For this week’s Thoughts on Shops we take a look at Melbourne sustainable jewelry shop – Natures Art Melbourne.
Martina is the amazing maker behind this wonderful little piece of Australia. Martina spends every winter in Australia’s Outback – slowing down, walking the land, reconnecting, starting to see … receiving gifts from nature – how incredible is that!
(we will try not to be too jealous of this Martina!)
This is absolutely reflected in her beautiful work, so we will see if there are ways to better reflect this in the shop itself and other tweaks that may help her to expand.
The first thing we see is her shop home page. I love her avatar. I love her profile – I would add a line in here with an easy link to her shop home page (something like to enter my shop – followed by home page link) since some new things are linking to our profile page these days.
I love that her work is guaranteed for a lifetime (hers! so clever) – I see where she is going with her banner, but it is not nearly as good as her work.
She could either have someone design something for her that better represents her identity (that best thing she is offering) – her ability to connect her customers to Mother Earth and the natural world of Australia or she could use pictures of her work here with her shop name (strong first font) and tagline (lesser 2nd font). She could use this imagery with her packaging, etc and maybe work with a graphic designer to come up with ways to make her work more inclusive for people who are new to the concepts she is working with.
Sometimes because eco-jewelry designers work with (and love) natural materials and settings, we have a tendency to focus maybe a little too strongly on this with our visuals and we end up with photos that look like something people have seen before, even when they aren’t. Sometimes when our work is made from items found in nature and then photographed in its natural setting it almost gets lost in the photo.
For Martina’s first pictures I would look to get a tighter crop and some different angles. I would try to eliminate the grass as much as possible. The picture marked – current – shown above, was from Natures Art Melbourne’s first page last weekend – the same two rows are shown below marked – new- using different pictures as the first pics and cropping them a little tighter – it creates more visual interest and I think makes the page more welcoming. I would add some model shots and try some photographs with interesting angles, some extreme close-ups, and different backgrounds- maybe distressed paper or something to make her items really stand out and not blend into the background.
On Etsy tags are important. Sometimes it is hard to tag jewelry and you end up with tags that are more a list of materials, which are things people search for, but you will probably need to be creative with your tags and use tags that describe who the item could be for (australian vacation, seeker, dreamer, lightworker, healer) or what kind of feeling or atmosphere the item could create (energy, peace, calm, relax, protect, etc). Looking at next months merchandising report I would try to work in tags involving – natural history, tribal influence, etc.
Something that might work really well for Natures Art Melbourne is making her jewelry more attractive to gift purchasers by marketing, packaging and showing her pieces in ways that make it easy to give as a gift.
For example this piece is described as :
Tourmaline Quartz – aids in eliminating â€œcrystallizedâ€ patterns which are or have been destructive in ones life.
Good balancing stone. Protective stone.
There could be some clever ways to package and market this for women wanting to eliminate bad habits – smoking, eating fast food, attracting fast boyfriends, attracting jobs where they are underpaid or fast boyfriends with jobs where they are underpaid or maybe a more general thing where this piece comes with a release prayer to be offered at the next full moon (is that when things are released?) where they fill in what they are releasing or you give them a funny checklist (or a serious checklist) and packaged in some clever way.
The packaging would reflect Martina’s branding for her new banner, etc.
Martina’s smudging feathers are also very popular and she might want to do the same thing with those – adding creative little cards explaining how to use them (and she might already do this, but working that into one of the pictures would be a good idea so gift purchasers can visualize how this would work as a gift) – playing up the fact they are from Australia would be popular with U.S. customers (who love everything Australian) – it looked like her smudging fans are only 10% of her shop listings but a much higher percentage of her shop sales, so I would look to add more of those if possible.
She also has groupings of little stone hearts on cards that would make great gifts packaged as just the stones for anyone who would like to give their heart to the ones they love- maybe something they could carry with them ina pouch for special situations or give out with little cards or brides to give as little extras to their bridesmaids, etc. I think creating a planet where everyone is a little more generous with their hearts is what Martina’s shop is all about. Maybe adding maps of the sites the stones, etc were found and a little story of the piece would be a cool thing for her customers to have, too. We have a real advantage as small makers to create a personal connection to our customers with the stories of our work!
She may need to work with a designer to create visually interesting packaging and cards with her branding and create something that is clean and somewhat eco-modern – nothing too hippie – but something that still reflects her best thing- connecting people to Mother Earth and natural Australia and branding that reflects her clean style. Some clever branding, packaging and visuals could really expand her market.
Maybe the key for Natures Art Melbourne will be to relook at her branding and to work to become the artist we think of when we think of clean, uncluttered native Australian jewelry and smudging feathers. She could also submit articles to blogs, including spiritual blogs, travel blogs, new age blogs, tribal blogs, etc and the Storque about her journeys and work once she gets her shop looking just the way she wants it to look. The keys for her could be working within her niche to position herself as an expert and creating some visuals with her branding that support this and appeal to a broader market. Martina already does very well with the part many artists struggle with – the creation of work that reflects something uniquely her own; she has found her voice – the rest is all process and she gets to decide how she wants to grow and the direction she heads now!
NOTE – Her shop SEO tag of “Stones, wood, feathers collected & worked with love” has earned her a top Google search spot for stones, wood, feather jewelry but she loses her ranking when I search stone jewelry or wood jewelry or feather jewelry- terms customers might be more likely to be searching – maybe trying to begin this with “Australian Stone Jewelry … ” or something she wants to rank for could get her a higher rank for something more people might be searching for. Also working her shop title words back into the body of the item’s description and adding a line in each listing to keep customers in her shop – something like – see my other smudging fans here with a link to the category home page – Craftopolis has a way to edit multiple items at once for changes like this.
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