Featured Zibbeter - Portable Graffiti!
I’m very excited to present you with our current Featured Zibbeter…Judy, from Portable Graffiti!
I’ve had many conversations with Judy and she is an absolute pleasure. She’s a successful seller, who has so far sold 39 items on Zibbet.
She puts her heart and soul into voluntarily promoting Zibbet online and offline. She sometimes wears her ‘Zibbet buttons’ (pictured below) out in public, in an effort to raise awareness for Zibbet and the handmade movement. People stop and ask her…”What the heck IS Zibbet?”.
With nearly 800 buttons in her shop, Zibbet is getting over 500 ‘organic visits’ through Google due to her items appearing in search results. On average, every item listed on Zibbet, garners 0.65 ‘organic visits’ from Google. ‘Organic visits’ simply means that people are finding our sellers items in Google search results and many are staying to shop. Therefore, the more items we have listed on Zibbet, the more ‘buying’ traffic we will get to the site.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Judy. I created Portable Graffiti back in 1979 when living in a sleepy village in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. There isn’t much work in quaint sleepy villages unless you create your own job. I took a loan to buy my first professional button machine along with paper and art markers and began designing buttons by hand. I started doing small local arts and crafts shows and the business grew until I filled a 20’ long craft tent with 1000s of buttons on display. My first State Fair was the ‘The Fair’
in Syracuse, NY and I continued there in the same location for 7 years. I traveled with the buttons and have sold them as far west as San Francisco, east as far as Boston, and south as far as Key West, Florida.
Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
I’m a full-time single mother. I homeschooled my daughters until they enrolled in college. I work at home as a freelance proofreader for various book publishers and I write articles published on eHow.com.
I have a nice little agricultural homestead and have raised goats, sheep, geese, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, pigs and chickens partly due to our involvement in 4-H. Currently we have a flock of hens, our 11 year old Border Collie, 2 young Blue Heelers and 1 awesome old cat.
What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
I was originally inspired to create Portable Graffiti after helping my best friend Margie sell her dough art at craft shows. I wanted to make something, too. At the time I ran an antique store, The Odd Lot in Lodi, NY and loved the customers and the social and community aspect of selling. I was inspired to come up with something that I could make and sell. I had a 20-year background in graphic arts and designing buttons seemed to be a logical choice.
Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
My mother who was the best salesperson I could ever ask for when I used to sell my buttons at art shows and fairs. I learned a lot from her. I restock sold items immediately because I can still “hear” her say, “If they can’t see it, they can’t buy it.”
What other passions do you have in your life?
That’s an easy question. #1 is my 2 awesome daughters who are virtual twins. They are the same age with one being adopted from Brazil as a newborn baby and one biological. #2 would definitely be my passion for recycling and reusing of everything from trash to found treasures. I have been moderating Freecycle-type recycling groups since 2004.
What do you like most about Zibbet?
My favorite Zibbet feature is the “copy a listing” feature, which makes it so fast and easy to list more buttons. That is very important to me because I have thousands more buttons to list. I love how all the Zibbet features work well, never any interruptions or glitches. I have tried all the arts and crafts venues and Zibbet has the best features BY FAR!
I also love the wonderful personal attention and friendly communication from Zibbet’s founder.
Zibbet already has some of the most advanced features I have seen anywhere. I’d like to be able to put working links in my item listings so I can refer folks to other similar listings in my shop. Sometimes I also like to include a link to another seller’s shop. For example, some of my mirrors come with handmade fabric bags made by OleBagLady and I’d like to be able to include a link to her shop. And sometimes folks give me ideas for buttons. I’d like to give them credit and include a link to their web site even if it is not a Zibbet web site.
How do you promote your work?
I promote Portable Graffiti with my Blog, Twitter, photos on Flickr, photo groups on Flickr, emails to past customers, Yahoo Groups, and Craigslist ads. I carry “business cards” with me all the time. My business cards are buttons with my shop web address on them. I hand out buttons everywhere.
How would you recommend other Zibbeters make the most of Zibbet.com?
I recommend Zibbeters post photos of your work on the Zibbet Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/zibbet/
Don’t wait for Zibbet to be famous and expect sales to just drop from the sky. Help Zibbet get famous by advertising your Zibbet shop every single day. If you have another shop on another web site, let all your customers there know that you have a Zibbet shop. All of us here are lucky to be a part of the original grassroots of Zibbet. Promote it. Also check all the places you have a posted link to your other shops, and update your profile to add your Zibbet shop link. I have seen Zibbet shops with Twitter, Facebook, Indiepublic, Etsy, Artfire, eCrater, Soopsee, MySpace, Blogspot and Flickr accounts who do not have their Zibbet link listed in those places. Take a few minutes to check all the places your other shops are advertised and add your Zibbet shop link to those places.
In addition to continuing to make Portable Graffiti buttons and mirrors with my 4 button machines, I would like to start using the fabric button maker I have, paint, sew and make other creative things, especially from recycled trash.
I see myself moving out of Florida and back to the Finger Lakes in New York, opening a trash to treasures type shop selling art, vintage and antiques, right at my home, so I can sell direct to the tourists along the Finger Lakes Wine Trail in addition to selling on line here at Zibbet.