Welcome to the very first Saturday Critique! I’ll be focusing today on the fun and fabulous tile and ceramic work of Barb Jensen, from Portland, Oregon. Barb has a great product and nice photos, but not a lot of sales! So let’s see what else can be done to spiff up her shop a bit.
First off, the banner.
Barb’s banner is functional, but that’s about it. My eyes skipped right over it. She has wonderful, energetic and eye-catching images on her tile pieces – let’s see them the moment we visit her store. Barb could hire one of the many Etsy artists who create banners to give her a make-over, or try to do it herself. I use photoshop elements, and in this case I would probably cut a 100×760 pixel slice out of one of her tile photos (maybe get the face of that cute little pig in there) and then write her name on it in a contrasting color. Something to get me smiling and interested the second I come in.
Next, the shop announcement:
I make tile for installation in bathrooms, kitchens and fireplace surrounds. People often buy singles to use as trivets or to hang on the wall. That’s what this site is all about.
View my full tile catalog at http://jensenandmarineau.com
See my husband’s shop with pots and sculptures at http://mickmarineau.etsy.com
Find out what’s happening in the studio:
*view my profile for shipping policy details
Good info, but could use a couple of touch-ups. I don’t know what a “fireplace surround” is, could we say “around a fireplace”? The sentence “That’s what this site is all about” is superfluous – and there’s nothing a newspaper writer hates more than that. I would trash it. I might also move the links to the hubbie’s shop and blog to the profile page – lets get straight to the goods.
Also, here’s an idea for Barb to consider: I just love tile, but I’m intimidated by the idea of trying to install it myself! I would feel turned off by the potential hassle. Offering easy-to-follow installation instructions with each purchase would be a big attraction to the DIY buyer, I think. A sentence to that effect could go in the shop announcement and in each product description.
Barb also offers these sweet little drinking cups. The picture draws me in, but the description doesn’t hold my attention. Barb says:
The ‘soba’ in the name means ‘noodle’ in Japanese. I have some antique soba cups that are rather small for eating noodles, which makes me wonder if the name may refer to a vessel for a dipping sauce that goes with noodles.
This cup is much bigger than the classic soba cup, measuring about 3 1/2 ‘ x 3 1/2″ and holding a full two cups of liquid. It’s my husband’s favorite cup; for water, juice, soup, ice cream, and whiskey.
Rather than focus on the history of Soba cups, I believe the description should answer the question, “Why do I want to buy this?” Plus, we want it short and sweet. Here’s my rewrite:
These beautiful, hand decorated cups are inspired by traditional Japanese ‘soba’ (noodle) cups. Larger than the traditional antiques (some of which are small enough to be used for dipping sauce), my creations are a household favorite for water, juice, soup ice cream or whiskey.
Each measures about 3 1/2 ‘ x 3 1/2″ and holds a full two cups of liquid.
Hope this helps! Good luck to Barb and many happy sales!
Want to be considered for next week’s Saturday Critique? Leave a comment below with a link to your Etsy shop or blog. Thanks!