Peggy Li Creations with new Paypal option!

Happy holidays! I've recently added a new feature to my handmade jewelry website Peggy Li Creations. With the Yahoo! Store new checkout manager, I've integrated Paypal into my online store checkout process. This means you can add items to your cart and pay using Paypal all in one easy checkout flow -- you log in and access your Paypal account with all your order information!

It's a great feature that lets users have a seamless purchase experience, use a pay method they like, and means less manual work for me to process Paypal orders. I've already seen a rise in customers choosing the Paypal option.

See me at Feria Urbana Saturday, Dec. 16th!

One last chance to shop with me in person until the new year! Pick up great Peggy Li Creations peggyli.com, including one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

At the Canvas Gallery Cafe in San Francisco, 1200 9th Ave. cross street Lincoln. Right by Golden Gate Park!

http://www.feriaurbana.com

Peggy Li Creations Spotted on Great Blogs!

Peggy Li Creations (http://www.peggyli.com)makes a splash at the trendspotting sites Decor8 and Mixed Plate. Thanks, gals!


Peggy Li Creations as a Cool Moms Pick

Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry is a Cool Moms Holiday pick. As Seen at Cool Mom Picks

Also, be sure to check out my own Holiday Gift Guide as well as my Shipping Info for the holidays! Please place your orders early!

Peggy

Add My Blog to Your Homepage

I've just discovered the cool feature that allows you to easily add my blog RSS feed to your personal homepages! Get the latest news about Peggy Li Creations Handmade Jewelry right on your personal page!

Scroll down and look for the buttons like and simply click to add my stories to your personal homepages. I've got feeds for My Yahoo!, Google and MSN!

best,
peggy

Peggy Li Creations on the third season of "Medium"


I'm so excited that this season of "Medium" will have Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry! The first bunch of pieces I've sent will be for the character of Ariel.

The pieces being used are:
Tiny Charm Necklaces
Lovely Labradorite
Key to My Heart Necklace
Butterfly Metamorphosis Necklace
Fire Opal Earrings
Pastel Dot Earrings
Asiana Earrings (without the coral)
LA Sunset Earrings
African Trade Glass Earrings
Vive La France Earrings

I'll be watching the show this season to check it out and I hope you do, too!

NBC's Official Medium Website.

Peggy Li Creations on Yelp.com


I am really starting to dig the community review site Yelp.com, started by folks here in the Bay Area! Get the inside scoop on restaurants, shops and more from the locals. I've got my own review page up for Peggy Li Creations jewelry, please leave a review and let people know what you think!

Thanks!
peggy

Peggy Li Creations redesign!


I'm so excited to announce updates to the design of Peggy Li Creations! Now you can page through my handmade jewelry designs and have the option to enlarge multiple insets. I've also added a visual cross-sell feature for each product page, so mixing and matching your PLCs is even easier.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

peggy

FAQ: How can I make my business look more professional?

I've seen this question float around the small business message boards and thought I'd post my response here.

1) Have your website and business materials match the vibe of your product. If you don't want to come across as a small crafter, make sure your business cards and website don't look too "hand made", unless that is a big selling point of your product. Try to keep things clean and simple, people just want to know about your product and you.

2) Represent your product well. Good photography is KEY. Clear pictures (and descriptions) go a long way to help someone make a purchase. Invest in a good camera or scanner, plus a photo editing program, to help you do this.

3) Communicate. That is, make sure your contact information and site information are easily found on your website. People want to know your shipping charges, your return policy, and about where you are located and who you are!

4) Don't have too many ad banners/etc. People may differ with me on this, but I don't put any google ads or ad banners on my website. I think it helps it look more professional and less "home spun."

5) Include any press you may have had in a section on your website. Only put the pieces that are noteworthy (or make 'em sound noteworthy!). A review from your Mom doesn't count! ;-)

peggy

Peggy Li on the Chris Pirillo Show

Listen to my the podcast interview with Chris taped at the 2006 San Jose SEO conference. I talk about Peggy Li Creations, designing jewelry for "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer", selling on the web and all things pimpin'.

Listen to the Peggy Li interview on the Chris Pirillo podcast.

More Lucky Magazine?

I'm excited to report I have sent in some exciting samples from Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry into Lucky Magazine for their November Jewelry guide! I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for another opportunity with them. Also brewing -- possible movie placement. Whee!

In other press news, I'm trying to spend some time over at IndieFinds, a great group of small business owners who are pooling resources to help promote their members' businesses. It's an interesting concept and so far they've had great results!

Peggy Li Creations Interview at Omiru


Read my profile at fashion fabulous website Omiru. I talk about Peggy Li Creations and my jewelry design inspiration.

What I learned at San Jose...

The SEO conference in San Jose was, as conferences go, a great experience! Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry was the topic of an interview for The Chris Pirillo Show, I attended as many sessions as I could, and, of course, my site was pimped!

As a result, you may notice some changes to peggyli.com, including:

1) New Add to Cart button (changed from "Shopping Bag")
2) New Add to Cart purchase button (changed from "Order")
3) New Add to Cart purchase button BIGGER
4) Alt-tags on the images on the homepage
5) HTML text (keywords and business location) added to the homepage.

Other suggestions include adding more keyword rich text to my pages, getting a 1-800 number and displaying it prominently, and moving this blog to my site domain. I met the author of the book "Starting a Yahoo! Business for Dummies" and purchased his book, which not only has Yahoo! store site building tips, but tons of internet marketing tips as well. Thanks Rob!

See me in San Jose at the SEO Conference!

Hey everyone, I'll be attending the 2006 Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose this week! This is one of the largest gatherings of Search Engine strategy experts, with major players Yahoo! and Google holding discussion panels and networking mixers. Search gurus like Danny Sullivan are in attendance, plus tons of educational seminars take place from August 7-10th.

Peggy Li Creations will be featured on Wednesday as part of the "Pimp My Site!" panel at 4:45PM. Industry experts will discuss the ways peggyli.com can be improved for the search market. I am SO excited to hear their recommendations and apply it to my business. One of the experts is Jennifer Laycock, Editor-in-Chief of the Search Engine Guide, providing daily tips on search engine strategy and marketing. There are great tips on her site, check it out!

If you're at the conference, stop by my session and say Hi!

FAQ: How do I start selling online?/Do you like Yahoo! Store?

I switched Peggy Li Creations over to the Yahoo! Store system just over a year ago and it's been a great move! A great move mainly because I also invested in a complete site redesign, with the intention of improving site navigation, branding and the shopping experience for my customers.

Yahoo! Store doesn't have a ton of features -- some basic metrics and reporting, which is useful, plus templates for your checkout and website, if you choose to use Yahoo! Site Builder, as I have. Their custom site builder program is a proprietary language (not similar to HTML at all), so unless you are familiar with the language, you will require help! They do provide the option, however, of allowing you to integrate HTML pages with their system. I do believe there are less expensive alternatives, but I like the convienience of having my webhosting/website/merchant account available all in one place.

I first started my ecommerce website using CCNow, a service similar to PayPal. I believe either solution is a great, low-cost way to start selling items online.

Of course, there is always the Ebay Store solution. I haven't looked too closely into this, but it seems to be a popular choice, especially if what you have for sale would do well with an Ebay customer base!

Other ecommerce solutions rapidly appearing are the "independant" websites, such as Etsy or more retail focused sites like Stars and Infinite Darkness, formally known as Virgin Threads, and Trunkt. With Etsy you are free to create your store, while Stars and Trunkt require an application and approval.

All of these services charge fees. Don't be afraid to start small before moving to a larger, more expensive solution. The important thing is to get out there. Good luck!

FAQ: Can You Help Me With Jewelry For My Wedding?


A great way to expand your market is to include a Bridal collection in your jewelry design -- see my line of wedding jewelry here. I don't personally market heavily to the brides out there, but I do work on quite a few custom creations for both brides and bridesmaids every year. You should feel ok about charging a premium for custom work (you take more time and more resources to get the designs just the way the customer wants!) -- unfortunately for me, I am a sucker, and I usually give the cash-strapped brides a break.

Some things I like to keep in mind when thinking about the bridal jewelry business or creating custom pieces for a bridal collection:

1. Color matters! I like to use complimentary colors for bridesmaids, picking up a color from a detail on the dress or the bouquets or wedding colors, and not matching the dress exactly.

2. I often recommend that a bride or bridesmaid goes either with a dramatic earring or necklace and not both -- usually that's too much, unless a super luxe look is what you are going for.

3. I offer a variety of settings, from sterling and gold fill to 14k yellow and 14k white gold. I like to offer clip on earrings as well. It's these special touches that will bring customers to your work.

4. Don't be afraid to say "no". I will turn down a client when I don't think I can create their vision. It saves you both time and disappointment.

5. Advertise your bridal work. I have postcards I keep with me at shows that talk about my custom bridal work. I also keep a gallery of wedding jewelry on my website and encourage my clients, if they are happy with my work, to post their comments on hot wedding message boards like The Knot or to tell their friends.

Find out more at Handmade Jewelry by Peggy Li

Join the PLC affiliate program!

Earn money with Peggy Li Creations! Join Clixgalore and have my website as one of your affiliates. You receive 10% of every order referred from your website.

Sign up for the Peggy Li Creations affiliate program here.

Major websites such as Amazon and Ebay drive tons of traffic through their affiliate programs (they use sites like Commission Junction or Linkshare).

New "What About Brian?" Screencaps


New screencaps, courtesy of the Sarah-lancaster.com fan page, are up on the Peggy Li Creations Press page.

She Unlimited Interview

Hi all,

I've been recorded for a web broadcast for the She Unlimited website: listen to my interview here. They ask questions about Peggy Li Creations and you can hear my valley-girl twang!

There are also a few interviews with other small business gals that might be of interest. Most of whom you can find at The Switchboards Forum.

Peggy

Peggy Li Creations in Lucky Magazine's June 2006 Summer Jewelry Guide!


I am stoked to share that my White Coral Branch Necklace is featured in the June 2006 Lucky Magazine summer jewelry guide! Getting into this magazine has been 5 years in the making and I am thrilled.

Pick up your issue! Now! :)

PLCs Debut on ABC's "What About Brian?"


From the producers of "Lost" and "Alias" comes "What About Brian?" on ABCs Mondays at 10pm.

The main characters of Marjorie and Deena are wearing original Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry! Be sure to check it out. You can see some examples at my website at my What About Brian Press Page.

Vote for me!

Please vote for Peggy Li Creations as favorite "Designer on the Rise" for Style Bakery's Designer On the Rise award.

Every vote helps!

Thanks! :)

FAQ: Do you recycle your metal?

The answer is yes, absolutely! I save all my sterling silver, gold-fill and karat gold scrap from my work on Peggy Li Creations. Save them separately and keep them clean (no other scrap). Companies like Rio Grande will process your scrap and credit you (or give you cash) cost of scrap minus their processing fees and can take small amounts of recycling material.

This is a great way to save money in your workshop. Especially since the price for sterling silver has only increased over the past few years. Every bit counts!

Rings, please!


I have recently been exploring designing rings for Peggy Li Creations but haven't come up with the right look yet. But if you are interested in all things rings for your fingers, please check out this awesome website The Carrotbox and her great blog of cool ring designs across the web.

FAQ: Do you run your jewelry business full-time?

There are many of us small-business owners out there who are still working at a "Day Job". Only recently did I cut back my hours at the DJ to have more time to run my handmade jewelry site Peggy Li Creations -- and it was a very tough decision!

Now, I had spoken to life coaches, gone to small business seminiars, got my tarot read, anything to help give me guidence on what to do with my growing jewelry business. I think there was a couple of factors that were making me hesitate to fully embrace my little business:

1) Financial security. If you really want your business to work, this is a MUST before making a drastic business decision! A life coach once said that if you're making as much money with your business as you do your salary, you are close to being able to transition to the business. But not to forget things like health insurance and other benefits a salaried job provides! Create a business plan, visit your local SBA office and learn learn learn.

2) Disappointing family. I come from a background where the careers of Doctor and Engineer were pretty much the only careers of merit. To have artistic aspirations and not have a traditional "job" are quite intimidating (see #1).

3) Passion. Was this something I really wanted to do? Was I able to embrace the accomplishments I had achieved so far in my business and accept that I may really want to design jewelry for a while? Strangely enough, hard to do. To go off and run your own business is a lonely thing to do. My brother's friend called it "entrepreneurial lonliness". I needed to give myself permission to risk (see #2).

How did I reconcile these feelings? I was lucky in that I had a DJ that has allowed me to go part-time (for a while, I was thinking I'd work at the local coffee shop to help pay the bills!). One thing was for sure -- I couldn't continue to work 24/7, it was driving me nuts. Something had to give, and a major revelation was coming to the realization that I didn't want my business to be the part of my life to change!

Part time is wonderful -- I still have that community of work/coworkers, plus I have a little more time to work on my business at normal business hours! But the rest is up to me -- setting new goals, using my time wisely, and not getting complacent. Now, more than ever, my passion is my business, and I need to make it work! And those choices are entirely up to me.

FAQ: Inspiration

I don't know about you, but I love Project Runway! It requires every designer to come up with new designs -- have fresh inspiration -- for every challenge.

I've often been asked where I find inspiration for Peggy Li Creations. I wish I could say I have a definitive point of view... what I do know, is that it helps to be a sponge for your environment, that everything you know and learn informs your design. Keeping an eye on current design in fashion keeps me thinking about new colors, new shapes, and new eras for inspiration.

I find inspiration from the materials I work with. Whether it is a particular texture of chain, color of stone, or shape of gem. I will lay out materials, mixing and matching stones and chain and materials, until I get just the right combination of things. I'll even prototype a piece if I can't quite visualize the finished piece.

Nature is a big source of inspiration -- color combinations found in nature are never wrong! From flowers to leaves to feathers and furry creatures, nature always surprises and has all the elements of color, contrast and texture that I love.

Finally, I pay attention to the proportions of my design. The size of chain to the size of stones, the amount of texture and sparkle and number of stones per piece. There are just some proportions and ratios that are more pleasing to the eye than others!

Last year I had the good fortune of working with Robert Lee Morris in a workshop to develop an individual style. We worked on inspiration boards and pored over his personal collection of art, history and science books. It was a wonderful experience that I hope to carry forward in my future design.

But these are just a few things that turn me on in design. Every person must tap into their own creative design voice and trust their instincts. That is the way to get to design that is pure of heart and true to you, and therefore, always beautiful!

FAQ: Branding 101

My customers are often surprised to find my name stamped on tags on my Peggy Li Creations jewelry pieces. Until this year, I've been hand-stamping those suckers onto the teeny sterling tags! No more. In a big step to increase consistency of my brand across my items, I'll be getting those tags made for me, as well as adding "hot stamped" boxes to my arsenal (stamped with my name in my logo font).

What is branding and why is it important? Your customers will appreciate the professional finish of your items and will become accustomed to the visual cues your branding provides so they will be able to recognize your work at a glance. With all the competition out there, I need every little detail to help put my stuff above the rest!

Some great resources:

Tool Craft: The folks there are nice and, with certain minimums and a stamp creation fee, you will get more tags than you'll ever need.
http://www.toolcraftrumart.com/.

Rio Grande: they will set up your hotstamp and provide many packaging options to use it with. If only they could do two-color!
http://www.riogrande.com

If you're not ready to invest in having items stamped for you, there are many ways to do it at home. Labels are a quick way to add your brand to a gift box or bag. You can also try a company like My Own Labels for some fancier/custom printed labels. For the hand-stamps, Rio Grande provides tags and stamps, or you can check out MicroStamp.

Next week: Where do you get your inspiration?

Cool New Shop: Therapy


I used to live in Burlingame (and still do the farmer's market there in the summertime. Already filled with great shops like Les Deux Copines and Susan, I happened upon a new store called Therapy at 200 Lorton Ave (and the bagel place on that block has bagels done right -- boiled and baked, but that is a another story!).

A cross between Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, this store was packed with inexpensive goodies that bordered on trendy, but certainly weren't boring! Organized by color, the carefully edited selection included familiar labels like Ben Sherman and less familiar labels like Blue Platypus and Solemio. Check it out!

Bookkeeping Blues

I took a Quickbooks class today, and after the initial rush of thinking I learned how to use the bookkeeping program, I am now home and feeling as confused as ever about how to keep better books for my business! Quickbooks Simple Start or Pro? Paper or Plastic?

Sigh. Next week I will take an intro to bookeeping class. I don't know why the accounting is such a mental block for me... unless it is because I am actually afraid to look at the numbers for my business. Am I clinging to the idea that it is still a "hobby"? Am I afraid to find out that I am actually not running my business well?

What I'd love is to have someone sit me down and walk through imputing a months' worth of orders and expenses and do a reconcilliation.

Anyone, anyone? Anyone else have the bookkeeping blues?

Important resources for Small Business Owners:

The Small Business Administration (with SCORE advisors and great classes in your area): http://www.sba.gov

In San Francisco, the SF Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. You know, do work on stuff like business plans. I have not visited here, but I hear good things: http://www.rencenter.org/home.htm

New Episode of "Related" with PLC

Dilemma -- "24" is on at the same time as the WB's "Related". My Tivo has room for only one! Anyone tape tonights episode of "Related"? A few Peggy Li Creations continue to appear on the hit WB show (cool!).

This evening, I spotted my Textured Oval Earrings on Rose, in turquoise. They looked pretty fab, if I may say so myself.

See the larger video cap on my website here Ep. 10 Related Rose Press Page.

Signs of things for Spring Fashion

The Golden Globes will repeat on Bravo TV this weekend -- good thing, too, since who could watch when "24" was on??? -- and already the Spring trends are raising their (ugly?) heads on the red carpet.

Belgium is known for its handmade lace. Only after I got on the plane for my return flight did I open my issue of Vogue with Sienna Miller on the cover and see that *lace* is a big trend for Spring! And sure enough, there it was at the GG -- overdone, like on Kate Beckinsdale (in Dior) or done elegantly, like on Natalie Portman (in vintage Chanel).

Look for some lace-inspired creations coming soon!

My other latest fashion obsession? The platform sandal! Ridiculously oversized, chunky, clunky, almost anti-fashion. Je t'aime. Chloe Paddington sandal is pictured, below. May I have mine in creme?

For a (much) less expensive alternative, I found these Franco Sarto shoes on Zappos.com:

Back from Europe!

Well, it's 3AM and I think I am still on Belgian time. I had a wonderful time in Belgium and a fab-u-lous time in Paris! I loved Paris and definitely hope to return there soon. I brought a bunch of cool new baubles with me to turn into jewelry creations. I've posted some new earrings on my site with these beads -- I also picked up some fantastic sterling silver lockets and other pendants, but it will take me a little while to get those going.

I am still catching up with orders while I was away, I appreciate everyone's patience!

New Postage Rates at PLC

That darn postal service! There was a price increase starting January 9, 2006 across all United States Post office services. As a result, I had to the Peggy Li Creations USPS Priority Mail shipping and handling prices to $4.55 for domestic US orders and $11 for international. I apologize for the change!