{Thoughts on Shops} – Fianaturals – African Eco Friendly Jewelry With Natural Beads

This month we take a peek at the amazing Fianaturals. Fianaturals is the gorgeous African eco-friendly jewelry shop of the amazing Fia of Brooklyn. Fia is a mum, jewelry designer, painter, teacher & organic gardener. She makes beautiful, natural jewelry from sources around the world!

Fia’s banner is perfect! It evokes the exotic continent of Africa and fits perfectly with her brand.

It works less well for her avatar (I have a bias toward photographs of ourselves here – we are people selling to other people – it is always a good thing to keep it personal) where in its smaller size it gets a little too crowded and hard to read.

Her shop title (without the word Sale) is great. She is ranking very high in a  google search for African Eco Friendly Jewelry and African Eco Friendly Earrings. I would work on getting African Eco Friendly Necklace higher in the ranks with item titles and blog posts.

She is very clever to break up her shop sections by color and material. Fia might even play around with moving the actual items into color groupings within the pages. Her shop announcement could be easier to read with a clear focus. Maybe editing:

african bead bracelet

Fianaturals Bracelet

from 3/29/12 to 4/29/12! NEW collection coming soon! Stay tuned!
Learn more about African seeds and beads:http://www.fianaturals.wordpress.com


SPRING MEGA SALE – Enter Coupon Code UPCYCLE for 20% off thru 4/29!
New collection coming soon! Stay tuned!

Sometimes when everything stands out, nothing can really stand out. The shop announcement will cut in odd ways so it is always good to check what it is doing to our front pages to make certain it is announcing the important stuff and not cutting or lumping things in any unwanted ways.

Item Titles Fianatural’s titles are good. I would title with what the item is first and be consistent with lower and upper case since it is easier on the eye – for example the title:

African recycled glass Green & Nacre Earrings by Fianaturals on Etsy

could be reworked to: African Earrings – tribal recycled glass green nacre eco friendly jewelry by Fianaturals 

Fianaturals’ tags are very good. She is consistent with carrying her title into her tags for instance with the title above some good tags would be – african earrings, tribal earrings, african jewelry, tribal jewelry, recycled glass earrings, nacre earrings, eco friendly, exotic earrings

SHOP POLICIES – I would use the welcome area for some branding statements about your African eco-friendly work and yourself and move the shipping info down to the shipping section. There are some things that can be tweaked in the policies section with some better wording and spacing. Often we set this stuff up early on and never get back to it! I would rethink the lost/damaged shipping responsibility info since that can turn off buyers – it is something they have no control over and can’t be responsible for so I would just omit those lines and insure expensive orders as needed.

PHOTOS – Photos are uber important on Etsy’s crowded online marketplace where customers cannot touch Fia’s jewelry or try it on. Fianatural’s photos are nice and clear and bright. She has some great model shots. She could experiment with some software to lighten and warm them up a bit.

Fianaturals Jewelry

The top row of pictures is Fia’s current lineup – the tweaking is below. Small changes can really make the pictures pop and should help her work stand out on a crowded Etsy search page. Also switching up some of her straight-on first photos with some of her other shots will immediately create more visual interest for her pages. She is not afraid to experiment with her backgrounds which is a definite good thing – this is usually the way we find out what works for us. I would go back to her branding – the best thing she offers – a journey to Africa for her customers with her makings – and seek to work that in with her background to get a consistent branding with her photos.

I am lucky enough to have just won a Fianaturals gorgeous necklace in the EcoEtsy Earth Day Auction last week (YIPPEE!) so was able to snap some pics with a different background – just a distressed wood desk and then worn on a dressform to give Fia some new ideas of ways to storyboard her beautiful jewelry using Etsy’s 5 pictures spots:


Fianaturals Necklace - Some New Possibilities


If we let our pictures tell the story of our item  (the whole piece doesn’t need to be seen in every photo) – we can get something more compelling and true to our brand. A search of African jewelry on Etsy may give Fia some ideas on how to make her gorgeous pieces stand out – which pictures are jumping off the page and demanding a click?

(yes, we want pushy, demanding photos – this isn’t the time to be shy!)

Now photos on Etsy are a process and so is developing our brand and creating our story – it is an evolution – there is no end zone or finish line and only so many hours in the day, but by seeing her shop through her customer’s eyes and bringing people to Africa with her – she can definitely create something memorable; something her potential customer will want to be part of.

We need to get people thinking that short of an African safari – Fianaturals is the way to experience that exotic, incredible, rich  African experience! 

BRANDING – So, Fia’s best thing is her love of African beads and her gorgeous beadwork.  She has a blog where she showcases her work and even has a customer youtube video raving about her purchase – brilliant!

Any way we can find to tell the story of our work and ourselves in our shop and with our blogs, facebook, etc is a good thing. Fia could add more info to her listings to bring her customers into this African adventure with her! The history of the beads and seeds – the way they are created, harvested, any superstitions or history, etc would be a great addition. How are these pieces eco-friendly? People want to support green goods and they will buy green goods when they fall in love. We need to make them fall in love!

Fia has a multi-cultural voice in her shop profile which makes me think about adding some different African words to each listing – maybe a sentence in an African country’s language (and the english translation) or a little history lesson about an African country or the continent itself  in each listing.

People wear things to make a statement about who they are (except those of us who just throw stuff on that is clean and go out the door- not that I do this) – so thinking about what kind of statement is being made with what we make and sell will help us see what we need to be doing to draw that customer into our shop and get them buying. Fia knows what she wants to make and her challenge will be to find and attract the customers who want her work to make a statement about them!

So, my suggestions would be – use a photograph as your avatar, clean up the shop announcement to offer a more eye-friendly, focused welcome – more brand-specific photography, storyboard photos and item listings, describe eco-friendly processes, move gift bags to the back of the shop, clean up some of the wording in the policies section including shipping responsibilities, check title order for improved placement in Etsy search, take a look at the spacing in the different sections of type so that everything looks clean and consistent.

Look for blogs and places her target customer would frequent. Think about who would be buying African jewelry and what else they would be wearing (clothing), doing (hair salons, travel, music), etc and how you might partner with those people and services. Is anyone on Etsy making clothes that Fia’s makings would work really well with – send them free jewelry in exchange for model shots with their clothing and your jewelry and link backs. Collaborations multiply the available energy by 100% plus! Any chance we have to collaborate with someone or something that supports our brand is a good thing.

Fianaturals has a great niche – she has a strong, consistent voice with her beautiful makings. She works from her heart and doesn’t try to be all things to all people – there is definite passion in her voice as a maker. With a more consistent branding focus she can become the place for African eco friendly jewelry on Etsy!

* NOTE – her shop has some amazing choices for Mother’s Day and a super sale through the weekend, so check it out HERE

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  1. Thank YOU Fia! And thank you for my gorgeous Earth Day winnings!

    xo- Cat :)

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to do my shop critique Cat!
    I really need ideas to improve my shop and make things more clear for my customers.
    Thank you again for this constructive critique!