratches and holes in it, while adding back the Color Energy it needs to be healthy. One client told me her energy field “lit up” under fluorescent lighting right after she used it!  My fibro/arthritis blend is something in which a drop or two can be used any time of day- even taking in the scent without actually using any drops is a helpful way to get relief- and for me, it’s greatest benefit is taking away the feeling of extreme muscle/tendon tension and the feeling of stinging bees under your skin that people get with either fibromyalgia or arthritis (they are both far more similar than I had ever thought before!)  It doesn’t cure the illnesses (what does?) but offers quick relief from the pent-up stress one feels when they’re having a flare.  That’s important because once the stress calms, so does the physical body and therefore the overall level of pain!

Isn’t Lisa fantastic? I’m so thrilled to get to know her better. I’ve been a great fan of her work and “spirit” since I first met her on Etsy. She’s a wonderful person, so if you haven’t met her yet or checked out her shop – please do! She’s such a joy to have on the Hippie Peaceniks, and she fits in wonderfully in our loving group! I hope you check out next week’s Member Monday Feature, I promise you, all of their stories will leave you with something – inspiration, awe for what they do and who they are, or appreciation of life and those around us. Remember, start your week off with a big smile – it’s not only contagious, but it adds face value! 

XO,

Lulu of Divine Lulu Creations

Ask Luci: Low Etsy Sales and Putting Granny Squares Together

Hello Friends!

I am the captain of the Etsy team The Hippie Peaceniks.  I have been an accountant/bookkeeper for 10 years.  I worked at an ecommerce company for a year, and a search company for 2 years.  I have been crafting for almost 30 years.  So if you have questions about accounting, taxes, SEO, the ecommerce game, or crafting you have come to the right place!  If you have a question email it to askhippiepluci@gmail.com!

Lost on Etsy

Dear Luci,

I have been on Etsy for a year and have had no sales.  I am ready to throw in the towel.  I love knitting and making things for my shop, but am frustrated at no sales.  What can I do?

Dear Lost on Etsy,

There are a few things you can do.  First is check your prices.  Search on Etsy for items similar to yours and see if your prices are in line with everyone else’s.  Now prices on Etsy can vary widely, so be sure to check and see what kind of sales those shops are doing.  

Another thing I would do is see if you are in a saturated market,  By that I mean are there are lot of similar items to yours on Etsy.  If so, I would suggest looking for items you can make that are unlike what you are seeing on Etsy.  Find a niche, create a brand, and market the crap out of it.  Being unique and providing an item that people can’t find in other shops can greatly increase your sales.

Make sure you have great pictures and engaging descriptions that will make shoppers want to buy from you.  Many shops have difficulties in this area and spend most of their time tweaking listings.  You can’t spend enough time on making sure your listings are perfect.

Also make sure your SEO is working for you.  If you don’t know about SEO you can read previous posts on Ask Luci, or you can do some research on your own.  Google provides great information on SEO, but only some of it will relate to how you name your shop, title your listings, write your description, and what tags you use.  Those are the areas you will work on for an Etsy or Etsy like shop.

On Etsy, I would also recommend becoming active in a team.  Teams are a fantastic support and a great way to help promote and get your shop noticed.  There are many teams on Etsy.  Look through and find the one that best suits you.  You may just love being on the Hippie Peaceniks.  😉

Best of luck!  And don’t throw in the towel just yet.  The internet is a huge place and getting noticed can take a while, but work on these things first before you give up.

Much Love and (((HIPPIE HUGS))),

Luci

What’s Up Granny?


Dear Luci,

I am making a granny square blanket.  I have all of the squares made, but am not sure what the best way to put them together is.  I have looked online and there are several ways to do it.  How do you put yours together?

What’s Up Granny

Dear What’s Up Granny,

There are several ways to do this.  It really depends on how much stretch you want and what you want it to look like when it is done.

I do it one of three ways.  You can attach the squares by crocheting one single crochet into each of the stitches on the squares.  Make sure you have them lined up evenly.  This will allow for some stretch and will create a lovely seem on one side of the blanket.

If you do not want a seem, the other way I put the squares together is by sewing them together with a yarn needle and the leftover yarn I used to make the squares.  Line up the squares like before.  Use a whip stitch, one whip stitch per crochet stitch.  This will leave you with a seem that is not very visible, but there is not a lot of stretch between the stitches.

A great compromise between these two options is to use a slip stitch.  Like always, line up your squares and use one slip stitch for each stitch on the squares.  This leaves a less noticeable seem than a single crochet, but allows for more stretch than a whip stitch.

I would recommend trying out all three and seeing which method you like best.  

Much love and (((HIPPIE HUGS))),

Luci 

Have a question?  Email askhippiepluci@gmail.com!!  Ask Luci appears on the Hippe Peaceniks blog every Saturday!! 

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Yummy Fridays! Recipes from the Hippie Peaceniks Team on Etsy

One thing us hippies love is yummy food!  Every Friday we will be sharing some of our favorites from the Hippie Peacenik team on Etsy.

Vegan Risotto From Mellwaters Creative:

Take a sweet potato, and pierce all over with a fork. Bake in the oven at whatever temperature you like (I normally do about gas mark 6, but doing it slower should work as well) for an hour or so until it’s soft. Look out for the resin/sap leaking out and caramelising (oh, and put foil under it! It’s an absolute nightmare to clean up otherwise – I’m talking a big burnt lump of inflated sugar). A while after that, it’s just perfect, but not for eating now – oh no, we have better plans than that! It might be tempting, but be strong and wait. Trust me!

While that’s cooking away, start off your risotto. I like using whatever exotic mushrooms I can find, with some chestnut mushrooms added to bulk it out. Put some oil (I use virgin, cold-pressed organic coconut oil or olive oil. Try to avoid vegetable oil, and ‘canola oil’ is the worst possible thing out there.) into your pan, and heat it up on the lowest heat with the mushrooms. Be patient, and resist the urge to add more oil when it dries up a little – eventually the oil will come back out of the mushrooms, and they go all soft.

Then add your risotto rice, and some olive oil. Stir to coat all the grains, and add some water (it’s supposed to be hot, but I manage with cold) a little at a time, along with a stock cube for every 500ml of water. Each time you add water, wait for it to be absorbed by the rice before adding more. Hopefully, your sweet potato will be ready about now. Take it out of the oven, cut into a few pieces and just stick it into the risotto pan, skin and all. The flesh will kind of melt into the stock and make everything really rich and amazing. Continue adding water and STIRRING, and putting some coconut milk in in place of some of the water as and when you feel like it. Also add your favourite herbs and spices (turmeric is one of my staples, and very healthy). The rice is cooked when it no longer tastes horrible and chalky (it’s a game of chicken when you taste it first!), and then you can carry on until it’s your preferred consistency. (Be careful not to make it too wet. You’re aiming for a nice thick consistency, so that it can support itself in a heap. Season to taste.

Then, plonk yourself a good serving into your favourite bowl, and enjoy! The hardest part is sharing it with anyone else, or leaving any of it for the next day.

The B5 or Hungry Man Casserole from jclairep:

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
1 cup of BBQ sauce
1 can of Baked Beans (I like the larger cans, but the smaller ones will do fine)
1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
1 can of refrigerated biscuits
salt and pepper

You will need a casserole dish.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cook onions in fry pan until clear, add beef and cook until done. Drain. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In casserole dish stir together Beans, BBQ sauce and Brown Sugar. Add Meat and onions and stir. On top place the biscuits and cook for at least 25 minutes until done. Mixture should be bubbly and MAKE SURE the biscuits are cooked through. They tend to take longer to cook on top of the mixture…and no one likes a mushy biscuits. 

The 5 B’s are:
Beans, Beef, BBQ, Biscuits…and a Beer for a job well done!

Let us know what ones you try and how you like them!!!  See you next week with more delicious dinner ideas!

Much Love and (((HIPPIE HUGS)))

Luci

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HippieP Thrifty Thursday

We all love a sale, right?  So here is a list featuring some of our fabulous HippieP shops that are having sales!  Enjoy the savings my friends!

Divine Lulu Creations

Our own Lulu Divine is having a sale in honor of her Mom’s Birthday!  Lulu is the sweetest person and you will not be disappointed in her products or her service.  Her shop is full of fabulous goodies like these:

These bracelets are like nothing I have seen before.  I need to buy about a dozen of them!  

You can purchase this fabulous bracelet here!


Lulu also makes the most beautiful fingerless gloves.  These gloves here are made from milkfiber and cotton.  Pretty, soft, and stylish.  What more can you ask for??

You can purchase these beautiful fingerless gloves here!


Lulu’s coupon code iMAMAMIA.  It will get you $5 off of purchases over $25!  This sale is only going until March 25th, so load up this weekend!

Linarain

Linarain has a fantastic store full of fun clothes and stylish jewelry.  Take a peek!!

This oversweater is just adorable!  Perfect for summer with a tank top under it.

You can purchase this adorable sweater here!

She also has a fabulous selection of jewelry.  I can just see myself in the sweater above wearing this set.  It may be my love of the color green, but this set spoke to me.  See if it speaks to you too!

You can purchase this lovely set here.


LInarian’s coupon code is GYPSYWEAR!  It will get you 25% off of her entire shop until the end of March!  Stock up on some fabulous skirts, sweaters, and jewelry here!

Ozma Autonomy

Samantha describes her shop as “I have a style that I can’t quite describe but I love all types of people and things and pull beauty from the unordinary”.  It is full of many beautiful items from jewelry to vintage cloths.  Below are a couple of her most popular items.

This necklace has real pot seeds and stems in it.  Yes all you potheads, she is speaking to you.  I just love this and am going to have to get one. 

You can purchase this unique necklace here!

 Another unique item, continuing with the stoner theme, is these seeds, stems, and ash hair clips!  That’s right, you heard me, seeds, stems, and ASH!  I LOVE it!

You can purchase these rockin hair clips here!

Samantha’s coupon code is EQUINOX13 and you will receive 10% off her entire shop until March 31st!  

Nature Made Treasures

Jean is having a sale on some beautiful wild flower seeds.  Here are just a couple of the special items you can find.

These pink poppies are just stunning!  The color really pops and will add curb appeal to any garden.

You can purchase the seed for this eye catching poppy here!

And if you are looking for something to plant with that poppy these blue vervain will look fabulous!

You can purchase these lovely flower seed here!

All seeds are already marked down to $1.75 a package until they are sold out, so get yours now!

Idle Hands Boutique

Luci’s shop is full of a variety of items.  Everything from home decor to baby items.  Her most popular items right now are her spring accessories.  Here are just a couple examples of her work.

These fingerless glove arm warmers have been selling fast!  There are none in stock right now, but you can custom order your own pair!  Chose the colors that best fit your boho style.

You can order your own pair of these boho fingerless glove arm warmers here!

This infinity scarf is simple and fabulous for spring.  It is a wonderful accessory.

You can purchase this fabulous infinity scarf here!

Use coupon code SPRING15 for 15% off the entire shop!  Sale will continue through the entire month of April.  Time to get shopping in here!

That’s all for this week!  Find us next Thursday for more fabulous sales from our HippieP team on Etsy!

Member Monday; Meet Jennifer Price!

Name: Jennifer Price

 

You can find her here: Etsy, Wanelo, Kaboodle, Twitter, Facebook, Blog

 

If she was trapped on an Island, she would need: Family, Music, Knitting Needles & tons of yarn, camera, a guitar.

 

Family Life: I live in Macungie, PA with my wonderful husband, my darling daughter, my pup Zipper and my cat Sophie. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and we are happily facing each day and enjoying each moment of these wonderful years. They go so fast!

 

 

Finding Etsy

I first learned about Etsy through friends on Facebook. I was creating handmade skirts and my friends kept telling me to sell on Etsy! I admit I put it off for a while because of the unknown, but I am SO glad I did join and I have been selling for over a year and a half now! My shop name is simply my own name but abbreviated..I just wanted to keep it simple and allow it to be flexible because I not only sell handmade items, but I also sell vintage items. I have been selling vintage items for a LONG time. I owned two consignment shops in my earlier years. They were sweet boutiques and I really loved interacting with people and finding special treasures. It is quite different selling on line, but I have met so many wonderful people and it gives me the flexibility to stay home and be available for my family! I began learning about vintage items at a very early age. My Dad was infamous for going to flea markets and garage sales and he has taught me everything I know. My Mom was always sewing something and after my daughter was born I decided to look into sewing myself. I took a quilting class and have been hooked ever since!

Motivation and Creation

 Staying motivated can be challenge sometimes. However, I sincerely love what I do. I look forward to listing and creating and all the other fun aspects that come with this job. I look forward to see how my shop does every month. This shop has built my self confidence and has given me purpose for every day. I like to work inside in my little “studio”. I have fabrics and vintage items and post its everywhere. My record player (that I found for free on the side of the road) is at my side and plays my favorite tunes. Often my family will hear John Denver or the The Who playing while I put together my patchwork or while I am snapping pictures. I am fortunate enough to have a finished attic all to myself, so it is like my own “woman cave”. You know in an organized chaos kind of way!

Etsy Community

My favorite part about the Etsy community is that I have been able to learn so much and I find myself not only socializing with fellow team members or shoppers, but I find that I sincerely care and have concern about them, their shops and what goes on with their lives. I think that Etsy not only brings a great online shopping experience, but it brings art and creativity and it allows each individual to express themselves through their shops and others can purchase a part of that experience. It is unique and that is what makes it so special!

A few of her favorite things

 

 Vintage Holly Hobbie Plate, 1972

 Women’s Patchwork Drawstring Skirt

 

Thanks so much for stopping by to meet another of our fabulous members of the Hippie Peaceniks Team on Etsy! One of the other things I’ve been working on with them is the Hippie Hearts Pay it Forward board, we’re trying to give back to those shop owners who give to us whether it be with their friendly advice, a shoulder to lean on, or promoting our items like they would their own. I’d love it if you’d come show all of the nominees some love! Hope everyone starts their Monday out with a smile and a warm heart. Make it a great week!

XO,

Lulu Divine of Divine Lulu Creations

 

Inside Luci’s Head: The Beginning of the End

So last week we discuss the distribution of wealth in the US, how inequitable it is, and how damaging it is to our economy.  I briefly spoke of our healthy economy that was made up of 70% of consumer spending.  So what happened?  How did we go from that, which was pre 2008, to the economy we are seeing today?  And who is to blame?  Like the old saying says, follow the money.  So let’s do that, but the easiest way will be to start at the beginning.  This is a long story that will take several posts to explain, so today let’s just focus on how this started.

It goes back to before 2008.  The tech bubble had just burst, and then 9/11 happened.  We were in a perilous economic time in our history.  We all remember President Bush (W) making his special appearance to tell us that we were in danger of an economic crash.  He may not have used those exact words, but that is what he meant.  So what happened after that?

We created another bubble.  This bubble was a mortgage and credit bubble.  How did this bubble form?  It started with mortgage companies, Countrywide is a good example, but not the only guilty mortgage company.  They were making something called liars loans.  Liars loans are loans that are given with no documentation of income or ability to repay the loan.  There were waitresses reporting incomes of $12,000.00 a month; Janitors reporting $10,000.00 a month!  No way were waitresses and janitors making that kind of money.  If that was true, you would see a lot more people wanting those jobs.  I was a bartender at the Sturgis motorcycle rally when I was in college.  I did it for years, and that is some serious money, and even with all of that money being thrown around I never would have made $12K in a month.  The idea of it is just ridiculous on its face.

Now I know what you are thinking.  Why would these mortgage companies give loans to people that wouldn’t be able to repay them?  Because they weren’t keeping the loans.  Since they weren’t keeping the loans, they didn’t care if they could be repaid.  They would make their money by bundling the loans together and selling them to Wall Street banks.  Now Wall Street banks have criteria that must be met in order for a loan to be held by them.  A man by the name of Richard Bowen, who was the Business, Chief Underwriter of Citibank, noticed that 60% of the loans they had purchased from these mortgage companies did not meet their credit criteria.  He reported this to several people, all high ranking executives including the CEO, but to no avail.  They were not worried because they were also bundling and selling these loans.  Some went to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, others went to countries like Iceland, who ended up bankrupt when it all crashed.  Yep, we bankrupted a country!  We’ll talk about that more in future posts.

This bundling of loans is called CDOs, Collateralized Debt Obligations.  It is a bundling of loans, also bonds and other assets, that are then divided into different risk assessments.  Financial services companies like Standard and Poors, Moody’s,  and Finch were grading these loans.  The grading these companies gives lets investors know how risky these investments are.  Now these loans were junk.  60% of them at least were going to fail.  But that didn’t stop these agencies from giving them a AAA rating, the highest rating.  This meant to investors that this was a safe investment, even though it wasn’t.  Why did these agencies give the highest credit rating to these junk loans?  Because the banks were paying them to rate them.  If they gave high ratings, the banks would keep bring them more business and they would make more money too.

This was just the beginning of the crash.  This led up to it.  Once those loans started failing, the you know what hit the fan!  Everyday a large corporation was failing.  Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae.  Watching the news was terrifying because you didn’t know who was gong to fail next.  Bear Stearns went  under in 7 days!  It was all unraveling so fast!

So next week we are going to talk about these companies.  We will also talk about Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, and the decisions they made.  I’ll also speculate (educated guesses) at why they did what they did.

Until then much love to you all and (((HIPPPIE HUGS)))

Luci

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Ask Luci 3/16/13: Crochet Advice and Recording Shipping Accounting Transactions

Hello Friends!

I have been an accountant/bookkeeper for 10 years.  I worked at an ecommerce company for a year, and a search company for 2 years.  I have been crafting for almost 30 years.  So if you have questions about accounting, taxes, SEO, the ecommerce game, or crafting you have come to the right place!  If you have a question email it to askhippiepluci@gmail.com!

Dear Luci,

I am learning to crochet.  I am having problems with my work looking uneven.  The sides are never a straight line.  I’m not sure where I am going wrong.  I have been practicing and practicing, but always with the same result.  I am about ready to give up!  Any advice?

Uneven Hooker

Dear Uneven Hooker,

Two things come to mind, and they are the most common problems new crocheters struggle with.  I myself did when I first started many years ago.  So don’t give up just yet!

First thing I would check is to see if you are dropping or accidentally increasing your stitches.  Count each row.  Do you have the same number of stitches on each row?  If you have more on a row than you did on the previous row you are accidentally increasing stitches.  This means that you are accidentally putting in more than one stich per chain or stitch on the previous row.  If you have fewer stitches that the previous row, then you are dropping stitches.  This means that you are not putting in one stitch per chain or stitch on the previous row.  If you notice it is one of these two things, count the stitches on each row before you continue.  Eventually it will become second nature for you to place one stitch in each chain or stitch on the previous row.

The other thing it could be is your tension.  This is caused mostly by how tightly or loosely you hold the strand of yarn.  It is always uneven when you first learn, causing some stitches to be tighter than others, and some to be looser than others.  Tension is kind of like handwriting, each person has their own.  The trick is to learn to keep the tension even throughout your work.  This is something that comes with time and practice.  You will find when you do get your tension even, and you start doing more complicated work where gauge is important, that yours will not always be the same as what is listed on the pattern.  You can adjust that by increasing or decreasing your hook size, depending on if your gauge is larger or smaller than what is listed on the pattern.  If your gauge is larger than theirs, use a smaller hook.  If your gauge is smaller than theirs, just use a larger hook.

Crochet is an art that is not learned overnight.  Just try to be patient and practice, practice, practice.  Before you know it, you will be an accomplished crochet artist!

Much Love,

Luci

Dear Luci,

I have been trying to decide how I should record my shipping expenses for my Etsy shop.  I have been doing some reading online, but am very confused.  It seems some people treat it as a shipping expense, but some treat it as a “reimbursable expense”?  How should I be doing this??

Not an Accountant

Dear Not an Accountant,

If you do not charge your customers for shipping than this would be a straight expense, and should be recorded as a shipping expense.  However, if you charge for shipping like most Etsy shops do, you would want to record this as a reimbursable expense.  This can include not just the actual cost of shipping the order, but shipping supplies such as boxes, packing for fragile items, shipping labels, and tape to seal parcels to name a few examples.

By recording your shipping expenses as a reimbursable expense, the money you receive for shipping is no longer considered revenue.  It is only a reimbursement of an expense.  This will lower your revenue, and your tax liability.  You just have to make sure that you also record the money you receive for shipping as an offset to the reimbursable expenses account.  For my Etsy shops, I charge for shipping and record all shipping expenses as a reimbursable expense.

Much Love,

Luci

Have a question?  Email askhippiepluci@gmail.com!!  Ask Luci appears on the Hippe Peaceniks blog every Saturday!!