Product Photography

67% of people consider image quality when making a purchase online.*

Woah! Having great product photos, then, is a must. Don't fret, we're here to help.

The best news, you don’t have to be a pro (or have professional equipment) to take awesome photos. This month in HLH Monthly we’re learning how to take and edit stellar product photos regardless of what kind of camera you have. Not a member of HLH MonthlyClick here and grab your first month FREE with code "FirstMonthFree".

Not quite ready? That's OK, too. Below is a sneak peak of this month's content. Take a look and learn the types of product photography your handmade shop needs!

  • Stock: This is the most basic product photo. A stock photo is an image of your product on a white background. Even though this photo is pretty simple, it still has purpose!
  • Curated: Curated photos are a step above stock photos but don’t include people! Styled flat lays, a clean desk display or a fun vignette all fall into this category.
  • Lifestyle: Insert people (or animals if that’s your thing) here. The most important part of lifestyle photos is seeing your products in use by happy, smiling people…or cats.
  • *BONUS* Sell-fie: Wait, what? I thought this was about product photography? Well, it is. You are part of your brand. Perhaps, the most important part. People will buy a great product. But they will be a FAN of a great company. So, let your community see you. Let them see behind the scenes of your products. Let them into your life (appropriately, of course). So, yes, post a sell-fie that "sells", get it? ;)

Here's a great example, from our friends @wilfredwax, showcasing the same product in 3 different product photo types. And, a fun "sell-fie" giving their customers a little peek behind the scenes of their husband+wife candle shop!

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Great product photography is not about having the trendiest, showiest displays and vignettes. It's about knowing how to use some basic photography skills to showcase your products in a way that makes your shoppers feel a need for your product in their life.

So, what are you waiting for? Get full access to this month's content in HLH Monthly for FREE (use code "FirstMonthFree") and learn how to take and edit great product photos. 

*(via MGD)

Facebook Pages, Groups and Ads!

At the end of 2016, Facebook had 1.86 billion active, monthly users. Woah! What does that mean for your handmade business? You have an audience waiting to see what you make! So the question is, how do you tap into the power of Facebook to get the right people to see, like and (most importantly) buy your products?

The first step is to gain a better understanding of all Facebook has to offer. This month, in HLH Monthly, we’re taking a look Pages, Groups, and Ads—3features of Facebook designed to help grow your business. Below, we'll share the "what" of each feature. Want to access the why, when and how? Join us at HLH Monthly!

Facebook Pages

  • What: Pages are for brands, businesses, organizations and public figures to create a presence on Facebook.  Think of a page as a profile, but for an organization rather than a person. Anyone with a Facebook account can create a Page or help manage one, if they've been given a role on the Page like admin or editor. People who like a Page and their friends can get updates in News Feed.

Facebook Groups

  • What: Groups provide a space to communicate about shared interests with certain people. You can create a group for anything — your family reunion, your after-work sports team, your book club — and customize the group's privacy settings depending on who you want to be able to join and see the group.

Facebook Ads

  • What: Facebook ads are paid messages from businesses that are written in their voice and help reach the people who matter most to them. Advertisers create campaigns that have specific goals, which are called advertising objectives, and they create ads within those campaigns to help them reach those objectives. For example, a business may create a campaign because they want to get more people to visit their website. When they create ads within that campaign, they’ll choose images, text and an audience that they think will help them get that increase in visitors.

Unlock the FULL content by joining HelloLoveHandmade today!

A Cinderella Story

Have you ever been told you aren't good enough? Maybe you've felt like the competition is simply too big, too strong or too well resourced for you to beat? We're big fans of March Madness Basketball around here and Cinderella Stories are our favorites! What's a Cinderella Story? It's the story of a team who is outsized, outmatched and out-skilled who beats the odds and WINS! Even more, it's a team who very few--if anyone believes in.

Have you ever felt like no one believed in your handmade business? 

Blair, from Blair Nadeau Millinery, felt this way a few years ago. Check out her Cinderella Story and be inspired to dream big and work hard.

Eight years ago, while wandering aimlessly through Selfridges in London England on a business trip,  munching on licorice pinwheels, I stumbled upon this fabulous whimsical boutique of hats and fascinators and swirls and twirls of feathers and fabric.  ‎I had never seen such a sight of colour and whimsy before. I was completely enthralled and in love. Upon coming back home to Canada, I couldn't stop thinking of this magical sight. Then and there I decided my destiny was to become a Milliner (hat maker). I rang my father who proclaimed "I didn't send you to school to play with feathers!"  From that moment on, the challenge was set and I was going to find my calling...playing with feathers!  I taught myself the art of millinery and while on that path stumbled onto my love of bridal design.  Eight years later, I'm still playing with feathers, crystals and crin, and tulle and I couldn't be happier!  This lil" millinery has allowed me to see and do so many things that I never thought was possible. If you dream big and work hard, dreams really do come true!"


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Don't Delete Your Codes!

As of December 2016 there were 1.6 MILLION active sellers on Etsy. Woah! Whether you're one of them or not (we think you should be--more on that another time), there is a small tip which will save you a ton of grief as you sell:

DON'T DELETE YOUR COUPON CODES.

According to Etsy, "If you delete a coupon code, you cannot reuse the same coupon code in the future." Never. Permanent. Nothing you can do about it.

So how do you keep a coupon code for future use without keeping it live for your shoppers to continually use? Make it inactive.

So before you go and delete your next coupon code at the end of your sale, think twice! Make it inactive instead. If you ever decide to use it again--you can!

Looking for more tips on Etsy coupon codes? Check out this help article written by Etsy.

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Product Pricing 101

Ever wonder if you're pricing your products correctly? Although there are a lot of wrong ways to price your handmade goods, there isn't a set "right" way, either.

Head over to Etsy.com and type in "Baby Blanket" in the search bar. If your results are similar to ours, you'll find prices ranging from $14.99-$225. Woah! What makes one blanket worth more than another? Materials? Quality? Time spent on creation? Packing? All of the above?

In the process of pricing, there are a few important factors:

  1. Are you comfortable with your prices?
  2. Do your products sell at your prices?
  3. Do you make enough money at your prices?

You know you're in your sweet spot when you can answer "yes" to each of those questions. So how do you do it? Start by playing with the equations below:

Material Cost + Time= Total Cost | Total Cost * x = Price

Continuing with baby blankets--let's assume your materials cost you $5/blanket, you'd like to be paid $15/hour for your time, and each blanket takes 2 hours to create.

$5 (Material Cost) + $30 (2 hours at $15/hour)=$35 | $35 * x = Price

There are two, super important factors in these equations: the cost or your time (which most makers undervalue) and the mystery "x". This value is a multiplier which creates profit. It'll vary maker to maker but is super important to include. Why? Profit is where you grow. It allows you to pay for marketing, new equipment, future employees, or a "pay-raise" for yourself!

Let's toss a few values in for "x"

$5 (Material Cost) + $30 (2 hours at $15/hour)=$35 | $35 * 2 = $70

$5 (Material Cost) + $30 (2 hours at $15/hour)=$35 | $35 * 1.5 = $52.5

$5 (Material Cost) + $30 (2 hours at $15/hour)=$35 | $35 * 1 = $35

After trying this with a few multipliers, ask yourself the same three questions:

  1. Are you comfortable with your prices?
  2. Do (Will) your products sell at your prices?
  3. Do you make enough money at your price?

Now, it's possible--even likely you don't know all these numbers off the top of your head. So we've put together a free PDF to help you try this out. Click here to download it and get working on finding the right price for your handmade goods.

Then, head over to our exclusive Facebook Group and network with other shops who are asking the same questions!

Maybe The Ability To Sew Is Genetic?

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up? We both did! In fact, we still do. Kendahl’s is a teddy bear that’s so beat up it lives in a pillow case. Bryan’s is a dog (we think). It’s been passed down to our kids who love it a bit less than Bryan did–but play with it all the same. Both our stuffed animals went everywhere with us. It’s why we so quickly identified with what Gaby, of GollyFamily, is doing in the handmade world. Check out what she has to say:

“I remember, while growing up, I had this special toy;  the one that could not be left behind, the one that would make me feel safe. Golly Family has been created to bring those memories to life.”

One of our favorite business guys, Simon Sinek, is well know for his challenge to entrepreneurs to “Start with why.” We think Gaby nailed it! Why created stuffed animals for kids?  To help kids have the same fond memories of a stuffed pal from childhood, just like she did.

A few months back, we asked Gaby to share her story. You’ll find it below. We hope you’ll read it and check out her website and Instagram. You won’t be disappointed by what you find!



Golly Family was created in 2015 to share my passion for creating imaginary characters and showing children the world I was fortunate enough to see. My handmade business is made up of a family of quirky soft toys and “Find” books for each of the members of this quirky family. My desire in making the soft toys is to recreate the special toy you had as a kid; that toy that could not be left behind, the toy that would become your best friend. To make sure each character is unique, I lovingly crafts each and every one of them.

It all started when my partner’s son had a bunny he loved. For his birthday, my partner made him a book, where he took photos of the bunny hidden in different locations around Auckland, New Zealand. The book was a success! Fast forward a couple of years to when I started creating different toys, each with their own “personality.” One night, while thinking about how to make them unique, I thought about the bunny’s adventures. Why not take each of the members of this unique, soft toy family to different countries? Through their journeys I could show children different cultures!

My grandma used to make most of my toys when I was a kid. She lived overseas and every year when she visited, she would open her suitcase and all these magical creatures would pop out! A few years ago I thought to myself: ‘maybe the ability to sew is genetic!’ so I decided to give it a go. In the process I discovered the ability to sew is definitely not genetic, but after some practice I can now create toys I am proud of as well. You can see each of the members of the family plus the books currently available at www.gollyfamily.com -Gaby

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Multiple Photos!

Did you hear? This morning, Instagram released a brand new feature open to everyone: multiple images per post! This is a huge day for handmade shops who have been itching to share more photos of a single item without having to bombard their followers’ feeds.

So how does it work? It’s super simple and worth trying out. Check out this video, via Instagram:

In the weeks to come, we’ll check back in with some real life analytics to tell you how it measures up against single image posts. Until then, email us at info@hellolovehandmade to let us know how you’re using Instagram’s new feature!

Tax Time

We’re halfway through February and, by now, you should (or soon will) have all the tax documents you need in order to file. Before you rush out the door with glee to your tax pro’s office, you need to be sure you have all the documents you need to get the biggest deduction possible. So what are those documents?

Every case is different–especially when you run a small, handmade business. Are you a sole proprietor, LCC, or Inc.? Are you married, single, divorced? Do you collect (or pay) alimony or child support? Do you drive for work? Do you own your home or rent? Did you buy any equipment last year? Do you work from home? Did you pay QETs? Do you live in TX, AL, IL, etc.? The list goes on…for miles!

To help you in the process or preparing your taxes, we’ve put together a short list of commonly forgotten deductions for small, handmade businesses. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will help you and your tax pro prepare your taxes and get you the biggest deduction possible!

Click here to download the free PDF!

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Shut the front door!

Looking for better lighting for your photos? We get it--we've been there! Before you do something crazy like turn on your flash (please don't do this!), harness the power of your front door.

Yup--your front door! All you need to do to get a nice, big, even light source for your product photography is open the front door.

"It's that simple? Shut the front door!"

When you swing that big door open, take a look at the floor. You'll notice it quickly go from dark to light. Boom! Now all you have to do is lay your product on the floor and soak in the beautiful light. Check out the three photos below for a real life example.

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Door Closed


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Door Open


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Door Open with PicTapGo Edit


We'd love to see your before and after product photos once you open the front door. Send them over to info@hellolovehandmade.com!

"The only way you fail is by giving up."

Desiree, owner of Harts and Pearls, has an awesome and inspiring story! If you were to check out her website or Instagram feed, you may not realize how far she's come. Her online presence is what so many shops strive for--beautiful feeds, a killer logo, amazing products, and an audience who engages with her content.

So how'd she do it? She didn't give up. So many of you have (or will soon) face the temptation to throw in the towel. Maybe your sales drop, social media engagement bottoms out, day job requires too much of you, kids begin new activities, your cat gets struck by lighting...whatever the reason, you'll be tempted. In that moment, take a line from Desiree. "The only way you fail is by giving up."

Check out Desiree's full story (courtesy of Harts and Pearls) and be inspired by her journey!