Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anarchy Street - Store Review

I mean to do this really spiffy OTD post but all I could muster was a picture of my boot.  They are riding boots from Steve Madden about 2 years old but they have lasted me well.  The rest of what I am wearing is pretty classy except for my sickly face...... I can't stop sneezing and my head feels as foggy as the weather entering Hogwarts.
The rest of the outfit included black skinny jeans, nude cami underneath a sheer white silk blouse tunic recently bought,and my Billy Would necklace which I did manage to take a photo of also.

Since you can only imagine let me tell you about an online store that I tried for the first time Anarchy Street which is where I got my wonderful blouse.

It was one of my goals this year is to branch out and go to other online stores besides UO and affiliates.  I had been coveting some things from Anarchy Street and finally I just pulled the trigger.  The prices are reasonable and the quality of garment is comparable to what you are paying for.  It's not top of the line but it's not shabby either.  I would say the quality is better then UO but not up to Madewell.  I'm happy with my purchase though.

Pro: Great pricing, trend merchandise but no trendy, easy to navigate store, Pay Pal Friendly, Limited Merchandise for originaltiy

Cons: No tracking, shipping took full 10 days (stated it would take 7-10 days), Limited Merchandise not so many choices.

All in all I will order from them, I was very satisfied and I like to know no one else around my neck of the woods will have this shirt, especially since it is now sold out.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Keep with the Times

Hello Friends!   How is this blustery cold week making you feel?  For me it's all about the warm weather items such a gloves, mittens, scarves, cowls, Neckwarmers, and Wristlets.  Yes I know you think my life is a little excessive but there is a reason! 

That reason being that I have been very diligently (moreso then ever before) updating my Etsy website!  Usually I don't have the need of this but with the wonky Indian Summer we had here in Ohio I needed to unload my cold weather gear into the general masses. 

This has been a long lesson in Photography, lighting, photo editing and most importantly patience.  It is very awkward and uncomfortable for me who is in fiber and fashion to switch gears to a nearly alien art form of photography.  Don't make any misconceptions that there "simple" etsy photos are not using the same skills as any other trained photographer.  If I had better skills you know I wouldn't be spending so much time editing my photos.  Nearly all of them are too dark.  Then as I lighten the exposure I find some that are completely out of focus.  There is much sighing.

Here are a few of my amateur tips for taking your photos to display.

1. Use the MACRO function on your camera, doesn't matter if you aren't even that close you never know what details the camera might bring out in a stitch or detail or even mistake.  Yes, I said mistake.  The Macro has saved me from several potentially embarassing and angry comments by showing me that thread pulling or stitch that didn't quite get covered into the waistband as my meticulate 1/2" seam allowance told me it would.  Since I can see it then I can fix it, cutting off one less potential reason for a buyer to complain.

2. Lighting, good natural lighting or close to it.  I never use the Flash on my camera for product photos.  I find that it usually adds unseenly colors or makes the background look like crap.  If it's sunny I take it outside or by a window. 
Look how harsh and terrible it looks even after trying to do some touch ups. Then next to it is without flash and just some exposure lightness.

3.  Knowing your editing program.  I know a lot of people default with PhotoShop but all those bells and whistles can be overwhelming to the newbie or lazy person (like me).  It also takes up a lot of running memory on your computer while you are using so depending what else you are doing at the same time it could make everything run slower.  My current favorite to use right now is Picnik.com .  It is web based so it will be wherever you are, connects to facebook, flickr, picasa and other various photo dumping places you might use.  It is very simple to use with the Silder bars and explainations of each option

4. Set up- yep the set up is just as important if not one of the most important things to worry about when putting your items out there to sell.  Just like the window displays at the mall, the way your photo looks will determine the traffic to the rest of your inventory.  When you look at the photos on the Etsy front page they aren't always the greatest most exciting items but they are visually stunning in the photos.  Some of them are just a detail shot of that lace fringe to a skirt or Soap set up in a pretty victorian sink.  

If you can master these very few skills then you my friend are in a good place.  If you are still having troubles consider getting a better camera (borrow and test them from friends), taking a class at a local college or art school of digital photography (I know CCAD's Continuing Education has one), or if all else fails hire someone.

If hiring someone it doesn't have to break the bank,  you can simply put up an Ad with a local college or Art School to find a student to help hone their craft for a minimal fee or even as an intern to do it for you. 

These are the a few of the things I've learned since my journey with Etsy and the Craft Scene started about 3 years ago.  I'll be giving a few other tips and tricks that I've learned over the years in some up coming posts!  Good luck out there!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Things Collected

Do you remember that first time you purchased an original designer item?  That newness and feeling of exclusiveness?  Such fond memories.  Saving up every dollar just to have it even if you bought it on Discount from TJ Maxx or Filene's basement it was still of designer quality and name.

I'm getting those same happy feelings everytime I look at my successful purchase of my first Vivienne Westwood Rocking Horse, Anglomania/Melissa shoes.  For months I had been hunting down the coveted shoes which I first glanced at Style Bubble.  But I wanted them even more when she got her own pair here.
At the time of course I could buy it right from the site but I put it off not thinking it would be so popular because they are this silly jelly heavy things.  I forgot how obsessed asians (especially Japanese) could be over Vivienne Westwood anything and at $190 it really wasn't bad.  Finally they came out with this beautiful red pair.
They had to be mine but I couldn't afford it at the time.  Carefully I saved my pennies and then they were sold out.  Don't you just hate that?!  I spent the next 3 months scouring the interwebs to find them at any price.  But I had no luck.  Every single day I went to Hervia.com to put my e.mail down for notification when they would be back in stock.  The unsaid answer was never.   Just as I was about to throw in the towel and cry in my kitties belly, Endless.com had them and in my SIZE!  If you don't quite know me I am petite with a size 5 foot so finding any designer shoe in my size is near a miracle on it's own.

"Forget the carpayment, it will just have to be late this month" is what I told myself and quickly added it to my electronic shopping cart and without even looking I went to "Check out".  I was done even better was the free overnight shipping.  It was a Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving but my shipping confirmation said I would have it by Friday.  By Golly I did!

As soon as I came home from work I immediately slipped them on with no regard to my ultra conservative khaki's and dress shirt.  I might of even taken a nap in them, I'm not totally sure because I was in a euphoria of happiness.
It really is a shame that it is snowing outside so these beauties have only been worn around the house.  It makes me feel like a 50's housewive doing the vacumming in her pumps.
Photo from here